Treatments -Caudalie - Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum
HunterGray 12/18/2012 9:06:00 PM
I had a deluxe sample of this, and once I used it up I had to buy the full size! I have dehydrated skin, and in the winter especially it gets pretty bad. This serum feels light, definitely light enough to wear during the day. It's moisturizing enough that I think in the summer I may not even need a moisturizer on top. For now though, a layer of CeraVe cream locks this in, and my skins stays soft and hydrated all day. It smells nice and light, and it sinks in well. It can feel a teensy but sticky, but only if you use too much. I love the pump bottle as well.
Love this stuff! Doesn't dry/break out my skin, and smells beautiful. It lingers on my face and I can smell it as I fall asleep at night. It's not overpowering though. Just smells like cranberries. My skin has been soft and clear since using this.
Primer/ Corrector -Too Faced - Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
HunterGray 11/18/2012 10:40:00 PM
I love the way this makes my skin feel. It's one of the few I've used that convincingly disguises my dry patches on my cheeks. It even does a decent job of smoothing out the fine lines under my eyes. I'm not a fan of the price, but I'm learning that trying to find cheaper alternatives isn't actually cheaper in the long run. I've gone through many disappointing alternatives to this. I go through a tube of this primer in about 6 months. I love the packaging, it's cute but not bulky, easy to use, and hygienic.
Concealers -Kevyn Aucoin - The Sensual Skin Enhancer
HunterGray 11/17/2012 12:11:00 AM
I have an admittedly massive collection, but this is one of the rare items I use every single time I do my makeup. I was a bit skeptical about this, but after reading dozens of reviews, and watching a ton of youtube videos about how to use it, I bought a pot from Dermstore. The lovely ladies here on the makeup boards directed me to shade 3, which is a perfect match for my (quite yellow toned) NC15 skin. I've tried quite a few different methods of getting this to work for me as a foundation, but I haven't found one that works well enough to make it worth the effort of mixing ingredients. Where I've found this product really shines is as a blemish concealer. At least for me. I still experiment from time to time with different things to use this as a foundation, and if I find something I really love, I'll update this review. This is the most full coverage, but natural looking, concealer I have ever come across. The pot is small for the amount you pay, but it takes such a little bit that it'll easily last you years. I use this after foundation. Wherever a blemish or post-acne mark is showing through, I'll put a tiny dot of the SSE on it. And I mean tiny. I use a fine liner brush to put the smallest dot right in the center of the area I want to conceal, and then I tap it with my finger to blend it out. I've used a Beauty Blender to do this, but I find that the warmth of my finger really helps to melt it into my skin and make it look super natural. I find that this stays put decently well, but if I want it to really be long wearing, I'll mix it with the tiniest bit of foundation like Estee Lauder Double Wear, or Revlon Colorstay. This doesn't work that well as an undereye concealer for me, but again, that could just be an issue of what I'm mixing it with. The really awesome thing about this product is just how customizable it is to your individual needs. You can sheer it out as much as you want, or wear it full strength for incredible coverage.
Sunscreen -Shiseido - Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion For Face & Body, spf 60 PA+++
HunterGray 11/15/2012 8:10:00 PM
This sunscreen was the first of Shisedo's that I tried, and it has worked very well for me. It's texture is quite runny, which I like, because it smooths on easily and looks great under makeup. It doesn't seem to dry out my skin like some of the more mattifying ones do, but it doesn't make my skin look or feel greasy either. I do notice that it makes my face a bit white while I'm applying it, but it disappears as you work it in. I'm quite fair though, so if you have deeper skin you may have to be more careful about blending it. It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and I've had no issue with breakouts. It has kind of a floral a scent to it, but it goes away pretty quickly after you apply it.Overall, I'm very happy with this sunscreen's performance, and would repurchase. If you're looking for sunscreen with mattifying properties though, this may not be the one for you.
Liquid -Neutrogena - Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF 20
HunterGray 11/14/2012 1:28:00 AM
NC15, normal/dry skin with the occasional breakout and post-acne marks. I wear Classic Ivory, and while it matches my undertones pretty well, it's just a hair too dark. I combat this by making sure it's well-blended on my neck and hairline, and it's passable then. Pros: - gorgeous, healthy-looking finish, like the name says. Your-skin-but-better type of coverage. More coverage than a tinted moisturizer, but not full coverage by any means. Buildable to medium coverage, in my opinion. - some foundations really emphasize my dry patches after a few hours of wear, this one doesn't. - non-offensive smell - spf 20 Cons: - the bottle doesn't have a pump, which, for one of the pricier drugstore foundations, is kind of a bummer - wear time isn't fantastic. I don't have oily skin, but I do get too shiny for my liking after about 5 hours, touch ups are definitely necessary to make it through the day. I love the way this looks and photographs, but because it doesn't last that well on my skin, I just don't reach for it most days. On my work days, I like something with a little more staying power. This is great for days off, running errands etc. Or the days where I don't mind blotting/powdering a couple of times. Overall I'd give this a 3.75 out of 5.
Makeup Brushes -Sigma - F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki (was SS197)
HunterGray 9/23/2012 1:29:00 AM
To be completely honest, I was somewhat underwhelmed with this brush. Even though I have foundation brushes that work really well for me, I saw how many people on YouTube loved this brush, and decided to check it out. I find that this works pretty well with cream foundation, not so well with liquid. For me, I like to buff my foundation on to really work it into the skin, then stipple over the areas that need more coverage and/or smoothing out. With creams (maybelline dream smooth and Revlon CS Whipped), I found that stippling gave a beautiful finish, but it applied the foundation a lot more heavily than I liked. I feel like the bristles are too stiff to work properly with buffing, and I was left with streaks with the liquids I tried (Revlon CS, Laura Mercier Silk Cream), and stippling looked patchy (when tried with liquids). One type of foundation this worked really well with was mineral foundation. It gave me medium/full coverage (when used with bare minerals), and buffed it in beautifully. The only problem is that my $3 elf flat top brush gives me the same results. It's not a bad brush, but for me and my skin, there are others that do a better job. I have a feeling this will be great for cream blushes and contours (the flat edge will be especially useful), so I'll keep it around.
Not only is this an amazing base coat, but it looks beautiful on its own. Bouts of eczema on my hands along with some autoimmune issues have left me with nails in a terrible state. Not only are they weak and flaky, but my health problems have caused pitting and ridges in most of my nails. One coat of this greatly reduces them, and two coats eliminates all imperfections. It dries to a lovely pale matte pink, which looks natural and clean if worn alone. I really like this as a base coat too though, with my favorite top coat (INM's Out The Door) I can easily get 5-7 days out of a mani. Since using this, I haven't had any breakage or flaking on even my most problem nails. I hope with continued use my nails will start to grow at a normal pace again, and maybe one day I'll be able to have long nails. The only gripe I have is that the product is difficult to get to after about half the bottle is gone, but since it's pretty affordable (under $5 at Walmart), I guess I can live with that.
Concealers -Unlisted Brand - Amuse Cosmetics Long Lasting Concealer
HunterGray 7/25/2012 7:01:00 PM
If you have light to moderate dark circles, and you're looking for a cheap, no-hassle undereye concealer that stays in place beautifully, this is for you. I was on cherryculture's website, browsing their sale items. This looked interesting to me, as I'm always on the hunt for a concealer that actually works for me, and it was only a couple bucks. I figured if it didn't work, no big loss. It has a roller ball applicator, like the Garnier anti dark circle roller (which I have not tried). It feels very soothing while applying it. I roll a generous amount under each eye, and a little on the lids as well, and pat it in with my ring finger. It has what I would consider to be medium coverage. A lot fuller than what you'd get by applying foundation under your eyes, but not quite as opaque as Hard Candy's Glamoflauge, for example. It blends in quickly and seamlessly, and STAYS PUT. I have never come across a concealer that did not 1) settle into my fine lines, or 2) make my undereyes look dry and crepey. Until now, anyway. I'm about NC15, and I wear the lightest shade (either fair or light, I cant remember at the moment). It matches my skin tone so well that I have also been using it around my nose and on my chin to quickly hide redness if I need to run out the door. I don't need to set it with a powder or anything, and I can easily get 8 hours of perfect wear out of this. With a little bit of powder, it will stay in place until I need to take it off, sometimes 16 hours later. Even in this heat. I've also found that it makes a great base for eyeshadow. I have never been so blown away by such a cheap product. I want to buy dozens of backups and store them in my fridge like the crazy makeup hoarder I have become, haha.
Moisturizers -Bare Escentuals - Purely Nourishing Cream Dry Skin
HunterGray 7/22/2012 11:09:00 PM
This is a bit too heavy for me during most of the year, but it works well in the winter time, The rest of the year, I use it as an eye cream, and it works beautifully. It lasts forever too, which is a plus.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, I'd skip this. I purchased this with the intention of using it on days where I didn't want to wear a ton of eyeshadow, but I wanted to cover up the redness/veins on my eyelids, since concealer always creases on me. I thought it would make a nice eyeshadow base as well. However, on the first use, it completely dried out my eyelids and made them red and sore. This has happened with quite a few high end eye primers, so i'm not sure if it's an allergy, or what. Just to be sure, I used this again, abd had the same thing happen. Also I found that it didn't apply particularly evenly. I think it would look ok with eyeshadow on top, but on its own I was not impressed. That, and the fact that it made my eyelids dry out makes it one star for me. The packaging is nice though.
I've been using this for CO washing, and it works great for that purpose. My hair is soft, shiny, and not weighed down at all. The smell is really nice too. It lingers in my hair without being overpowering. I've gone through a few bottles of this, and will continue to repurchase.
Pressed Powders -Maybelline - Dream Matte Pressed Powder
HunterGray 7/3/2012 10:29:00 AM
As someone who has issues with surface dehydration, I tend to avoid products that seem like they might be too drying. But I received this in a swap and I have to say, I quite like it. I reserve this for use only in the warmer months, because I don't use powder at all when it's cold and dry. This powder sets my makeup, and doesn't look powdery or cakey. I don't have to reapply throughout the day because it does a great job of keeping my makeup looking fresh. I do sometimes like to wear powder alone on some days for a light coverage, but this doesn't work well for that at all, at least not on me. It doesn't offer much (or any, that I could tell) coverage on bare skin, and it made my flakes very apparent. But as a makeup setting powder? It's great. I'm about NC15-20, and, the shade Cream seems to work really well for me. I actually really like the puff it comes with. I use it to press the powder into my t zone, and it doesn't budge all day long. I use a powder brush to lightly dust it everywhere else, to keep it natural looking. My friend who doesn't wear makeup at all had me do her makeup for a special event, and I used this on her. She liked it so much that I just let her keep it, and bought another.
This is such an amazing everyday color. NC15 redhead for reference. It's really similar to my natural lip color, but just a tiny bit brighter and more coral. It's not an in-your-face bright lipstick, but it's just bright enough to liven up your whole face, even without wearing any othermakeup. It has a nice sheen to it, and feels comfortable on the lips. With a quick swipe it imparts a gorgeous sheer color, but it can easily be built up to something suitable for nighttime wear. The only gripe I have with this is that it doesn't last long on my lips at all, but I'm willing to deal with it because it's so non-drying.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original (UDPP)
HunterGray 6/18/2012 9:48:00 AM
This primer works really well for me, but it dries out my lids so badly. If I use it for two days in a row or more, my lids are red, raw, and itchy. It takes over a week for them to go back to normal. I don't know if it's an allergic reaction or what. I don't remember having this problem with the old packaging, did they change the formula too? I won't be repurchasing this, it's not worth the damage it does to my eyes.