Blush -Tarte - Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Amused
deb2382 10/17/2011 10:32:00 PM
This looks frighteningly bright pink in the pan, but amazing when applied with a very light touch on med-dark skin - brightens up my NC40-42 cheeks. I never really thought pink blushes were for me (most pull coral on my olivey-yellow undertones) - but this shows up as a true pinky glow. Since it is so pigmented this will last me a lifetime and then some, but I would rebuy if I lost it :)
Holy smokes, and to think I went in to Sephora on a mission to buy MUFE HD concealer. The SA kindly steered me to the Sephora brand, suggesting that I might find a better color match. I bought the Sephora concealer rather skeptically, thinking that if I didn't like it I could always come back for the MUFE. But I love it! And at half the price of MUFE, it is a steal. I find it to be long lasting on my oily skin, VERY pigmented (I have dark acne marks which it covers with a very thin layer), and I Iike the tube packaging. Amazing color match, too, which I never seem to find in concealers (I have olivey undertones and med-dark skin; I am NC40-42, and I bought 35 Bronze in the concealer). I think it works best when stippled on - I like to use the Sephora Pro Concealer Airbrush for larger areas and a pointed eyeliner brush for smaller dark spots. One note - it definitely looks darker and more orangey in the tube than applied, so make sure to try before you buy.
Would never, ever have thought to buy or wear bright orange blush if it weren't for the glowing MUA reviews. So glad I bought into the hype! For reference, I am NC40-42 and this is a really lovely blush on warm skintones. This blush gives an amazing healthy summery glow when applied diffusely with a skunk brush. You only need a teeny bit for each application since it is super-pigmented, so even though the price is steep, you're getting enough in the pan to last three lifetimes - the price is decent from that perspective.
Great color match for me (NC40-42, somewhat olivey undertone - my match was Syracuse) and I loved the slightly glowy finish, even though I was less than thrilled with the fact that it tended to wear off a bit over a long day (which I was willing to put up with for the lovely color match!). But alas, after a couple of weeks I had to admit that this was the culprit of the breakouts on my chin. I do have very sensitive, acne prone skin, so if you have less reactive skin it may work for you.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Blush Brush
deb2382 8/28/2011 1:29:00 PM
This is a great brush for diffuse blush application. I like using it with pigmented blushes (e.g., Nars, or Tarte AC). You almost don't have to blend your blush when applying with this, it does it for you- but you may have to layer your blush if you're looking for more intense color. It is a great value at this price (i got it as part of a three brush set at Ulta for $15). Additional plus - washes clean very quickly, and dries super fast.
I have sensitive skin, and this primer broke me out in itchy bumps on my cheeks within a couple of hours of applying. In addition, I think it made me look oilier than usual in the T-zone. Good thing I can return to MAC. The packaging with a pump is nice, but IMO the product inside is not.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Salux Nylon Japanese Bath Towel
deb2382 8/13/2011 10:26:00 PM
Yet another product that I would not ever have known about if it weren't for MUA! Ordered from saluxshop.com as suggested by reviewers below, service was quick and easy. This product is awesome. I don't like using messy scrubs and have dry skin on my legs - this is a magical solution to these problems I've been using the salux cloth for a week and a half and my legs are smoother than they've ever been - bumpy dry skin is almost completely gone. I will definitely repurchase!
As a longtime Mac Fluidline user, I was skeptical of anything that reviewers claimed would rival the greatness of Blacktrack. But the Inglot matte black gel liner actually lives up to the hype. I happened to be in NY on a trip and stopped by the Inglot store specifically to buy this. Love it! On me, it is a true matte black with a single swipe, darker than Blacktrack. It lasts all day with zero fading in hot summer weather - amazing. Be warned - it is super-fast drying, so it is hard to fix any mistakes. I find that I have to be more careful, and do better with a fine eyeliner brush than my usual small angled brush with this one. I've had mine for only a few weeks, so I can't speak to the drying out problem that some reviewers have mentioned. It is cheaper than fluidline by a few bucks, so that is an added plus.
Sunscreen -Aveeno - Natural Protection Mineral Block Lotion SPF 30
deb2382 6/12/2011 11:33:00 AM
I'm sensitive to chemical sunscreens, and finding a physical sunscreen that doesn't leave a ghostly cast on brown skin is near impossible. I'd been using a moisturizer with SPF 15 all winter, but needed something more heavy duty for my face for the SoCal summer. The Aveeno Mineral Block starts off a stark white, but about five minutes after it is applied it fades to a very light trace of whiteness on my NC40 skin. It is not very thick, and does not make my skin oily or break me out unlike others (Neutrogena Pure Ultra Sheer, looking at you). It is not too drying - I am able to skip moisturizer underneath it, but I have pretty oily skin. Bottom line - if you have sensitive skin, this is a good choice for drugstore SS.
Um - what shimmer? I bought Black Platinum on a whim b/c CG mascaras were BOGO50% at Ulta and I needed a LashBlast anyway. This looks exactly like the normal LashBlast on me, except that it's a little less intense black (I usually like the very black). There is no other difference! Oh well, I can't say it's a terrible product, it's just not what was promised on the packaging.
I tried the Oil-free gel version of Alpha Hydrox first based on MUA reviews, but I think it caused a few breakouts. I did like the 'glow' it gave my skin, which had been especially flaky and dull due to Retina-A use in the winter. So I picked up the Enhanced Cream to try instead - winner! I've been using this for about a month every other night (Retin-A on non-glycolic nights) and voila - no acne, no dry skin, my skin has not looked this good in years. I have very reactive sensitive skin and usually have all kinds of problems with most moisturizers but I have had no issues with this one. And it is easily available at Ulta. Love!
I had a hankering recently to buy a NARS blush to see what all the fuss was about. Sin - which shows up as a dusty rose on my NC 42 skin - isn't a blush color I typically wear, but the Sephora SA convinced me it was a good choice. I'm glad she did! It's the 'sophisticated' blush look - not much glitter (thank goodness), but not totally matte, either. It's pretty pigmented, so I find the perfect application is with a MAC 187-type brush rather than a typical dense blush brush. Having used my first NARS blush, I can agree it is worth the extra moolah for the product quality.
A good drugstore lipgloss! The packaging is clearly an homage to Chanel, which makes it feel expensive;) This is way more pigmented than the regular Revlon glosses in the shorter tubes. For me, the formula is very moisturizing without being sticky. I do agree with a previous reviewer that the range of shades is VERY limited - with only a few exceptions, all of the shades kind of look the same. I hope Revlon comes out with new shades, because this is a good drugstore product.
Cleansers -Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (Real Purity Cleanser)
deb2382 11/8/2010 10:35:00 PM
I used to use acne facewashes from the drugstore, until I realized they only made matters worse. Purity is a gel cleanser that is somehow gentle but still able to remove all my makeup! I also use it with my Clarisonic. It doesn't dry out my skin. Love this stuff. Wish the bottle came with a pump though - so I transfer it into an old facewash bottle that does have one.
Eyeliner -MAC - Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack
deb2382 9/18/2010 12:05:00 PM
Oh Fluidline, how I love thee. I wear eyeliner daily, and until I met Blacktrack, everything would either smudge or disappear by midday. The MAC 266 angled brush is key for perfect application for me - I tried a number of cheaper angled brushes, but it made a huge difference when I finally bought the MAC brush. Perfect thin line with slight wing every time! My 1.5 year old pot currently *looks* like it has dried out, with a big crack down the middle of the product - but it still picks up on the brush creamy enough, so I'll continue to use it for now. Definitely will repurchase in the future.