Mascara -Jordana - Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara
Arenal 12/19/2011 4:24:00 PM
Phenomenal! I've read raves about this on a number of beauty boards, so I made a trip to Walgreen's to buy some and check it out. This is a real find--dirt cheap and works brilliantly. I agree that the brush is similar to BadGal, but I find the consistency of the mascara lighter. I have fairly long lashes and go for a natural look, so I only need to apply this to the tips of my lashes for a very nice look. One caveat: this will smudge if your eyes get wet.
Eye Shadow -TheBalm - Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow Palette
Arenal 12/15/2011 10:02:00 PM
These are my firm TheBalm eyeshadows, and I'm very pleased. They are exceptionally creamy and pigmented, blend easily and last all day. As another reviewer mentioned, lots of us prefer matte to shimmer shades. This palette provides a nice selection of cool shades. Small, easy to travel with, and provides a wide variety of everyday/work-appropriate looks. The brush is difficult to impossible to use, since it's so tiny. (The heads are fine; it's the miniscule length.) I only started using TheBalm products this year, and I'm very pleased with al I've tried. I wish I'd discovered this brand sooner.
Today's my first time using Hervana, and I think I love it. It looks completely natural--"a no-makeup makeup" kind of look. I have mild rosacea, and this doesn't make me look red or blotchy. It provides a soft, blushed look.
Dandelion is a close to a universal blush as is available. If you read these reviews, you'll notice a vast diversity of opinion on color, shimmer, intensity, etc. For me, it is the most natural of blushes, and truly mimics a genuine blush. Many reviewers comment on the shimmer, but I've never noticed anything but barely-detectable shimmer. This is the perfect blush for a "no-makeup" day, and it can also double as a sheer wash of color on your lids. This is a good gift for anyone from a teen to an old woman. The only cons: the brush is rubbish (like the all the Benefit box blush brushes.) expensive (but so little is needed that one box will last years.) the cardboard packaging is a bit bulky for keeping in your purse and is toast if it gets too wet.
The beauty blogger Jolie raved about this stuff, so I caved. (Luckily I found a mini-jar cheap on eBay.) I know this is supposed to provide a subtle glow, but on me (medium w/ pink undertones) it's so subtle as to be non-existent. It simply doesn't show. I've tried applying it with a heaver hand, but it doesn't work on me. I've gotten much better results with TheBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer and Benefit's High Beam.
Concealers -BeneFit Cosmetics - Erase Paste #2 Medium
Arenal 11/19/2011 12:21:00 PM
Sometimes I like this and sometimes I don't. It has to be carefully applied and less is definitely more. I first apply with a brush, then smooth with my finger. This concealer really needs the heat of your fingers to blend and look natural. It does give a brightening effect, but is not the best product for dark circles. On the plus side, only a tiny amount is required, so a single jar will last years. If you're on the fence, buy one of the sampler kits BeneFit frequently has on Sephora. They're a good value, and the mini jar of Erase Paste will last a long time.
Brows -BeneFit Cosmetics - Brow Bar - Brow waxing/shaping services
Arenal 11/19/2011 12:08:00 PM
One can't really review this service using the same metric as that for products. Results can vary wildly depending on the location and esthetician. Before I switched over to threading, I had my brows done several times at the Brow Bar in the Pasadena, California ULTA. I was always happy with the results. Time was taken, and my brows always looked good. On the negative side, it's quite expensive compared to neighborhood salons, and there are much fewer locations.
I use the Taupe as a quick brow filler/color, and it works every time. Since the pencil is rather soft, make sure to apply with smooth, short strokes. I always set with Mally's colorless brow powder. It gives a very natural look, and is great for minimal makeup days. Dirt cheap and available everywhere. This is a classic.
I use a variety of brow products, and have always liked Smashbox Brow Tech. It is a bit time-consuming, so I decided to try this, thinking it would be faster and easier. It's just not as good as the original Brow Tech. I find the pencil too wide to apply color to my rather sparse brows, and the seal doesn't work as well as the wax in the original. I use this sometimes when I'm in a rush, but would not repurchase.
Lipstick -New York Color - Ultra Moist Lip Wear - 301B - Cafe
Arenal 11/19/2011 11:31:00 AM
Great nude lipstick--if it wasn't so frosty-shimmery. I was expecting a nude; this is a nude frost. It'll work as a base color. Long-wearing, easy to find, and cheap.
I have a medium skin tone with dark lids, so this doesn't look pink on my lids at add. It produces a sort-of matte, neutral base. I like it a lot, and think it looks more natural than Painterly. I can use this on its own. It's very blendable.
Magic. The best eye cream I've ever used--and I've used a lot in my 59 years. I got results after one use, and my dark circles are much reduced. The best result is a significant improvement in the "hollowness" under my eyes. The skin there looks much smoother and fuller. I got this on special from QVC for about $29.00, plus S&H. I've been using ti for about a month and will definitely continue to use. I've been using it only in the evening, but I think I'll start using it morning and evening. Only a small amount is needed, so I think the tube for last for several months. I will definitely repurchase. Love, love, love!!!
Eyeliner -Tarte - LE - SmolderEyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner Collection
Arenal 11/6/2011 3:36:00 PM
A combo of thick pencil and creamy consistency didn't work for me. I tried to line my upper lids and it ended up smudging immediately (and not in a good way.) On the plus side, they seem to have great staying power--one it's on, it's on.
I could have thrown my $22 into the gutter--instead I purchased this worthless product. I'm a BB fan and own many of her products. This is the only one that has been a massive failure. As other mentioned, it won't sharpen. I tried freezing it, using various sharpeners, etc., but nothing works. I also posted a review on the BB site to make them aware of my displeasure, and suggest you do as well.
Primer/ Corrector -Unlisted Brand - Indeed Nanoblur
Arenal 10/25/2011 2:51:00 PM
I'm a long-time user of primers. Smashbox is my favorite, but I decided to give NanoBlue a try after seeing some of the before and after pics, and reading lots of positive reviews. I tried various application methods, but the one I like best is to combine it with my moisturizer and pat into skin. I'm almost 60 and find it effective in providing a smooth canvas for foundation, and definitely provides a wrinkle-blurring effect. At the rate I'm using it, my tube should last at least 6-8 months. I'll probably repurchase.