I am always looking for a new foundation, though I have tried several that I really like. Stromboli was a good match For my medium (MAC NC 25) skin. The foundation is thicker than many other sheer finish foundations I have tried. Fingers are the best application tool for this product; a sponge would soak up too much, and a brush would give a streaky finish. I have heard complaints that the foundation needs work to blend well on the skin. If you do find this to be the case, I would recommend using a water-based primer. I personally have not experienced problems with this foundation streaking on my skin. I did think it was a bit too yellow when I first dabbed it onto my skin, but it blends in well and doesn't feel heavy on the skin. It gives a matte finish to the skin, but I top it off with powder for added insurance. I do think it is relatively long-wearing (6-8 hours) after which I start seeing some shine on my forehead. A bit pricey, but I like how it evens out my skin without looking like foundation.
When I first bought the high definition foundation from Smashbox, I thought I had my HG foundation: It was lightweight, melted onto the skin like butter and covered well. But after a while I noticed that the HD foundation seemed to breakdown on my face within a few hours, leaving splotchy and shiny patches on my skin. So I kept looking for a foundation that would stay. So I found the Bobbi Brown Skin foundation. It is a bit on the expensive side, but I think it is money well spent. I have it in 3.5 and 4, since my skin tans a bit in the summer. I find that this foundation goes on smoothly and covers any unevenness. Anything that requires more coverage can be zapped by the Bobbi Brown face stick- which is a different review, but can I say I love it? Skin foundation is very moisturizing, and I have very, very dry skin which tends to be eczema-prone in the winter. I used to break out with the Smashbox foundation, but a few minutes after I apply and powder over the skin foundation, it seems to perfect my skin without looking like foundation. I get a lot of compliments on my skin when I wear this (as I used to when I used the now-discontinued Fusion beauty healthy skin foundation). For the record, though, I should say that it is quite sheer. It is buildable, but I would not recommend slathering it on. Its beauty lies in being able to form a thin film over your skin. It is not full coverage. But if my skin is experiencing breakouts (rare) or discoloration (very common), I use the face stick to take care of those. A dusting of powder, and the war-paint lasts through the day. :-) I have been using this product for more than a month and yes, I would certainly buy this again.
I bought this with Pink Treat lip liner and Creme Anglaise lipgloss from the same collection to wear together. I have tried it with and without the liner and gloss and I have loved the results each time. The color is a pinky brown, but comes off more pink on my skin than brown. Subtle, glossy color that looks great with darker eyes. I really like this. And, of course, the formulation is a winner too. It goes on smooth, wears well, and does not dry out the lips, which is a bonus in this weather. It comes housed in the typical MAC bullet, priced same as the other lip colors in this line.
Lip Gloss -MAC - Cremesheen Gloss in Creme Anglaise
akkk 2/6/2009 11:32:00 PM
The new creamsheen formula is a bit creamier and less sticky than the dazzleglassses, which I like. This shade is brighter in the tube than on the lips. It is quite sheer, but has enough pigment to tint my lips a nice shiny pink. Overall, I am impressed by the texture of both the creamsheen lipsticks and glosses. edit: these also seem to have more staying power than the typical lipglass or dazzleglass... yay!! The first lipgloss that I have wanted to repurchase in a looong time...
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skin Finish Natural - Medium Plus
akkk 1/30/2009 11:45:00 PM
The texture feels a little coarse at first when swiped with a finger, but the product seems to glide on with a few light taps of a brush. The MA at the counter I bought this from suggested using a light dusting of the product rather than buffing it in. This has seemed to work IMO-- I have been using this for the last 4+ months and I have had no breakouts from using this. For the record, I have rather temperamental skin. The skinfinish does seem to cake more when used as a setting powder over foundation, but this can be fixed with some fix+ spray stippled on with a skunk brush. Used by itself over primer or moisturizer, this powder provides a satin finish with sheer coverage. Color choices are good, though I started with a medium plus in the summer/fall and had to go back for another compact in medium when my summer tan started to fade. But I should have expected this. These are not very cheap, but for skins that need little coverage, the skinfinish is a good finishing option, since it seems to do what its name promises. The compact is quite solid and I have not had trouble taking this to work with me. I took it on a rather long trip last year as well and did not have trouble with the product crumbling. But that was just my experience, and yours might differ. A brush is a must for using this powder. That, and the powdery-ness over liquid or cream foundations is the only reason I am giving this four out of five lippies...
Lipstick -MAC - B-Babe (Brunette Blonde Redhead collection)
akkk 1/13/2009 10:31:00 PM
This is a lovely frosty pink for my cool-medium skin. It matches the natural color of my lips, but makes them a nice uniform pink. This might be too frosty for some folks, but I like frosty lipsticks. This might be drying, but can be worn with a gloss for less frost, more moisture. This is great for use with darker eye looks, so I might buy a backup. For comparison, this is similar to BB raspberry shimmer, but bit lighter and frostier.
Eye Shadow -MAC - French Cuff (Brunette Blonde Redhead)
akkk 1/13/2009 10:26:00 PM
I know, I know, the shadow is a horrid frost. But the color is quite pretty. It has been compared to expensive pink, but EP is warmer to my eye with a touch more copper and gold to it (I have both EP and FC). One way to get maximum color payoff is to use a flat shader brush moistened with a few spritzes of fix+ spray. The result is a foiled, glistening peachy pink that looks great with an emerald or navy liner. I do wish the texture was nicer, but it works better with the spray if you are looking for a more intense application and less fallout. No repurchase, but I know I will use this. edit: sorry folks! This is a lustre formula, not frost as I noted in the review.
LE unfortunately, but a lovely, shimmery reddish/pink color. I really like this with the b-babe lipstick from the same collection, but it would work on its own as well. This was a part of the blonde collection, but it was pigmented enough to work with my medium skin. It is a very nice, rosy hue-- cool for winter and for summer too.
Blush -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish in Redhead Degradé
akkk 1/13/2009 10:15:00 PM
I don't expect to run out of this soon, but I really like the new MSFs. This is comes out as a sheer peachy sheen on medium skins, making this a lovely highlight. Another thing that I like about these: both the brunette and redhead msfs are somewhat warm-hued, but they work just fine with the cooler undertones of my skin. Like the stripes, hate the price. But shouldering it with a sigh nevertheless :-)
Blush -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish in Brunette Degradé (Brunette Blonde Redhead)
akkk 1/13/2009 10:10:00 PM
I really like this product. It is a warm-toned bronze/brown shimmer that works well when used with a fan brush. I don't normally use such shades, but this seems to complement my skin tone rather well. It is true that there is not much difference in the four shades in the pan, but... Rather han swirling the colors together, which would result in a color too dark to use as blush, I firmly tap my fan brush horizontally across the stripes, picking up a bit of each shade. I then position the brush so that the lightest shade is at he top. Then I sweep the brush across my cheek in one smooth motion. This way I get a nice highlight and contour in just the right places. I do need some additional highlight, but this is as dark as I can go with medium skin. I am sure this would be too dark for fairer ladies unless used with a light hand. The texture is silky and the shimmer blends well. This is not like the MSFs MAC released last year. I have Soft and Gentle, and Petticoat, and both leave notable specks on my skin-- not quite glitter, but not shimmer either. These (I bought the Brunette and Redhead MSFs) apply smoothly and have a nice sheen. The shades in the pan can be used for highlighting the eyes as well, which makes this a multitasker. MAC is becoming increasingly expensive-- my haul hurt my wallet-- but if the quality continues to improves, these products will last a long time.
Moisturizers -L'Occitane - Shea Butter Ultra Rich Face Cream
akkk 11/30/2008 11:14:00 PM
I suffer from very dry skin, so I thought this would be a good product to keep my skin looking soft. As far as keeping skin moisturized is concerned, this does a very nice job. Too nice, perhaps. Because I almost always get stuck with a too-shiny face. Highly recommended for night use (but sparingly). Not recommended for use under makeup, unless you have very very dry skin. Does it nurture and nourish the skin? Frankly I have had more luck with other products from the same line. So this cream will work if you have nothing else on hand. But I am quite sure I will not repurchase this.
Eye Shadow -MAC - Mineralize Eye Shadow Trio in Threesome
akkk 11/16/2008 2:29:00 PM
Oh the sorrow: this is Limited Edition! I fell in love with the vibrant pink in this trio and brought it home only to realize that the pink swatch was the thinnest strip in the palette. So ladies, make sure to check your palettes before you buy. BUT, but, but, the plum side is a gorgeous crease shade with a more neutral/taupy shadow on the lid, so I am happy with that. This shadow is powdery, so you will need a stiff, dense brush. The MAC counter I bought this from had a few brushes up in the display along with these. I would ask the MA what brush to use, but a fluffy, light brush will not work, I guarantee that. The trick with these (and other) mineralize shadows is to pack on the color AND use a good base like UD Primer potion, MAC paints, or MAC paintpots. Otherwise these shadows wont stick and end up all over your face instead of your eyes. The pink in this compact is a vibrant color. Used dry this is a lovely lid color. Used wet, well use your imagination ladies and think Flamin' Flamingo! The burgundy color has hints of shimmer (as does the pink), and is deep enough to be used as a crease color. Used dry, it is sheer enough for a wash. Used wet, it can be used as a liner to make blue eyes POP. Works well with brown eyes too, adding mystique and drama without looking Over the Top. I only have a minor issue with the copper glittery stripe. This does need to be used wet without a doubt. Otherwise you will end up with glitter on your cheeks and a speck or two of the sparkle on your eye. But used with Fix spray or eye liner sealer of your choice, this copper color transforms into this beautiful shimmery shade that looks great on top of the other colors in this palette or in the inner corner of the eye. It is a bit strong so I would not use it to highlight the brow bone. Love this palette and would definitely repurchase if the product were not LE.
The product label reads 'long last soft shine'. I am not sure what is long lasting- the shine or the product, because the product wears off rather fast. The shine, of course, goes with it. Confusing. I do like the color, though. It is, as other reviewers have described, a nice rosy color in the tube. It has a sheen to it, which is probably what 'shine' was meant to signify. The sheen, to my eye, looks somewhat silvery, so I would put this lipstick on the cooler side of the color spectrum. It tends to look more mauve than rose on my lips after 15 to 20 minutes of wear. I also agree with a previous reviewer that this lipstick goes on feeling heavy, then 'settles' or 'relaxes'. The color changes with this, for sure. I don't find this too bothersome, because I like both the rosy and the mauve shades. Plus, this was part of a GWP, so when it changes color or me, or when the texture feels odd, I can hear my grandma's voice echoing in my mind: 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth'. This product is far from being a horse, but though I don't love it, it still ends up sneaking back into my daily-wear stash of makeup. Go figure! There's something about a freebie that I find so endearing... Would I repurchase? No. I would have been one unhappy consumer if I had paid for this product. I have found BB and Prescriptives to be better brands for colors like this. The BB lipstick in Raspberry is very close to this shade, is more comfortable to wear and looks more sophisticated IMO. Clinique makes lovely color surge lipsticks, but this product was a miss for me.
Lipstick -Prescriptives - Lipstick- Rose Mystique 06
akkk 11/14/2008 7:20:00 PM
Leaving the knights of the round table far behind (after all, they don't understand makeup), a sole standard bearer of the quest to find the HG MLBB lip color scours the department store. She sees the Prescriptives counter-- a little hamlet she has passed before in her never-ending quest. Could this little place actually house the HG MLBB lip color? Could there be truth behind the color-matching hype? hmm.... She summons the SA who brings forth her testing equipment, swatching different base shades on our heroine's face to determine what her skin tone is. Cool, she says, and vanishes behind her gew gaws and equipment. A few thumps, a few flashes of green and blue... and she emerges, as Merlin must have emerged from his battles... with a selection of lipsticks (poor Merlin) She presents Rose Mystique lipstick with a little bow. Our heroine imperiously picks up the offered color and applies it to her lips. The stars, sun and the moon crash together, the skies rumble with thunder and lightning flashes before the sun comes out in a fair blue sky. It is the Holy Grail!!!! I would like to say that the lady returned to Camelot with her find and the kingdom rejoiced. Everyone lived happily ever after. But the truth is that she merely returned home with her prize in hand, a very happy maid indeed. For this lipstick hath a smooth texture, is moderately moisturizing, very very very long wearing (leaves a stain when the waxy part has worn off), and works well with MAC sublime culture lipliner. It is a rosy shade with some warm brown undertones, no shimmer or glitter. Very creamy consistency. The packaging looks somewhat smaller than other lip products, but the amount of product is comparable to that found in regular lipstick tubes. So no problems there. Now. To find the perfect weapon to slay the foul dragon... Or a brave knight, perhaps?
I first came across this lip product during a long flight, when the woman in the seat next to me whipped out a pot of glorious red color and a lip brush. The color looked fantastic on her dark complexion, and I kept an eagle eye out for a product name. Aha! Laura Mercier. There and then, thousands of miles up in the air, I made plans to visit Sephora as soon as I could, rubbing my hands together with glee... oops! Need more lotion! Those flights really dry up the skin like nothing else. Anyhoo. Fast forward to 24 hours later. I am at sephora in front of the LM display with two or three pots in my hand, trying to decide what color would work best on me. Decided on Mulberry. Ordered it online (to avail of the traincase offer). Got the product in the mail. RIPPED apart the packaging. And finally tried it on. Oh heavens! What perfect color for women of medium and darker skin tones! It is a muted berry. Looks brighter in the pot. Applies very smoothly. You only need a little product to get sufficient color payoff. I was afraid this might be too bright on my lips-- I never try store testers on my lips, you see, only on the back of my hand. So I was happy to see that this color suited my face as much as it had appealed to my eye in the store. This product is different from other stains, like the Stainiac, Benetint or Lorac liptints. It is creamy, smooth and pigmented. Somewhere between a lipstick and a stain. Not watery or gel-like at all. Loads well on a lip brush, or if you want to stick your finger into the pot, that works too. Would not advise that though, since there is a lot of product in the pot and you wouldn't want to risk getting that germy with one ill-judged poke of the finger. If you like stronger and longer lasting color, I would advise a lip liner underneath this product, though it doesn't really need it. It give me a semi matt finish with a lip brush so you can, if you like, top this with gloss. Of course this reduces the staining properties of the product, but the color is so lovely I am not complaining. Would I repurchase? Yes! If I ever run out of this product. I do have my eye on other colors, though.