Loose Powders -Sephora - Smoothing Translucent Setting Powder
hesperia 8/28/2012 6:50:00 PM
I'm running out of MUFE's HD powder and because I'm on a budget I wanted something cheaper. This is it! This is a terrific powder. I love the soft, buttery texture. Adds no color. No white cast (at least, on me). And it keeps me matte w/o looking like a dusty mummy for longer than MUFE. In fact, I like this much better than MUFE on all counts (I haven't tried other brands) . And it's only $16, which may not be dirt cheap, but compared to the $32 you pay for MUFE it's wonderful! I do recommend it.
I got a sample of this at Sephora. I'm a full coverage, matte person so I thought I'd give this a try. I got the #54 shade, which is described for medium complexions with yellow-beige undertones. A bit dark, but I can make it work. However, I would definitely have to go with a lighter shade in winter. I would describe the coverage of this fdt as medium to full - try it yourself, though, because I have long since realized that fdt "coverage" is even more subjective than perfume - but it makes my skin look a bit thickish, and I don't like that. It reminds me of the new Revlon fdt (the one that comes in a jar) as well as Laura Mercier's Cream Smooth fdt. Those make my skin look thickish, too. As with those two fdts., I dusted (literally) some powder on this and it looked better. Not bad, but far from giving me the smooth, airbrushed look I get with Hourglass' Immaculate Liquid Powder fdt (Nude). Honestly, I never found anything that even touches that stuff (yet). Staying power: yes, I give that a 10. I walked in the hot sun for quite a bit and it held very, very nicely. Later, when I blotted my face, the paper was only slightly oily. Good job. If you are one of those people with oily skin, but who screeches in terror at the word 'powder,' you will definitely prefer this to Hourglass. If you are oily and live in a humid environment, I do advise you to try Hourglass. If you are oily, and like me you like to mix fdts, try mixing Lock It with Immaculate Liquid Powder, two-to-one parts. You will be amazed. I was. Lock It counterbalances the dryness of Immaculate (since I live in such a dry place) and the mix gave me the light, smooth, silky, airbrushed look I'm always looking for in a fdt. AND full-cover. And my skin never was, is NOT, and never will be like that w/o MU. True, it's a very expensive operation, if you're going to get both prods. But believe me, you will never have to buy fdt for the rest of your life and a good bit of the next one. I'm thinking of getting Lock it first, because it's cheaper. And then splurging on Hourglass on Christmas, or something. Anyway, my final advice is always test it yourself. Nobody knows your skin better than you. But, really. The combo of these two fdts is nothing short of incredible.
Foundations -Hourglass - Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
hesperia 8/22/2012 6:28:00 PM
I have oily skin that SERIOUSLY dislikes humidity. I mean, seriously. If the humidity is high nothing short of smearing my face with cement will keep my face matte. I just came back from two weeks in gorgeous but insanely humid and hot Charleston, SC. Did I say it was hot and humid? Emphasis on 'humid'? Anyhoo, knowing that I armed myself with samples of two foundations supposed to be long-lasting and matte: Tarte's new Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 (whew, there's a mouthful), and Hourglass' Immaculate Liquid Powder fdt. Tarte's fdt looked good enough ... with powder on and inside the AC. As soon as I stepped out it started melting off my face like ice-cream in in the sun. Never mind how much I blotted and powdered, I'd be shiny seconds later. Very frustrating. This little gem, however, passed the test with flying colors. I had to attend an event out in the open. It had rained the night before and it threatened with raining again. Needless to say, you had to push the humidity in front of you to be able to walk. I put this foundation on, dusted it with powder, and hoped for the best. And I got the best. After the event, I looked at myself in the mirror expecting to be appalled. I couldn't believe it. I looked fine. Not shiny at all. Satiny, if anything. I blotted and the sheet got only slightly oily. And I did not have to powder again till the end of the day. As I said, my skin misbehaves horribly in humidity and until now, I never found ANYTHING that helped me. If you have oily skin and are serious about looking matte in high humidity and heat, reach for this foundation. The only drawback is the price: much too high for me. Since I live in a very dry place, I don't really need anything so potent. But let me tell you, if I lived in a humid place I would splurge on this remarkable foundation even if I had to eat only every other day for a month.
I'm going through some tough times, so my life is anxiety/stress central these days. Of course, it reflects on my skin. I break out at the drop of a hat. I went to Ulta and found this. They had a trial size for $8, bless them, so I decided to give it a try. So far, I'm pretty happy with it. No, it's not a miracle worker, but it's working better than my usual cleanser. More importantly, it does not dry my face out. In spite of my age, I'm still oily. But if I use regular D/S acne cleaners, my skin gets very dry. Not with this stuff. It's mild and nice. I don't detect any particular smell, and while yes, it does not foam as other products, it does a good job of cleaning my face. I use it twice a day with my little $3 face brush: a night, after removing my MU with my DHC oil cleanser - it's no good pretending that soap or cleansers alone remove all MU; they don't, and all you get is badly cleansed skin that eventually breaks out - and in the morning, in the shower. I'm please with this product and I would recommend it especially for mature women, like me, who still break out and can't use harsh acne products.
So they opened an Ulta shop at my local mall and of course, I HAD to visit it. I'm on a strict budget so I went there more to browse than anything else. I found their stuff was on sale. Lipsticks went for $2. How can one resist? Anyway, I decided to go with #229, which in their website figures as Sugar and Spice. On my tube it just says 229. But who cares? The color is absolutely fabulous. Anyone who ever bothered to read my posts knows that I DETEST concealer/Barbie pink l/s, and I tend to stick with brown pinks or brown mauves as the lightest shade. This color is hard to describe. It's a pinkish brick brown, a warm hue, that defines my lips beautifully, but is not too matte or pigmented to look heavy for summer. It's not sheer or light, but it look so elegant and lovely. Not long-lasting, but I have no problem re-applying since I do believe that stay-on-forever MU - especially lipstick - looks quite disgusting after some time, all caked-up and dry. Eww! At $2 this was as good as free. But I would gladly re-purchase even at $8-10. I'm really, really happy with this. Welcome, Ulta!
This gel is very good quality. The skin under my eyes is very thin and very dry. Usually, gels are not hydrating enough and I have to put cream on top. That does not help concealer stay for very long. And if I use only a gel, my skin gets dry very quickly. This gel ends all that. It's very hydrating. My concealer goes on beautifully over this w/o separating and looking oily. Eyeliner stays on and does not smudge, and my skin does not get dry and look creppy and lined. The only problem is that for me is the price. However, I said I would re-purchase it. This brand is not cheap, but when you consider the absurdly high prices that most European companies (Dior, Lancome, Chanel, etc.) ask for their products, these days - and that you are paying mostly for the name, rather than the product performance - Ujene prices are much more reasonable. I would recommend this.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Ujene Switzerland Puriste Collagen Serum
hesperia 7/8/2012 6:13:00 PM
I must say this serum is one of the best I've tried. The problem with serums is usually that they are not hydrating enough. Some can even feel dry. Not this one. This serum goes on silky and absorbs very well. No greasy feeling at all, but no dry tight feeling, either. I love to use it under my foundation. My skin is oily enough, and I prefer to use oil-free/matting foundations and this serum does a terrific job of keeping my skin hydrated w/o the shine and the oil. Fdt goes on very smoothly on this and looks fresh, not dry. And my skin looks like that, too. I also use it on my neck. The only problem is that for me is the price. However, I said I would re-purchase it. This brand is not cheap, but when you consider the absurdly high prices that most companies ask for their products, these days - and that you are paying mostly for the name, rather than the performance - Ujene prices are much more reasonable. I would recommend this.
Liquid -L'Oreal - True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup
hesperia 6/26/2012 9:18:00 PM
I'm DYING to buy this, but I went to Walgreens today and played around with the testers. IMO, the difference of colors between W1-2 and W3, etc. is too big. 1-2 is too light, while the rest are too dark (AND 3,4,5 look pretty much the same color). On my hand, it feels nice and not greasy. Of course, I don't expect it to perform the same way on my face. For a DS brand it's not cheap, either. I said I would not buy this only because I don't have the 'maybe' choice. Knowing what a junkie I am ... Maybe I could get the W3 and use it as a mixer. However, do I want to spend $15 just for that? And I hate the hassle of returning things. Oh, well. If I decide to buy it, I'll keep you posted.
I got this as a 100 point reward at Sephora. They really are very good. So far I was using Shiseido blotting sheets. They are good, but these are a lot easier to handle and they do an excellent job of absorbing oil w/o messing up your foundation. I fully recommend them.
Lip Liners -Make Up For Ever - Lip Line Perfector (colorless)
hesperia 6/12/2012 10:22:00 PM
I always wanted to try Cargo's whatchamacallit outer lip liner, but my local Sephora stopped carrying the brand. I saw this on my last trip to Sephora. It is described as "A colorless lip liner that prevents lipstick from bleeding over the lip line." I have a couple of MUFE lip liners and I like them very much, so I decided to give this a try. It's really quite good. What I like is that it's totally colorless. You can apply it on clean skin or over foundation. So far, I've used this twice, over foundation, and it has performed very efficiently. As usual in summer, makeup tends to become a bit "runny," which is why I prefer to use lipsticks and stains rather than glosses. But I do like products like Revlon's lip butters. I use this OUTSIDE the lip line. Then I gently smudge it with my finger (you can also do this with your lip brush), and apply a dust of powder on top. It was very hot where I live today. I wore my Revlon's lip butter with this and my outer lip line remained matte and pristine. Yay! I'm going to try it with my dark colored Revlon stain (the new variety). I'm lucky that at my age, I still don't have vertical wrinkles around my lips However, the RLS bled every so slightly the other day, so next time I use that, I'll pair it with this lovely liner. So far, I do recommend it.
Eye Shadow -L'Oreal - Infallible Eyeshadow in 408 Gleaming Bronze
hesperia 6/8/2012 5:42:00 PM
This review is for the new infallible CREAM e/s color, Gleaming Bronze #408. Just saying this because apparently there's a same or similar color in loose powder version. Anyhow, I got Bronze Taupe, which is one of my favorite - if not THE favorite - e/s in my stash, and when I saw this new color, I was very enthusiastic to try it. And I'm glad I did. This is a gorgeous mixture of bronze, brown, gold, and khaki green. Only this one is much more pigmented (or should I say 'darker'?) than Bronze Taupe. I used as little of this as I use of BT, when I want just a wash of color (I swirl my pinky on the e/s ONCE), and it was definitely more visible. I'm not saying this is a bad thing at all, mind you. Just different. Very nice with brown eyes, but I'm sure it flatters any eye color (must go beautifully with blue or green eyes). I'm very happy with it and I do recommend it.
UPDATE: I got a tube of this yesterday. It's huge! Between that, the fact that I only need to use a pin-size amount of this, and the other fact that my friend at Sephora gave me a most awfully generous sample of Clinique's All About Eyes concealer, I don't think I'll ever have to buy any more concealer for the rest of my natural life! Not complaining, you understand. That's ONE thing off the list. This does not give me milia ... but to be honest, nothing does. I've been intrigued by this concealer since it came out on the market. It finally arrived at my local Sephora so I got a sample in Light and in Medium. This is really thick. I used it with my fingers and was underwhelmed. Then I applied it with a small Essence of Beauty foundation brush that I didn't even know I had, and it worked beautifully. I don't "smear" it, mind. I sort of fluff it under my eyes with the brush and it goes on light, not heavy. Coverage is full. I've often read about products of which you need "just a pinhead size," but more often than not it was mere hype. Not this stuff. This really lives up to that claim. It is very rich, but the skin under my eyes is extra-dry and slightly creppy, so that richness is more a blessing than a curse (I use this solely under my eyes). As the brush does such a nice job of blending it w/o making it heavy or cakey. More surprisingly, it does not crease. EVERYTHING creases under my eyes, but this does a nice job of staying fresh. After a long day, I just fluff it with my brush again and it looks as good as just applied. This is the only concealer I ever bought that does all that. The Light shade is a little too light (maybe better for winter). But Medium is a perfect match. This is not cheap, but as I really need only the tiniest amount, a tube should last me till kingdom come. The sample looks untouched and I've used it about 3 or 4 times. I got some play money for my anniversary, so I think I'll invest in a tube.
UPDATE: Ok, I waited two weeks before I wrote an update, because I want to be as fair as I can. I'm glad to say the situation has greatly improved (maybe there was something wrong with my nose when I just got this - maybe I was drunk - whatever). I've been wearing this on and off for two weeks and I can actually smell it on me now. What's more, people around me can smelling it (and no, I'm not bathing in it; it's too expensive). I also can smell it on my clothes the day after. It's still not nearly as lasting as I want my scents to be, but it is definitely an improvement. I can now say I enjoy it. I upped it to 4 lippies because I don't have a 3.5 option. I also changed the re-purchase thingy to 'Yes.' I feel better recommending it now. If you're not into the ultra-sweet,- ultra-"young" flowery-fruity scents, try this. It IS beautiful. ----- Hubby gave me this as anniversary present and I was over the moon because I am a huge fan of Serge Lutens. So imagine my devastation when I sprayed it on ... and nothing. No, really. I am not kidding you. The scent disappeared before it dried on my skin (and my skin is usually quite receptive to scents ... when they're done properly). I couldn't believe it. The whiff I got was delightful. This is similar to Voyage d'Hermes (one of my faves) in that it is a fresh, lovely, invigorating summer scent, without the annoyingly repetitive citrus notes, so pervasive in 99% of summer scents, HE or LE. But the staying power leaves everything to be desired. I literally have to hose myself down with this if I want it to last anything. And at the price they ask for it (hubby got me the large bottle, bless him) is just ridiculous. Oh, and the return policies suck big time, too. Can't return scents if the bottle has been opened (well, if somebody here knows a way to judge a scent and how it reacts on one's skin w/o opening the bottle, please let me know). They claim "this helps them maintain strict quality control guidelines, and ensures that every fragrance shipped is in 100% original condition," if you please. "Re-shipped" is what I guess they have in mind. Saddle an unsuspecting buyer with the same bottle rejected by a previous customer (at an exorbitant price). It's easier than taking customer dissatisfaction directly to the company. As I said, I adore SL (I have several of his scents), but he's not God. He flunks ti now, and then, like all human beings, and he should know about it. I suppose I will be told by the usual helpful crowd that I should have sampled it first. Well, I couldn't. It was a surprise gift from hubby. One doesn't sample surprises. The very idea is an oxymoron. The only reason for this rant is that I want it to be a warning to others. If you are interested in this scent (and it IS lovely), please sample it first and you make sure you are truly satisfied with it before you shell out the money. I hope you have better luck than I.
Lipstick -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Honey
hesperia 5/29/2012 10:17:00 PM
I got this color and had to exchange it for Crush. This was too 'concealer-like' for my taste. It gave me the dreaded chalk lips. I like Crush well enough, but it is too dark for casual look. The problem with the light colors is that they are too ... loud. The pinks are too fuscia and/or Barbie (which for me is a vulgar color), and the corals are too orange or even yellow. Unwearable, unless you don't mind your lips looking like a highlighted paragraph in a book page. I do. i like the product itself, so I truly hope Revlon will come up with more wearable light colors.
UPDATE: still loving this. Today I used my Bamboo bronzer brush (the one we all love) and buffed this on my clean, moisturized skin (oil-free, since I'm already oily) like you'd do with a MF. It went on beautifully. Good coverage - even for a full-cover fanatic, like me - non-powdery look. Very natural. I upped it to 5 lippies because I'm not one of those people who demand a congressional hearing if the package is not entirely to their liking. What's the good of a luxurious package if the product inside does not work. This PF got terrific reviews on the Sephora blog, so I decided to try it. I'm glad I did. This is a powder fdt. that goes on creamy, gives full-cover, and does not make you look like an Egyptian mummy. It also works well as a setting powder. Mind you, if you belong to the anti-powder brigade, and/or hyperventilate at the idea of a full-coverage, skip this. If, OTOH, you want a PF with good coverage that will not make you look like the Tin Man (*cough*Bare Minerals*cough*), you will appreciate this. This powder is one of those 'baked' concoctions, sort of like Laura Geller PF. It has zero glitter, or even shimmer. I tried it on clean, moisturized skin and it went on creamy and lovely. I also tried it on a light liquid fdt. (Sephora's new Instant Radiance fdt.) and it gave me great cover w/o the masky effect. This would be great on TM, to give it a matte look w/fuller coverage. I wouldn't advise you to use this on already full-cover fdts., like ELDW, or others like it, unless you're trying to hide all your past sins, and the ones to come. This is supposed to be a dupe for MAC's mineralized something or other, but I never tried the MAC version, so I can't vouch for it. Package leaves a bit to be desired. It comes w/o a mirror or a powder puff, or sponge. I apply this with a brush over LF. But I would have liked a puff/sponge for those days I just want to wear this alone. So a lippie less for that. I detected no scent of any sort. Make sure you test the color. My color for Sephora powders is usually D25. But I got this in #15 Nude, a lighter color and a much better match. If you still think this is too much, you can spray on some UD All Nighter, or any other MU fixer. Or you can also get a regular atomizer and use plain tap water. Works well provided you use a light hand (e.i. don't spray as if you're trying to put a fire out). All in all, I really like this powder, and I would recommend it. Sephora products are getting better and better.