This is a serviceable little translucent powder. I got this because I usually use loose powders, but needed a pressed powder for traveling. I use it to set my makeup, and it does everything I want it to do; doesn't cake up or clog my pores, stays true to the color of my foundation, applies smoothly and gives a nice finish (although my face will start to shine midway through the day, but I don't expect any powder to change that). The packaging is very cute, and I love that it is cardboard; in my experience cardboard travels better (things seem prone to shattering in plastic) and it's so much better for the environment. Unfortunately the packaging is my biggest draw to this, because although this powder does everything I want it to do, so do cheaper products like Fyrinnae or Paladio finishing powder; however, neither of these travel well and I have yet to find a cheaper pressed powder that is as good as TheBalm's.
This is another peachy-pink with shimmer that probably would look good on almost anybody. If you can't do warms/golds you might not be able to pull this off because it does impart a slight gold sheen. The color is very sheer and buildable, so this will suit light to dark skin tones. I don't think this is an Orgasm dupe; Orgasm is pinker (the color reminds me of a feverish child, not hot) and had gold sparkles in it, whereas Springsheen is peachier and has a very fine shimmer that looks glowy. A good, standard pick-me-up for sallow days, but maybe nothing very outstanding. What primarily puts me off from this and why I will never repurchase is the texture; it is hard and doesn't blend easily into my skin. TheBalm Hot Mama is a little peachier than Springsheen, but has a similar effect while being far easier to work with.
Other -Bath and Body Works - Tropical Sorbet Home Fragrance Oil
slok87 5/18/2008 5:54:00 PM
I sniffed the candle of this and it smelled like a sweet coconut with a little vanilla, which I loved, so I got the HFO. I was burning this in my kitchen and kept smelling bubble gum--then I realized it was this oil. If I realize I am smelling something called "tropical sorbet," then I can pick out that this is fruity and coconutty, but otherwise I identify this with bubble gum. It's probably the banana that I'm confusing there. Notes are coconut milk, banana, green apple and tahitian vanilla.
Makeup Brushes -Too Faced - Retractable Kabuki Brush
slok87 5/18/2008 10:48:00 AM
This little brush is excellent for applying foundation, but I wouldn't use it for blush or bronzer. The bristles are incredibly dense and soft and the short handle gives you more control over the brush. I tried using this for blush and bronzer and made a mess; because the bristles are so dense, I would get concentrated patches of color and when I tried to blend them, my foundation would get picked up in the dense bristles and the result was not pretty, so now I only use this for foundation. I spot apply liquid foundation on my face, then use this kabuki to blend in short strokes and small circles. The result is pretty flawless, especially for blending into the jawline. If I have concealer on under my foundation I have to be careful not to blend those areas too much, though, or the brush will sort of pull the concealer off.
This smelled so good in the jar, like vanilla and nutmeg and spice, but when I burned the candle I could not smell it unless I was right up next to the candle. When I left the room and re-entered, I never would have known the candle was burning if I didn't a) see it burning or b) remember lighting it.
Candles -Bath and Body Works - coconut lime verbena
slok87 5/18/2008 10:37:00 AM
I'd kind of gotten sick of the coconut lime verbana scent after overdosing on it on a trip, but this candle smells better than the body products in the same scent. The candle smells more baked-goody, in a way; it is coconut and lime and citrus, but with a faint sugary note (but still smells fresh). After burning this candle I sort of get used to the scent and don't realize I'm smelling it anymore, but when I leave my apartment in the morning and come back in the evening, I can smell this fragrance when I walk in from burning it the night before.
I have been applying liquid eyeliner nearly every single day for the past 5 years, but this one doesn't leave me very impressed. Yes, it is black and it does stay where you put it and is completely waterproof; however, it is extremely difficult to apply. The brush is very flimsy, which would be workable if the product were not thick and goopy. I don't usually have trouble applying liquid liner with a thin brush, but this one gives me issues. I want liquid liner to provide a crisp line in addition to not budging, so I won't repurchase this one.
Eye Shadow -Shiseido - Silky Eye Shadow Quad - Desert Winds Q10
slok87 5/18/2008 9:25:00 AM
I was looking for a compact that I could use for a neutral smoky eye while traveling, and this worked perfectly. The colors included in here are a shimmery pale yellow-white (highlighter), a matte chocolate brown (crease, similar to Stila cocoa) and a shimmery champagne and a shimmery bronzey-copper. The crease and highlighter shades were perfect for what I was looking for (the brown is warm and has a hint of red undertone) but because I use crease and highlighter shades so much more than lid shades, I used up both of these before getting halfway through the champagne and bronze. The champagne and bronze aren't really too different from one another; I prefer the champagne, but if used lightly on the lid they are pretty much interchangeable. If one of these had been left out for a deep liner color, or if they came in smaller portions and the crease and highlighter were made larger, then this quad would be a 5. The compact is sturdy (although it a lot larger than it needs to be for the product it contains) but does come with both a sponge applicator and a little brush (I didn't use either, though). The shadows are very silky and smooth--the softest shadows I've ever used--and because of this, they tend to get used up very quickly. Also, the shades are quite sheer if applied lightly; if you want them to show up, you'll need to layer quite a bit (and they do layer very nicely without caking). I've already used up two of the shadows completely in under three months with frequent use (but not using it every day).
Lip Gloss -MAC - Bonus Beat Lipglass - Heatherette
slok87 5/12/2008 3:57:00 PM
Bonus Beat is similar to C-thru, but I prefer C-thru. In the tube, Bonus Beat is an opaque pale beige with slight shimmer and applies as a pigmented milky pale nude with some slight shimmer; c-thru is paler and has no shimmer. Bonus Beat also doesn't apply quite as smoothly. I'll use this up and would repurchase in theory, but I won't really just because I prefer c-thru and will get that when the time comes for a replacement.
C-thru is the best gloss I've found so far that tones down my usually pigmented lips and makes them look a pale, muted, "nude" (in just one coat, rather than half a dozen). If you don't want a pale milky finish on your lips, you won't like this. Usually glosses (even the ones that appear to be of a similar color to c-thru in the tube-a very pale beige with no shimmer) go on mostly sheer, so I was so relieved to finally find this color and it is my favorite, most used gloss. (By the way--on me, this looks nothing like the pictures posted).
Fragrances -Aquolina - Orange & Vanilla Scented Body Water
slok87 5/12/2008 3:41:00 PM
Yep, this is sweet. Sometimes nauseatingly sweet, and sometimes pleasantly sweet. On the days I like this, it smells like eating a sweet orange creamsicle outside among freshly bloomed flowers (I actually went out and bought those orange push-pops later because I couldn't get them out of my head). On the days I don't really like this, it smells like orange creamsicle melted into some generic old turned bottle of perfume on a dirty wooden park bench on a hot summer day.
Beauty marked is my favorite non-brown shadow for doing a smoky eye. In the pan this looks like a deep, glittery purple-red-black. When I apply it dry, it looks almost black with some very subtle deep purple shimmer; applied wet, this look is intensified and looks very close to that pan color for me. I prefer this dry, though, and apply it from my lash line up into the crease and into the lower lashline. This looks so much more striking than black or charcoal for a smoky eye (my eyes are green) and I get compliments when I use this shadow (lately I've been highlighting this with Stila Kitten). If you're disappointed because the color is not coming out the way you'd hoped, try lightly layering a glittery red or purple, like the MUFE glitter powder in red or MAC Reflects in Blackened Red, over this.
Honour isn't so much a blush as it is a pressed shimmer powder. This packs gold shimmer/glitter without much color, but the finish isn't really as fine as a shimmer or as chunky as a glitter; it's somewhere in between. I like to layer this over blush or bronzer (looks pretty on the apples of the cheeks over trace gold or springsheen or probably any warm shade) and looks so pretty when the light hits your face. The finish won't last all day on my face, though, and obviously if you're not crazy about shimmer/glitter then you won't like this. Not sure how it would look on cool or very pale skin, but I can't see it looking bad on anyone with a light tan or darker. Also, if you apply this and can't see it showing up on your skin, try going out in the sunlight with a mirror--sometimes it can be hard to see in indoor light because it is mostly shimmer and not color.
Okay, so you need a lipgloss. Let's say you just want a glossy finish with a bit of sparkle to it. We've just described 326,535,233 of the lip glosses out there. What's left--fragrance and tack? For fragrance, this is the best gloss I've used. It smells exactly like non-alcoholic pina colada (and tastes a little like it, too). The other day I thought it was odd that the fragrance in my pineapple lotion had lasted so long, but then I realized I hadn't put on pineapple lotion that day and it was this lip gloss that I was smelling. It lasts pretty long, too (if you don't eat/drink)--I put some of this on at night, woke up and it was still on. Has a sheer, sparkly finish, but looks like a glittery pale yellow in the tube. Doesn't really impart any color on my lips and has a slightly sticky finish.
Fragrances -Victoria's Secret - Beauty Rush Body Double Mist in Candy, Baby
slok87 5/11/2008 6:52:00 PM
I really like the sweet, sugary, cotton candy scent of this spray--for the ten seconds it lasts on me. Seems like it's more moisturizing than other body sprays because it leaves an oily, slippery residue on your skin (which I like) but I'm not sure it actually does any moisturizing. Would only repurchase if they changed the formula so the scent lasted a little longer.