Lip Gloss -NARS - Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Happy Days
shriekingviolet 9/18/2011 7:27:00 PM
Walked out of Sephora with this shade a few weeks ago by mistake (I thought I had grabbed New Lover!) and unexpectedly fell in love with it. While my skintone isn't ultra cool (it falls somewhere between cool and neutral), I shy away from orange based lipcolors as they seem to clash with my skintone. I didn't even swatch Happy Days in the store because of how orange it looks in the pencil. But when I had discovered my mistake in the car, I decided to give it a shot since it was already in my possession and I was seated in front of my visor mirror. I was stunned by how pretty this looked on me! While it's definitely still a warm orangey peach, the translucent quality of the color made the shade look fresh and flattering against my complexion. The level of shine is perfect too. Not super slick, just enough to look moist and glossy. It feels fantastic on too. Not sticky, not waxy and not heavy. It feels like lipbalm. But now on to the negatives. Like nearly everyone else, I'm no fan of crayons that require sharpening. It's painful to shave away expensive product. I wish these were like Tarte's lipstain crayons which are twist up. I don't however feel like I have to sharpen this constantly. If you're not trying to use it like a lipliner, I don't think the point has to be sharp to get good use out of this. Unless your lips are thin, a dull dome isn't going to be any messier to use that a traditional lipstick. I wear the tip down almost to flat before I reach for the sharpener. Less waste that way. The wear time is also on the weak side but that's be expected given the nonsticky, nonwaxy formula and sheer glossy coverage. Despite buying this by accident, I'm keeping this one and have no doubt that I'll repurchase when I run out. The color is just too pretty not too and it fills a void in my color range. Love it!
If I were able to rate these using half stars, I'd probably rates these as a 3.5 rather than as a 4. But since I really like one of the shades I got (hibiscus), I'm rounding up. My general impression of CG's gloss balms are that they present inconsistent quality. Some shades are hard, gritty and lacking in pigmentation, while others are richly pigmented, smooth and buttery soft. Given that these things are over $7 a piece, that inconsistency should be inexcusable. I wouldn't pay $3 for the problem children in this line. They feel awful on the lips and provide low or patchy color. At least from what I've tried, the shades with shimmer are more likely to fall in this category. But the nice ones, like peony and hibiscus, are soft, pigmented, moisturizing and provide just the right level of glossy sheen. For those, I'd gladly pay $7 and keep reaching for mine often. They don't last long on the lips but that's to be expected from a balm that it neither sticky or waxy. What's sacrificed in wear is gained in texture, which for the "good" shades is just lovely. The need for reapplication means a tube can get finished up fast, so if you find a shade you love I'd recommend keeping an eye out for sales and stocking up when you can get a good price.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Frutique- Apple Night Restore Cream
shriekingviolet 8/26/2011 6:46:00 AM
Picked this moisturizer up at Sally's on a whim as they were having a 2 for $20 sale on their Frutique items and I've been meaning to find a good moisturizer since last winter. I have combo skin that leans oily in the summer and dry in the winter, and I haven't really made moisturizers a regular part of my routine as I don't feel like I need them (even though I know I *should* use one) for most of the year. And then I have such a hard time finding one I like during the months when I do need one, causing me to give up when the weather improves. It's been a vicious cycle of product failure. Anyway, I grabbed this one not expecting much from it as it was cheap and I'd never tried skincare from Sally's, but I appreciated that it smelled nice and had a convenient pump style packaging. It was such a pleasant surprise to find how much I liked it after using it. The cream is very light weight. It doesn't feel watery or thin when you pump it out or on your fingers, but as you spread it out on your skin what I notice most is how *wet* it feels. Not oily, not greasy, but *moist*. After it sinks it, my face almost feels like it does after I've sat in a steam room and have wiped the condensation off my face. Just soft, smooth, clean and extremely hydrated and it continues to feel that way through to the next morning. I don't know if this will be sufficient to get me through my winter dryness, but so far as a summer nighttime moisturizer, this is wonderfully refreshing. Gives me just enough to keep my skin soft without adding to my oiliness. It has a lovely fresh apple scent to it to. I'll definitely repurchase, especially since at $12 for 1.7 oz, this cream is a steal.
Fabulous lipgloss for folks who want lipstick-like coverage with a lipgloss glossy finish and feel. I've tried 4 shades from this line and all delivered opaque or nearly opaque coverage with wet finish (glossy, but not super shiny). The gloss is thick but not too sticky and it wears pretty well for a gloss (maybe 2-3 hours, less if eating and drinking. Some shades will leave a pretty stain of color that lasts longer). For me the only disappointment is that this gloss only comes in 8 shades, but the ones they do have are very wearable and would flatter a variety of skintones. I find myself reaching for Big Tease (a deep berry cream) and Berry (midtone sandy rose frost) fairly often. These retail for $8 but not one should pay that price. Ulta has sales on their house line constantly, so if they try to charge you that, cone back in a week or two and you should be able to score it for less.
Awesome product! After seeing a few reviews of these on YouTube, I made a point to seek out their store in the Forum Shops at Caesars during a girls' trip and couldn't be happier with my haul. As many people have already stated, the price point for Inglot products, especially when purchased as part of the freedom system, is a steal. I went on Black Friday while they were selling everything 20% off, so I got a particularly good deal (2 10 round pan palettes and a matte lip crayon, plus a free lipgloss, for just under $88 including tax!) but even the normal rack rate prices were very affordable. IIRC, the 10 round pan (think MAC shadow size) palette was $45 and the 10 pan square (which hold significantly more than the round) palettes were $50. That's like paying $4.50-5.00 per shadow, and getting a palette to hold them in for free! That's not much more than what you pay for single shadows for drugstore lines, yet the quality and color range is far better. They do offer smaller palettes (like 3 and 5 pan) for lower prices, but I don't recall what they cost. You get to pick all of your own shades, which is really fun to do in the store. They give you a magnetized tray and you just pick up the pans of the colors and stick them on your tray, and then bring them up to the front when you're finished! The color range is incredible. Hundreds of colors, including one of the few true red shadows I've ever seen. If applied over a creamy base like a NYX pencil (I use Milk) or a shade stick, it's such a potent, true red, it looks like lipstick. Awesome! The quality of the shadows are on par with MAC, though just like with MAC, some finishes are better than others. The pearl and AMC shine shadows reminded me of MAC frosts in terms of their texture while the regular AMC and Double Sparkle shadows remind me of MAC's Velvet finish. The velvet-like shadows can be a bit dusty and messier to apply than the pearl & shine shadows, but they're highly pigmented. All of the ones I've tried apply and blend easily, and wear all day long over a good primer. Also neat about the freedom system is that they also sell lipsticks, concealers, brow powders, brow wax and blushes in pan form, so if you wanted to, you could build yourself a great full face palette to carry around in your purse for touch ups and unexpected overnight stays. My only beef with this system is the packaging. The palettes are super sturdy and the magnets that are built in them makes it a breeze to keep your palettes together. Your palettes can be stacked and held together and your pans are unlikely to ever fall out. However, these palettes are built in such a way that it is an incredibly challenging task to remove your pans should you ever want reorganize them and check what color it is you have (which could be important as none of them have names so you'll never be able to remember what you own and what you don't if you don't have the #s attached to each written down somewhere!). The pans sit snuggly in the wells and there's no dip or groove around them to help get them safely out. Therefore, if you don't know what you're doing, it's nearly impossible to remove the pans from the palette without gouging one of them by accident! I ended up using a sewing needle to push gently on the rim of one pan until the other side shot up like the light end of a seesaw, which worked, but it was a nerve wracking task. One I hope I never have to do again! I originally bought the round pans thinking I could mix them in with my normal MAC collection, but after the ordeal it was to take them out just to get all of the #s written down, that idea is out.
Great product, though not quite as moisturizing as advertised. I've used this body wash almost exclusively since it came out a few years ago and can't get enough of it. Not because I find it to be that effective of a moisturizer, as I don't, but because it has the best lather of any body wash I've ever tried and I've tried many. Every now and then another body wash will tempt me into switching (usually because it has a smell I fancy), but I always come back to the Olay Ribbons because I miss the thick, creamy lather. The stuff is lather is thicker and dreamier than what you'd get from good bubble bath and it's the only body wash I truly feel comfortable shaving with. The creamy foam just feels decadent. It doesn't however, feel all that moisturizing. It does just enough so that you don't jump out of the shower feeling drier than when you go in, and can maybe hold you over a few hours if you're in too big of a hurry to apply lotion right after your shower but that's about it. I don't consider that a drawback though as I have yet to find a moisturizing body wash that is anything as good as advertised. This one, while lackluster at best in that department, is at least as good as anything else I've tried if not fractionally better. My only real complaint is that the scent is subtle (I can only smell it if I make a point to) and boring. Good I guess for people who aren't into scented bath items, but the lack of fun fragrance has allowed me to be tempted away from using this every so often. Fortunately Olay recently released a version of this body wash scented with Mandarin Oil which smells divine (like a Dreamsicle!) and works just as well as the original. Now I'm really a happy customer!
Great mask when your skin needs a little pampering. Does a fair job at softening and moisturizing, and would do well at soothing redness if your skin was chapped or irritated. It's incredibly gentle, but as such, isn't a real workhorse of a skin care product. It's unlikely to become a staple in anyone's skincare routine. It's more like bubble bath for your face: probably not the most efficient means of cleansing and moisturizing, but you do it anyway because it's such a nice experience. This mask's biggest selling point IMO, is the smell. Most of the time when people say something smells good enough to eat they're being at least partially facetious. Not here. It looks and smells just like oatmeal cookie dough, and every time I slather it on my face, I'm tempted to see if it tastes as good as it smells. It just looks and smells like something you want to smear on a muffin as a treat, and the scent remains strong till you wash it off and even lingers an hour or so after it's gone. The texture of the mask is lovely, moist and thick but pretty easy to spread. Won't drip or run, but can be a bit messy as it never actually dries. Which can be a good thing for drier skin that finds most masks a little harsh. Washes off easily with warm water, and your skin feels nice and soft afterward. The softening effects isn't deep enough or lasting enough for me to recommend this as a good treatment for really dry skin, but I imagine it'd be awesome just as a means to give relief to windburnt, sunburnt and chapped skin. It's so gentle and all the banana and oatmeal would be great to calm distressed skin. It also seems like it would be good for nearly any skin type as it's not the least bit oily, so it'd be a good, safe choice to buy for a girls' night in of pampering or to give as a gift to someone who needs some pampering but you don't know what their skin is like.
I know most people who are happy with this product use it as a setting powder or use it some other way in conjunction with liquid foundation, but I actually bought this after watching a MA use it on its own and was impressed. I'm a longtime liquid foundation user, but I have recently come to terms with the fact that all perceived flaws I have that had me reaching for foundations with higher coverage (large pores, freckles) aren't ones I can cover with foundation anyway unless I'm willing to use stage caliber face makeup and stay committed touching it up constantly. After deciding to embrace the skin I have, a sheer coverage foundation like MSFN works out perfectly for me. It's incredibly quick and easy to apply (I just use a #187 to swirl a light amount over my face), has a nice not-quite matte finish, feels completely weightless and looks very natural all day long. This is the first powder foundation I've ever tried that hasn't felt/looked cakey and uncomfortable. Once it's on, I never notice it again. Switching to this product has really made this part of my routine so much easier as it's cut my foundation application time from about 3-4 minutes to 1 and I don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything in terms of how my skin looks afterward. If anything, I think I look better especially over the course of the day as the MSFN seems to hold up better long term than my liquid foundations. Using this has really been a lesson of how less can sometimes be more. I couldn't be happier with it. Now, would I recommend this product for use as a stand alone foundation for just anyone? No. If you have rosacea or some other issue with unevenness in your skin tone, this probably won't do much for you. While you can build up the coverage a bit depending on how you apply it, it's never going to be enough to rival a heavier foundation. But if your skin is relatively low maintenance, this is a great product. And a great value too as you get a lot of product for $26. After nearly 4 months of daily use, I've barely made a dent in my dome. At this rate, I'll probably still be using the same compact this time next year. That's a real bargain as a bottle of liquid foundation only last me 4-5 months. Over time that makes this foundation less expensive than the myriad of drugstore liquid foundations I've used over the years. Awesome!
Great product! MAC came out with 9 of these beauties as a part of their fall collection and I couldn't be loving them more. Great color pay-off, awesome shades, easy to use felt tip applicator, great wear and are easily removed. While they aren't quite as long wearing as their liquidlast liners (which stay on through sweat, tears, and Biblical rain), they're much much easier to work with and aren't a bitch to remove. It's a pretty wet product and can feel pretty funny on for the first 45 seconds after you apply them, but once dry they're smudge proof and the color lasts all day. Fluidliners and UD 24/7 liners both get a bit smudgy on me after 5-6 hours, but this never seems to revert back to its soft gel stage. It can however start to flake off a bit if you have oily skin, but if you avoid touching your eyes it will still stay nearly perfect as it seems like it takes a combination of oil (either from your skin or your makeup remover) and friction to really start to flake off. That only seems to occur after a good 6-8 hours of wear though so I'm pretty happy. Washes off easily just using a bit of MU remover (any kind should work just fine) and a wash cloth. Oh and just like nearly all liquids, it's useless on the waterline. Still, I really like this addition to MAC's line. Hope they make these permanent and release more shades in future collections!
I'm a big fan of honey scented things, so it's no surprise that I'm absolutely wild about Mange Too. The fragrance is heady and sweet, lots of honey, white chocolate and a hint of something herbal that I'm guessing is the mint though it doesn't smell minty to me. I tend to use LUSH massage bars as solid moisturizers, and I really like them in that role. They're a bit too greasy to use on the go, or even just on dry skin, but I really like using them just as I'm getting out of the shower. Using them on warm, wet skin makes them glide easily and absorb better and keeps your skin smooth and soft for longer. I rarely have the patience to rub myself down with lotion or body cream, but using a body oil or lotion bar after a shower works well for my routine and my skin. The scent is really strong both from the bar and on the skin, so you really have to love the fragrance (and boy do I!) to get on with this product so its scent strength will either by a plus or a minus with folks. My only complaint about this product is the price. $10 for a 3.5oz bar that's been made with pretty cheap ingredients (cocoa, shea and mango butters, bananas, honey) stings a bit, but I've tried to come up with something similar for less at home and can't seem to create something the glides on as well as LUSH bars. They're always either too soft and mushy, too hard or too waxy. I'm willing to pay for their expertise until someone unlocks the secret of making such nice solid moisturizers and sell them for less. Especially if they keep making ones that smell as awesome as Mange Too.
Great tinted lip balm for people who need subtle color and shine. I have very pale lips that make me look dead when they're bare. This offers just enough color to wake my skin up without looking like I'm wearing lipgloss or lipstick. It's a very pretty berry rose that is neither too cool or too warm. The butter doesn't offer much shine, just enough to make your lips look moist. The staying power isn't that great, but I never expect long wear from a tinted lipbalm. The balm wears away within 45 minutes or so but the color lasts maybe an hour longer. The moisture factor is only so-so. It's sufficient to keep non-chapped lips soft and comfortable, but if your lips are dry and chapped this lip butter is no substitute for a good heavy-duty lip balm or treatment. This wasn't a problem for me though as my lips don't dry out easily, and so the moisturizing properties of this were sufficient. My only real complaint about this product is the packaging. I hate lip products in pots, especially tinted products. It's needlessly messy, though at least the product isn't goopy. I'd give this product a 5 if it came in stick.
I need to preface this by saying that I'm not at all a fan of glitter polishes. I hate the way they feel, hate how difficult they are to remove and even hate the way they look. Hell, when I first saw swatches for RBL glitter polishes I thought they were ugly as sin. I love shimmer, duochrome, micro-glitter and sparkle, but full on glitter to me looks tacky and messy in a "kindergarden craft project" sort of way. So it was quite a surprise that after seeing posted pics of Locavore for almost a year, I sort of fell in love with it. It's awesome. I love the mix of green, teal, gold and purple glitter that gives it a sort of cool green-gold look that looks nearly molten when viewed from afar and super glittery up close. It's offbeat and funky and I love wearing it. Yes it's rough and bumpy even under 2 coats of Seche Vite and taking it off is an enormous chore, but it's worth the hassle. Wasn't so impressed with the wear though. It doesn't chip or get much tip wear, but the nailpolish popped off in one piece on two different nails. This first time it happened I didn't even realize what had occurred. I just glanced down at my hand and saw that my right index finger was completely bare. There wasn't even bits of basecoat or glitter lingering around my cuticles. Nothing was left behind. I wasn't even sure how it happened, so I just redid that nail. The next day it happened again while I was opening a jar of something while cooking. It didn't peel, it just popped off whole like a poorly glued down cheap press on nail. Quite odd!
Lipstick -Maybelline - Color Sensational 145 Plaza Pink
shriekingviolet 1/27/2010 1:21:00 PM
One of my favorite nude pink lipsticks ever! It's somewhat cool and mauvey, but that's great to me as most nude shades are peachy which usually looks awful on me. On my NW20/pale lips complexion, Plaza Pink is a slightly darker MLBB shade. Looks super classy on and looks great with a variety of eye looks. The finish is opaque and satiny, though the formula is a bit dry so it's best over just a touch of lip balm. The dry, waxiness gives it pretty good staying power too. Maybe 3 hours if I'm not eating or drinking. The smell isn't particularly pleasant (just smells like most lipsticks would if scent wasn't added to cover up the waxy clay smell) but it's not strong either. Love the clear lucite packaging. Very chic looking for a drugstore lipstick!
Had a hard time deciding how to rate this mascara as while I think it's pretty decent for a basic mascara, I imagine I'd be feeling more than a little disgruntled had I actually paid $18+ for it rather than having received it as a free sample from Sephora. It did a fair job at lengthening and thickening, not terrific but pretty good for a natural mascara. I however am someone who balks at paying more than $10 for mascara (I'm not thrifty when it comes to cosmetics BUT when there are lots of good drugstore alternatives for less, I'd rather go cheap) so I expect a mascara costing more than $12-15 to be AWESOME. This isn't. Not flaking or smudging on me, but I find the hourglass shaped brush sort of wonky and I have to pile the stuff on to get great lashes. This might be good for someone who already has great lashes and is interested in natural mascara, but I have short, skimpy lashes and couldn't care less about mascara ingredients so this one holds minimal appeal to me.
Polishes -Sally Hansen - Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish
shriekingviolet 1/24/2010 9:51:00 PM
Great polish, incredibly expensive for a drugstore lacquer, but I'm really impressed with the formula. While it boasts to be its own base and topcoat, I haven't tested that claim. I always wear a base and topcoat and I didn't care to skip them for kicks. The polish did appear to be pretty glossy on its own so if one were only adding a top coat for shine, you might get away without one. I bought this in Fairy Teal, a sort of dusty medium-dark teal creme. It applied gorgeously, flowing on the nail with a smooth ease, which impressed me as creams tend to drag on my nails and can be a nightmare to get to lie smooth. It was really pigmented too, so much so that you can nearly get away with one coat. After it dried, the polish was nice and flexible so it'd be great for anyone with weak, bendy nails. It also seemed more resistant to tip wear than most brands. My manicure usually has a noticeable about of tipwear by the end of day 2, but on I didn't really notice anything major until day 4. When I took it off at day 5, my manicure still looked fresh and neat. I'm a little surprised by the first reviewer of this polish who said she experienced chipping within a day. My only complaint about this polish (apart from the price!) is the brush. It's fat with a rounded tip a la Insta Dri, but it's bushier than Insta-Dri's. I found it tricky to work with. I'm not a fan of Insta-Dri's brush but I've grown accustomed to using it so I figured this would be the same deal but it was even messier. Not a fan!