I love this stuff and I've tried so many powder foundations it's ridiculous- high to low and everything in between. I've got normal to dry skin, NC20 or so. I can use Ivory during the dead of winter and can also pull off Nude if I have any sort of tan left that year (natural or faux), and either Nude or Buff in summer depending on how dark I am. I usually apply this over my moisturizer, primer or BB cream. For heavier long-lasting coverage I use the puff they include, which is a nice thick spongey one like the MAC Studio Fix puff (the compact is the same style too, albeit a bit bulkier without the rounded edges but oh well). Applied this way gives an opaque finish but it's so finely milled it doesn't look chalky or like a mask like many so-called "cheap" brands do (even some higher-end brands *coughLauraGellercough*). I buff it in well though, just to be sure I get the most natural, seamless finish possible. Does not seem to oxidize and doesn't have a heavy or 'tight' feel, nor does it seem to sink into fine lines; it just kind of melds in which is an unexpectedly wonderful thing for a powder foundation. I do not notice any shimmer, but it's also not entirely flat if that makes sense. For a softer, lighter finish that is not as opaque but still enough to even things out, I use a brush to apply. Either way really minimizes my pores, controls my t-zone and doesn't require major touch up; I only use a blotting sheet if I need to. Does not cause me breakouts, additional dryness or sensitivity either. I'm highly impressed with it even years after I first tried it and honestly, I never expected much because I don't have good luck with Mark's other foundations. I've repurchased this probably half a dozen times now and keep coming back after straying to 'fancier' brands which only make me like this more after they fail and just look horrible on me. If you prefer powder foundations and want a cheaper, and for some of us a better, alternative than Studio Fix (which looked a lot more chalky on me than this ever does), give it a try. Not everyone will agree of course but at the price it's worth a go and they give prompt refunds if you aren't happy with it, no questions asked. I'm happy this is still around! *Note that this does NOT contain Bismuth Oxychloride although it says it "may contain" on their website. If it did, I could not wear it as I am highly allergic to it so I know immediately if anything on my face has it. It also has no Talc, which is nice.
My hope was this would be like Smashbox Halo in pressed form, or perhaps similar to MAC MSFN without the Bismuth I'm allergic to. I have normal to dry skin and wanted something in that genre, an "illumnating or brightening" powder of sorts in a compact for touchups when I can't haul around that ginormus Halo compact.
I have this in Fair (@NC20) and it matches perfectly but needs to be applied with a light hand if you have dry skin like I do or it can run to the chalky side. EDIT: make that the 'extremely chalky side' to the point of making me look 10yrs older and settling into every fine line I have, which isn't even that many. Not pretty Laura, sorry my friend but this simply will not cut it and I am sad. I tried to use a brush to apply instead of a puff or sponge to alleviate this problem; nope. Looks the same, just a lighter coating of chalk :( It can also illuminate any dry spots you've got if you haven't exfoliated well first AND you don't blend this well when applying. Also, I think it oxidizes orange on me after a couple hours which also is not attractive. However, it gets one point because I used under my eyes without concealer, over a primer (the new Revlon Photoready Perfecting) and was amazed at how well it covered the bit of darkness I had there without caking which allowed me to skip concealer. As for the rest, it just doesn't look good on me no matter what I do, primer, no primer, brush or no brush. I'm just too dry I guess, bummer. I saw no brightening effect, but no breakouts or allergic reactions either at least. I now know it will not replace my beloved Halo as a setting powder nor is it the powder foundation I wish it was so I'm taking it back to Ulta and going back to my Mark Powder Buff which somehow, looks really good on my skin where others don't regardless of how much they cost. Go figure.
Brows -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - Brow Pen - Long Wearing Brow Tint
stephani99 2/19/2012 7:25:00 PM
It's like a lip stain for brows, basically. I'm pretty happy with this so far, having tried half a dozen different brow products while I wait for mine to grow back after yet another over-tweezing episode (*sigh*). The Universal Deep is a bit more red than I'd prefer but since I changed hair color to a chocolate brown with highlights, it works better and now the Light shade seems too ashy or greyish-brown in comparison. Either way, I didn't want to look like I drew my brows on with a Sharpie- my main fear with this type of product. This is one of the few brow products I've tried that looks believable (keep in mind I have bare spots to fill in, not just evening out or taming what is already there). Most powders, pencils, creams, and even the more pigmented colored gels can look too 'flat' or harsh, or simply don't last; smudging has been my biggest struggle. This does not smudge. In fact I slept in it once by accident and only noticed minimal wear at the tail ends of my brows where anything else would have been gone. I can safely say this is one of the longest-lasting ones I have (Tarte's Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse is the other but it takes more effort to apply with a brush and only available through QVC). This also allows more control as to the depth of color you want that the other types don't. You can apply lightly for a more sheer look, and more heavily for a darker look if you go over the area again (I notice the red more with the lighter application). I also think this may have a bit of a sheen to it like natural hair does so it's not as flat or matte as others I've tried, which makes a big difference as to how natural it looks. I did knock off one for the price, as I think it is too expensive for what you get but I can NEVER find the NYX version so I went with this. I haven't run out of it yet, it hasn't dried up and no problems with the felt tip, so if it continues to perform as well and last long enough to warrant another purchase, I will likely do so.
Primer/ Corrector -Revlon - PhotoReady Perfecting Primer (color 001)
stephani99 2/19/2012 6:45:00 PM
Love it; best drugstore primer for me hands down. I've got combo/dry skin but still need a primer in that dreaded T-Zone area. This is wonderful stuff. It is not greasy or full of 'cones so it sinks right in. I've had no breakouts or shine break-thru during the day while wearing it, no matter what type of foundation I use (BB, loose or pressed powder, liquid, or cream). My makeup applies smoothly and evenly over this every time and my pores and fine lines are definitely minimized as well. I apply it to my lids and brow areas as well (I'm coloring in my brows while they grow out and need it to stay put, and usually use an eye primer anyway). This seems to work just as well in those areas as it does on the rest of my face. The pump applicator dispenses just the right amount and comes in a good-sized bottle for the price. No scent that I can discern. The only thing I wish it had was some SPF but I can certainly overlook that. Because this is so light, sinks in so well and stays put, even adding another product (like SPF or a moisturizer with SPF) does not feel like I'm just glopping more stuff on my face that will just slide off later so good job and thank you Revlon! Your foundations may not work for me but you hit this one out of the park. I may never go back to the old-school silicone-based primers now that I've used this (they've all been neglected since I got this anyway).
Lip Gloss -Sally Hansen - Moisture Twist 2-in-1 Primer + Color
stephani99 2/2/2012 8:15:00 PM
As the below reviewer already stated, over half of these are sheer with a capital S. Despite that I like them quite a bit because they are not drying at all, and my lips are constantly chapped so these feel like a thick balm with some color. They don't have a lot of shimmer; despite that what looks like glitter in the tube doesn't look glittery on the lips; they're not super shiny and they last quite a while due to what I'm assuming is the thicker texture. I don't notice a cake batter scent whatsoever in any of mine, I wish. To me they smell like Revlon glosses although not strong and dissipates fast, thankfully, because to me it is a synthetic scent. No taste though, which is good. The name kinda makes me laugh because they don't have a lot of color, and I have no idea what they mean by 'primer'....maybe for wearing under lipstick? The Moisture part is right on though.
I have three now: Mixed Up Mauve (which in reality is a light nude pink) and Plum Pirouette which in reality looks like a light mauve, haha, and now Cherry Twist, the most vibrant of the bunch and a nice surprise. They are 4.99 at CVS, which IMHO is a steal for a tube this size. I know the lighter shades in this line won't show up at all on my pigmented lips but the ones I settled on work as thus: Mixed Up Mauve is a light MLBB shade that guess what? works really well under pretty much anything I want to apply after, so that one works as a primer for me :) The Plum one is a darker MLBB and one I wear a lot. Cherry Twist is a great evening shade or anytime you want a nice pop of red, without all the hassle of applying a red, if that makes sense. The applicator took some getting used to with the curve, but it's not a dealbreaker and works really well once you realize it's there. Overall these are quite nice, a little thick, but not tacky or sticky thick and the moisturizing properties make up for the rest they lack (e.g. color in the lighter shades).
EDIT 12/28/12: I had no idea these had any plumping properties whatsoever until the most recent review mentioned it. They already smooth my poor chapped lips nicely so there is a lot to like here -if that's the case with the added beneficial plumping and smoothing properties, this warrants a closer look. Now I may start wearing the lighter ones daily as primers to reap the additional benefits, like a treatment instead of a finishing gloss the way I have been mostly wearing them.
I revised my original review to bump this up a notch after trying a few others and coming back to this. It's still the best drugstore brow pencil I've tried, mostly because it lasts most of the day -provided I don't rub or rest my hand on my brow area too long which can cause it to smudge due to the soft texture. This is great for application but I noticed it can fade and/or smear a little bit if I don't use a setting spray (or hairspray sprayed on a toothbrush) to help it last longer AND keeps my wily brows in place. Iit's quick and easy to apply, looks quite natural once I run a spoolie or brush over to blend, and gets me through the day. Medium Brown is my shade; a neutral ash brown without the red tones so many medium browns seem to have. The comb on the end of this is cute but basically useless but I do like it because when it pokes out among the rest of my pencils in my holder, I can quickly identify it in the morning even when half asleep :p I still wish it had a spoolie but those are easy enough to come by so not a deal breaker.
This did not work for me at all. I wanted something in pencil form that lasts without smudging and Colorstay products usually fit the bill. The pencil side of this is way thick and blunt for me to fill in and define my brows, which are growing back in so aren't thick to begin with, well enough to get a natural look. The highlighter side is too frosty with a lousy color selection -I don't want pink but that is the only pencil shade that matches me, boo. Neither side offers much product for the price so it was just a overall Fail for me. Back to the search!
Lip Gloss -Urban Decay - Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss - Heavy
stephani99 1/27/2012 3:24:00 PM
I liked everything about this gloss except the shade so I can give it a four for everything but that. The texture, scent/taste, and shine are all great, plus it's not high on shimmer. I especially like the sweet vanilla-mint this has since I generally dislike minty glosses. I can't vouch for the plumping properties since I didn't wear it long enough to notice, but it lasts about as long as any gloss does after applying; an hour or two depending on how much you eat, drink, talk etc., while wearing this. It's a bit expensive but the tube is a good size and a little seems to go a long way unless you really glob it on (which you won't because it just looks slimy). I'm not wild about the rubbery applicator, it's hard to spread the gloss evenly after it comes out, but I'll live. The shade is just too dark of a brown to be an attractive shade of nude on my NC20-25 skintone so I'll exchange for Naked or Wallflower.
Eyeliner -Clinique - Cream shaper for eyes starry plum
stephani99 1/20/2012 8:49:00 PM
Seriously bummed by this as the first Cream Shaper that has smudged AND faded on me :( I have three others (Egyptian, Black Diamond, Chocolate Lustre) and none of them do this, not even a little bit, so I was expecting a lot more but by mid-day, half of this was gone and what I had left was smudged under my eyes - where I didn't apply it. I used a good primer AND wore over eyeshadow as well, a cream long-last one at that (Maybelline Color Tattoo) so it shouldn't have gone anywhere. I can wear the other shades for days, but this is a totally different animal in a bad way. As if this wasn't enough, I then discovered the shade is identical to NYC's Smoky Plum w/p pencil which doesn't fade or smudge so needless to say, this is a dud and I can't return it fast enough.
Cleansers -Clinique - Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
stephani99 1/17/2012 11:23:00 PM
I admit, I was skeptical that what looks like a big jar of Vaseline could be such a godsend because this is wonderful stuff; wish I'd tried it sooner! I have dry skin year-round (the worst occuring in winter, naturally), and I wear makeup daily which can consist of all or any combination of SS, moisturizer and/or primer, foundation or TM, blush, concealer, setting powder, brow powder or pencil, brow setting gel or wax, lip stuff (including stains), topped off with waterproof eye makeup - the bane of most removers and cleansers! My hope was to find one product that will cleanse AND remove all of this every night without a lot of effort- much like DHC's Cleansing Oil I used until they raised the price and the mall kiosk I used to buy it from closed. Shiseido's cleansing oil is too pricey, Lancome as well (plus the sample I tried wasn't all that to begin with), MAC's didn't wow me, Lumene doesn't make theirs anymore I can find; jojoba and olive oils were sticky, ineffective and made me feel less cleansed than before I started. Other cleansers, such as Philosophy Purity and Mary Kay Timewise 3-in-1 are still some of my favorites but don’t do so well in the makeup-removing part which means an added step with a separate product for just that. My last attempt was good 'ole Ponds Deep Cleansing Cold Cream which worked but had issues. Despite being affordable, it was so strongly scented my husband asked when I started wearing "icky floral perfume" plus it left a filmy residue behind despite my rinsing like Lady Macbeth, requiring an astringent toner to fully remove- something my dry skin definitely doesn't need. After I ran out of ideas, I tried this based on recommendations from the lovely ladies on the makeup board. I'm happy to report that once again, they were spot-on (thanks!)
I know this isn't necessarily cheaper than the others I mentioned but it's a lot easier for me to get IRL or online, via their site or somewhere else (aka whomever is having the best sale and/or GWP at the time!). I already use quite a few Clinique items I consider staples (if not outright HGs: Superbalm moisture gloss, Different & Almost lipsticks, CreamShaper liners, brush spray cleaner, Bottom Lash Mascara) so adding something new to the “List o' Clinique Stuff I Like” didn't faze me in the least. If anything, it makes me even happier that I can one-stop shop for many of my favs despite that I've never been terribly brand-loyal to begin with.
To use, I scoop out a little with my (clean) fingers, rub between my hands to emulsify into a thinner (but not entirely liquid) consistency, apply to a dry face (important!), work it in a bit to get all the waterproof stuff, then rinse using a soft washcloth or cleansing sponges. No scrubbing needed, no leftover residue (makeup or otherwise); NO scent (‘icky’ or otherwise), no irritation or breakouts, and my skin feels so soft and smooth that I don't need to moisturize afterwards as much as I used to. I still do, but now for more specific purposes rather than just slapping on something to add moisture back to my skin that cleansing just removed, since that's no longer an issue. With this, my skin doesn't feel dry and there isn't a trace of makeup hanging around -no more sad-panda eyes in the morning despite that I thought I got it all the night before (ugh!). I don't have to tug at my lashes to get my mascara off, either. Nor does TTDOB sting or burn my eyes, even when I don’t remove my contacts beforehand, whether on purpose or not.
I can see this purple jar of goodness lasting a long time and getting more than my money's worth at the rate I use it; I don't need much to get the job done. I found my all-in-one product which is easy to find, easy to use, and works like a charm. I put some into a little travel size jar so I don't have to take the big jar every time I go on a trip. This definitely lives up to its name and claim :) it does indeed "take the day off" so in the end it's not quite as hokey as it sounds.
... my apologies for another of my overly wordy reviews! Although I think more info is generally better than less, I strive be at least somewhat useful, not just a PITA to wade through :)
Lip Treatments -Nivea - A Kiss of Flavor Strawberry Tinted Lipcare SPF 4
stephani99 1/3/2012 1:15:00 PM
I wish I'd found this before trying the Cherry version, which I disliked so intensely it turned me off all Nivea balms until I saw this in Rite Aid the other day. I was sure it was Cherry so what a pleasant surprise to pick up the tube and read, Strawberry!?! Yes! I'm a lipbalm addict and always in the market for a tinted moisturizing one that doesn't reek of cherry cough syrup like everything cherry seems to be (to me, anyway). I also wanted ow something lighter in pigment than the much-adored Revlon Lip Butters that I can just whip out and apply anywhere, and something, that while still tinted, still shows on my pigmented lips without being garish or fuschia. This is it. Love the scent; a lovely strawberry jam-like scent that doesn't seem synthetic and the tint is a light slightly warm red, much better than the darker and more pink-toned Cherry version. This has some light shimmer that I didn't notice in the Cherry one, although I see it more in the tube than on my lips and that's ok. I haven't been using it long but so far I can't say this is any more moisturizing and better than other balms I've tried, but since I apply these so much during a normal day it's great to have one with some color that doesn't require any effort, just slap on and go. It's a flattering shade that gives a nice pop of color to brighten up my face. Definitely worth a try, especially if like me, you've not cared for any of the other tinted versions in this brand. Cute little red tube too, one that I actually don't lose in my cavern of a purse, lol
I have to agree with the reviewers who said this was more orange than peach, because it was on me too. Perhaps because my lips are mauvey-pink it just looks wrong, but I was hoping for a nice peach shade to both tone down and warm up my natural color a little bit because I don't wear brown or true nude shades. I felt this was quite sheer for a lipstick so it wasn't completely opaque which was okay, but was still too orange for me and looks nothing like the lovely pics here. Sad, because it's on clearance at CVS right now and even at $3.50 or whatever I don't want it. Other than the color, the texture, lasting power, smoothness and moisturizing properties are just as good as the others in the line, so I can't knock it for that, only for the fact that the shade didn't work for me because YMMV. I'd like to see a true pinky-peach that isn't orange as it seems to be one or the other in this line, but perhaps they're geting rid of some to make room for new shades, who knows. In any case, I won't be keeping nor buying this one again,
Not real sure what else I can add that hasn't been said already, but since I never got Naked 1 and don't intend to now, my take on this is as a newbie to this series starting with 2. Maybe this will help those who aren't sure whether they need both or not, like me prior to actually getting my hands on it. UD ships faster than I remembered, coming from FL to CA in two days via Priority Mail.
I won't rehash the shades as they've been done to death, except to add that there was not nearly as much glitter/sparkle in this as I've come to associate with UD in the past, which is better for those of us who have outgrown that to some degree but don't want to be totally boring. There is still plenty of shimmer here to spice things up, and a few mattes to mix it up as well; one perfect as a liner, one as a highlighter/base shade and one more that falls between the two of those. I like all the shades and can see a use for each and every one of them in various combinations and just looking at the silly thing makes me happy :) They are all plenty pigmented enough for me, and feel like buttah where they apply and blend like a dream. I like the brush too, both ends of it are very useful, soft enough for my needs yet still firm enough to pick up the shadows with ease. I've gone from yes, 'naked' and natural looks with this to full-on smoky eye all in one palette, and I love that. Lasting power is great, especially with a good primer underneath like UDPP, NARS, or MAC Paint Pots or Paints.
The case is fantastic. I love that the tin snaps shut and it is indeed sturdy - it got knocked off my dressing table by accident (about 2 ft before it landed on my chair which is not cushioned) the same day I got it and I freaked out, only to open and discover that nothing broke, thank goodness because I would have cried my eyes out. (I've been a lot more careful with it since then, needless to say!) The bonus gloss is nice too, sheer, shiny and minty, but not overly so, with an nice neutral-pinky tone to it. I'm glad it came with that instead of the UDPP because I can't wear the Original due to allergies, but I have and use the Sin UDPP with this palette which looks really nice and doesn't irritate my lids like the Original. The gloss is on the thin side and not sticky so it doesn't last terribly long for that reason, which is okay. Reapplying won't kill me. Adorable little tube too; easy to keep in a pocket or small bag to carry around which makes me kind of wish they all were available in this size now. The GWP travel size El Dorado 24/7 liner that I got with this from UD's site is pretty nice too, gotta say. It goes well with this as a warm inner-corner highlight shade, but is otherwise too light for me to wear as a liner by itself. Still, can't look a gift liner in the mouth now, can we? :)
I guess my overall take on this is that if you never got the first one you might not need or want to if you get this. I have no desire to myself. Out of the two, which I did extensive research on before buying by viewing swatches, looking at #1 IRL, reading reviews on both, etc., I am very happy I got this and even more thrilled I manged to snag it the first day it came out. That kind of luck NEVER happens to me so I'm just tickled to death about this set. Before this the only real 'naked' palette I had was NYX Champagne and Caviar, which I put side by side and took a pic to compare (in profile & I'll upload here as well -please ignore the blurry shot and fingerprints on the mirrors! I did not know it was going to be so huge of a pic but I'll leave it up anyway.). While that one is pretty good, I like the UD more. There are more shades to play with that all look different unlike the NYX, and they are much softer and easier to pick up, hence easier for me to blend than the NYX. Plus it comes with a brush and the case is made to travel so it's all I need. Not to say the NYX is not good for what it is and the price, but this is better. Then again I expected it to be as UD are known for their e/s. I don't think I've bought a UD set since the old Face Cases (yes, that's how long ago it was and how old I am, lol!) because they usually include uber-bright shades I won't use, the original UDPP I can't use, and/or too much glitter. This is none of those so waiting for this was worth it, and has earned itself the top spot in my makeup rotation which I don't see changing for some time. Based on the price for all you get: the amount of e/s in here, a nice brush, and a gloss, $50 is more than fair as this would be over $200 for all of these individually.
Kinda makes me wonder if I should have gotten N1, now....
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Sin
stephani99 12/6/2011 1:11:00 AM
wow, surprised by the low rating for this compared to how loved the original is. Granted, that may be due to that horrible original wand tube, but they have a squeezy tube now which is the one I have. I tried Greed first but felt it was too bright and shiny yellow gold so glad I opted for Sin, it's perfection. The new tube is adorable too.
It took me awhile to come back to this, as I was not fan of the original due to horrible allergies I experienced with it :( Sin does not seem to bother me though ,which is awesome. I love the shimmery champagney-nude shade; all by itself as a cream e/s or under any of my neutral colors, which is the majority of what I wear, or as a highlighter shade. I was initially afraid it might be to OTT for daytime, but it's no more shimmery than a lot of normal e/s out there, and definitely not glittery as say, Midnight Cowboy, for example! Then again, a little goes a long way and it's true that you should use less rather than more or you could end up with gilded lids ;) You won't need much to get your shadows to look great and stay put anyway, without creasing or fading. I apply just a little dot and blend with my finger and so far this method does just fine.
This is such a unique primer shade that I'm glad I took the chance on it despite all the issues I had with the original. This it does exactly what I want it to and looks fantastic, worn alone or not, and looks even more amazing with the new Naked2 palette, if such a thing is possible. If you want a great primer for warm or neutral shades, or even just a nice cream e/s in this shade, give it at try. It does seem to live up to much of it's hype, thankfully.
The below reviewer did a great job of describing the shades so I won't rehash that, but I will say can I give a resounding oh hell to the yes I'd buy this again?! I wish I hadn't waited as long as I did to try these because they are amazing. Best cream shadow, especially in pencil form, I've ever tried. And here I thought the regular 24/7 liners were good; these leave those in the dust. I still use and like those, but I tend to prefer thicker pencils because I wear shadow more than liner on a regular basis and these can do double duty.
They do everything they promise and look awesome doing it. They apply like buttah, last forever and then some -seriously. I swatched the set on my hand the first chance I got and they did. not. budge. all. day. I can't decide which is my favorite shade (even the blue I was sure I'd hate is gorgeous for a fun pop of color with my neutrals), so let's just say they all rock equally for different reasons. Bright or neutral, smoky or highlight shade, it's here. They are very shimmery and ones like Delinquent have glitter, but it's not chunky-craft type kiddie glitter that falls all over my face. In fact, I don't notice any fallout at all. I wear at least one of these every day as a liner or shadow, sometimes both, and Sin is a fab highlight shade with nearly everything. They wear well by themselves and even better over a primer (currently UDPP in Sin, which I'm loving way more than the original). The icing on the cake is that these also look amazing with the Naked2 palette I got at the same time.
I do think these are a bit pricey by themselves so the set is the way to go for sure, but I still picked up Lit by itself, as I had a gc to use. Later I will also get the black and the grey, and one of the greens. Overall I just love this set, so thank you, thank you UD for making my morning eye makeup routine so incredibly easy, and allowing it to last all day and then some. These are so quick and easy to apply, blending if you want or not (you have a few seconds so be fast) and done. I may never buy another shadow pencil now that I've been spoiled by these. As others have mentioned, I too feel they really need to offer Juju by itself. It's gorgeous and I'm sure would be a huge seller if offered solo. I'm hoping for more great sets like this in the future, but without any duplicate shades so I can have a wide variety to play with. If you're on the fence about this set and have wanted to try any of these for awhile, don't make the mistake I did of waiting forever wondering, just do it :) you'll be happy you did.