I have to say that this is the best "comprehensive" product for creating a smoky eye: having the liner, shadow and smudger in one makes it a pretty fast process. I do some sort of smoky eye every day, and usually it's a multi-multi-step thing (primer, base shadow, eyeliner, crease shadow, blend, blend, blend, add some more contrast to crease, line lower lid, set with shadow, and finally mascara..) :) I couldn't believe how effective this product is at speeding this up. I bought both the plum and black, and even though they're pretty messy (lots of fallout from the shadow), they're vibrant, easy to blend, and had surprising staying power. In the picture I added above, I used the plum - along with one of Pixi's Fairy Light Solos as a base (French Lace, I think). Amazing! Ultimately, I'll probably end up using the black and plum together, because I like a little more contrast, but using one or the other alone is a nice look, too. Kind of on the expensive side, but worth it for the ease of use and the portability for touchups if needed.
Powder -Boots - No. 7 Mineral Perfection Powder Foundation
KiwiPi 8/5/2011 1:22:00 AM
This is a really terrific foundation. It's extremely buildable coverage for a powder, and the gemstone complex gives such a nice glow...however, I agree with everyone here who has commented that even the lightest shade (New Ivory, which I also have) is too dark. I typically use nearly the lightest shade in any line of foundation, and I was disappointed that New Ivory really wasn't anywhere near "ivory." But... I was putting my makeup on the other day and decided to do a little experiment. I tapped a bit of MAC's Iridescent Loose Powder in Silver Dusk onto the lid and mixed it into the foundation. The Silver Dusk is a cool, pale pink in color, and I've noticed that when I use it on its own, as a highlighter, it tends to make me look a little washed out. So I mixed up the two, and the Silver Dusk COMPLETELY evened out the color of the foundation. It does add a pretty insane amount of sparkle, but the larger pieces can be brushed off pretty well with a soft foundation brush, and what's left over is a really nice sheen that actually provides some decent coverage. I did find, before this discovery, that the No. 7 New Ivory on its own worked pretty well for summer, when my face has a little more color, and that it blends pretty softly, color-wise, so that at least you don't end up with a funky mask look if you do use it. Short of mixing it with the MAC powder, it can also be evened out with either a translucent finishing powder (Burt's Bees Vanishing Powder works great, but I think that's been discontinued) or even a lighter pressed powder. Not ideal, but it works.
This is one AWESOME little nail polish! I have a weird relationship with polish in general; it always seems that the less I pay, the better they are. I paid less than two dollars for this at Wal-Mart about a year ago and stashed it away in my train case...and dug it out yesterday. Sapphire (#13) is a super-vibrant blue (today my husband said, "I like your nails...they're all sci-fi!") and much to my surprise, even without a base or top coat, it stays surprisingly well. I put on two coats over twenty four hours ago and not one chip! Also...there isn't one smudge or bubble or smear...super SUPER smooth application...and it dries in a pinch. What more can a girl ask for? :) I HAVE to find out if this is still in stores!
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
KiwiPi 7/22/2011 2:28:00 PM
For a cheap mascara, this is quite good. For the most part, it does add a lot of volume and length to my lashes. Most notably, though, this is one of the ONLY mascaras, waterproof or otherwise, that never rubs off on my brow bone. I have fairly deep set eyes, and since the day I started using mascara, I've had tons of trouble with my lashes leaving dots or smears near my brow halfway through the day. I don't think this has ever happened with this mascara. It's waterproof, tearproof, smearproof, and nearly makeup remover-proof. It can be a pain to get off, but I'm OK with that for how many benefits I get from it. I love using individual false lashes when I have a few extra minutes - I add a few clumps near the outer edges of each eye - and when I apply this mascara afterwards, my lashes are HUGE!!!!! Great combination.
Loose Powders -MAC - Iridescent Powder - Silver Dusk
KiwiPi 7/22/2011 1:02:00 AM
Just got this yesterday, and I'm already a big fan. I read a lot of reviews on it between the time I ordered it and the time it arrived, and I like that reviewers have found so many ways to use it. I can see a lot of potential. I do think it's a product that takes some practice...if you're too heavy handed with it, your face might appear...unusually...bright? But, if you put too much on in any given area, it's easily blended away. Just for fun, I put a really, really light dusting of it across my entire face once I had the rest of my makeup on, and it gave me a great glow. Goes well over top of powder, blush, everything. I do agree that I will probably have this container for the rest of my natural life...a little goes SO far. Like others had suggested, I taped over most of the holes on the sifter with clear tape...it does make it a little less messy.
Eye Shadow -Boots - No7 - Stay Perfect Eye Mousse Lilac
KiwiPi 7/22/2011 12:32:00 AM
I really like this for a few different reasons. It has a great consistency...very, very smooth and creamy, and it is the ONLY eye color of this variety (non-powder based) that doesn't travel on my eyelids. Even with powder shadows, if I don't use a healthy dose of primer first (and sometimes even when I do) the color eventually creases or travels. I had given up on cream/mousse shadows until I tried this one. It IS waterproof, and it DOESN'T budge! In fact, it makes an ideal primer for a purple smokey eye (see picture). It does exactly what a good primer should do, but sets a nice canvas for layering similar colors. It does go on with very sheer color, but it is buildable, also, if you let it set and apply another layer. I have all four of the Eye Mousse shades, and this is by far the most versatile for me. (Not a big fan of the Khaki or the Fudge. Khaki looks dirty on me, and Fudge is not as intense as I would like it to be). If you have green eyes, give this one a try. It goes wonderfully.
This has been on my shelf for ages, and every now and again I pick it up and try to figure out some way to use it...it just never does much of anything. It doesn't work for flyaways, it doesn't give my hair body, doesn't keep it in place...it's just...nothing. And if you don't put the cap back on right away, it continues to squish out the top by itself. Overall, an annoying product.
I love this product because it smells SOOO AWESOME. Like a lot of Bed Head products, it smells like candy or something equally sweet. In terms of styling, though, it's fairly average. I use it to give my hair a little body at the roots, but if I use too much, it just gets sticky. Probably not worth the money.
Eyeliner -Napoleon Perdis - NP Set Eyeliner in Houston
KiwiPi 7/20/2011 4:23:00 PM
It might just be that I don't care for pencil liners in general, but I didn't think that this eyeliner was anything special. It is soft, which is nice, and is fairly pigmented, but it just doesn't do much for me. It doesn't sharpen well, either, when other pencils DO sharpen well in the same sharpener. I like that it has its own smudger, but so does one of Revlon's pencil liners (Smoked Kohl, I'm thinking?) for quite a bit less money. I have this pencil in Paris (black) as well, and would give it about the rating. I'm more of a liquid or gel liner type girl, so maybe this product would work better for those who are partial to pencil liner.
Tinted Moisturizer -Burt's Bees - Burt's Tinted Facial Moisturizer [DISCONTINUED]
KiwiPi 7/20/2011 4:15:00 PM
I really wanted this TM to work for me. I like a lot of Burt's Bees products, and try to incorporate natural cosmetics into my routine. I figured this would be good for - as another reviewer put it - "around the house" type days when I'm not looking for perfect coverage. But...ick. It's pretty oily, which I'm normally OK with because I have dry/combination skin, but it was a bit much for me. Also, the color was a little too dark...there wasn't a tester available, and I went with the wrong shade...but that's my fault. It works if I blot on a LOT of finishing powder, but then it ends up looking sort of cakey. A nice thought, but it just doesn't work for me.
Lipstick -L'Oreal - Endless Lipstick in Perfect Plum
KiwiPi 7/20/2011 4:07:00 PM
I have L'Oreal Endless Lipstick in several colors, and I don't regret buying a single one of them. My two favorites are In The Buff (as it implies, a nude color) and Fawn Fatale, sort of an all-purpose brown/wine. They're amazing...they stay on basically as long as I want them to, and wear quite comfortably. In The Buff is definitely one of the better flesh-toned colors I've tried, too...it's not too peachy or too bright, as some are on me. I have several backup tubes, as it is a favorite of mine to pair with smokey eyes or cat eyes, which I do most days. One of the only "long wearing" lipsticks I've tried that seems to live up to its name.
You don't often see a product that has such polarized reviews...seems that women either love this one or hate it. I just picked this up today on a whim. A LONG time ago, my brother was in Amway, and I used to get most of my makeup through him, from their Artistry line. They made a similar powder - mostly water - but it was just a finishing powder. When I saw Almay's Wake Up powder, I decided to give it a whirl in the hopes that it had a similar feel. To my happiness, it does. It also has a very nice, matte coverage, and seems very buildable. I have a small area on my left cheek where my skin tone is a little uneven, and this powder evens it out really well when I apply a little more...only there's virtually no way to detect which areas have more coverage than others, it blends really nicely from area to area. I'm really curious as to why some reviewers report so much glitter...it's almost as if Almay isn't using a consistent formula. The coverage it gives me is basically matte, with maybe just a *hint* of luminescence. I'm glad I didn't end up with a bunch of glitter... I can't comment, yet, on the staying power of this product...but this is an excellent day to test it out (our heat index at the moment is 106 degrees, with over 50% humidity). So far, things look good...if anything changes, I'll add an edit to this review. I AM wondering what the product is going to be like in a few months. With the powder I had from Artistry, when it was about half gone, it got the freaky mildewy smell to it...and that is the LAST thing you want to put on your face.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - Bare Naturale Gentle Mineral Eyeliner
KiwiPi 7/19/2011 11:52:00 PM
I thought this eyeliner would be great when I bought it...I like a lot of the other Gentle Mineral products from L'Oreal...and I figured that since it was a powder, I could easily smudge it up for a quick smoky eye, going from intense black to a soft blur with one product. Not so. It might technically be possible, but this product is SOOOOO MESSY that I've stopped even trying to use it for anything at all. You open the sifter and there's black everywhere - on your hands, your clothes, your sink...and naturally, no matter how much you tap off the brush - whether you use the one provided or a different one - it falls all over your face. I am REALLY experienced with eyeliner - I've been doing a cat eye or smokey eye nearly every day for the last eighteen years - and I can't make this work. It's unfortunate, because the pigment is a nice, rich black...that much, I'll give it.
Primer/ Corrector -Napoleon Perdis - NP Set Pre-Foundation Primer
KiwiPi 7/19/2011 11:41:00 PM
I have four or five primers that I switch between, and this one is definitely my favorite, especially under powder foundations: they let the luminescence of the primer show through. It starts my skin off with a nice, pink glow - not obnoxious at all, just healthy-looking - and it really does make my foundation stay in place for the day. At first, I thought this primer was too oily, but after a few uses I realized that it definitely helped the drier areas of my skin look more even. What I don't care much for is the packaging. The tube is fine, the I have to store it with the cap end up or the oil in the primer separates and leaks out around the cap. I always make sure to shake it well before using - I've had a few times where I haven't, and I've ended up with straight oil on my fingertips. Aside from this - love it!
Polishes -Maybelline - Forever Strong Nail Color - Robust Red
KiwiPi 7/19/2011 3:29:00 PM
I have this in Robust Red...it looks GREAT when I put it on. It does chip just a little bit in the first day or so...no 10-day wear here. However, it stays super glossy until I take it off, and I LOVE that. For a drugstore brand, this is pretty decent. I'm considering trying MAC nail polish because there are a couple of colors that look terrific (at least online), but until I do, I'm going to stick with this stuff.