I didn't buy this system, but I went to Sephora and got the MA there to put it on me. She taught me how to use it, and selected a shade for me. Firstly, the shade was too dark. Not much, but enough that I could tell. My bf took pics of me after, and I could tell that it was too dark. I also hate the finish. It looks oily. I don't even have oily skin! I never look oily with regular foundation, but this made me look oily. It's also very unnatural-looking. Sure, people say it is flawless - that is true. But absolutely flawless skin doesn't look natural in real life; only in fashion magazines. It looked weird, to be frank. If you like looking like a mannequin, perhaps you'll enjoy this. They have a very limited range of shades for the price they're asking for this system. You'd think, for over $200, and $30 a pop for the foundation pods, that they'd at least be like MAC with their shades, if not better. Yet I found the same problem with this system as I've found with drugstore foundations - the simple fact that fair-skinned people are usually not orange. I think the foundation I apply myself, with a stipple brush, looks better and more natural on me than this airbrush foundation - plus it matches me. Don't waste your money on this; you can get the same, or better, results with a trained hand and a well-formulated product that matches your skintone.
This is my favourite, favourite foundation. I love it. I can't live without it now. I'll still experiment with others, no doubt (I just love makeup way too much, and I'm also a huge product tester), but I believe I will always come back to my MAC Studio Fix Fluid. Oh, how I love you so. :P And here's why I love it. (Yeah, on to the actual review now.) CLAIMS: A modern foundation that combines a natural matte finish and medium-buildable coverage with broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 15. Comfortable and long-wearing: lasts for up to eight hours. Applies smoothly, builds coverage quickly and easily. Contains specially treated micronized pigments and soft-focus powders for a super-smooth look that helps minimize the appearance of imperfections. Absorbs and disperses oil. Contains special skin-conditioning ingredients. Oil free. PRICE: $32 CAD, probably a little less US. MY SKIN: My skin is about as "normal" as you can get. No signs of major oiliness or dryness, drier in the winter, oilier in the summer, generally balanced, not acne-prone or sensitive, no skin conditions (such as rosacea, etc), no acne, few skin discolourations, minor dark circles under eyes. Young skin, wrinkles are not a concern. COVERAGE: Buildable, but this foundation is pretty thick and viscous, meaning it's unlikely that, if you love the "no-makeup", natural-skin look, you will achieve it. It IS possible, I have done it with this foundation, but it will probably only be achieved with a stipple brush and a careful hand. Generally I think this is perfect for medium coverage, though I imagine (I have never used it for this purpose) you would well be able to build it to full. FINISH: Matte, I would say. It's not ultra-matte, so it won't accentuate the tiniest bit of dryness, but it also won't hold up for super-oily people either. It's a very natural matte, which I adore. I love matte foundations because I find they look the most natural; that's personal preference. LOOK & FEEL: This foundation is wonderful because I can skip the concealer. The coverage is awesome, conceals and blends like a dream, looks like my skin is perfect! It feels soft once it dries, makes my skin beautiful, touchable, soft, and overall just happy! DURABILITY: Lasts all day on my normal skin, and into the night. May not be so for extra-oily people, but it will stand up to a decent amount of oil. I do not have to touch up even once during a day. PROS: Great, buildable coverage. Excellent when used to cover redness or dark circles. Natural matte finish. Soft, blendable, durable. Absorbs oil. SPF 15. CONS: Not transfer-proof. Not suitable for very dry skin, due to its absorbent nature. WHO WOULD LIKE THIS: Normal skins, oily skins (depending on the degree), slightly dry skins (with moisturizer), people who want a buildable coverage but not necessarily full, people who like a natural matte finish. WHO WOULD NOT LIKE THIS: Very oily skins, very dry skins, people who want the "no-makeup" look, people who like a dewy finish. OVERALL RATING: A+
I'm sad to see all the negative reviews - this is my HG shampoo, love this stuff! The scent is wonderful, for starters. It smells natural and yet not overpowering. My hair always smells amazing after I wash it with this. (My b/f will testify for this. :P ) You get a big bottle for a great price, it's readily available at any major retailer, and it does the job. It keeps my colour pretty vibrant as well, I do believe it's lasted longer with this (though I do dye my hair dark, I noticed a lot of people who said it turned them brassy were light shades). It cleans nicely, and really - the great smell, great price, great quantity, great clean - is really all I ask for. I have repurchased this several times and will continue to do so until I die (or it's discontinued, knock on wood).
This product is more brown-toned than I expected, but it does neutralize my lips - it's very pretty for that natural look. It has a bit of shimmer to it, which adds a bit of glitz to your boring, zombie-esque matte nude. It looks very natural on me, almost as if I'm not wearing anything, which can be a good and a bad thing. It's not a glamourous shade, by any means, but I love that it isn't - goes well with a brown smokey eye for daytime, or a full-on black smoke for night. The texture is creamy, and it maintains moisture pretty well. Overall I like this lipstick and I would be willing to try more Smashbox lipsticks in the future.
Mascara -Christian Dior - DiorShow BlackOut Waterproof
crimrose 9/21/2010 11:58:00 AM
I don't know about this one. I'm not really sure how I conned myself into buying a $31 (CAN) mascara, but for some reason I was under the impression that Diorshow was awesome, and that Blackout was even awesome-er, because it was supposedly so dramatic. Well, on me, it is not dramatic, not in the slightest. I have a love-hate relationship with this mascara. Some days I think, wow, it looks good, and others, I think, where is that so-called drama? The consistency is not too watery and not too thick, but somehow, it just never produces much of an effect on me. Granted, it does the job of a mascara - it does produce some length and some volume, but you know, if I wanted "some," I probably could have spent about $25 less. I really just do not think this is worth the hefty pricetag, for such an overwhelmingly average product. I'll use up my tube (which looks lovely by the way, that must be what $25 of the price went toward), but I don't see myself ever buying this again.
Lipstick -Bare Escentuals - Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick- Barcelona
crimrose 9/21/2010 11:52:00 AM
I am a huge fan of these lipsticks. They are advertised as 3-in-1, meant to function as lipstick, lipliner and a lip plumper all at once. I didn't really notice any plumping effect, but then I never expect any "plumping" products to actually work; most of them only use irritating ingredients anyway. However, the idea of making a lipstick and lipliner in one, I think, is a fantastic idea. No squabbling to find a dozen different lipliners to match your separate shades of lipstick. I love that I only need one product to line and fill my lips, and when lined properly, it doesn't budge and looks flawless. Barcelona is one of my favourite reds. This is saying something, as I am a bit of red lipstick junkie (a bit!). I've tried many different reds, from drugstore to high-end, and I may just love this one the best. The application is smooth, the colour is vibrant (an awesome, sexiful, va-voom red), and it lasts a decent amount of time before wearing off. If you layer it with powder, it lasts even longer. I wore Barcelona to Niagra Falls and walked around in the heat for about 7 hours - was still there and rocking by the end of it, looked great in the photos. :) The finish is matte, which is great for me - love matte reds, they're a perfect punch of colour with a shimmery neutral shadow. If you're a red lipstick lover, you should definitely check out Barcelona. If you just love lipstick, but maybe don't like something this bold, check out the other shades - they have plenty of neutrals (the other one I own is Bombay, which is a great neutral rosy pink, goes very well with my fair skin and cool undertones - looks amazing with a rosy blush). Either way, this lipstick is perhaps my lipstick soulmate. Now, if only there were even more shades!
Liquid -Rimmel - Stay Matte + SkinPure Complex Clarifying Matte Foundation
crimrose 9/15/2010 3:00:00 PM
OVERVIEW: I love this foundation - I have never tried a drugstore foundation that was this good. Usually I am a MAC fan, but when I ran out of my beloved Studio Sculpt and needed foundation in a pinch, I picked up Rimmel's Stay Matte + Skinpure Complex from my local Shoppers Drug Mart for around $10, based on a review on YouTube that sang its praises. It's not for everyone (but what product is?), but if what I'm about to write sounds good to you for your skin type and preference, you just might love it. :) ABOUT ME: I am a fair, normal-skinned girl, blessed with skin that (usually) behaves. The odd blemish occasionally appears, but for the most part I'm acne-free. SHADE: In MAC, I am an NC20, and I picked up the lightest shade, in 001 Ivory. The shade selection, I'll admit, is reasonably poor. If you are very pale or very dark, you will have trouble finding anything that suits you. As for me, this is a near-perfect match, oddly enough, so I love that. I'm pretty ivory-skinned myself, and this may be just a touch too dark, but not noticeably. PACKAGING: This is packaged in a nice, hygenic squeeze tube, not unlike Studio Sculpt. It's presentable enough, and I like the fact that it's not in a jar or something - the foundation will always be clean and free of bacteria before use. TEXTURE/CONSISTENCY: The texture is pretty smooth - it seems to apply similarly to a tinted moisturizer, with its consistency being more on the watery side than on the creamy or thick side. The consistency is fairly thin, but it applies smoothly. APPLICATION: I usually use a sponge for my foundation, buying replacements as needed. I did the same for this, and the results were pretty nice. It's a very, very natural finish - it doesn't look as if I'm wearing foundation, which I love personally. You could also use your fingers if you wanted, and probably still have it come out just as nice. However since it's in a tube, I would strongly advise against using a brush - it can be very streaky. FINISH: It is not really purely matte, more like a semi-matte, semi-dewy finish. I really like that it adds the vitality, the lifelike glow to the face, without adding shine. Also, even though it doesn't look totally matte (though I fixed that with powder), it is absolutely NEVER oily on me, at ANY point during the day. I love the staying power. My skin feels smooth and shine-free all day. The finish is super-natural (my d/b remarked that it looked just like my skin :) ). COVERAGE: The coverage is light to medium. I think it looks the most natural when applied with a light hand, as a light, even cover on the face. However, if you'd like more coverage, I'd say it is buildable to medium. Full is not achievable because of the thin consistency and wet (as opposed to creamy) texture. WHAT I LIKE: The texture, the natural finish, the staying power, the look, the feel. WHAT I DO NOT LIKE: The fact that it has no SPF to speak of. I hate foundations without SPF - if it had sun protection it'd be great! Of course I can fix that with sunscreen, but why waste time on that extra step, when there are foundations with excellent sun protection, with SPF 15, 30, sometimes even higher? Seems like a waste to me. WHO MIGHT LIKE THIS: People who enjoy a natural look, a natural finish. People with normal or combo skin would be optimal candidates for this, not those with oily or very oily skin, because though I love the lack of shine on me, I am not a very oily-skinned person (only in humidity). People who want the no-makeup feel, because this is extremely light, not at all thick or heavy or mask-like. Those of us who are on a budget will also love the price. WHO MIGHT NOT LIKE THIS: Very oily-skinned people, people who prefer a creamy texture, people who want full coverage, people who want to cover acne or wrinkles, people who wish to achieve a totally matte complexion. Overall, however, I really like the look, feel, lasting power of this foundation, and it looks so natural - it's also so cheap! If you are on a budget, and you fit the bill, I'd say you should definitely give this one a try.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This is a dark, sultry matte red lipstick. It has a slight brownish tint, and seems to be cool-based; good for cool skintones like mine, though it would probably still work on warm tones too because of its brownish tint. TEXTURE: This is very smooth and soft upon application. I apply it over Burt's Bees lip balm and it applies like a dream. It is not like a balm itself, it is noticeably thicker, but at the same time, not at all chalky or heavy. APPLICATION: On a day-to-day basis, I apply lipsticks directly from the tube - I know my lips pretty well and find that unless it's a special occasion, using a lip brush is generally a waste of time. And this applies well enough, with a pretty standard curved shape and a creamy texture, goes on evenly. WEAR: This stays put well. Granted, I used a lip balm and a clear lipliner to set it, but I think if you generally just prime your lips, you should be good to go as far as feathering goes. This doesn't travel much, in my experience. It is drying after awhile, being a matte lipstick, and I expected this so was not disappointed. This doesn't wear off quickly, has decent staying power, and the colour payoff, for me, would be worth it even if it didn't. BEST FEATURE: The colour, for sure. The colour is all in the Kat Von D line. Her colours are superior. WHO WOULD LIKE THIS: Women who love that classic, sexy red lip, this could be your HG. It is mine at the moment for sure, and I love red lipsticks. People who love matte lipsticks, people with cool-toned skin, people who like drama but wearable drama. WHO WOULD NOT LIKE THIS: People who dislike the somewhat drying formula, those with chronically dry or chapped lips. People who dislike beauty. Yes. :P :)
I really like this lip balm. Got it as a gift, loved it, I wear it under all of my lip products. Its more waxy texture allows it to hold lip gloss, lipstick, etc, better than on bare lips, while also hydrating. I really like it and I have repurchased it.
UPDATE 5/10/2010 - Still loving this product, I have repurchased and it is still my HG powder. No bad reaction, most truly translucent powder I have ever tried. Love it and will buy it forever! This is my HG powder. Love the oil control on this, it really does mattify very well. Very pleased. At first I was quite skeptical that this would work as described, but I really love it now. :) WHAT I EXPECTED: I expected a lightweight powder that would control oil and shine without too many touch-ups. APPLICATION: Ditch the puff. Not only is it quite unhygenic (except for maybe occasional touch-ups on the go), it's a crappy applicator anyway, I don't know why anyone would prefer to use it over a brush. I usually use a flat-topped powder brush for this, the basics, and spread it in circular motions on my face. LOOK & FEEL: A matte finish, as expected, very nice and smooth feel. It's silky and lightweight though, not heavy like you might expect. It feels great. :) Does not settle into lines, and looks fresh, not too matte so that you have no colour. The powder is also quite translucent, so it doesn't add any perceptible colour to your face. STAYING POWER: This lasts on me without shine for a good few hours or more, which is great. It doesn't melt, and though it is not transfer-proof, I can forgive it that. WHO WOULD LIKE THIS: People with oily skin will love this. I have normal to combo skin and I do. People who like translucent cover will like this a lot. WHO WOULD NOT LIKE THIS: People with dry skin may not like this, and people who like a bit of colour may not like this either.
So, this is my first ever MAC foundation. I had heard from a number of sources that this gel-based foundation was good for oily to combo skin. I have normal to combo skin, with some areas that get oily during the day in my T-zone, namely my forehead and chin and the inner parts of my cheeks around my nose. So, through a good connection at MAC, I decided to purchase this foundation at 40% off, so I paid around $21 CAN for it. A great price for what this foundation normally retails at (about $35, I think). Unfortunately, when I went to get colour-matched at the booth, the MA there told me I was an NW20. This is not so; I do not have warm-toned skin. So, not knowing what is what, never having bought from MAC for foundation before, I take it home and it looks horrendously orange on me. Why she recommended it, I don't know, but I thought I'd share my poor customer service experience with you. If you think a certain shade will match you, chances are, it will! You know your skin best in most cases (I originally thought I was an NC20, and I was right!). So, after returning my first purchase (I couldn't get past the colour enough to really review the foundation itself), and using my real match for a few weeks, I can safely give my review on it now. WHAT I EXPECTED: I expected a lightweight foundation with light to medium coverage, that could stand up to oil reasonably well before becoming shiny. PACKAGING: The packaging is convenient and simple, coming in a clear squeeze tube. You have to be careful when squeezing it though, simply because when the product is pretty full (as mine is, being only a few weeks old), it will squirt out way too much. Less is definitely more with this product, so that's not so good. I love the fact that it's not in a glass bottle though, easy to throw in a purse or a bag if you want to have it on the go. COVERAGE: The coverage is pretty nice on me, very buildable. I would say that you could probably build this up to full coverage if you wanted to, but it's mostly meant for light to medium, and might look cakey if you try to build it up too much. I'm 18, so not like I need a ton of coverage anyway, but for an older woman or someone with a lot of facial imperfections (don't we all ;) ), you might want more. DURABILITY: This foundation is decent when it comes to oil control. It does get shiny on me after a few hours, but I never expected it to be more than that because this is not an ultra-matte foundation. It's usually about 3 hours until I have to blot, which is fine for me, though those with very oily skin will not be pleased, most likely. This does tend to melt a little bit in extreme heat (when it feels like 30 degrees out). It stays on very well otherwise, it is always still there at the end of the day for the most part. LOOK & FEEL: The finish on this, as I said, is not ultra-matte. This is good for me since I don't have oily skin. It dries to a semi-matte, slightly dewy finish, a sort of happy medium between the two, which I like. It feels quite silky, it sinks into the skin well, if you give it a minute or two to set before applying powder. It does not feel heavy on me at all, because I apply it quite sparingly. APPLICATION: I have used my fingers, a foundation brush, and a sponge with this foundation. The brush was a bit streaky, and though my fingers were fine, they made the blending a little uneven. A sponge seems to work best with this formula. The key to this foundation is to be very sparing with it - dabbing it on with a makeup sponge is the best application for me, and the way to make sure I don't overapply, because then it goes oily and greasy. It is quite a thick foundation due to it being gel-based, and can be mask-like if you really overdo it. COLOUR SELECTION: It's MAC, who are famous for having a wide range of colours - you can't really go wrong here (unless the MA gives you the wrong colour...not mentioning anyone here...). You're sure to find something that's at least acceptable and close enough that it's not extremely noticeable. WHO WOULD LIKE THIS: People with normal, dry or combo skin who want light to medium coverage, with enough moisture for dry skin and enough oil control for combo skin. WHO WOULD NOT LIKE THIS: People with oily to very oily skin, the oil control will not be enough for you. People who want full coverage without the cakey finish, this is not for you. People who want very thin coverage, also not for you, this foundation can be very thick and opaque, and has a bit of a learning curve when it comes to application because of this. I really like the look and feel of this foundation, overall. I'm sure there are plenty of others out there that may be better, but I love this enough that I will at least use until it's gone, before continuing my search. BOTTOM LINE: Less is DEFINITELY more with this foundation. If you need more, look elsewhere.
Cleansers -Dove - Cool Moisture foaming cleanser with cucumber extract and green tea
crimrose 5/21/2010 12:36:00 PM
I bought this yesterday on a whim, after seeing that it was on sale at the drugstore and I've been wanting to get a new cleanser anyway. I've never tried any of Dove's other skincare products before this; only thing I have tried of Dove's are their beauty bars and their anti-perspirant, both of which I liked, so I decided to try this. I have normal to combination skin, which the cleanser claims it is designed for, so I thought, great. The scent is quite nice, though it might be problematic for sensitive skin (I have very resilient skin most of the time, I can wear pretty much anything - just luck). It's subtle. Before I had been using St. Ives Apricot Cleanser in their Blemish Fighting formula, because it has BHA in it. However I found it to be very harsh and rough on my skin, and especially seemed to suck the moisture out of it, so I'd be dry and flaky. So the best thing about this cleanser, for me, is the texture. It is creamy and rich, and I feel less like I am dry. I haven't noticed a drastic increase in oil production either despite that this cleanser is very rich, but that's probably because I mostly I have fairly normal skin - it may exacerbate the problem for people with oily skin. Overall, I like this cleanser. I've only had it a short time and only used it three times, but I liked how it cleared up the oil on my face and gave me a fresh feeling and really prepped my skin nicely for makeup. It may have problems for some people, but this feels MUCH nicer than my old cleanser, I can tell you! I will update this if my opinion changes, however.
I really like these shadows - they are very pigmented and they go on very silky and smooth. If worn over primer (I use the famous UDPP), they last a long time without fading or creasing. The creasing time without primer is probably the usual for any eyeshadow. I own Elegant (very sheer light golden colour), Confident (dark rich brown), Wild (lighter than Confident, a more coffee-coloured brown), Glamourous (an earthy red with hints of both pink and brown), Sassy (a more orangey brown, with a hint of red), Mysterious (a light, subtle violet), Socialite (a sort of brownish silver), and Seductive (good old matte black). The pigmentation in these is superior, my one complaint being that almost all of these shades are very shimmery. For me at my young age, this isn't a problem, but for an older woman it might be if they wanted something more subtle. Also, these shadows can be quite messy, so I wouldn't use them if I didn't have a bit of time to clean up. It is impossible to put on face makeup prior to these shadows, because of the mess they make, it will ruin your face. The packaging is minimalist, which is fine by me, but the holes in the sifter jar are a bit too large, and this allows for a lot of the loose powder into the tray, which has a lot of potential for a spill, a huge mess, and a ton of wasted product. So be careful about that. Overall, great shadows though, and I'm considering purchasing some of the new shades. Don't waste your money on expensive mineral shadows, these are such high quality for such a low price! One of e.l.f.'s star products for sure, as much of their mineral line seems to be.
I bought this blush in Coral, and though the shade was not what I expected, I still like it anyway and use it. The best quality of this blush is how wearable it is, how well I think it would suit most skin tones. It has a very nice, silky texture, and is easily buildable, easily layered. You can use it for both a subtle glow or hint of colour, or a more dramatic look. One of the best qualities of any product for me is versatility - and this blush has it, making it a buy for me.
I generally really love e.l.f., and I think most of their products are at least comparable to drugstore brands, and select products are real star products that could even be said to be as good as the expensive stuff (Bare Escentuals, anyone?). However, not mincing words, this lipgloss is a dud. A total, complete dud in the e.l.f. line. I was given a set of the hypershine glosses as a gift, so I have all the shades. I will add one lippie for the shade selection; the colours are quite pretty, and some of them I even really liked. But other than that, these glosses are super sticky, they smell overly sweet and chemical, and taste absolutely terrible if you inadvertently get some in your mouth. The stickiness, smell and taste are bad enough that I never, ever use any of these glosses anymore, no matter how nice some of the shades are. It's a real shame because the colour selection is great and very wearable on most skin tones, and the pigmentation is just fine. Sorry to give you a terrible review e.l.f., I still love you, but this gloss just sucks, and I don't want anyone to waste even a dollar on one of them.