I don't think this product gives the "airbrushed" look it's touted to achieve, but I agree that it does keep makeup in place. I agree with other reviewers that LESS is MORE with this powder, and that too much can result in a chalky application. I actually prefer to set my makeup with MAC mineralize skinfinish, anyway, but when I do use this powder I like to spray it with a bit of Fix+ to eliminate any powdery finish. Having said all that, I LOVE this product for setting my under-eye concealer. It doesn't settle into fine lines and the slightly pinky hue helps brighten my eyes (especially since I use a yellow-based concealer...this kind of warms it up!). I use a fluffy 224 brush, pick up a TINY bit of product, and use a light hand to dust it over my concealer. The result is that my coverage stays in place for the day - hoorah! It also tames any oiliness, which is great. For an all-over finishing powder, I think there are better products out there - but this is a decent option. I'll continue to repurchase it for my use on my eyes.
I was seeking a medium-coverage, matte finish liquid foundation that's good for oily skin, and was directed to this product by a MAC artist. She couldn't decide if I was an NC or NW tone (story of my life!), but she settled on NW25. The colour match seemed to be good enough, so I went with it. Overall, I'm unimpressed with this foundation. I find that the coverage never lasts, even with a primer, and that it slips around on my skin throughout the day. I'm left with patches or either oily or dry skin. It's almost too watery for me, if that makes any sense? (It is a water-based foundation, but this is too much!) On the plus, the finish is definitely matte and stayed that way in the spots where my makeup didn't move. It also didn't oxidize on me, which is a problem I often have with liquid foundations. To my knowledge, it hasn't caused any breakouts (I've had a few, but feel pretty confident that this was the evil-doing of a different product). To be sure, one day I decided to do half of my face in MAC Select and the other half in MAC Studio Fix. I literally split my face down my forehead, nose and chin into two halves, followed my normal routine on both halves (moisturizer, primer, concealer, etc...), but used the two different foundation products. By the day's end, the Studio Fix had steamrolled the Select competition. Two friends and my hubby also weighed in with their opinions (who doesn't love a science experiment, after all?!) and they unanimously preferred the Studio Fix side. It certainly looked more natural and even, whereas the Select was wearing thin and patchy. Not a repurchase for me!
The Good Side: It is relatively good at creating volume, and my lashes feel pretty "full" when I wear this. It looks natural after one coat, and more dramatic after two (so, it passes my two-coat maximum rule!). The brush is easy enough to use, and can reach inner-corner lashes and coat lower lashes without looking spidery. It holds a curl pretty well. It also does wash off very easily, which I appreciate (though it can be bad if you're caught in rain!). The Bad Side: I find this mascara to be smudge city, even with primer, concealer and setting powder on my eyes. I have to be cautious about how much product is on the wand, because even a little too much can equal lashes that get coated together (spikey city!). I find the formula a bit "wet", and it takes awhile to dry. The longevity is pretty average...re-application is definitely necessary after a few hours. Finally, the smell wigs me out...it's not my favourite thing. ;) I would possibly repurchase, if it was on sale and being used as an "on-deck" mascara (for on-the-go, emergency reasons). As a go-to mascara, this doesn't make the cut. UPDATE: So, I had a back up of this mascara in my stash and decided to give it another go and, at least, use it up. For the first month, it was pretty average again, but then I realized mid-way through month 2 that I was actually enjoying the look it gave me. See, I had never kept my other one past the first month (it had annoyed me too much!), but I wish I had - because, for some reason, the formula seems to get much better after the first month. It's no longer as wet or smudgy as it was previously, and my lashes aren't spiking together. How odd! Still not sure that I would repurchase, but an odd discovery, nonetheless!
Does a fantastic job of removing polishes, even glittery or staining ones. I'm big on cotton ball application - wet one, press it down for a few seconds on the nail, quick wipe...all gone. (I used to use a Kleenex and tried lots of little wipes, which took forever!) It's a bit drying, but nothing some hand or cuticle cream can't handle. Finally, I have the strengthening formula and my nails do seem to have become more resilient. Big ups!
Primer/ Corrector -Revlon - Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer
tinytapa 5/25/2011 10:31:00 AM
On the plus side, this primer was effective at maintaing the life of my foundation throughout the day. It looked a bit greasy on, but nothing slipped around - not even in the t-zone. However, this product broke me out and seemed to create buildup on my skin - it felt a bit cakey. Also, count me among those who cannot stand the smell. Fool me twice, shame on me - won't be buying it again!
Dear Maui Wowie, why do you make it so hard for me to love you? I want to love you, I do! You're a beautiful colour, you're smooth and silky, you blend easily and you compliment so many other shadows perfectly. Why do you insist on being glittery, and making my face look like a disco ball by day's end? Why can't I, or any of my makeup artist friends, find a way to apply you without fallout? Why must you be so difficult? Until you find answers to these questions, we simply can't be together.
Sin is a stunning champagne pink, with an elegant sheen. It's all good things an eyeshadow should be: buttery, blendable, smooth, velvety, long-wearing (especially with a primer), and has no fallout, in my experience. It's great as a highlight shade, or for an all-over colour (better yet, paired with a complimentary crease colour). It doubles as a cheek highlight, if you're in a pickle. It's by far one of my favourite Urban Decay shades (it must be a lot of people's favourites - it's in so many of their palettes!). I would both repurchase and recommend.
I love this fresh, clean scent. On me, it does smell soapy and not chemically, though it is very strong at initial application. For a Demeter fragrance it is surprisingly long-lasting, and clings very well to hair, and clothing without being damaging (some perfumes dry my hair out, for instance). On my wrists even, though, this can last from morning until night. I really like it - I find it very refreshing, and unlike any other smell I own (well, other than Demeter Laundromat!). Recommended to those who are seeking a genuinely fresh scent!
Lipstick -Estee Lauder - Signature - Burnished Bronze (25)
tinytapa 5/25/2011 12:51:00 AM
Argh, I think this colour has been discontinued by EL. Nevertheless, it's a great shade for my NW20 tone - it's a very "bronzey" shade that settles into rose undertones on my lips. I find it to be very moisturizing and long-wearing. It has an elegant shine to it. It feathers ever-so-slightly if I don't use a lipliner first - I prefer a nude liner with this colour, by the way! The only thing that really irks me about this lipstick is the smell - it smells almost "ashy" to me. Maybe I'm crazy?! Anyway, I love this creamy, full-coverage lipstick - I'm a little sad that it's not going to be around anymore. I recommend it, if you can get your hands on it!
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24-7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
tinytapa 5/25/2011 12:22:00 AM
Very creamy, and easily applied. Highly pigmented - a true "black" (at least on me!). It is smudgeable for a "smokey" look, but I find the staying power to be very good. I like setting it with a dark shadow, anyway, and usually use MAC Carbon or UD Perversion for that purpose. To be honest, this pencil doesn't look great on me - this black hue is just too dark to be wearable for the day on my tone/eye colour, and I rarely use it at night. However, I love using it on others and I think it's an overall great product. I need to find a way to use it on myself more often - I have found that using to line the waterline and letting it gradually move itself down works pretty well for me. If I could find a way to make it more wearable on a daily basis I would repurchase it, for sure.
This is one of my favourite true greys - on me, it doesn't oxidize to any other colour (ie. blues or browns), like I've found with other grey shadows. It's a pigmented, buttery and blendable colour that looks particularly lovely in the crease and outer-v. I like to match it with a very light shade for a daytime smokey eye. The shimmer, by the way, is also very subtle (which I like - less is more, baby!). Finally, it can crease a wee bit, but when used over a primer it doesn't have this problem on me. Otherwise, it's very long-wearing and versatile. I would both recommend and repurchase (I've kept this is in my kit since 2003!).
An ideal highlighter shade for both the brow bone and inner corners of the eye. I find it to be buttery and blendable, and very pigmented without looking like a stark white. The shimmer is subtle, and keeps the colour from looking chalky, in my opinion (like matte whites can!). I also using it for lighting up dark shadows as needed, and blending harsher colours together. I've also used it previously as a highlighter on cheekbones, which worked just fine. I don't always gravitate towards MAC's frost shadows, but I always keep this in my collection. Recommend!
Lipstick -Clinique - Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick in Pink Spice
tinytapa 5/24/2011 10:27:00 AM
I'm a big fan of this lipstick - it's a beautiful pinky/plum, with very subtle shimmer. On me, this appears to be quite a "berry" colour. It's bright, shiny and quite complimentary with my skin tone (currently NW20, moving into Australian winter). It is very pigmented (a rich colour, for sure) and does not feather on me. I find it to be very moisturizing and impressively long-wearing...even after coffee, eating, and a few smooches it stays in place. Better yet, it doesn't transfer to my hubby's lips, which is a plus in his books! Clinique does a darn good lipstick, and this is no exception. Will repurchase!
Treatments (Eye) -Bobbi Brown - Hydrating Eye Cream
tinytapa 5/17/2011 10:28:00 AM
While I do like this eye cream, I believe that there are better products out there for a better price. Having said that, I have enjoyed using this product in the daytime...it has done a good job of priming my under-eye area and keeps my concealer from "slipping". I find it to be relatively moisturizing (again, I've had better!) and generally non-irritating. I have no issues with the fragrance, and I am quite smell-sensitive. I wish it came in a tube, rather than a pot - but I am vigilant about applying creams with clean hands so that hasn't been too bad or unhygienic. It does absorb well, but I like to wait 20-30 minutes before applying concealer over it, just to ensure it has really sunk in (like I do with any moisturizer). I have limited its use to daytime only - I don't find it to moisturizing enough as a night eye cream...I'm pushing 30 and need something with a big more "oomph"! I've enjoyed it, but I can't justify repurchasing it - other eye creams have been just as good for me at a fraction of the cost.
Another OPI winner! I love this pink - it's subtle and milky, and is a perfect sheer baby pink, without being bubble gum-y. It's cute but still sophisticated. I find it ideal for a twist on a classic french manicure (after two coats, the nail bed is more or less opaque but tips still show through). It's great for daytime wear to a conservative office job, and just very pretty for any occasion...I'm planning to wear it on my nails this weekend when I elope! Finally, it is long-lasting and doesn't chip for days. When the time comes, it comes clean without a fuss. Solid repurchase.