Thursday, March 29, 2012

My new and exciting purchases

These are a few things I've been wanting for weeks, and although I could of probably gotten these things at any drug store near me, I convinced myself that they called for a trip to Ulta. This is what I got and what I think about them so far...

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush: 
I find this to be one of the most intriguing products of the year, just from the use of the word "bouncy", that's a word you don't hear too often in the cosmetic world. That curiosity combined with the adorable packaging and vibrant color selection of these blushes and It's hard to imagine that I am the only one rushing out to get one. I got the shade "Fresh Pink" it is a cool, very girly bubblegum pink, that I think looks great for Spring. When I got home I couldn't resist the urge to stick my finger in it, to my delight it is actually bouncy, kind of like memory foam it pops back into place if you touch it ever so genitally, but it gets even weirder when you run your finger across it the texture is more of a powder than a cream.Very strange but I just adore it, I have only worn it once and I want to go back and get one in every color. 
Maybelline Color Tattoo: 
I have to admit, initially the commercial for this product scared me, it featured the two brightest colors in the line a vibrant blue and neon orange, those colors are just not me and I assumed this product wasn't either. However in a magazine I saw the full selection of colors this product came in and fell in love with two shades "bad to the bronze" (which I bought) and "tough as taupe" (which was out of stock). I thought the product must be similar to MAC paintpots, and I find the only difference is that these are way more pigmented and slightly less creamy. I haven't worn it yet, but I will eventually test its staying-power. 
Revlon Lip Butters:
I have been a little obsessive about lip products lately, trying to find something that I find suitable for spring has become quite the challenge. The idea of a product that offers both color payoff and moisturizing benefits was attractive to me, so I bought two Revlon lip butters. I was not sure exactly how sheer they would apply so it made color selection difficult so I choose to get "tutti fruitti" an orange shade that I would typically not choose and "berry smoothie" a shade that I would usually go for. The results are not bad, they are light weight but the color is still noticeable, it glides on for a very effortless application, and I really like the packaging, the angled tube makes application easier and looks great. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Revlon Photoready Airbrush Foundation Review


Such a high standard was set for this product, it was heavily advertised, highly anticipated, and overly hyped. It claimed it would bridge the gap between high-end and drug store foundation, set a new standard, all while jumping on the latest "HD" trend bandwagon. If there is one thing I always go high-end on, it is foundation, as I see it the skin is the first thing people notice, flawless skin will make everyone look better immediately, and I only want the best for my face, but I was swayed by all of those bold claims and decided to give it a shot.

This is the mousse version of the foundation not the original liquid form, but since I also wanted to try a mousse foundation anyways I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone. The mousse is supposed to make it "airy, for a light-wight, pore-less, airbrushed look" and I was expecting it to live up to those claims. I had not seen a bad review on this product anywhere, so I was very confident in my purchase, but D-day had arrived, the moment of truth, time to put it to the test and find out for myself, little did I know this would become probably My Most Hated product ever.

Where to even start ....

Does not live up to it's claims: If there is one thing that we can all agree on it is that we do not like being lied to! I feel incredibly betrayed when products do not preform like we are lead to believe or are falsely advertised. So if you can see where I am going with this, this product is most certainly not high-end quality, light, pore-less, nor does it deliver an airbrushed finish.

 Formulation Confusion: The goal of this product was to be "photoready" and "Airbrushed" as far as im concerned they completely missed on both. First of all, it contains glitter! Whole particles of glitter should never be noticeable in a foundation, (glitter does not equate to radiant skin) and glitter in a photoready product makes absolutely no sense, if you use a flash it'll wash you out in the photos. Secondly, the "mousse" is just a gimmick, it has nothing to do with creating an "airbrushed finish". This feels more like a foam than a mousse, it is simply pumped with air and when you touch it, the air bubbles pop and it turns to liquid. 

Soo many Application and wear issues: I gave this so many chances, I have applied it with the best tools, with primer, with powder, and nothing can save this! You just pump some onto your hand and already problems occur! Its hard to control how much you dispense, the pump gets clogged, it starts melting into liquid, and it smells like paint. I have applied this with Fingers, Foundation brush, Stippling foundation brush, Flat top kabuki foundation brush, and a Beauty Blender, all this and the same terrible results. The coverage is rather heavy, it smells like paint and applies like paint, id say a medium to full coverage (and it feels like it too!). I finish applying and it is sooo glittery and shiny that I have to add tons of powder to tone it down, it sticks to dry spots, but the absolute worst problem I have is it separates on the skin! It sits on top of the skin so unevenly, it looks like when foundations stick to dry patches of skin, but on my whole face (note that my whole face is not dry, I have normal skin). The wear time is like two hours, like I said when I first apply this it is already too shiny, and after the powder on top settles in, it just has no chance.

 I just do not understand why this product was so over hyped or why it had such great reviews, I will give it the benefit of the doubt and blame myself, maybe it just doesn't work for my skin. Also, like I said I do not use drug store foundations so I have no comparison but I refuse to believe that they are all this bad. As for the photoready/HD trend, I realize its just a trend that makeup is going through right now, but that is no excuse for a bad product, I own MUFE HD Foundation and it is worlds better than this product (but as it is worlds more expensive, obviously a comparison would just be unfair). It is unfortunate that my first experience with a drug store foundation was a bad one, but all I can get out of this experience is I definitely will advise anyone to steer clear of this product.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lipstains Review

A product that I feel is a little underrated is lipstains. I am not sure of the reason for this, maybe people did not understand them or they thought it was just a fad, but I think they are a very unique but wearable product. I mentioned that recently I had been experimenting with all the lip products I own, but not these, these are one thing that I have not strayed from since the day I bought them.

covergirl lipstains and MAC lip stain
My very unimpressive collection
I remember seeing a commercial for the Covergirl lipstains and not exactly understanding the concept, it was foreign at the time as it wasn't a gloss or a lipstick. Shortly after I was on a shopping trip with my mom and as you all know, no shopping trip is complete without a trip to the makeup store, and like always, displayed at the front on the MAC store, completely unmissable, is their recent collection, at the time It was "Art Supplies" and It included lip stains, I was so surprised and curious to try it I had to convince my mom to buy it for me (I think I was like 16 at the time).

Swatches, covergirl and mac lipstains
Covergirl 415, Covergirl 440, MAC stylesetter
MAC stylesetter is a very bright pink, almost neon, although my swatch looks  pathetic because the products practically empty, at its prime this product was bright and vibrant and very pigmented. The next lipstain I purchased was Covergirl 415 Teasing Blush, again the swatch is sad because it was purchased a while ago, this is a rosy pink, very soft and natural, and has lasted a long time. Only a few months ago I tried to repurchase that color and forgot the number therefore ending up with Covergirl 440 Wild Berry Wink  because the packaging color is so similar. Its a few shades darker more of a berry toned pink. 

Why I like Stains: What I like most about these is they are effortless, I can put them on without struggle, lipsticks, lipglosses, and lip pencils can look messy if you dont take care. These stay put, no need to reapply throughout the day, they dont transfer to everything your lips come in contact with, they apply like marker to paper, initially wet then set. However unlike other longwearing products, they do not feel dry on your lips, you do not feel the product, It is quite literally a stain. They can be worn for all occasions, they dont add textrure to the lips so it is easy to layer other products over them, for day time I put simple chapstick over it and for evening lipgloss can be added. 
Covergirl Vs MAC: MAC's line is called "prolongwear lipstains" and Covergirl's is "outlast lipstains", and from my experience I can say they are a very similar product. They both offer the same results, a long-wearing stained lip with no added texture. However I feel that the Covergirl products lasted longer, I used the 415 very frequently before it started to dry up, I did not get the same amount of use from the MAC product before it started to get weak. Since I can not tell a difference in quality of product besides shelf-life I would recommend the Covergirl over MAC, with one exception, if you want a specific color because they have very different color selections. 
Downfalls: Not too many cons with this product but both MAC and Covergirl have these issues. Like a marker this product will dry up, (if it is old or you leave the cap off) the more it dries the less pigmented they become. The only other issue is, it sticks to dry patches, if your lips are dry, chapped or flaky the color will apply unevenly. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Spring LipPerfection

Winter has passed and so have the days of my dry, cracked, wind-chapped lips. My lips are now back to a decently healthy state and have been begging me to put down the chapstick and put on some spring color. It seems I had been in this state for so long that I wasn't exactly sure if I had anything suitable, rummaging through my makeup collection and giving everything a test-drive, I had to become reacquainted with my entire lip product collection. Trying out Lipsticks, lipstains, and I even had a slight flirtation with a MAC lusterglass lipgloss that I am relatively sure I bought as a tween, nothing seemed to be what I was looking for. Until I stumbled upon something average and forgettable, something not new nor old, just sitting among some miscellaneous makeup products in a makeup bag, one lonely Covergirl LipPerfection Lipstick.

Covergirl Lipperfection lipstick
Unimpressive Packaging
Covergirl Lipperfection lipstick

In a sea of those beautiful black and gold classically bullet shaped lipsticks, this is something that no one would immediately go for, but when worn the scale tips in its favor. Classic lipsticks are matt, dry, and harshly pigmented (at least the ones I own) which I am fine with for certain occasions, but for daytime in spring, I dont want my lips to feel so weighed down. Luckily lipsticks are moving out of that phase these days, lip "butter" is now the trend, the term for the sheerer, more natural, and hydrating lip products that are In this season, and that is exactly what these feel like. I recently saw an add for a Revlon lip products called Colorburst Lipbutters, I was considering purchasing before I found this, now out of curiosity I am wanting one for comparison purposes, but on with the story...

Covergirl Lipperfection lipstick
Appropriately named Heavenly

The color is called Heavenly, and I need to take a moment to thank myself for picking it, it is not what I typically choose, my lipstick collection is full of outrageous color. It is a habit I was regretful of this season when I just wanted a nice, peaceful, soft, rosy lip. I honestly can not even recall purchasing this, most likely a compulsive buy, something I didn't really anticipate buying but just threw into my basket (which would explain the subtle color choice), but it is most definitely not something I regret buying. Each season when the collections come out, we all feel that we have satisfied a craving when we go out and purchase the new and exciting, but in reality it feels even better to discover that you already have something perfect, maybe hidden or forgotten in your makeup collection.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Latest: Chanel Ombres Matelassees 51. Montaigne Palette

Chanel boutique: Avenue Montaigne

The latest release from Chanel, the 51 Montaigne palette, a limited edition product created by Chanel's creative director of makeup Peter Philips to celebrate the opening of the Chanel boutique on Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
This palette embodies everything Chanel, imprinted on the shadows is Chanel's signature quilt pattern and the color selection simple and classic with a hint of shimmer. This palette features colors that are not new or unique, but are a representation of the Chanel brand. At the moment this is an extremely difficult palette to acquire, not even available on the Chanel website, and only being sold in select stores. The price is even harder to swallow than the name. Chanel and this palette are the epitome of luxury and its price reflects that, at $80 (6g/0.21oz) it is even more expensive than the Spring 2012 collection's palette, Ombres Perlees de Chanel, which sells for $65.
I only have one problem with this palette. I can understand the selection of completely average colors and even the price increase, but why put in this beautiful palette those appalling sponge applicators? They have absolutely no logical reason to be included, anyone who can afford a $80 palette and is willing to spend that kind of money on makeup I am certain has a fine set of brushes. Usually I might accept that they are for convenience and portability, but honestly who is going to just toss this in their purse? In my opinion they should have saved us and themselves the money and excluded those useless things.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Beauty that is cruelty-free: Vegan Brushes


Often I browse the internet's endless beauty resources with no goal or motive, just hoping that I will stumble upon something to make my search worth while, and today it happened! In this case I actually discovered this from an add on a non-beauty related website (bravo sigma's advertising team), Behold Sigma's first vegan brush collection! Usually I consider brush collections to be insignificant, I don't buy multiples of the same brush because they come in trendy colors, but when they change the fibers it gets interesting. These are purely synthetic fibers, which is great for animal activists and contrary to my food preferences I find that I prefer these vegan fibers over natural. First, I want to add that a few months ago I purchased a whole set of Sigma brushes and a few from there "Sigmax" collection to replace my tired MAC brushes, which had been shedding like my dog in summer, and not only are they unbelievably soft but also made from the same "synthetic Sigmax HD fibers" that will not absorb product, claims which I can attest to. The reason I prefer these synthetic fibers on my brushes is because in all honesty the natural fibers irritate my skin (maybe because im allergic to practically all cute furry creatures, including my own pets) or maybe because they are stiffer and more coarse, but these synthetic fibers just glide across my skin like silk. 
The Bunny Collection, comes in a travel kit and essentials kit and includes the container, you can get Mr. Bunny black and silver brushes or Mrs. Bunny in blue and pink. Brushes are again completely vegan and made of "Synthetic sigmax HD fibers" which are designed to perfectly apply product without absorption. My only complaint is they did not make all of there brushes available in vegan, I absolutely love there precision, flat top, and kabuki style brushes and if they were added to the collection, I would definitely go completely vegan and purchase the Bunny Collection. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Collection Winners

    This spring many brands translated spring quite literally in there collections, featuring bright pastels, which to me seem better suited for Easter eggs than a face. Not because they want to make us look ridiculous, or worse, not because they believe these colors look flattering, but because they are trendy. We all have urges to indulge in trends and we all have a few trend related regrets, but if you want to look back at this spring with pride and also treat yourself to the latest product, there are a few gems to look forward to. 

Guerlain Les Roses Et Le Noir Makeup Collection for Spring 2012

This is a iridescent illuminating powder and I can't imagine a better skin finish for the warmer months.  Unfortunately I have not seen this product in person, however it photographs a different pink/purple shade at every angle and swatches as a sheer shimmer on skin. I am confident it will look just as amazing when worn. 

Unzipped Palette: from LORAC 

To me this palette softly says spring, light to deep neutral tones will suit practically all occasions. I would say these colors are subtle not boring. It seems to be a well-rounded palette of both shimmers and mattes, and cool and warm colors mostly purple and brown undertones, it is certain that they will flatter all skin-tones. 

Smudge Crayons: By Stila 

A brilliant multi-use product that comes in an array of eight unique colors, I can see these becoming a staple of my spring makeup collection. Claiming to be long lasting, crease resistant, creamy, six hour wearing, and waterproof, these can be worn as liner or shadow. Color-wise a few have a slight pastel tone but nothing I'd be ashamed to put on and I appreciate that they come in classic shades of black, brown, and blue for night or more formal occasions. 

   NARS Spring 2012 Collection 

The perfectly orchestrated chaos in this collection is what makes it so beautiful. Ignoring the futuristic blue shadow pencil wildcard, this is an assortment of sophisticated neutrals, a smart choice for anyone who wants a spring night time look. The most unique lip color selections of the season by far, sharply contrasted by a candy pink blush, and frosted lavender nail polish, and topped off with the subdued shadows, it is undoubtedly the most independent collection of the season. I am a huge fan of NARS cosmetics for many reasons, aside from being attracted to the beautifully simplistic graphics of there packaging, there products are always of the best quality and they just have a color selection that is ridiculously perfect. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring desires

Chanel Spring makeup collection 2012 

   As spring approaches we find makeup stores stocking up and magazines heavily advertising this years spring collections. Browsing through them, I did not fail to notice nor was I surprised to find that Chanel had chosen the most beautifully sophisticated and flattering pallet I had seen yet. Bright pastels, particularly lavender and teal were the popular choice among other collections this year but Chanel went for less in your face color and more for softer classically spring assortments of rosy pinks fading to peachy oranges. There is not one thing in this collection that would only be acceptable to wear in spring yet looking through it sparks images of bright sunny afternoons and calm strolls through freshly blooming gardens. These colors inspire a peaceful serenity I think spring should have and this collection is just one more thing for me to lust over.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My quest for the perfect concealer

The perfect concealer must live up to high standards, being able to conceal just isn't enough for us anymore. It has to hide our imperfections without being apparent enough to look like we are trying to hide something. We demand some miracle formula that will offer full coverage yet look natural and feel lightweight. I have struggled for quite some time with bad concealers, so sheer that they practically have no purpose, so thick that you would be better off with some sort of Halloween silicon mask because at least silicon feels relativity close to skin. Then Flash forward a few months, Enter the magical world of color correcting concealers, where consistency is almost irrelevant. 
NYX concealers

NYX concealers
      I decided to try out these NYX concealer in a jar colored concealers in green and yellow. I choose those two colors to suit my personal needs to correct redness and dark under-eye circles, but they do come in 13 shades (which includes skin-toned as well as colored) . They have a great consistency, a cream that is not too dry or greasy and I apply them with a concealer brush, but they are a little on the sheer side so I would not recommend the skin-toned shades. On my skin the yellow color isn't a perfect fit, it doesn't have enough pigmentation to handle my discoloration. Not the "perfect" concealer I've been searching for but pretty good and since I bought them for around $4 I have little regrets. 
      A few warnings about the color correcting method, It is not as simple as slapping on concealer. You have to choose the right color for your problem, you have to take the color of your skin into consideration and choose a concealer with the right amount of pigmentation to neutralize it (if you have dark skin or dark discoloration the nyx concealers might not be pigmented enough), and you'll need a foundation with enough coverage to cover up the pastel-y colored regions of your face (the nyx concealers are easily covered with even a sheer foundation).