Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: bareMinerals blush in Beauty

So this product is an oldie but a goodie, the bareMinerals blush in beauty.  Bare minerals describes the color as "blushed pink".  Helpful description, huh?  SIGH.  Also, the swatch on the company website looks absolutely nothing like this color to me.

When I first got back into makeup after a very long hiatus, bareMinerals was the first line I used.  At this point, I am pretty much over bareMinerals.  I have learned through trial and error that I am not a fan of loose shadows and I rarely use pigments.  Even after trying out their new pressed eyeshadow quads, I'm really not impressed.

The one exception to this is their blush line.  I feel like it is well established at this point that I have a blush problem.  I love them.  Loose blushes, pressed blushes, cream blushes, matte blushes, shimmery blushes, I love them all.  And the bareMinerals blush in beauty is no exception.  This is the one bareMinerals item that I still use and have recently repurchased.


I don't really know what "blushed pink" is supposed to look like, but to me Beauty is a yellow-based pink blush.  It has a slightly dusty tinge to it, similar to MAC's Pink Tea.  (For the record, Sephora describes the color as "sweetheart rose" which I find to be a much more apt description.)

The pigmentation is good.  It applies easily and wears for a good 6 hours before it starts to fade.  It's not completely matte.  There is a bit of a sheen to it, but it's definitely not glittery or frosty.

Because of its dusty tinge, I think this is probably only going to really work on lighter skintones.  I think on medium to dark skintones it's probably going to turn ashy.

The only downside for me is that it is loose, however that's not a huge problem for me because I do really love this color.

Also, this is the only loose blush I have so I guess I'm really not familiar with how much product is standard.  This packaging contains .85grams of product and retails for $19.  Compare that with a standard MAC pressed blush that contains 6 grams of product and has a very similar price point.

Overall:  7/10

Monday, July 16, 2012

BeautyFix Summer 2012 beauty box

A couple of months ago, I signed up for the Beautyfix subscription beauty box service through Dermstore.  I posted about my Spring 2012 Beautyfix box here.

As with the spring box, there were a ton of products to sort through for the summer beauty box.  I chose 9 products, some deluxe sample size, some full size.  The Beautyfix box always includes a bag.  Last time I chose the cylinder bag. This time I chose this one:

Here is the full list of items I chose:
  • Beautyfix Quilted Vanity Case
  • i Divine Eye Color – Kumaon 0.06oz. 
  • Decleor Instant Radiance Moisturizer
  • SpaRitual Instinctual Moisturizing Lotion – Indonesian Ginger
  • SpaRitual Nail Lacquer – Enlightened 0.5oz. 
  • Bioelements Pumice Peel
  • Nailtiques Nail Protein and Color Lacquer 2piece
  • Nick Chavez Amazon Hair Body Building Styling Clay 4oz.
  • Nailtiques Nail Moisturizer and Formula Kit 4piece

The Beautyfix box is a quarterly subscription service and it is rather pricey at $49.95 a box.  The cost does include shipping, so in my opinion, this is on par with the QVC beauty tube.

When you receive your first Beautyfix box, you have the opportunity to do two surveys on products you received.  When those surveys are finished, you get a coupon for $25 off of a $50 purchase from Dermstore.  I used this to purchase another of my beloved Peter Thomas Roth Laser-Free Resurfacer serum.

The products do seem to rotate as appropriate for the seasons.  For example, the summer selections included a lot more bronzing, self-tanner and otherwise summery selections.

As usual, I will review the individual products more in depth as I use them.  If you're particularly interested in any of the products, let me know and I can move it to the head of the line.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Ouidad Ultimate Frizz Fighting Trio

In an experiment, I decided to try out a more professional grade set of haircare products.  I'm generally a die hard drugstore haircare girl, but lately I have just been so unhappy with my hair.

In the interest of full disclosure, I naturally have very dark, very curly normal hair.

I wanted to try a whole line of haircare products because I figured that I really wouldn't be getting the most out of the line if for example, I was using a high end shampoo but a drug store conditioner.  So after some looking around, I decided to pick up the Ouidad Ultimate Frizz Fighting Trio from Sephora.

I did go and look through the Ouidad YouTube channel, which if you have curly hair is definitely worth checking out.

So, after about six weeks of using the Ouidad product, what's my verdict?


There are a lot of people on YouTube who I really like and who I respect who talk about how absolutely necessary it is to use higher end products on your hair.  And after six weeks of living the experiment I have to say that honestly, I don't really see any difference at all.  The results from Ouidad seem very comparable to the results I get form Pantene.

So at this point I would be inclined to switch back to drugstore products but ... last week was the Beauty Brands (and Ulta, I think too) Liter sale.  So rather than going back to drugstore products, I picked up some AG Hair products.  I'll let you know what I think of those.

Ouidad Overall:  6/10

Review: Wet n' Wild Coloricon blusher in Mellow Wine


I picked up the Wet n' Wild blush in Mellow Wine quite a while ago and I'm just now getting around to posting a review.  Mellow Wine is a dusky pinky peach.  The color payoff is excellent.  I often use this color much like I use my Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed, as a sort of soft contour through the backs of my cheeks.  It's definitely not a bronzer, but I do think that it's deep enough of a color that it works well in that application.

Mellow Wine isn't the smoothest blush I've ever used, but it's got a nice texture and it applies well.  Mellow Wine has enough pigmentation that it shows up well even on darker skintones.  I can usually get around 6 hours of wear out of it before it fades significantly.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher in Mellow Wine contains 4 grams of product and retails for the very budget friendly price of $2.99.

Overall: 8/10

Monday, July 9, 2012

Haul: Makeup Geek

I'm sure most of you are already familiar with Makeup Geek's YouTube channel, site and store.  In the last couple of months Makeup Geek has started selling their own line of eyeshadows and lipsticks.  I've seen swatches on a lot of blogs and I finally decided that I would go ahead and pick some up.

I also used this as an excuse to pick up a zPalette, NYX cream blush and a couple of MAC pigments - but this post isn't about those, it's about the Makeup Geek items ;)

Makeup Geek shadows currently come in 56 colors and are available in compacts or in the individual refill pans.  The refill pans retail for $5.99 each and I decided to go that way.  

I have had one loose Inglot shadow for months that I needed to throw in a palette so I decided that this was as good of an excuse as any to go ahead and pick up a little zPalette (which, conveniently are also sold at the Makeup Geek store).

I picked up shadows in Cinderella, Bling, Homecoming and Unexpected.

Cinderella - shimmery pink.

Bling - frosty ivory

Homecoming - medium brown with gold shimmer

Unexpected - Matte pale pink brown

Very recently, Makeup Geek launched their own line of lipsticks.  They currently have 16 colors.  They retail for $7.99 each.

Adorable - creamy yellow based pink
Ravishing - matte bright red (the description says blue-based red, but I think it leans more orange)
Elegant - Deep rose red

This is just a haul post.  I will do a more in depth review of these items.  All items were purchased by me with my own money.


You can sort of tell in the picture above, but the Adorable lipstick arrived damaged.  I have to say that it has been BOILING hot here - above 110 F, which I'm sure had something to do with the damage.  I sent Makeup Geek's customer service account an email before 8am on a Sunday morning and in less than an hour they informed me that they were shipping me a replacement.  Fantastic customer service.  I could not be more impressed with that.

In case you're curious about the carnage, here is a picture of the damaged lipstick.

Review: Peter Thomas Roth Laser Free Resurfacer

The official Peter Thomas Roth PR for the Laser-Free Resurfacer says "An advanced serum that helps repair, resurface, regenerate, and renew skin from the first application."

I'm usually not one for PR copy, but I have to say that in my experience, this serum lives up to all of its claims.  I originally picked this up using my Ulta rewards.  I went for the travel size - which shockingly enough is actually half the product for exactly half the price of the full size.  I had used it for maybe a week when I realized that I was getting some seriously impressive results.

This serum absolutely evened out the texture on my face and upper chest.  It made a dramatic difference in a very short period of time.  I truly cannot get over how smooth my face and upper chest feel.  There is absolutely no skincare product (including exfoliators) which has ever given me results like this.

One of the things that PTR touts is the "33.5% Dragon's Blood Complex".  I have no idea what Dragon's Blood Complex is, but I would assume that it's the reason the serum is red.

I have purchased this product in two different sizes, the travel size (.5oz - pictured) and the full size (1oz.).  Both of them come with a pump applicator.  The travel size doesn't have a lid, the full size does.  

The full size has a standard pump with a tube that sits in a jar of the product.  This means that as you start to run out, there is a whole lot of serum left inside the packaging that is stuck to the sides.  It can be a real pain to try and get out.  At this price point, I will get out the tin snips and cut the bottle open.

The travel size is packaged so that the bottom of the package pushes up as the amount of product decreases.  This means that getting that last little bit out of the container is considerably easier than getting it out of the full size and it doesn't involve tin snips.  Also, I would assume that the product is in less contact with the air and therefore probably stays fresher longer.

Formulated without:

- Sulfates
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Peg-8 Dimethicone, Peg- 12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Isododecane, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Niacinamide, Decarboxy Carnosine Hci, Ethyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Ethyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Carbomer, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Croton Lechleri (Dragon's Blood) Resin Extract, Siegesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Rabdosia Rubescens Extract, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Phospholipids, Acetyl Glucosamine, Glucosamine Hci, Hydroxyproline, Polysilicone-11, Glycosphingolipids, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Alcohol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Mica, Red 33 (Ci 17200), Brown 1 (Ci 20170), Blue 1 (Ci 42090).

Overall, I am in love with this product.  10/10

Saturday, July 7, 2012

June 2012 Glossybox

Here is the June 2012 US Glossybox.

A closer look at the products:

Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment mask for fine/normal hair.  
Deluxe sample contains 25mL.  
The full size contains 5oz and retails for $12.

First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream.  
Deluxe sample contains 2 oz
Full size contains 6.8oz and retails for $16.50

Trio of face products from vBeaute
Lite Up Intense Brightening Agent Serum
Buying Time Day Cream
Eye Never Eye Cream
The samples look like they're about 1mL each.
Full sizes retail for Lite Up 1oz $150; Buying Time 1.7oz $135; Eye Never .5oz $85.

This is the "special surprise" from this month's Glossybox.  It's from a company called A Perfume Organic (which I think is a horribly confusing name, FWIW).  The perfume itself is called Urban Organic.  The vial arrived about 1/3 full.  A full size contains .41oz and retails for $65.  The perfume is nice, but honestly, giving me a 1/3 full vial as an extra .. I wish they'd just not bothered.

And finally on to the full size item for this month's Glossybox:
Ofra Eyeshadow in Ice.
Full size.  Retails for $14.95.
I am so underwhelmed by this.  It looks like a turd in a tube.

Overall, I am much less impressed by this month's Glossybox, but I will give it another month or two before I decided to keep it or dump it.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: AmorePacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel

I received a deluxe sample (8mL) of the AmorePacific MOISTURE BOUND Refreshing Hydra-Gel in my May 2012 US Glossybox.  The Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel is described by AmorePacific as "A refreshing, oil-free hydrating gel that works to delay all signs of aging."

I can't really say anything about delaying signs of aging, but it definitely does have a gel consistency and it moisturizes well.  It's the middle of summer and I am really enjoying this moisturizer.  It is very light, you don't need a whole lot to get a lot of moisturization.

I've been using this to moisturize at night since it doesn't contain any SPF and I like my daytime moisturizer to do double duty as sunscreen.  Usually at night I like a much thicker moisturizer but since it's been so hot, this has the perfect consistency.  So this is a great summer moisturizer for me, but it's probably a little light for the rest of the year.

The only downside of this product is the pricetag.  1.7oz of this product retails for $100.  I'm really not opposed to paying top dollar for skincare.  And while this is a really nice moisturizer, at this pricepoint, there are a lot of really nice moisturizers.  

Phyllostachys Bambusoides Juice, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Xylitylglucoside, Alcohol, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Trehalose, Serine, Glycine, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins, Kaempferol, Glutamic Acid, Alanine, Lysine, Arginine, Threonine, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-40 Stearate, Anhydroxylitol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sucrose Stearate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polysilicone-11, Xylitol, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, PPG-5-Laureth-5, Betaine, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Sodium PCA, Hydrated Silica, Propylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Aluminum Hydroxide, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Proline, Zinc Gluconate, BHT, Magnesium Aspartate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, CI 42090, Fragrance.

Overall: 8/10

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: Murad Clarifying Cleanser

I received a deluxe 2oz. sample of the Murad Clarifying Cleanser in the June 2012 Sample Society Beauty Box.  Earlier this month I was having a problems with breakouts so I decided to go ahead and use the Murad Clarifying Cleanser which is formulated to combat acne and contains 1.5% salicylic acid.

I do think that the cleanser helped clear up my minor (but seriously annoying) acne issues without being overly drying for my skin.  The cleanser is a clear gel.  You don't need much of the cleanser and it foams up really well.  It washes away easily and leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean - which you may or may not like.  Given that it's July and my skin is pretty combination/normal right now the squeaky clean isn't an issue for me.  In the dead of winter though it definitely could be drying.

I really like the results I got from the product, but I'm not completely in love with this cleanser.

This cleanser contains menthol.  I hate cleansers that contain menthol.  I think it is absolutely pointless.  I refuse to believe that menthol has any beneficial effect on my skin and to the contrary, I think it can be irritating.  It is definitely irritating to my eyes, even when I don't get the menthol in them.  Just the fumes are enough to make my eyes water.  My biggest complaint with most cream cleansers is that they contain menthol.  I have no idea why this product contains menthol.  I feel like it's one of those ingredients that companies throw in to products so that it will make the user feel like it's working more than it is.

UGH.  Hate it.

So obviously you may not have strong feelings about menthol the way I do.  This cleanser is part of a larger Murad acne system.  Like I said, I do think that it helped clear up my minor acne issues.  I have no idea how it might perform for someone with more severe acne.

6.75oz of product retails for $26 wherever Murad is sold.

Murad is formulated without:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan


Salicylic Acid (1.5%). Other Ingredients:Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Triclosan, Menthol, Limonene *, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Oil, Cymbopogon Nardus (Citronella) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben.

Overall:  7/10

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Revlon Illuminance Cream Shadow palette in 710 Not Just Nudes

I go through big cream shadow phases and last go round I picked up several of the Revlon Illuminance Cream Shadow palettes.  The palette above, in 710, Not Just Nudes, is by far my favorite of the Revlon cream palettes.

Sadly, I didn't think to photograph this palette before I used it so excuse the rather beat up looking product photos.  The different colors have significantly different textures.

The darkest color is by far the ... hmm, how to say this ... the lightest?  It has a whipped, creamy consistency.  It does have shimmer.  And phenomenal color payoff.

The second color is as close to matte as you can get with a cream product that doesn't completely dry down.    It is much denser in texture than the other shadows in the palette.

The third shadow has a lighter consistency again. It has a pearlescent finish, but no glitter.

The final shade is the most underwhelming in the palette.  The color payoff isn't fantastic and it's just a very underwhelming shade for me.

As I said earlier, I love the darkest shade and I wear it often.

This is a nice little cream shadow palette.  I'd say the quality is on par with the Urban Decay cream shadows if you're familiar with those.  If you're looking for something on par with say the Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams, you're going to need to keep looking.  The Revlon cream shadows never completely dried down on me and they definitely aren't waterproof.  That said, I don't really have a problem with these creasing though I do tend to layer them with powder shadows.

The palette contains 3.4 grams of product total and retails for about $6.

Overall: 7/10

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: Sleek Ultra Mattes v2 Dark

I was lucky enough to receive the Sleek Ultra Mattes v2 Darks Palette from the lovely Diana when I did my swap with Tam a few weeks ago.  I had been lusting after this palette since I saw it on English blogs, but since my access to Sleek is very limited, I figured I'd never get a chance to see it in person.

First off, I love the packaging.  I'm not sure if it's new for all Sleek palettes or just for the matte palettes, but I love it.  And the shadows ... OMG, the shadows.  I think it is a well known fact that I love me some matte shadows.  Seriously, I have a matte shadow problem.  And these mattes are beautiful.  Most of them are buttery soft and have incredible pigmentation as you can see from the swatches.

There are a lovely range of colors here, enough to create a multitude of looks.  I think this is an incredibly versatile palette and I use it often.

The Sleek ultra mattes palette contains 12.1 grams of product and retails for $10.99 plus s/h at SleekMakeup.com

Overall:  10/10

Monday, July 2, 2012

June Favorites

June Favorites:

MAC Matchmaster Foundation
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Milani Baked Bronzer in 04 Glow  
Quo California Sun Bronzer 
Maybelline ExpertWear Eyeshadow Sunbaked Neutrals Palette
Origins Drink Up Moisturizing Mask
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart
Clean Warm Cotton perfume

Review: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey

A week or so ago, I picked up a couple of the Revlon Just bitten Kissable Balm Stains in Sweetheart and Rendezvous.  I absolutely loved both of those colors, but they are both really bright so I wanted to try some of the more muted colors in the range.

I decided to pick up the color Honey.  Revlon doesn't provide an official description of the color, but it looks to me like a sort of beigey rose color.

The color looks sort of purple in the bullet, but on the skin it definitely learns more rosey.

This is one of those colors that I want to love.  I am so impressed with the other two balm stains, but this color was just completely underwhelming to me.  First off, the pigmentation is almost non-existent.  I do not have heavily pigmented lips and it was not at all noticeable.  Also, whatever pigmentation there was did not last.

I could easily get 5 or 6 hours of wear time out of the colors Rendezvous and Sweetheart, but Honey, I got maybe an hour and a half.  It was just really disappointing on pretty much every front.

The Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains contain 2.7 grams of product and retail for $7 - $10 depending on where you purchase.  Available wherever Revlon is sold.

Overall: 5/10