Styling Products -Kevin Murphy - Session Spray hairspray
lilblacksky 5/17/2013 2:57:00 PM
This has been my daily to-go hair spray for more than a year now. I have fine thin hair that gets weighed down VERY easily but this hairspray gives great hold while still being lightweight. It has really nice shape memory, I was once walking with the wind blowing right in my face - hair streaming behind me everywhere - this usually results in my hair basically "unravelling" and "unstyling" itself, but this time with a quick shake of my hand on my hair it pretty much got back to how it was before. Great for setting bangs/fringe, a new part, curls, using at roots as a volume helper, teasing, etc., just very versatile in all situations. And NEVER crunchy, flakey, heavy or horrible mess of stuck-together hair - just strong but invisible hold where you need it. The ONLY issue I have had is that the nozzle got cloggy the last few months I am using it and had a bad habit of spraying a direct thin stream to the side when I forgot to unclog it and least expected it. Otherwise I love it & think it's worth every dollar. Definitely would repurchase, in fact I have already.
This is anything but "translucent" ... I would categorize it as a tinted highlighter (or sheer, very glowy blush for the pale). As other people have noted, it is rather on the sparklier side of things, only a tad sparklier than I would like although not so sparkly that it is unwearable outside of a club setting. Again, NOT glitter, just very shimmery. Actually, overall from far away it gives a nice soft glow. It looks just fine indoors, but in bright light or sunlight .. twinkle twinkle! It also gives a warm, peachy, almost-outright-orange tint to my pale cool-toned skin. I wouldn't mind the hybrid-blush effect but warm-peachy-orange's aren't very flattering on my cool-toned skin. It requires a bit more thought and effort and coordination, and so I end up reaching for my usual trusty "swipe-n-go, matches everything" products instead of this. I don't mind the scent, I actually kind of like it, but those sensitive to strong scents beware. One great thing about this is that it is AMAZINGLY easy to depot, easiest thing I've depotted my entire life. You just nudge the pan out, don't even have to clean up any glue. Overall, It's a nice enough product, but it's not really up to my personal tastes. I don't regret getting this, but I would NOT repurchase. I would recommend this for warm-toned people who don't mind a little peachy tint and a little extra sparkle. I would NOT recommend it for those of you that can't carry warm tones well, and want a subtler, "natural-skin" sheen.
I have this in "Bad Girl" and considering how much I love it, I am looking into the other palettes as well. I find the shades very well pigmented on the whole. Abyss and Underground are the less pigmented shades, being rather dry, but even so they are average at worst. IMO Blade and Gunmetal are the standouts of this palette, they are amazingly metallic and are my go to for glossy-liquid-metal smokey eyes. I can just use either of them alone on the lid because of the shades' depth and reflectivity. Innocence is really nice too, for adding a hint of that same liquid-metal finish to any other eyeshadow I own. I wish Sleek made singles of their palette shades! The shadows themselves have an unusual creamy texture. They almost feel like cream rather than powder eyeshadow. I guess this is up to personal preference but I LOVE this sort of creamy, buttery blendy texture. Smooth blending and they last until I take them off at night, or occasionally the morning after... (and that is even without primer! I have normal lids though, YMMV) In terms of pigmentation, texture and finish I much prefer the Sleek e/s over my Urban Decay shadows (which hardly get touched anymore). The Sleek Bad Girl palette is one of the only two palettes I have not depotted into my z palettes (and I have depotted and purged many, many palettes). I think that says a lot about how much I like this palette! If you want to buy Sleek palettes I suggest waiting until they run a sale so you can basically get free shipping like I did. Next sale I'll be getting a backup of Bad Girl and maybe Storm or Matte v2!
Makeup Brushes -Ecotools - Bamboo Angled Eyeliner Brush
lilblacksky 4/9/2013 6:19:00 PM
HG eyebrow brush! The bristles are firm enough for control yet soft for flexibility. Neither stiff nor floppy, just right. The width is thin enough at the edge to make a sharp line but just thick enough so that I don't take forever filling my brows. Comfortable angle. I have been using mine for 2+ years now and it's still going strong, but will DEFINITELY repurchase once I need a new one. In fact this is the brush I recommend to all my friends & family trying to learn filling in their eyes with powder. With this it's a breeze to do either a sharp perfectionist brow or a softer more natural brow. As for eyelining, hmm, I suppose it could work if you want a very soft smokey-liner style. I wouldn't recommend it for sharp precise eyelining or with cream/liquid products.
This is a slightly milky pale peach gloss with a little bit of shimmer. The shimmer does show up on the lips but it is quite subtle, not frosty or sparkly looking at all. I bought this fully expecting it to be sheer, but to my surprise it builds up nicely starting with a second coat. What I love about this is that the color is very natural and soft against my pale skin. It's a wonderful daily-type daytime gloss but is also soft/muted enough to look smashing with a smokey eye. Also I'm a sucker for that cute bow shape on top. Now what I DON'T love about this, and why it's NOT my daily daytime gloss, is the smell. Very cloying, sickly saccharine odor of synthetic, chemical "cherry". I'm not usually sensitive to scent but this one is pretty strong, I can smell it on my lips for a while afterwards. And it smells pretty disgusting. It reminds me of the fake-"strawberry" scented toothpaste my old dentist used to shove down my throat. Not the best of memories. I will continue to use this tube up as I like the color/finish but don't think I would repurchase. Yes the scent is really that off-putting for me, and again I must emphasize I am usually not picky about fragrance. It's a nice enough gloss to be sure, just that the scent makes me hesitate each time I even consider using this.
Eyeliner -Prestige - Total Intensity Eyeliner Deepest Black
lilblacksky 4/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
Okay first of all, this is black as sin. So black, as black as my liquid liners. It /feels/ like a liquid liner too, the way it glides on so creamily and kills everything in its path with its blackness. When I was wearing this, people thought it was liquid liner. They were so surprised when they found out it's a pencil, and a drugstore one, of all things! I have tried Urban Decay Perversion and NYX Slide On, the NYX doesn't even come close, and Urban Decay Perversion is *almost* as good as the Prestige. Creamiest, glidey-ist, blackest HG of a pencil eyeliner I've had. So easy to make a sharp line or smudge/soften out depending on my preference. The downside to this creaminess is its lasting power. It's not bad by any means - it stayed pristine with the exception of my tear duct, through water and oil during humid showers in Asia - but it still does have that tendency to smudge a little just near my rather watery tear duct. Again, it's not bad, very typical of eyeliner products on me, but its utterly average staying power stands out because everything else about this is so awesome. Despite it, this is still THE best pencil eyeliner I've tried, and I will continue to repurchase as I have been doing for the past year. Try it if you want an insanely black creamy eyeliner. If you have very oily lids that don't hold product well though, I'd be a little wary.
I didn't buy this during the years of hype because, c'mon, $20 for a piece of pink foam? But I saw a pack of 2 for $20 on Amazon (including shipping), and I'd been having problems with dry flaky skin (read: cakey, gross foundation) so my curiosity (read: desperate for any solution) got ahold of me. And oh boy do I regret not having followed the hype years prior, this has seriously changed my foundation life. Made a bigger difference on my foundation finish than when I discovered exfoliating & primer. Even my thickest, cakiest foundations look so much more natural and smooth applied with this. I can do higher coverage now because it doesn't get cakey as easily. People have actually been asking if I got a great night's sleep or started a new skincare product, because my face looks so bright and clean. Hahaha, it's all makeup you fools! It's easy to use and faster than blending with brushes. I do the typical bouncing motion and always works great. I use it damp by running it under the tap for a few seconds and squeezing the excess out. I clean it as soon as I'm done with the mu; I use Dr Bronners and it cleans nicely, no stains. I imagine you could use any cleanser that cleanses thoroughly but doesn't leave greasy residue on your brushes. One important thing I found was to soap it when it's damp or dry, never when wet & swollen with water, because then it will take a long time to get all the stains out. Not quite sure why, maybe the BB needs room to absorb the soap? It does run pink when soaping (never on my face or when it's wet with just water). I want the white one but haven't been able to find them as cheap as the pink. Apparently they have a black one too, no idea about that one. The storage is a bit of an issue, I have ordered a tall egg stand for it. We shall see how that goes 8D I think you could use those drainy-soap dishes, too. Or maybe a clean piece of paper towel, which is what I did before it started aesthetically annoying me. Anyway, yeah, I love this. I can't remember the last time I raved about something so much. Yes it is pricey, that is the only thing I don't love about it, but I am willing to pay it for the higher coverage + natural realskin finish. Of course if someone comes out with a convincing dupe, I will switch, but I haven't found a comparable dupe so far.
I am very fair and cool toned and this is much too warm and reddish to be used as contour for me. Instead of looking like natural shadow (which is what a good contouring should do), it shows up as dark peachy-reddish brown. I don't mind that it's dark because I can carefully sheer it out but the red tones are a no for me. I wish it was a lot cooler toned and grayed; natural shadows are grayish, not red-brown. Now the color by itself doesn't make for a bad product. It's pigmented enough, for sure. But this is sooo soft and powdery. Every time I click the lid closed, a piece of the powder cracks off. I have been extraordinarily gentle with it, and yet at least a third of the product (more than I've used in half a year) has cracked off and crumbled. I haven't dropped it yet, but I am certain that on the day I do, it will explode. This is my first NYX blush, and frankly, I don't see myself buying any more if they're all like this. Too bad because I really like their eyeshadows & lippies. I'm glad NYX Taupe seems to work for a lot of people here. But not for me, thanks!
This is a VERY yellow golden-sheen highlighter. Aside from being quite powdery, it applies and blends well on the face. However, I cannot recommend it for people with fair cool-toned skin like me. Instead of a natural, from-within "melded into skin" glow, it just looked rather odd and "off", like I dusted yellow shimmer on my cheeks. Which is, technically, what I did, I know, but still it looked so .. odd, like I had yellow blush on. I was not going for the sallow look. I have tried using it as eyeshadow but it is much too sheer to be used as such. There isn't much opaque base, really all you get is a sheer overlay of yellow shimmer. I think this will be a very flattering product for golden toned beauties but it doesn't work for me at all. At least it was cheap!
I don't know what on earth posessed me to buy this, I should have returned it as soon as I could but I had so many primers to try, I honestly kinda forgot about it until it was too late. 1) Mattifying & Oil control properties: Zelch!! How can they call it Shine Killer?! At this point that's not just misleading marketing, thats a blatant lie. And I dont even have a super oily face - I have combo skin leaning dry, slightly oily on and around my nose & T-zone. I just wanted it to help eliminate Shiny Rudolph Nose syndrome. My imagination has more oil control properties than this prodict. 2) As general primer/base: D-. Despite its disappointing inefficacy at killing shine, I wanted to give Shine Killer a second chance anyway. Well let's just say my foundation looked better on bare skin than over Shine Killer. Shine Killer just made my foundations look cakey & ball up. On the plus side, it's a smooth light siliconey texture that didn't break me out. But it doesn't do anything a primer is supposed to do!! I wouldn't spend a dollar on this let alone the full retail price. If you want to try it anyway, make sure you keep the receipt. You have been warned ...
I tried out samples of Light 42 & 44 for a month before getting the full bottle of Light 42. Obviously I am pleased with it, as I shelled out for the full bottle. It is difficult to find a foundation that is pale enough for me and not too pink, or too yellow (hey, NARS Siberia!), and I really commend Kat Von D's shade range. 10/10 on that. Light 42 is a great match for me. It feels a hair paler and pink toned (dries down more neutral), but I don't mind being a little more porcelain. Overall, I think it's the closest match I've ever had. The next lightest shade, Light 44, looked like it might be a close match on initial application, but once blended, it dried down & oxidized to a very obviously unfitting orange oompa loompa color. There is a very significant gap between Light 42 & 44 that isn't as evident from the bottles so I highly recommend getting samples first if you can. In my opinion, they should make a Light 43, which would be in between Light 42 and Light 44. The finish is very and completely matte. I don't even need to set it with any powder & it lasts the whole day on my combination skin. It's really lovely when applied well, as it really gives that flawless, milky look. It's very high coverage as well, a fact my PHP acne scars love. You only need a pea-size amount for your entire face. I love the hygienic air pump, that allows you to pump out as little as you want to. However, it is rather finicky! Skin must be near-perfectly smooth, any flakes you have must be exfoliated away, must be well-moisturized and primed. I have thin combination skin that tends to dehydrate, flake and dry easily, and this foundation can really emphasize flakes, tiny bumps, and dry patches. Without proper prepping, my skin tends to look worse after than before the foundation. With proper prepping though, this is so lovely. Gives me that soft, even milky complexion I always long for. The best way I've found to apply this foundation so far is to exfoliate, moisturize well but not too much, slather on a good amount of smoothing primer, and then gradually stipple and blend a tiny amount with a slightly damp beauty blender (best) or a flat-top stippling brush (elf, Sonia Kashuk works nicely for this, Real Techniques is slightly too floppy but manageable). The great thing about this is that it doesn't seem to break me out (well, at least I haven't noticed any so far), perhaps because it dries down to an almost powdery, matte finish and doesn't stay emollient or feel oily. I have very acne-prone skin (my face would probably break out if someone even looked at it wrong) so this was a big relief. Conclusion: It's the first foundation I am satisfied with! I was never really a foundation person before but now I'm addicted to this bottle of milky magic that seems to make so much of my skin imperfections invisible. I think it is great for the oilier summer months, but it may be too dry / unforgiving in the winter. For now, yes, I would re-buy, it is the only foundation I've tried that is pale enough, (relatively) affordable and noncomedogenic.
I got this in Ethereal Light as an online blind buy (my local Sephora didn't have these stocked yet). I am rather pale (~NW10? KvD Light 42) so I was worried the others might leave a colored cast on my skin; plus, who can resist the promise of a "moonlit glow even in daylight"? (I am somewhat of a highlighter fiend, especially the glowy white ones) Initially I thought this would be more like a soft white highlighter (along the lines of Shiseido High Beam White), but I agree with a previous reviewer, that this is more like an illuminating finishing powder than a highlighter, at least for the shade in Ethereal Light. It feels to me like a hybrid of translucent HD powder that gives you that poreless, perfected 'finish', and a subtle white luminous finishing powder (more subtle than any highlighter I own - you can't really see individual sparkles, but there is definitely a soft pale from-within glow), giving the effect of mattifying and illuminating at the same time. I have thin dehydrated combination skin which tends to dry out easily (even the oily areas, and the dry areas even more so), but this powder doesn't dry out and flake my skin at all like most powders do. That said, the mattifying effect doesn't last long on my oiliest areas. I feel that this powder is much too subtle / sheer to be used as spot highlighter. So far I've tried using this as setting powder (over liquid foundation) which works great, and also as an all-over face powder, just for a subtly more polished look. A soft fluffy brush seems to work great with this powder. The texture is lovely, it's a little bit soft but picks up and blends evenly and naturally. As for the packaging, yes it is rather bulky, and much bigger than I expected it to be, but it's still very pretty. I love the adorable pillow-cushion shape. Would I buy it again? Well, I do like the soft, diffused, polished moonlit effect it gives me, but it is very subtle. I'm not quite sure if it's worth that $45. I don't think I will return it (I will update if I do), it fits my needs well (pressed form, mattifying, pore perfecting, built in highlighter, nondrying) but I'm not so sure this is HG material, either. I think I will keep experimenting with it a little bit more. For now I put Yes. Edit: After using it for a few more weeks I decided to keep it, for the reasons stated above, and also because it's really helpful with foundation mistakes (make it look less cakey and more like smooth skin).
My favorite mascara that I've tried so far! It gives super black, thick, lush lashes all without flaking, clumping, drooping or smudging. You can build and build and build it up to be suuper dramatic. My favorite before finding this was Essence Get Big Lashes waterproof mascara, which was great but it did have minor problems of a lot of tiny clumps and flaking. I only used waterproof mascaras before this because I really need my mascaras to hold a curl, but this Prestige mascara, despite not being waterproof, holds a curl very well. (It's still a bitch to remove though, but for all its pros I'll put up with it) I also like this way better than Jordana's Best Lash Extreme, which was pretty dramatic but also became fuzzy-clumpy and also drooped my lashes a lot because it was so heavy. If you buy this mascara and it doesn't seem that great, give it a week before you return it. I thought it was really meh until I tried it again after a few days after I opened it, and that's when I fell in love!! If you're on the lookout for big black dramatic lashes that doesn't look like you glued fuzzy spider legs on your lids, give this a try!!
Highlighters -Rouge Bunny Rouge - Seas of Illuminations -Sea of Clouds
lilblacksky 11/29/2012 12:47:00 AM
I love this so much. It gives this beautiful glow-from-within to my light skin (KvD Light 42) and somehow seems to reflect light in a way that blurs my imperfections. Moonlight in a bottle! It can be used sheer for a natural subtle sheen or built up for a gorgeous glow. I rarely used highlighter before this but now I use this every day, that's how much I love what it does for my skin! It has a slight pleasant fresh cucumber-rose scent that is very faint and disappears quickly :) I've been using this for a month or two and it has not broken me out (so far). The only thing is that a full pump will give me more than I need since a little bit goes a long way. I have to be careful and only press the pump a tiny fraction of the way, or else end up having to use the remainder on my decollete/clavicles.
Got this for $3.29 during a pleasing sale at Ulta. Been using it on and off on spot acne scars. I do like it so far, although it's a bit too liquidy for my tastes and makes disgusting squelching noises when I push the wand back in. Pigmentation, lasting power, etc all seems decent. (Most things last fairly well on me, though.) I haven't visibly reacted from it; if I don't eventually get clogged from it I will be a happy camper. I also commend their shade variety! I purchased the palest shade "porcelain" (CW01) without a single thought as I'm almost always the palest shade, but it's actually too light for me! (For reference, I am Light 42 in KvD) I was amazed. The NYX site says it has blue undertones and I agree it can look ashy on my neutral-yellow toned skin. I can still make "porcelain" work if I blend well but it's too much of a hassle (plus, blending reduces opacity) so if I decide to rebuy this, I probably will try it in "fair' (CW02) next. Pale people on a budget, try this out! I will update if I break out from this, but for now you get 4 lippies for 1) having a decent range of colors, 2) working like a generally decent concealer should :)