Foundations -Meow Cosmetics - Pampered Puss Mineral Foundation
Lady_Polaris 4/28/2011 8:04:00 PM
After many years (and dozens of samples) searching for the right mineral foundation, I found not only my perfect formula, but also my perfect match, in Meow Cosmetics. By the way, I'm about NC 25, and Naughty Chartreux fits me through and through, with no need for further mixing. Pampered Puss is their light-medium coverage, sensitive skin formula. I alternate between this formula and Flawless Feline depending on how my skin looks in the morning. I find that, while Flawless Feline is my favorite (because I can get away with applying so little of it), Pampered Puss has a lighter feel and wears like nothing throughout the day. On the other hand, me being the frugal foundation applier that I am, I don't find it covers so much as evens out the skintone, much like a tinted moisturizer would. I highly recommend it to you if you only need a little bit of coverage and/or if you're not used to the feel of foundation and want something light to start with. It is the perfect everyday foundation, at least for those mornings when my face looks half decent and not like I've been to hell and back. :)
Powder -Meow Cosmetics - Flawless Feline Mineral Foundation
Lady_Polaris 4/28/2011 7:49:00 PM
After many years (and dozens of samples) searching for the right mineral foundation, I found not only my perfect formula, but also my perfect match, in Meow Cosmetics. By the way, I'm about NC 25, and Naughty Chartreux fits me through and through, with no need for further mixing. Flawless Feline is their fullest coverage formula, and although some here say it is drying to their skin, I have to say my sensitive & combo skin (oily nose, normal elsewhere) doesn't seem to notice. Some are also saying it looks cakey, but I haven't found that either. See, my trick with Flawless Feline - and this is why I love it so much - is that, having the coverage it has, I can get away with applying a small amount of it. That way, it feels like nothing on and still gives me good coverage. If your skin doesn't need complete coverage from a foundation and you, like me, hate having to apply large amounts of stuff to your face, try applying a small amount of Flawless Feline... it may work as well for you as it does for me. :)
NYX Lip Balm is a fruit (there are 8 choices) flavored / scented lip balm packaged in a cute frosted plastic pot with a black lid. On top of the lid there's a sticker identifying the fruit. It looks cheap - but cute. The product itself is a translucent jelly-like balm which is tinted according to the fruit flavor - except for Peach, which is blue (?!), every other color is perfectly logical. I cannot vouch for the others, but Grape at least leaves no tint whatsoever on the lips, it goes on clear.
The texture is a sort of jelly that goes on thick and quite sticky for a balm, my hair likes to get caught in it, and this is not what I expect when I think I'm only wearing some lip balm. As a result of this sticky texture, NYX Lip Balm actually performs more like a lip gloss. Grape smells strongly of an artificially sweet grape, and to my surprise it tastes very sweet too. This is another con to this product in my book, as I keep unknowingly licking it off! And, finally, I cannot say much for the moisturizing qualities of this product. Maybe it's due to petrolatum being first on the ingredient list, but quite frankly my lips don't feel like they are getting good moisture other than being coated and 'protected' from the elements.
To wrap it up, NYX Lip Balm is not a good product as far as lip balms go, but it's not crap either, and it may just be the yummy flavored clear gloss in a pot you've been looking for, as long as you're expecting a gloss, and not a balm. And I got clear gloss a' plenty here, so I would not repurchase this one.
Lip Gloss -Avon - Whipped Color for Lips in Peachy Glow
Lady_Polaris 11/12/2007 2:24:00 PM
Avon Whipped Color for Lips is a balmy gloss packaged in a clear glass pot with a shimmery navy lid. You do get a lot of product, specially for the ridiculously low price I paid for it on sale.
The product itself has a barely there sweet fruity scent, quite artificial but dissipates almost instantly upon application. From the name 'whipped' you may think this has an airy, mousse-like texture, but it doesn't. It's soft and creamy though. On the lips, it feels balmy and moisturizing, not thick or thin (just in the middle ground) and not sticky at all, but not too slippery either, a near perfect balm texture. It lasts about average for a non-sticky gloss.
Peachy Glow is a perfectly good name for this color - in the pot. It is a true peach with some very fine white microshimmer which translates as an all-over glow rather than frost or visible sparkles. When applied, unfortunately, the gorgeous peachy shade is nowhere to be found. On my unpigmented lips, Peachy Glow shows as a slightly milky wash that lightens my natural lip color a notch and leaves a glow that is subtle and pretty (I usually hate frost on my lips, but this is subtle enough). The texture is pleasant and does not highlight my vertical lip lines. It's a pity that I can see no peach at all once applied, but aside from the lack of color (maybe only a fault of this particular shade), it is a comfortable balmy gloss with a pretty glow. Nothing special though, it goes to the 'gloss better applied over lipstick' pile, so I would not repurchase.
Lip Treatments -mark - Kiss Xpert- Lip Smoothing Treatment
Lady_Polaris 10/15/2007 11:12:00 PM
Kiss Xpert is a tinted (pale pinky beige) lip treatment meant to exfoliate, soften and prime lips in one step. The pale nude tint is probably because it's meant to work as a lip primer - those with very pigmented lips can use it as a sort of lip color neutralizer. It comes in a transparent round little compact and smells faintly of vanilla or cake batter. I can't stress enough what another reviewer posted about the exfoliating beads (thank you, it was very helpful!) - as it comes from the factory, the granules tend to settle under the surface, so the surface is pretty much just a lip balm at first. You really need to soften and work the surface of the product with a finger before using it for the first time, until all the little exfoliating beads appear. I did this for about 2 minutes and it made all the difference in the texture of the product! Some reviewers have said that it does not exfoliate much, and it's probably due to having missed this important step.
Let me start by saying I don't do what the packaging says to do. They basically instruct you to apply a small amount and smooth onto lips for a few moments, then wipe or wash away. Apparently though my lips need much more exfoliation power than that! My favorite way of using it is to apply a thick layer of it to my lips, rub them together for the next 10 minutes or so, and leave it to work its magic until I absolutely have to wipe/wash it off. (Or gently wipe away the scrubbies and apply a lip color product on top.) And then, bask in the glory of my perfectly smooth and moisturized lips - the total opposite of what they generally look and feel like. (I have dry lips with lots of thin vertical lines!)
Before using this product, I exfoliated my lips with either a soft baby toothbrush plus shea butter, or any regular face scrub. They worked ok... not great, but ok. So I bought Kiss Xpert on sale and thought it'd be just something I'd put in my bathroom cabinet, try it once or twice and forget I had ever bought it. I'm glad I was wrong! This is absolute HG for me now. Nothing works so well as this for getting rid of old lip skin and for leaving lips smooth, soft and perfectly primed for lip color. It makes every lippie go on smoothly, as if I had naturally perfect lips, and it smooths out my lip lines so nicely it almost looks like I'm using a lip plumper of some sort. I'll repurchase and repurchase!
Lipstick -Avon - Ultra Color Rich Lipstick in Sheer Sangria
Lady_Polaris 10/13/2007 4:29:00 PM
I was skeptical at first, but I must say Jillian Dempsey gave more than just a breath of fresh air to Avon. They let go of the unattractive shimmery navy packaging in favor of a much prettier understated glossy black design (though still a bit bulky), and some of the older colors were revamped and some new ones introduced.
The Ultra Color Rich lipstick in Sheer Sangria is one of these new colors. But it's part of the Spring collection, and therefore LE, so get it while you still can! The UCR formula is great - it packs a lot of pigment, while still providing good enough moisture that even with my dry lips there is no need for a coating of lip balm underneath. These new Sheer colors from the Spring collection have, indeed, a sort of gel texture (as someone previously stated). They are very buildable, from a sheer stain to full-blown color, and they smooth and moisturize very well. They don't need a lip liner to stay put though, feathering is not a problem with this formula! They have a very faint fruity scent that I can barely detect, which is a good thing in most cases.
The Sheer Sangria shade is probably quite close to the proverbial 'universally flattering' color. Someone said it reminds them of Clinique Black Honey, and I have to admit, it is a bolder, more moisturizing and better version of Black Honey. It has the same slightly berry toned muted red with just a touch of brown quality to it that makes it so wearable! On my lips it looks very neutral - not cool toned, not warm toned, but just in between. Looking at a swatch of it on a paper towel I see a very faintly browned muted red with definite wine undertones. Usually a berry red when swatched on paper has that noticeable pink tinge to it; Sheer Sangria has a slightly browny wine tinge. It seems truly neutral to my eyes.
A few minutes after applied, it sort of fills all of my lips' fine lines and gives the illusion of plumping them a little. It does not lose moisture over time and sits exactly where applied, feeling like a very light textured gel. It has a bit of shine to it - from glossiness, not shimmer (it is a 'plain' color, with no shimmer, frost etc.). When it fades, it fades in a beautiful way, leaving no strange undertones behind, but just exactly the same shade of the lipstick, just fainter and more natural, eventually becoming an almost MLBB bitten color.
Sheer Sangria is an awesome 'entry-level red' for those who are red-shy, like me. It's not an absolute red, and it's not too berry, too brown or too anything. It's perfectly balanced and has no orange tones to it, can be as sheer or as full coverage as wanted, and it's always flattering. It lasts about average for a regular lipstick, and it lasts more than most moisturizing lipsticks. It's a fabulous product and an absolute steal, considering the sale price I bought it for. I'd definitely repurchase it.
Makeup Brushes -mark - mark Brushes - complete set
Lady_Polaris 12/20/2006 3:06:00 PM
This is a very good quality brush set for the price. (I bought them on sale a good while ago for 3 bucks each). The glossy black finish is so professional looking, and I like the fact that the purpose of the brush is printed on the handle. There is virtually no shedding from any of the brushes, and even after more than a year and a few washes they're still looking like new.
Powder brush: this is a rather densely packed, fluffy, big round domed powder brush. Soft on the skin and minimal shedding.
Blush + Bronzer brush: this is a densely packed flat top blush brush that picks up pigment very nicely. My favorite of the bunch, I use this every day and it does a wonderful job at blending and buffing.
Concealer brush: this is a synthetic fiber brush that is the perfect size for applying undereye concealer and cream eyeshadows on the whole lid. It is dense, which makes for a firm brush, not flimsy. The end of the bristles taper to a pointy center, which is great for spot concealing where needed. I use this every day when applying concealers.
Eye Shadow brush: this is a rather large eyeshadow brush, good for washes and less defined work. However, the ends of the bristles taper to a point at the center like with the Concealer brush, so that can be used for more precision when needed. Again like the previous brush, it is more firm than flimsy because of the dense bristles.
Blending brush: this is a fluffy eyeshadow brush with a rounded top, though it is not as soft as it could be if the bristles used were more finely textured. Nevertheless it is not prickly by any means, and blends colors well.
Eyeliner brush: this is an odd eyeliner brush, given that it's neither a thin one or a slanted tip one (or a 'push brush'). It's actually a thin eyeshadow brush IMO, it isn't good for drawing fine, precise lines. Instead, it seems to be made for smudgy eyeliner work with wet or dry eyeshadows, or very precise eyeshadow work, and for that it's a very good brush. But for precise eyelining, I'll be sticking with my other brushes.
Regardless of the few flaws it has, the quality of this set definitely doesn't match its low price. The brushes are sturdy and well built, and the bristles are firmly attached, so I'm sure they will last me a very long time. IMO the amazing Blush+Bronzer and Concealer brushes alone are worth the price of the entire set. Will definitely repurchase if I ever need to.
Garden Botanika Pearl Luminizer is a liquid highlighter you can wear alone or over foundation. The large size comes in a pump type jar, and the small size comes in a plastic squeeze tube with a long tip. I have the small size, and even though the applicator is very economical it still lets out too much product since it is almost completely liquid. I am yet to try the large size with the pump; I'm hoping I got a bad batch and the texture will be creamier next time. Liquid as it is, I'm finding it a little hard to get just the amount I need out of the tube.
Texture and packaging flaws aside, this is seriously the best highlighter I have ever come accross. It delivers a pearly glow, not one sparkle to be seen - just a gorgeous youthful glow that makes you look like a dryad out of a dream! It's that good, girls! This is what MAC Vanilla pigment would look like if it got rid of all the sparkle and became a pearly highlighter. It has the same golden/coppery/pinky iridescent quality to it. My other highlighters have instantly become crude and obvious when compared to this awesome product. I will rebuy, and probably the large size... I don't want to be without this, ever!
Prestige lipsticks are packaged in streamlined round tubes with a brushed silver finish and a very helpful and accurate swatch of the shade on the bottom, IMO a very good quality packaging for the price. It clicks shut, so you can rest assured it will behave in your purse. The actual product has a faint waxy scent, typical of lipstick.
V.I.P. is the uber-YLBB shade; a neutral, medium pinkish-brown. On me it is very close to my perfect MLBB (which is a tad warmer toned, but then my skintone is quite warm - a yellowy NC20). On ladies with more of a neutral skintone, I believe it would be just perfect. The finish is semi-matte, which provides a natural and long-lasting result. It has a creamy formula, but it doesn't glide on too effortlessly as it doesn't have much moisture. This often accentuates the lines on my dry lips, so I only wear this lipstick with a lip balm underneath. Doing this also sheers out the color, which I prefer, since my lips are very pale and even this YLBB shade can look a bit dark on me. But if your lips have average pigment, you will most likely find this shade just right. I am impressed by this Prestige product and will most likely repurchase this if I run out, and also try out other shades.
Dew Kiss is a really good lip balm. It would rival my HG, mark. Kiss Therapy, if the textures and finishes were remotely comparable (Kiss Therapy is almost a gloss in both aspects). But it does come in close second!
This is a regular lip balm in a cute baby pink tube, neither waxy or slippery, but a great texture in between. It moisturizes much better than Bonne Bell Lip Smackers and other Avon lip balms, and it doesn't make my lips peel like these do. It does soften the lips a lot - I would guess it's the benzoic acid working as a subtle chemical peel. Its staying power is average, as I do feel the need to reapply every half hour.
The powdery-floral scent is moderately strong, and it doesn't fade quickly upon application, so I can see that this may be a problem for many who are sensitive to scents. It doesn't have much of a taste, though, just a hint of something slightly bitter and waxy or chemical. I do like the subtly pearlescent sheen it leaves on the lips, and the way it softens and moisturizes without any waxy or greasy feel. This feels like a perfect foundation for lippies, and a decent overnight treatment. I bought this product based on the reviews here and I'm very pleased I did - definite repurchase!
Lip Gloss -Avon - Sheer Nourishment - Sheer Apricot
Lady_Polaris 6/8/2006 6:46:00 PM
Avon Sheer Nourishment Shimmering Lip Gloss in Sheer Apricot is one of my favorite Avon glosses, up there with my Perfectly Portable Lip Gloss in Coral. First off, the packaging is very attractive - a cute little transparent squeeze tube with a lovely iridescent seafoam green cap that flashes baby pink. The tip is slanted just like those of Juicy Tubes, which is IMO the perfect applicator for a squeeze tube - bravo Avon! It has a scent, sweet and fruity, but not overpowering at all and it fades quickly upon application.
In the tube, the color of this product is a sheer yet vibrant coral pink with many golden sparkles. When they said 'Sheer Nourishment', they weren't bluffing - this is very sheer and very nourishing on the lips. It gives my pale lips a *little* hint of a healthy sheer coral pink, a bit of shimmer, and a healthy, not over-the-top glossy shine. The texture is quite thick, but not sticky, and it feels very nourishing and moisturizing. I could swear I saw some plumping, but it may just be the effect of good moisture. In the category of a lip treatment/gloss, I think I like this better than my Clinique Superbalms - the Avon delivers virtually the same effects, but it's much less sticky.
Lip Gloss -Bonne Bell - Smackers Splash 'n Shine- Pink Nilla Mint
Lady_Polaris 5/25/2006 12:48:00 PM
Of all the lip balms I have tried, this is probably the most worthless. It came in a pack with the Pink Nilla Mint Liquid Lip Smacker, which is an incomparably better product and what I actually wanted. But this is a pointless product. The packaging is cute (slim lip balm tube in transparent plastic, the stick inside is of a baby pink color), and the scent is great (sweetened mint - though it goes away very quickly upon application), but that's only how far the virtues of this product go. It is, basically, solidified mineral oil in a stick. It feels thin and oily going on, doesn't absorb into the skin, leaves no shine and no moisture. You have the impression that your lips feel soft only because they are covered in oil. In fact, this product made my lips peel, so I'm starting to think it actually worsens the dryness. The poor souls who manage to like this product will have to buy it again countless times, because it gets used up very quickly, like no other lip product I've seen! It's not a balm, it's not a gloss. It's crap.
I admit, I bought this unsniffed because it was on sale and the positive reviews had me curious. Well, I'm glad I did! I was in need of a fragrance that I could wear successfully on my 'blah' days, when I'm neither feeling playful for a fruitier, sweeter fragrance, nor daring for a headier, more oriental type, and not well dressed enough for my dressy ones. Okay, let me say it, I was in need of a wildcard scent without much of a personality. There, I said it! And I wouldn't settle for a perfumey floral one either (like most of these seem to be), because I'm just not into florals. I found a great solution in Sweet Honesty. It's a softer, cozier powdery kind, with just the right amount of sweetness to be youthful. Yes, perfect for a pre-teen, indeed. It's soft and non intrusive - I'm positive it could NOT offend anyone. It's very likeable, it smells pretty and subtle. The lasting power isn't too good, but you can still smell a cloud of it around you several hours after application. I'm very okay with that, but I'm one of those women that would rather have no one able to detect my fragrance than too many people. Sweet Honesty is a very adequate name. To me, it evokes cozy, comforting hugs from a loving mommy. Childhood happiness in a bottle. =)
The Glass Slicker is a unique product IMO - half lipstick, half lipgloss. The texture is definitely slicker and creamier than that of a lipstick, and it's much more sheer; on the other hand, it fails to deliver the glossiness of a lipgloss: the finish is close to a non-matte lipstick. The packaging is cute, but awkward and fragile. There's also a light minty scent which doesn't last at all on the lips.
Enchanted is, IMO, mark.'s version of Clinique Black Honey. It's about the same near black plummy/browny red in the package, and on the lips it delivers the same effect - gorgeous natural bitten lips (natural soft red with a little plum and a little brown; definitely lovelier than it sounds). I'm under the impression that it lasts longer than Black Honey too, which places it under the stain category. It has a very light texture, sometimes I just forget I'm wearing it: very comfortable! It is a pity that these Glass Slickers have been discontinued. I'm hoping they'll launch it again someday with improved packaging. However, this color is a winner (it's what I'd call universally flattering) and should definitely be brought back!
The Fresh Kisses are mark's line of lipsticks. They're my favorite lipsticks so far. Fairly moisturizing, cushiony feel, surprisingly long lasting, sheer but very buildable, minty but not overly so, very cheap, and the cute small tube holds a full-sized bullet inside. I mean, there's nothing not to love, really. Bravo!
Dollface is one of the worst Fresh Kisses IMO. It's a hard to wear pale baby pink (I only picture it working on very pale and cool or neutral/cool skintones) with a matte texture - unless you have the perfect complexion for it, or unless you go over it with a gloss, the inevitable result will be chalky zombie lips. Very 60's mod, but not even good enough for 60's revival parties due to the chalky texture - it's not gonna look good on its own, you'll definitely need a good balm or a top gloss. Bad color, bad texture, and on my warm LLL skin... I won't even go there, it's just... WRONG. If it had a glossier texture and more even application I'd even be willing to risk it.