Blush -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Blends Sheer Highlighting Blush in Healthy 26
keahi 4/2/2008 10:09:00 AM
I have been a total sucker for anything mosaic lately so I picked this up on a whim and am happy to say I don't regret it! This has squares of bronze, pinky-peach, papaya/ melon, and light pink. Blended together I get a light, subtle, but still bright, peachy veil of color. This isn't pigmented enough for me to use as a blush on it's own, unless I pile on the layers, which is hard to do with this ultra sheer, silky powder. I have large, high Polish cheekbones and pasty white skin so I really need some color on my face to break up the vast expanse of pale, lol. If you like barely-there blush you'll probably like this. I have found, however, that I love this as a highlighter! Looks gorgeous layered on top of Penny Lane cream blush. It has just a hint of glow--not really shimmer, but not flat matte. If you're acne prone, be wary as the 2nd ingredient is cornstarch. I will update if this makes me break-out. I'd check out the other shades as highlighters 'cuz I'm into layering blush shades ATM.
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush
keahi 3/31/2008 3:42:00 PM
This brush is fantastic! As far as I'm concerned you can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many brushes! I have brushes coming out of the woodwork--it's ridiculous really. I have the EM flat top brush which is great, and the BE heavenly face brush (another flat-topper) plus hoards of traditional blush brushes and synthetic brushes, but this baby beats them all in terms of blush application. I haven't been using anything else for blush since I got it. It's the perfect shape and super soft. I can buff any blush color into my cheekbones effortlessly for a natural look. Probably won't use this with my Exhibit A, but it's perfect for my lighter colors that aren't frighteningly pigmented. Works equally well with cream blushes. Haven't used it for MMU or foundation but I can imagine it's up to the task. $14.99 was a reasonable price IMO. Curvy black handle is asthetically pleasing. The compulsive in me wants to go buy a back-up--it's simply awesome.
Blush -L'Oreal - Bare Naturale Blush - Pinched Pink
keahi 3/31/2008 2:34:00 PM
I got this one BOGO or else I probably wouldn't have shelled out the $15 for this--those prices are flirting dangerously close to HE prices. I think BE blushes retail for $18 so I have little incentive to go for one of these instead. Takes a $2.00 off coupon and a BOGO to make me a customer, lol. That said, this is a really nice blush. Good pigmentation, blends easily, looks natural, and you get a large quantity in the container. One demerit for the craptacular packaging. I'd much prefer this in a normal sifter pot sans silly "kabuki" attachment and awkward shaping. I use my own brush to apply anyway though I suppose the included version would work in a pinch. Pinched Pink is a no-fail shade IMO. Med neutral pink, no obvious shimmer. The shade doesn't exactly turn me on (I like those vibrant candy-colored blushes) but I have to admit that I caught a glimpse of myself in natural lighting wearing this and was very impressed. Gives a very natural flush. The innocuous rosy shade is likely to coordinate with many colors in your palette. Too run of the mill to repurchase, but a nice option nonetheless, especially if you're not one of the blush obsessed and want something simple, versatile, and effective.
To be clear I'm reviewing the bargain version with the white handle that retails for around $12, NOT the sexy hour-glass figure black handled version that will bust you around $25. To me the 2 looked similar enough bristle-wise that I didn't think the sexy handle was worth an additional $15. Now I'm wondering if there was more than met the eye. . . To it's credit, the head of the brush is just the right size, bristles are a good density, it is real hair, soft, and applies powder evenly and well. In fact this would be a great brush were it not for the fact that it sheds like a mofo. I had to painstakingly pick the hairs off my face and was discovering (to my horror) black, wiry, pube-esque brush hairs hours later--hiding in my hairline, my eyebrows, underneath my chin. Not cool. Maybe it's because I washed this before my first use? Either way--this could be a deal-breaker. If the shedding ever dies down I'll come back and bump up some lippies. Right now though, this is a clunker. I hate to admit it, but sometimes you get what you pay for.
For the pricepoint, this is a fantastic liner. Deepest sooty black. I apply wet with a bit of mixing medium and color lasts all day. Applied with just water this still lasts a long time, but is more faded at the end of the day than a gel liner would be. I don't use this dry so I haven't had problems with fall out. This little jar will last a lifetime--I swear I use only a few pigment particles to line both eyes. I prefer this for wetlining over MAC Carbon because I don't want to ruin my eyeshadow pan--I'll save Carbon for dry applications.
I like this best when I lightly dust it over my normal blush for just a hint of sunkissed bronze. It's too intense for me to use as a blush and I wouldn't use it the way I would a traditional bronzer because there's too much shimmer for my liking. Makes a really fantastic e/s it turns out--looks a lot like MAC Cork only with some slight shimmer. Lovely! I have the small size but would probably repurchase full size if I use this up. Flattering and versatile and cheap. What more could you ask for?
This color is just gorgeous! Looks like a bright cheery pinky peach in the container and gave me an instant peaches-and-cream look when buffed onto my cheekbones. I'm a Fairly Light Neutral in EM shades and this complimented my coloring nicely. Deducting one lippie because I felt this faded away too soon--I'm used to the staying power of NARS and MAC and this just felt so ephemeral in comparison. I love the wide flat jar this comes in. Poor staying power is kind of a deal-breaker, so I'd buy this again only if I can figure out how to make it last longer.
I reluctantly dub this HG. I hate the way this applies--I feel like I am tugging new wrinkles into my eyelids each time I use it--and this after trying to warm the stick up between my hands first. On it's own this looks like nothing except a slight shimmer--turns invisible on my PPP skin. So why HG? This is hands-down the most amazing e/s base I have ever used for pigments and loose powder shadows. The slight tackiness grabs onto those pigment particles for rich saturated color. I like to use this with my dry loose shadows--turns out even richer than foiling. Mineral shadows I used to think were total crap have suddenly become incredible due to this shadestick. I will definitely buy this again though I am desperately seeking out something with the same effect that is easier to smooth onto the lid. I've tried Paints, PPs, UDPP, TSFI, Benefit & BB cream shadows, CCBs, concealer, etc. Nothing comes close.
Eye Primer -Too Faced - Shadow Insurance, Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
keahi 3/19/2008 10:47:00 AM
I've been using this for over a month now so I can now say that yes, I will buy this base again. But, I will also continue to buy UDPP, MAC Paint Pots, Shadesticks and Paints. I guess I am not a one eyeshadow base kind of girl. TFSI is different than UDPP. Better than? Maybe. Depends on what you're looking for. Things it does better than UDPP are packaging, blendability, and moisture content (doesn't dry out your eyelids as much). I still think UDPP trumps this however in the longevity department. I do experience slight fading and sometimes even creasing with TFSI depending on the type of eyeshadow used. TFSI works VERY well if you are working with highly pigmented shades that tend to last well on their own. I.e. MAC, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay, Shu, etc. I don't think it works very well with loose powder/ mineral eyeshadows--these seem to fade away sooner whereas UDPP seems to hold tight to no matter what crap you slap on your lids. For making colors pop MAC paints, PPs and shadesticks trump both UDPP and TFSI. Shadesticks are the only base I've found that make some of my loose mineral shadows worth a darn. Bottom line: this isn't an end-all be-all base for me (which is what we're all hoping for, right?). I've resigned myself to the fact that if you want to experiment with a variety of e/s textures, finishes, formulas, and effects, you need an arsenal of bases to go with it. If I ever develop a "signature" eye look this has the potential to be my one & only, but until then, this earns a "solid" ranking as opposed to HG.
I have a bizillion eyeliner brushes already so I didn't purchase this, rather it came as a component in one of the BE kits. Looks like it retails for $12 if you buy it on it's on--which is pretty reasonable. I'm pretty ambivalent about this little brush. Here's my take: HORRIBLE at applying dry powder as eyeliner, ok at applying wet powder as eyeliner (a little bit awkward still) and rocks at applying a thin and super precise line of gel liner. I only ever use this for Blacktrack fluidline anymore. Since it came in a kit I am finding use for it, but I don't think I'd ever seek this out. If you want to apply dry e/s as e/l I think a push brush or a synthetic angled brush are much better tools than this. YMMV.
This shade turned out to be quite intriguing. Dry, it applies a golden tan with rather strange grayish mauve undertones. I discovered, however, that if buffed into the skin or foiled the mauve/ gray tones come to the forefront--almost a completely different color than what you see in the dry powder. I applied this dry all over the lid and then foiled some into my crease and there was a definite contrast. Looked like I had used several different e/s to create the effect when I used only this single one. I like the versatility and think this is a pretty unique shade--nothing else like it in my vast collection. MAC Patina probably comes closest but still not quite. Would certainly repurchase when my mini size runs out.
This is my favorite EM shadow I've tried so far. Got this as one of my shades in the mini eye kit and will probably be going back for a full size someday (this small size will last forever as is!). If I were to add my color description to the various ones already posted I'd peg this as a golden charcoal-ed khaki olive (gah I suck at this!). Very beautiful smoky color. Not the absolute best texture ever--some minor flaking and uneveness, but better than my BE e/s in Moss--which is a similar color. This lasted all day long over TFSI base. I really like EM as a company--their products are good, inexpensive, and they offer a lot of fun kits/ options/ samples etc.
Eye Shadow -Everyday Minerals - Good China Eye Shadow
keahi 3/18/2008 6:49:00 PM
I find this to be a very light beige with hints of shell pink. Very shimmery, but not OTT like Stila Kitten would be. I'm rating this a 3 because it was difficult to get good payoff with this when it's dry--I like my shadow to apply thick and creamy and this seemed to flake and be just too sheer. To its credit, this shade really did make me look brighter eyed and more awake even though it didn't look like I had anything on. Got this in my mini eye kit (which I just LOVE) so the price really was dirt cheap. This little pot will last quite awhile. I'll have to experiment with different bases and foiling. Would not repurchase this shade but will continue to look into other EMs shadows especially since the kit lets you sample quite a lot for a very reasonable price.
I thought I loved Era but Grain might be even more perfect for my coloring. Light champagne-y peachy beige that adds a touch of light to my lids. Lovely shimmer, not frost. This allows me to be super minimalist and still polished when I feel like it. Looks fantastic with Cork and Ricepaper for a foolproof neutral eye, but will play nice with all your more exciting colors too. Total staple item.
Eye Shadow -BeneFit Cosmetics - Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner-BIRTHDAY SUIT
keahi 3/12/2008 1:07:00 PM
Hmm. . . love the shade, it just doesn't show up well on me. This has a divine texture-very slick and easy to apply--dries down immediately to a crease-less finish. The color is gorgeous--like a golden sandy taupe--right up my alley. I simply find this too sheer to wear on it's own--it comes out looking like large sandy shimmer particles over an almost invisible base. Building up several layers didn't work well either. I'm using this up as a decent e/s base for shimmery shadows, but I wish it worked for me all on it's lonesome as I just adore the color. As a base it performs about on par with MAC PP in Bare Study--doesn't crease on me but I dislike the uneven foundation the shimmer imparts. Something about the shimmer finish of this just makes my eyes look old. My poor eyes *are* getting old, but this isn't helping any! For reference I have pretty fair skin w/ neutral to yellow undertones so this blends right into my skin. I can imagine this looking positively amazing on deep, olive, or chocolate skin tones--lucky ladies. Won't buy this again though I may check out the deeper shades in this line. ***Edited to add: I just realized this shade is very similar to Shiseido's hydro powder e/s in Glistening Sand. I much prefer the Shiseido in terms of coverage and finish.***