Eye Shadow -Unlisted Brand - Icing by Claires - Eyeshadow
genalewis 3/29/2008 11:14:00 PM
WOW...I am immensely impressed with these shadows from Icing by Claire's. I recently found myself looking at some jewelry in my local Icing, and saw that cosmetics were BOGO 50%. The little shadow compacts really caught my eye, because I love shimmer, and the shades in these compacts had an intense shimmery sheen to them. I picked up a palate of bronzes and another with green/blue/purple/taupe. When I got them home and tried them, I noticed that the shimmer was just a coating on the top of the product...these shadows really have little to no shimmer about them. That was a little disappointing to me, because as I said, I LOVE shimmer. Also, the colors beneath the shimmer layer are much deeper than you might first believe. The powder is very silky, and I can't believe how pigmented these are! The shades apply very true, and stay all day long without creasing (with or without a base). Each 4-shade compact sells for $4.50 regular price, and I ended up paying a little over $7 for my 2 compacts with the sale going on. They also have larger compacts with several more shades (1 dozen or more) that sell for $7.50. I may go back and pick up some more shades. They really have a great variety of colors and shade variation to choose from. These are definite keepers in my collection. Do not hesitate to give these a shot.
Misc Beauty Tools -Tweezerman - Blackhead/Blemish Extractor
genalewis 3/28/2008 7:20:00 AM
While I do not complain about my skin, because it's not really that problematic, I do have problems with dryness and clogged pores/blackheads on my nose. They are usually covered pretty well with makeup, but if I don't have to have them at all, even better. To alleviate this problem, I picked up this extractor from Tweezerman. It looks like some kind of ancient torture device at first glance. But if used after a shower when the pores are open, this stuff does some serious work on blackheads! I almost never use the flat loop...I don't really even know why they put that one there. I use the thin loop, and apply pressure to my nose, run down a line on my nose, and this thing will pick up a TON of gunk from my blackheads. I noticed that someone said that it makes your pores appear larger, but that is just because it opens them up to remove all the junk clogging them. I have noticed that with continued use, this thing has significantly reduced the size of my pores. I have had this about 2 years, and it's a fantastic tool. Make sure you keep this thing clean and also use a toner on your skin after using to pick up any oily debris that is left. I can't guarantee that this will work for everyone (it seems to irritate my boyfriend's skin a little bit), but for my specific nose blackhead problem, this is exactly what the doctor ordered.
I bought this polish in a fit of rage after I had a bad experience with my manicurist and ultimately did not get my nails done. So off to Sally's I went to buy a new FingerPaint. First of all for those who aren't familiar with these polishes...they are out of this world. The staying power is spectacular, and I only purchase this brand or Sinful (they are very similar). This color was particularly striking because it was dark and I was in a dark, crappy mood. In the bottle, I wasn't so sure what color it was supposed to be...dark metallic gray? Dark metallic blue? Dark metallic purple? I didn't know, but it was pretty, so I bought it. When I got it home and gave myself the full manicure (since the salon had failed to perform their duties), I was surprised how great it looked! You know what color I most liken it to? Gunmetal. It's got a great finish to it...very shiny, almost chrome-y finish. Just like a piece of gunmetal jewelry would look. My nails look awesome. And it's not too goth at all. I will say that putting on a topcoat kind of dulled the chrome effect a little bit, so you might want to try without this step. With these polishes, I've found you really can skip the topcoat anyway...they're so durable. Well, my nails look great now...I would definitely buy this shade of FingerPaints again. I ended up not needing the salon, so they can kiss off. :D
Powder -Everyday Minerals - foundation semi-matte formula
genalewis 3/12/2008 3:36:00 PM
Everyday Minerals...I heart you. I discovered you at a time when my skin was absolutely freaking out. I was getting dry, red patches on my face during the summer...I looked a mess. But you came along and freed me from liquid foundation and soothed my skin. I got hooked on Everyday Minerals when I found out about their free sample program (AWESOME). I have not looked back. The coverage is very light, but still covers flaws like you wouldn't believe. The result is very smooth, fresh-looking skin. Because it is all natural, it really does keep you from getting a lot of the irritation that other makeups tend to cause. It was a definite skin-saver for me. Semi-Matte is my favorite of all the EM foundation finishes. It is dewy and soft, but not too shiny...just very natural and un-made-up. It applies perfectly with the very soft EM flat-top brush (which I also love). Click continued to see a photo of my skin wearing EM in Semi-Matte Fairly Light Neutral. I couldn't be more pleased with the coverage.
Well, it looks as though I am in the minority on this one, because I absolutely LOVE this mascara! I thought the regular formula Lash Blast was great, but it did flake a little and was very quick to run in the rain or if my eyes watered. So I was excited when Cover Girl came out with the waterproof formula. It does exactly what the regular Lash Blast does, but it does it MUCH better. My lashes get so much darker, longer, and fuller with the waterproof formula than with the original. And this stuff holds a curl like you won't believe! Actually, it even seems to CREATE curl on its own...it's truly fantastic. A lot of other mascaras turn gray on me throughout the day...this one stays a true, deep black. No flaking, no running. Yes...it IS hard to get off, but I use a cotton ball with baby oil and follow with baby shampoo to remove the oily residue. It works great. I want something that's REALLY going to adhere to my lashes, so I'm glad it's a little difficult to remove. One thing I will say is that you do need to use your lash comb to separate a little after applying. It looks fine if you don't, but your lashes look your best if you comb them after applying. I truly love this mascara. Will definitely re-buy.
Conditioner -Alberto Vo5 - Vanilla Mint conditioner
genalewis 2/22/2008 1:45:00 PM
I tried VO5 shampoo and conditioner a few years back, and I remember that the conditioner was no where near moisturizing enough, and the scent wasn't anything impressive. These days, I have switched to the CO wash method, but Suave brands that I have tried leave my hair with a weird, slightly oily smell (if that makes any sense). So I had read that this Vanilla Mint conditioner by VO5 was great for CO washing, and I picked up a bottle...I believe it was $.97. I made sure I clarified with my Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo before I used this to make sure I was free of any old buildup. I applied a generous amount of the Vanilla Mint and scrubbed it in to my scalp and smoothed it down the length of my hair. It smells SO good!!! I think it smells like an expensive salon brand...very nice. I then put a shower cap on and finished my shower. After about 10 minutes, I took off the cap and rinsed out the conditioner, and my hair was sooooo soft! I probably didn't need conditioner to follow up, but I went ahead and used my Suave color care conditioner on the lengths and ends after I washed and rinsed. I have long, fine hair, and I was afraid this would weigh my hair down. Lo and behold, when I dried my hair, I was left with soft, shiny, bouncy hair. And it smelled GREAT! Not oily-smelling like the Suave...just fresh and clean, and my hair really felt nice and clean. I love this conditioner! My hair has never looked or felt better. I'm a definite convert to VO5 when it comes to CO washing.
Makeup Brushes -Everyday Minerals - New Flat Top Brush
genalewis 2/12/2008 9:25:00 AM
On a whim, I threw one of these on my latest EM order. I needed to add one more item to bring my total up the level where I was eligible to use a discount coupon! I'm so glad this is the item I decided to add! I had been using an Essence of Beauty foundation brush to apply my minerals, and it had begun to show some wear. When the new brush arrived, it was much smaller than I had imagined it to be, which was kind of disappointing. However, the bristles were soooooo soft! Even softer, I think, than my Essence of Beauty brush (which is extremely soft). When you use this flat top brush with your minerals, you will find that you can use much less product than with a rounded brush. That is GREAT, because I get the most out of the product and can make it stretch. The coverage the brush gives is out-of-this-world. With about 1/8 teaspoon of product, I can cover any flaw with ease. I also use this brush with the finishing powder, and it even bends to fit nicely in the undereye area to blend my concealer. Super-good product. No shedding so far, either. And now that I've used the brush several times, I think the small size is a definite advantage. The bristles are short enough to provide great coverage with super control, and the handle is compact for travel. LOVE IT!!!
Aaahhh...sweet freedom! For the first time in years, I am color-free. And it is all thanks to this fantastic product. I first tried this product about 8 years ago after my first attempt to dye my then-blonde hair back to my natural brown. Yeah...didn't know back then that blonde and brown make green in the haircolor world. When I used it the first time, I did a partial correction. It took the ashiness and the green tone right out, and I was VERY impressed. A couple years ago, I had another incident putting a light, ashy blonde color on top of my bleached platinum hair. Yeah, that makes sky blue. You'd think I would learn, but nope! So I bought another box of Colorfix and did another partial correction. Perfecto once again! Since my platinum days, I have gone back to brown, then I recently went to red, which was awesome. But I am getting married in a few months, and I'd like to have a color as close to my natural color as possible. So I picked up a box of Colorfix again, and this time I decided to do a total correction to remove all of the brown and red shades that I dyed onto my hair the past couple years. I wasn't sure what I was going to be left with, but I was anxious to see. The process of using Colorfix is a bit messy, but it is well worth it! When I was done removing my color, all traces of artificial dye were removed, and I was left with a color just a little lighter than my natural color. I wasn't sure how light developer had made my hair over the years, but surprisingly, it just looked like my natural hair had been out in the sun all summer...very pretty! I was prepared to re-dye with a light brown, but I don't need to because my hair underneath the color looked so nice. This product stinks like rotten eggs (but it goes away after you do your final rinse and conditioning), but it sure does exactly what it says it will do. Anytime I have a color oops or want a fresh start, I will grab for this. LOVE IT!!!
Foundations -Sally Hansen - Fast and Flawless Airbrush foundation [DISCONTINUED]
genalewis 11/25/2007 6:19:00 PM
This review is for the Anti-Aging Airbrush Makeup. I have recently noticed that my foundation shows streaking in sunlight!!! ACK!!! For this reason, I thought that I might be better off going with a thinner, spray foundation. I found Sally Hansen Anti-Aging Airbrush makeup at my local Meijer for 50% off, and I purchased it in "No Color." I did not have high hopes for this product more so because of the color match, not the formula itself. Turns out that "No Color," despite actually having some color to it, is not at all too dark! It is the perfect match for my fair skin! I spray the product directly onto a sponge (the packaging says to spray onto fingertips, but this would be a big no-no, in my opinion) and apply over my concealer. I use green and yellow concealers, and this blends both of them perfectly so that they are not obvious. On the rest of my skin, it offers a very soft, lightweight finish with excellent coverage. It is extremely easy to apply and blends with great ease. It also doesn't make any mess, unlike my bottle foundations. It sets well and looks perfect all day with just a dusting of corn starch baby powder on top. I love any product that makes me look like a porcelain doll, and this does just that. On top of the beautiful, natural look it gives me, it wears very well and makes my pores look very small. I am thrilled with this, and will definitely repurchase.
I am actually impressed with these lashes! I bought the Double-Cross, as they have the most natural look about them. The lashes come in 4 pieces (2 halves for each eye), and I find that this makes them VERY easy to apply. I am used to applying individuals, because I think they are easier to apply and more natural-looking than the strips. So I was stoked to find out that NYC makes the process a little less nerve-wracking. As other people have mentioned, I had no high hopes that these would actually stick without glue, so I applied some Duo adhesive and went to work. When I first applied them, I thought, well, that was easy, but they look like crap. They were a little straight and just kind of stuck out. But after giving them a little curl with my eyelash curler, they were BEAUTIFUL! These are nice and long, but still very natural. They taper at the ends like natural lashes. I find that the Ardell lashes don't taper, so they don't look as natural as I think they should. They even take mascara well without looking freakish. Also, because of the half-eye application, you can get these SUPER close to the lash line. They have a thicker band than Ardell lashes, and it is black in color, but since you can get them so close to the lashes, it just looks like a nice, bold line of eyeliner. Which is awesome, because then you don't need the eyeliner. I really like these lashes. I probably won't use them exclusively, because they don't have many varieties. But I will definitely reach for these most of the time.
Lip Gloss -Wet 'n' Wild - MegaLast long lasting lipcolor
genalewis 11/24/2007 10:04:00 PM
This is a fairly good lipcolor! I hardly ever wear lipstick anymore...I do gloss only, sometimes with a little liner thrown in the mix, but very rarely actual lipstick. When Cover Girl and Max Factor came out with their 2-step, long-lasting lipcolors, I tried them both and HATED them. They peeled off and balled up on my lips, and dried my lips out something awful. After a couple hours, you were left with a ring around the outside of your lips. I was really hesitant to try Wet 'n' Wild's version, but it was only a couple bucks, so I thought what the heck. I am getting married, and I need something that will look pretty but won't rub off during the kiss! I picked this up in #364, a pretty, shimmery bronze, as it looked similar to what I usually wear. First of all, I made sure my lips were exfoliated and super clean. I usually apply a bit of moisturizer to my lips when I moisturize my face, but I made sure not to do this before applying the MegaLast. I applied a light layer of the color (with no liner...it wears the product off because it contains oils) and did not rub lips together after the product was applied. I let this dry for a minute and then applied the glossy top coat. The result was a pretty, convincing, shimmery bronze with a great gloss to it. This stays on and on until I eat something. Even then I only have to reapply the gloss, as the color stays pretty true all through the work day (9 hours...not too shabby!). This is really one of the best products of its kind that I have used. I might have to give lipstick another shot, because this feels just as good as gloss on, and it's under $3!!!
I have been fed up with the redness that I naturally have around my nose and mouth lately, as well as my inability to convincingly cover an occasional zit. I ventured to the store recently to pick up some colored concealers (green for my redness and yellow for under eye circles) and came across New York Colors Cover Sticks. I purchased light, yellow, and green. The most invaluable of these to me is the green. On first use, I noticed that, as other people have said, this product is a little dry. Don't let that make you shy away from it, though...the product is not that hard to blend, and you don't have to get it perfect if you apply it under your foundation. I just rubbed the stick all over my redness, and didn't worry about using it sparingly. I went back over and blended a little with a sponge, and it looked like it just might work. I then applied my airbrush foundation, and I was SUPER impressed! My redness had disappeared, and you could not see the green...just perfect, even skin! I had a couple of spots (one being a zit) that needed extra coverage, but once I went back and lightly dabbed it with the green concealer, it was like they never existed. Once my concealer and foundation were just right, I set it with a light powder. It lasted all day, and I didn't have to worry about my redness poking through at mid day! This is a definite keeper. I wish I would have been bold enough to try a green concealer sooner. With this product's staying power and great coverage, the $2 price is a fantastic deal. Will repurchase again and again.
Concealers -New York Color - Cover Stick in Yellow
genalewis 11/24/2007 9:41:00 PM
I have been using yellow concealers for years, but I don't know why, because they never deliver the type of coverage and dark circle camouflage I am after. Most recently, I was using Everyday Minerals Sunlight Concealer. This was one of the better products I have tried, but it was a little dry (it's a powder), and my undereye area is one I am very concerned about keeping well-moisturized. I have recently become dissatisfied with my foundation/concealer routine, so I decided to try out different colors of stick concealers and upgrade my foundation. The New York Color Cover Stick in Yellow was one of 3 concealer sticks that I purchased. Why not? It's under $2, so it was worth a shot. I applied my yellow concealer to my undereye area, and then smoothed on my new airbrush foundation over the top. I was instantly impressed with the coverage and how it appeared to wake me up better than anything else I have tried. For a little extra coverage, I set the concealer with some of my Everyday Minerals Sunlight. The results were perfect! I deducted one lippie because I did not reach perfection until I used the yellow powder in conjunction with this product. I find that this concealer is nice and smooth to apply and blends well with a sponge or your fingertip. This is a really nice find. The creamy formula keeps those little lines under my eyes nice and moisturized. I also have trouble sometimes with undereye concealers creasing into those little tiny lines, but this does not. It stays put and does its job well. I am highly satisfied and will repurchase.
Wow...I wish I'd have known that this product was so good years ago. I have been on a never-ending hunt for a decent concealer for years. I had been using a powdered mineral concealer with seemingly excellent results until I recently caught myself in the sunlight and noticed that it was very obvious on my skin in that lighting. After this happened, I decided to go back on the hunt. I am interested in the idea of using colored concealers on my trouble spots (redness around the nose and mouth and dark circles under the eyes). However, I did want just a nice, light concealer that matched my skin tone to cover some of the redness on my eyelids and to act as a base for my eyeshadow. I have only used it for this purpose so far, but it does a great job! I liked the consistency. I put it on straight from the stick, then smooth with my fingers to blend. It is a little dry, but that helps it offer great coverage. I find that the formula is creamy enough to be easy to apply and is very blendable. It has great staying power when set with powder. So far, this product does what I intended for it to do, and it does it well. For under $2, this is a real steal. So glad I decided to give this a shot!
I bought a kit of 10 eyeshadow minis a few months ago, and at first wear, I was not impressed. You get a free brush with the purchase of the kit, but I did not like the quality of that either. It was okay, but not nice and fluffy like the brush I am used to. I got the following shadows in my kit: Blonde Brow Color, On the Phone, Snow Flakes, Carpool, Exhale, Swing Set, Baby Sitter, Diary, Floating Feathers, and Smokey. Word to the wise: the colors that you see on the screen are not a good match to the color of the powder. For instance, I had intended for Swing Set to be used for light makeup days for a subtle eyeliner. Th description states that it can be used for lining, but it is FAR too light to use for that. It is a VERY pale gray that makes a better highlighter. Also, the Blonde Brow Color is VERY blonde. But I will say that it does a great job, when used wet, at subtly filling in lighter brows. So kudos to that one...it does what I intended it to do. Exhale is supposed to be a deep, smoky brown. Oh, no...it is a rusty, red brown. I wanted this for a brown liner, but I will never use red tones around my eyes. Smokey appeared to be like a dark, smoky gray online. In fact, it is a deep, dark brown. It kind of looks like the color of crumbled Oreos. I used my blue shades once together as eyeshadow, and they were WAY too sheer. I was completely unimpressed. The next day, I tried my neutral palette, and again, unimpressed. When used dry, they have NO lasting power whatsoever. Might as well not even bother with eyeshadow. The eyeliners do not last, wet or dry. I gave up and put these shadows at the back of my makeup cabinet. Except for the brow powder. I kept using that one. Recently, I resurrected them. I hate to waste good money on makeup I never use. I have always been a little shy about shadows, so I generally will not apply them wet. However, I have recently become more adventurous. I applied a nice liquid foundation and mineral powder base to my lids, then got my shadow brush wet. I decided Diary, On the Phone, and Floating Feathers would be my choices of the day for a nice, neutral eye. I put On the Phone below the crease...NICE!!! It went nice and sheer and shimmery, just like it looked in the jar. Diary went in the crease...also very nice! A perfectly pretty and convincing color for the crease. Floating Feathers was my highlighter, and once applied, my eyes looked beautiful. The colors were very silky to apply and blended gorgeously. I lined with Smokey using a wet liner brush. Again, so pretty!!! 12 hours later, the shimmer had faded a bit, but the color stayed true and beautiful. No creasing either. The liner faded and was no longer a hard line, but it still looked nice and defined my eyes well. It did not end up under my eyes, which was a great thing. I'm sure the liner would stay longer if layered over a good pencil liner. Also, Exhale (the red brown color) looks great when used as a brow filler. I recently dyed my hair red, so now it is appropriate for brow use. As it turns out, a second try of Everyday Minerals proved to find one of my favorite shadow brands. They are now tied at #1 with Sally Girl.