Eyeliner -Bobbi Brown - Long Wear Eye Pencil - Black Plum
linc2 4/27/2012 6:50:00 AM
When Bobbi Brown discontinued Black Plum Gel Liner (my HG), I started the urgent search for a replacement. I've settled on Lancome Aubergine for the upper liner, but it can't be used on the lower waterline. For the lower, I worked and spent my way through various pencils reputed to be "good" and durable on the lower waterline: UD, Sephora Flashy, and Chanel. Of these, I liked best by far, the Chanel in Cassis. But, while it does not drift on me, it fades during the day. Then to the new Bobbi Brown Long Wear Eye Pencil in Black Plum. Hurrah and fingers crossed! So far, I really like it. Mind you, I don't think it's the exact shade of the old gel liner, but close enough. It certainly doesn't apply like a gel liner, but it is DURABLE. I honestly think it lasts longer on the lower water line than the gel did -- it doesn't budge. While I like the application of the Chanel Cassis much better, the Bobbi Brown definitely lasts longer. I also tested them side by side on the back of my hand and Bobbi's resisted eye makeup remover longer than the Chanel did. I took off one lippie because there is virtually no smudge-ability factor. You apply it, it's there and it's not moving. What I don't understand is why Bobbi would come out with Black Plum in the new long wear pencils if the shade was less popular in the gel liners (at least that's a SA told me...but who knows if that was correct). I wonder if she discontinued the Black Plum gel because there were bad batches along the way? If you're a Black Plum gel gal, then you may know what I'm talking about. These pencils are definitely worth a try for the lower waterline. Super long lasting! Update. Now that the hot weather has hit, I am lowering my rating to "3" and I'm not as enthusiastic. In hot weather, this stuff drifts off the lower water line terribly. Not only does it drift, but the "drift" won't budge, like long-wearing raccoon. Much more than Bobbi's gel liner. Please bring back my Black Plum Gel Liner, Bobbi!!!
This is my current HG foundation, having switched from GA Sculpting Creme about 5 months ago. I am much happier with the LM Silk Creme, in terms of color match, application, and finish! I have aging, dry skin, which I believe is the target group, at least the dry part:). IMO, application technique is key. First, I apply moisturizing ss (LRP Anthelios 15), let that sink in for 15 min, then prime (I use DHC Velvet Coat), then put a pea-sized amount of LM Silk Creme Foundation on the back of my hand (a good-sized pea covers entire face). You must shake well before each use -- that's why it says "shake well" on the tube, LOL. I apply with the LM sponge that comes 4 to a package -- found application superior with her sponge than with fingers, brush, ordinary latex sponges, or SK sponge. It goes on so fast and like a dream with the LM sponge!! I then go over areas with larger pores with the edge of the sponge -- no pores are visible after this step! Then set with La Mer translucent powder. Even in hot weather, this combination lasts all day on me. I might touch up with blotting paper on the hottest, most humid days. One of the finest, most durable foundations on the market for dry skin. It gives a "flawless finish," comes in a hygienic tube (thank you!), and is totally worth the money. For reference, I'm NC25 and use Beige Ivory in LM Silk Creme.
This e/s is "supposed" to be good for me and certainly has a following, but it looks terrible on me. I tried repeatedly and then realized that I can't make it work. I am NC25, dk brunette, green eyes -- it has too much grey for me -- it deadens me. So much for "anyone can wear this color." Nah!
Loose Powders -Laura Mercier - Secret Brightening Powder
linc2 10/9/2009 9:07:00 PM
Hall of fame status for setting one's undereye concealer! This is one of the very few products that I cannot do without. I have dark, hereditary undereye circles and must use concealer. Regardless of what concealer I currently favor, I ALWAYS set it with LM's secret brightening powder. Finely milled, does not settle into fine lines, if applied lightly does not look powdery. (I apply with BB's eye blender brush, but anything of that ilk will do.) For reference, I'm NC25 and use LM's secret in #2. Unique and makes a real difference.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Professionnel Platinum Powder Brush #50
linc2 7/26/2009 12:54:00 PM
I see that most are using the Platinum Powder Brush 50 for powder (hence the name, aha!). However, I adore it for applying BLUSH, more so than my MAC, GA, or TM blush brushes. It gives such a natural application!
I love my MAC brushes, and I would save my 217, 266, and 187 brushes in a fire! But this little baby, the 182 kabuki, has probably made the biggest difference in the overall appearance of my make-up. I use it to apply and buff GA luminous silk powder, either loose or pressed. I still enjoy doing this experiment at my make-up mirror-- first powder and buff one side of my face, compare, and note the miracle of the MAC 182 -- it leaves an absolutely gorgeous finish! And, it feels divine on the face. Fortunately, I have not had the shedding problems that others have noticed, which seems to be hit or miss (don't worry...I got the worst shedding 187, so apparently things balance out in the MAC brush universe:)). It's expensive, but something to put on a wish list for a time when you want to indulge yourself or when a special friend wishes to indulge you with a wonderful gift.
I love the MAC 187 for applying cream foundation, but I hate the way it sheds and sheds and sheds. So, reading about the SK as a good dupe, I was eager to try. My Target doesn't carry it, so I picked one up on Ebay, paying a bit more than I should have in a fierce bidding war.....you know! I use GA cream sculpting foundation, and have used the MAC 187 very successfully. I found the SK to be a bit too soft for cream foundation, and it did not buff nearly as well as the 187, at least in my hands. If not judging it in comparison to the 187, I'd probably have said it is superior to the typical foundation brush. However, in comparison to the 187, it is not in the same league. (Although it sheds very little, for which I'm grateful.)
I am impressed! MAC studio sculpt is as close to a "five" as I've found. For reference, I have dry, aging skin, NC30, fine undereye lines (with one "not so fine"), and dark undereye circles. I have tried more undereye concealers than I can count, and most of them provide too little coverage and/or crease and cake like no tomorrow. Until this week, I had been using Cle de Peau, which is good, but with some downsides: (1) Color choices are limited. On me, beige was too light and produced modest reverse raccoon. Ochre was a bit too dark, but I tolerated it b/c too dark is better than too light; thus, it had no lightening effect. (2) Lasting power about 7-8 hrs, even on my dry skin. (3) Steep price. Oddly, I had to talk the MAC people into trying Studio Sculpt concealer on me. At Nordstroms, they said flat out "no, you're not a candidate," as if I was ineligible for a scarce medical procedure; the lady told me that only their moisture concealer would work, applied it under one eye and, with a straight face, told me it was an improvement over my Cle de Peau eye (not even close); I left with nothing. I trekked across town to the free standing MAC store, where I have consistently found good, honest advice. They were frankly not sure, feeling Studio Sculpt might sink into fine lines, but were kind enough to give me a sample in NC 30. Bingo!! I apply Studio Sculpt Concealer exactly as I did Cle de Peau. I moisturize the undereye with either DHC concentrated eye cream or BB hydrating cream. When the eye cream is just absorbed, I take the smallest amount of concealer on my finger and pat on the undereye area. SS is dryer than CdP, so I need to be a tad more patient with the patting technique. Very little product is needed!! I tap out any settling into fine lines with my fourth finger, then set with LM Secret Brightening Powder, #2. I am here to report that the coverage is as good as I've found anywhere and the lasting power is at least 12-14 hours. The color range allows almost anyone to find the ideal match, which I could not do with CdP. Summary: 1. For dry skin gals, apply over moisturizer. 2. Apply with finger, brush may over-apply. 3. Set with LM Secret Brightening Powder 3. On me, no creasing, caking, or sinking into fine lines. Application technique, including setting powder, is key to success. 4. Color selection and reasonable price are a major pluses. Update: 3 weeks, still loving the sample, and it was time to buy. I went back to the MAC store, since they hadn't tested any shades except NC30 (my foundation color). Both the artist and I felt I could go a tad lighter and brighter. After testing NC30 vs NW20, we agreed that the NW20 neutralized my blue-ish undereye circles and was a brighter look. Yah!!! I am truly impressed. For those who want to try, make sure you use only the tiniest amount -- too much and it will cake. If you apply with your finger, press, press, press and it will merge with your skin. This will be junk without setting powder, and I highly recommend LM secret brightening. I also decided to purchase the new 195 concealer brush, as the artist said it will apply even better with that...we'll see.
Eye Primer -Too Faced - Shadow Insurance, Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer
linc2 1/31/2009 6:23:00 PM
Excellent eyeshadow primer. You need just the slightest bit for each eyelid, spreads like a dream, is not drying (unlike UDPP, which I couldn't stand). It is a light beige, but does not appear to add any color to the eyelid. No creasing and eyeshadows last 12 hours on me. The tube packaging is perfect -- you can easily squeeze out a tiny amount for each lid, no contamination, no waste. I previously used Alexandra de Markoff Disguise for Eyes, which comes in a pot; in comparison TFSI is quicker to apply and more sanitary, seems to hold shadows a bit better, is a tad more moisturizing, and is cheaper and easier to find. If you find UDPP drying or frustrating, give TFSI a try!
This stuff deserves its great reputation. I wouldn't be without it in my nighttime cleansing routine. You can literally feel it working its way through your makeup, and not a trace left when it's done its work. My routine. I still use Chanel's biphase eyemake-up remover first b/c it's so quick and effective. (DHC cleansing oil does remove eyemake-up, but not quite as effectively as Chanel.). Then I pump a quarter size of DHC oil in the palm of my dampened hands and tmassage that lovely stuff into my face and feel it work like a charm. There is something very comforting in this step. Then I dampen my hands again, and work it a bit more -- this step emulsifies the cleaner. Rinse (by the way, there is NO oily residue). Then I cleanse with a tiny bit of Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Cleaner. The whole routine, including eyemakeup removal with Chanel, takes under 2 minutes, for outstanding results.
This is a gorgeous, rose-plummy, buildable color! At least on me (medium skin tone with yellow undertones, dark brunette, green eyes)-- ideal shade. My steps: GA primer, then GA designer shaping foundation in #7, dust with GA micro-fil powder (translucent), then the GA cream blush in #2. The blush tends to "grab" a bit, but after some experimenting, I found application to be perfect with the MAC 188 -- no more grabbing and the brush applies and blends at the same time. I then highlight above the cheekbone with GA sheer blush #10, again with the MAC 188, blend the whole thing, and it's as good as it gets on this older gal:). Wish I'd learned how to apply makeup when I was younger and had a better canvas to work with, but heck I love it when people think I'm 15 years younger than I am.
I have purchased Full and Soft umpteen different times, hoping that somehow "this time would be different." It has a nice brush, gives a natural full look (if you happen to get a good tube that's not already dried up), but it always irritates my eyes, whereas Lancome, YSL, BB never do.
Eye Shadow -Bobbi Brown - Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow - Rose Gold #8
linc2 6/8/2008 6:59:00 PM
HG shadow for my lid (dark brown hair, green eyes, warm-toned medium complexion)!! I've re-purchased this 4 times in the past 2 years, and keep coming back to it every time I stray and think I've found something better. When I'm wearing it, even makeup artists from other cosmetics companies recognize it as BB Rose Gold and the honest ones admit that they have nothing that will look as good on me. Just a gorgeous, bright-eyed look, which I pair with BB chocolate shimmer liner, MAC shroom on the brow bone, and MAC Swiss Chocolate in the crease. I really don't know what I'm doing (honest), but I know this combination looks great with my coloring!
When I realized that powder blush no longer flattered my "mature" skin, BB pot rouge in blushed rose was my first foray into cream blush. I used it regularly for some time (and added pale pink, calypso coral, and chocolate cherry to the collection). I was applying it with my fingers, and while the colors and texture were (are!) divine, I had trouble controlling the application -- I always ended up spreading it over too much of my cheek. It was not the blush, but my technique. When I discovered Armani cream blush, I relegated all the BB pot rouges to my "remaindered" drawer. Fast forward to a life-changing brush -- the MAC 188, which I have been using with great success on my Armani cream blush (applies and blends all at once). Playing around this afternoon in my remaindered drawer -- how would the MAC 188 do with my BB pot rouges? Well, you can guess from the score -- what I had not been able to accomplish reliably with my fingers, the MAC 188 does for me! I'm back to all my BB pot rouges and the gorgeous natural blush they give. Armani cream blush to the drawer for now. Update: In the hot summer weather, BB cream blush did not hold up as well as GA cream blush, which is drier and lasts all day. I may return to BB during the winter.
Sunscreen -Paula's Choice - Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF15
linc2 6/4/2008 9:02:00 PM
I've had excellent luck with PC's pure mineral sunscreen, SPF 15. I use it on my face and all exposed body parts. It has a wonderful texture, goes on silky, and makes my skin feel marvelous long after application. I understand what other reviewers have said about the white cast, but have found that goes away with extra massaging into the skin. You can't just slap it on and go, though -- you've got to work it a bit to avoid the cast. I use PC's AHAs for face and body every night, so it's super important to protect with sunscreen during the day. This one, knock wood, hasn't caused a rash or sensitivity. One lippie off because of tad extra work to avoid the white cast, but otherwise fantastic product.