Friday, June 28, 2013

Review! Skin79 BB Diamond Collection Pearl

I have been working my way through testing all of the BB Creams I bought in my Pretty and Cute haul.

Most recently, I tried out Skin79's BB Diamond Collection Pearl.  Unfortunately, I was not able to use it over my entire face because it is such a light shade.  Therefore, I cannot comment on whether it will have any other benefits than the ones I describe.

The main benefit and use that I found for this cream is to use it as an undereye moisturizer, concealer, and highlighter.  It performs all three functions in one application, wears all day, and for this specific use, I really like it.

The consistency is extremely watery.  Most BB Creams are, well, creamy.  This one is more like a liquid foundation, and is very runny.  The coverage is also much less than other BB creams have been, but for summer wear, I find this desirable.  The coverage is sheer to sheer-medium.

Pearl also contains a pretty intense amount of shimmer.  Usually, I would say this is a great thing for a foundation, but combined with the very pale undertone, it becomes unwearable for all but the ultra-pale.  However, it works wonderfully for use under my eyes, as a highlighting concealer.

It is also lightly moisturizing.  I purposely photographed my hand when I need lotion, so that you could see the before and after.  Vanity almost won out against me posting these...


 After, you can see the area where the skin isn't dry and flaky anymore:
 Blended in, you can see some of the shimmer.  It doesn't show up in photography, but is very noticeable in real life.:

In summary, I wouldn't recommend this BB cream as an all-over cream unless you are both very pale and really like shimmer.  A lot.

I do recommend it if you wear lighter makeup in the summer, and would like a good undereye product that would help conceal and brighten dark circles.

As with all BB creams, I highly recommend buying a trial size before committing to the full-size product.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review! Buxom Waterproof Smoky Eye Stick in Silver Sword

Buxom Waterproof Smoky Eye Stick in Silver Sword is a shimmering dark grey with very fine and understated silver glitter.
The website says it is matte, but be aware that while the base color is matte, there is still a very fine sparkle to it.  However, the sparkle is so subtle that I doubt anyone would notice it unless they were really looking for it.

Here it is swatched out.  The top line is one stroke, the middle line is three strokes, and the bottom line is three strokes smudged.  I was not impressed with its smudging abilities.  However, trying to swatch it first let me know that I would really need to work at making this smudge out to a good effect.

The pencil itself starts out with a nice point.  It is extremely soft, and glides into place without pulling or skipping on the skin.  It did stay in place all day, and through both the office and the gym, until I washed it off.  It did require a cleanser (I prefer almond oil) to remove. 

Because the delivery system is a twist-up style, it will be hard to sharpen, so it will not be easy to get a thin line with this pencil.  That matters to me because I didn't think it smudged very well, and requires more effort than I'm willing to give to get a good look.  Therefore, I have no reason to re-purchase.


With Mascara:

Now with  Buxom Waterproof Smoky Eye Stick in Silver Sword:

Full Face!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review! Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar

Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar is described as a "rose-glow luster".  It contains mint oil which I usually hate.  All of the other minty lip products I have tried have left my lips feeling weird.  Not the tingly bit, but the part after the tingly bit has started to wear off and it still feels minty, but like the mint has somehow gone rancid?  Anyway, this does not do that, and this is the first minty lip product I have tried that hasn't (all the other brands I have tried with this effect have been drugstore brands).  It also has the smell of yellow cake batter, and the faint taste of it, too.  It's a strange combo... yellow cake batter and mint, but still, surprisingly, I like it.



The color is a deep rose pink with peach undertones.  It has a super-mini-micro silver glittery over-sheen, with teeny tiny gold flakes that settle more against the lip and gives depth. On the website, it looks like a brown nude.  It is not brown nude, it is a deep rose pink.  You might even be able to say it's a nude pink, but it is certainly NOT brown.

The silver over-sheen makes it photograph a lighter shade (meaning, clear) versus how it looks in real life.  Regardless, I think this color is a very universal color that should suit almost any skin tone and lip color.

I plan on trying out more colors from this line.  The gloss lasts about 2 or 3 hours.  It's not as good as Chanel Glossimer, but it's the closest second that I've found so far.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Review - Origins, Brighter By Nature High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids

Origins Brighter By Nature High-Potency Brightening Peel with Fruit Acids is a gentle facial peel.  The lovely ladies at Sephora gave me two pads to try out.  You use this peel twice a week.  All you do is swipe one of the pre-moistened pads all over your face.  It is very easy to use, and was very gentle.

After the two applications, I felt that there was minimal improvement, but there was still improvement.  Overall, my skin looked smoother, and some uneven tone was corrected.  I think one would have to use this peel for more than one week to see real results. 

Unfortunately, you can only purchase this peel in one size container.  One container has 40 pads, so it will last 20 weeks.  Knowing how long one container will last does make it easier to justify the cost of nearly $40, but I would rather be able to purchase a small container of, say, 10 pads for $10, and then I could try it out for over a month to see if it really was working for me.  Then, I would be less likely to return the product if it doesn't work, because it was only $10, and not $40. 

My ending feeling on this is that it does seem to work, but slowly.  The slowness isn't a bad thing, I think it makes it more ideal for those with sensitive skin.  Personally, I want something stronger, with faster results. 

I won't purchase a full size container, because I don't want to jump right in to something for 20 weeks, I want a smaller starter kit to get a feel for how the product will work for me.  This isn't a foundation or a blush that you can see immediate results, and wear around for the day to see how it works, and I wish skincare companies would start to realize that and offer month-long samples for purchase.

Alright, let's get to the pictures!



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review! MAC Lipglass in Perky

I bought MACs Lipglass in Perky because it's purple.  I've never purchased a lilac purple gloss or lipstick, so I thought what the heck, I'll give it a go.  It swatches a pretty color, but I'm not about to try out a store sample on my lips (I've seen people apply sample lipsticks directly from the tube to their lips before... eeeeewwwwww.)

This color is amazing on my lips.  It is my new favorite lip gloss.  The purple color blends with my lip just enough to look natural, but not enough to just fade away.  This gloss is super-heavy on the sparkle, and I think that makes is perfect for summer.  In direct sunlight, it's nearly blinding.

In regular, indirect lighting, it does bring a purple tint to the lips.  Everyone has multiple tones in their lips.  This shade happens to be one of my natural tones, so it wears well with my complexion.

Indoor lighting:

See?  That's not obnoxious at all.  It does have more of a purple-pearl effect in person when you first apply it, though, so don't freak out for the first few minutes of wearing it.

Speaking of... have you tried figuring out all the different tones you have?  It's pretty cool how many shades options open up once you figure out which colors appear on you naturally. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review! Stila In The Know Palette

After buying a lot of eyeshadow palettes, I started to notice I was lacking in matte eyeshadows.  Matte eyeshadows aren't really my thing.  I've always thought they just made my eye look dirty or bruised.

Regardless, I bought several matte palettes, and I find myself falling for these discreet little numbers the more I get into them.

Today, I have Stila's In The Know palette.  It consists of 10 matte shades, and one waterproof eyeliner pencil.

The top row of shadows are almost all really, really, really close to my natural skin color.  Air, wind, desert and clay are all nude shades.  We darken up with earth, driftwood, rain, smoke, and ebony, and then they toss in a curveball, fire.

Stila describes the colors as:
  • air - matte beige
  • driftwood - mid tone brown
  • wind - soft matte peach
  • fire - matte brick
  • desert - soft matte tan w/warm undertones
  • rain -matte brown
  • clay - matte warm light brown
  • smoke - matte charcoal grey
  • earth - deep matte chocolate brown
  • ebony - matte black

Stila also includes a little booklet with directions on how to use the shadows to achieve different looks.  If you are familiar with blending colors, this will probably not be much help to you.  However, I would suggest trying them all out anyway, because you never know, you may find that something you didn't think would work actually looks great on you.

I did swatch these out on my arm, but I didn't think it really showed how well the colors apply and blend.  Bluntly, after swatching them, I didn't want to wear them on my eye.  I tried them anyway, and just loved how they applied.  I experienced hardly any fallout when applying these, and I apply them with eyeshadow brushes.

Here is a very simple, fast, and easy look, using air all over the lid up to the eyebrow, with driftwood in the outer crease.  I did push some charcoal brown Sormeh into the top lashline and waterline, and Princess kohl eyeliner pigment (previously called Nude Sormeh) on the lower waterline.

I used Urban Decay's Primer Potion, and the color lasted all day without creasing.

I compared this palette to Urban Decay's Naked Basics, and I think this one wins, hands down.  The colors are more varied, and they aren't all just various shades of pale vanilla, like Naked Basics strike me.

I can't think of a single negative thing to say about this palette, except that I still don't like cardboard containers.  Otherwise, I think it's a good deal at $38, and would last anyone a long time.  the colors are wearable, blendable, buildable, and versatile for day or night.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Review! Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare - Extra Strength Alpha Beta Face Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare - Extra Strength Alpha Beta Face Peel is expensive stuff.  But, they did two things very right:

1 - They made a product that freaking works!
2 - They offer a really decently sized trial package, so you can see just how well it works before plunking down a chunk of change for the stuff.


After 3 uses:

After 4th use.  The first three uses were consecutive nights, then I waited a week, then I waited two days to take the final photos.

Granted, in the photos, it doesn't look like a whole lot of change.  Keep in mind that I used a very high resolution for these pictures, so you get to see me in all my flawed glory.  It did fade some of my dark spots, but the real change happened with my pore size, blackheads, and skin radiance.  

I can finally feel confident again not wearing makeup.  Is my skin perfect yet?  No.  Do I plan on buying more of these and seeing just how far these little things can take me?  You can bet your blush brush I am!

This peel is incredibly easy to use.  In the package of 5 treatments, each treatment is individually packaged.  I like that, because I don't have to worry about the pads drying out.  I'm not sure if the bigger sizes are individually done, but if they aren't, I would recommend sticking to the sizes that are.  You don't use these every day.  I used them for three nights in a row, and on the third night, I experienced considerable stinging, nearly burning feeling.  It wasn't bad enough for me to abandon the process, but it did tell me that my face didn't need the treatment so often.

That said, I would not recommend this for sensitive skin.  If you really want to try it, okey-dokey, but you've been warned.

So, all you do is open the first packet, and rub the little wipe all over your face and neck, using small circular motions.  Keep doing that until the wipe feels mostly dry.  Then, wait two minutes.  Open the second packet, and do the same thing with that wipe.  This will initially make your face sting more, but it is supposed to be neutralizing the first product.  Afterwards, do not wash your face, and do not use products that contain alcohol.  Wear sunscreen for at least a week after one treatment (if you don't already use one, get one).

I highly recommend getting the little 5-pack and trying this stuff out.  It is going to be a permanent addition to my beauty routine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review! Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Splendor

Today I'm taking a look at Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Splendor.  I don't see it on Tarte's website anymore, which has me a bit baffled, as I bought it not too long ago.

I hate powder blushes.  I hate how they get cakey.  I hate how they take away the dewy look of my makeup.

Well, I don't know what the heck Tarte did, but this blush is AWESOME!  Yes, it is a powder, but it blends so seamlessly, without any caking or powdery residue, that it looks completely natural.  It does have big flakes of mica in it, which I am not sure what the point of that is, but those flakes don't stick to the cheek.  There is also small gold glitter in it, but very little of that sticks, either.  It makes the blush look prettier in the pan, but other than that, I'm not sure what the point of it is.

I look forward to trying other blushes from this line.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Review! Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer

Buxom  Divine Goddess Luminizer... I love this!  I have been adding it to my tinted moisturizer to add illumination and extra "dewiness" to my look.  One word of warning; it contains mint oil.  DO NOT get this in your eye.  It's not exactly painful, but it sure isn't pleasant.  The minty-cool-burning sensation wears off after about two minutes... but holy moley, those are REALLY LONG two minutes.

Hand Swatch, dot:

Hand Swatch, smoothed around a bit:

Hand Swatch, blended:

You'll notice that once it is blended it, it doesn't go crazy with flash photography.  It's currently $28 and is only available through Sephora.  After I ran out of my Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer, I started looking for something similar to buy; not because I really wanted to switch brands (I love the Laura Mercier Illuminated Tinted Moisturizer.  Love.), but because I review stuff, so I have to get new stuff.  I got this Luminizer as part of a little kit, and added it to my regular foundations, BB Creams, and tinted moisturizers, and it works with all of them! 

Because this can be added to many different foundations to change to finish of the foundation, I highly recommend trying this out.  You can get a free sample at any Sephora just by asking for it, so you can try it out before committing to the full-sized tube.  It only comes in the one shade, and while they say it works for all skin tones,  I'm leery of any claims of "one-size-fits-all".  Also, you might not like the mint oil in it.  So, again, get a sample if you can.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Review! Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara is definitely making it to the final rounds of my mascara selection tests.  It has a large spoolie wand, which I love.  It goes on smoothly without any clumps or sticking together, and adding a second or third coat isn't very fiddley, so I can get a very dramatic look quite easily.  In my photos here, there is only one coat.  It does seem to add length with additional (more than one) coats, and it also builds volume (which I expect from any mascara).  I really like how I can put on one coat for running errands on the weekend, two coats for workdays, and three or more coats for social occasions.  I love it when one product can easily get me through several functions.  This mascara is not waterproof, which I love because it washes of easily without pulling out any of my eyelashes.  I did not experience any running or smudging, unless I started rubbing at my eyes (which I do not usually do).

To note, my eyelashes are naturally very light, with blond (almost clear) tips.  Adding any mascara changes their look dramatically.

Before and After:

Before and After:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review! Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara didn't really deliver.  Fresh out of the tube, it was clumpy.  My lashes stuck together, and it took quite a bit of fiddling around to make it look decent.  I didn't feel that it added any length, and it only added the amount of volume that I would expect any mascara to add.  I did like the plush applicator wand.

Note that my eyelashes are very lightly colored, and the tips are very blond.  You can't see them without mascara on them, so adding mascara is a very dramatic change to my appearance, just because you can suddenly see my lash length.

Before and After:

Before and After:

Overall,  I wouldn't re-purchase this mascara.