Brows -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - Perfect Brow Pencil in Brunette
baldymonster 4/28/2013 2:39:00 AM
Reasons I like this product: 1. It makes brow grooming so simple and easy. It gets rid of the need for extra brushes, as well as the mess and fuss of powder. The entire process of doing my brows takes all of thirty seconds each morning and they look great. 2. The brush at the end is nice and stiff, thick and regular. And rounded. It's just perfect. Everything a brow comb should be. 3. Once done, your eyebrows will stay that way all day. No melting, no traveling, nothing. Reasons I don't like this product: 1. The tint leans pretty reddish. 2. Its texture is hard and waxy, so you have to press hard to get it on. This is good because it makes it last a long time, but sometimes I'll give myself a really heavy line on accident and have to go back with the brush to scrape it smooth. This is poky and irritating. 3. I don't know, it's kind of expensive...? But on the other hand, it seems like it will last years. I've been using it for 2-3 months and it still hasn't worn down enough to fit in my generously sized makeup pouch. For me, the sheer convenience of this product makes up for the cons. I love being able to give myself perfectly groomed brows in under a minute using just one item.
Lipstick -Guerlain - Rouge Automatique #123: Habit Rouge
baldymonster 4/7/2013 6:50:00 PM
I have fallen in love with the warmth and brightness of this lipstick. And the formula is quality. No slipping, no spreading, no drying, and it lasts beautiful hours even on a compulsive lip-licker like me. And it's so pigmented! You can dab it on oh-so-lightly for a natural look, or vamp it up with a normal application and it all looks great. I normally don't like red lipstick on myself, especially non-matte ones, but this was so flattering on my skin tone I had to buy it, and now I wear it every day and love it even more. As for the packaging, it does look a bit cheap due to the materials and color, but I adore the one-handed design. No worries about keeping this baby in your purse, or holding an upper case along with your compact in your other hand. If I'm alone I can't resist making shuttle launch noises as I raise the lipstick out of its chamber. HOWEVER. I do foresee one big problem that could arise here, especially for my fellow clumsy types, and it's the only thing that keeps me from recommending this product unreservedly. If you break the tip off this lipstick? You are screwed, girlfriend. There is no MacGuyvering that ish back together. Just something to keep in mind before you shell out a ridiculous amount of money on this beautiful, beautiful lipstick.
Oh my God. I honestly think I lack the vocabulary, experience, and rhetorical skills I'd need to adequately describe how foul this hairspray smells. The closest I can get is "someone left fruit punch out to ferment for weeks, then tried to spray over the goopy swill with half a bottle of designer imitation perfume." Or possibly "someone with terrible oral hygiene drank a case of berry soda and has been burping in my face for an hour." Except aerosolized! And inescapable. It actually gave me (and at least one innocent bystander who shares a bathroom with me) a headache! That has never happened to me before. I normally like Aussie products a lot, but this reeks so bad I couldn't even bear to stick around to see what my hair looked like styled with it.
Isn't it just so fun when you change your birth control and end up with the volcanic kind of acne that your mineral foundation can't hope to cover? Ha ha. Nope. I needed a liquid to tide me over, but the only one with heavyish coverage I ever liked up to that point was a high-end forty-dollar one. Double nope, especially when I was only going to be needing it for a few days! I'd heard that Revlon Colorstay was the drugstore equivalent of some MUFE/MAC foundations, so although I've had universally bad experiences with drugstore foundations in the past, I figured, "Why not? It's only for a week, and it's only ten bucks" and set off for Walgreens. Right away, I was impressed by the color selection I saw on the shelves. The shades range from very light to fairly dark, with plenty of yellower options (yes!). I hate it so much when the only colors you can find are all variations on pale orange. The shade I settled on (310 "Warm Golden," if anyone cares) is still a little too orange to be perfect, but it's a better match than any other liquid foundation I've ever tried straight out of a bottle. The foundation itself comes out of the bottle with a thinnish texture, which is misleading because it dries FAST and thick. Don't use much, and get blending immediately, or you'll end up with cake face like I did my first time. When applied right, it looks very nice -- "done up" but still skinlike, as opposed to plasticine. And miracle of miracles, it doesn't feel the least bit heavy. And did I mention that it stays put forever? I think I have to revise my opinion of drugstore foundations now that this one's proved beyond a doubt that they aren't all crap. Of course, it's not perfect either: the packaging is annoying and really ought to come with a pump dispenser, and it has one of those gross cheap perfumey scents that I hate so much in foundations, I think the purpose of which is to cover up what smells underlyingly a lot like housepaint. But it is only ten dollars, so overall I give it four out of five.
Take three tablets, put two drops of water on each, crush, and mix with a bit less than a tablespoon of honey. FOOLPROOF FACE HEAVEN. I like to leave it on until it's almost no longer sticky, and then rinse off in the shower with circular motions, because not only is this a great mask that always calms my skin down and improves its texture, it's also a magnificent gentle exfoliator. Super cheap and it even tastes good when a bit runs down onto my lips.
A nice polish with an attractive finish, pretty good wear, and lovely color. And it's great for water marbling. Buuuuuuut I have a big problem with this polish's failure to evoke its namesake, so much so that I'm taking three additional stars off. Look, Essie. Scarlett O'Hara's whole 'thing' (apart from being the protagonist of a propagandist manifesto of slavery apologetics, I mean) was that she has zero taste or class, due to being all greedy and selfish and stuff, right? Yet despite being a red frost, this polish is not actually very tacky at all. It's cute and inoffensive. You couldn't wear it to a paper-pushing job, sure, but it's not like people in the street would take one look at you and think you were a disgustingly déclassé racist. I hate to say it but Essie really dropped the ball on this one. A polish named Scarlett O'Hara ought to be some kind of thick, goopy Katy Perryesque neon 80's-frosty glitter bomb thing full of formaldehyde and pthalates with a light beige base, which the company will insist on calling "nude." Where's the vulgar gaudiness? Where's the unthinking hatred and carefully calculated literary degradation of my fellow humans?* Until these issues are rectified, I just can't endorse Essie's version of Scarlett O'Hara nail polish. *This is a joke, I do not actually want racist nail polish. Or any more polishes named after racist propaganda, please and thank you, Essie.
I was curious about Exfolikate for a long time, so when I got the chance to nab a free sample, I pounced on it and soon after found myself deeply unimpressed. It exfoliates nicely, but come on, so do a million other products. If your product is this expensive, it should offer transcendental results. Honestly, I think if this was made by Neutrogena and retailed for $4.99, the reviews would be a lot less glowing and might focus more on, for example, the overwhelming smell, or the fact that it will give you a freaking chemical burn if you leave it on for more than a minute or so. I never like to see products trading on brand prestige instead of quality, but I admit that this case in particular burns my toast more than usual, both because the price is so outrageous and because most of the claims the company makes about it (e.g. that it "balances hydration") are just baseless. It's a nice exfoliator. Nothing more, nothing less. And for the record, I've gotten much better results from DIY yogurt and aspirin/honey masks. If this were priced more reasonably, I might have given it up to four lippies. As things are, two are the most it deserves.
Eyeliner -MAC - Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Stubborn Brown
baldymonster 8/19/2012 12:03:00 PM
I wanted a nice, basic, comfortable brown pencil that I could apply and then forget about for the rest of the day, and for the most part this is it. However, I have to say I was disappointed in its propensity to melt. It can't stand up to summer heat, at least not in my city. Biking anywhere, even if it's just down the street, gives me Stubborn Brown colored bags under my eyes every time. It's odd, because I don't get this problem with the Forever Green Powerpoint, which I bought at the same time, but there you go. For that reason I won't be buying this again, but I really think that apart from my melting issues, it's ideal. The shade of brown is absolutely perfect: not too warm, not too cool, and pigmented enough to show up on anyone's skintone and last a long time. It goes on really smoothly, smudges beautifully, doesn't dry out with time... sigh. Edit 9/23/12: Okay, so I figured out why this would melt on my face and Forever Green wouldn't. I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to bolder makeup, as in, I tend to just go with what looks lightest/most natural, and since SB is a lot darker than FG, I would sort of brush it on and then blend rather than actually press into my skin like I would with FG. Hence FG staying put and SB melting everywhere. Now that I'm applying SB properly, it's awesome and I have zero complaints, so I'm raising my review to five lippies.
I never, ever would have thought to put cooking oil on my skin had it not been for MUA, so props to everyone here in the review section for convincing me. My skin looks amazing because of this. I'm prone to acne when I don't use drying treatments, and I used to think that acne-free but dull was the best my face could look. Happily, I was wrong about that. After using grapeseed oil for two months, I am absolutely glowing and I've even thrown away my conventional face moisturizer in favor of just the oil. No regrets. Here's how I apply it: At night, after showering, I dab a tiny bit on a cotton ball, swab over my clean face, and use the other side to wipe up any excess. That's it. I look like a greaseball for about an hour, but when I wake up in the morning it's like my skin drank a glass of nectar or something. It's just radiant and supple and dewey, and believe me, I never thought I'd be describing my face with those adjectives. I will never be without this again. The fact that it's orders of magnitude cheaper than the cheapest face lotion is just icing on the cake. Once again I'm indebted to MUA and its ratings system. I would never have had the courage to use this as a moisturizer for my face if it hadn't been for the overwhelming consensus. Thank you!
Lip Gloss -Burt's Bees - Super Shiny Natural Lip Gloss in ZESTY RED
baldymonster 3/19/2012 2:34:00 AM
I keep wanting to like Burt's Bees, but this lip gloss is the latest in a long list of examples why that will never happen. It's sheer, goopy, fussy, EXTREMELY gritty, and comes in very annoying packaging. No matter how careful I am, using the applicator results in a lot of smeared product that I have to wipe up with my fingers - from both my lips and the back and sides of the applicator. Sticky fingers + overloaded yet still not quite red enough lips = frownyface. It does smell nice, though.
Primer/ Corrector -Unlisted Brand - Monistat - Chafing Relief Powder-Gel
baldymonster 2/25/2012 6:11:00 PM
I finally finished my Smashbox Photofinish and was able to give this a try. My verdict: this stuff kicks Photofinish's butt! It's nearly the same product, but for a fraction of the price, and most of the differences I've found have been for the better. Monistat's gel is truly scentless, takes less time to dry, and has a runnier, more spreadable consistency. I actually prefer Photofinish's texture (and non-hideous packaging), but I definitely don't miss the smell or the price. Monistat is far and away the clear winner here, and I'll keep coming back until I find something even better.
I received this as a gift, and while I love, love, love the finish that this primer gives, I have to say I would never buy it for myself because it's (a) hideously expensive for what's essentially a bunch of silicones and (b) doesn't seem to neutralize redness that much. I suppose it would if you used enough of it, but pondering the amount of $40/oz primer you would have to layer on to achieve that breaks my brain a little. That said, this is excellent stuff. It goes on easily, dries velvety smooth, doesn't affect my skin poorly, and makes my foundation look great. I will hoard it as long as I can and milk it to the very last drop.
Skincare - Face -Unlisted Brand - Dickinson's Witch Hazel
baldymonster 12/18/2011 4:48:00 PM
Witch hazel has been part of my twice-weekly face mask routine for about a year now. After rinsing the mask off, I pour witch hazel on a cotton ball and lightly swab my face to calm down my skin and get rid of any lingering clay particles. Then, before the witch hazel dries, I slather my face with lotion. Ever since I introduced the witch hazel I've gone from having 2-3 small permazits at all times to having nearly perfect skin. As far as I'm concerned witch hazel is pure aces. And that isn't even the best use I've found for it. Right after you shave, try saturating a cotton ball and running it over the area to prevent ingrown hairs and razor burn. You will be soooo smooooooth. P.S. Judges, I am ready to accept my award as the one woman ever to enjoy the smell of witch hazel. It's a little medicinal and earthy, sure, but after it's on my skin it just reminds me of the beach.
Streaky, streaky, streaky, but I love it anyway. St. Lucia Lilac is mostly true to the color of lilac flowers - pale, pastel, and on the bluish side of purple - while also being milky-gray. I love how feminine it is while still being offbeat. It is definitely the most-worn polish in my collection, and I don't care how carefully I have to apply the 3+ coats. Thin layers last longer anyway, haters. ;)
I hate to be the one to ruin this brush's perfect MUA rating, but I've got a bone to pick with it. Yes, it's beautiful and soft and deposits mineral makeup extraordinarily well, but it started falling apart on me after just four months! I do wash my brushes often, but I'm pretty careful not to get the base wet. I think the glue of this brush is just flimsy, as I've never had this happen before with brushes I washed just as often. Perhaps mine was defective, but it was a disappointment as I love everything else I've gotten from LaurEss. Edit 3/10/12: After it finally broke in half (WTF?), I fixed it with superglue and now it's working absolutely perfectly. So I'm raising my review from 2 lippies to 4.