So you know when you buy something because there is hype around it and then you bring it home and think "I probably shouldn't have gotten my hopes up because this is nothing like what I expected"? Well that's what I first thought when I tried this mascara but I have to tell you, my love affair with it has grown by leaps and bounds to the point where this is my absolute go to mascara for top lashes! COLOR: a true jet black, not in the least bit charcoal grey LENGTH vs. VOLUME: The brush makes this a very lengthening mascara and while it is not the most volumizing mascara I've ever used, the formulation is thick enough and the color dark enough that it makes the lashes look complementarily full (i.e. not spidery). CONSISTENCY: As I mentioned, the formulation is fairly thick but quite wet as well and as it is drying, you have to be VERY careful not to smudge it. Because of this little dilemma, I tend to use it only on my top lashes. The brush is way too hard to use on the bottom lashes and the formulation so wet that it would immediately transfer under the eye. STAYING POWER: It lasts well throughout the day without displaying any signs of wear if undisturbed. That being said, sometimes I like to reapply mascara in the evening before going onstage (I am a musician) to amp up my look and unfortunately, this mascara dries quite hard and brittle so you really can't reapply this or any other mascara on top of an already dry layer of the Telescopic without it flaking off and leaving residue under your eyes. But that is small potatoes in my opinion... TRUTH to ADVERTISEMENT: L'oreal advertises 3 main specifications: a) "lengthens up to 60%" I haven't done a scientific study so I don't know about "60%" but IS a good lengthening mascara b) "removes easily with soap and water" Since it is not a waterproof product it does start to loosen with even just water BUT in order to remove all of it and not wake up with mascara-ey racoon eyes, you have to use a genuine eye makeup remover c) "suitable for sensitive eyes" I'm sorry but this is absolutely NOT TRUE. I wore this on a sunny day once so my eyes started watering and I got a little mascara in my eye and it burned so badly, I had to rub my eye thus ryuining my makeup and getting even more mascara in my eye. Luckily because it is fragrance free, once removing all product from my eye with the Lumene Sensitive Eyes eye makeup remover, there was no remaining irritation exception my own annoyedness at having one eye done and one eye bare in the middle of the day. PACKAGING: The outside is quite cute because it is shaped like a gold telescope. The cap also seals very well so the product does not dry out quickly like a lot of other mascaras I've used including CoverGirl LashBlast and Stila Major Lash (for which I have another review if you are interested). The brush is one of those funny, flimsy, long, plastic ones with only four lines of bristles which makes it a bit challenging to figure out how to use without clumping the mascara badly because it holds a ton of product as it passes through the head of the tube. BANG for BUCK: Go for it! $8.99 is a great price for this and the consistency will remain forever (although you should dispose of mascaras every 3-4 months for sanitary reasons) because of the great packaging. Just be sure to give yourself a little time to get used to how to wear it on your face, since everyone is different. Hope that was helpful!!! :)
Bronzers -Becca - Pressed Bronzing Powder - Flamenco
aquarum 2/11/2011 6:13:00 PM
I use bronzer everyday so I am always looking for better and better products and I must say, I am thrilled to have found this one. COLOR: This is a great multipurpose bronzer shade because the color is not extreme in any direction (orange, brown, grey, taupe etc.). It has the barest hint of a fine golden shimmer but only in bright light and the shimmer blends in with skin luminescence very naturally. As far as a contour color, I prefer MAC Harmony blush which is entirely matte and slightly cooler in tone. However, this bronzer is nice to use in the hollows of the cheeks and buffed up onto the apple of the cheek for a neutral blush shade. TEXTURE: As with most Becca powder products, the powder is finely milled and therefore goes on smoothly. It is also packed into the pan in such a way that when I dip my brush in, I get plenty of product on the brush without loosening (and wasting) any more than I need. PACKAGING: I know a lot of people don't like the rubberized packaging of Becca and Nars products but I think it looks quite chic especially with the clean, industrial look of the brushed metal logo on the front. The package is easy to open but stays closed in a bag. The mirror plenty large and takes up most of the lid space. On the other hand, it also makes the lid pretty heavy so you can't have the compact open on a table without it falling over. The bronzer comes with a soft powder puff with the Becca logo on it: cute but I never use it except to buff off extra product when I apply too much. BANG for BUCK: I was lucky enough to get this bronzer for $12.00 + shipping when it usually retails for $38.00. If you can find it on sale, don't hesitate to buy as quick as you can. For full price, I'd say it is a good quality purchase but I would recommend doing a little more comparison shopping so you are sure that those $38.00 are well spent. For reference, here are the price points for several other good bronzing powders: Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sunlight; $4.29 (good dupe for Flamenco) Benefit Boxed Powder in Hoola; $28.00 Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder; $47.00
Concealers -Revlon - Age Defying Moisturizing Concealer (New) [DISCONTINUED]
aquarum 2/7/2011 11:56:00 PM
I bought this concealer because it was 75% off at my local CVS so I really didn't have many expectations for the product before my first application. I know Revlon generally makes a relatively high quality product for drugstore cosmetics but I didn't expect quality this good for a concealer that cost me barely more that $3.00. COVERAGE/PIGMENTATION: Shockingly amazing! Similar to the the MUFE HD Foundation, this concealer seems to have a high concentration of pigments allowing for excellent coverage using very little product. When I first tested it, I squeezed a blob onto the back of my hand and blended it very well. I then examined it in the sunlight and was pleasantly surprised to see that it not only looked like natural skin but even having been blended into a thin layer on the skin, it had concealed all of my veins and freckles into total opacity. STAYING POWER: impressive. I always seal my concealers with a (very) light dusting of powder but I almost always have to reapply about half-way through the day. Not with this. Even though I have oily skin and this is advertised as a moisturizing concealer, it didn't budge for the 15 hours I was out. TRUTH to ADVERTISEMENT: I am young and don't have problems with sagging under my eyes so as far as the "anti-aging" claims are concerned, I am not qualified to judge. It is, however, moisturizing and glides on as smooth as could be. PACKAGING: Absolutely satisfactory for a drugstore brand. Nothing fancy but it works fine and I can imagine being able to get all the product out without wasting a drop. BANG for BUCK: +++ very good. You get an excellent amount of product (.37 fl oz or 11 ml) for ~ $10 as compared to MAC Select Moisturecover (.17 oz or 5 ml) for $16.50. You also won't go through this product very quickly because it is so highly pigmented. If you can find the appropriate color for your skin tone, I say this is a very smart purchase. Hope that was helpful!! :)
I recently bought Love Nectar as my first MAC lipgloss; boy was this a disappointment! COLOR: The color looks pretty enough in the tube, if a little boring. But it appears in the package as a nice peach-tinged nude with monochromatic gold shimmer. On the lips it came out almost clear on me and the shimmer did not actually enhance the beauty of my lips. STAYING POWER: It lasted about 30 minutes before the shine had gone and I had to reapply. For the same $14, the Clinique Long Last Glosswear gives you .2 oz (more than MAC) and lasted about 4 hours on my lips before starting to lose its reflectivity. Plus it has SPF 15. A much wiser purchase. PACKAGING: Very average but sturdy enough. The writing on the tube disappeared within a few weeks of purchase and I never put it in my bag or mal-treated in any way. The brush applicator does the job but according to my personal preference, I'd rather use a doe-foot applicator. BANG for BUCK: On a 1-10 scale, 2. I don't recommend this but like I said, this is my first MAC lipglass so there may be colors more worth the money in the collection.
PROS: very black, volumizing, fairly inexpensive, feels natural on the lashes CONS: extremely wet, smudges easily, not lengthening, clumps, transfers onto skin, very soft brush OVERALL: For some reason I always go for this mascara on the weekend when I want a natural and comfortable look. I don't have a particularly good grasp in the morning and sometimes my hand wobble a little so this mascara ends up getting all over my eyelid top and bottom. I like the way it feels after a few hours because it stays soft but the formula is so wet and the brush is so soft as well that it makes for fairly clumpy application. Bottom line is that I will not be buying this again but I will use it up. Maybe if I let it dry out a little it will be easier to apply. UPDATE 2/11/11: I finally threw this mascara out about a month ago and realized that my opinion of it had changed a bit. To my satisfaction, the clumping and transferring diminished after drying out a little. However along with a dryer texture, it also started to become really flaky and leave little black specs under my eye throughout the day. I still appreciated the volume and blackness it gave me although I probably still won't repurchase because I know how many other great mascaras there are out there. Hope that was helpful!!!
PROS: moisturizing texture, superlative quality, color payoff, excellent staying power, pleasant smell CONS: color not as described (more of a muted pinkish red with a silvery pearl), color lacks vibrancy OVERALL: When I went to my local MAC counter, I told the girl I was looking for a rosy colored lipstick to enhance my natural color and she pointed me to this shade. I have to say it doesn't enhance my natural color or my face at all. I find that the pearl makes this difficult to wear during the day. I've tried wearing it lightly, heavily, with and without gloss and I haven't yet encountered a successful combo for my face. Despite all this, the quality is great, price reasonable and I quite like the smell (sweet vanilla + waxy crayon). I will not repurchase this item because it does not fulfill the my need and will therefore last me a long while I am sure. UPDATE: 2/3/11 In the winter time, it is very cold and dry where I live ad I have been wearing this a lot. I have been finding that I like it a lot more in the winter because my lips get dry and this is highly emollient. It is also a gorgeous wintry plum, berry shade. I definitely will not be wearing this in the spring and summer at all because it would clash with the pastel florals and saturated jewel tones of my natural surroundings but I am loving for the colder, darker colorless months right now.
Bronzers -Becca - Brazilian Bronzing Sheen - Samba
aquarum 8/2/2010 3:01:00 AM
PROS: great packaging, beautiful/delicate shimmer, not orangey, gives a healthy/summery glimmer and shine, silky texture CONS: VERY greasy (creases on lids and sits on top of lips), hardly pigmented at all, pricey OVERALL: I really want to love this product as I love many other Becca products however on my combination to oily skin it is so greasy! I put it on bare lids and it creased immediately. I tried setting it with bronzing powder which stayed for an hour or two but of course, took away its beautiful sheen and eventually creased. Personally, I like the sheerness for a "your lids but better" day look but it's important to note that if pigmentation is what you are after, this is NOT product for you. I found that it didn't sink into the lips very nicely and when layered with lipstick, it didn't smooth on very well at all. I wouldn't dare try using this on my cheeks for fear of blocking pores and causing breakouts. I might try using this in the winter when my skin is a bit drier and in need of moisture and a healthy glow to counteract sallowness so it won't have been money poorly spent.
PROS: smoothes the skin without irritating (I don't like to use it more than once a day, 2-3 times a week), temporarily tightens pores, light foamy texture, sturdy packaging, helps keep spots at bay when used alongside a good toner, a little goes a long way (1-2 pumps is enough), easy to wash off CONS: odd chemical smell is NOT refreshing, leaves skin feeling taught.uncomfortable therefore requiring serum or moisturizer, ~pricey (although not outrageous, especially if it's on sale...) OVERALL: If there weren't a million other great products on the market that I have yet to try, I would repurchase this item. The only other exfoliating cleanser I've tried is the Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser which is a creamy product as opposed to a foamy one. I prefer the Dermalogica cleanser to the Kinerase one only because it is luxurious feeling on the skin and smells a heck of a lot better (pleasantly herbal).