These are trash. I’m sorry. I love LashBlast Fusion mascara, I love their eyeshadows—CoverGirl and Clinique are about the only shadows I’ve found that couldn’t care less about pooling in the creases of my lids—but I’ve no use for this line of lipsticks; I don’t even glance their way when I’m shopping anymore. The colours are outstanding, I’ll admit; I have two, Divine and Dazzle. Divine, the first one I bought, is that scary neon purple, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me—I’ve always been of the mind that someone has to be ballsy enough to wear the unwearable. And it more or less delivers, as far as pigmentation goes, but my lips are weird; they respond to some moisturisers better than others, and while I can do shea butter on my skin, I put it on my mouth and it basically recoils in protest. There are exceptions to this: I’ve never had any trouble with Revlon’s Lip Butters, for example, but my lips are partial to Aquaphor, CO Bigelow Rose Salve, Lush Honey Trap, Blistex Lip Medex…that kind of stuff. After seven hours in Divine, they feel like they’ve spent the same amount of time in a jerky-drier, and you can expect them to be blaring hot pink for the rest of the day, no matter how many makeup-removal techniques you get involved. Dazzle was a case of me failing to learn my lesson and being intrigued by the shade—a soft raspberry pink with a plum-pearl shift—but the joke was on me once I applied it, because it ended up being a really wimpy colour, and the shift got lost in translation from the bullet to my lips. So Dazzle, like Divine, quickly adjourned to the back of my drawer, and the next time I get around to cleaning out that sucker, they’ll probably be among the first things to go.
People are paying for the “edgy” colour name. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. When I was living in New England, and Sephora finally opened at the local mega-mall, I must’ve gone in there five different times, no joke, just to swatch this and try to grasp what the all the pandemonium was about. It’s a coral-pink shade that would be right at home on a wide array of skin tones…without that crazy overlayer of gold shimmer. That’s the part I don’t like. Nars does offer some mint blushes; I’m partial to Deep Throat (rude name, lovely rosy-peach colour) and Mata Hari (fuchsia pink). I’d just like to know, for the record, how Francois got the idea that a woman’s afterglow involves gold shimmer particles surfacing through her pores. Is this based on one specific woman? If so, I wish someone would point her out to me, so I can be sure to don a biohazard suit if we ever end up in the same town together.
Foundations -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Foundation
CorelliaCalling 11/8/2012 1:15:00 PM
Good shade range, decent coverage, but this crap weighs a TON on your skin. It also sets really quickly, so it’s not a buildable foundation, at all. I prefer to start with a really light layer of base—using my hands to massage it in like moisturiser—let it “cook” on my face while I do the rest of my makeup, then go back with a brush and see if I need to reinforce the coverage anyplace. This actively resists touch-ups, not to mention adhering to primers, blending evenly with concealers, or doing anything but making me feel like a mannequin’s head on a human's body. For the price, or even a fraction of it in some cases, I could, and have, done MUCH better. File under "Don't Believe the Hype" for me.
Usually I loathe face powder, blushes/ highlighters/ some bronzers excepted, but my mind's been changed; this old-school drugstore treasure may well be the only powder I let anywhere near my face again. It's milled into almost nothing, so it gives a perfect matte china-doll finish while going bloody near invisible--no beading or patching or caking into stucco--and the smallest tap sets your entire face. The smell does remind me of my grandmother, who swore by it, but that doesn't put me off because A) it's a nice memory trigger, and B) she enjoyed a mind-blowing complexion well into her eighties. (There is an unscented formula, but I've yet to find it in Naturelle, the shade I use.)
Lip Gloss -NYX - Lip Gloss with Mega Shine - Plush Red
CorelliaCalling 10/12/2012 2:17:00 PM
"Rock out to this, Danielle, for we are the great and powerful Nyx, and we've got your Bloodwork dupe right here." As a matter of fact, Plush Red is arguably superior to the discontinued Nars lipgloss I'd been hurting to replace. Nothing but pleasant surprises here, right down to the cherry-lollipop scent. It‘s neither slimy nor sticky, it’s just pigmented enough not to wuss out once it’s spread over your lips, and it tends to hold its shine through more everyday activities than your average gloss product. I thought I'd never fill the Bloodwork void with anything that didn’t fall short in some way or another....so props to Nyx for proving me wrong. Approved and recommended.
I’ve always been a die-hard fan of red lipstick; at the same time, I get why so many other women have such a love-hate relationship with it. Done wrong, it's cheap and clownish; done right, it’s like adding a perfect little exclamation point to your face. You have to put your guts into it, that goes without saying, but it’s just as important to know your textures and undertones so the face on the front of your head matches the one inside it. Although Russian Red and Ruby Woo are the cultiest reds in this cult brand, its namesake red wins my heart for textural reasons. It’s creamier than the other two, sort of a demi-matte, which is a sight more comfortable than those stark matte formulas...without losing any of the pigment payoff. Do check it out.
Only thing I don’t like about it is the colour name; “berry” or (worse still) “bear-y” in place of “very” is a recurring pet peeve of mine. And the grape-juicy smell might not synch up with everyone's senses. But--by the standards of any price range--this is something awesome. Very creamy texture with a slight moist sheen, lots of pigment, perfect either straight-up or patted down with an oil-blotting sheet, dramatic but not so goth-dark that the fairest skin can’t carry it well. And since it errs on the blue side of red, brighter smile guaranteed.
Any product with this much hype to live up to is bound to fall short someplace--or at least, that's the usual story with me and cult beauty items (more on that in the future). However, I'm not as kill-it-with-fire as some of the reviews have been; for the right person with the right mindset, I'm sure this is the perfect day in/ day out mascara. No gimmicks, no miracles, no bloated price tag. My problems come from the outdated brush head--Mitt Romney could hide half his net worth in just one of those gaps between the bristles--and the formula's crispy-crunchy drying texture, which causes my lashes to prong off in all directions if I blink too hard: NOT attractive. I'm pretty equal opportunity between high street and prestige brands, but mascara is the one product where I all but swear by the drugstore: I've tried Estee Lauder, Clinique, Urban Decay and BeneFit, and always end up coming home to L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black or CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion. Now if they'd just stop with the animal testing already, because I'd prefer feeling like less of a douche when I use them. :/
If you've seen me in person, you know I have the worst undereye circles since Fester Addams. I once overheard them being discussed in 7th grade homeroom, so yeah...mildly traumatic, that. My quest to find my HG concealer muddles on, but this has been a particularly ineffective stop en-route. The formula has maybe three lousy drops of pigment per liter, so I had to wipe on about three layers before I could see any payoff, which resulted in a patchy, cakey disaster...and the "highlighter", if anything, dissolved and erased even that wasted effort. I don't want to hate on ELF too hard because they've put out some products, especially brushes and blushes, that I can't stop raving about--and it's just too easy to call out a bargain brand for dropping the ball--but I'd be ashamed to give this sucker away.
If you've seen these eyeshadow palettes in Target and found time to wonder about them...by all means, take them out for a spin, but mind a few pros and cons. Pro: they're sheer, wearable, blend beautifully, and the colours are on-trend without being loud and confrontational. Con: the texture is EXTREMELY dry and powdery, so expect a lot of fallout--you'll want to prep the lids with a moist foundation or primer to help it adhere, and keep a packet of makeup wipes on hand to clean up under the eyes. I have the Shimmering Sands quad and the Diamond Life duo, both of which are in heavy rotation when I'm doing either nuts-and-bolts minimalism or a strong lip.
Bet you anything they’ll discontinue this tomorrow. Just because I’m giving it a shoutout. Oh, well. It’s one of their mosaic shades, and it gives a flush like nothing you’ve ever seen--it’s so perfect there really isn’t a name for it, though they describe it as “orchid blossom” on their website. Just promise me, if you buy it, you’ll chuck that worthless brush right in the bin--in fact, that’s good advice for pretty much any makeup that encloses its own applicator (the two-sided brush with Urban Decay’s Vice palette is one exception). There are so many awesome, reasonably priced brushes on the current market: ELF, Revlon, EcoTools, Real Techniques, Avon, Sonia Kashuk, even the generics at good old Target. So don’t even give me an excuse; the right tools can make the most dirt-cheap product look like a jackpot, just as the wrong ones can have you looking like a cheap corner-crawler in four figures worth of Chanel.
I could kick my own butt for loving this colour so much, because it ain’t exactly cheap and the product-to-cost ratio is pretty sad. Really, Bobbi? I love you, but when your shadow singles and blush pans are roughly the same size…WTF? A counter representative swatched it on me when I asked her to recommend something that would perk up my skin but still look soft and natural, and this is what she came up with. I can honestly say that it is, and will remain, one of the best blushes I’ve ever used: permanent Top 10 placing. I can’t even suggest a dupe, because it’s just that right…although if I do find one, don’t be surprised if there’s shouting and a rooftop involved.
This is a contouring product, before we even get down to it; unless you have a certain type of cool, midtone olive complexion, I would strongly advise against approaching it like any other blush. Because this stuff upholds its no-BS colour name. My thing is to use it on fluffy shadow brush, lightly outlining the hollows of my cheekbones and sides of my nose, then take a clean blush brush to buff it in. Then I’ll work a highlighter into my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose. Highlighting and contouring is major right now, from what I've seen on the runways, so if I’m having a good skin day and don’t feel like blinding anyone with colour, this’ll be my “statement“ makeup.
Blush -Hard Candy - Blush Crush Baked Blush #127 Honeymoon
CorelliaCalling 10/10/2012 11:16:00 AM
I admit this was a panic purchase: just when I’d almost run out of BeneFit Georgia, I learned it had been discontinued. So I took my surly butt to Wal-Mart, and there it was, staring at me from the shelf like, “What are you waiting for? Let’s do this.” And whaddaya know? Sometimes I swear I like it better than Georgia. It has more shimmer, a lot more; sometimes I’m in the mood for that and sometimes it’s kind of, “Meh.” But it gives a very similar effect; it brings subtle warmth and radiance into my pasty Scottish complexion without looking like I‘ve put on a ton of something to achieve it. So I'm set until the next round of Limited Edition/ Back by Popular Demand. (In the meantime, I’m thinking that Revlon’s Perfectly Peach or Bobbi Brown’s Nude Peach might do all right for a matte variation of this, but I haven’t got around to buying either yet.)
[BATH & BODY WORKS SERIES PREQUEL] I’m a closet Francophile, and I do quite like B&BW’s original Paris Amour, so I was fairly happy when its three spinoff scents were launched. I bought this one in the sample size body lotion, thinking it had done the most right, especially with the lemon meringue notes--huge fan of anything lemony, and they sell a C.O. Bigelow lemon perfume in the same store that‘s the 100% diggity--but once it had cooked into my skin for a while it was just plain…rank. Like the fruit in it had spoiled, which is a hazard with fruity scents and me, sadly. But in this case it’s not just my specific chemistry, because I bought one for my mom, too--who has a much easier time smelling edible than I do--and pretty much forgot about it until I was driving her to her PT appointment one day and thought, “Dude, where is that STANK coming from?” Not wanting to be a d*ck, I asked her what perfume she had on, and she was like, “It’s that French Dessert stuff you gave me.” Pardon? “From Bath & Body Works, in the little green bottle.” Oh, right. No wonder, then.