I was kind of hesitant to try this foundation because I had read many reviews and watched lots of videos with less-than-positive comments. The claims, however, sounded exactly what I was looking for in a foundation: soft matte finish, oil control, light-medium coverage, and a great range of yellow undertones. I fell in love with the sample I got at Sephora and bought a full-sized bottle. I've had this for 6 months. I'm still in love with this foundation! I think that it might be important to address the common issues of this foundation and how I worked around them. Firstly, I've heard how it's hard to get out of the bottle without a pump. I would DEFINITELY prefer one, especially for the price I'm paying ... but I've never had much of a problem getting the foundation out. I just shake the bottle a few times and it seems to take little effort to come out afterwards. I also heard how cakey it can look. I really think that this IS meant to be a light to light-medium coverage foundation. I don't find it very buildable, at least not as much as the Sheer Glow foundation (which I will review sometime later). So, it's best to use as little as possible. My main skin issues are moderate acne and mild hyperpigmentation, and I think this foundation covers them well. I will agree with others when they say that this can be tricky to blend. I've tried using a flat top brush, stippling brush, Beauty Blender, standard paddle foundation brush, and my fingers. I like the results best when I use a paddle brush: pure perfection for me! I'm still trying to figure out how to get this to last longer for me, but I do get about 6 hours with the combination of products I'm using. I'm quite oily, so I moisturize with some Clean & Clear Advantage moisturizer (grey bottle). Then, I prime my skin with Rimmel's Fix & Perfect PRO primer. I think the texture of this primer helps the foundation blend more easily. Lastly, I set the foundation with ELF HD powder. I plan on getting one of the NARS powders to see if those would do a better job of mattifying. Once I try that out, I'll update this part of the review. In my opinion, NARS has an amazing range of shades especially with women with yellow undertones. I like that they just don't cater to one type of yellow undertone. Not every yellow-toned person is olive, peach, golden, soft yellow, warm yellow, etc. As for me, I'm very warm toned and I have primarily yellow undertones. I'm NC27ish (I probably veer into one of the C shades; I'm not sure anymore) and Fiji is absolutely perfect for me. I have also tried a few other shades in this line. Deauville is the most neutral shade that I tried, but it still leans slightly yellow and is probably a good match for NC20s. Ceylan(NC20-25) is primarily yellow, but not as warm as Fiji. I would call it a cooler yellow shade. Punjab (NC30ish) is a shade that I could get away with if I blended it down into my neck, but it leaned slightly pinkish-orange at times. My cousin, whom I estimate to be NC37ish, wears this in Stromboli (a very yellow shade that leans slightly green). All in all, I don't see any "unrealistic" shades in NARS foundations ... so a huge thumbs up for me! This foundation, along with Sheer Glow, are my new favorites. I am still trying to test the claims of its skincare benefits. I'm usually skeptical, but this has definitely not made my skin any worse. An A+ for NARS, for sure!
I tried this back in 2009 and originally hated it because I felt that it looked cakey on my skin. I tried this again because I remember it having good coverage, came in LOTS of shades (which is great for someone like myself, who is usually hard to match), and seemed to be a more suitable formula for my oily skin. Now, I LOVE this foundation. It really is all about the application. I apply this with ELF Studio's powder brush; I literally just firmly press the brush into the pan without swirling it around. Then, I just buff the product into my skin and the results I get are AMAZING. It starts off looking very matte, but looks more natural once it 'sets' onto your skin. Combined with MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 primer, I hardly notice any separation with the foundation. I still do get oily, though. MAC Blot powder helps with it a bit. I also wanted to note that I think that this foundation runs lighter than MAC's other foundations. I'm NC25 in the Studiofix Fluid and Pro Longwear, and I wear SF powder in NC30. I know that C3 is supposed to be approximately NC30, but I found it to be lighter than NC30. Perhaps a bit more greyish on my skin (maybe because it's simply too light for me). If I had to be verrrrry picky about the match, I would wish that there was a shade between C3 and C4. C4 was a little too dark but had the exact undertone for my skin. NC35 ended up looking a bit orange on me. But I am still happy with the match with NC30, so I will be repurchasing that shade.
Oh my goodness, I love, love, love, love this liner. I have this in Flashy Deep Black and it really is a deep black. It may not be the most badass black like UD Perversion, but this is also half the price. The texture is not too soft that you'll end up with a sloppy line, nor is it too hard that you have to scratch your eyelid to see any color. Just perfect. Best of all, it really is waterproof and it does last all day. This is just an absolutely flawless pencil. I plan on picking up more colors!
I finally bit the bullet on this one. I've been wearing black eyeliner for many years but I wanted a more complex, more interesting, and warmer version of it. I love this and it'll surely be a staple in my stash. It strikes the perfect balance of definition and subtlety. I would describe this as a very deep brown with olive-gold shimmer. I recommend this to anyone who finds black too harsh and/or brown & grey too light. I have also tried its supposed dupe, Clinique Egyptian, and I can say that Egyptian's base color leans more towards olive. Buried Treasure leans more brown. Similar colors, but not quite dupes IMO.
This didn't work out for me as it did for many others. I get that there's a lot of appeal for Colorsilk. It's VERY inexpensive, fairly easy to use, and has a lot of colors especially for a drugstore brand. Unfortunately, every color I tried faded within one week after coloring. But it DID make my hair feel like silk with the conditioner. Bummer :(
I thought it would be helpful for me to add a review. I used Hot Red as a color additive instead of a base color. For starters, my hair is a dark brown. I'd estimate it to be a 3N. I have always wanted to have black hair with a hint of warmth to show through in the sun/bright lights. From past experience, my hair seems to naturally pick up a lot of orange tones, which isn't necessarily a good thing for me because it ends up looking brassy. So that ruled out a lot (if not all) golden shades for me. I felt like red might look richer and was a better option for me. I'm aware that some drugstore brands carry shades like the kind I've been looking for. Unfortunately, they all didn't come out the way I'd like for them to or they left my hair a dry mess. Needless to say, I was pretty excited when the Brights line came out. It is already a challenge as it is to find a dark base color with red undertones. I selected 2N and mixed it with 1/2 oz of the Hot Red & 2 oz of the Sally brand 10 Volume developer. I LOVE the results I got with this! Now the next challenge is to see if this will last long enough :)
I've used various hair color brands over the past several years, but I always come back to this one. It's friendly on the wallet, has a large range of shades, and just works well for my hair. To be honest, I don't really see why anyone buys hair color from the drugstore. You have more customization and it's more cost efficient. Maybe I'm just biased because drugstore brands did not do my hair any favors, but I digress. I think this brand is the cheapest permanent hair color you can get at Sally's (all the more reason to try it out). I agree with the reviewer who said that it'd be better if there were separate reviews for the creme and liquid versions. I've tried both, and I much, much, much, prefer the creme over the liquid. The liquid still gave good results. It was just messier and harder to wash off. However, I will recommend the liquid over the creme if you're making a more drastic change in hair color from your starting hair color. Otherwise, I think that the creme is worth spending the $0.30 more. Additionally, I've tried to apply the creme with both the bowl & brush method and the bottle method. I'm quite clumsy, but I find the bottle application much easier. Another thing that I like about the line is that the tones that you read on the label are what you get. I've tried several different shades in this line: 1V, 2N, 3G, 3N, 3RV, 3N+3RV, 2N+3RV, and 2N+3R. All but the last 2 combo of shades (I will explain in another review for the Ion Color Brilliance Brights) came out the way I wanted them to. My hair is naturally a level 3, so I feel that the mixed tones might show up more on lighter hair. I may be curious to try other brands (Ahem, Wella) but I feel like I can always trust Ion.
I'm starting to get back into the groove of pressed powder foundations. They just seem more compatible with my skin in general. Liquid foundations just melt off my skin, and primers only make my skin more prone to breakouts. Loose powder foundations are just way too messy. Lastly, most mainstream mineral foundations contain bismuth oxychloride, which irritates my skin. So I'm glad I found this powder. As someone else stated, this isn't bad for a "high-end" powder. I like that it has medium coverage and has a natural matte finish. Keep in mind that this will NOT cover blemishes, dark spots, etc. You will need a separate concealer for that. This powder lasts me about 4 hours before I start to get oily, so unfortunately I don't like this powder as much as I thought I'd like. I also find the coverage to be too sheer for my liking. For color reference, I'm NC25ish and I wear the powder in D22 & the Perfecting Cover concealer in Beige 25. I could get away with the D25 shade in the powder, but it's just a tiny bit too dark and has significantly more green tones.
I'm impressed that Inglot has a good selection of matte taupes. I think that matte taupes look nice in the crease, especially if you're doing natural looks. Matte 360 is a neutral taupe brown. Not too caramelly, not too dusty. Just right for my very warm NC25 skin. Other taupe shades I've tried are: 342 Matte - definitely a warmer taupe with more green undertones. Think of khaki pants. 363 Matte - a cooler taupe, more on the plummy side 358 Matte - another cooler taupe, more on the mauve side
Some of you may know that I attempted to dupe most of the colors in the UD Naked2 palette. I fell in love with the shade, Suspect. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to dupe that color, but I think this comes pretty close. Both of these shades have that gold-taupe, shimmery vibe that is so appealing to me. AMC Shine 31 has a little bit more copper in it, though. Even if I consider it an 85% dupe, I'm still happy that I got this color as it is easily one of my favorites in my palette.
I like this mascara quite a bit. I initially bought it in 2009 but lost it & thought that some "cult favorite" mascaras would be better (i.e. Maybelline Falsies, L'Oreal Voluminous). Again, mascara is just extremely YMMV that you just have to try several different ones to see what works for you. I am confident that this will be a staple in my mascara stash, though. I have typical Asian lashes. They're thin and grow downwards, but I am thankful that I have a *bit* of length to work with. Throughout the years I have used mascara, I am a firm believer that the brush is a key player to how the end results look (although the formula is pretty important too!) For me, straight wands keep my lashes more organized than curved wands. Traditional bristles work better for me than do plastic/silicone bristles, but I'm not sure why. Now, I've heard a lot of times that bigger brushes are better for volume. I find this to be true, but I also run the risk of leaving a smudgy mess on my eyelids. This is where this mascara surprises me. The wands are thinner than your typical volumizing mascara. I was amazed by the amount of volume that I got, considering the size of the brushes. If you do get this mascara, play around with it to see what works for you. I've read several reviews saying to apply the "2" side first, but I'll share what works for me. Before I get into that, I should say that I don't think that this is a primer+mascara duo. If anything, it's more like a mascara+topcoat duo. Side "1" is the actual mascara. I usually layer 2-3 coats of this side. Side "2" is the water-resistant topcoat that also adds a small, extra boost of volume. I add 1-2 coats before Side "1" dries up, wait for all of it to dry, then curl my lashes. The end result I get is dark, full, and clean lashes that stay curled all day. I *do* wish that this gave a bit more length, but it excels at other qualities that I look for in a mascara.
Dark, sooty lashes? Sign me up. Lots of length and volume for my noob lashes? EFF YES, I WANT! After not being very impressed with the original Falsies, I decided to give this a go. All I can say is that this was yet, another fail. Even more so than the original Falsies. Sure, my lashes were dark. Sure, it lengthened and volumized my lashes some. Did it clump and flake? Yes indeed. Hence, why I will not be buying this one again.
Mascara -Rimmel - Volume Flash The Max in Extreme Black 003
uraznbabygurl 4/11/2012 10:08:00 PM
This comes to show how YMMV mascaras are. I know it's not getting rave reviews on here or the makeup community. BUT ... I tried this on a whim a few months ago and I like it a lot. In fact, I might like this even more than Prestige's My Biggest Lashes. I think the wand is the star performer with this mascara. It's a medium sized wand with the bristles arranged in different directions, so it acts like a comb. It makes this mascara layerable and excellent at separation. It's decent at volumizing. FYI, I feel that the Extreme Black and *regular* Black formula are NOT the same. Somehow, the Black formula is more clumpy, though I cannot complain! I do love me some super dark lashes :)
I hope that you are all aware that this primer DOES contain silicone, even though it does not feel as gel-like than most silicone-based primers do. Unfortunately, I am very sensitive to silicones and I broke out every time I used this primer. It was a pretty good primer otherwise. It did minimize redness around my cheeks and nose & filled in my large pores for a smoother finish overall. Clearly, it's not the primer for me, but it may be for others.
Bronzers -Flirt - Bring on the Bronze Bronzing Powder - Golden Minx
uraznbabygurl 4/3/2012 4:00:00 PM
Boo! I'm not sure what happened with this particular shade, as I am smitten with Flirt!'s blushes. Yes, I know this is marketed as a bronzer instead. I don't see why the formulation would be any different, though. Golden Minx had potential. It IS a golden-brown shade that isn't too orange-y, too dark, or too shimmery. Sounds like the perfect contour shade for me. So what's the problem? Maybe Flirt! had a brain fart and forgot the pigmentation on this one. This is so, so sheer. The texture isn't as soft as the several other Flirt! blushes that I own, either. I don't think it's a problem with the particular product that I purchased; the tester at Kohl's (the first Kohl's I went to didn't have one) seemed to have issues as well. Needless to say, I took this one back.