Brows -FLOWER Beauty - Raise Some Brows Defining Brow Pencil - Blonde
amstoica 2/8/2013 7:32:00 PM
I was hoping to really like this brow pencil because I have yet to find a brow pencil I like from the drugstore. Sadly, I not only didn't like it but I REALLY didn't like it. I have very blonde hair, have a cooler skin tone, and usually go for an ashy taupe when it comes to brow pencils. I picked up this product in the color "blonde" and the color is wrong wrong wrong for me. It has a lot of red which is not common in a "blonde" pencil. I was afraid of getting the "brown" shade because I thought it may have red in it so I opted for blonde and much to my chagrin, it was the blonde that was way too warm for my liking. I also didn't like how it applied, I felt it came off too waxy and definitely didn't apply smoothly over the portion of my brows that don't have much hair. It was a mess. I would have also preferred a finer tip that can mimic real brow hairs but this product does not offer that either. The only thing I liked was that it is retractable but that doesn't make up for the three big CON's of this pencil: the color, the application, and the texture. I will just keep shelling out the extra dollars for Lancome Taupe brow pencil because the extra cost is worth getting a good looking brow. So... the moral of the story is that if you prefer ashy-toned colors in a brow pencil, pass this one on by. If you do like warm tones and your hair is blonde or light brown and your brows are already pretty full and nice, you may think this product fits the bill. Disappointed overall but I'm happy with some of the other products in the Flower line- so not a total loss!
I was so excited to finally try this liner that I've heard so much about. Sadly, it just doesn't look as good on me as I would have predicted. First, allow me to say I love Chanel liners and think the quality is amazing. Second, this is not really "nude" but more like a bronzey-mauve. The color is beautiful but I can't make it work no matter what lipstick I try. It isn't as though it is the wrong color for my skin tone, its just that I don't think it looks good on me which is just personal preference and nothing against the product.My HG nude is Chanel Natural liner which is more of your brown toned nude and I guess I was expecting to love this one just as much. Fun fact, Wet N' Wild makes a lip liner called Brandywine #666 that has been a cult fave for YEARS for like a dollar and it is a great dupe for Chanel nude, at least as far as the color goes. Quality and staying power of this liner is no different than other Chanel liners, impeccable. And I love that you get a sharpener, big bonus.Something else super important to me, Chanel liners sharpen very nicely. I do find the nude shade to apply a tad creamier than other Chanel shades. Overall, this is a pretty shade although it is not nude that will work on all skin tones. Although it didn't work for me, I would recommend you try it if you are looking for a bronzy-mauve and you want a high quality liner.
This is by far my favorite mineral powder foundation. If you are looking for a mineral powder that will give you a glow, this is the one for you. My skin is normal/dry and so I can use the glowy sheen it gives me but if you have oily skin, you may not like this because as the day wears on it may start to look on the greasy side. What is different about the LM versus Bare Minerals and most other mineral powders is that it contains Pearl Powder which is what is mainly responsible for the sheen it gives to the face. I think it makes all the difference because with products like Bare Minerals, my face appeared dry throughout the day and that is the opposite of what I want. I am MAC NW 25 for reference and in the LM, I wear the Natural Beige. This shade is more of a neutral undertone for light to light/medium skin tones. If you are light to light/medium range there is a good color selection. I wear this on its own and I also wear it over BB Creams or light coverage foundations. I like it both ways but for more coverage, I prefer it over another foundation. This product is perfect to throw over a foundation that maybe doesn't give you that glow you want or you can dust it lightly on the areas of the face that you do want the glow. Gorgeous creamy texture that appears very shimmery when swatched but transfers to the skin in a much more natural way... so don't be too alarmed if you swatch it and think it looks way too shimmery. Staying power is decent and in line with all the other mineral foundations I've used.. I like to wear the Korres Silicone Free primer underneath, I find that it glides on so easily over a primer. I will say that in araes I need more coverage like a blemish, I will put on a concealer and set it w/ a normal powder because I don't like to dab mineral powder on spots, its meant to be thinned out and not just caked on to a spot unless you do some good blending around the blemish. Oh, and it lasts forever!! So it is worth the $36- you get more in the container than most mineral powders so if you compare price and quantity, its really not that much pricier. Overall, great for normal to dry skin.. oily skin I would stay away. If you are looking for matte finish... keep looking!
BB Cream -Garnier - BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector - Light/Medium
amstoica 1/17/2013 10:19:00 PM
There are some important things to keep in mind when buying this BB cream. I think it works best with dry skin and possibly normal but most likely it will be way to greasy looking for oily or combo skin. I happen to be on the dry/normal side so I like the dewy finish it leaves. Second, if you are looking for a lot of coverage then a BB cream in general is not for you because the American BB creams are more like glorified tinted moisturizers. If you have never tried a BB cream and you try something like this and you don't like it, I wouldn't make any assumptions that all BB creams are like this. A traditional BB cream such as what you get with the Asian brands are different than the ones produced now in the US. What I like about this Garner product is the way it applies so smoothly and a little goes a LONG way. I am light/medium MAC NW25 for reference but I can use the medium/dark in this product as well because it kind of blends into my skin throughout the day and both shades look pretty natural on me. It has a clean and pleasant smell, nothing too offensive or anything. I like to use it as a base before I apply mineral foundation or airbrush makeup. I also like that it has SPF15. The price is around $12 or $13 which is pretty good for how much product you get and how long it lasts. Best of all, it doesn't break me out. I can't use products with silicone which eliminates just about every liquid face product on the market so I am so happy to be able to use something that I like that won't break me out! Overall, stay away if you are oily or combo. Even normal skin may think its too greasy but if you're dry and you don't expect miracles from a BB cream, give this a try. Some people love it and some hate it, but you should go by your own experience.
Lipstick -Yves Saint Laurent - Rouge Pur Couture No.24 Blond Ingenu
amstoica 1/5/2013 4:19:00 PM
I'm surprised there are not more reviews for this. Let me preface this by saying I had decided about 3 years ago that I did not like YSL lipsticks. However, when I saw a swatch of No. 24 Blond Ingenu, I decided to give it another go. I much prefer the Rouge Pur Couture over the Rouge Volupte as I find them less greasy and longer lasting. And Blond Ingenu No. 24 is hands down my favorite lipstick. Color/Finish: For reference, I am a MAC NW25, light/med skin tone with cool to neutral undertones. This shade shows up as a salmon toned nude on me which is a peachy/pink. I hesitate to call it a frost finish but it is by no means matte. Rather, it has an iridescence to it that makes it so beautiful and unique. For lack of a better way to put it, it is kind of like a highlighter for the lips, if that makes any sense! Even if you don't particularly care for it on its own, its gorgeous when dabbed over another nude or used in the center of the lip. Shade Comparison/Lasting Power/Smell: If you like MAC Pure Zen lipstick, this shade is somewhat similar only with a completely different finish. This is not a concealer nude shade like MAC Myth or Fleshpot, as it does have more of a peachy tone like Pure Zen. This is also a fragrant lipstick but not enough to turn me off, just a bit of a sweet fragrance that is also referred to as the "expensive" smell. I love it paired with either Chanel Natural lip liner or Boots No. 7 #20 Nude. Both of these shades are more of a brown-toned nude and really give the lips more dimension when worn with this lipstick. I would say a lip liner is a must with this lipstick just because the texture of the Rouge Pur Couture is rather thin and lasts much longer and has more depth when paired with a liner. Beautiful packaging as always with YSL, but it does gather finger prints quite easily. Also, rather expensive and retails for $34USD. Overall, this is a must have HG for me and I will repurchase again!
Concealers -L'Oreal - True Match Super Blendable Crayon Concealer
amstoica 12/30/2012 11:05:00 AM
I generally like stick concealers but I was especially interested in this one because it looks like a giant crayon. I chose the fair/light shade which is really light. For reference, I am MAC NW25. I prefer a lighter concealer for under eye area but this one is almost too light even for that. I can make it work but its way too light for spot concealing. Let's go over the pro's and con's. Pro's: I like the packaging and twist-up mechanism. Yes, the point of the top can wear down with use but if you lay the crayon slightly on its side to apply it, you can still get the precision of the point but without wearing down the point. It's creamy and easy to blend. For me personally, I didn't notice it accentuated any fine lines when I wore it under the eye. It's very easy to use and it allows for precise application on acne, dark spots, etc. Con's: It's not really a full coverage concealer. I would say medium coverage and to get medium coverage, you may need a couple of layers. Works better for under the eye concealing than spot concealing because it doesn't give the coverage that I prefer when covering blemishes and discoloration. You may need to pick up two colors, one for under eye and one for spot concealing if you prefer a lighter under eye area. Would I purchase again? Probably not. But I think its a good concealer and really easy to use and throw in your purse without having to bring along a brush to apply it with. I also like the texture very much and the blendability. Main drawback is that its not enough coverage for harder to conceal areas. That being said, I will continue to use it for under eye area concealing.
I was very excited to see this product in ULTA because I can't use 99% of foundations because of the silicone ingredient. Juice Beauty had no silicone in their foundation which is a rare find in a liquid foundation. I immediately snatched it up in the lightest shade. The shade selection is minimal in that there are only three shades. The ivory shade I picked up is a good shade for neutral or cool toned girls. For reference I'm MAC NW25. So this product is certified organic and includes lots of different plant oils and such. I had read somewhere that if you're not used to these ingredients, you may break out. And they were right. But I won't skip ahead. The application is fine, nothing special but leaves a very sticky finish. I would say it dries to a not too matte not too dewy finish. I would say this foundation is good for normal to normal to dry skin. The application and finish didn't bother me so much as the four huge zits along my jawline after two times wearing it. Ugh, I was so disappointed. And $35 is a big price to pay for four big bumps underneath my skin that took forever to go away. So I returned it to ULTA and will be more careful to assume that I won't break out just because the foundation doesn't have silicone in it. For those that don't have weird sensitivities, it would be a decent foundation, medium coverage, not too heavy feeling. But the downside would be the lack of shade selection. If you're really fair or fair with warm tones, there will be nothing for you here. If you are medium or light-medium with cool undertones, there is nothing for you because their medium is very yellow-toned and rather dark for a medium. I can't speak for the darkest shade because there was no reason for me to try that one. And one last con, it doesn't buff in that easily, once its on there you have to work quick! I found that stippling worked the best. All in all, there are much better foundations out there.
Self Tanners -SUN Laboratories - Dark Sunsation Lotion
amstoica 8/30/2011 7:42:00 PM
I would buy this again but not at the $50 Ulta price I paid for it when I've seen it elsewhere for half the price! Makes me kinda sick that I paid that much for it. I got the darkest one, whichever of the Sunsation line that is. I have to say that I absolutely love the color that it gives, a deep golden brown that isn't orange. Its the best color from a self tanner that I have tried. Granted, I haven't tried all of the high-end ones yet. And it wears pretty well on the body until it fades and when it fades, it does so in a natural looking manner. Now for the con's. 1. It may smell like cherry almond (kind of like the Jergens original scent) but that disappears by morning and then its just a typical self tanner smell. Nice attempt at a cover-up but believe me, you will smell that self tanner after a few hours or so. 2. The application doesn't go on as smooth as I would like. I've tried it both with and without a separate moisturizer and get the same results. Either the tanner balls up and leaves streaks and extra dark residue in certain places or it just doesn't blend well. I have applied it with a dense Kabuki style brush for delicate areas like hands, feet, neck and it doesn't make a difference in eliminating the tanner clinging to spots and making it look totally unnatural. I will say it applies well on the face and neck, chest area without giving me a mess. 3. You have to wash your hands throughout the process, or wear gloves, but don't wait until you are done to wash your hands if you don't have gloves on. It stains very quickly! 4. If I wear it on my face, very rarely do I do this unless I'm going somewhere special, it will leave one or two zits in its path. If you have breakout prone skin, don't use it on your face. Overall, great color, but messy and application needs work, maybe a mitt would help? Can't they make a self tanner that doesn't smell, doesn't transfer, and blends seamlessly? Still trying to find it! if you know of one, send me a message!
Eyeliner -Laura Geller - I-Care Waterproof Eyeliner
amstoica 8/10/2011 7:05:00 PM
Having seen Laura's presentation on QVC for the I-Care Waterproof eyeliner, I was very excited to try this one out. I love the twist up liners for the fact that I don't have to mess with sharpening or over-sharpening and the possibility of getting those rigid edges. That's the only thing I am sad to say that I ended up liking about the product. For one, I purchased it in Cafe Mocha which is a lovely dark brown. It applies very nicely, no tugging involved. But it isn't the least bit waterproof. Not that I went swimming with it on, but it didn't even last the day before it transferred onto my upper eye area. It seemed to simply fade away to almost nothing. It was like it evaporated or something! The color got lighter after not even an hour after I applied it. Its not that it really left much of a mess in the way of smudging under the eye, it really just seemed to vanish into thin air! I don't need something to be waterproof. I just want something that applies smoothly and stays put! And by the way, I used two different eye primers before applying this liner each time. I applied it over Smashbox lid primer the first day and then tried the Laura Geller Eye Spackle the second day. Same results :( This one is going back unfortunately.
Lipstick -Nuance by Salma Hayek - Lipstick Shimmering Nude
amstoica 7/27/2011 4:09:00 PM
I was surprised to see Salma Hayek had a makeup line in CVS. And there were no prices on anything so that worried me! I am a nude lip junkie so I picked up the Shimmering Nude lipstick to give it a try. It was around $10 which is too much for an average lipstick. The texture is smooth but too thin for my liking. I prefer creamy textures because they last longer. There is no offensive odor or anything wrong with the lipstick persay, it just didn't wow me. The color is pretty, a peachy shade with subtle frost. It is actually prettier swatched on my hand then on my lips but still pretty nonetheless. If you are looking for a different kind of nude at the drugstore, I supposed the subtle shimmer is what may set this one apart. It is a warmer toned nude so plenty of skin tones can pull it off. Given that I don't like the thin and slippery texture, I probably wouldn't purchase another lipstick but I may try another product in the line. I just don't see this Nuance line doing very well. Wet and Wild is a third of the price and although their packaging blows, the quality is better. Of all the drugstore lipsticks I've tried: L'Oreal, Revlon, Rimmel, WnW, NYC, Cover Girl, Maybelline, the Salma Hayek Nuance would not rank in the top. For $5 more, you can go to MAC!
I have always used lotion style self-tanners and found them so tedious to apply and absolutely hated the greasy feeling skin and waiting to be able to get dressed. I didn't have the highest hopes for the Tan Towel but I had seen it many times on HSN and thought, why not. I have to say, I really like them. I really appreciate the "towel" application concept because its just easier and covers more ground quicker because you don't have to sit there and get a hand cramp with all of the rubbing in you have to do with a lotion-style tanner. It gives a very natural looking bronzed tan to my skin. I know others have experienced orange-ness but I haven't and I think that some things just don't work with an individual's skin chemistry the way it may work for others. I will say to make sure you exfoliate your body and pre-moisturize so that the tanning solution doesn't cling to your dry spots in an unattractive way. I usually start the towel at my legs because that is where I want to have the most product be dispersed. By the time I get to my chest and face, the towel is only semi-moist which is fine for me because I don't want to over-do the face area! I'm a slim girl and one full towel is just enough. i know others say that they can do their whole body with the half-body towel but I don't see how that is possible unless they are the size of a child. Forgot to mention, the kind I love are the Full-Body Plus, the ones that are for a darker tan. SO pricey at Ulta @ $29 for 5 of the Full-Body Plus towels.. would def recommend getting them either from HSN or Ebay! Will repurchase!
Treatments -Paula's Choice - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
amstoica 7/19/2011 5:21:00 PM
This is my first PC product, and my first 2% BHA product. I have used plenty of AHA products like Glycolic Acid which seems to have the opposite effect of what I'm looking for when it increases my break-outs. I seem to do better with a BHA because I have a few clogged pores and whiteheads. I actually don't know the difference so I am not sure which one of those categories I have! All I know is I have a very frustrated little cluster of about 4 either clogged pores, whiteheads, or acne cysts. They don't ever come to the surface, just remain little bumps on my cheek in the same little cluster together. I have tried for months using Glycolic Peels, Retinol product after Retinol product, Pro-Active, topical SA treatments and those suckers won't budge. I've heard rave reviews about the PC 2% BHA and was told that the liquid has the ability to penetrate further into the pores so this would be my best option. I have to admit I wasn't expecting the product to be like it is. I was thinking it was more of a thin water like substance like a toner would be. Its thicker than that yet not a lotion but it feels like a thin lotion when its applied. I do use more than a dime size because it seems to penetrate through the cotton ball and kind of dry up. I just use my fingers to apply it to mostly my problem areas. I don't apply it to areas where I don't have a problem because I have sensitive skin and don't want to have any irritations. It has a shiny appearance but that goes away when you apply your other products or makeup. I may be seeing things but it kind of looks like it firms things up with its tightening effect. I was sure it would be a drying substance but it hasn't made my skin dry at all which I'm just shocked by! It actually leaves my skin smooth to the point where I can let it sink in for about 10 mins without my skin screaming for my moisturizer. Usually when I use an acne product, my skin tightens and feels soo dry immediately! So that is a definite bonus. The first night I used it I actually saw a difference in the way that my little bumps got smaller and less noticeable. So far so good, I will update with further results..
This is by far my least favorite lipstick that I have ever purchased. I purchased this lipstick back when it came out in 08' I think? Don't quote me. I don't recall what I thought of it back then because had I remembered what I thought of it, I wouldn't have recently purchased it again. I love nude lipsticks but this one is an embarrassment to nude lipsticks. First, it clings like crazy to lip imperfections. It applies unevenly by caking up in some parts and going on very thinly in other parts of the lip. If you put on a second coat, the color from the first coat gets dragged around and the whole things just looks like an unpolished mess. The formula is a disgrace, its not creamy or smooth in the slightest but yet its not your typical opaque and slightly drying matte either. The formula seems totally unfinished like someone forgot to add a crucial ingredient when they were mixing things up during the creation process. I'm glad I only shelled out less than $5 for this at Wal Mart but even that was too much to spend on this low quality junk. I've seen much much better quality from Wet and Wild with their matte long-lasting lipsticks and will stick to those when I want a drugstore matte. Thank goodness that Revlon redeems itself in other lipstick lines of theirs like the Colorburst and Super Lustrous because the Matte Nude Attitude is a disaster.
Lipstick -Bobbi Brown - Rich Lip Color SPF 12 - Bare Pink
amstoica 7/19/2011 4:34:00 PM
The Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color SPF 12 lipsticks are really great. They are very nicely pigmented, good staying power, and wonderful smooth texture. They are creamy without being too greasy or slippery and they are pigmented without being drying. They aren't matte but they aren't a shiny finish either. They provide nice hydration and a subtle sheen so that you can opt out of wearing a lip gloss if you want. Bare Pink is a shade after my own heart. I always gravitate towards the nudey-pinks. I find that I buy the same shade of lipstick over and over, not the same brand but rather, the same shade in various brands. Bare Pink is very similar to Hourglass "Grace" if you are familiar. They are about one shade off from one another and if you haven't used Grace, you are missing out by the way! But the BB lipstick is about $10 cheaper! There is no fragrance to the BB lipstick and I do prefer some kind of fragrance but she definitely makes up for it with the SPF 12! Love that! I wish all lipsticks had an SPF like these BB's. Back to the shade, its a nude-pink on my decently pigmented lips. I would say that Bare Pink is a warmer nude than something like MAC Myth or Creme d' Nude for sure. Bare Pink is much more versatile as far as which skin tones could pull it off. I think almost anyone could actually, it isn't a "concealer" looking nude at all and I don't think it would wash anyone out regardless of the darkness of skin. I think its a perfect nude for everyone. Would love to try more of these lipsticks, very high quality and amazing performance!
I knew I would love this stuff when I saw the demo of it on QVC and I absolutely do love it now that I've tried it! First, you can't buy it on its own which sucks, its only avail in the Glow Your Way to Gorgeous kit on QVC.. but I bought mine on Ebay for around $23. Which is an amazing price because you get .42 oz! My Hourglass stick concealer which was $32 only has like .12 oz or something ridiculous like that. The Maracuja Oil infused into the Tarte concealer is what makes it apply under the eyes like a dream.. so smooth and easy to blend while giving it a beautiful sheen that looks kind of like a highlight. It wears very nicely throughout the day under the eyes too, it never gets cakey or dry looking like some of my other concealers.. You just need the tiniest bit for under the eyes and it really provides a lot of coverage! Its the nicest consistency too, gorgeous glowy full coverage concealer! Yet you can still use it for spot concealing and its not like it looks too dewy to use for that because I have and its fine! Its great for under the eyes especially but I'm leery to use on acne because of the oil in the concealer, not sure if it is pore-clogging or not. I haven't broken out with the concealer though, so it may be fine! I wish the concealer was more accessible but I'm sure buying it through Ebay is cheaper anyway. HG concealer for sure!!! And if you do want to get the QVC kit, its an amazing value with some awesome full size products, including this concealer that you get nearly half an ounce of! Unheard of! At least for me! GREAT A++++ product!