I wish there were more listings here for the individual eyeshadows, because the quality varies SO MUCH among the single eyeshadows. I love the price, I like that there are pictures on the website of the colors, and there are many great and flattering colors. However, you won't get those ridonkulously cool "different" shades that I personally love from MAC...So while there might be some special SMH colors, none of them are exactly unique. Some of the shadows are waaaay too shimmery and some of them have ONLY shimmer, and very weak color payoff. I got 28 shades in a palette, and I love some and feel meh about others. Favorites: Unzipped- Perfect black...doesn't give you bluey undereye circles, wonderfully smooth and incredibly dark Metro- Good texture, lovely dark silvery taupe Show Stopper- GREAT quality, dark brown, use it almost every day as a liner Least Favorites: The White Shadow: Doesn't work as a matte highligh.. too chalky...I think this might work to blend out other colors though. Walkin After Midnight: Poor color payoff, shows up as a sheer blue shimmer...disappoinment Overall, I am neutral on these, because there are some really good shadows, and some really bad ones. Warning: Some of karlasugar's swatches appear more pigmented than they really are.
I really really like this deep conditioner. I've been using it for about a month and I'm almost out, and I'm definitely going to repurchase when I get the chance. Only real negative is that it won't leave your hair THAT silky soft IMO it's probably not the BEST deep conditioner out there...but it definitely softens. My hair texture has been a lot smoother since I started using this. I love the container, because most deep conditioners come in tubs, which I hate. The squeezy bottle is a cool idea and very easy to use. The scent is amazing...like a hybrid of a smoothie and a pina colada. I wash my hair before bed and sleep on it wet, and when I use this, I wake up with a great tousled, defined texture...almost like "second day hair", without the grease factor. I'd suggest giving this a try, since it's not expensive and for me, it works great. =]
Lip Treatments -Smith's Rosebud Salve - Smith's Rosebud Salve
piksie 2/9/2010 2:25:00 AM
I could've been seduced by this product if it had a nice scent... but ugh in my opinion the scent is the worst part of it. It smells powdery and floral...two adjectives that do not describe something I'd like to put on my lips. And I'm not a rose-hater, I like it normally! I do own a lot of products in jars/tins, but especially with the goopy texture of this, I find dipping my finger in to be icky and unhygienic. As for its moisturizing properties...I'm glad it works for some people, but it does nothing to improve the condition or overall feel of my lips, even with everyday/night use. Maybe I don't apply it often enough because the smell nauseates me so much lol. Too bad, I wanted to like this. Glad it works for some, though!
I love NYX eyeshadows, and one of my biggest disappointments for me was their plain "Black" eyeshadow...it was super pigmented, but it did that thing where it migrated IMMEDIATELY upon application, no matter how much base I used. The resulting smudges were that gross greenish-bluish-black that looked sickly and unappealing. So much for that black. I ordered Smokie Mountain hoping for a different result and I'm pleasantly surprised. Looks super glittery in the pot, but upon application, the result is mostly matte, smokeyish, and sometimes shimmery. Not glittery! I love this for lining, or for a smokey eye. In my opinion, this is a neutral black with, if anything, some warmth. I think it would work on every skin tone, whereas NYX Black seems unflattering, even for cool-toned ladies.
Eye Shadow -BeneFit Cosmetics - Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner - Recess
piksie 11/21/2009 6:41:00 PM
I love using cream bases to transform/add character to my eyeshadows. Recently, I've been loving MAC Paint Pots, and since the permanent line's color selection is a bit lacking, I wanted to find some comparable creams from other brands. I heard that BeneFit's creaseless cream shadows worked sort of in the same way as the MAC ones, so I headed to Sephora and found that they had a promotion, two colors for only $10! The regular price for one is $19, so of course I grabbed the set to try. So far I've only worn Recess, the lighter one, and I like it a lot. I've been looking for a light base that will make my pearlier/lighter shadows pop more, and this product does that fairly well. I love the finish/texture. It is very similar to the Satin finish of MAC paint pots like Groundwork. That is to say that it is matte but not chalky, with a sheen that mimicks the finish of bare skin, and it has no particles of shimmer or glitter. The only problem is that it is a little sheer for my liking, but I will try layering it and see if that does the trick. It pairs great with MAC Shroom to give you a soft pale all-over eyelid color.
Wonderful color on my medium-tan warm skintone! I would describe it as a sandy peach shade. Though it is peach, it never veers into orange! This blush is wonderful because no matter how much you apply, it never looks like a block of color on your face. The color, however, is very buildable and can be used to create a very subtle or strong look as you like. The compact is good quality, and it is very convenient to open and close in a hurry. I like the clear window that allows you to see the color. I own the Mosaic Blush in Paradise as well, and I am definitely interested in picking up more colors...NYX really gets this product right. I don't want to explore more expensive brands' blushes because I can't find any fault with NYX's.
I've had this blush for a very long time..And I must say I love it! Dandelion doesn't give you some crazy glam makeover every time you put it on, but it really perks up your skin and I find that when I don't use it, in favor of newer, more exciting products, I just don't look as fresh or awake. This powder is less of a blush, and more of an overall complexion smoother and highlighter...not that it gives you that "highlighted", shiny look, just that it disguises minor skin imperfections. I think I've had this blush for more than 4 years and haven't hit pan yet. And that's after having used it nearly every day for at least 3 of those years. I would say that the price, though steep, is reasonable for the effect and quantity of the product. You can get something like a highly pigmented, pretty blush at the drugstore, but I doubt very much that you will find an acceptable dupe for this unique powder at a lower price. The box may be a problem for some people...it certainly is an unorthodox package..I don't personally have a problem with it, because it is cute and functional enough for me. I have traveled extensively with this and never had an issue with breakage or spilling. I would recommend this product to anyone who likes a fresh faced makeup look.
Loose Powders -Coastal Scents - Silica Spheres Powder
piksie 1/24/2009 8:33:00 PM
First off: packaging quality sucks, but Coastal Scents doesn't pretend to give it to you in a nice container, so I didn't deduct anything for that. I merely decanted some product from the big tub into a more manageable sifter mineral makeup jar. So yeah, I ordered the 1 oz container, and could not BELIEVE how much product I received. I used Mineral Veil from Bare Escentuals in the past, both tinted and non tinted, with varying success. I have to say, I really wish I had known about this product before I spent that money. For 4 bucks, I got a huge container that will last me a long time. On to the performance...I have combination skin, but my T-Zone tends to get very oily and shiny by the middle/end of the day. With the Silica Spheres Powder, my skin stays matte for way longer. And I love that I can reapply this in the afternoon without any kind of chalky effect. I apply in light brushing swirly motions with the MAC 187 brush, and it flawlessly blends with my Bare Escentuals foundation. I don't have to even look in the mirror to get perfect results with this powder. There is absolutely no way to mess it up! If you're on the fence about this, trust me: buy it!! It is directly comparable to Make Up For Ever's HD Finishing powder, but you receive three times as much product, for almost a tenth of the price.
Moisturizers -Clean & Clear - Oil-Free Dual Action Moisturizer
piksie 1/4/2009 11:05:00 PM
I used to use this product, maybe 4 years ago, and I didn't remember why I stopped using it, so when I was picking up some stuff at the drugstore, I decided to get a bottle of this because my skin is recently breaking out A LOT and my Cetaphil lotion just wasn't solving anything. I do ove the pump of the Clean & Clear lotion, the smell is light and I don't mind it at all. The perfect amount comes out with the pump, and the moisturizer sinks in, leaving the skin with a great, non sticky surface on which you can quickly apply makeup. Unfortunately, I've been using it for the past week, and my skin is getting gross rough patches where I NEVER have any problems. My breakouts are not drastically better because of this lotion, and it doesn't seem to offer the hydration that my combination skin requires. Oil control is pretty good, but the deal breaker is the dryness that comes with this. Would probably not repurchase, but I will try it again in the summer when my skin is a bit oilier!
Makeup Brushes -MAC - #187 Duo Fiber Face Brush (Stippling, Skunk Brush)
piksie 12/27/2008 2:04:00 PM
So I got a chance to try this brush because I received a gift card for Christmas, which is lucky, because the brush was about $45 including tax at Nordstrom. I have to say I am very happy that I did buy it, because it definitely beats my old foundation and powder brushes. I use Bare Escentuals foundation, powder, and concealer, and I used to apply foundation with their Handy Buki Brush. I liked the Handy Buki because it offered very complete coverage, but I noticed that it was extremely easy to go overboard in your application and the makeup started to look shiny and cakey. Afterwards, I applied my Mineral Veil finishing powder with BE flawless face brush, and sometimes had problems with the powder looking cakey, chalky, or just weirdly distinct from my foundation. I wanted my different products to blend together, so this was a problem. When I started my foundation with the MAC 187 this morning, I was a little disappointed, because I noticed it wasn't putting as much product on my face as the Buki, and I was worried about blemishes showing through. However, I looked at my face a minute later and realized that, yes, there was less foundation on my face, but the foundation stil covered my flaws! I was skeptical when I saw all that *skin* showing through my makeup, but I realized that I looked so much more natural with the MAC brush. This brush is very expensive, but so far, I would deem it worthwhile, and if I used this brush long enough with continually good results, I could see myself repurchasing it. So though I was hesitant about the coverage initially, I am now convinced that this brush offers airbrushed, natural, your-skin-but-better coverage!!
I have this in the light blue tube, which I believe is called A Kiss of Moisture. Can I just say that I am in love with this product? The first day I used it, I was literally bouncing around, giddy at having found it. I know, right? Crazy. But its moisturizing capabilities, smooth feel, adorable packaging, and addictive smell render me giddy every time I apply. This balm is, I found, perfect for when your lips/complexion are feeling particularly sensitive. I was sick when I bought this, and hating my Burt's Bees classic lip balm...the minty-cool feeling was leaving my chapped lips irritated, along with my poor red nose. When I applied the Nivea lip balm, I was so relieved, because it was not sticky, nor did it coat my lips like Burt's Bees sometimes unfortunately does. Instead, it sank in immediately and left me hydrated. In addition, perhaps this is a personal thing, but I am in love with the scent of this lip balm...alternately, it smells to me like Turkish Delight, flowers, or marshmallows...random. However, the scent is extremely light, and it's the kind that always leaves me wanting more, and the balm has absolutely no taste. I also bought the Hint of Color balm, which has a cherry-Starburst type flavor and a beautiful, intense ruddy pink tint, and the Hint of Flavor balm, which is passionfruit-scented so it smells lightly fruity, and has a lovely pinkish glint to it. Will repurchase, repeat, WILL REPURCHASE! =)
I have a confession: I am a major product whore. I love trying new things, fall for gimmicky packaging, marketing, and names more easily than I'd care to acknowledge. Recently, I was away from home and i ran out of my latest cleanser, an exfoliating anti-acne one by Clean & Clear. I couldn't get to a drugstore, so I went to the university's campus store and found a mini tub of Noxzema. I figured it couldn't hurt to try it, and I absolutely fell in love. I don't like to be trapped by how a product *feels* on the skin, i.e. the tingly feeling that Noxzema leaves, so I waited after I used it to see results on my skin, so as not to just go by how the product felt. When I wiped my face off after the shower, my skin, which was having some issues with acne, rough texture, and overall health, felt soothed and looked a world better. I continued to use Noxzema for a week and realized how good it made my skin look and feel. It *never* strips my skin or makes it dry or sensitive, which is very important to me because I use a prescribed acne gel which can be drying. I usually leave the cream on for a minute or so, and then scrub with a face brush or washcloth. Normally, I use oodles and oodles of products in hopes of solving my skin issues...but for the past month, it's been some Noxzema, and then some Cetaphil lotion, and I've been for the most part a very satisfied girl. For now, at least, I'm done with the gimmicks, and I'm sticking by Noxzema Original Skin Cream =)
I thought that this would be too chalky on my skin, so I bought the tinted one first. Big mistake, too orange, etc. So I bought the normal Mineral Veil and I absolutely love it. I apply it with the Flawless Application Face Brush and while it goes on a bit light at first, if you buff it in thoroughly, it will not look too pale on your skin. It eliminates shine and gives a more flawless finish without looking heavy or fake. And I would recommend to mix just a teeny bit of that annoyingly orange tinted Mineral Veil in with the normal one, if you need just a hint more of color in your powder. The texture of this powder is great, super smooth and silky. But that causes problems with the packaging, because it slides around and spills easily. Overall, I would definitely recommend this product. **EDIT** Found something ridiculously superior, check out Coastal Scents Silica Spheres, reviews on MakeupAlley under "Unlisted Brand" I will not repurchase this finishing powder, it is too expensive, and I have found something that works far better.
Loose Powders -Bare Escentuals - Tinted Mineral Veil
piksie 5/26/2008 7:09:00 PM
Okay, first of all, I love B.E. and I would highly recommend the non tinted B.E. mineral veil, but the tinted one is just too orange. I love the texture of the powder, it feels creamy and not at all rough. However, since it is so silky, it slides around a hell of a lot in the jar, causing a lot more spillage than the B.E. powder foundation, for example. So be careful when opening the jar. I sometimes mix a little of this with the non tinted mineral veil, and the combination is lovely on my tanned skin, but I have stopped wearing the tinted mineral veil on its own-- the orangey color is very off-putting and unflattering.
Bronzers -Bare Escentuals - Faux Tan all-over face color
piksie 5/26/2008 7:03:00 PM
I really like this bronzer, because it achieves what I think bronzer is meant to. It looks like you just spent a day in the gorgeous warm sun, and it gives you a glow with no shimmer. Thank god for that, because I hate too much shimmer. The color is brownish-gold when you apply it, and even though it looks maybe dirty in the container, it doesn't go on patchy or dirty at all. Looks good on the eyelids, for contouring, or for an overall application. Packaging could be easier I suppose, but it's the trademark B.E. packaging, so I'm not really complaining. For twenty bucks, you get a large quantity of a great-multi use product, so I would definitely recomment buying it.