I love these Lip Butters so much! I can't believe I had been planning to browse Sephora for some new lip colors because you can find AMAZING ones right at the drugstore for half the price! The Revlon Lip Butters come in a huge range of colors and the four that I chose (Berry Smoothie, Creme Brulee, Fig Jam, and Cherry Tart) are all buildable! Just use one swipe for a sheer dose of color or layer it on for a more opaque look. The finish is very glossy and slick at first, but this dies down a bit after some wear so that you are left with a soft stain. A wonderful plus is that these Lip Butters are also very moisturizing, so you won't need to worry about your lips drying out. I love these so much!!
I was surprised by how well this hair cream worked for me. Lately I haven't had the time to style my hair, so I've been running out the door with my hair still wet from my morning shower. I have straight hair with dry ends and it looks really bad without any styling, so I wanted to find a hair cream that could give it some definition and add hydration to my ends. This hair cream is great because it makes my hair look super healthy. The texture feels like a luxuriant cream, but it is not sticky or heavy. I like that it adds a little bulk to my hair to make it look thicker. I also like to smooth this cream into my damp hair and put it up into a tight bun, and then let it down again about an hour later for soft and natural looking waves. The cream gives my hair a light hold that keeps the waves looking good for the rest of the day. This cream doesn't contain any parabens, artificial colors, silicones, or a fragrance. It smells exactly like an unscented lotion, but this fades quickly, which is good because I don't want the scent to clash with my perfume. I read a bunch of reviews online that say that this cream is perfect for curly hair, so those with curly hair who want hydration and soft definition should definitely give this a try.
This is not the best foundation for dry skin. It settles around my dry patches and feels heavy on the face. I've been spoiled by how weightless the Makeup For Ever HD Foundation feels. Because this is a long-wearing formula, you have to make sure you blend it as quickly and as well as possible before it sets. It was such a pain for me to deal with this because I don't have enough time in the mornings to take a brush and carefully apply/blend the foundation. I would rather rely on applying with my fingers, which is something that cannot be done with the MAC Pro Longwear. Well, technically it CAN be, but the results won't look very good! Even with the Revlon Colorstay (a great drugstore alternative that lasts long and provides full coverage) I can smooth on with my fingers if I'm in a pinch because the texture is liquidy enough. In contrast, the texture of the MAC Pro Longwear is thicker and not as runny. I also got breakouts from this product, which was a another reason for me to return it. The only good things about it is that it has a pump, an SPF of 10, and there is a broad range of shades in the line.
Brows -Prestige - Brow Perfection Brow Shaping Studio Powder
RitaPerfect 7/4/2011 7:18:00 PM
I got this brow powder kit along with the Prestige Brow Perfection pencil in Light/Medium -- my new HG brow product. I haven't had much luck with brow powders in the past because they were always too soft, too hard, didn't last long enough, or the colors weren't right. I did use the Wet 'n' Wild Ultimate Brow Kit in Ash Brown for a while because it was cheap and worked decently but I find that the Prestige Brow Shaping Studio is a lot better (it is more expensive though). I have it in the shade Medium to Dark for my black hair. The square compact comes with a warm brown shade, a lighter taupe shade, a pair of tiny tweezers, a small angled brush, a flexible plastic brow stencil, and a built-in mirror in the kit. I like to use the taupe shade to shade in the inner brows and the brown shade to fill in the tails. If I want a more dramatic look, I'll use the brown shade for the entire brow. Both of these shades are lighter than the two shades in my Wet 'n' Wild brow kit, a taupey-brown and a very dark brown. I used to use the taupey-brown shade only, but now I know that it is still way too dark to look natural on me. Just because you have black hair doesn't mean that you should stick to dark colors! I think that Prestige brow powders are also softer, so they apply better. I just dip an angled brush into the powder and stroke over my brows lightly to get the perfect amount of color. Since I have to apply the brow powder with a brush, the effect is a lot neater and polished than just penciling in my brows with a pencil. It does take up more time so I only break out this brow kit during special occasions. For my everyday morning routine, I'll stick to my quick and easy Prestige Brow Perfection pencil. NOTE: I don't use the angled brush and the tweezers because I don't trust their quality (maybe I'll pick up the tweezers if I'm desperate, but not the brush because the bristles look splayed out) and I don't use the brow stencil because the shape doesn't match my brows at all. I also prefer to use a bigger mirror when doing my brows, so I don't use the built-in mirror either but I do think that it is nice to have for "on the go" touch ups. The Wet 'n' Wild brow kit, however, comes with a great mini spoolie that is amazing for softening up brow color and a tiny angled brush that I actually like. I use it when I'm in a pinch because unlike the one in the Prestige kit, the bristles are more tapered and this creates thinner/finer strokes. The Wet 'n' Wild kit also comes with a slide-out mirror of an adequate size, about 1.5 inches by 3 inches.
Wow, I am so glad that I picked up this brow pencil! It has replaced the more expensive Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil as my HG brow filler! I fill in my brows every single day so I am very picky about how my brow products go on, how the effect looks, and how long they last. I really loved the Anastasia brow pencil in Medium Ash for its slightly waxy texture, which gives my brow hairs a light hold so that they look more polished, and it's ashy brown color, which looks warmer and more natural on my black hair than the cooler toned Shu Uemura Pencil in Seal Brown. HOWEVER, the Prestige Brow Perfection Pencil in Light/Medium is just all-around BETTER on both fronts! It is an even warmer and lighter shade of taupe/brown compared to the Anastasia pencil. Not only is the texture also slightly waxy, but I find that the color goes on much softer and more natural-looking. This may be because the color of the pencil is marbelized so each stroke of color on your brows will vary slightly in shade. I know that sounds strange, but the variation in color is really subtle (too subtle for me to pick out anyway), but the overall effect looks good. The formula is also buildable, so you can use light strokes for a soft shading or go over the strokes again to make a darker shading of color. This is something that I wasn't able to do with other brow pencils because going over the strokes again meant that I would get super heavy brows that looked unnatural. With the Prestige brow pencil, a light hand during application will already give you a great looking set of brows, while a heavier hand is needed to get both the Anastasia brow pencil and the Shu Uemura brow pencil warmed up enough to apply. Their textures sometimes get really hard and nothing will show up. This is why you just can't go over your brows a second time with these two pencils since you need so much pressure to draw strokes in the first place. I don't think I could ever make the mistake of overdoing my brows with the Prestige Brow Perfection pencil and that's why I love it so much! It also lasts all day for me. And there is also a spoolie on the other end of pencil, which is great for cleaning up the edges of the brows and for softening up the color. The bristles on this spoolie is stiffer and spaced more widely apart than the one on the Anastasia brow pencil (which has softer, fuller bristles), but I won't complain too much about it because I don't even find myself needing to clean up my brows too much with the spoolie!
I was interested in these Milani baked blushes when they first came out, but I was scared away by how shimmery they looked since I don't like obvious glitter particles on my face. I finally couldn't resist temptation anymore and I decided to pick up Luminoso because it is the least shimmery out of all of them. Now I am in love with this blush! It is a peach-coral color and it is one of the few peachy shades that I can pull off! I imagine that this would look so pretty and feminine (in a girly and innocent kind of way) on pale skin, so I can't wait to wear this during the wintertime. It gives off a really natural-looking sheen that looks more pearly and subtly glowy than full-on shimmery. I never know what blush to wear with my peachy/nude lipglosses, so I usually just skip blush, but now I have the perfect color to complement them! The texture of this blush is also wonderful because a brush can pick up the product easily (unlike some super cheap blushes) and it is also very blendable since it is baked. Once I didn't have any clean brushes to use and I just swirled my ring finger into the blush and gently tapped the product onto my face. I simply blended it in with my fingers and it still looked great! The gold packaging is also very cute, so I hope it won't rub off anytime soon.
I am a fan of the regular L'oreal Color Riche lipglosses (the ones you have to apply with a wand), so I was excited when I saw the display for the new Le Gloss tubes. Based on the packaging, I thought they would be super pigmented and super smooth -- basically "super everything" because it looks so high-end and pretty with the gold cap and gold band at the end of the tube. I wanted a whole bunch of colors, but I only picked up Sassy Mauve (a very shimmery peach shade with some brown in it) and Blushing Berry (a rose-berry shade with light shimmer). I thought I would definitely fall in love with Sassy Mauve because the color looked like it would go well with my NC30 skin tone, but it turns out that it is way too frosty! The shimmer particles are big and noticeable, which is definitely not a good look on the lips -- at least in my opinion. The frostiness seems to overpower the color of the gloss, a shame because isn't as pigmented as I would like in the first place. I ended up liking Blushing Berry more because of its beautiful berry color and more subtle shimmer. The color is sheerer than I wanted, but I guess it gives a more natural look. I don't like the vanilla scent, but it is pretty faint, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much about it. The packaging, like I said above, is beautiful and it is good how it has a slant-tip applicator instead of a round-tip like the Color Juices. One reason why I like the regular Color Riche lipglosses is because their liquid consistency is so lightweight on the lips and the color sheers out beautifully, making application a breeze. I thought the Le Gloss would simply be a more pigmented version, but it turns out that the texture is thicker and this makes it harder to spread the color evenly on my lips. I tried to use more of the gloss to build up the color, but it just look streaky and uneven, so I would say this gloss is definitely not buildable. As much as I appreciate the slant-tip applicator, I still think glosses that come with a doe-foot/brush applicators are the best for achieving an even application. I also have the Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Bordeaux (a deep berry-plum color with fine golden shimmer) and I would say that it is extremely pigmented compared to the Le Gloss. The texture is also a lot thicker so it lasts longer too. And the more I think about it, the more the Le Gloss reminds me of the old Color Presso lipglosses from the H.I.P. line in terms of texture and colors (I owned a few before they turned bad on me). The Color Pressos had the same vanilla scent, so maybe this was just simply a case of repackaging and renaming? I am unsure as to whether I would purchase again or not, because I do think that there are some really gorgeous colors in the line, so I am going to put "will repurchase again" for now.
Brows -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - Brow Pencil in Medium Ash
RitaPerfect 6/20/2011 11:06:00 PM
I have two HG brow pencils in rotation -- the Shu Uemura Brow Pencil in Seal Brown and the Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil in Medium Ash. I do my brows every single day and I've tried tons of brow products, but these are the two that I reach for the most! I love brow pencils (as opposed to brow powders) because they are so quick and easy to use. I don't like my brow pencils to be too soft or powdery because they usually deposit way too much color, and the Anastasia Brow Pencil's formula is PERFECT. As much as I love the formula of the Shu Uemura pencil (it has a very hard texture that gives off a muted color), I find that my brows look better with the Anastasia pencil because they appear more groomed and natural. Because the formula is slightly waxy, my brow hairs get a light hold that keeps them in place so that the hairs won't stick out all over the place. Since the texture is also softer, the color can always be softened up with the spoolie brush on the other end of the pencil. The brow color gets spread with the spoolie brush and the effect looks very natural. I use the spoolie brush with the Shu Uemura pencil too, but an extremely light hand is required because instead of softening up the color on my brows, the product will actually disappear and then I have the draw some more on. For this reason, I think the spoolie brush works best with the Anastasia Brow Pencil's formula. The Medium Ash shade is also great because it is a nice warm taupe color that looks better with my warm NC30 skin tone, while the Shu Uemura pencil in Seal Brown is a cooler taupe. I also love how it lasts all day! In my opinion, this stuff is well worth the $22 at Sephora because I haven't found anything else quite like it!
This works as a really lovely setting powder for me, but I can see it doubling as a sheer foundation powder for those who only want light coverage. I used to set my powder with the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, but I find that it is easy to go overboard with the application and my face will look dry and cakey. This doesn't happen with the Studio Careblend Powder because the powder is so finely milled that it pretty much blends in with my skin instead of just sitting on top and looking powdery. I have dry skin, so I can't say much about its oil controlling properties, but I do love to put this over my foundation to give my face a more finished look and for its ability to keep my foundation from fading as quickly. I have been lazy and just applying it with the sponge that comes with the compact, but I would prefer a soft and fluffy powder puff instead. This sponge is thin and flimsy. Perhaps I'll test this with my powder brush. I am NC30 and I have this in Medium Plus, which is a tad too light but I am willing to work with it because the next shade down (Medium Dark) is way too dark.
This mascara formula is a lot drier than expected. The dry consistency makes it rather difficult to transfer the mascara from the brush onto my lashes. Rather than simply sweeping the mascara on and running out the door, I have to spend some time to slowly and carefully go over my eyelashes multiple times in order to coat them thoroughly with the mascara. And instead of wiggling the brush back and forth horizontally, which I usually do with runnier mascara formulas, I can only sweep upward from root to tip or else my lashes will stick together in dry clumps. But while I am not a big fan of the application, I really like the results. I bought this mascara after seeing pictures of long and gorgeous eyelashes posted by fellow MUA-ers on this review page, and let me tell you, those pictures do not lie. My lashes look super long upon initial application. I don't think I've been using it long enough to notice any actual lengthening of my eyelashes, but at least I get instant gratification! The bonus that comes out of using a mascara with such a dry texture is that I can gently sweep the brush over my bottom lashes and not weigh them down with goopy mascara. I've tried applying mascara to my bottom lashes before with other mascaras and it had never worked for me because I usually get a lot of smearing and wet clumps. This mascara deposits the right amount for bottom lashes. The brush is also huge! Some people like large brushes, and some people don't, so keep this in mind. The last thing I want to say is that I am not a fan of the turquoise color, which makes the product look cheap and old-fashioned in my opinion. I guess the fact that the tube is shiny makes it look better (imagine if this tube were made of a dull plastic!), but I personally feel that black would look better. UPDATE: Oh my goodness, this stuff actually made my lashes grow longer! I definitely notice a difference in the length of my lashes and I really love it! Now I can wear volumizing mascaras and people will ask me what I'm wearing because my lashes look so long AND full! Even though I am not a huge fan of how my lashes look with the Grow Luscious mascara, I'll keep wearing it on my "off days" to keep conditioning my lashes.
I have finally found an HG hair product that I absolutely cannot live without! My hair is straight and I don't have a lot of it, so I am always looking for products that can give the illusion of fuller volume. However, I find that most volumizing mousses make my hair look like dry crunchy straw or leave a sticky film that I hate. Even worse, a lot of them will make my hair look volumized for about an hour, and then it quickly deflates and leaves me utterly disappointed. The Got2B Fat-tastic Mousse is wonderful because it creates a full and smoothly sculpted look that still leaves my hair looking soft and natural. I don't get annoying flyaways after using this product because the mousse holds everything together in one beautiful mass of healthy-looking hair. The best part about it is that it lasts ALL DAY! In fact, I can even use it at night to save myself some time in the mornings and my hair looks just as good straight out of bed because it stays full. After my nighttime shower, I smooth the mousse through my damp hair (this is fun because the texture is super bouncy), blowdry my hair upside down, and then hop into bed. Because I tend to toss and turn in my sleep, I unintentionally create waves and bends in the ends of my hair that the mousse holds quite nicely as it sets. The first time I did this, someone asked me if the ends of my hair naturally had a soft curl/wave, and if not, how I got it to look so natural and effortless! One tip that I have is not to brush through your hair too much or play with your hair with your fingers after using this, because you will deflate the volume. I got this for around $6 at CVS.
Eyeliner -Physicians Formula - Eye booster eyeliner + serum
RitaPerfect 3/6/2011 2:37:00 AM
First of all, I should say that I did not buy this for its lash boosting properties. I got it because I had a coupon for Physicians Formula and there was a sale on the entire brand at CVS, so I could not refrain from browsing through the nearly empty Physicians Formula shelf before finally settling on this product. All of the other PF items I wanted to try were already gone, but this caught my eye because it had the "Try Me Free" sticker (definitively look for it when you shop for this). And let me tell you, I'm SO glad that I decided to try this product because it is AMAZING. I feel that PF makes a lot of wild claims on their packaging labels, and this one is no different: "100% of women saw enhanced lashes instantly"; "high performance, 24-Hour wear"; "after 2 weeks over 75% of women saw longer, fuller, more enhanced lashes." I didn't notice an INSTANT enhancement of my lashes upon first application, but maybe they mean that the eyeliner itself creates the illusion of more eyelashes (advertisements can be tricky like that). In terms of wear and application, this is the BEST liquid eyeliner I have ever come across in my lifetime!! I have it in Deep Brown and the color manages to show up very nicely and gives a nice bold line without looking too harsh, like black can. I recommend this color for everyone because the color is actually buildable and you can definitely go over your line another time to make it darker if you're going for a more dramatic look. I LOVE how the brush applicator is super fine and the bristles are stiff enough to draw extremely precise lines. I've never tried anything like it! In the past, I've used liquid eyeliners with a brush applicator, but they were too flimsy for my liking and for my unsteady hand. While I find that felt-tip applicators offer more control, I just can't get the nice and thin line that I want with them, so the PF Eye Booster is the best of both worlds for me! With this eyeliner, I can even line my lower lashline (very softly, of course) and the effect is totally natural. It also lasts super long and I can go the whole day without reapplying. The packaging looks really sleek and high-end from far away, but up close you can tell that it is just painted with silver that can scratch off. Even if it does end up getting scratched, it doesn't matter because it's the inside stuff that counts, right? All in all, this product was a wonderful surprise for me and has made its way into my HG list! I won't mind if I don't notice any increase in my lashes because it has already won my heart as a terrific eyeliner!
Moisturizers -First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream
RitaPerfect 2/27/2011 4:37:00 PM
This product is getting a glowing review from me because it has saved my skin! My dry skin always gets worse during the winter, but it has been severely dry recently and none of my creams were helping. I would put a thick layer of my usual moisturizer on my face and body before I went to bed and find that my skin was still just as tight and dry in the morning when I woke up. I had dry patches of skin around my eyes and cheeks and, worst of all, the eczema on my body was flaring up again. Since I had already tried a bunch of drugstore lotions, I decided to browse the Sephora website for a top-rated moisturizer. When I discovered the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, I initially balked at the price -- $15 for a mere 2.5 oz tube! But one quick look at the ingredients convinced me. None of them are particularly special or rare, but this cream is a nice blend of all the stuff that has been known to work -- calming collodial oatmeal, moisturizing shea butter, skin-plumping squalene, protective allantoin, redness-reducing feverfew, as well as camellia sinensis leaf extract and licorice root extract. Of course, these wonderful-sounding ingredients are also combined with synthetic ingredients, so I was still a little wary about using this product with the fear that they could irritate my sensitive skin. But I bought it, tried it, and instantly loved it. The dryness on my face has disappeared and my eczema has calmed down considerably. I love how it is super creamy and easy to smooth on. It also has no scent/fragrance whatsoever, which is a major plus for those with sensitive skin! Some reviewers have said that it doesn't go well under makeup, but I really have no choice because I use this for both night and day. I usually wait as long as my tight morning schedule will allow before applying concealer and foundation to give the cream more time to fully sink in. Another problem some reviewers had was getting clogged pores due to the heaviness of the product. It may be that my skin is so extremely parched that I don't find it heavy or pore-clogging at all, or that my skin just hasn't show these effects yet. This cream doesn't contain any oils, so I am not sure what could be clogging pores. It has been working wonders for me so far and I haven't gotten any breakouts, but I will definitely update this review if I notice any changes. I highly recommend this for anyone whose skin needs intense hydration! There is a bigger size that comes in a plastic tub, but for sanitary reasons, I would go with the squeeze tube. The only downside is that you will pay more per ounce this way.
Lip Gloss -L'Oreal - Color Juice in Passion Fruit Squeeze
RitaPerfect 2/12/2011 8:09:00 PM
I think this entire line of Color Juice lip glosses has been discontinued because I don't see it in any drugstores anymore. I happened to find one last tube of Passion Fruit Squeeze lying around a Target that I rarely visit and so I snatched it up immediately. I'm glad I decided to try it because it is actually a very nice MLBB color! As a die-hard lipstick fan, I hardly ever wear lip glosses but they tend to look garish and disappear after 5 minutes. However, I find that the shine for this lip gloss is very subdued and the texture is smooth enough for me to wear everyday. Keep in mind that it lasts longer than most other glosses only because it is on the thicker and goopier side, though it is definitely not sticky or tacky.
Covergirl's Natureluxe Gloss Balm really exceeded my expectations! I thought this was going to be a run-of-the-mill glossy stick that offered little pigment, but was instead pleasantly surprised to find that it gave off smooth and highly pigmented color along with wonderful moisturizing properties that creates a nice sheen. I have always loved the Covergirl Lip Slicks in 'Daring" (a deep red shade), but it was also very sheer and I had to layer the product thickly to achieve the intensity that I wanted. It also disappeared from my lips too soon for my liking! The Natureluxe Gloss Balm, however, settles into a lovely stain that lasts without drying out my lips. I LOVE how effortlessly it glides on and STAYS on! I have the shade "245 Pinot" and it is a mauve-rose shade that leans slightly on pink. It appears that some of the Gloss Balms have shimmer particles in them (like "Pinot" does!), but some do not. I wasn't a big fan of having glitter on my lips because it seems a bit too young, but I have grown accustomed to it. Although I will definitely avoid the shimmery-looking ones when I try out new colors. I think the soft green packaging is very pretty and I do like how the slim tube is not bulky like the Lip Slicks. The cap is clear so you can easily browse the color selection when you purchase. You can easily slip it into your pocket/purse and reapply on the go. There is also a faint vanilla-like scent that doesn't bother me too much. NOTE: It has occurred to me that these Gloss Balms remind me of the Wet 'n' Wild Pout Protectors that had remained on my HG list for the longest time before getting discontinued. They were also marketed as tinted lip balms, but were more like lip color sticks because they did not offer much hydration. They did have a nice cooling minty effect though. Now that I think about it, I recall that certain shades of the Pout Protectors also contained shimmer particles, so anyone mourning the loss of them might discover a nice replacement by considering these Covergirl Natureluxe Gloss Balms. I guarantee that if you can find a similar shade, it will 100% better in terms of moisturization!