Lip Treatments -Carmex - Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm
afloresm13 8/27/2011 8:05:00 PM
If there's one cosmetic product I can't live without, it's lip balm. Nothing drives me crazier than not having moisturized lips - it's been a pet peeve of mine since I can remember! For years, I've tried almost every single brand of lip balm/chap stick.. the ones in the twist up tubes, the ones in the squeeze tubes, the ones in the pots.. medicated ones, flavored ones, waxy ones.. to be honest, I've always stayed away from the Carmex brand - I tried the original Carmex in the pot when I was in high school, and while it did its job moisturizing, I couldn't stand the medicine-y smell and heavy, waxy feel on my lips. But I watched YouTube guru LoveBlendnBeauty's favorites video one day, and she raved about Carmex Moisture Plus, saying it's the best she's ever tried etc. Luckily for me, they happened to be on sale at Walgreens during that time, so I picked one up. Long story short, I've finally found my HG lip balm - which is amazing, bc I am SO picky with my lip balms. Here's what I found after my first time using up an entire tube (also unheard of for me, I NEVER like my lip balms enough to finish entire tubes of any brand): Carmex Moisture Plus: PROS: - pleasant Vanilla scent (not medicine-y or minty at all, which I love. the scent is actually reminiscent of MAC lipsticks, which I also love) - smooth, buttery, slick texture. goes right on and instantly makes lips feel soft and "quenched" - lasts a decent amount of time, however I like it so much that I find myself reapplying constantly - sleek and pretty silver packaging - aesthetically nicer than other lip balm packaging - slanted tip for easy application - works great over/under lipstick, lipliners, lipgloss CONS: - at $3 for only .075oz/2g of product, it's pretty pricey (versus, for example, a tube of regular ChapStick for $1 at .15/4g of product. but I like this formula so much that I'd rather shell out the $ for a quality product that I actually use up) - it melts easily, so be sure to keep it in a cool place. it's necessary for me to have on in my car, so for that tube, i just accept the fact that it'll melt on days that it's hot (in which case, i use my fingers to apply it from the tube). if it melts though, no need to throw it away - once it gets back to regular/cool temperature, it solidifies right back up - good as new & definitely usable. - since there is very little product (only 2 grams), it's easy to go through a tube FAST, especially if you apply constantly throughout the day like I do. Overall, it's an awesome product & HG status in my experience. If you have dry lips & are always on the hunt for lip balms, I'd recommend giving this product a try!
First of all, the name "Warmth of Coral" is a bit misleading - this blush is definitely more peach than coral. Nevertheless, I do like it a lot - I really love peachy blushes and this shade is very pretty. It is mostly peachy/light orange with some medium-light pink marbling throughout it. Whether or not it's more peach or pink really depends on the one you own - since it's a mineralized blush, they all differ and not every pan is the same. This blush is pigmented, smooth, and gives off a nice sheen (as does the other 2 mineralize blushes in the Semi Precious collection). While the shade is a bit lighter than I expected, it still shows up on my NC40 skin. If I want the color to be more intense, I just spray my brush with some Fix+ after I pick up the color with my brush, then buff it in. It looks especially gorgeous used wet - it "glows" more. I know many people were turned off by the fact that this blush is a little on the lighter side, however if you don't mind this extra step, it works beautifully! As much as I like it, I wouldn't repurchase simply because there are so many similar shades out there, and I anticipate even more to come out eventually. As someone with medium-dark skin & warm undertones, I prefer Utterly Game mineralize blush to this one - it's similar in shade (peachy orange, no pink though), but it is darker and doesn't require me to pack it on in order to show up.
Blush -MAC - Mineralize Blush - Pressed Amber (Semi-Precious)
afloresm13 8/25/2011 12:30:00 AM
I'm a huge fan of nude blushes, and Pressed Amber by far is my favorite! Nude blushes are great because you can either use them on the apples of your cheeks for a pop of natural color, or in the hollows of your cheeks for a more contoured look without looking too done-up. Pressed Amber is the perfect balance of rosy nude - rosy enough to blend with the natural undertones of the skin & brown/tan enough without looking dirty or muddy. It's pigmented, smooth, and shows up well on my NC40 skin (if you're darker than NC40, more than one brush application may be necessary, and if you're lighter, I'd use a light hand since a little would go a long way. I think it'd also make a great contouring shade for fair skin). What I like most about Pressed Amber is that the color, while still natural, isn't "flat" - the finish has a subtle sheen that gives dimension to the face. I know that this blush was probably overlooked among all the other MSFs and mineralize blushes in the Semi Precious collection, but this is definitely a hidden gem. If your MAC counter or store still has any, I'd recommend picking it up, especially if you like natural or nude blushes. I know I'm going to be using this a lot, especially in the Fall!
When I first saw Get-Away Bronze, I thought "Oh, just another bronze blush... it could probably be easily duped, etc." but I decided to give it a try since I'm usually a fan of bronze-y shades anyway. I'm glad I gave in, because it's way better than I expected! It's a gorgeous warm caramel bronze with a slightly rosy tone to it. It's not exactly like any other bronzey/gold blush I own (& I have a lot!) I swatched it side by side with similar-looking shades of MSFs as well as MAC Otherworldly blush (from the Moonbathe collection) which I've heard it being compared to before. (I'll post the photo above). Here's what I found: - Pigmentation & Texture: I had absolutely no problems w/pigmentation or texture - it is just as pigmented (if not more) than other MAC blushes. If you have fair-medium skin, I'd definitely use a light hand with it. - Finish: This gives off a frosty finish for sure - so if you don't like frost, you won't like Get-Away Bronze. If you apply lightly, you can get a nice, sheer sheen/shimmer out of it. - Color/Shade: You'll love this blush if you're a fan of shades like MAC So Ceylon, Gold Deposit, Shooting Star MSFs, etc. As a matter of fact, if So Ceylon & Gold Deposit had a baby, it would be Get-Away Bronze! (Those were the MAC shades i found most similar to it). I wouldn't buy it again only because I really don't need any more blushes in this color family! It really is perfect for summer, though - and I would definitely recommend it if you love bronze-y shades, ESPECIALLY if you have medium, tanned, or darker skin. (I'm NC40, warm, w/golden undertones for reference).
I absolutely LOVE Fix+ Rose! It smells sooo good & refreshing. I highly prefer this version over the original..if only this weren't LE! I've heard of people recently seeing this at their CCO's (it's currently Dec 09) so if you happen to see one, I'd definitely recommend picking it up! I use this mostly for foiling/applying my shadows & pigments wet, and it does a wonderful job. I also give my face a couple of sprays if my makeup/foundation looks a bit cakey, & the Fix+ Rose solves that problem immediately. I wouldn't say it "sets" my makeup.. I don't use it for that purpose, that's what my finishing powder is for.. but it's definitely useful in reducing the cakiness/"Imwearingmakeup" look. This bottle seems to be lasting me forever, so I doubt I'd need to purchase another soon.. but when I do, I'll be looking for this version w/the Rose scent! It's a must have if you like to apply shadows wet and love floral fragrances :)
Naked Paris is so gorgeous! On my NC37 skin w/pretty pigmented lips, this is an awesome MLBB shade. The shine/sheen it gives off does a great job of livening up my entire face -- I don't even need to wear gloss with it! My only gripe would be that there are usually a few leftover silver "microglitters" that remain on my lips after the lippie fading OR taking it off, but it's not so much of a nuisance.. the color is so pretty applied, it doesn't even matter! I've had NO experience w/the microglitters in this lipstick being gritty. It's best described as a plummy/berry/wine/brown (more berry-wine than brown) w/a beautiful glossy sheen. It doesn't turn orangey or peachy at all. The lustre formula is moisturizing as always, although reapplication will probably be needed every few hours (as with all lustres). Overall, I love this..It would be in my Top 5 MAC lipsticks (and I've tried a ton!). Definitely try it if you can get your hands on it!
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner
afloresm13 12/3/2009 12:06:00 AM
I've finally found my HG eyeliner! For years I've been rotating MAC Powerpoint in Engraved (great pigmentation, but smudged easily), MAC Technakohl in Graphblack (stayed put a bit better, but still smudged a bit on waterline), & Revlon Colorstay automatic liner in black (pretty much the exact same as Graphblack, but harder--it tugged on my eyelids). THEN I tried Urban Decay's 24/7 liner.. I loved the smooth application, but it still smudged on my waterline. But while shopping at Ulta one day, I came across L'Oreal's newest eyeliner: a LIQUID eyeliner that is still a PENCIL. The concept intrigued me (plus the black & gold packaging was quite pretty) so I decided to give it a try. After using it for 2 weeks now, here's what I think: PROS: - Super smooth application (just as good - if not better - than Urban Decay's 24/7 texture) - Very easy on sensitive eyelids & waterlines. No tugging/irritation of the skin at all! - Very pigmented...lives up to it's name! - It sets fairly quickly, but not too quickly - you can still easily smudge it out immediately after application if you want. - Great for tightlining - (And this is the #1 reason why I love it) It Stays on my waterline for a full day without smudging! - And for only about $8, it's an amazing deal! Especially since L'Oreal has BOGO 50% off every so often.. makes it an even better deal then! CONS: - You have to sharpen it. ...and that's pretty much the only con! At such a low pricepoint & easily found at places like Ulta, Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc.. it's definitely worth a try!! It's definitely HG status for me, & I'm glad my hunt for my HG eyeliner is over!
I've always wanted to try peachy-coral lipsticks, but never did bc I knew they would turn orange on my pigmented lips. So for years, I've worn the same type of look.. i have a ton of MLBB brown-toned lipsticks! But I needed to try something new. SO I got Ravishing, but ONLY after I purchased MAC Lip Erase (Dim) to neutralize my pigmented lips! The lip erase worked beautifully with this lippie - it neutralized my lips so that I got the true color of Ravishing: a sheer, peachy-coral shade that looks great with my skintone. I did try Ravishing by itself without the lip erase--let's just say I'll NEVER wear this by itself--it turned bright neon orange right away. I would've given Ravishing a 5 if it didn't require an additional step for me to wear. But I highly recommend it anyway--if you have the same problem as me (pigmented lips that totally change the color of certain lippies), try it with a nude base like MAC lip erase :) (NC37 for reference)
Moisturizers -Aveeno - Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15
afloresm13 7/22/2009 2:59:00 AM
This is my HG moisturizer! I have dry, sensitive and tend to get reddish from time to time for no reason at all, and this moisturizer noticeably makes a difference. The key is to use it continuously (pretty much daily) for you to notice any differences. As a moisturizer, this is awesome. It gives just the right amount of moisture to my face, sinks in my skin easily with no greasy after-feel, and the scent doesn't make me nauseous after using it all the time! I could understand why people with oily skin would have issues with this though--it isn't the lightest of moisturizers, so I can see how it may end up feeling extra heavy to some, depending on their skin type. I'd recommend this for normal or dry skin--I'd definitely choose something more lightweight if I had very oily or even combination skin. This product delivers in what it says...moisturizes very well (for the whole day!), reduces redness in the face, and I also found that it can do double duty as an amazing makeup-remover with instant moisturizing afterward =)
Foundations -Sally Hansen - Airbrush Legs- tan glow
afloresm13 7/21/2009 9:04:00 PM
This has been the best self-tanner I've ever bought! I only used this on my legs (my legs are always SO much paler than the rest of my body & very hard to tan). It was easy to give myself an even coverage bc I was able to see where I put it (due to the pigmentation of the product) and blend it throughout my skin as needed. The color wasn't orangey on my pale legs (with yellowish undertones) and gave a nice, natural tan color. I wouldn't say it "glowed", the finish was more matte and pantyhose-like than shimmery. Actually, there was barely any shimmer, which is a good thing when you're trying look natural =) I had no problems with the spray spout clogging- I notice most of the reviews that complain about this are from years ago, & it seems as if Sally Hansen's company worked on that problem since then. Read the directions carefully - this is not to be sprayed directly on your legs/body! You're supposed to spray it IN YOUR HAND first then apply it on your body. Of course, it's also easier if you keep the spray can close to your hand when spraying (less messy). Coverage was also great! It covered up imperfections/slight bruises. I also have keratosis pilaris all over my body (those annoying little red permanent goosebumps) and they were also covered up well! That was a very pleasant surprise, since those red bumps are sometimes what keeps me from wearing shorts/skirts in the first place. Overall, great product for about $13, & it worked better for me than more expensive brands I've tried. This gives you an instant tan, no waiting, no fuss, no mess if you use it right. You can keep layering until you acheive your desired level of color. And it stays on your skin until you wash it off with warm soap and water. I'd definitely repurchase again!
Eye Shadow -MAC - Girlish Romp Mineral Eyeshadow Quad
afloresm13 7/21/2009 1:57:00 AM
I honestly don't think Girlish Romp is that bad! The colors are so cute together in this quad, which is what I think attracts people to buy it. I was hesitant to purchase this since I'm not much of a light-color eyeshadow kind of girl - I tend to go for darker tones. However, I thought this would be a good deal (4 colors for $19.50) and i absolutely LOVE the peach & lavender colors in this quad. It seems as if everyone's complaint is the poor pigmentation of this quad. But it IS a mineralize eyeshadow, & these types of shadows are very difficult to wear on its own; you pretty much HAVE to wear it with a primer or base to make it stick. So if you're trying to wear these colors (which are light to begin with) by itself, then it most definitely either won't show any pigmentation or will disappear within 10min of wearing it. I make sure to wear an eyeshadow primer/base (I use MAC Paint in Base Light with this-it really makes the colors pop) AND I also spray Fix+ on the brush before applying, AND I spray Fix+ again 1x over the final look to set it (a process, I know, but it works! and the color payoff after taking the time to do these steps makes it all worth it, IMO). I would agree that the colors could probably be duped, EXCEPT the peach and lavender. The white is more of a champagne color when applied (since its a white w/gold shimmer) so that could be duped by one of MAC's champagne-y colors. And MAC has so many pinks that the pink in this quad could probably be duped too, if you're willing to mix &/or layer a couple of colors. The lavender is unique though-it has an iridescence and sheen that no other MAC lavender/light purple has that I've seen. and the peach is just gorgeous! It's a true peach with just the right amount of glow and shimmer to it. Not too gold-ish, not too orange-ish like other peach-colored shadows--this is just PEACH! I wouldn't repurchase again only because MES last forever and like I said, I don't buy many light shadows. Overall, i think it's a pretty good product, & if you just take the time to play around with it a little to see what makes it work for you, then you will too =).
This blush is amazing! I almost didn't buy it bc I already had Cheeky Bronze MSF, and still wanted either Triple Fusion or Smooth Merge MSFs. I'm so glad I decided to buy Improvise though! At first, I thought it might be too similar to Cheeky Bronze (which I use as a blush). I went home and swatched them both on my arm--turns out they were pretty similar on my arm, and I got annoyed at the thought of having to exchange it the next day. BUT, I decided to try them both on at the same time as an experiment of sorts... Cheeky Bronze on one cheek, Improvise on the other. I CHANGED MY MIND-you can definitely see the difference once you wear it! Cheeky Bronze was more a more pigmented gold-bronze-peach--darker than Improvise, which was a sheer glowy peach. I immediately LOVED the effect Improvise had--it gave me a perfect glow and lit up my face when applied on the apples of my cheeks. Cheeky Bronze as somewhat of a natural contour below it makes the look even better! You can definitely use these two together since they're in the same color family, but they're different enough to own both! Another reason why I'm glad I purchased this over Smooth Merge & Triple fusion MSFs is because 1) Improvise isn't as glittery-it's more of a shimmer/glow, 2) Triple Fusion is more of a highlight color for me, which isn't as useful to me as a blush would be (especially since you don't even NEED a highlighter using Improvise!) and 3) Smooth Merge was a beautiful pink shimmer, but a bit too glittery and since my cheeks tend to turn pinking naturally, I didn't want my face to look TOO reddish if I got too warm or something. Just in case anyone's wondering, I'm a medium skin tone--haven't been color typed at MAC but I do use BE Mineral Foundation in Medium Tan :) I would definitely repurchase this again if I ever run out. This is perfect for a natural summer glow, and to give some light to your face during the fall/winter. It's also a versatile color that could be mixed/matched with various other blushes to create your own unique look. Again, it's not as pigmented so it won't give you the "I obviously put on blush today" look. It goes on more sheer. However, if you want it more pigmented, I'd recommend either 1) spraying your brush with Fix+ OR 2) putting on a nude cream colour base before applying it.
I love OPI polishes, so I was very disappointed when I tried their top coat. I too received this free (w/$17 or more OPI purchase at Ulta) and im so glad I didn't spend any money on it! First of all, it takes forever to dry =( Second, my nailpolish chipped after 2 days (which it never did with my usual topcoat). Then I decided to conduct a little experiment: I used 2 coats of polish, and on my left hand I put my usual Sally Hansen Salon 10day top coat, on my right I used OPI topcoat. The VERY NEXT DAY, I could already tell the difference: my Sally Hansen side kept my color shiny & vibrant, while my OPI side was completely flat & dull. To make sure I wasn't seeing things, I asked my husband (who is a typical guy that knows nothing about nails) if he noticed any difference between my two hands. He said, 'Yup, I see on one hand you kept it shiny and the other one is matte.' Needless to say, that was my dealbreaker. Never going to repurchase this again.
I love love love this lipstick! Don't let the deep dark color in the tube fool you - this is a lustre formula which goes on very sheer. The color applied on my lips is a gorgeous raspberry/wine stain with the right amount of beautiful, subtle shimmer - its not over-dramatic yet is definitely wearable on a night out. This is the only lipstick that drew me in from the Colour craft collection - not as popular as the others but is so worth a try! I would never have bought it if I didn't take the time to try it on. I'd repurchase this color again for sure :)
Lipstick -MAC - Lustre - Honeyflower [DISCONTINUED]
afloresm13 7/15/2009 7:10:00 PM
I absolutely love Honeyflower - it's my everyday lipstick, definitely the lippie I reach for the most. I usually go for neutrals/nudes/soft browns, and this gives my not very pigmented lips a sheer honey-caramel color with gorgeous shimmer in the light. Natural enough to wear everyday, but gives my lips that sexy oomph that I'd never otherwise get! The formula is smooth & moisturizing (although if ur lips get dry easily like mine, after a couple hours of wear, some lip balm will definitley help). Overall, Honeyflower is my favorite natural looking lipstick from MAC, I know I'll be buying it again when I run out :)