After having used up an entire bottle, I'm just not convinced this is anything more than a mediocre -- albeit gorgeously packaged -- primer. As others have mentioned, the primer is housed in a beautiful glass bottle. As you pump up product, the illuminating pearls are crushed and dispensed through the pump. The texture itself is very runny -- it doesn't feel like your average silicone-y primer. That's nice, in a way. And it does impart a beautiful glow to your face shortly after application. Here's the problem: that beautiful glow disappears under medium coverage foundation. You may as well be wearing nothing. And the watery texture does nothing to make the actual application of foundation easier. I wasn't expecting miracles, I promise, but the fact that the glow doesn't even translate through my makeup is disappointing to say the least. And finally, a nitpicky observation: even with daily use, the product tends to crust in the pump, meaning you need to pick it out each time you pump out more product. Such a minor issue, but an annoying one nonetheless. After all, aren't Guerlain products supposed to BE about the details? I generally like Guerlain products, and it sort of kills me to give this a less-than-stellar review, but there you have it. (Honestly, I can't help but wonder if many of the glowing [no pun intended] reviews for this product are because people don't want to admit they spent the better part of a Benjamin on sub-par primer. :< Oh well. You've been warned.)
I'm really hard to match in foundation... most easily accessible brands (ie, from Sephora, Macy's, Nordstrom, etc. here in the US) don't offer shades light enough for me. My best match currently is MUFE's Mat Velvet + in 15, but that formula is just too dry for the winter. Enter UD's Naked Skin. Shockingly, .5 swatches just the tiniest bit darker than MV+ in 15, making it a pretty good match, especially with a skin brightening primer like MUFE's #5 (blue) underneath. That alone already makes this a success in my eyes. The texture is REALLY runny. But don't confuse that for being watery, as the foundation easily provides medium coverage. (Between this and the new eyeshadows and the lip pencils, UD's MO lately has been "how much pigment can we inject into our products and still turn a profit?") The nice thing about this watery texture is that the foundation feels really lightweight on the skin, kinda like MUFE's HD foundation, though that's where the comparison ends -- the finishes between the two are night and day. While MUFE HD gives a dewy finish, Naked Skin is more satin, much more natural. The downside, however, to the watery texture is that it can cling to imperfections -- flaky skin, peach fuzz, etc. -- but it's not really egregious. Good exfoliation and good technique with a good brush will go a looooong way in giving you flawless results. For my part, I at first used the brush that UD released at the same time as this foundation. It's good, but I find it tends to waste product. Plus, buffing only seems to highlight textural imperfections in the skin. Now, I use a stippling brush and get much better results. As I said, this stuff is pretty pigmented, so a single pump is more than sufficient for my whole face with some leftover for selectively building up coverage. I've been using NS five days a week for about three months, and I still have about a third of the bottle left. The wear is good. My face stays intact for a full workday and beyond, about 10+ hours. But it's easy to remove -- I've been using Clinique's TTDO Balm to cleanse and the foundation comes off with no problem. All in all, I really like this foundation, and it's been a welcome companion throughout this sh*tty winter. I'm interested in seeing how it behaves when my skin is decidedly less dehydrated!
Soooooo... Forever I had relied upon Blanc Type or Vapour as my brow highlights. Blanc Type, however, was always just a hair too beige on me, and Vapour, while pretty, isn't the true neutral I always wanted. Enter Urban Decay's new BYO palettes. The 6-pan palette comes with Walk of Shame, which is now my HG brow color. I think of WoS as a cross between BT and V... It has the pink tones (but not the lavender) of V but it's matte like BT, making it a perfect match for my very pale, cool-toned skin. As such, it goes with anything I do -- anything!! And the texture is heavenly: soft, not too powdery, opaque (it covers up redness on my eyes), and blends with other shadows like a dream. Unfortunately, the color is I guess technically LE, as you can't buy it alone? That said, I love this color so much I bought a second 6-pan palette as well as Naked Basics for backups. (Are you reading this UD? Make this damn shade available for purchase solo already!) Anyhow, if you're pale and cool, Walk of Shame is definitely worth your consideration, especially if you have other UD shadows to make the most of the BYO palette.
I feel like Clinique gets a bad rap around here, and I'm not sure what the problem is: bad advice from untrained SAs, people misunderstanding the products, or I'm just lucky. Anyhow, I bought this on a whim, as I was buying a metric sh*tton of products in the months leading up to my elopement (horrible idea, I know). Here are the bads: - the smell. I think another reviewer mentioned that this smells like cucumbers or the spa or something, but it's far too synthetic smelling. It's not godawful, but it IS unpleasant. Fortunately the smell fades quickly. - the jar. I generally don't like jars, not because of the germ aspect, but because I can't guarantee I use the same amount of product each time. I like the precision of a pump. Here are the goods: - it doesn't break me out. - it actually soothes the redness and splotchiness in my skin. - it gives my combo/oily but winter-dehydrated skin some balanced moisture. - it lasts a while, about three and a half months. If you have bad rosacea, this isn't going to change your life -- though if you have bad rosacea then you probably already know that no product is going to make all the redness go away. If you have dry (not just dehydrated) skin, this probably won't be enough moisture for you. But if you have combo/oily skin with redness (either from harsh products like AHAs or retinols or just general splotchiness, both of which are applicable in my situation), this is a fine choice. I will probably repurchase.
Ten years ago, if someone told me I'd be writing a recommendation for what is ostensibly water-in-a-can, I would have told them to put down the crack pipe. And yet here I am, recommending water-in-a-can. OK, clearly there's more than just water, but I'll be damned if I know or could explain what. Let's just say it's unicorn tears. Something MAGICAL. This stuff is refreshing. On bare skin, it's calming. It soothes redness in my cheeks. It feels great over sunburns, or burns from cooking. In the summertime, without AC, it's a godsend: a little spritz and me parking in front of a fan is just...glorious. (Yes, I pretty much made overpriced European water into my version of a swamp cooler.) Over makeup, it's wonderful for helping foundation melt into otherwise dry and flakey skin. (Though I wouldn't say it's a setting spray... It just makes your skin look more flawless.) Honestly, it's not just the water itself that gives such great results -- it's also the can itself. The spay nozzle that gives a delightfully fine mist (making application over makeup virtually foolproof). Whenever I finish a bottle I always tell myself "well that was nice, moving on now!" and then, after going without for a while, I break down and repurchase because I just like it so much. I have no idea if this review is remotely helpful because I can't really explain the science behind water-in-a-can, but suffice to say I like it and have repurchased many times.
Bust was first introduced in a BOS palette and has since been made permanent with UD's shadow reformulation. This review is based on my experiences with the permanent version. I LOVE this shade. LOVE. It's such a versatile color that I'm finding it difficult to describe. At its most basic, it's a shimmery taupe. When applied lightly, it pulls more brown and looks more like a champagne, but when applied more heavily, the gray starts to come through. It looks almost plummy swatched next to shades like Stray Dog and YDK, but it's not really plummy -- I think it'd closer to a true taupe. It's certainly not as plummy (or as nearly as dark) as MAC's Satin Taupe. IME UD has hit it out of the park with these reformulated shadows and Bust is no exception: it's buttery smooth and very pigmented. A little goes a long way. And I don't experience powderiness or fallout when applying. I use primer, but that said, the wear is great, as has been my experience with most UD shades. I'm very pale, so I like to wear this in my crease. I often wear it with UD's LE BYO palette shade Rock on the outer half of my lid and the new permanent shade Heartless on the inner half. The gray in Bust plays nicely with both shades while the brown keeps it from looking too smokey and dark for daytime. I can't vouch for how Bust would look on darker skin tones but I'm willing to bet it'd make a fabulous lid color. It's shimmery but not over-the-top frost. As a neutral shadow fiend, I <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Bust. If you like neutrals, you prolly will too!
Cleansers -Clinique - Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
evillittlekitten 3/3/2013 12:03:00 PM
So I've been on a makeup remover binge, having tried all sorts of products, from basic cleansers to oils to wipes to now this, a balm. The whole idea is foreign to me, a balm as a facial cleanser, but OMG do I love this stuff. You don't need a lot of product, as it will melt and spread evenly over your face as you rub it in. Eye makeup comes off easily (including tenacious MUFE aqua liners), along with everything else: foundation, sunblock, brow gel, the works. I rinse with water afterwards. The most surprising part (to me, anyway)? My face is clean when I rinse this stuff off. I honestly don't need to cleanse any further afterward. Even better: my face isn't left stripped and dehydrated. ZOMG WIN! I don't normally like jar packaging (I prefer pumps -- more precise) but since the magic is the balm itself, it's a trade-off I can happily live with. In short, this is a life-changing product for me -- HG x bajllion. =D
How is this lipstick not rated yet??? This is THE best lipstick I have ever owned. Wearing Rouge G after subsisting on drugstore, MAC, and UD lipsticks is like upgrading from a Yugo to a Rolls; a Swatch to a Blancpain; a McNugget to genuine Kobe beef... You might think the color is unoriginal and dupable -- practically everyone makes a red, right? -- but this particular shade is a timeless red, with a hint of blue and gorgeous depth and shine. There's also the fact that this formula is exquisite: it's creamy and moisturizing, but it doesn't feather or bleed or fade or migrate. All of which is to say nothing of the wear, which is fantastic: this shade comfortably hangs on for 8 hours. All in all, this lipstick is sinfully pleasurable to wear and incredibly low maintenance -- no balm, liner, or gloss needed. For me, it's my sexy, "power" red, with which I only really need some eyeliner, mascara, and f-me pumps. (And I know I struck gold if my SO is offering to buy me backups!) PS: This is supposedly part of a LE 2011 Fall collection, but I'm still finding it at both Nordstrom (online and in store) and at Sephora (in store). FWIW.
Blush -Make Up For Ever - Microfinish HD Blush - #5 Nip Slip
evillittlekitten 6/28/2012 9:31:00 PM
Great blush! After primer and foundation, my skin is a pale, blank canvas. This blush brings natural-looking color back to my face. My cheeks but better. The formula itself is SUPER pigmented -- one full pump is too much for both of my cheeks -- but it's easy to blend. Fingers work fine, but I prefer a stippling brush for control. It dries pretty quickly into a natural-looking finish (no pooling in pores), and lasts a full work day withOUT setting powder. The color is a very "natural", neutral shade of pink, and I would venture to guess that it'd flatter both cool and warm skintones (on those on the lighter side of the spectrum anyway -- though the color is buildable, I can't vouch for how it'd look on deeper complexions). Bottom line: when I'm out of ideas (or time), this is my go-to color because it's such a classic shade in a fantastic formula.
Cleansers -Neutrogena - Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleanser Cream
evillittlekitten 6/28/2012 12:55:00 AM
Late 20s crisis prompted me to start taking better care of my skin. This particular cleanser was randomly selected and...I got lucky early in my search. It's a cream cleanser, so it feels really cool and tingly on the skin. (If menthol is your thing, then you'll love this.) I don't use any special tools: just my fingertips and circular motions. I know MUAers will probably admonish me for not removing makeup BEFORE cleansing but what can I say? I'm lazy. After removing eye makeup, I rely on this stuff to get the rest, and it does so flawlessly. In the end, I'm left with clean, soft, not-too-tight skin. I always follow-up with a light moisturizer, but when I don't, my skin doesn't overreact and overproduce oil because it's too dry. Extra bonus: I've had light acne pretty much consistently since my preteen years, and I'll still get breakouts just before my period. With this, though, in my daily regimen, I've had sustained clear skin for the first time, well, ever. That is totally rad. HG cleanser.
Primer/ Corrector -Make Up For Ever - HD Microperfecting Primer in 5 Blue
evillittlekitten 6/28/2012 12:37:00 AM
HG primer. This does for me what MUFE's green primer couldn't: it covers up surface redness in my face without making me look ill or sallow. It feels like blemishes and discoloration are SO much more obvious on super-fair skin, so this primer is a godsend for doing the first round of color-correction before foundation (where I tend to favor light-to-medium coverage). Which is to say nothing of the fact that it smells pleasant, blends easily, and doesn't pill like some other primers can. I wear this so religiously that I can't really comment on how well my make-up lasts with it versus without it, but I will say that this plus Mat Velvet plus HD powder to set will wear all day and thensome. I was at a conference in 90+ degree weather with NO AC and that combination lasted from 6AM to midnight. One final (and majorly important bonus) is that this stuff doesn't eff with my acne-prone skin. I've got a great (and simple!) routine now, and this primer doesn't interfere in the slightest. In sum, highly recommended to any pale-skinned person looking to combat surface redness.
Holy freakin' grail. I have historically always HATED liquid liners. The applicators were always too big or too flimsy to give me the precise, thin lines I desire, and the formulas were always too watery. So yeah, given that background, I had been using MAC's fluidlines. But OMG... Just when I thought there couldn't possibly be enough love in my heart for another liner, MUFE's aqua liners went and r0xed my s0x. Where to start? OK, the applicator. Shake the pen, and twist. Out pops a little brush of what I assume is felt. It's small and on the firmer side, which for me is just heavenly. After daily use, the tip is still firm and intact (no weird fraying or splitting or flopping). And for a pen-using neophyte, this liner is so easy to use. It's just the right size to get in where it needs to go without getting tangled in your lashes. OK, the formula. Perfection. Wears like effin' iron -- whatever I previously said about fluidlines, just ignore. This stuff is as clean and precise and defined as it was in the morning. No migrating, no fading, no budging, no smearing, no flaking, nothing. We're talking "OMG MY PUPPY DIED I'M SOOOO SAD (but doesn't my eyeliner still look super-awesome through these giant salty tears?)" kind of wear. On the flipside, clean-up is quite easy with an oil-based remover. The pigment itself sort of...flakes off...like housepaint or spraypaint -- NTTAWWT. (Just figure I should disclose that so there's no surprises. =P) OK, the color. It's a matte, dark brown. Totally basic, but totally essential for fairer gals and guys for whom black eyeliner is kinda trainwreckishly harsh during the daytime. Other considerations: freakin' easy to travel with. After previously having to make space for a gel liner and an extra brush JUST for eyelining, I can't tell you how liberating it was to forgo all that for this slim little pen. After all, that means I have extra room to bring OTHER stuff, like more lipsticks? =D So yeah, like I said: holy freakin' grail.
The good news is that this primer smells nice and fresh; comes in a hygienic and convenient pump bottle; is easy to spread (it feels like a lotion); and provides a smooth canvas for foundation. Bonus: it doesn't pill. The bad new is that I bought this to combat surface redness, but the green, even in tiny amounts, makes my pale, pink-toned skin look jaundiced. I should also point out that this primer had no noticeable effect on the longevity of my make-up, in case that's a priority for you. Bottom line: if you have yellow undertones and surface redness and are looking for something to give you smoother, more even-complexioned skin for your foundation, then I'd say this is a solid choice. But if you have pink undertones, you will probably look sallow and sickly in this primer. A final note for fair-skinned people: if this doesn't work for you, try MUFE's #5 Blue primer -- I've been testing it out these past few weeks, and it does a wonderful job of knocking out the redness around my nose and cheeks.
Makeup Brushes -MAC - 222 Tapered Blending Brush [DISCONTINUED]
evillittlekitten 11/22/2011 1:32:00 AM
I own pretty much all the tapered/crease eye brushes MAC has to offer, and of those, the 222 is indispensable. Like a lot of people, I find the 224 too big and fluffy to define my crease. It tends to muddy the crease, lid, and brow colors (which makes it great for blending -- not so much for defining). The 222, on the other hand, is veeeeeery precise. Its narrow shape and "stiffness" lets you easily sweep color directly into the crease -- no higher, no lower. For someone like me, who doesn't have a lot of "real estate" to work with, it's a godsend. (But don't take this to mean this brush is only good for people with smaller eyes -- just as I use the 219 pencil brush to deepen my crease, so could you with the 222!) This is a top-notch brush on par with the famed 239: it's soft, durable, picks up and packs on pigment, doesn't shed, and holds up through washings. I seriously can't see why anyone wouldn't find something to love about this brush -- it's just so GOOD at what it does!!
Sweetie is, well, sweet. On me (pale, cool skin, pale lips), it's a rosy pink. It's not too bold or bright, but it's not too subtle, either. Juuuuuuuust right. It's one of my staple colors that I reach for when I'm wearing minimal make-up and just want to look "fresh". One gripe, as many have noted, is that the staying power is lacking. The formula is slick, so I find that color transfers easily and otherwise fades after drinking and talking. This doesn't bother me so much, because I find the lipstick comfortable to wear and more moisturizing than other lipsticks, but if you HATE touching up, it's definitely something to think about. Overall, it's one of the more reliable, versatile colors in my stash, and I think if you're looking for a basic rosy lip, Sweetie is one of your better options.