I think this blush is just average - not great, not bad. I'm not familiar with Nars Orgasm blush so can't speak to that. I also didn't see any sparkles in this. Afterglow can be built from sheer to more intense. However, I found the formulation a tad chalky and it seemed to just "sit on" my skin rather than looking natural. Perhaps this is just because I've been using cream and gel blush more often lately and am not used to powder anymore. It also seemed a bit too cool for my very fair, yellow skin tone. I can see this working great for lots of people, just not for me!
This is a soft, sheer, shimmery taupe. The color I have looks nothing like the peachy swatch with this review. I match it with Ulta Suede in the crease. It's also a good basic overall wash color. It would be a nice starter color for someone just getting into makeup or on a budget. If you have a lot of taupes, however, it's not real thrilling. The "4" rating more describes how I would feel if I actually needed another shadow like this instead of having 12 of them....
MiserlyMom below described this very well. It varies among looking gray, lilac, or taupe depending on the light. It wears well especially over primer. It can work as a sheer wash (how I like to use) or as part of a complete look. Being over 45, I would prefer if it were less shimmery. However, for $3 on sale, I will get enough use from this to make it worth while.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Kate Walsh - Boyfriend
kaxel 4/10/2011 11:35:00 PM
I thought I'd try this because I like unisex and woodsy scents. However, I like *light* unisex scents. This is overpoweringly strong. I only put one spritz on my wrist and it was still overwhelming. I am not good at describing scents, but the images that came to mind are "brown," "spice" and "being smothered under an old man's wool sweater." This might be OK for your boyfriend to smell like (if your boyfriend is a 56-year-old French literature professor) but I don't want to smell like it.
Eye Shadow -Cargo - Cargo Eyeshadow palette in Warm Neutral
kaxel 4/10/2011 11:23:00 PM
This review is for a travel-size mini of the Warm Neutral palette. I had been debating for months whether to fork out $32 for the full size palette when I have so many similar shades. Finally one day at the Sephora checkout line my eye fell on a mini Warm Neutral palette for just $8!!! I grabbed it and I'm so glad I did. This mini palette is cardboard with no mirror inside. It closes with a magnetic closure. The one thing I dislike about the palette is that there is no separation between the 4 colors of shadow--the strips are right next to each other. However, through careful application you can manage to keep them from getting into each other. I'm loving this palette. The browbone color is a very slightly shimmery cream; the lid color is a more shimmery - but not frosty or over the top - more yellowy cream. The crease color is a warm matte camel, then there is a shade that looks very dark brown but applies much sheerer and lighter (also matte). When applied as directed and blended, these colors result in a very neutral, yet subtly glowing look. I can and have worn these everywhere from work to dinner out to a wedding just by varying the intensity. I like the fact that the lid color has a slight shimmer--it adds dimensionality; wearing all matte can come off too flat. Being over 45, I find shadows with the merest shimmer are the most flattering, but these can be hard to find. The colors wear well and don't crease. And while it is true that I currently have single colors very similar to all 4 of these, having them all together simply in one case saves time and makes me more likely to actually do a more complex eyeshadow look. One note, the darkest color does not go on as dark as it appears in the pan - this can be good or bad, depending on what you want. It doesn't really work as eyeliner, but it's a nice shadow. I love this and even in the small size, it will last for quite a while--a bargain!
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Body Butter - Cocoa Butter
kaxel 4/6/2011 10:53:00 PM
I'm not crazy about the smell of this product, as I prefer unscented lotions so I can wear perfume. However, I love the texture and it's incredibly moisturizing. It is rich and creamy, but also sinks in quickly. I plan to use this a lot in the summer after days at the beach.
Now that I'm getting close to 50, any product with the word "brightening" in it gets my attention. I also thought the little box was darn cute. My husband saw me playing with this at Sephora and bought it for a b-day gift. I tried every which way but loose to make this product work for me, to no avail. First, the good: The box is cute...if you have a dressing table it's definitely display-worthy. Now, the bad: Box is not user friendly or travel friendly. Brush is cute and looks like it would work, but no. I wear the lightest shade in every foundation, and it still took 4-5 applications to get this to show up on me. (The best method I found was to apply it with a cotton ball, then blend!) After reading reviews on MUA, I tried to use it as an overall "brightener" rather than blush...tried that, didn't see any effect. Next attempt: I tried to use it as powder on T-zone. Nope, didn't work for that either. Last attempt: Can this be used like bronzer, only more pink? No. It took several applications to show up and, when it did, made me look like I had a case of windburn. I think my major issue with this is price. If it cost $14 or even $18 I'd probably keep it. But $28 is just too much, when I compare it to something like Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess where for $2 more, you get a quality brush, great product that works and substantial packaging that lasts. Final verdict: This is a very nice, pale pink blush and if you are rolling in dough, you may think it's worth $28. For the rest of us, skip this, buy a Cover Girl blush and keep the change.
I got a large sample size of this from Sephora. I rarely use highlighters since I am over 45 and most of them are too frosty. The SA applied this on me and I'm glad he did or I would have been using it wrong. Don't rub in; just tap it onto your skin with fingertips. I use this to highlight my cheekbones and under the brows, and I really like it for that purpose. It is quite subtle. I'm very fair and warm and it does not have any color on me, just a gleam. I think it's excellent for what it does. That said, I think this product has limited value. The sample size I got (about the size of a Juicy Tubes lip gloss) will probably last me 4 years considering how little I need and how rarely I would use it. I'm not sure why they sell it in a giant squeeze tube, BIGGER THAN MOST FOUNDATIONS! I also tried using it as some older reviewers have suggested, mixing in with my foundation to give a "glow." It just made me look sweaty. The glowing effect might work better on darker skin tones. Finally, I agree with others that a smaller squeeze top would be better--one with a tiny point would help you just get the pin-sized amount of product you need.
I have had horrible nails (peeling, dry, brittle, breaking off as soon as they get to the tip of my finger) for the past couple years. Tried everything from Nailtiques to OPI to Barielle and a million Sally Hansens. I probably spent $400 plus on $20 bottles of treatments that did not work. ... Finally one day I bought this just because I was out of clear polish and saw it at CVS. "Never tried this brand, hmmm...." Well lo and behold, for under $10, this is the one that worked! For the first time in years, my nails are beyond my nail tips and are strong and hard. I am not sure I can credit it all to Orly Nail Defense, as I've also been taking biotin supplements and stopped using my cuticle remover (which I think was the real culprit), but this product has definitely helped. It goes on nicely, one coat lasts two days and it doesn't crack at the tips as lots of clear polishes do or flake/fade off the tips as fast. Bonus: The rubberized brush handle makes it easy to grip firmly for smooth application. Love!
Top/Base Coats -Unlisted Brand - INM - Out the Door Top Coat
kaxel 4/4/2011 12:23:00 AM
This is a great little product, works great and was cheap. It's not like you can put it on and immediately get into bed with wet nails or anything, but it eliminates having to worry about smudging and helps them dry faster.
Treatments (Eye) -Sephora - Instant Depuffing Roll-on Gel
kaxel 4/2/2011 7:30:00 PM
My puffy undereye bags are the bane of my existence. Reviews on the Sephora site were pretty positive for this product, so I gave it a try. Did not one thing for my eyes...even though I kept it in the fridge as reviewers suggested. Taking it back.
I have used a Revlon eyelash curler for years. Recently after using some lash serums, my lashes were longer and seemed harder to curl. After poring over reviews on MUA I finally bit the bullet to spring for this. Major disappointment. As others have stated 1) it's expensive 2) it's a dark charcoal color so you can't see whether your lashes are in the crimper or not, and 3) it's flatter (curvature wise) than most so yes, I kept pinching my eyelid. I could have dealt with these 3 flaws if it actually curled my lashes, but it did no better than the $4 Revlon. Returning this.
I tried the light ivory shade of this, which was a fairly good match. Although I used it with the L'Oreal brand primer, it did not really help. The foundation went on smoothly at first, but seemed to gather in my pores after a few hours and kind of "separated" on my face. Perhaps it's because I'm older and have dry skin, but it was TOO matte for me - made my skin look flat and dead. I really like the concept of this mousse foundation, but it just didn't work for me.
I tried using this brush many times but was not impressed. The bristles are stiff and left streaks on my face. It was also nearly impossible to get it clean. This was my first experience with a foundation brush and after using this, I went back to applying with my fingers. After reading some other reviews of this brush I'm thinking maybe it's just THIS brush that's at fault, but frankly it turned me off the whole idea of foundation brushes.
I love this product--it's great for a quick cleansing. The gel-like formulation isn't messy and it's fast. I had tried making my own brush cleaner using recipes on MUA but it was a pain in the butt and I think I spent $3 buying the empty bottle to put it in. For $6 I got a bottle full of cleanser that does better job. Great deal!