Lipstick -Cover Girl - TruShine - Blushberry Shine 415 [DISCONTINUED]
michellabella 3/29/2008 9:06:00 PM
On my quest to find a more moisturizing dupe of NARS Dolce Vita (HG shade for me, but NARS lipsticks dry my lips out horribly), the Blushberry TruShine always comes up as a suggestion. On me, however, the Blushberry didn't look at all like Dolce Vita. I even swatched them side by side. Like the other DV dupe that people recommend, Clinique's Guava Stain, Blushberry was for more orange-y and warm-toned than Dolce Vita. It was also disappointingly sheer, and barely showed up on my lips. I also hated the formula, it didn't feel moisturizing to me (I was hoping for something like Vincent Longo stains or baby balms, soft and comfortable). All in all, I did not like the TruShine, and would tell people looking for a Dolce Vita dupe to look elsewhere.
Lipstick -Clinique - Different Lipstick - Guava Stain
michellabella 3/29/2008 8:42:00 PM
This was a nice, natural shade, but not what I was looking for, unfortunately. In my quest to find a more moisturizing dupe for NARS Dolce Vita, this was suggested to me. Alas, this did not look at all like Dolce Vita on me. Somehow, with my coloring or complexion, Guava Stain goes orange on my lips. Even swatched on my hand, it didn't resemble the Dolce Vita I own at all. It's not only more orange than rosy, it's also far too sheer. I would tell anyone who is looking for a Dolce Vita dupe that this may not be the answer to your prayers.
Top/Base Coats -Essie - Good to Go! The Fastest Drying Top Coat
michellabella 1/10/2008 12:04:00 AM
In my experience with fast dry top coats, Essie Good to Go is not as great as Seche Vite but still better than Poshe. It is not as shiny or as long-wearing as the Seche Vite, but applies more smoothly and performs better than Poshe. It does seem to make polish peel from the base of the nail after a few days, but I actually prefer this chipping from the tip. I got this free with a gift, so I can't speak to its price, but it seems like if you couldn't get a hold of Seche Vite, it would be a decent enough alternative.
Top/Base Coats -Poshe - Super-Fast Drying Top Coat
michellabella 1/9/2008 11:54:00 PM
I have been using Seche Vite happily for years, but thought I'd try Poshe just for comparison's sake after hearing it was a lower-priced alternative to my HG top coat. Sadly, I did not find Poshe to be nearly good as Seche Vite. It seems to dry in about the same time as Seche Vite, but doesn't have the high shine that I have come to expect, nor does it seem to protect the nail color for as long. With Seche Vite, even the darkest vamps last about a week and look only nominally worn. Poshe shows edge wear by as soons as the second day, and is more prone to chipping. The main reason that I would never re-purchase Poshe is that is the WORST with bubbles. No, I am not vigorously shaking my bottle! I apply the way I do everything else, very carefully, and always by my second hand, there are tons of very obvious bubbles in the top coat that drive me insane. Many lovely manicures were ruined by this, so I am basically just using this on toes (where it is less visible) until it runs out. So I would not recommend Poshe--really, if you haven't tried Seche Vite, you really should. I even liked Essie's better.
I've tried the rest, and Seche Vite is still the best. After years of use, Seche Vite has never failed me. It is (perfectly manicured) hands-down, the best top coat I have ever used. It dries even multiple layers of the thickest nail polish fast. It never bubbles, in fact it even seems to correct any bubbles or mishaps with whatever is underneath. It is the glossiest, longest-lasting top coat I have tried, extending manicures by days and pedicures by weeks. Especially if you love deep nail colors, like vamps or reds, Seche Vite is a must-have for keeping chips and worn edges at bay. I do recommend buying the thinner because it will help you to get every last bit of this magic potion out of the bottle, even when it starts to get goopy. At around $10 for bottle, it is well worth the price. I take my bottle into the nail salon if I am having my mani/pedi done there, but it even make my home jobs look professional. As a tip, I also find applying an extra maintenance coat every couple days protects polish even longer; edge wear, chips, and peeling are a thing of the past. Seche Vite is a true Holy Grail for me, if it ever runs out, I will be DEVASTATED. Vive la Seche Vite, I'll never buy another top coat ever again!
This is in my top 3 of all-time favorite blushes from Everyday Minerals (which includes Siesta and Waffle Cone), and out of those 3, this is the one I use the most. To me, it is the perfect, all-season, go-with-anything, neutral pink (for reference my skin varies from Buttered Tan to Light Olive depending on the time of year). The texture is wonderful, in that it buffs into skin to look like it's coming from within, and is one of those subtle shades that make people say, "Your skin look fantastic!" not "Your blush looks fantastic!" I also like that aside from adding beautiful color, it seems to give additional coverage to the skin without looking chalky (I have redness from old acne marks, so I appreciate all the help I can get). I love this blush, so EM please don't discontinue this (like it's peachier cousin, Siesta).
I did not appreciate this subtle blush when I first received it as a sample during the summer. When I am tan, and EM Buttered Tan in shade, this was almost entirely unnoticeable on me. I gave this another try now that my face has lightened to Light Olive in tone, and this is a lovely, extremely natural, matte, neutral pinky-nude with a lot of beige that makes me look better without looking like I have any make up on. Also, because it seems to have pretty good coverage for a blush, you could probably even skip your foundation if you use this and get out the door faster. I would recommend this blush primarily for fair to light complexions--and even in this case, it will still be very subtle. I don't know if I would repurchase, as my HG go-with-anything neutral pink EM blush is Nick Nack (the pink is much more apparent than in Email Me), but if you're very fair, this might be a great enhancer for you.
If, like me, you are mixed heritage, of Asian background, fair-medium complected and can't seem to find a foundation match that is not too pink, too peach, or too yellow, give Buttered Tan a try. Finally, a perfect match for my skin in the summer, and the mineral make up formula in Intensive or Matte is perfect for everyday use on my oily skin during those warmer months. The coverage of this is superior to Bare Escentuals. It hides everything I need it to, but still looks natural. It also lasts all day--I have even worn it to the pool and while not totally waterproof, it's fairly water-resistant. Buttered Tan is too dark for me in the Winter, when I tend to lose color, but I have found a perfect match for my paler days in Light Olive. I love Everyday Minerals for their range of formulas and colors, plus they are less expensive than their competitors, despite having superior product. If you have had the same challenges I have finding a foundation match, throw this in your sample kit!
While I haven’t used everything in this compact yet, I thought I would go ahead and post a review with some basic information and a picture, since it seems a lot people have questions about it. For $85 US, this palette comes in the classic Chanel logo hard case, about the size of a Chanel Double Perfection Foundation Compact (approximately 3” X 4”—I’ve heard complaints about this being small, but I hate huge palettes, which I feel defeats the purpose of portability; e.g., I love my Tarte A List but it’s too bulky for travel; and besides the pans are large enough on the inside). It comes in a velvet pouch with pockets that hold brushes for the four eyeshadows, four lip colors, and single blush. This is a solid, useful collection of some of Chanel’s best sellers and a few new “exclusives”: the eye shadows are Safari, Lotus, Cinnamon, and a pale pink shimmer (sorry I don’t know if this is an existing shadow or not); the blush is Incognito; and the four lip shades include a silvery mauve, a soft coral, light cherry pink, and a nudey peach. As is sometimes the case in palettes, the quality of products compared to full-size can be questionable, but in the case of this palette, I find the eye shadows have a lovely texture, unlike NARS, which I have found can be hard and disappointingly lacking in pigment in the Artist’s Palettes. Yes, the shadows in the Chanel palette are sheer, but the soft pigment of these shadows create a lovely veil of color that could work in almost any situation—from a professional day face, to romantic evening looks. I love all the shades, which have just the right amount of shimmer to give a beautiful, subtle sheen, so it’s more like a sheen (not over-the-top glitter ŕ la Urban Decay, and is more sophisticated than Stila’s most shimmery shades). I even love Cinnamon; even though browns with red in them usually look like death on me, this actually works (I used it under the eye for a liner with slight bronzey shimmer). The blush is an Irreelle, which some people don’t like for their sheerness, but I love this indescribable blend of peachy, pinky, tan which is easy to apply and enhances the cheeks without looking obvious. Incognito gives off a lovely candlelit glow that I think could literally go with anything. I haven’t tried any other lip color than the cherry pink, which was just okay. I didn’t buy this buy this palette for the lip products, anyway, but I do love that theoretically I could just throw this, my Double Perfection Compact, and some eyeliner or mascara into a bag and a have a full face at the ready in a moment’s notice. Even though this comes with brushes, you will likely want to use your own—but in a pinch, these are more useful than most of the applicators you might find included in products. All in all, I do not regret this purchase, and am even considering purchasing the other version of this palette (“Soleil”), although that is a warmer version (and warm colors don’t always suit me).
Like the reviewer below, I had different expectations from Boris & Natasha. So far, it's the one disappointment from the OPI Russian Collection that I have purchased (the other hits being Affair in Red Square and Kreme de la Kremlin--I also got Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey but haven't tried it yet). Personally, I get annoyed when a nail polish is not the same color as its appearance in the bottle promises. I was looking forward to a deliciously deep dark plum creme, but there's just too much brown in this, making it look flat next to my skin tone for some reason. It's one of those colors that's just okay, but I have other vamps in my nail polish collection I prefer. UPDATE: I am adding a lippy. I gave it another chance on my toes & have found I like it a lot more. I like that it is a creme, so I can wear in place of LPAM. I have no idea why, but now the plum is more apparent--can it be that I changed my base & top coat?
It's funny, of my purchases from OPI's Russian Collection, this shade got the most compliments from women (as opposed to Affair in Red Square, which was favored more by men). Anyway, I personally love Kreme De La Kremlin, a subtle and sophisticated pinky-beige cream that looks like something Bobbi Brown would approve of. In fact, it's as if someone took BB's pot rouge in Blushed Rose and made it into a nail color (see picture below). This the perfect go-with-anything pink neutral that is understated enough for professional situations but deep enough to look pretty the rest of the time. It takes only two coats with OPI's new pro-wide brush before this thick formula gives you beautiful shine and color. Do make sure you don't have too much polish on the brush as this has a tendency to pool at the base of the nails otherwise. http://img.makeupalley.com/7/2/1/5/768557.JPG
You can't be shy wearing OPI's Affair in Red Square. This is definitely an attention-getting color. Prepare for fireworks from the shimmer embedded in this bright, yet rich, true red nail polish. My husband actually said, "Wow! That is the sexiest nail polish color I have ever seen!" then proceeded to ask if there as a lipstick that color I could wear too. Very sexy, I can't remember the last time a frickin' nail polish garnered so much attention from the opposite sex. If you're looking for a man magnet you can wear on your toes and tips, this is it. And even after, say, a few romantic tussles, your manicure will be intact. Because like most OPI formulas, this gives great color with only a couple of coats and wears without a scratch for days and days.
I love Cinema Secrets Moisture Spray! I initially bought this for use with the Ultimate Cream Foundation (which is a Holy Grail for me too), and it works wonderfully to sheer out that foundation out, which I apply by spritzing the Moisture Spray onto a make up sponge then dabbing into the cream. I soon discovered that it is a multi-tasking wonder that contains many ingredients I have seen in other skin conditioning products for a fraction of the price (such as Deionized Water, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Collagen, Panthenol, Allantoin, Glycerine, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Imidazolidinyl Urea). For $6-$7, I like to have to have a few bottles on hand to keep for travel or in my purse to refresh my make up and skin throughout the day, and since my dermatologist has recently put me on a regimen of topical and oral medications that are making my skin dry and irritated, the spray has been a godsend by providing moisture yet not clogging my sensitive pores. The bottle isn't cute, it's purely utilitarian, but it's never leaked on me, not even during travel--and I don't mind not paying more just for pretty packaging. This is a must-have item for me, whether I use it with the cream foundation or not! It does wonders to make powder foundations or mineral make up look less chalky or dry too. Highly recommend!
I love Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges and have been on a buying binge of them lately. Summer Pink is my latest purchase, and while the quality is on par with the rest of the pot rouges, I didn't find this color especially unique. A browned pink shade, I found it very similar to Blushed Rose after swatching them side by side, so if you already have Blushed Rose, I would skip Summer Pink. If you don't have Blushed Rose, by all means, give it a whirl, or if you perhaps would like a Blushed Rose that is slightly more pink than brown. I for one will not repurchase, and stick to Blushed Rose which I find a slightly more sophisticated shade.
Makeup Brushes -Cat Cosmetics - Open Sesameow Brush Kit
michellabella 4/23/2007 3:21:00 AM
The design of the carrying case for these brushes is pretty ingenious; I love the hard, sturdy plastic and the way each brush fans out of the holder. I was looking for something for travel and this is perfect: small, convenient, thoughtfully designed. The brushes are pretty good quality for mini-brushes; the hairs are quite soft, and I love the variety of eye brushes (love the dry liner, crease, and smoker). I did notice some shedding after just 1 or 2 uses, but it's not too bad. I like these but would not repurchase as I think the price is a bit much for what you get (I'm sad I missed out on that Allure special I saw some people talking about). I'd rather Cat not include the tacky, useless animal print bag and just make the price of the brushes more affordable. Still, this is a keeper for travel, day-to-night make up transitions on-the-go, or just to throw in the bag for just-in-case touch ups.