Stila's Convertible Color in Lillium is what made a cream blush convert out of me. I normally stick to powder blushes, but this product is so simple to use, that I've been using it almost exclusively for quite a while. Lillium is a soft, dusty medium rose shade with peach undertones, which, when applied to my warm, medium skin, can provide both a natural and a dramatic look, according to the amount of product used. Only an extremely small amount is needed in order to provide good color payoff. Convertible color plays well with others - I find that applying it atop or underneath a liquid highlighter such as Benefit's Moonbeam gives very nice results. My skin, however, "drinks" this product up (I do not have particularly dry skin) - during the first 10 minutes following application, the intensity of the color diminishes, and I often find myself reapplying rather quickly. Other than that minor quibble, this is a wonderful product, especially for on the go.
"Rockette Red" is a very straighforward, no-nonsense retro creme medium cherry red. One of the color chemists at the OPI shade laboratory must have been having an especially good day, this may be one of the most versatile and wearable shades of red nail polish currently on the market. There's nothing overwhelming about this color - very straighforward, very wearable, can be worn for different occasions without looking out of place. As of all of the polishes that are a part of OPI's 2006 holiday collection, this too has the "pro wide" brush. This makes application extremely difficult for me on my small nails and makes cleanup time rather lengthy. This is, however, a minor gripe, so I'm going to give this product 5 lippies for being a good, solid, wearable color that every woman should have as a part of her arsenal.
Eyeliner -MAC - Fluidline Eyeliner Gel Graphic Brown [DISCONTINUED]
lirontocker 12/21/2006 9:37:00 AM
I picked up Graphic Brown based on the good reviews, and while I am happy with my purchase, I'm not entirely overwhelmed by this shade. Graphic Brown is a medium-dark cocoa brown with bronze shimmer, which provides a subtle frost finish - not entirely blingy. I'm hard pressed to say that I find this shade unique, as "shimmery" browns are a dime a dozen in the eyeliner world. It's nice that the finish isn't as metallic as some, which perhaps provides for a subtler, more everyday look, but the shade is too dark for me to wear on a daily basis. Like I previously mentioned, I'm happy with my purchase, and will probably purchase again as this is a good, solid eyeliner. But I didn't find this shade as alluring and unique I expected it to be.
To be entirely honest, I'm not a big fan of MAC's lipsticks. I have owned several and have always managed to find something I severly disliked - the color, the texture, the staying power, the overall look, there was always something that didn't quite sit with me. Viva Glam VI, which I had been wanting for some while, has changed most of my previous opinions about MAC's lipstick line. This was the first lipstick I had tried with their Lustre formula, and I am extremely happy with the smooth, lightweight feel. The shade of the lipstick itself is very flattering to my skintone, a warm, olive-based medium. The shade is a shimmery, slippery warm teracotta reddish brown which is surprisingly sheer, in comparison to other shades which fall, for instance, under MAC's "Frost" and "Satin" textures. The shimmer itself is a combination of gold, red and burnt orange, if you look closely you'll spot some green in there, as well (although this will not show up on the lips). The "plum" tinge of this lipstick, which the company's website claims that it has, is entirely lost on me, both in the tube and on the lips. MAC have a tendancy to be slightly off at times when trying to describe their colors, and since I would like to believe that I have an eye for spotting shades and colors, I think it'd be safe to say that any "plum" this shade may have will only show up on cool skintones - like attracts like. If you're a warm-toned gal, you're not going to get anything but teracotta out of this one. I'm happy with the color - it's extremely wearable and versatile, but the staying power leaves something to be desired. I'm going to give this product 5 lippies, though, just becuase the shade works with my skintone so well and the texture is extremely comfortable. The shade may not be the most unique, but you might be surprised at how flattering it ends up to be.
I love this product - one of the best in Benefit's lineup, which provided me with a good entry into the world of highlighters. Moon Beam is a product with a color which is a little difficult to describe - it's base is a muted and desaturated banana yellow. To this shade, a vibrant pink luminescence is added, producing a peach colored liquid which adds a beautiful, although not entirely natural, "punch" to the skin. On my warm olive medium skintone, the yellow tinge blends right into the color of my skin, and the pink/peach luminescence stays for hours. Granted, this is a little difficult to blend properly (for which a lippy is being detracted) and can look garish and "disco-ball-ish" if too much is applied. I like to add a swipe of face powder on top - this turns the luminescence down a notch and provides for a much more natural look. I like the fact that this product plays well with others - topping with powder blush works wonderfully, and cream blush on top works even better.
Lipstick -Clinique - Butter Shine Lipstick - Cranberry Cream
lirontocker 12/6/2006 10:33:00 AM
Yet another impressive red from Clinique. Cranberry cream is a rich berry red, with quite a neutral base - no orange or blue undertones, but it does have a healthy dose of pink. It works very well with my warm skintone, against which the berry in this lipstick stands out very well. This shade is a nice everyday red - not too bright and daunting, very flattering and sweet. This lipstick should best be used by seasoned red lipstick wearers, since it's trickier than others to apply. Applying red lipstick in itself is a difficult task, but applying it with a texture which is extremely soft and a tip which is extremely wide makes it even more difficult. If you're a lipstick klutz, you might want to try any of the more sheer shades in the "Buttershine" line, or if you're just starting out with red lipstick, best look for a similar shade in one of Clinique's lines with standard shape and size. Since the texture of this lipstick is rather soft and "smushy", it may bleed - make sure to use either a standard lipliner or a colorless lipliner. My favorite bit about this lipstick is that it contains a heavy dose of shea butter and is very moisturizing. I can apply this lipstick to very chapped lips, and not only will my lips look great (which can't be said for all lipsticks applied over chapped lips), the condition of my lips improves - this makes this lipstick a #1 choice for the colder months. It looks wonderful, has moderate staying power, is very comfortable and improves the condition of the lips. What more to ask of a lipstick?
This is one of my all-time favorite polishes, and one of the most unique and beautiful shades from the entire "Kick up your Heels" collection. This is a shiny caramel brown with a shot of subtle golden bronze sheen, perhaps the choice for those who love browns, but find "Espresso your Style" slightly too dark for daily wear. I love both, but tend to gravitate towards "Talk of the Town Brown" more often, if only for the mouth-watering caramel color. Extremely beautiful polish, and unfortunately the underdog of the collection.
This stuff is greatness in a tub. This stinky, green, slimy, cakey goo really works on my face, and I'm honestly downright impressed - especially since I was never too impressed by any other part of The Body Shop's Tea Tree line. I have combination break-out prone skin, which I normally keep under control on a daily basis with toners and moisturizers. While I seldom get pimples any longer, I do get the occasional "peeper" or red areas around my face - neither of which my toner knows how to handle very well. This mask gives my skincare the extra bit it needs in order to be complete, and to keep my skin clear of little "traitors". I use it twice a week for 20 minutes, and in-between, I use it as a spot treatment if I need to. Overall I'm very happy with this product and I'll pick it up again once I'm out - highly recommended for break-out prone skintypes.
Treatments -The Body Shop - Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick
lirontocker 12/5/2006 2:21:00 PM
This was the first product I ever used in order to treat pimples. I recieved it as a gift 11 years ago when I just started breaking out, and have recieved it as a gift a few times since then. I value the people who gave this to me, as they obviously had good intentions, but this may have probably been the most useless gift I have every recieved. It doesn't work, it's much more fun to play with and to pretend it's Mutagen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyone?).
I am extremely in love with this product and it has not left my side since I had picked it up. It really is a jack-of-all-trades - a beautiful lip color and a wonderful blush. I couldn't have asked for anything more, except, perhaps, for a more affordable price tag. The color itself is a rather muted brown berry-red with a slight hint of sheen. This looks extremely dark and daunting in the tube, but when applied, it's very sheer (although not as sheer as I initially expected it to be). I have an extremely warm skintone and the color works very well with my coloring both on the lips and on the cheeks. It's difficult to apply on the lips due to the width of the product, but that is a rather small matter which simply takes some practice. On the cheeks, application is rather straightforward and simple - apply, blend. It's not as easy to blend as other gel or stick blushes and does have a tendancy to blotch if you don't blend well, but I believe this isn't a fault which is attributed specifically to this product, but to all stick or gel blushes and stains. The product smells delightful - like warm strawberries, extremely mouth watering. The product has no distinct flavor, but the scent lingers for quite a while. As I mentioned earlier, my gripe with this product is that it's expensive. There is a grand total of 1" of product inside the tube, half of which is embedded inside. For about 8 GBP, this burns a hole in my pocket. Overall, I'm extremely happy with my purchase and will pick this up again when I run out, but I'm going to have to be choosy regarding the occasions during which I wear this, if I don't want it to simply run on out on me in a week's time.
This is a wonderful daily shade - a medium warm brick brown with a shot of plum. This shade may look downright berry on a pale or cool skintone, but on my medium/olive tone, this is a true brown. I love the finish of matte shadows but most matte shades have formulas which make them difficult to blend. Stila's matte formula is smooth and blendable, which is a wonderful change. I love wearing this as a no-nonsense eyeliner without any additional shadow, or as a base color over the entire lid. This is a very nice basic shadow which should have a place in the arsenal of warm-toned brown eyeshadow lovers.
Lotions/ Creams -The Body Shop - Body Butter - Brazil Nut
lirontocker 12/2/2006 11:51:00 AM
Brazil Nut body butter is my favorite product from The Body Shop, and most likely my favorite body product overall. This is exactly what the doctor had ordered for Fall and Winter - a thick, creamy lotion which hydrates and softens while smelling absolutely wonderful. It seems to have vanilla undertones, along with a sparkling of brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and almonds - this is the smell which your nose lingers on as you pass by a bakery. I have a few items from the Body Shop's Brazil Nut line, this item has a pronounced additional "Joghurt" twang to it. I have extremely dry skin during the colder months and this produt keeps my cracking skin soft and hydrated for much longer than any other body lotion - I apply some in the evening, and my skin is still soft with a nice sheen the following morning. Wonderful, delicious smelling and functional product. Will repurchase.
Pressed Powders -L'Oreal - True Match Super-Blendable Powder
lirontocker 12/1/2006 6:28:00 PM
I'm rather impressed by "Perfect Match" (as it is called in Germany). This is an extremely comfortable powder to wear which is virtually weightless, yet manages to deliver a good coverage even when applied with a brush. Unlike other drugstore powders I have used in the past, this product holds up for quite a few hours, and any touchups I do are spot touches around my t-zone. This is a finely milled powder which is a concept almost unheard of in the drusgtore powder industry, the texture makes the powder barely noticable on the skin. For me, this is a new experience - all drugstore powders to date have left me looking like I had been bestowed with peachskin. I seem to have picked up one of the more problematic shades being reviewed here, which is shade W3 (Golden Beige). Unlike other reviewers, I don't find that this shade turns me into a pumpkin - I have naturally warm skin and in most cases, other "warm" shades on the market wash me out by actually not being warm enough, so I'm extremely happy to find a shade which matches my skintone so well. This shade, I admit, may be a bit too warm for those with slight warm undertones. But for those medium skinned dames in which the warm in their skintone is entirely too predominant (like yours truley), this may be a good shade. Overall - 4 lippies. One lippy detracted by the overly bulky and useless compact.
This is a wonderful powder brush and I'm extremely happy with it. I had been wanting a kabuki brush for a very long time, and I was very thrilled to have recieved this in a swap. This is a soft, luxurious, full size brush head which does it's job very gracefully. For me, it picks up the right amount of powder, although this is a matter of preference. I am a fan of sheer powder coverage, ladies who prefer meadium-heavy coverage may not have their best experience with this brush. If this is you, you might want to find a brush with densely packed bristles, such as brushes from The Body Shop. Unfortunately, I find that this brush sheds heavily. This is a shame, becuase the bristles are so lovely it would be a shame to loose any strands from this adorable, pink brush head. I'm removing a lippy for this fact alone, since I seem to be losing at least one bristle per use. Otherwise, this is a great brush which is as functional as it it is beautiful. If only, other things in life would be as functional as they are beautiful.
I normally steer as far away from frosts as I possibly can, especially MAC frosts due to their lack of a glossy finish. The reason for this, mainly, is that I have extremely wrinkled lips (and hands, for that matter) for my young age of 24, and wearing lip products with shimmer, glitter or sparkle seem to draw attention to that fact, detracting from the rest of my face. Like any other frost, this is also the case with Plum Dandy. However, this is an extremely beautiful shade. This seems to be a plum-violet base shade with an ever-so-slight peachy undertone and golden frost. This depth of color makes it a little hard to describe, but makes it extremely wearable for all skintones. If you have a cool skintone, it will correspond with the plum/violet. If you have a warm skintone, the warm undertones of the color and the golden frost will not be lost on you. This is truley a unique shade. I'm glad to have this in my arsenal, this is one of the only few frosts that I can pull off, albeit not on a daily basis. This is, by all accounts and purposes, an "on occasion" shade. I am giving this a rating of 3 lippies, but will not repurchase.