Lip Treatments -Maybelline - Baby Lips in Cherry Me
yoursisterdebra 3/28/2012 10:12:00 PM
Although I enjoy wearing Cherry Me lip balm to work for a subtle red tint, it is also one of my go-to products when I go fishing. Not only does it have one of the higher SPFs of any COMFORTABLE lip balm I have found, but it adds a beautiful pinky-red tint that makes my smile look great in those snapshots where I am holding up my trophy fish! (Not all washed out or grey like the heavy-duty SPF lip balm I was using last year...) In addition, Cherry Me smells delicious and has not given me any problems with either (a) melting in the Texas heat or (b) having the cap come off in my pocket. Unlike other high-SPF lip balms I have tried, this one feels moisturizing and light with a nice amount of slip. I would definitely repurchase and I already have the peppermint version on its way to me to try out.
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum' Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
yoursisterdebra 7/22/2011 8:28:00 AM
I am pleasantly surprised by how much I love this mascara! I have never used a "curved wand" mascara before but decided to give it a go. Shockingly, I find the curved wand to be really easy to use -- and it gives my lashes that wonderful upward sweep at the outer corners. I find this mascara goes on "light" in the sense that it is not gloopy or clumpy. One coat gives me darker, feathery lashes that look natural but very pretty -- a couple of coats adds a little more volume (not as much as I get from LashBlast WP though). My lashes are quite long but rather straight and the individual hairs are somewhat thin. I have yet to find a non-waterproof mascara that holds the curl from my lash curler. The Falsies WP holds the curl all day and I have had zero problems with smudging or flaking. My only slight complaint would be that after multiple coats there are sometimes tiny "balls" of mascara at the tips of my lashes -- I just use my fingernails to remove them. This is not a dealbreaker for me at all... every mascara it seems requires some minor cleanup after application and all of the positive attributes make up for it! I realize mascara is a very personal choice but if you are in the market for a new one, The Falsies WP is worth a try!
Lip Treatments -Cover Girl - NatureLuxe lip balm in Marble
yoursisterdebra 7/21/2011 9:54:00 PM
I am really enjoying Cover Girl's NatureLuxe lip balms -- Marble is my third (after Hibiscus and Grenache). I purchased Marble to wear on vacation in Puerto Rico. I wanted something to keep my lips moisturized and sun protected but not "made up" looking during snorkeling and other outdoor activities. Since I picked Marble precisely BECAUSE it is subtle I can't complain that it is pretty darn sheer. I actually really like the soft shine it provides and since my lips are naturally quite red I get a hint of soft pinkness which I really like. To my surprise, this balm stayed on pretty well even in saltwater. I have had my lips get sunburned in the past but this balm provided adequate protection. I will admit you don't get a very large amount in the tube but for the moisturization and performance I will definitely be repurchasing (not to mention frequent BOGO 50% off deals). In addition, the tube is slender enough to carry in my jeans pocket and the lid stays in place (no ruined lip balm in your purse!). If you are looking for a naturally pretty, sheer, moisturizing lip balm with sun protection then Marble is one to check out.
I have never purchased a Physician's Formula product before... I actually only got this because I had a $10 coupon on PF from CVS. I asked the makeup board here on MUA for recs and they mentioned the Happy Booster blushes. I figured I might as well give it a try since the coupon made the product free (actually, there was a $3 off coupon on the blush and CVS let me use both coupons so I MADE $2 by purchasing it LOL). I chose Rose since Natural, while lovely, looked like it could be very similar to a Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights I already own. Also, I am extremely pale so bright pink shades tend to work better for me than more brown/tawny tones. I am not a terribly girly-girl so to be honest the metallic pink compact and heart designs are not a selling point with me... not quite a turnoff, but I wouldn't buy it just for the hearts if you know what I mean. The violet fragrance was surprisingly pretty (although the added fragrance worried me a bit since I have sensitive skin) but after a few days had already faded quite a bit. As other reviewers have mentioned, the brush is basically useless and the compartment for it adds a lot of bulk to the compact. However, the compact itself seems sturdy and well-made and I like the opening mechanism. Now, on to the blush itself... I am extremely impressed by this blush! I have been using a Trish McEvoy #37 (bronzer brush) which is a long-ish, tapered brush that gives a sheer application. I swirl the brush over the blush, tap off the extra, and apply. Rose is pigmented but not ridiculously so... this is going to be a blush that can work for very pale skin tones (like mine) and very dark tones alike. On me, it appears as a bright, clear slightly "hot" pink with a great glow -- not shimmer, not sheen, just a little brightening effect. It has a lovely level of sheerness that lets the skin peek through and while you have color to your cheeks it is not an obvious "blush" look. The best comparisons I can make from my stash in terms of color once on the skin is Stila Fuschia Convertible Color (a cream blush) or the blush from the Bobbi Brown Pink Raspberry palette (which is matte). I have found Rose to last all day on my cheeks and it does not darken nor lose its glow. Also, despite the fragrance I have not had any problems with breakouts or allergic reactions. I can't say I buy into the "happy boosting" capabilities of this blush from a chemistry perspective, but I must say that I feel very pretty wearing it and that in turn makes me happy! :) I highly recommend giving this a look and I will definitely check out PF for blushes in the future.
This body wash passes my test as I currently have less than a week's worth left in the bottle and rather than looking forward to finishing it I am instead sad it will be gone! As the other reviewers have mentioned, the scent is light, crisp, and does not linger. I have very dry, sensitive skin but this does not irritate it at all. I usually stick with creamy body washes since gel-based washes tend to dry my skin out... however, this really does seem to moisturize (without feeling greasy or oily). Don't get me wrong, I can't skip lotion afterwards but Dial NutriSkin Grapeseed Oil and Lemongrass is definitely one of the least drying body washes I have found. The bottle is sturdy and easy to use/open/pour -- no complaints here. I picked up this and the Cherry Mint kind (looking forward to trying that next!) on a 2 for $6 deal for big bottles so the price was great. I will absolutely repurchase this body wash -- it smells nice, leaves my skin feeling great, and is definitely affordable!
Highlighters -Smashbox - Baked Fusion Soft Lights - Baked Starburst
yoursisterdebra 10/30/2010 4:04:00 PM
I received a mini Baked Starburst Fusion Soft Lights as a GWP from Smashbox. The mini has only one wedge of each color -- a gold-champaign, a yellow-gold, a gold-pink, a light-medium bronze and a darker bronze. I see below there are comments regarding the texture of this product... I can't speak for the full-sized product but my mini is finely-milled, creamy, and goes on very smoothly. It is not flaky or crumbly (or glittery!) in the slightest. When swirled together with a MAC 187 or Trish McEvoy 37 brush, Baked Starburst gives me a nice SOFT bronzey glow. I am extremely pale and while I love the idea of bronzer I am starting to realize it just looks goofy on me. Baked Starburst has enough pink undertones to give a very lightly bronzed-flushed look rather than just brown. In addition to providing a healthy glow, I really like these powders as eyeshadows. Although the colors apply sheerly when used with a blush/powder brush, they pack a surprising amount of color when used with eyeshadow brushes (again, keep in mind I am fair). The shades are all rather warm but make a nice natural-bronzey eye with a beautiful sheen. I have olive green hazel eyes so the warm bronze-pink shades work well for me... they would undoubtedly be beautiful on blue eyes as well. The colors are already coordinated and make for a great no-brainer "I'm in a hurry" eye look. The only reason I marked I would not purchase this product again is that while it is a nice product and I am enjoying using it, Baked Starburst is not a "must-have" for me. I have other warm-bronzey eyeshadow palettes (Lancome Pink.Party.Pretty palette, for one) and I don't really *need* a blush/bronzer like this. However, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a bronzey multi-tasking product.
Concealers -Smashbox - Photo Op Under Eye Brightener
yoursisterdebra 10/18/2010 9:43:00 PM
I received a sample of Photo Op several months ago with a Smashbox order. After reading the reviews here I was not expecting much... well, I am finally starting to run out of product in that little tube and I am definitely planning to purchase the full-sized item. As you can figure out, a little goes a long way and this product lasts forever. I have been using my sample 3-5 times a week since the beginning of the year and I am only now noticing it is getting low. When I first saw Photo Op, I was concerned that it was way too dark and peach for my extremely fair skin (lighter than NW5). I have extremely dark undereye circles that are largely the result of my skin being so pale/translucent -- you can see every single vein. If I apply enough concealer to cover the darkness completely, it looks cakey and weirdly opaque against my translucent skin. Enter Photo Op -- I use this before my Lancome Effacernes concealer (great stuff). I don't know that Photo Op is *obviously* brightening but it does somehow make my undereye area just look "better" without being too orange or shimmery. It also diffuses the "obvious concealer" look. I can see where ladies with skin darker than mine would be very disappointed in this product but it works well for me. Perhaps even better than the "brightening" effect is the priming effect I get from Photo Op. My skin is dry and my undereye area can get very dry/crepey looking; in addition, my eyes are extremely sensitive and love to be randomly irritated by my eye cream/eyeshadow primer/concealer/etc. Since using Photo Op, my undereye dryness issues during the day are gone and I swear it helps to keep the sensitive skin around my eyes happy. I can also use any extra product on my cheekbones as a very subtle highlighter without any breakouts or irritation. I can definitely understand why this is not a product for everyone, but I have been pleasantly surprised by Photo Op and I am going to purchase the full-sized tube.
I received Magic Spell as a GWP and I am pleasantly surprised by how much I love it. First of all, it smells like raspberry cobbler to me (with a pastry-style crust rather than oatmeal-crumble). I am normally not that influenced by fragrances in lip products but this smells wonderful and makes me a little happy every time I use it. Just a nice pick-me-up. There is perhaps a slight sweet taste but nothing very obvious to me. The color is lovely as well -- I have rather pigmented reddish lips and this pushes them a little berry-pinker and gives a nice shine. I like the fact it is not frosty and the shimmer does not migrate off of my lips. I also LOVE that this is non-sticky and moisturizing enough that I can use it throughout the day in place of lip balm. I like the GWP size for carrying in my pocket but I would definitely purchase Magic Spell in the full size when I run out (unless I could get another GWP size one). I find myself reaching for this all of the time -- it goes with most makeup looks, feels great on my lips, and smells great to boot. Yes, it is kind-of expensive but I am learning it is worth it to spend a little extra money and get something I will use and love.
Moisturizers -Eucerin - Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Creme
yoursisterdebra 8/12/2010 10:39:00 PM
This is absolutely a HG product for my dry, sensitive skin. I have been using it for probably a year (or more!) now and I have had absolutely no desire to stray. I use this as both an eye cream and as an all-over face moisturizer. As an eye cream, it absorbs fairly quickly, moisturizes well, but does not make eye makeup run (i.e. is not oily). I love the way this seems to soak into my face, leaving a much more matte finish than I am accustomed to getting with a face cream this moisturizing. It seems to plump my skin and my foundation (Becca LSC) goes on like a dream over this, with or without primer. Even when I have skin injuries or irritations, this cream never irritates it and actually seems to reduce redness and flakiness. While my skin is dry and very sensitive, my husband also likes this moisturizer for his oily, somewhat breakout-prone skin. How one cream can work for our two very different skintypes I have no idea, but he swears he has less acne and gets less oily during the day since he started using it and I have to agree. The price point is obviously fantastic as well (especially since I am getting an eye cream and a face cream for ~$11). My only gripe would be that it can be somewhat hard to find... I recently moved and I have visited easily a half dozen different stores looking for this cream but only one area Walgreens seems to stock it. Still, it is a minor complaint considering the performance and value.
Like some of the other ladies here, I got the mini version of the Face Blender Brush in a set with a shimmerbrick. This has become my go-to travel brush for blush/highlighters/etc. since it is small but works wonderfully. I use this at home a lot too. It is a very versatile brush that washes up well and dries really fast since it is so fluffy. I have a small head (LOL) so I appreciate the small size of the brush since it allows for a more controlled application. The Face Blender Brush gives a light, layerable application. It is not quite as soft as my Trish McEvoy blush brushes (#2B and #37) but it is certainly not scratchy. I would definitely repurchase were this brush to wear out or become lost.
I have been using Hypnose waterproof in black for the past few weeks and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. I normally do not purchase HE mascara but after MF Volume Couture WP was gone from my local stores I was on the prowl for a good waterproof volumizing mascara. Hypnose has a relatively small-ish wand and the formula feels very light on my lashes, even after layering. I am very impressed with how well this mascara layers -- it is easy to go from a natural look to a very full, dramatic look simply by adding more. I have not had problems with clumps or flaking even when adding multiple layers; in fact, I barely need to use my lash comb after applying Hypnose. It also holds a curl really well, which is certainly something I expect of a waterproof mascara. I think the black could be a little darker but it is definitely not grey and since I have auburn hair this is still plenty dark. I really like the drying time for Hypnose -- it is not so short that it dries between layers but it is not one of those mascaras that stays wet (and thus transfer-prone) for a long time after you finish your eye makeup. Hypnose stays on all day and still looks great 16+ hours after application. It is a little tough to remove but taking a few extra moments to let Ponds Cold Cream or Bi-Facil dissolve it helps a lot. I will update my review if this mascara dries out early or if the formula changes texture but so far so good! At this point I would definitely repurchase Hypnose even with the high price tag.
Like several of the previous reviewers, I got Cloud 9 as a freebie from Sephora and did not have high expectations. I figured it would be an invisible, sticky mess but I have always been curious about Tarte's cheek stains so I figured it could not hurt to try it (especially for free). To my surprise, I actually rather like this product. On my very fair, cool-toned skin Cloud 9 goes on as a violet-tinged light pink -- the type of color you would expect someone with my skintone to blush naturally (my actual natural flush is much more red than pink). For me, Cloud 9 is like NARS Angelika without the silver glitter. I am also fortunate in that I have not had the balling up/streaking/lack of blendability issues that some of the other reviewers mention. I wear this cheek stain over my primer (Stila Hydrating) and tinted moisturizer (Becca LSC) and I don't have any problems in applying or blending it. So, the pros of this product for me are the color and the ease of application. Now for the cons... well, as others have mentioned this product is quite sticky and doesn't really "dry" (or at least I have never waited long enough for it to dry on its own). I always top it with a very light dusting of loose powder and I find this gets rid of the sticky feeling and tones down the shine. Also, while I don't dislike the scent I agree that it is very strong and could easily be a dealbreaker for some. All in all, I am very pleased with this cheek stain as a free product and I would definitely consider repurchasing when (if) I ever finish it.
LORAC Cocoa is a dead ringer for NARS Nepal eyeshadow, both in the pan and on my lids. Since I already own and like Nepal, I can't give Cocoa a low rating simply because I now have two pans of essentially the same eyeshadow. Cocoa is a dusty rose type of shade that will likely morph a bit depending upon your skintone. I am very pale and cool-toned so I get a fleshy rose-nude shade that works well as a base with many other colors (particularly warm browns) or by itself for a "no makeup" look. As other reviewers mention, Cocoa has a sheen rather than frost so it gives a nice glow to the lid when used as a wash. I honestly can't say that I have a preference for Cocoa over Nepal (or vice versa) since they are both great quality eyeshadows.
I am very pleased with this eyeshadow as it is one of the few gold/pink shades I have tried that goes on my lids as a "pink with gold" rather than a "gold with pink" (Milani Illusion and UD X I am looking at you). Joy looks to be a rather bright blue-based pink with gold shimmer in the pot. It definitely warms up a bit when applied but I do not get the peachy color that other reviewers refer to (however, I have rather cool-toned skin). On me it is much cooler and pinker than MAC Paradisco. Joy wears as a light-medium pink with eye-brightening gold shimmer (not frost). The texture of this eyeshadow is superb -- soft and blendable but not dusty and lasts all day without fading over TFSI. I am very pleased to find a pink-with-gold eyeshadow in such an excellent formulation.
I have tried a few other shades similar to Kiwi in the past and they typically do not work for me. Although I am cool-toned, I am also very pale with translucent skin and somehow green-grey eyeshadows tend to make my undereye darkness stand out like nobody's business. In addition, green-grey shades have a tendency to make my olive green eyes look a strange brown color. So when I received Kiwi I thought it looked lovely in the pan but I was not holding out much hope for it being a wearable shade for me. After trying Kiwi out, I can't quite put my finger on why this eyeshadow is different from other green-grey shades I have tried but it actually works! I think it has just enough brightness/lightness and a ever-so-subtle blue tone that it doesn't emphasize my dark undereye circles. The contrast between this silvery green and my darker, warmer olive green eyes made my eyes look intensely green and almost more of a "jade" type of color! My guess is that Kiwi is a shade that will morph quite a bit on different skintones and when blended with various other eyeshadow shades. On me, Kiwi ends up reminding me of how I thought MAC Vex would look when I first purchased it (before I tried it and realized it pulls quite pink on me). As the other ladies have mentioned, the texture, pigmentation, and blendability of this eyeshadow are lovely. Kiwi has been a pleasant surprise!