OMG. This is a great foundation. I have been using and loving Tarte foundations (and will continue to), but when I heard about this I just HAD to have it. I went to Ulta and was matched by a beautician there, who told me that 3.0 was my shade. It works for now (since it's summer) but in general I am very fair... So I went to Sephora (couldn't resist) and purchased a shade lighter for fall and winter :) This foundation applies SO smoothly, and it just takes the tiniest but. I squeeze out not even a full pump onto the back of my hand, dab it with my fingers around my nose, cheeks and forehead, then use the Real Techniques stippling brush to blend it out on the rest of my face. It is FANTASTIC. The coverage is medium with this type of application but (thanks to pregnancy) I'm not having any skin issues at the moment, so this is exactly right for me. I would imagine that if you needed more coverage, applying in layers would look really nice. The packaging is great (nice sanitary pump, you can see through the container to see the product's color and how much you have left). The shade selection is good, and I like that they have incorporated warm and neutral/cool tones of similar colors (kind of like the MAC system). Shades that are marked .0 are considered warm, and shades with a .5 are considered cool/neutral. The only trouble with this is that if you are very fair, the lightest shades do not all have this variety (I believe it goes 0.0 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0). I can't say enough good things about this foundation--it really does look like "naked skin," not like you're wearing makeup. When you've applied it, you have an even skin tone with no imperfections, but there are no cakey areas or built-up chunks or creases (notoriously, on me, around the edges of the nose)--it just blends right into your skin. I think this is going to be the next huge thing in foundation... It's absolutely perfect, in my opinion. Can't wait to keep buying!
Mascara -Eyeko - Skinny Brush Mascara (Long &Tall)
mlynde82 7/31/2012 3:40:00 PM
I am astounded by the great reviews of this product. Some of my favorite YT gurus use this on a regular basis, and it always looks amazing on them, so I was excited to try it. I love the squeeze tube concept (I hate wasting any product), and it makes great claims... When I put this on, my lashes clumped up immediately. I used a lash comb through them several times to un-stick them, but then I had to use my nails to scrape the spidery ends off my lashes too. I was super bummed about that--I really was expecting it to be everything I ever wanted in a mascara! I've bought $3 ELF mascaras that do a better job applying. The wand itself is somewhat sparse (hence the "skinny"), so perhaps this is my fault. I think lush, denser brush wands are less likely to over-apply product, since it has to spread out over so many bristles. This wand just seems to chunk and clump all the product onto a few bristles, which makes it hard not to clump your lashes. I'm not super concerned with length or volume, as my natural lashes are pretty decent. But I always like them to be black and curled... I just think I can get that with other mascaras that aren't expensive for what you're getting. As far as flaking and smudging, this mascara does have that going for it. It stays where you put it, all day. But the application is such a pain, I just can't see paying this price for all the trouble!
Concealers -BeneFit Cosmetics - Erase Paste in Fair
mlynde82 7/31/2012 3:36:00 PM
I'm always looking for something to cover my dark circles (and boy are they no joke). I typically use Dark Circle Defense or the creaseless concealer from Tarte, but had read reviews that this product was similar to Bobbi Brown corrector (the holy grail of undereye circle fixes), and thought I would try it. In general, it's not bad. It's the right color for coloring blue or purple tinged circles, but the consistency isn't as nice as I was hoping. It isn't as creamy as you'd expect for a corrector, and blends out kind of weird, although it does get the job done, and after you work with it a while, it will look fine on the skin. Overall, it's fine, but I wouldn't recommend it simply because the price point is so high for what you are getting. There are better concealers on the market for less money.
Love this moisturizer! I use the original version at night and then this SPF version in the morning. I really don't notice a difference between the two as far as texture or application, and neither has ever irritated my somewhat-sensitive skin. It is anti-aging, so it is probably best suited for maturing skin, or for women in their late-20's to early 30's to start with, given how skin's needs change. The scent is delicious and I definitely feel this moisturizes my skin as much as it needs. I don't have any issues with dry skin, but I am also not noticeably oily (I guess I'd call my skin "normal"). To me, this cream applies wonderfully, and takes a few minutes to absorb, but once it does, my skin really feels amazing. This has been good to wear under my makeup and has eliminated the need for any kind of primer on my face (still use eye primer though!). I love the Origins brand and their philosophy, so I will continue buying this line; however, I definitely feel that if you are not necessarily set on buying a "natural" product and don't want to spend the money (Origins is an expensive brand, though everything I've ever bought has lasted a VERY long time before needing to be re-purchased), you can find a moisturizer that works just as well for less money.
Cleansers -Origins - A Perfect World Deep Cleanser
mlynde82 7/31/2012 11:02:00 AM
Gosh, I really just don't understand the hate on these products! I think this line is amazing! It's perfect to meet my needs (remember, A Perfect World is an anti-aging line; if you have very young skin, you should probably select something different). This cleanser is great. It has the awesome APW smell, and you don't need much to cover your whole face and neck. It does not "foam up" as much as I'm used to, but I find that I still feel like I have enough to cover everything. I use this with my Clarisonic in the evenings, and when I rinse I feel like my face is SO clean and refreshed. Even without the Clarisonic, I feel like this cleanser leaves my face feeling soft, clean, and moisturized. As with all Origins products, I feel they are high-quality and worth the money for my own goals (I like buying mostly-natural products, and love that many of their products are animal-free). But, if you want to spend less, or are less concerned with having a natural product, there are many other cleansers out there that do probably the same thing for much less money.
Love this line. I bought both moisturizers (regular and SPF), the cleanser, healing lotion (toner), and the eye treatment. So far, I have noticed a difference in the fine lines (I only have a few, but they BUG ME!) and hydration around my eye area when I apply concealer, etc. It is expensive, but I am always willing to spend money on high-quality products, especially products that are natural, which is why I love Origins. I feel like this is an investment in my skin's future! This product dispenses a LOT when you do a full or almost-full pump. You do NOT need that much to get both of your eyes. If you dispense an entire pump full and then apply it, it will seem greasy and have a hard time absorbing into the skin. If you dispense about a half-pump, it will be more than adequate to cover your undereye area on both sides, with enough additional product to ensure that you are not dragging your skin when you massage it in. It smells lovely, and I really did notice a difference after a few days' time (using it twice per day). If you are concerned about aging eyes (I am 30 years old--time to start a regimen!), I think this is a good product for those who are looking for a natural product and willing to spend the additional cash. If you are not concerned about the natural-ness (is that a word?!) of your products, you can undoubtedly find something comparable for less money. But for me, it's great!
Moisturizers -Origins - A Perfect World Antioxidant Moisturizer
mlynde82 7/31/2012 10:53:00 AM
So shocked at all the mediocre/negative reviews on this... I think this is a wonderful moisturizer! I actually use this one at night, then the SPF 25 version in the morning. It smells lovely, does not feel greasy (I really don't understand where that's coming from in other reviews!), and seems to absorb very nicely. The first time I used it (right before bed), I massaged it into my face and neck (it did not take much at all to cover this whole area), and felt like it was still somewhat wet for a few minutes. However, after leaving it on my face for about ten minutes, I went to bed and touched my face--it felt FANTASTIC!! Young, supple, and soft. It did NOT feel greasy or slimy. This brand is quite pricey, but I feel for the quality of the ingredients (animal-free, paraben-free, etc.), and the fact that you don't have to use much--making it last a long time--it is totally worth it. I have not used this long enough to be able to vouch for the anti-aging benefits, but at age 30, I don't have many issues that I need to monitor yet anyway (just wanted to pre-empt Father Time, haha). Overall, if you have the money to spend, and you are concerned about aging, this is a wonderful, decadent moisturizer that I think is worth the price and the effort of really massaging it into your skin. The added benefit of the smell--it's so nice to occasionally get a light whiff of this citrusy-candylike scent when you turn your head--is also great. It's the little things! :) If you are concerned about spending too much money, and are not dead set on using natural products, you could probably find something that works just as well.
I love Tarte, I really do. BUT. As you can see from my ratings above, I do not like this palette. The shadows are mostly decently pigmented (the lighter the shade, the less pigment they contain), but they are hard to blend and are VERY powdery. There is lots of fallout when you pick up color with your brush, which is a big bummer. Also, the selection of colors in this palette leaves something to be desired... They just seem randomly thrown in with one another. The last thing I'll say is that I cannot STAND the packaging. I know they're trying to be cute, but really I don't need this patent vinyl case with the giant rosette thing on the front... I just want functionality. The product would likely have been a lot less expensive if they went for a typical container rather than this weird thing. I won't repurchase this, simply because I rarely use it and don't find the shadows to be that great. You can get much better shadow for a lot less money... or try the Tarte cream shadows; they are a revelation! I just will most likely not buy any more powder shadows from them.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Expert Face Brush
mlynde82 6/23/2012 9:48:00 AM
This is a great all-around brush for using on the face. It works for foundation, blush, contour, highlight, bronzer... you name it! It's a perfect size, not too bulky, but with enough bristles to really get the job done. I use it mainly for powders and I find it applies the exact right amount of product. You really just can't go wrong with RT brushes as the quality is fantastic and the versatility is great. They are a tremendous value for your money.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Shading Brush
mlynde82 6/23/2012 9:46:00 AM
This is a great brush for applying color to the lid. I also use it for blending. The quality of these brushes can't be beat, especially with this price point. They are great!!
First, let me preface this review by saying, I LOVE these brushes!! They are cruelty-free and of fantastic quality. The bristles are phenomenally soft and really hold pigment for application. They are great. I have many different brushes from a variety of price points (MAC, EcoTools, Sonia Kashuk, etc) and these are truly my favorite. I just really don't think you can go wrong with most of them. I love this set, particularly the base shadow brush (for applying shadow and blending) and the accent brush (for applying darker shadow into the crease). The deluxe crease brush feels a little too bulky (the bristles I mean) for applying to the crease, because it applies a little too much color, but that brush is fabulous for blending. The pixel-point liner brush is not as fine as I would like (I prefer the fine liner brush from the same range), but applies eyeshadow well on the lashline--just don't use it with a cream or gel liner as it's very thick and the bristles are long. I don't use the brow brush on my brows, but it's wonderful for applying shadow to the outer corner of the eye! Overall, this set is worth the price in spades. The brushes are a great value and are of fantastic quality--just feel free to use these brushes in whatever way you want (not just what they say they're intended for). If you go in with that mindset, you'll love these.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Powder Brush
mlynde82 6/23/2012 9:40:00 AM
First, let me preface this review by saying, I LOVE these brushes!! They are cruelty-free and of fantastic quality. The bristles are phenomenally soft and really hold pigment for application. They are great. I have many different brushes from a variety of price points (MAC, EcoTools, Sonia Kashuk, etc) and these are truly my favorite. I just really don't think you can go wrong with most of them. This brush is perfect for blush, contour and highlight. I also use it for setting powder over my foundation. It's the ideal size (what's this about it being too big? Maybe I just have a giant face because I don't feel that way at all!!), perfect amount of density... just wonderful. I definitely recommend.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Foundation Brush
mlynde82 6/23/2012 9:39:00 AM
First, let me preface this review by saying, I LOVE these brushes!! They are cruelty-free and of fantastic quality. The bristles are phenomenally soft and really hold pigment for application. They are great. I have many different brushes from a variety of price points (MAC, EcoTools, Sonia Kashuk, etc) and these are truly my favorite. I just really don't think you can go wrong with most of them. This brush in particular was one I was excited about trying, as I wanted to get a good brush for applying foundation... Well, when I tried this one, I was somewhat disappointed. The length of the bristles (fairly long, in my opinion) made the foundation somewhat streaky when I applied it, which of course I didn't like. It also doesn't feel as dense as what I wanted from a foundation brush. That being said, I still like this brush a lot for other purposes. It works great for applying contouring powders or highlighters, and I would repurchase for that use in a second! I just don't use this for foundation.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Stippling Brush
mlynde82 6/23/2012 9:37:00 AM
First, let me preface this review by saying, I LOVE these brushes!! They are cruelty-free and of fantastic quality. The bristles are phenomenally soft and really hold pigment for application. They are great. I have many different brushes from a variety of price points (MAC, EcoTools, Sonia Kashuk, etc) and these are truly my favorite. I just really don't think you can go wrong with most of them. I have bought SO many different brushes in hopes of being able to apply my foundation (Tarte 12-hour Amazonian Clay foundation) without using my fingers, and I have always been disappointed. No matter what price point, the brushes I've tried have always left streaks that I needed to blend with my fingers. Not so with this brush! I used this to apply my foundation yesterday (after watching a tutorial on the RT website) and it worked BEAUTIFULLY. I was so excited! It's somewhat smaller and stouter than other stippling brushes I've had in the past, but it worked great for applying foundation evenly and smoothly. I really couldn't be more impressed.
Makeup Brushes -Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman - Domed Shadow Brush
mlynde82 6/23/2012 9:34:00 AM
First, let me preface this review by saying, I LOVE these brushes!! They are cruelty-free and of fantastic quality. The bristles are phenomenally soft and really hold pigment for application. They are great. I have many different brushes from a variety of price points (MAC, EcoTools, Sonia Kashuk, etc) and these are truly my favorite. I just really don't think you can go wrong with most of them. This brush is fantastic for applying eyeshadow. I absolutely love the way this brush applies--not too much pigment, but it doesn't cause fallout on the shadow either. It picks up the precise amount needed to apply evenly and smoothly. It's really a perfect shadow brush.