Monday, December 30, 2013

Barielle Erica's Pencil Skirt

I was attending an event at the beginning of December and I wanted to wear an Oxblood polish, but I didn't have time to go out and pick one up, so I dug through my makeup stash and found a 5-pack of Barielle polishes that I hadn't opened.  

One of the colors, Erica's Pencil Skirt, looked like it might work, so I gave it a try.

The color turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, a deep oxblood red.  The formula is fantastic, probably my favorite nail formula ever.  It applies evenly and opaquely in one coat and it wore like a dream.  I removed it after a week, but it still looked good with only minor wear on the tips and no chipping (EVERYTHING chips on me, but not this polish).

I am so happy with this polish, it is definitely one of my favorites. I picked this color up as part of a 5-pack at TJ Maxx, but you can pick Barielle up from the Barielle website or from a variety of other online retailers .  The polishes contain .45oz of product and generally retail for $8 per bottle.

Overall:  10/10

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light

I picked up the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light when the line first launched and I was not impressed at all.  It was a translucent powder.  A fine powder, but nothing special and certainly not special enough to justify the $45 price tag.  I eventually got rid of my Diffused powder and wasn't interested in learning more.

Then I saw Dustin Hunter's video overview of the line.  Like me, Dustin is on the pastier side of pale and he mentioned that he liked Mood Light as a blush.  I swatched it in Sephora one day and it swatched dark enough on my skin that I was intrigued.

In the pan, Mood Light looks like a very gray purple color.  Like Diffused Light, it doesn't have any detectable shimmer.

The pictures here do not do this product justice.  It definitely has a color.  A subtle color, but still noticeable on my skintone.  I could see deeper skintones using this as an all over setting powder.  That wouldn't work for me at all.  I'd look crazy.

On my skintone, this works as a blush, subtle and natural looking, but with enough oomph to provide definition.  It has good wear time.  I get a good six hours out of it before it faded at all and nine hours before it was gone.

Like the other Ambient Lighting Powders, Mood Light contains 10 grams of product and retails for $45.  It's a baked powder, so it does require gentle handling as it is easy to break off a piece of the product.  Mood Light is available wherever Hourglass is sold.  I picked mine up at Sephora.

Overall:  8/10

Saturday, December 21, 2013

MAC Extra Dimension Blush in At Dusk

I picked up all (yes all *cringe*) of the MAC Extra Dimension blushes that launched with the In Extra Dimension collection earlier this year.  One of my favorites out of that collection, At Dusk, is launching again with MAC's Magnetic Nude collection, which hits counters and websites the day after Christmas.

I know that all of the big beauty blogs have already reviewed this, but both Christine from Temptalia and Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog are very warm toned and considerably darker than me, so their swatches look nothing like what the product looks like on me.  I figured I would put some swatches out there in case any pasty pale people were wondering what it would look like on them.

The color is described by MAC as a mid-tone rose.  To me, it's pink.  When I think of rose, I think of something a bit darker in tone, edging towards berry.  At Dusk is pink.  On my cool, pale skintone, it is cool, but not crazy blue based.

(diffused natural light)

(daybulb CFLs)

This is one of those shades that I absolutely love because it can provide definition and color without making your look all about the blush.  It's just lovely and on me, it looks very natural.

The Extra Dimension blush formula is nothing like the Extra Dimension MSF formula.  The blushes, to me, are somewhere between a satin and a matte.  They have some dimension to them, but they're not shimmery at all.  They have fantastic pigmentation and texture.  They apply very evenly and they wear well.  I have dry skin so most blushes do wear well on me, but I get a solid ten hours out of these before they are noticeably faded.  This is hands down my favorite blush formula from any brand.

 The MAC Extra Dimension blush in At Dusk is (of course *sigh*) limited edition.  It will launch at counters and online in North America on Dec. 26, 2013.  The Extra Dimension blushes contain 6.5 grams of product and retail for $25.  If you haven't checked them out yet, I would highly recommend them.  I plan on picking up the other two blushes in this collection.

Overall: 10/10

Friday, December 20, 2013

Terrafirma Natural Blushing Minerals blush in Antoinette

A while ago, I had a haul from Terrafirma Cosmetics (not an affiliate link).  One of the items I picked up was a sample of one of the Radiance Glowing Mineral Blush in Antionette.  

I'm going to take a moment here to say how much I love  that Terrafirma offers sample sizes of most of their products.  I have plunking over the cash to buy a full size of a product without having seen it in person.  And Terrafirma doesn't skimp on the size.  It's a good size sample and definitely enough product to be able to really try out the product before committing to a full size.

Antionette is described as a "warm coral".  Personally, I don't think there's much coral about it.  I think it reads pretty straight up peachy.  That said, it's a gorgeous color.  It has good pigmentation and staying power and despite being one of their Radiance blushes, it wasn't overly shimmery.

I swatched it next to Milani Luminoso because that is another blush in my collection that most closely resembles Terrafirma's Antionette.  The colors are very similar, however, Antionette is not as shimmery as Luminoso (thankfully, as far as I'm concerned).  Antionette and Luminoso are both mineral blushes.  The biggest difference is that Antionette is loose and Luminoso is pressed.

I also swatched Antionette next to Milani's Corralina so you can see just how not-coral Antionette is.

Overall, I was really impressed with the blush.  I think it's a beautiful color.  It performed well and it has a great price point ($12.99 for 20g volume/4g wt).  As I mentioned, I just picked up the sample size, which is $3.50.  As a general rule, I'm not a big fan of loose mineral blushes, but the colors and finish on the Terrafirma blushes is definitely impressive enough for me to use them often.

Another thing is that Terrafirma often runs sales, so if you're interested at all, I would encourage you to sign up for their emails.

Overall:  8/10 (just because it's a loose powder).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Top Shelf

The bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in The Top Shelf is definitely a lovely duo to have on hand for the holiday season.  Paired with a red lip, you have a classic holiday look.

The two shades in the duo are:

  • Mixologist - satin champagne beige, very true to pan color.
  • Cognac - warm metallic antiqued gold verging on bronze (but not overly orangey even on my pale pink skin)

The texture and payoff on both of these shadows is just phenomenal.  They are buttery soft, very pigmented and they blend like a dream.

I picked this duo up months ago when Ulta was having a big bareMinerals sale, so I got it for less than 50% of retail.  If you can't find a sale, these duos cost $20 wherever bareMinerals is sold.  The duo contains 3 grams of product.

Overall:  10/10

Monday, December 16, 2013

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk

Lately I have been in love with the Maybelline Color Tattoos.  On a whim a couple of months ago, I picked up Pomegranate Punk.  

In the pan it's a dark maroon color.  I had no idea what I would use this for, but it was so pretty I couldn't resist.

On the skin, it's less red, more brown and the sparkles are more evident.  It can be a little patchy, so I generally don't wear this color by itself.

I've been using this as a base under plummy eyeshadows and it's been fantastic.  It's not so red that I feel like it makes my eyes look tired, but it definitely makes a look more smoky.

The Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk contains 4 grams of product and is available wherever Maybelline is sold.  I picked mine up for less than $4 at my local grocery store.

Overall:  8/10

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rouge Bunny Rouge Original Skin Blush in Orpheline

Quite a while ago, I picked up an assortment of Rouge Bunny Rouge products from Beautyhabit.  One of the things I picked up was their Original Skin Blush in the shade Orpheline.  Purchasing from Beautyhabit is considerably cheaper for people in the US than ordering direct from the Rouge Bunny Rouge web boutique, but even at a discount, this blush was still $28 for 3.5 grams of product.

The packaging is nice.  It's the high gloss black plastic packaging that most of the Rouge Bunny Rouge products have (the lipsticks are packaged in metal).  It has a nice sized mirror and closes securely.  The print on the top of the compact is mirrored in the product itself.

Rouge Bunny Rouge describes Orpheline as "Medium, warm strawberry with an illuminating radiance - Best on medium warm skin tones"  In person, it's not an overly warm pink and on a personal level, I find it super irritating when brands tell you which skintones something works best on.  As far as I'm concerned, makeup is about self expression and you should wear what you want.

The product has good pigmentation and it wears well on my dry skin.  I got six hours before it seemed to fade at all and around nine hours before it was really faded.  The color is nice and I do like that the pattern is actually embossed into the powder.

My gripe with this product is the price.  $28 for 3.5 grams of a pressed product is really expensive in my opinion.  And Rouge Bunny Rouge isn't a luxury brand.  It's mid range.  It's very much on par with MAC in terms of product and packaging.  So compare that with a MAC pressed blush, which is around 6 grams of product for $21 and these blushes just aren't a winning proposition for me.

Overall:  5/10

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Maybelline ColorSensational Vivid Lipstick in On Fire Red

Okay, so this review has been a very long time in the making.  I picked up the Maybelline Vivid Lipstick in On Fire Red last winter and am just now getting around to reviewing.  Oops!  But it all works out because now I can review it just in time for holiday party season.

I have several lipsticks from the Maybelline Vivid line and overall, they are just fantastic quality.  On Fire Red is a classic primary red, slightly blue based.  It applied really well, very even.  I did need a couple of swiped for total opacity, but overall it was great.

The formula is very smooth and moisturizing and it wore really well.  I didn't have a problem with it settling into lip lines or clinging to texture, even when worn without a lip primer.  It also didn't feather on me, which is something of a miracle for a lipstick this creamy and pigmented.

The formula did stain my lips a bit (but show me a red that doesn't, ha!).  It's not a super long wearing formula, but I did get a good 6 hours of wear out of it before I really needed to touch up.  Obviously, if you're doing a lot of eating and/or drinking, that wear time will be diminished.

Maybelline ColorSensational Vivid Lipsticks contain .15oz of product and are available wherever Maybelline is sold.  I picked mine up at Target for under $6.

Overall:  10/10

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Barielle One Shade of Gray

Barielle is a nail polish brand that I've heard about from Judi at Middle Aged Beauty Queen, but it's not really a brand that I've seen in stores.  I did run across a pack of 5 polishes from the brand in TJ Maxx a few months ago and so I picked it up.

The pack contained 5 nail polishes, but I'm going to start with this one, #5258 One Shade of Gray.  It is a cream finish dark gray.  It's more on the warmer side of gray, more taupe-y than blue.  It doesn't make me look dead the way some grays can and I think this is a perfect shade for winter.

This was the first of the Barielle polishes that I tried and I was absolutely blown away by the quality.  The color was opaque in one coat.  One Coat.  And it wore incredibly well.  I wore it for a week with only minimal tip wear.  That NEVER happens.  Everything chips on me.  I have really thin, flexible nails and most polish will last a day or two on me before it looks so bad I have to remove it.  But this Barielle polish held up phenomenally well (and this has been the case with every color I've tried so far).

Bottom line, this polish is fantastic.  I got mine in a pack at TJ Maxx, but you can pick Barielle up from the Barielle website or from a variety of other online retailers (I'm not sure about which brick and mortar stores carry the line, if anyone knows, please leave me a comment).  The polishes contain .45oz of product and generally retail for $8 per bottle.

Overall:  10/10

Monday, December 9, 2013

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes in 23L

In general, I am not a fan of pencil or kohl liners.  They have never worked well on me as liners (though they're fine as cream bases).  Even the much touted Urban Decay 24/7 liners melt off me in a matter of a couple of hours.

I've also worn hard contacts for most of my life, so any kohl or gel that is designed to go on the waterline wasn't something I could use.  But in the last couple of months, I switched to soft contacts, so now I can try out these products (YAY!)

I'm a huge fan of Cora from Vintage or Tacky and she's talked about her love for the Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 23L on the waterline to brighten eyes.  I've tried white eyeliners and I think they're too stark, so I decided to pick this up and give it a try.

Just like with the Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams, the color payoff is phenomenal.  The texture is super creamy with fantastic coverage.  And it last for a very long time, even on the waterline.

The Aqua Eyes in 23L is very similar in color to the Aqua Cream #13.  The Aqua Eyes is slighly less metallic.  

This is definitely a special occassion item for me.  I don't wear anything on my waterline on a daily basis and definitely wouldn't wear something this metallic unless I was going out.  It is a bit pricey, 1.2 grams of product for $18.  It's certainly something you could live without, but if you're looking to splurge a bit, this is a nice product to have around.

The Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 23L is available wherever MUFE is sold.  I bought mine at Sephora.

Overall:  8/10

Friday, December 6, 2013

NARS Pierre Hardy blush in Boys Don't Cry

I apologize in advance.  As I catch up from my hiatus and backlog, I'm sure I'm going to have most posts like this about items (to borrow a term from PinkSith) You Can't Have.

This is the NARS Pierre Hardy blush in Boys Don't Cry.  It released in Spring 2013 with the NARS Pierre Hardy collaboration collection.  The color is described by NARS as "grapefruit pink".  It's a chameleon color (meaning it's not true to pan at all, imo).

The gold is just an overspray that is quickly wiped away, but in the pan the color looks very coral leaning toward orange.  

On the skin, it leans much cooler and pinky red.  To me it is almost a watermelon pink.

After the overspray is gone, the blush has a satin finish.  It is incredibly pigmented and vibrant, a little dab will do ya.  The wear time is great.  Easily 8 hours before it fades.

This limited edition blush palette is larger than a regular NARS blush (.16 oz) and contains a whopping .45 oz of product.  It has the typical rubberized NARS packaging, which means it is going to be dirty and fingerprint covered in about half a second and in a couple of years it will get tacky and gross.  SIGH.

You can still find some of these on eBay and occasionally on Amazon.

I picked mine up in the Spring at Sephora for $41.

Overall:  8/10