I have owned this shade for years but have never written a review. This was one of my first MAC purchases, but I rarely wear it. I am a cool PPP (NW10ish) with pigmented lips, and I have a difficult time finding nude colors that aren't too brown, orange, or muddy on me. Hug Me is a decent nude, but it isn't HG and requires careful application and work to look suitable on me. I could never just swipe this on from the bullet and go. Hug Me is described on the MAC site as "flesh pink", and this is fairly accurate. However, on some people this means it looks TOO MUCH like flesh, and therefore doesn't bring any life to the face and simply looks "blah". Like all Lustre formulas, it applies smoothly and feels very comfortable. To make it work for me, I must apply a pinkish lipliner and typically top off with gloss as well. For example, I have worn it recently by lining and blending with Rimmel Eastend Snob liner and topping with Revlon's Super Lustrous Gloss in Peach Petal or Nude Lustre, or with BB's lipgloss in Pink Beige. If I try to wear without liner and/or gloss, the line at the edge of my lips looks slightly warm and orangey where it meets the rest of my face--not a good look on cool-toned me. I'm not sure I would repurchase as it takes so much work to look good on me.
Courtisane is one of LM's Stickgloss lip colors. Let me say that the picture and description for Courtisane on the LM website are completely inaccurate ("mauve-rose-pink"). Courtisane is a very complex and shimmery color with hints of pink, red, coral, gold, and copper. It applies sheerly and feels moisturizing and lightweight, but the shimmer makes it look more opaque than it really is. You can make it look even more opaque, of course, by layering it. I am very fair (NW10ish) with cool tones, and I have a hard time deciding if this looks more warm or more cool on me, due to the shimmer. I don't often wear lipstick with shimmer/pearl/frost/etc., so I feel a little more glamorous and sophisticated when I apply this product. That being said, it isn't inappropriate for daily wear. You could definitely wear it to work or glam it up for an evening look. I think this color would work on most skintones. However, I would recommend you try at Sephora or the LM counter before purchasing as there are hints of so many colors within the product that you need to see which ones are pulled out prominently with your own skintone to see if it is a good lipcolor for you.
I'm not sure what to say about this product that hasn't been said already. The texture of this product is very nice. It feels smooth and glides on precisely, leaving a nice sheer neutral red color behind with some sheen. It is something like a cross between a tinted balm and a sheer lipstick. The color can be built up by applying more coats. It does not last long, however, so if you are looking to prolong the wear you will need to experiment with liners (perhaps Maybelline Color Sensational liner in Clear). I can't imagine this looking bad on anyone, though for reference I am very fair (NW10ish, wear BB foundations in Alabaster or Porcelain) with cool tones, though my lips are actually pigmented.
I can't say enough great things about this product. It's cheap, and it does a marvelous job. I do not typically have chapped or super dry lips, but they do tend to flake a bit, and I also have a bad habit of chewing on them. I have asked for recs for lip exfoliators before, and typically people seem to think they are a waste of money. Suggestions usually include use a washcloth, your toothbrush, mix your own honey/sugar/etc. scrub, and so on. I've tried all of those things, and I have even purchased a few lip exfoliating products (like the Paula's Choice one). This cheap $3 product (which doesn't look cheap in the packaging, which is nice) works better than all of the above, and the price can't be beat. It smells nice, tastes nice, and exfoliates well without hurting. I imagine that if you used it on your lips for TOO long at one time it might be too harsh, but that would simply be user error in my opinion. My lips feel a bit moisturized after using, too (I believe it contains shea), though I do top it off with a balm. At $3, it certainly doesn't hurt to at least try! Go buy it NOW!
As a PPP with cool tones, I find it easier to pick out makeup that clearly has a cool tone or is neutral. I am always leery of picking up something that even has a hint of warmth, as such colors often look muddy or orangey on me. I've been wanting a coral-ish shade for quite some time, but it's been hard to find! This shade by Rimmel, Nostalgia, is great. It is a pinky coral that leans warm but still looks great on my PPP skin. Others have commented that it feels "retro". I'm not sure about that, but I know that it is very pigmented and applies smoothly. I would like it better without the awful scent and if it had less sheen (it has a tiny amount of shimmer or pearl, not sure which), and that is why I gave 4 lippies instead of 5. It's a great color for spring/summer/warm sunny days.
I avoided buying this brush for years. I tried several "dupes", thinking surely they were just as good, or at least almost as good at a much better price. Well, I was wrong. I bought the MAC 217 about three weeks ago and have been kicking myself since then for not buying it years ago. This brush can be used all over the lid, in the crease, for highlighting, or for blending. What is really remarkable though is that it does ALL of those things EXTREMELY well. I feel like you could probably give this brush to a makeup "noob", give them no instructions for eyeshadow application whatsoever, and they'd still be able to apply eyeshadow more than decently. For general eyeshadow application, soft crease looks, soft smokey looks, and the like, this brush is a MUST. In fact, if you can, you should probably buy 2.
Lip Liners -Maybelline - Color Sensational Lipliner in Clear
bestscreennameever 3/14/2012 10:35:00 PM
I love this lipliner. I have to say I typically detest Maybelline products. When I first read about this lipliner, I was skeptical. Recently I've been experimenting with red lipstick. For example, I have been wearing Boots No7 Stay Perfect in Cherry, lined with Rimmel Red Diva, after seeing Lisa Eldridge use these two products in a recent video. I love the look (see pics in my profile), but I've had problems with the products migrating outside my lip lines, smudging, and so on. Typically when I apply red liner and/or red lipstick, I accidentally go outside the lines of my lips or smudge it or something else atrocious that takes twice as long to fix. I have none of these problems when I use this Clear liner first. The lipliner in Clear applies smoothly and doesn't tug or feel dry (conversely, it doesn't feel moisturizing either). It doesn't change the color of my lips, and it actually seems to make l/s application easier. I guess the best way to think of it is like a clear foundation for your other lip products--it gives a "grip" to your lips so that the other products go on smoothly. No more accidentally coloring outside the lines or smudging! It also seems to help my lip products last much longer. I wore my red look for over 4 hours yesterday with minimal wear, and today I wore the Clear liner with Bobbi Brown l/s in Pink for several hours as well. I love this lipliner and would gladly purchase again and again!!
Eyeliner -Essence - Long Lasting Eye Pencil - Almost Famous
bestscreennameever 12/31/2011 5:16:00 PM
I bought this at Ulta for under $2 after it was recommended to me on the boards for a flesh-toned eyeliner. I am a PPP; I wear Alima Neutral or Cool in 1 and used to wear Bobbi Brown Alabaster. On my hand (a pic with a swatch on it is uploaded above) it looks light and shimmery; notice you can hardly see it on my hand, though. I applied this liner to my lower waterline on my right eye, hoping to get that eye-opening effect that flesh-toned liners are supposed to give. I couldn't really see a difference between that eye and the other unlined one. Plus, it made my eye feel dry and irritated. I suppose i might be able to use this for highlighting my cupid's bow or something else, but I won't repurchase and can't really recommend for PPP's. Those with darker skin might fare better, and it's not like you lose much money if it doesn't work for you. :) I did find a better flesh-toned liner, though, in Cargo's Reverse Lip Liner in 01 (works for lips and eyes).
I'm surprised the rating on this isn't higher here on MUA. I remember when the craze over Everyday Minerals began here on MUA a few years ago. I ordered many samples, and eventually a full size foundation from them, but I could never get it to work. The formulations made my skin itchy, and I couldn't ever achieve a nice-looking face. Dry patches would show, the colors looked wrong, the coverage was uneven...the problems were endless after trying many different formulas and types of application. Alima, on the other hand, covers very evenly and does not make my face itch. It isn't perfect, but for someone who likes minerals, or has sensitivity issues like eczema/dermatitis like I do, it's a nice option. I apply to a clean face (I wash with Paula's Choice Skin Recovery cleanser) after using sunscreen and/or moisturizer. I use the E.L.F. studio flat top brush to first apply the balancing primer powder, then I use the E.L.F. studio concealer brush to dot on the Alima concealer where needed. Then I use the flat top brush to apply the mineral foundation, followed by the finishing powder. I used to wear Bobbi Brown foundations in Alabaster, and I've been using Neutral 1 in Alima (though it is winter and I think I need to revisit the Cool 1 and Neutral 0 shades). One video that really helped with application tips was the mineral makeup video on You Tube by meepocow.
Moisturizers -Paula's Choice - moisture boost daily restoring complex
bestscreennameever 12/17/2011 10:31:00 AM
This is a moisturizer/sunscreen with SPF 20. It has a thick, white mousse or souffle type texture and look. **Update March 6, 2012--this now has SPF 30! I have not noticed any changes in the formula, effects, or application mentioned below. Hooray!** I have combination, acne-prone, sensitive skin. About two years ago preventing acne was my biggest concern, and then suddenly I started experiencing bouts of eczema/dermatitis. Paula's Choice products, in addition to switching to mineral makeup (Alima), has really helped calm my skin. One of the first sunscreens I tried from Paula did not work well for me. I believe it was the Skin Recovery mattifying one. It did not moisturize at all, and it made my skin greasy and oily (so much for mattifying). So due to all my skin issues, I actually went without sunscreen for a while, and I know how bad that is. I ordered this a few weeks ago when it was on sale, and I love it so far. I apply in the morning after washing with Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Cleanser. It looks thick but spreads easily and applies smoothly. After a few minutes, I then apply my mineral makeup. I have also mixed it with my minerals to make my own "cream" foundation. It does have a VERY faint sunscreen smell (one of the reasons for 4 lippies instead of 5), but it has not irritated my skin at all--no acne, no dermatitis. It moisturizes well in the morning, though I suspect it might be too heavy for those with very oily skin or even perhaps for myself when summer rolls around. My skin actually looks slightly glowy after applying, but in a nice healthy way, not a greasy way. It seems to help even out my skintone. It is quite pricey, but you can order samples on the Paula's Choice website to try before you buy the full size. This is definitely the best sunscreen I have tried so far from Paula's Choice.
I have several BB blushes including Pale Pink, Desert Rose, Nectar, and Pink Raspberry pot rouge. Lucky27 described Desert Pink perfectly: "It is a matte pink, less muted than desert rose, and less bright than nectar. Seems right in the middle and a great blush color addition." I like it much more than Desert Rose on my cool PPP skin, and it's a great alternative to using Pale Pink constantly.
What a strange product. I have been intrigued with this foundation each time I've seen it in the store. I finally read a lot of the reviews on it, and even though there were a lot of negative ones, I decided to give it a try. First, I used a face scrub to wash my face before applying, then used a heavy moisturizer as I have had flakies recently, and others in reviews said it dried their skin and accentuated flakes. Second, I couldn't understand how a foundation could automatically pill up once it hit your face, which is what other reviewers have mentioned. Yet it DOES. It's very bizarre. I scooped a tiny amount out using my cheapie e.l.f. foundation brush, dotted it on my cheek, and it automatically pilled into tons of teeny balls. So I grabbed my Sonia Kashuk "skunkicorn" brush and proceeded to buff it into my face, which actually worked really well. I achieved even coverage, and it didn't take any longer to apply than a typical foundation. The coverage actually isn't bad. It's light coverage, and maybe with the right tools and great technique you could build it up more heavily. It won't totally cover blemishes or marks, but it does even out your skintone quite nicely. It has a slightly powdery finish, and it didn't do much (if anything) as far as diminishing the appearance of pores. I purchased it in the lightest shade (light ivory), as I am super pale (was wearing BB foundations in Alabaster), and it matches well. It looks much darker (and peachier) in the container than it does after application. I did not use a primer, nor did I set it with a powder. My skin looked shiny in the T-zone a few hours later, and it doesn't stay matte. Would I buy again? Really, I'm not sure at this point. It doesn't give me the amount of coverage I need currently, but overall I don't think it's an awful foundation as some other reviews seem to say. I'll try to report back in a few days to share how my skin has reacted to it (acne-prone, sensitive skin here).
This is the first LM product I have purchased, and I am very pleased. Baby Lips is a sheer pink lippie that is meant to make your lips look like...well, baby lips. I am extremely fair (BB foundations in Alabaster). My lips, however, are decently pigmented. Thus, on me, I can't say it really gives me the look of "baby lips", but it is a beautiful MLBB healthy, pink color. Others have described it as pinky/beige. I don't see any beige at all, but it is a fairly neutral, medium pink (no overly cool or warm tones). If you are a cool PPP like me, for instance, then try it out--it won't wash you out! There is no shimmer, but it does have a slight sheen when applied. It applies smoothly and feels comfortable; it isn't a lipstick that will dry out your lips (though it isn't hydrating/moisturizing either). It will not last for hours and hours; it is, after all, sheer. If this is a problem for you, make sure you pair it with a lip liner. Someone mentioned it having a horrible taste/smell. I haven't noticed this at all (bad tube, maybe?). The packaging is classy, too. Overall, I must say I'm surprised at the poor ratings for this product. If it sounds like something for you, definitely try it before you listen to some of the negative reviews on here.
My sister gave me her GWP tube of this stuff in Black. I've used it several times, as Clinique's GWP's are always so generously sized. The good: It applies smoothly and evenly and has an almost wet appearance, which I love! It doesn't clump, and my lashes look longer and maybe just a tad thicker...maybe a little thicker compared to Impossibly Glossy mascara. The bad: It smears and runs and migrates like crazy, and this is not something I typically have a problem with. I'm talking MAJOR raccoon eyes. This is why I absolutely will not buy it.
Bobbi Brown has some of the best, natural-looking products around. This foundation is no exception. This is supposed to basically be the longer-wearing, slightly more matte version of BB's Skin foundation. I am extremely fair (wear BB shades in Alabaster). Skin did not last long on me at all (about 1 hr) without turning liquidy and sliding around on my face. It had light coverage, too. I loved it because the Alabaster shade was so great, though. I was ecstatic to try this Natural Finish in Alabaster. Many people say the shades run very light, and that they have to go up a shade or two. BEWARE OF THIS RULE IF YOU NORMALLY WEAR ALABASTER OR PORCELAIN. If you normally wear Alabaster, you will most likely STILL need Alabaster. Please see my profile pics for comparisons of the shades. Anyway, this foundation on me lasts much longer than Skin--about 4 hours with no primer (I have combination skin) and then my nose gets oily. It looks VERY natural. I have some dry patches, and occasional eczema, and it doesn't emphasize them or make them feel drier. My one complaint is that I wish it had slightly more coverage. I have some acne marks/mild scars from post-pregnancy breakouts; this does not come close to covering them, and concealer is definitely needed. However, it evens out my skin (which tends to get pink/ruddy easily) BEAUTIFULLY, leaving it with a natural finish (good product name for it, then, huh?). I would definitely purchase again!