Sunscreen -Neutrogena - Clear Face Sunblock Lotion SPF 55
angellbing 7/11/2012 5:20:00 PM
This has been my staple sunscreen for the face this summer. I've tried several sunscreens and have not found one that doesn't cause my oily skin to become even more so, break me out, or leave a very white cast to my naturally dark skin. This one works. I feel like I could easily wear this under makeup, although I haven't tried it. (I probably should be wearing it daily under my makeup, but I digress.) It dries quickly, but not so quickly that it's hard to blend in. It does smell like typical sunscreen, but the scent fades pretty fast. It didn't leave me feeling greasy and, most importantly, it didn't clog my pores and leave me with a huge break out after my week at the beach. I will continue to rely on this formula for my face!
I've been using this pretty much every day for a few months now. It's a lovely medium pink color that would probably work for a variety of skintones--not too cool, not too warm. However, as with other mineralized blushes from MAC, it lacks pigmentation. (That may be a plus if you're fair skinned.) I've been trying to use this up and move on, but there seems to be a never-ending supply of blush in this thing! I guess I shouldn't complain about getting my money's worth, though. I think MAC has improved their mineralize blush formula lately, others I have from more recent limited edition collections are much more pigmented than this one and much easier to use as a result. I'll eventually make my way through this one but won't repurchase. MAC has several blushes in their permanent line that work better for me.
I wished these didn't crease so badly on me, because they make great bases for shadows. However, even over a primer and topped with a powder shadow, these are horrible on my lids. Granted, I do have oily skin, but typically, Urban Decay Primer Potion prevents creasing until the very end of my work day, even if I also use a MAC Paint Pot, Benefit cream shadow, and a few other cream bases. However, it doesn't keep the NYX pencils from becoming an oily looking mess after only a few hours. I ended up giving most of my pencils away and will probably be doing the same with the few colors I have remaining. They do have a wide variety of great colors, though, and they look great when I first apply them; they really bring out a pop of color from shadows I use over them, especially those with less pigmentation. If you have dry or normal lids, maybe these will work better for you.
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum Express The Falsies Flared
angellbing 5/13/2012 10:27:00 PM
I tried this alongside the original Falsies formula. Both gave me decent lashes with one coat, but since my lashes are somewhat long and full to begin with, I wasn't amazed. Two coats can lead to a bit of clumping and stiffness. This formula is more volumizing than the original, so I will say that it at least looks a bit softer with multiple coats, even if it doesn't feel softer. I'm also not a fan of the scent--it's slightly perfumed, like roses or something floral. It's really not necessary in something I'm putting on my eyelashes. This isn't a bad product, but there are mascaras I prefer, so I probably won't come back to this one. It is, however, worth a shot, and I don't regret the purchase.
My mom loves this stuff, but for me, it's just okay. My lashes are fairly long and full as-is, so one coat gave me "my lashes but better." Two coats got a little clumpy and stiff, although they did look fuller and longer (although I wouldn't go so far as to say they looked anywhere near false lashes). This was probably just the brush I had, but a few of the bristles were significantly longer than the rest; I actually poked myself in the eye a couple of times, and had to really take an extra second to turn them so that they weren't facing me when I applied mascara. Again, probably not a common problem, but something to note. I put that I would purchase again, or I wouldn't discourage someone from purchasing, but I probably won't repurchase for myself personally.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder (Pressed)
angellbing 5/13/2012 10:13:00 PM
The first time I ordered this, it came to me shattered in its shipping box. I've never had that happen with any MAC product before, not even with the more fragile mineralized products, so I'm hoping this was a fluke, as I'll probably repurchase more than a few times in the future. I love this for a finishing powder. It doesn't change the color of my foundation, doesn't appear chalky on my darker skintone, and it helps keep oil at bay a little longer than without it. It's comparable to the Make Up For Ever HD loose powder, with the added convenience of being pressed. (No tapping into the lid, spilling loose powder on my vanity, and it's far more portable, so I can toss it in my purse for mid-day touch ups.) I have noticed that with only a couple weeks of use, I can see what looks like the rings on the bottom of some powder tins. If that's the case, it seems like there's not as much product as with other MAC powders, but I haven't actually compared the labels to confirm that. Could just be the nature of the powder, or maybe I'm using more per day than I realize since it doesn't add color. I like that the packaging is shiny with a little shimmer to it, so I can distinguish it from my other MAC powders. Definitely a great staple product for me.
I wasn't going to purchase this, as super bright colors aren't my style. I never feel quite comfortable wearing them, even though I love them on others. However, I couldn't resist trying it with all of the brights on the market these days, and at least the money would go to a good cause if I ended up giving it away. It's a super bright pink, but far more wearable on my warmer skintone than the cooler Pink Friday type colors that MAC has. I've never tried the Satin finish before, and it's a bit drying on my lips. This also leaves a bit of a stain as it fades away, which is fairly pretty on its own if you reapply a gloss over it to even it some. For the most part, since I'm still "bright shy," I dab this on and pair with a gloss instead of using it straight from the tube, but I'll keep it and use it that way until I get brave enough to use it outright.
This polish looks really pretty in the bottle; more of a dusty periwinkle than really blue, as the name suggests. However, it's very, very sheer. I couldn't build this up enough to cover visible nail line. It does look nice over a couple of similar-toned purples I have, but since it's only really good as a layering polish, I wouldn't run out to buy a back up.
This was part of the Hunger Games collection from Spring 2012. Agro is a somewhat army/olive green with a sheen, but not obvious shimmer. It's a slightly thicker formula, but it applies well and I didn't have any problems with drying time or bubbling/chipping afterward. You could probably get away with one even coat. I've seen similar shades before, but I never picked one up, so this was a nice addition to my collection.
This is one of the Hunger Games polishes from Spring 2012. Like most glitter polishes, the base is thicker and a bit sticky, but it didn't cause issues in application. It contains flakes of glitter, rather than uniform shapes. Alone, they're iridescent and seem to lean a bit silver/blue with a few flashes of gold/pink. Over Agro (an army green with sheen) and Smoke and Ashes (blue-black with dark green shimmer), much more of the gold tones pop out. I tend not to wear a top coat over glitters because I hate how much harder that makes removal and I don't need my manicures to last more than a week before I'm ready to change them. I haven't had any issues with the glitter particles coming off, although after 6 days, I do see white spots on some of the larger flakes where the shine has worn off. It's not noticeable unless you're studying my nails, though. Overall, a fun polish to use and experiment with.
Polishes -China Glaze - Stone Cold - Capitol Colours Hunger Games Collection
angellbing 3/24/2012 1:36:00 PM
This is my first time trying a matte polish. I used this with a base coat on my toes and have not had problems with chipping. It was opaque with one coat, but I applied another just to smooth over my own errors in application. It was thicker than I expected, but it dried down to a smooth finish. I like that even though it's a matte color, it has some very muted shimmer that gives it a little something extra.
I will agree that this looks better in the bottle than on the nail, but that's not to say that it's a bad polish. I have one other black-based polish with shimmer (Sephora OPI Never Enough Shoes, I believe) that has a similar outcome. The shimmer is obvious in the bottle, but fades a bit on the nail. However, this shade does have an obviously bluer tint than black, and the shimmer is noticeable in certain lighting. It works really well with Luxe & Lush from the same collection as a top coat. The formula was thicker than a lot of my other CG polishes, but I didn't have issues with bubbling, drying time, or chipping as a result. I could have gotten away with one coat, as well, but I went with two.
Styling Products -TRESemme - Thermal Creations Curl Activator
angellbing 2/5/2012 9:54:00 PM
I hate wasting product and this isn't really worth trying to take back to the drugstore, so I'm trying to figure out a way to use it. It does nothing for my hair. Even when used as directed, it makes my hair sticky and crunchy. I've tried a few other methods, hoping maybe I could find a way to make it work, but so far, no luck. I gave it several chances, but it mostly just sits in my bathroom and probably will until I finally cave and toss it out.
Shampoo -L'Oreal - EverSleek Intense Smoothing Shampoo
angellbing 2/5/2012 9:05:00 PM
I'd had good luck with another shampoo and conditioner combination from the "Ever--" line, so when this was released, I thought I'd give it a try to see if I liked it just as well. Unfortunately, where the combination I had used before worked well and left my hair soft and manageable, this, along with the matching conditioner, made my hair dry and hard to detangle. It smelled okay and felt nice during the wash, but my hair felt pretty stripped afterward.
Fragrances -Victoria's Secret - Sexy Little Things perfume
angellbing 1/22/2012 5:56:00 PM
I loved this initially, but by the time I finished my bottle, I was more or less "over it." I still liked the scent, but I won't be rushing out to buy a replacement. There are other scents I like better and want to try. Also, the lasting power of this one wasn't the best--a couple of hours or so on me. I did like the bottle (something about the little glass beads inside was fun). I used this primarily on days I was just going to lunch or out for an hour or two and wanted a fresh, light fruity/floral.