I was so excited for these; a product for both lips and cheeks, in one stick, sounded perfect for a carefree, low-maintenance summer look. So when I finally spotted these on the shelf at the drugstore, I snapped one up without looking for reviews or swatches. Tahiti, a light peach, looked like it would give me a natural healthy glow. It's Revlon, how bad could it be? Really bad, as it turns out. The pigmentation is almost non-existant. One swipe and I couldn't even tell I had applied anything, three swipes deposited just the faintest amount of color on my NC25 skin. That in and of itself wouldn't be so awful, except that the formula is so waxy and thick that by the time I've built up enough color to be noticeable, it looks like I've smeared Vaseline on my cheeks. And forget using it on my super-pigmented lips. I have seen swatches of the other colors, and they seem to have slightly better pigmentation, but the formula is bad enough to put me off buying any more. I'm giving this one to my daughter to use for dress-up.
I have been on a quest for years to find a drugstore-priced sunscreen that doesn't break me out, and while it's not perfect, this is the ONLY ONE that has worked for me. As it turns out, I am sensitive to chemical sunscreens (previous contenders included ingredients like Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, and Helioplex). My skin would feel oily and greasy from the moment I put it on, and within hours I would start breaking out. My last attempt, with an Oil of Olay antiaging + sunscreen lotion, gave me two painful cysts on my chin that were there for weeks. I only used it twice before giving up. After that, I sought some advice, and was told that I was probably sensitive to chemical sunscreens and to look for one that only contained physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). There are several higher-end products that contain only these, but I was looking for something in a lower price range. I spotted this at my local drugstore, read the ingredients, and snapped it up. The bad: It doesn't apply very smoothly (would probably go on a little better on freshly washed, moisturized skin) and despite having InvisibleZinc it does leave a whitish cast. I get around that by using a very light application of bronzer, and that helps. The good: It has not broken me out, at all. Not even once. It even seems to leave my skin with a more matte finish, which is a relief after the sunscreens that left me looking like an oil slick. It's well priced and is readily available, which is very important to me for a product I use everyday. It could be better, but I'm just happy to have found something that works!
I bought these in "Gown" (A multicolored jewel design) to use on my toes. I didn't expect much, because they were on the cheaper side, but I was blown away! Unlike the Sally Hansen strips, these are more of an actual sticker, with adhesive on the back. I was concerned that they wouldn't form to my toenails well, but they're gummy and flexible, and covered my nails with no visible bubbles/wrinkles. (This could also be because the jeweled design hid any mistakes, but in any case, they looked flawless.) Since they are thicker than the Sally Hansen strips, I found it easy to hold them straight while positioning them over my nail. The SH polish strips are much thinner, so they have a tendency to curl during application and I found it more difficult to get them exactly where I wanted them. It took me about 20 minutes to apply a full set of the Nail Dress decals, and most of that time was spent filing off the excess - It was a little tough since you have to file through the rhinestones sometimes, but the edges looked clean when I was done. Before I applied them, I went over my nails with a fine grit buffing file, and then cleaned them with some nail polish remover to make sure there were no oils left. These made it for three weeks looking like I had just applied them, and after almost six weeks there was very minimal wear! I had put off removing them because I was afraid they would leave adhesive residue on my nails, but they peeled off with very little trouble, and any adhesive left behind rubbed off easily with just the oils from my fingers. I'd suggest using a tiny bit of olive oil if the adhesive is being stubborn. It reminded me a lot of rubber cement. On the down side, I can see how the thickness would be bothersome, and I'm sure there would be more lifting and peeling on fingernails. There's also not a big selection of designs. However, I think all of them are appropriate for toes, where you can get a little louder without them being in your face the whole time. Definitely picking these up again!
Lips -Neutrogena - MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Juicy Peach
violetfairygirl 1/1/2013 8:15:00 PM
Neutrogena's joined the chubby lip pencil movement with their MoistureSmooth Color Stick, and it's definitely worth checking out if you weren't that impressed with Revlon's balm stains. This review is specific to the color Juicy Peach, as it's the only shade I currently own. The formula is true to the product's moisturizing claims - I slicked it on while my lips were still dry and slightly flaky, and instantly I could feel the effects. Even as the product wore off, my lips stayed soft and moisturized throughout. There is a light fruity smell and taste, but it's not overly sweet or cloying. It's more of a peach/mango scent, not a citrus or berry. Juicy Peach is a light peachy nude with a lot of shimmer/frost, which sadly is the worst part of the product. The shimmer reminds me a lot of Revlon's Peach Parfait lip butter, where it adds more shine than glitter, but it still feels obvious on the lips. It also highlights lines and flakes, although the smoothing properties of the formula really help out with this - all you have to do is rub your lips together or blend it with a finger, and it evens out right away. You have to use a light hand, otherwise the shimmer starts to look cakey very quickly. This is not a color that you can build, and it is very sheer. If you can't stand frost or shimmer of any kind, then this is one to skip. This shade is so light it doesn't leave any kind of noticeable stain to the lips, and it wears off in a couple of hours, but the formula leaves my lips feeling soft long after the color has worn off. It stays true to color as well, without any of the color changing issues that so many of the Revlon balm stains seem to have. I am a huge fan of chubby lip pencils, because I feel like they give better control than a regular lipstick or stick balm. I also like that the cap is clear so you can see the actual color of the product before you buy, and it stays on securely. Unfortunately, the store where I picked this up had the display stuck high up on a shelf, and sideways so Juicy Peach was one of the only colors I could even reach (It was the first one I wanted to try, since I'm addicted to nude lip colors). I could not tell if any of the other colors have the same amount of shimmer to them. The formula is spot on, and if there are some cream finishes in the line, I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
I'm in love with bent handle eyeliner brushes, and this is a great quality brush. I started out with a few of the Sonia Kashuk brushes, and while they're decent and a good price, the bristles do start to splay after repeated washings(I think mine really started to be a problem after about 2-3 months of use). I also wanted to see if I could get a thinner line with a smaller brush head. The Sephora brush is still reasonably priced - more expensive than what you'll find at the drugstore, but less than super high-end brands. I've owned this brush for over a year now, and all of the bristles are still intact and in place. I've only used it with gel liners, and it picks up and holds product well. With patience and a steady hand, I can get a nice thin line (I suck at eyeliner in general, so I imagine someone with better eyeliner skills would have no problems.) Bent handle brushes are great for getting a nice wing, good for newbies trying to perfect their technique (the bend in the handle lets you see what you're doing without your hand getting in the way), and if you've got long eyelashes (again, the bend lets you hold your hand up higher, and you can get behind your lash line without the brush getting tangled in your lashes and getting liner everywhere - this was a huge problem for me). The Sephora brush is a nice upgrade from the cheaper versions, and is definitely a worthwhile purchase!
Lipstick -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Precious
violetfairygirl 7/28/2012 5:53:00 PM
I am dying to know what it is about the formula of these balm stains that causes the color to transform for some people and not for others! I have a few (Cherish, Charm & Precious) and of the three, Charm is the only shade that changes significantly on my lips. Precious is the shade I find myself reaching for the most. It's a light nude-mauve color, and it looks very natural and flattering on my NC25 skin. I don't find that it dries my lips out, it leaves them soft as it wears off. This also seems to differ from shade to shade - this color and Charm are very moisturizing, but I find Cherish dries my lips out a bit. I love the pencil applicator, I think it's fun, plus it gives better control than a stick balm. As I mentioned before, Precious does not change significantly on my lips after applying. It does get darker, which I think is actually because my natural lip color is darker than the product, so as it wears off the stain combined with my natural color becomes a darker mauve-pink. From the reviews I've seen, the darker & brighter colors of this product don't seem to have the color switcheroo issue, but the lighter shades are hit and miss. It's on the pricier side for a drugstore product, so if you're concerned that the lighter colors will be a problem then I would wait for a sale to try them out.
Love this! Bellini is a light peach color with a little shimmer to it, and it looks gorgeous with dramatic eye makeup or just by itself for a carefree, summery look. The formula is very nice, it has some slip but isn't too sticky, and it leaves my lips soft as it wears off. I don't know if these are advertised as being long-lasting, but it tends to last 3-4 hours if I've been eating/drinking, and close to 6 hours if I'm not. There is no discernable scent or taste to it. The pigmentation is perfect. I love wearing nude/pale lip glosses, but my natural lip pigmentation is a deep pink, so it can be difficult to apply very opaque glosses without streaking and obvious lines. On the flip side, if the gloss is too sheer, my natural lip color dominates. Bellini applies very evenly, and is pigmented enough to show up on my lips, but it's sheer enough that streaking isn't a problem. It doesn't seem to highlight minor lines or flakes, either, so I don't need to prep extensively before application. The only thing I'm not really crazy about is the applicator - it's a flexible, spongy rectangle at the end of the wand, with no angle to it, and it picks up way more product than I need. I usually avoid the big glob of gloss that ends up on the tip, and just use the sides of the applicator to swipe some on. Then I use my fingertip to spread and blend, but a q-tip or lip brush would work just as well if that makes you queasy. Great product, lovely color, would repurchase!
Not gonna lie, I was kind of disappointed by this. I picked this up in "Non-Stop Glamour", which is a pale peachy-pink with gold shimmer. The good: The formula leaves my lips soft and doesn't dry them out, it has a nice shine, and the texture is slippery, but not sticky. The shimmer is subtle and not too glittery. It doesn't leave any weird residue behind as it fades, no white ring around the inside of my mouth, and it seems to wear evenly. I do think it's fairly priced for the quality. The so-so: It's got the same squared off spongy-type applicator that the Revlon Colorburst glosses do, which gets the job done but I'm not crazy about it. It also has a distinct sweet/floral scent to it, and I noticed a slightly bitter taste to it, so if you're sensitive to fragrances and flavors you may want to steer clear. The bad: It's much more sheer than I was expecting, so the shimmer is pretty much all that shows up on my darkly pigmented lips. It also doesn't last anywhere near 6-8 hours, on my lips without eating or drinking it lasted about an hour and a half. The first time I tried it on it slid around my mouth, but I had also applied it pretty heavily because I was trying to get the pink to show up. Normal application doesn't have this problem. These would be nice to pick up for experimentation or for trendier colors that don't get worn much, since it's so inexpensive, but I won't be repurchasing. If you were also disappointed by how sheer Non-Stop Glamour is and are looking for a similar product, try Revlon Colorburst gloss in "Bellini" - it looks warmer/peachier, but because of the gold shimmer in the Rimmel version I think they're comparable.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain- Cherish
violetfairygirl 6/12/2012 12:27:00 AM
Loving these, I have two so far and will be picking up more! Cherish is a pretty blue-toned pink, and while it's bright and fun it's not too in-your-face. I've been on the hunt for a good blue-based pink lip shade, and many of the ones I've found are a good color but look chalky or cakey on. Cherish has a very natural looking creamy finish, it really does seem more like a stain. I did knock a point off because it does dry my lips out, which I think is odd because the other shade I have (Charm) is very moisturizing. I like the color and finish so much that I just put on a little lip balm over it. My natural lip color is darker than the product, so as it wears off it turns to a darker, almost berry shade before fading completely. One application this morning, with lip balm over it, lasted about 6 hours before disappearing. I've never used the Tarte or Clinique products these are being compared to so I can't comment on that, but I do like the control you get with a pencil. Plus it makes it cute and easy to carry around.
Lipstick -Revlon - Colorburst Lip Butter in Creamsicle
violetfairygirl 6/12/2012 12:09:00 AM
Creamsicle is the lip butter I am the least impressed with, but it's not a total flop. I hemmed and hawed for a long time before buying it, because I was worried the color would be too orangey on me (NC25), but it's more of a pinkish peach. Things I like: It's creamy, as moisturizing as the rest of the lip butters I own, and no glitter/shimmer. The color is actually very close to Soft Nude in the regular Colorburst lipsticks. Honestly, I probably did not need this and wouldn't have gotten it if I'd known the color would be that similar. It is sheer, but the color can be built. Things I don't like: It highlights flakes and lines if your lips aren't already prepped, and I can tell it's going to be too pale for my skin as I tan over the summer. I'll probably have to put this one away for the season. I was also hoping that it would be sheer enough to apply without much fussing, but I do still have to work with it to make sure it goes on evenly. This is nice to have if you liked the color of Soft Nude but it was too "concealer lips" for you, if you're a light complected lady, and if you don't already own a bazillion nude lipsticks like I do. Otherwise, it's not particularly unique.
For the price, this stuff is wonderful! There seems to be a huge divide in pricing for dry shampoo products, the expensive ones are really pricy, and the drugstore brands are dirt cheap. Pssssst is dirt cheap and good enough that I don't bother spending more on a higher end brand. I can usually find it for around 5 bucks, give or take a dollar, and sometimes it goes on sale for BOGO. My hair is more on the dry side, and I use dry shampoo between washings when my roots start looking greasy, or just to freshen up my hair if I have to go out but don't have time to shower. The scent is fresh, not overly sweet or perfume-y, and sometimes I will use it when my hair has taken on some unpleasant odors (like from cooking). It works well to bulk up your roots for teasing, and leaves nice texture for a messy bedhead look. I noticed many reviewers mentioned that it leaves a white powdery residue. I have black hair, and in my experience the first couple of sprays from a brand new can have that powdery look, but the rest of the can is practically invisible on my hair. I had much better luck with Pssssst than with Batiste brand, the Batiste was very noticeable in my hair and I only got a couple of uses out of the can, for about the same price. Psssssst either has significantly more product in the can, or it's way more effective, because it lasts me several uses. I always have some on hand, it's essential for summer!
This is one of those products I got on a whim, not thinking I would use it much, and now I can't live without it! I got Florabundance and Underage at the same time, and Underage was the one I had been waiting months to splurge on. When I pulled them out of the packaging, I was disappointed at first, because to my eye they looked almost exactly the same. The difference is subtle in the tube, but Underage is most definitely for cooler toned skin (which I do not have), and Florabundance is it's warmer toned sister. If one didn't work for you, I'd recommend trying out the other. Florabundance is a pale nude pink, sheer enough to add some dimension to deeper toned lipsticks, but opaque enough to show up on my very pigmented lips. I love layering it over nude lipsticks - my favorite products to pair it with right now are MAC's Subculture lip pencil, and Revlon's balm stain in Charm. The formula is nice, very sticky but my lips always feel supple and moisturized as it wears off, and it doesn't make them greasy or flaky. For a gloss, it's got decent wear time, I usually find myself reapplying after 3-4 hours. On the downside, it's not really a "slap it on and go" kind of product. You will have to work with it to make sure it's distributed evenly, or it will look streaky and blotchy. As with most pale nudes, it will highlight any flakes or deep lines on your lips, so lip prep and exfoliation is required. To apply, I like to use the side or even the back of the applicator and dab it across my lips, then rub my lips together and blend it out with a finger. Then I can layer on more as needed, and it's not a gloppy, milky mess. Use the absolute minimum that you can. I knocked off a point for how difficult it can be to apply well, but overall high marks for being the most wearable, dead sexy pale nude gloss I've been able to find. I even keep it in my purse now so it's always close at hand!
Lipstick -Revlon - Colorburst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle
violetfairygirl 4/14/2012 5:53:00 PM
I feel like I just found my first love reincarnated! My first favorite lipstick was from one of Avon's moisturizing lipstick lines, in a color called Marvelous Mauve. If Pink Truffle isn't an exact dupe, it comes pretty dang close, a deep mauve with a creamy shine. The downsides - I was much more tan during my Marvelous Mauve days, and Pink Truffle is ALMOST too dark for my NC25 skin tone. Very light skinned ladies may have a hard time pulling this one off. However, I plan on using this for dance performances, as it's a very natural looking color that will keep my mouth from disappearing on stage. It also looks good with a minimum of fussing, I can just swipe it on and go. As my skin tone gets a little darker during the summer, this is also going to be a good look for work, finished but professional. I love the cream finish lip butters, they do wear off within a couple of hours but they leave my lips feeling soft rather than dry and flaky. This is the sixth lip butter I've picked up, and I seem to use all of them pretty regularly. Would repurchase!
This is absolutely a case of a product's advertising doing more harm than good. It's a great shadow and I love it, but the ads make it look like you can get an effortless smoky eye, in one go, with one little spongy applicator. Dear makeup companies, please stop pretending that we if buy your products we can look like supermodels in 30 seconds flat, just like the girls in your ads, even though they spent half a day in the makeup chair for that photo shoot. I'm getting good use out of this for the same reasons as the positive reviews below: I don't have a lot of time to apply makeup in the morning, or sometimes I don't want to put in as much effort as I need to, and I've found a way to make the applicator work for me. I have the "Playful for brown eyes" palette, which is a combination of pretty purples and pinks. They have good pigmentation, enough to show up but still somewhat sheer, which is actually a good thing because it's more forgiving when you're in a hurry and get a little sloppy. They're shimmery but not outright glittery, and they have decent lasting power. It creases on me without a primer, so I usually slap on some E.L.F. mineral eyeshadow primer underneath. Here's my method: I press the applicator gently into the pan and wiggle it a little instead of sweeping it across, which blends the shadows together as it picks up the color so it doesn't make distinct stripes. Then I press the tip of the applicator into the corner of my eyelid, and again wiggle it gently as I draw it across, following the shape of my eyelid. I also don't press the whole length of the applicator against my eyelid, but sort of "roll" it like a stamp, which seems to help it go on more evenly. Blend a little with my fingertips or a brush, and it looks pretty and natural. It doesn't look like I spent all morning expertly defining my eyes, but it does look like I put in at least fifteen minutes when it only took me two. Plus: Super freaking easy to put it on in my car in the parking lot right before I walk in at work. I did knock a point off because I feel it's overpriced for the quality, but I always keep it in my makeup bag for emergencies, and if I see it on sale I might pick up another palette.
I picked this up in Nearly Nude, and I'm overall pleased with it. It is definitely matte, and I like that it's a pencil, which makes it very easy to get an even application without slathering it on too thick. It has an odd sweet flavor to it, which I wasn't expecting but it's not horrible. The pigmentation is nice and opaque, but you can use a lighter hand to get a sheer application. The color is great, it's a peachy nude very similar to Revlon Colorburst Soft Nude, but a touch darker. I uploaded a photo for comparison. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of how it looks on me by itself, since both the color and the matte finish make my lips disappear into my NC25 skin more than I'd like. However, it looks fantastic with a pink/nude gloss on top, or as a base for a brighter lipstick. For three bucks, I like having it on hand to "customize" a nude lip for myself and I'd definitely buy it again.