Seeing as I'm on my 3rd tube of Smashbox BB Cream, I figured I'd write a review. IMO this is the best BB cream that works with darker skin (NW45/NC50), because most, if not all of the other BB creams, are only made for light to medium skin. That said, I really like the effect of this product when used with liquid foundation (NARS Sheer, MAC foundations & Bobbi Brown Longwear). There is no ashy or weird finish from the Dark shade and this does prime and prep my face for foundation very well. This was my go-to primer this whole summer as I was out and about a lot and needed my foundation to last through the heat and humidity. Smashbox BB is like glue for my foundation. (not in a bad sticky way, but in staying power). I've tried 3-4 other BB creams and this is the only one that can also be worn alone and not look bad. My only concern is that in the winter, my skin is uber dry and this will not have enough moisturizing effect for me.
One of my go-to glosses..On my 3rd tube. Beautiful nude color. I get so many compliments when I wear this gloss; it shows up as a shimmery, neutral nude, but somehow very pigmented. I love doing this gloss with a smokey eye. Works everytimes. For ref: NC50/NW45-ish
My new foundation love. MAC has been on a roll for me – I had been using the Pro Long Wear foundation over the summer (which does not budge) However after trying a generous sample of this over a week, I soon purchased the full size. The foundation, which claims to match the skin’s undertone, applies flawlessly and dries to a completely natural finish, and also brightens my complexion. At first I was matched to 8.0, but I noticed that the foundation does darken a bit after a application ( the MUA stated this was how it is supposed to work). Then I tried 7.5 – PERRRRFECT!! The foundation does smell eerily similar to the original studio fix fluid, but overall is much better. I do still use the pro longwear concealer in NC45, for under eye. I have been using this for a solid 2 weeks, with no breakouts; nor does it seep into my smile lines, even though I forego primer. True, it does not last as long as the Pro Long Wear, but with winter approaching, I’m less sweaty and therefore less concerned about my foundation staying put. This foundation is light and fresh, and feels like I’m not wearing anything on my face which is a definite plus. This comes with a pump and you get a generous amount of product for the price. Will definitely repurchase.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - EXTRA VIRGIN Coconut Oil (All brands)
tsaraya29 9/30/2011 1:46:00 PM
When it comes to coconut oil, I'm like that Frank's Red Hot Sauce Commercial - ' I put that *ish on everything'. LOL Coconut oil is one of the best product discoveries I've made in the past year and I use it all over, hair, skin, massage, etc. Probably the only thing I have yet to use it for is actually cooking! Edited 10/24 - Oh and did I forget to mention that coconut oil is also an anti-microbial? This is one of those supernatural products.
Lipstick -Estee Lauder - Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Tiramisu
tsaraya29 5/10/2011 6:32:00 PM
New favorite...and I really don't wear lipstick at all. I was in Macy's and came across this at a EL makeover event. The artist had used Tiramasu l/s and topped it with EL Pure color gloss in Electric Ginger on a darker toned lady. GORGEOUS!! I tried it and ended up buying both. This is also a nice neutral/pinkish color that can be done for an everyday look or for night with a smoky eye. And the packaging is pretty as well. Will repurchase.
Eyes -Anastasia Of Beverly Hills - The Kit for Perfect Brows and Eyes
tsaraya29 3/9/2011 11:46:00 PM
Because this kit is pricey, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a demonstration done by an Anastasia artist or good brow artist before purchasing. By having my eyes professionally done using the kit beforehand, I was able to see the potential of the kit. If left to my own devices, even with the enclosed DVD, I don't think I would have been impressed with this kit. CONS: PRICEY! $80 for a brow kit is high. If you factor in all the products you get, it does seem worth it, but I've found that I really only needed 3-4 of the items to make this work. (brow powder, gel, stencil, and brush). The mascara is just mediocre and the highlight pencil in camille does not work well with deeper skin tones ( NC45/50 for ref.) Also, it takes a couple of tries to get it right. Had I bought this without the in-store demo and tried it at home, I probably would have returned it in a heartbeat. However, because the artist at Sephora showed me step by step, I was able to see a big difference in my brows which impressed me. Which gets me to the pros... PROS: I saw a big difference in the appearance of my brows and I loved the fullness provided by the stencil. The method of outlining the right brow shape (also in the DVD) is great. The Sephora mua had told me prior that I would fit the high arch stencil. ( not sure if other stencils would work). I was also impressed with the powder in the Ebony kit. Tweezing my own brows after stenciling seemed easier as well. I'm almost certain that if I keep using this kit, I will no longer need to get my brows done at the mall, which is always a gamble...LOL. So basically, although pricey, this kit can work if you practice with it a few times. However, you can also get by with buying separate pieces. For example, you could probably get similar results by just purchasing the stencils and one of the brow pencils with the brush ends ( $40 roughly). But because I can't use the highlighter, cooling gel, excess stencils, and meh mascara, I would not repurchase this kit.
My new favorite blush. Initially I was looking for a neutral blush or highlighter to wear with red lipstick so that my makeup would not look overly done or too red. This blush adds a very soft, highlight on my NC45/50 skin. Looks great for daytime and gives a pinky subtle hue. A little on the expensive side for a blush, however I can see myself using this everyday. Nicely packaged mirror compact. Will purchase again.
Very interesting fragrance. I loved the scent at first, but quickly realized I liked it because it smells similar men's fragrances that I like ( cool water, maybe?) It definitely has a very clean scent, which I appreciate. It reminds me of walking into an elevator and standing behind a great smelling guy...
Got a sample of this via Sepora's fragrance sampler box; The fragrance is "spa-inspired" and the package description reads: "the sparkle of vibrant bergamot oranges blends with the calmness of cucumbers and dewy greens, over bright undertones of delicate lilies, ylang ylang flowers, and violets." Sorry all I smelled were the cucumbers. This has a definite "green" scent to it, so if you're like smelling like a fresh vegetable garden, then this is probably for you. The scent is not atrocious, but certainly not for me. And it also has poor lasting power. After the initial spray, I could hardly smell anything.
Eye Shadow -Maybelline - Stylish Smokes in Natural Smokes
tsaraya29 11/7/2010 8:01:00 PM
Very nice, especially for the price. I love to wear the crease color on the lid as a standalone shade, I wish I could find this in a single shade. I would think this quad would work for many different skin tones. For ref: NC50.
HG status. One of the best foundation purchases I have made. And I was very leery about trying MAC liquid again, because the studio fix liquid seemed to break me out. I've been wearing this for 2 weeks now with no irritation. Coverage is adequate, although I don't have a lot of blemishes or scars; my main concern is even coverage for discoloration. This seems buildable, but I wouldn't recommend applying more than 2 pumps. I use this in NC50 along with the Pro Longwear concealer in NC45. Like many women of color, the outer area of my face ( forehead and chin) are a little darker than my nose/eye/cheek area. So I apply the concealer first under eye and a little on my upper cheeks using my MAC 188 stipple brush, and finish with 1-2 pumps of foundation applied with the MAC 187 stipple. PERFECT finish that does seem to last all day. IMO this is comparable to MUFE HD foundation but without the steep price tag. Pump is also a plus. Will definitely look forward to repurchasing. Edited to add: For an extra oommph, I finish with a very light application of MAC mineralize in dark. Absolutly gorgeous. This foundation is definitely HG.
HG material, or very close. I love this shade on my naturally pigmented / NC 50 lips. The website describes it as a strawberry nectar, and IMO this is a sheer, medium shine gloss with slightly deep pink tint. Very pretty on darker hues and full lips, a very natural looking gloss that will enhance your lips. Perfect for everyday. Very smooth, non-sticky finish. I took one lippie off because IMO Nars glosses tend to have a noticeable bitter taste, not bad, but it might make you think that the gloss is about to go bad. I bought a brand new coups de couer Nars gloss and it has the same wierd taste. Will definitely purchase again.
Fashion Fair products aren't extremely popular on this site, and I must admit that for the most part I had not bought items from this cosmetics line for years. They really weren't keeping up with newer products lines for women of color. But they have made some changes in the last few years. However, when it comes to blush or color, you can be pretty certain that FF will have something that compliments darker skin. I tried on the golden sunset after I had been in the sun a while and wanted something a bit deeper than the pearly paprika I'd used before. The box recommends brushing lightly across cheekbones, forehead and chin for subtle color and natural highlights - and I do agree this does create a naturally looking glow on my skin with a hint of color. This blush is beautiful on my NC50/NW45 skin and I usually apply for just a hint of color on the apples of the cheeks. The blush is highly pigmented and does have shimmer, but is not overwhelming. The color appears as a deep rusty shimmer in the pan, but on my cheeks shows up as a bronzy rose color. I would recommend this blush for medium to deep skin tones, but not for tones lighter than NC45 or so. I think it may be too higly pigmented and appear very "made up" on lighter skin tones. However FF does have a range of blushes for light to dark skin.
Absolutely Beautiful! HG status so far although today is the first day I've tried it. I'm NC50/C8 (NW45 summer) and matched exactly to New Guinea - Dark 1 shade. The finish is flawless, natural, and glowy - but not over the top shine or too dewey. This foundation illuminates my skin, is very lightweight and matches perfectly ( I made the mistake of going with New Orleans at first, which was too red, but exchanged for New Guinea). This makes my skin look airbrushed (use MAC 187 stipple brush) and I only used a small amount of concealer whereas with other foundations, I tend to use concealer all over to cover acne scars. Perfect amount of yellow undertone to match my skin. Like others have stated, it would be wonderful if it came with a pump - but IMO the superb finish is worth it. Also, LESS is definitely more when it comes to this foundation. Along with the 187 brush, 1 pump is all you need. If this lives up to its claims of evening skin tone over time, I'm sold and will buy this again and again! EDT 1/8/2011 - Back on the Sheer Glow and found another perfect match for my winter shade - Macao as recommened by the Nars MUA when I first purchased the foundation in New Guinea. It's perfect for the nc45/50 range. Love this stuff.
Received a large sample of this, (1 oz) and I must say if you don't care for roses, don't even think of buying this. IMO it's so highly fragranced that the smell became nauseating,<< I'm biased against floral scents so honestly I thought it stunk to high heaven, but I can appreciate that others may find rose scent appealing.>> The product also felt like ordinary toner, I didn't notice anything special about this on my skin at all. Way overpriced, I couldn't imagine buying this.