Loose Powders -NARS - Light Reflecting Setting Powder
ivanabacowboy 1/24/2013 9:30:00 PM
This product came out with NARS Spring 2013 line. The package insert reads in part: "Light Reflecting Setting Powder enhances the look of foundation without a trace of color and prolongs makeup wear. This silky powder is infused with photochromic technology which diffuses light and adjusts to new sources of light throughout the day. Fine lines, wrinkles and pores optically fade as skin is visibly smoothed." The powder is translucent (no color) so should work for all skin tones. The loose (there is also a pressed version) comes in a round twist-top powder container with sifter. The container top is typical NARS black matte, while the jar is glass. There is no sponge or poof included. One thing I like about the container is it is a bit smaller in size/heft than the typical loose powder - this one actually may not be bad to travel with. Let's start with what this product will not do. It will not: a) Make you a supermodel; b) Cover every blemish no matter how deep and give you perfect photoshopped flawless skin; c) Become a "wonder product" which makes your face perfect (there is no such thing unless your face really is perfect to begin with) or d) Give you shimmer - it is not a shimmer/sparkle/highlight kind of powder. What this product will do is: a) Slightly mattify your makeup (not in a "dry matte" way but more of a "soft satin matte" finish); b) Give a decent bit of a "blur"/softening effect - it will not remove pores or fine lines but will make small ones just a bit less obvious; c) Last the better part of the day - fairly impressed on this account; and d) minimize the t-zone shiney. I am mostly dry skin with the occasional late-day t-zone shiney. My dry skin loved this powder, and my t-zone did not shine. The best comparison out of the products I own in my opinion is the effect from the Guerlain Meteorites Compact Powder (the regular beige pressed meteorites) and the Guerlain Les Voilettes loose powder. However, the Guerlain smells a lot better (Nars seems unscented to me), seems a little bit of a "softer" effect - and is spendier and in prettier containers. But the Nars is not bad. I would repurchase and recommend this product!
Loose Powders -E.L.F. - Studio High Definition Powder
ivanabacowboy 1/5/2013 10:22:00 PM
This powder was a pleasant surprise for the price of only $6. This powder does an excellent job at mattifying, smoothing imperfections and minimizing the appearance of pores. Just a light application is all that is needed. The price can't be beat. The container is a bit akward twist-off, the puff is functional. Lasts the better part of the day. A cheap gem in my beauty kit for those days I feel like being "smoothed", "poreless" and "mattified". I have dry skin and this powder does not cake or flake-bonus points!
Concealers -Kevyn Aucoin - The Sensual Skin Enhancer
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 11:28:00 AM
I am NW25-30ish and shade SX09 is my match. I really like this product! It is essentially pure oil-based pigment. One tiny tiny little pot contains enough for years worth of uses-seriously. All you need to do an entire face in full foundation mode is smaller than the size of a grain of rice-closer to the size of a pinhead (for real!). Do NOT plop this out in an "average pump size" blob to work with-that will be enough to not only do your entire face but that of 15 of your closest relatives, 2 of your neighbors and 5 miscellaneous other people you meet while walking down the street. Now for some advice. This is not a "slap it on and go" product. You need to work with it, to blend it, buff it. But the payoff is absolute smooth pure coverage perfection! This product can be used as either a spot concealer (I like to use it on my "no foundation" days since I have fairly good skin just to even out skin tone), or as a full on foundation. This product can be sheered out with a lotion or primer to use but a caution-as this is an oil-based product, do not attempt to thin it with a water based product (oil and water do not mix!), you need to use an oil-based lotion or primer (Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer works well for this!). This is a bit heavy for "undereye" concealer unless you sheer it out signficantly. My skin is mostly dry and loves this product. I have heard that it tends to slide off of oilier skins but obviously I cannot confirm that-so definitely try before you buy if you have oilier skin. And this is definitely a try in person product to get a color match. Some of the undertones are neutral/beige, some are yellowish and some are pinkish. You may or may not have an exact match or need to mix.
Liquid -Guerlain - 'Lingerie de Peau' Invisible Skin-Fusion Foundation
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 11:14:00 AM
Love! Just love! My favorite liquid foundation product so far. Lighter satiny coverage. I am NW25-30ish (without any sun) and wear 03. 03 is a "hair" light but definitely "close enough". (In late summer I can wear 04.) The packaging is very nice-heavy glass pump bottle. I apply either with my fingers or with the Shiseido foundation brush. My skin is mostly dry with the occasional late day t-zone shiney and really likes this foundation. I wear this either with the Guerlain Meteorites Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer for a gorgeous "illuminated" look, or with Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer. Both play well with this foundaton. For a luxury line, not overly spendy (about $58). Glides on and blends like a dream-skin but better. Flawless coverage. Not much else to say other than perfection in a bottle. Guerlain does not have an extensive shade range though, so definitely "try before you buy". Shades starting with 0 are "neutral/beigey". Shades starting with 3 are "yellowy". Shades starting with 1 are "pinky". Notwithstanding that I am NW in MAC, the Guerlain 1 shades were all way too pink for me, the 0 shades are a much better match.
I wanted to love this foundation-really I did. I had 2 weeks worth of samples to convince me. But alas, not meant to be. What I absolutely loved-the texture and feel of this foundation going on! Smooth and airy, just absolutely amazing-it has to be the best texture I have found in a foundation. The initial finish was also amazing and nearly perfect for a heavier (they say medium) satin finish foundation. I used shade 109 (Wheat) - a hair light but workable on my NW25-30ish skin. (I also have reviewed Clarins Everlasting Compact Foundation in this shade - which ironically for dry skin, I liked more in the end than this product.) However, that is where what I loved stops. In no short order this became a splotchy mess on me. With primer or without primer. With moisturizer or without. I just could not work with this. I was so disappointed! My dry skin did not like this at all. If you are looking for a heavier coverage with a wonderful feel and finish but have a bit more normal or slightly oily skin, this may be the foundation of your dreams. But not mine sadly enough.
Palettes -Guerlain - Liu Eye and Lip Calligraphy Palette
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 10:30:00 AM
This palette was part of Guerlain's holiday 2012 "Liu" collection. It features 4 eye shades (pale beigey gold, medium coppery gold, grayish taupe, and brownish black) and 2 red lip shades (a blue-ish red and and orange-ish red). Each of the products is generously sized. It comes with two smallish brushes as well. The eyeshadow textures are amazing and have excellent wear time (the darkest shade is also perfect for a smudgey eyeliner!). The lip shades are typical Guerlain (and quite long-lasting with virtually no feathering, which is admirable for reds). My simple one-word summary of this palette: STUNNING! This is one of my favorite products of 2012. And the shades are not limited to the holidays-I can find many uses for red lipstick and the eyeshadow shades. A suggestion which was shown to me by one of Guerlain's national makeup artists: use one of the red lip shades and dot the coppery gold eye shade in center of the lips for an added unexpected sparkle! Note to Guerlain: for $79 (which actually is a pretty decent palette price from a luxe brand) please read the memo about putting covers/doors to separate lip from eye products. That is my only beef with this palette that the eye and lip shades are not "covered" to separate them. However, for the amazing product it is, I am able to overlook that and just subtract points for packaging. The palette itself is a sleek black lacquer case with the typical Guerlain velvet pouch. Well done! Highly recommend. Although from what I understand, these are becoming scarcer to find as they were a limited edition.
Concealers -Guerlain - Precious Light Rejuvenating Illuminator 02
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 9:51:00 AM
I was introduced to this product at a makeover by one of Guerlain's national makeup artists. I am NW25-30ish, and use Shade 02. (I believe the product comes in 3 shades, 00, 01 and 02). I love love love this product! It is slightly tinted and illuminating. This product is not a true "concealer" if you have more than "minor" things to conceal. This is more of a slightly tinted highlighter product. (Which will work as a concealer if there are just minor imperfections you need to conceal.) The makeup artist showed me numerous uses for this product. It can be used as a typical "highlighter clicky pen" under eye and in the inner eye corner. It can be used on the face for small spots where you want a hint of light (ie Cupid's bow, brow, even cheek). It can be used as an all over "wash" on the eyelid to illuminate and "pop" eyeshadow colors placed over it. And as I recently discovered on the MUA discussion boards, it can also be used as a "concealer" to lighten lip tone (for darker pigmented lips who wish to wear lighter lip shades). This product is a bit spendy for a clicky at $49, but it will last a long time and has numerous uses! It has the typical clicky "feathery" brush, and comes with a luxe velvet pouch. (Every clicky deserves a velvet pouch!) Highly recommend!
I purchased this product in Teinte Beige (NW25-30ish for reference). I have inherently dry skin and this powder does not cake up or flake off on me-kudos to Guerlain! I love the texture. I use this as a touch up powder. I really like the finish of this powder. While it is billed as both "mattifying" and "illuminating", I find applied lightly it is not inherently "bone dry" matte but is subtley illuminating. I occasionally get the late day t-zone shiney, and this product dispenses with it quickly. As with all products Guerlain, it smells amazing. The compact is quite attractive. My only question to Guerlain is for a luxe brand at this price point for just a little bit of product, what on earth is up with the flimsy spongey thing masquerading as a "poof" that you include? Just no no no. At this price point, you need a real "poof".
Primer/ Corrector -Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer Radiance
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 8:48:00 AM
If you crushed up a disco ball and suspended it in a very light shade of tinted moisturizer-Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer would be the result. On the positive side, I kind of like this product, but only when worn with heavier foundations (such as MAC Studio Sculpt) and applied very very sparingly. The texture is nice and smooth. There is a slight tint - which I am not sure would be an issue for very pale folks (I am NW25-30ish for reference, so the tint disappeared under my foundation). It played well with my inherently dry skin. I am not sure this primer did a whole lot for my skin texture or makeup application/longevity, but it did add a bit of a sparkle factor. I made the mistake once of following the Laura Mercier counter's advice that I could wear this product on its own without foundation as a "light tinted moisturizer". I shimmered sheened and sparkled from miles away - never did that again. If you wear a heavier foundation and are looking for a glow-I would recommend this product in small doses. However, it is just a bit TOO radiant for my preference. My preferred primer for "glow" is Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer-much much more subtle than Laura Mercier Radiance, and plays nicer with lighter coverage foundations.
Primer/ Corrector -Smashbox - PHOTO FINISH HYDRATING FOUNDATION PRIMER
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 8:29:00 AM
I did not care for this product. I have mostly dry skin, and this product did absolutely nothing for me as far as either skin finish, makeup application or makeup wear time. It was not drying-I will give it that much, but I am not sure I would qualify it as "hydrating" either. This primer is very rubbery siliconey feeling. Not the product for me. If you prefer that type of primer, you may very well like this product. My preferred primers are Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer and Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer. Signficantly more spendy than Smashbox, but sometimes you do get what you pay for.
I am quite surprised there is not more love here for this product. True, it will not make the skies part and angels sing, nor will it transform you into a supermodel. If you expect this from a makeup primer, you will undoubtedly be disappointed. It does, however, do the "illuminating" makeup primer job it is designed to do-and does it exceptionally well. I have mostly dry skin, and this primer sits very well on my dry skin. I absolutely love the look this primer gives to lighter coverage foundatons (such as Guerlain Lingerie de Peau). It imparts a subtle "glow" or radiance. (It is not "glow for days" obvious like Laura Mercier's Radiance Primer - Guerlain is subtle, light reflecting, satiny sheen.) I would not recommend this primer for use with heavier foundations for the effect-it is simply too subtle and would not "shine through" heavy foundations. The packaging is pure luxe-and I would expect nothing less from a brand like Guerlain at a $70 price tag for a primer. The bottle is heavy glass with a pump. The "meteorites perles" are suspended in the primer and crush as the product is dispensed, adding their subtle illumination. This is not a heavy siliconey "I-can-peel-it-off-my-face" type primer (such as Smashbox etc.). It is much lighter in application. The finish on my dry skin is quite nice. I also love Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer for face "texture", however, I far prefer this Guerlain primer for face "effect". They both have an honored place in my beauty arsenal, depending on the look I am trying to achieve. I would definitely recommend and repurchase this product!
Primer/ Corrector -Hourglass - No. 28 Primer Serum
ivanabacowboy 1/1/2013 7:47:00 AM
This is far and away hands down THE BEST primer for dry skin! You need only a tiny bit for each applicaton-so notwithstanding that $65 for the full size may be a bit spendy, it will last you a long time. (Trial sizes are also available.) The product applies oily-allow a few minutes for it to dry-down and set and you will be absolutely amazed! Smooth, gorgeous skin and a perfect base to apply foundation products will be the result! The product does dry-it does not remain oily. The best way to apply this product is with your fingers. Although you can follow with a quick buff with a brush to make sure application is even. If you read the inserts for this primer, it can also be used alone as a serum treatment, or even as a hair treatment. This primer is obviously oil-based, so as mentioned in a previous review, this may not play well with some of the more watery foundations, so be sure to test with the particular foundaton you intend to use it with (the old adage: oil and water do not mix). This is a perfect mixer for Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer for folks who use that product (SSE is also oil based). I cannot heap enough raves about this primer! As an alternate, I also like Guerlain Meteorites Perles Light Diffusing Perfecting Primer on my dry skin when I want a more "glowy" look. If your skin type tends to more oily, suggest the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer instead of the No. 28 Serum Primer. The glass bottle with pump is nice. The pump dispenses the product evenly. All around love and highly recommend!
I absolutely love Shiseido cream eyeshadows! My favorite is Sable (BR709). It is a stunning green-leaning taupe. It really pops the green in my eye color (my eyes are light brown with bits of green and gold). The formula is long wearing, smooth, and easy to blend. I also have Meadow (BE204, a goldish color), Patina (GR707, a green) and Leather (BR306, a brown). These can be worn alone or as bases to pop or alter other colors, and can be sheered out or built up for more intense coloring. I would rebuy without hesitation. Although I suspect each twist-off pot will last me about 9 days short of forever lol!
These are great blushes, worth far far more than their super cheap price! They are well pigmented, long lasting, and gorgeous colors. The texture is very nice and smooth and applies evenly and easily-something you would not expect from a dirt cheap product. The packaging is a twist off with a clear lid so you can see the color inside-a plus. I purchased 8 of these (for a total of $16 or thereabouts in a bogo-half off at KMart). I am NW25ish+ for reference, and my favorites are Redwood, Coral Sandy Beach, Terra Cotta, Blushing Rose, Tawny Beige and Bronze. I also have Touch of Pink and Rose Silk, which are very pretty but these colors don't get as much love from me as the others solely because I am not really a pink blush kind of gal. A whole blush "wardrobe" for less than half the price of one higher end blush! I highly recommend these-money well spent for a product worth far more than its price!
This particular color is Blushing Rose-a light plum or dark mauve depending how you look at it. Very "fall" and very pigmented. These are great blushes, worth far far more than their super cheap price! They are well pigmented, long lasting, and gorgeous colors. The texture is very nice and smooth and applies evenly and easily-something you would not expect from a dirt cheap product. The packaging is a twist off with a clear lid so you can see the color inside-a plus. I purchased 8 of these (for a total of $16 or thereabouts in a bogo-half off at KMart). I am NW25ish+ for reference, and my favorites are Redwood, Coral Sandy Beach, Terra Cotta, Blushing Rose, Tawny Beige and Bronze. I also have Touch of Pink and Rose Silk, which are very pretty but these colors don't get as much love from me as the others solely because I am not really a pink blush kind of gal. A whole blush "wardrobe" for less than half the price of one higher end blush! I highly recommend these-money well spent for a product worth far more than its price!