Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review! Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

I received a mini Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 with Dermaxyl Complex.
Smashbox says:
Prime, protect, and correct in just one step! This anti-aging primer creates the perfect canvas for foundation application. Worn alone or under foundation, this unique formula helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for visibly softer skin. SPF 20 helps guard against harmful UVA/UVB rays. Winner of Allure Magazine Best of Beauty Editor's Choice Award for Best Primer.

What I say:
It's a silicone gel, and although it works, it does have a reasonable dupe.  Yes, the Smashbox version has sunscreen in it, but you can find a good sunscreen for less than the $42 price tag this comes with.

Save your cash and go with its much cheaper dupe, Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel.  It isn't a total dupe because there is no sunscreen in the Monistat version, but the price difference will make you not worry about one extra step to apply your own sunscreen.

If you are determined to not use the Monistat version, I still wouldn't stop the search for a good primer with this one.  It doesn't keep oiliness in check all day.  My nose still became oily (as is normal for me).  It did a good job of filling in pores and softening the look of fine lines.  You have to apply it like a spackle if you want it to fill in pores, and that has been my experience with all of the primers I have tried... they hide pores by filling them in with the silicone gel, and then you smooth your foundation over that newly smoothed area.  I didn't experience any new blemishes while trialing this product, and there was no noticeable scent.  It looks pink in the tube, but dispenses and applies clear.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review! Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream

I recently tried Benefit's Total Moisture Facial Cream.  I received a small sample for free with another purchase.

Benefit says:
Say good-bye to dry skin and hello to "total moisture." This facial cream provides concentrated immediate & long-term hydration for a radiantly refreshed complexion. Our exclusive tri-radiance complex helps develop the skin's reserves of water & reinforce skin's moisture barrier. Contains mango butter, a natural plant-based emollient known to provide moisture. For normal to dry skin.In consumer testing, 100% of people tested felt that their skin was immediately and intensely quenched.

I say:
Holy cow, this is HEAVILY scented!  The perfume level in this moisturizer is right up there with some of the higher-end perfume lotions I have owned.  It didn't hit me until a fraction of a second before I applied it to my skin, so I was already in it by the time I realized how much fragrance is in there.  Luckily, the scent faded very quickly, and was completely unnoticeable in about 5 minutes. The scent level is almost high enough to make me not like this product, so if you are sensitive to scents, stay far away from this one.

The fragrance is nice though; it is a clean, softly soapy floral scent. 

The lotion is a thick cream.  It applies heavily, and I wondered how it would absorb.  I didn't have long to wonder; it absorbed very quickly, and completely, without leaving a filmy mask feeling behind. 

It kept my skin hydrated all day, and it did not promote unusual oiliness.

I did not experience any reactions or blemishes while using this cream, and my sample lasted for 3 applications.

It is currently priced at $40 for 1.7 ounces.

A little goes a long way.
It absorbs completely.
It did not cause breakouts.
It kept my skin moisturized all day.
The scent fades quickly.

Heavy scent.
It's a bit pricey.

Would I buy it?  Yes.  After the first day, the scent did not surprise me any more, and I liked how this moisturizer performed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Makeover! Danae

Danae volunteered to be my model this week!  She's a new mom, and a nurse!  Her current looks is very natural and minimal.  She wanted to learn some techniques for spot coverage and look more put together, but still very natural.

She has a ton of raw beauty to work with, so my concentration was on evening out her skin tone just a bit, contouring a little, and then bringing some drama time to those stunning sea-green eyes. 




I love side-by-sides:
Danae is quite pale, and so we were able to use Lioele BB Cream on her.  The more I use Asian BB creams on my models, the more I love it.  It covers wonderfully, looks natural, and photographs beautifully.  If you are pale, I highly recommend trying some out. 

We spent the most time on her eyeshadow.  I stayed with almost all nude colors, opting for a bit darker in the outer V, and choosing a black pigment for her waterline rather than brown.  Using black to line the waterline can make the eye look smaller.  However, I have found that using black for ladies with dark brown to black hair does not necessarily diminish the eye, rather, I think it makes the eyelashes seem fuller.

Here is the list of what we used!

Face:  Lioele Beyond The Solution BB Cream.  I have ordered from this site before, and they have many other brands in sample sizes.  
            Sample sizes
            5ml size
            50ml size
Contouring Powder: NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

Powder:  Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Saint, color - Caravaggio. 

All-over:   Sephora Rouge ShineNo. 03 - Tenderness
Liner: Hard Candy Automatic Lip Liner in berry (This might be discontinued)

Lids: Urban Decay palette Naked ("Virgin" under brow, "Naked" above crease, "Buck' in the crease and outer V, "Smog" all around lashline, "Sidecar" over lid and inner part of lower lashline, "Darkhorse" at outer V) 

Sonia Kashuk Smokey Eye Brush Set, and other Sonia Kashuk eyeshadow brushes
Angled brush for eyebrow

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Makeover! Rachel

Rachel is a very busy mom, who wanted to learn some new techniques.  Through our conversation, we found that she keeps her routine limited to mascara and foundation on a daily basis.  When she does apply more products, she tends to prefer shimmer eyeshadows, and avoids lipstick.

My mission was to show her some new techniques that could be fast, and introduce her to matte eyeshadow. 

Rachel has a very even skin tone, and soft, proportioned bone structure.  She has big eyes, and I wanted to play those up.  I also wanted to try a brighter lipstick just to see what she thought of it; but she felt more comfortable (and I think she looks better) in a sheer nude.  Because her eyes are so dramatic on their own, they automatically draw your attention.  A bright lip becomes overpowering and you start to notice her makeup, and not her.  She had it right by sticking with sheer and natural lip glosses.

So, here she is before!
And after!
And one more side-by-side, so you can see how gorgeous her eyes are!

Here is a complete list of what we used!

Contouring Powder: NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna  
Blush: Tarte Cheek Stain in Full Blossom (I think this color has been discontinued.  Get it while you can!!!)



Lids: Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Ladybird (Harlow in crease, Cleopatra just blow crease, Fur Elise entire lid and outer corner.  Then put another layer of Fur Elise over upper lashline while cleaning up mascara smudges)

Sonia Kashuk Smokey Eye Brush Set, and other Sonia Kashuk eyeshadow brushes
Angled brush for eyebrow

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Makeover! Melodie

Melodie has beautiful skin.  Honestly, I had a hard time getting started with her makeup, because I was nervous about covering up her *radiant* skin, and therefore covering up her natural beauty, rather than enhancing it.

I used tiny, tiny, tiny  amounts of product on her skin. 

Aside from that, I totally called her coloring incorrectly.  Looking at the photo, I would say cool.  Seeing her in person, I thought warm.  She was a doll and blamed the lighting. ;-)  She is cool toned, by the way. 

Melodie wanted to make her eyes look bigger.  She has had issues lining her waterline, in that every product she has tried has made her eyes water to the point of washing away her eye makeup.  You all know I am the biggest fangirl for Mosha Katani's eye pigment, and I hoped that it would be the answer to Melodie's eye's sensitivity.


Side by side:
Look at these gorgeous peepers! 
We applied Mosha Katani's Eye Pigment in Black Sea to one lower waterline first, and waited a few minutes.  Then, we did the upper waterline of the same eye, and waited a few minutes.  When it passed the point that Melodie knew her eye would have rejected the product, we did the other eye!

As always, here is a complete list of what we used!

Blush: Tarte Cheek Stain in Full Blossom (I think this color has been discontinued.  Get it while you can!!!)

Powder: Stila In the Know ("earth") This is technically an eyeshadow, however, ANY powder that is the right color can be used on the eyebrows.

All-over: Wet n Wild  Silk Finish in 521A (Fuchsia with Blue Pearl), Lansinoh Lanolin

Lids: Stila In the Know("Clay" below browbone and before crease)
Lids: Urban Decay palette Naked 2  ("bootycall" on browbone, "verve" inner half of lid, "snakebite" outer half of lid, "snakebite" over lower lid) 

Sonia Kashuk Smokey Eye Brush Set, and other Sonia Kashuk eyeshadow brushes
Angled brush for eyebrow