I must say that I've been pleasantly surprised with this little gem. A few years ago, I weaned myself off YSL Touche Eclat as it was nice but once the hype wore off, I realised that it didn't really deal with my very dark undereye circles as well as I hoped. The YSL TE had a beautiful texture and glow but didn't do very much for my dark circles, even when I paired it with Lancome Effacernes concealer (which I have since given up for Natio Pure Mineral Dark Circle Corrector). I was just browsing through the Maybelline section when I noticed this and decided to give it a try.
The concealer blends out quite well, although on the odd bit of dry skin, it tends to pull a bit but I suppose that's always going to happen (if it didn't happen with this concealer, I would have given it five stars). There's enough coverage (when paired with my Natio concealer) and "illumination" to make a significant difference to my dark circles. They're not gone completely, but I didn't expect that they would be. Once set with a light sweep of powder, it lasts well throughout the day. The twisty pen device that dispenses the product is all right - no real complaints. As usual with these things, you either twist too much or not enough. For reference, I'm around a NC/NW20 and I use 01 Ivory.
I love baked swirly things (I'm an absolute sucker for MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes) so I was pretty excited to try this out. I'm perhaps a tad lighter than a MAC NC/NW20 and I bought this in Fair. The coverage is great - never looks cakey or unnatural but covers up unevenness and if you stipple it over blemishes it pretty much hides them so when I use this I don't need a separate concealer. Depending on how much you apply, it can give a low to medium coverage. It does look "glowy", but in a nice, subtle way and not a "shiny disco ball" way. In terms of staying power, it's pretty good. My face eats up makeup during the day and usually gets reasonably oily on the T-zone by lunch time. When I removed this with a makeup wipe at night, a lot of it showed up on the wipe. My T-zone still gets a tiny bit oily with this on but a quick blot at lunch time with oil blotting paper does the trick. The only complaint I have is that the colour is slightly too dark and ever so slightly too yellow for my skin (which has neutral undertones). Porcelain (the lightest colour in the range) looks almost white so I think it will be too light for me. I've been trying to remedy this by sweeping my Laneige pressed powder on top which seems to adjust the colour just enough for it not to look noticeable.
Not a lot of love for Lovestruck, which surprises me because it's quite a nice little perfume. I get all the fruity floral thing when I first apply it but after it dries down I get a very interesting warm and almost "spicy" scent. It's a beautifully feminine scent but one that isn't too "in your face" (or perhaps "up your nose" is more appropriate in this context...). It also definitely smells more mature than Princess (which I don't happen to like all that much).
I see a lot of criticism relating to Lovestruck's lasting power. On me it didn't fade noticeably until maybe nine hours after I applied it, so I don't have too many complaints about the lasting power. I will qualify this by noting that I'm not the kind of person who likes my perfume to be too noticeable. I don't like to leave my perfume in a room long after I've left it and in this regard the strength and lasting power is perfect.
Not a big fan of the bottle, though. It's almost cute but a tiny bit too frou-frou.
So, I was kind of devastated when Shu Uemura discontinued the Pro Spots Concealer. I still mourn its loss today. I found an almost-substitute in Utowa's look-alike blemish concealer but it seems like they got rid of that too. I managed to get my hands on the new Pro Gel Cealer. It comes in a small glass jar, which I don't have any particular gripes about. I'm not sure what's quite so "gel" about it, as it seems a bit paste-y and dry in texture. I tried applying it first with my Stila concealer brush but eventually gave up and discovered that it applies much better with my finger. The coverage on blemishes (even big nasty ones) is pretty good, I have to say. It doesn't look obvious, which is important in a blemish concealer. (Why draw attention to something that you're trying to hide...?). The coverage is not as good as the Pro Spots Concealer, unfortunately. However, it does blend away well enough on initial application, despite what seems to be an oddly dry texture. When my face gets oily it begins to "slide" off ever so slightly but this can be somewhat alleviated if I smudge it a bit with my finger. Lasts fairly well on my oily skin. I'm happy with it for now and I've got myself a spare jar ready for when this one runs out. However, if I find something better, I wouldn't hesitate to jump ship... ***EDIT: So my friend brought me back a new Shu Uemura concealer - Shu Uemura Point Cealer which looks a lot like the Shu Uemura Pro Spots Concealer. There is hope yet!***
Foundations -Max Factor - Miracle Touch Liquid Illusion Foundation
midgetcoconut 5/16/2008 10:16:00 PM
First minor gripe: there is no mirror in the compact. There's a nice little separate section for the sponge, but no mirror. I like my compacts to have mirrors so that I can see where I'm putting my makeup! =P
I'd probably describe the coverage as sheer and the texture of the foundation itself is very light, which I like. I still have to put on my concealer over red bits/blemishes. The finish is natural - neither glowy nor super-matte. It's good for days when I don't have any dryness or flakiness, otherwise this shows it up in a fairly obvious way. Actually, the finish is reminiscent of Stila's old Pivotal Skin Foundation...which I loved briefly until I got flakey. Hahaha.
For girls who tend to get oily in their t-zones, this is not too bad, but it's not fantastic either. I get oily after about one-two hours, but it's not like a huge oil slick like with some foundations.
It's winter right now, so I'm using a paler colour - Creamy Ivory. I'm usually a Dior #200, Chanel #20, GA #4-4.5, Becca Nude, YSL #5, MAC NW/NC20.
Overall, it's not a bad product but it's still a little too mediocre for me to be purchasing it again.
I quite like this stain. I'm a bit of a lip stain addict and this one is quite a nice one. I like the applicator and light gel consistency - it's one of the few lip stains that I can apply directly onto my lips with the applicator without having to blend too much and end up with the dreaded 'Red Finger'!
It is, as many reviewers have noted before me, a lovely strawberry red colour. The lasting power is pretty decent - so long as I don't let my lips dry out completely then it can last almost all day on me.
A very nice product and a product that I can see myself using quite often.
I adore this stuff. I don't have naturally curly hair - I have a digital perm (loose, curly waves) and this stuff brings out the curls beautifully - either on dry hair or damp hair.
I generally use it on damp hair first and then again on my hair when it's dry just to 'boost' the curl. I don't get super-defined curls from it, but for my perm it works wonders. The smell is quite nice too.
Palettes -BeneFit Cosmetics - Justine Case [DISCONTINUED]
midgetcoconut 11/10/2007 7:52:00 AM
I adore this little palette - it has all the essentials: a natural-looking foundation, a lip/cheek stain, a lip gloss and (to a lesser extent) eye cream.
I think I'm more in love with the idea of an all-in-one essentials kit than the individual products, but the products themselves are not so bad. Of course, there are better foundations, lip glosses, stains and eye creams, but the ones in the Justine Case are all very nice and do the job quite satisfactorily.
I also love the fact that you don't really need any separate applicators for anything in the palette. So very convenient.
The overall look is a very natural but polished 'me, but better' look. I've ordered a second Justine Case so that I can carry one around with me all the time.
My only gripe is the cardboard packaging which Benefit seems to insist on using, but I love the palette overall so much that I'm willing to overlook this.
This will definitely be a travel staple - no more lugging around a huge bag full of individual makeup products for me!
I bought this gloss in Rose a L'eau and Cassis Hydratant. Rose a L'eau is a very subtle, sheer pink that enhances the colour of your lips in a barely noticeable way whereas Cassis Hydratant gives a nice sheer berry tint to lips.
The gloss itself isn't particularly pleasant tasting, nor is it particularly offensive tasting. One hardly notices it after one has had it on for long enough anyway... In terms of staying power, it doesn't stay for more than say, one-and-a-half to two hours but it does leave lips feeling more moisturised than they did before you put the gloss on and the gloss itself is not sticky at all. (I even tried dragging a lock of my hair across my mouth to test the supposed 'non-sticky' properties of the gloss! Hahaha).
A decent lip gloss but nowhere near HG material.
Eye Shadow -Revlon - Colorstay 12-Hour Eyeshadow Quad "Blushed Wines"
midgetcoconut 8/4/2007 4:55:00 AM
I adore this quad. Definitely my favourite of the four quads from this range that I've tried.
Beautiful neutral berry-wine hues that really do last for 12 hours. (At least, this quad does...some of the others don't do quite so well...). Foolproof, really.
The pigment isn't as strong as say, Stila, Shu Uemura or MAC, but the colour pay-off is still very, very good and the colours look beautiful on brown eyes.
Treatments -L'Oreal - Elvive Colour Protect Intensive Masque
midgetcoconut 8/4/2007 4:50:00 AM
Golly gosh, I love this stuff! The full Elvive range has only become available recently in Australia and as I recently got my hair re-coloured, I figured I'd give it a go.
It looks like pink custard in the tub and has a slight fragrance to it (which doesn't bother me too much, but people who are super-sensitive to fragrances might not like it too much).
But my goodness...it leaves my hair soooo soft, shiny and smooth. It hasn't felt like this in...months! I'm not sure how it's doing with retaining the intensity of colour in my hair, but it feels divine! ***EDIT: I'm taking one lippy off now that my hair isn't permed any more. It really tends to weigh my hair down now and I have to rinse rinse rinse before the gunky "silicone" feeling is gone.
Styling Products -Redken - 15 Spray Starch Heat Memory Styler
midgetcoconut 8/4/2007 4:42:00 AM
Great stuff. My hairdresser started using this on my hair and I had to go and buy a bottle for myself.
Keeps my fine, heat-styled hair in place brilliantly without any crunchy or product-y feeling.
This is a gorgeous little eyeshadow. A perfect blend of grey, brown and taupe with just the right amount of shimmer. Goes perfectly with other shadows but I often like to wear it by itself.
The lasting power, as with all of Shu's eyeshadows, is wonderful. By itself, it lasts beautifully but it lasts even better with my regular base of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Beautiful blendability, pigment and texture. Dare I say...a must-have eyeshadow?
Love this little product. It is, as described, a 'watermelon' coloured tint which gives just a nice amount to colour - just be careful to use only a little bit and build up the colour rather than slap a huge amount on at once. I'll admit that I've never actually tried it at the beach, but it seems fairly resiliant for a lip/cheek tint.
It's a cream tint, which is a nice change from the gels and liquids and makes it very easy to blend and apply. It also has a pleasant, but not overwhelming melon scent
Only gripe is that a few months after I bought my tube, a small break formed in the packaging and now it squirts out the tint if I squeeze too hard.
Love this lipstick. Giorgio Armani and Stila definitely make my favourite sheer lippies. Not so sheer that you can't actually see any colour, but definitely not opaque. And the texture is lovely - glides on, feelings moisturising but not too slippery.
Definitely wears well - lasts fairly long for a sheer lipstick and wears away without making lips feel dry.
#5 is a gorgeous lightly burnt red colour. Hard to describe, but gives my lips a delightfully juicy reddish tint without being unnatural or over the top. One of my staple lipsticks - high praise considering the sheer number of lip products that I own. :-P