Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kat Von D Everlasting Face Shaper Blush in Por Vida

It's well documented at this point, but I have a real problem with blush.  Well, not a problem with blush.  I have a problem with constantly purchasing blush.

So yeah.  I did it again.

I was at Sephora the other day and I saw the Kat Von D blushes.  Now, I will admit to not having a whole lot of interest in the Kat Von D makeup line.  I've seen it.  I've been mostly underwhelmed.  But, then I saw the blush display.

The first thing that drew me to it is absolutely the packaging.  I love this packaging.  I love that it's square.  I love that the packaging is only a tiny bit bigger than the product well.  I love that it contains a large mirror.  And I love that the packaging, while plastic, still feels substantial.

After some debate, I picked up the blush in the color Por Vida.

As far as I can tell, the Kat Von D line is exclusive to Sephora.  Sephora describes the blush as "warm pink" which is pretty accurate.

Here is more from Sephora about the blush:

What it is:  A fade-proof blush with remarkably rich pigment to enhance individual features and the complexion.
What it does:  Be brilliantly flushed from sunrise to far past sunset with this long-wearing blush. The smooth, velvety powder glides onto cheeks and effortlessly blends into the pores to enhance the natural radiance of your skin. The fade-proof formula promises up to 24-hours of color and the rich pigment offers buildable, custom coverage for every skintone. 

 (daylight bulbs)


I really think they would have been better off not making those ridiculous claims above.  "24- hours of color"?  Are you kidding me?  There is absolutely no way that is true.

I thought this blush performed about as well as most blushes for me, which means that there is some fading after 6 hours, significant fading after 9 hours and it's gone by 12 hours.

Overall, I feel like this blush is very okay.  It's not a phenomenal formula.  It doesn't have a phenomenal price (either good or bad).  Despite looking super bright in the pan, swatched it is really pretty tame and surprisingly sheer.  I do have to build it up.  I didn't find it particularly soft or exceptionally blendable.  But on the other hand, it wasn't hard or chalky either.  It was just ...


While it was the packaging that drew me in, I am not crazy about the raised pattern on the top of the compact.  I know that the texture is just going to look filthy in another week or two from being in my makeup drawer.  That is not a plus.

The blush contains 7 grams of product and retails for $25 at Sephora.

Overall: 6/10

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Review: Milani Baked Blush in 01 Dolce Pink

Described appropriately by Milani as "pink shimmer", 01 Dolce Pink Baked Blush is certainly both.

Dolce Pink is a medium champagne-y pink with a TON of gold glitter.  Seriously.  This blush is super heavy on the gold glitter.  I found it a bit of a challenge to get the pink to really show up without it being incredibly glittery and having tons of fallout everywhere.  The gold glitter in the product is far more prominent than the pink color.  Sheered out, you pretty much lose the pink and are left with the glitter.

I do certainly have a soft spot for the Milani Baked Blushes.  At this price point and with the amount of product that you get, they're a fantastic deal.  However, depending on how you feel about glitter bombs, this may or may not be the product for you.

For me, it is mostly a miss.  I do think that it would probably work better as a highlighter than as a blush.

Milani Baked Blushes retail for $7.99 and contain 3.5 grams of product.

Overall: 6/10

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in No. 22 Pale Barley

Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in No. 22 Pale Barley seems to be one of those staple colors that lots of people who like Burberry have in their collection.  

The color itself isn't groundbreaking.  It's a soft taupe-y brown with a satin finish.  The eyeshadow is super soft and buttery and blends phenomenally well.

The product and the packaging are both beautiful and understated, which I feel like should be a given at this price point.

The shadow contains 2.5 grams of product and retails for $29.  That is a lot for a single eyeshadow, but I do feel like you're getting what you paid for here.  This is a high end product with high end payoff.  The shadow is great quality and for me, it's a color I wear daily.  The packaging is beautiful and heavy enough that I don't have a problem throwing it in my makeup bag.

Overall:  10/10

Monday, February 25, 2013

Empty: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Saturday I reached for my beloved NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer and managed to squeeze out the last few drops.  Sadness!  I absolutely love this product.  But I'm pretty much on a foundation no buy until I finish up my Armani Maestro foundation.

I love the NARS Pure Radiant for the days that I'm in a big hurry or I'm feeling super lazy since it is so moisturizing and it contains SPF.  It gives me fantastic coverage and it feels super light on the skin.

As a side note, I can't remember the last time I finished a non-skincare beauty product.

What was the last beauty product you finished?

Take care,

Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks #645 and #015

I was just browsing the beauty section at CVS the other day and I was completely struck by Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in #645, Red Revival

Come on.  Look at that.  How could I not pick it up?  They were having a buy one, get one 50% off, so I also picked up something that I thought would be more wearable day to day, #015, Born With It

 I will say that the Red Revival really delivered.  I think it is stunning.  Born With It ... meh.  Not so much.  Here are swatches:

(under daylight bulbs)


#645 Red Revival:

This is a true red.  It is slightly darkened and leans slightly blue based, but not at all berry or wine-y at all.  It does not apply quite as darkly as it looks in the bullet.  It applied very opaquely and was quite moisturizing, though as with all lipsticks this bold, I did apply it over a base (MAC Prep + Prime Lip).  It wore really well.  I got probably 4 hours out of it, while drinking soda and coffee, before I needed to touch up.  It stayed surprisingly glossy for the first two hours.

#015 Born With It

I will admit to doing nearly no research on these.  I have no idea how long these colors have been out.  I do have to figure that since this color is named with the Maybelline tag line, that it must be one of their flagship colors in this line.  However, I found this color very disappointing.  It is a neutral yellow based pink with tiny glitter.  I don't think it looks glittery on the lips and I didn't get a gritty sensation on the lips.  That's probably because the glitter doesn't stay in the lipstick.  I found glitter everywhere.   I have no idea how that is even possible, but there it is.


Red Revival 10/10

Born With It 5/10

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Flower Beauty first impressions

I had heard that Drew Barrymore was launching a cosmetics line, but I hadn't realized it was already out.  From what I can tell covers all the bases:  lips (everything from lip butters to matte lipsticks), eyes (shadow quads and cream shadow pots), face (primer, tinted moisturizer, multiple foundations, blushes, bronzers) and nails.

The line is exclusive to Wal-Mart and seems to have a price tag comparable to other drug store brands like L'Oreal, Maybelline, etc.

I picked up a few items:

I am most curious about the "Triplet" products, though, ironically, I didn't pick any of them up.  There are lip triplets, eye triplets and face triplets.

First impressions:

  • reasonably priced
  • contemporary formulations:  cream to powder blushes, matte lipsticks, etc.
  • very wearable colors
  • packaging.  I do love the sort of Art Deco aesthetic.  However, the blushes have convex lids, so they won't stack, the eyshadow quad isn't a square, so it doesn't play particularly well either.  The lipstick tubes seem really unnecessarily bulky.
  • Exclusive to Wal-Mart.  I'd say that most people have access to a Wal-Mart or to, but I, personally, try not to shop at Wal-Mart, so this is mostly a miss for me.
  • labeling on the lipsticks.  If you have more than one, it's really easy to mix up the labels and the color names aren't particularly helpful in sorting them out.
  • Flower Beauty website.  Doesn't have much information.  Everything links back to Wal-Mart's website which also doesn't have a whole lot of information.
The labels on the cosmetics say "We never test on animals", but I really have no idea what that means.  I read in Women's Wear Daily that Barrymore co-owns Flower Beauty with "design and manufacturing firm, Maesa Group".  I don't know who they are or what their animal testing status might be.

I will have in depth reviews on these products next week, but I just wanted to give you guys a sneak peek.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup Foundation

Official Armani PR materials say of Armani Maestro:

It’s not a foundation, it’s a complexion perfector. A whole new generation of make-up that feels incredible, looks invisible and makes skin appear luminous every time. Anyone can wear it!!!”
- Linda Cantello, International Make-up Artist for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics

More things Armani has to say about their Maestro fusion makeup:

A formula that is easy to apply with unified distribution, and covers imperfections.  An ultra-fine oil-pigment suspension that perfects the complexion, instantly igniting skin’s natural luminosity. A water and powder-free base.

My Experience:

I picked up a bottle of the Maestro foundation in November 2012 at Nieman Marcus after being color matched to shade 5 - which I definitely wouldn't have chosen online.  I had been wanting to try this foundation for a while, but it was impossible for me to find.  No one locally carried it and especially at this price point, I wanted to be color matched before buying.  I finally managed to pick some up while I was on vacation in Las Vegas (also got another Tom Ford eyeshadow quad, but that's another post.)

I feel like I should admit right now that I love oil-based beauty products (for the most part).  I use the Boscia Make-up Break-up Cool Cleansing Oil every night to remove my makeup.  I often use plain Argan oil as a nighttime moisturizer.  I have super dry skin and it works fantastically well.  If you have really oily skin or if you react badly to oils, your mileage definitely may vary.

I apply this foundation with my hands.  It is so light and you need so little of it, that I don't think that I personally would try to apply it with a brush.  Despite what the PR materials may say about it being a "pigment suspension", it's an oil, straight up.  It feels like a really thin oil, cooling on the skin, but you wouldn't mistake it for anything else.  The bottle comes with a dropper, which I personally like, but I know some people do not.

To apply, I shake the bottle really well, squeeze the dropper a few times (to make sure product isn't stuck in there and settled) and then squeeze several drops onto my clean fingers.  I rub my fingers together and then smooth it onto my face, starting with my cheeks and nose and then working outward to the rest of my face.

My results with this stuff has been phenomenal.  I would say that I get light to medium coverage out of it.  I've heard it's buildable, but I've never really tried because I don't really need to build it up.

This stuff sits so nicely on the skin.  I really almost can't tell it's there - looking at my skin in the sunlight with a magnifying mirror.  It feels so lightweight that it is really easy to forget that it's there.  It's not tacky at all, the way a lot of foundations are.  I would definitely agree with Armani's claims that it has "Natural make-up result without make up feel".  

The finish once applied on my skin is pretty matte, but also a natural matte.  I don't think it looks flat the way some matte foundations can.  I don't find it luminous at all.  I do find that it wears really well.  I find that even with my dry skin, my T-zone gets oily during the day.  Wearing this oil based product, I really don't have much of an issue with that.  I can easily get 8 - 10 hours of wear out of this foundation.

I'm not really acne prone, but I have to say that after several months of wearing this daily, I switched to a couple of my other foundations just to switch things up a bit and almost immediately, I had a couple of breakouts.  Prior to that I'd had almost none.

I am in love with this foundation, so much so that I'm considering getting the Maestro concealer as well.  Like I said, this foundation is pricey - $62 for 1oz.  However, you need a tiny amount of it, so the bottle will last a long time.  I've been using it daily for the last 3 1/2 months and I've hardly made a dent.

The foundation is available in the US in 12 shades, both warm and cool toned.  It's available online at Armani or high end department stores (Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, etc.)

Overall:  10/10

Thursday, February 21, 2013

MAC Moxie Lipstick

MAC's Moxie lipstick was limited edition.  It was repromoted as part of the MAC By Request collection in Fall 2012.  Moxie was one of the top three most popular LE or discontinued MAC lipsticks according to voters - along with Candy Yum-Yum and Rocker.

Moxie is a matte finish and the color is described by MAC as "bright pink".  In the bullet it definitely looks bright pink, but swatched and on the lips, I think it's much more of a magenta meets raspberry red.  It is creamy (for a matte) and applies evenly and opaquely.

Because it's a matte, the wear time is great.  I got at least 6 hours out of it before I had noticeable fading and it did stain my lips.  While you might have luck finding a dupe of this color, it's the texture that you're not going to find at the drug store.  The matte finish is so opaque and so long wearing that I doubt you're going to be able to dupe it.

I did think that when I first apply Moxie it looks a lot like the NARS Matte Velvet Gloss Pencil in Mexican Rose.  The NARS pencil initially is a rather light pink, but it darkens over time and ends up looking a lot like Moxie.

EDITED TO ADD 3/25/12:  Another decent dupe for MAC's Moxie is the Flower Beauty High Shine Lip Color in Petunia Petals.  The finish is different, but the color is very close.

I am absolutely in love with this shade and I am so glad I picked it up.

All MAC lipsticks contain .10 oz of product and retail for $15.

Overall: 10/10

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Guerlain Rose Aux Joues in 03 Over Rose

So I'm not exactly sure when this happened, but Dillards has definitely kicked up their cosmetics offering.  They are now carrying high end cosmetics like Guerlain (YES!), Shiseido and more.  And even better, they now have these high end counters at the mall I frequent.  

Not that you care, but it's been a giant pain to me that no one within a 10 hour drive has an actual Guerlain counter.  Because at this price point, I have to see before I buy.

The Guerlain Rose Aux Joues blush duos released in August 2012.  The duos have 2 wells.  

The larger well has a high shine frost finish blush in an absolutely gorgeous blue based pink that leans slightly berry colored.  I've seen other reviews where people describe this blush as having a very slight shimmer.  I really don't get that at all.  If you look hard, you can see some microglitter, but it doesn't strike me as shimmery.  To me this blush reads straight up metallic pink.

I'm generally not crazy about frosty metalic finish blushes, but I have to say I love this one.  It is super pigmented and the color when applied is true to the pan.  I love that applied lightly along the tops of the cheeks, it doubles as a highlighter.

The second, smaller, well contains a much more subdued blush.  I'm not sure it's completely matte.  It leans slightly satin to me.  It's not as pigmented as the top well, but it has good color payoff, goes on silky smooth and isn't powdery at all.

Guerlain says you can mix the two colors or use the shade from the smaller well as a contour.  I don't know that I'd use it as a contour, but I do often use it by itself.

The packagin, which I somehow neglected to get a picture of, is beautiful - as is typically the case with Guerlain.  It has a shiny gold finish, though I don't know if it is actually metal.  The case has some heft, it feels substantial, but it's also not overly large.  You can definitely throw this in your makeup bag.

The blush duo contains 6 grams of product and retails for $50.  I picked mine up at Dillards, but I believe you can get these duos wherever Guerlain is sold.

Overall:  10/10

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Makeup Geek Lipstick in Ravishing

I picked up the Makeup Geek lipstick in Ravishing in my Makeup Geek haul.  Ravishing is described by Makeup Geek as "Deep Red (Ruby)".  It has a matte finish and is definitely on the dry side (though not as dry as Elegant).  The color isn't near as vampy on the lips as it looks in the tube.

It is a bright red with a slight blue/berry undertone.  Makeup Geek says it is a dupe for MAC Red.  I don't have MAC Red, so I can't swatch them side by side.  

The formula is dry.  It skips a bit during application which can make it a challenge to get a smooth finish.  However, once do you do get it applied, it stays put.  This shade wore for a solid 6 hours before I had any problem with fading or feathering.  And it did stain my lips.

I wore Ravishing over a lip primer, so if you don't use one, your mileage may vary.  Also because it is such a dry matte, it will definitely highlight any less than ideal lip conditions so be sure to exfoliate and moisturize well before use.

I do have to say that because this formula is so dry, it really isn't my favorite.  I love the color and I love the wear time, but it is just so darn dry.

Makeup Geek lipsticks contain 1.8 grams of product and retail for $7.99.  Makeup Geek lipsticks are currently available in 16 shades with a variety of finishes.

Overall: 7/10

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kate Somerville SPF 55 Serum Sunscreen

At $45 for 2oz of product, I really wanted to love this sunscreen.  I didn't.

I will say that I liked the Kate Somerville packaging way better than the packaging for my holy grain sunscreen, the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+.  But the product itself I felt very underwhelmed by.  I can't point to anything in particular that I didn't like.  Just overall, it felt like nothing special, especially at a higher end price point.  I didn't feel like it performed any better than my Neutrogena sunscreen, which is a quarter of the cost.

At this price point, I'd rather spend a little more and get a product (Shiseido) that I really love.  For a product that is nothing special, I'd prefer to stick with the more budget friendly Neutrogena.

Overall:  5/10

Friday, February 15, 2013

Review: Cos Bar for Target nail polish in Bronze

I apologize in advance, but this post is going to be seriously lacking in official sources.  The reason?  I can't find any.

(inside with a flash)

This year, Target has been featuring boutique brands in their stores.  One of the first they featured was Cos Bar.  The line featured nail polish and nail accessories at incredibly budget friendly prices.  I didn't get any of the polishes in their initial run, but a couple of weeks ago, I picked up several polishes on clearance for $1.50 each.

There is no label on any of the polishes (that I can find) that tell you what the name of the polish is.  I found the names by going to the Target website.


As far as I can tell, the actual Cos Bar website doesn't carry the Cos Bar nail polishes at all.  The Cos Bar site is just online retail for other cosmetics brands.  I don't know, maybe some of the physical stores carry the actual Cos Bar line.

So all that drama aside, I have to say that this polish is an absolute dream.  It could be because the last 4 polishes I tried were total stinkers, but I think even if I hadn't had a bad run I would still really like this polish.

The polish is an absolutely gorgeous dark burnt orange color with gold, copper and green glitter.  It does apply very sheer, but even and it dries incredibly quickly.  I had to apply three coats to get completely opaque coverage, but there were no application problems at all.  It wasn't gloopy or uneven.  It did not pull or bubble.  It was fantastic.

(daylight fluorescents)

I will admit that I'm looking for a budget friendly dupe of the MAC Styleseeker polish (see Temptalia's review for photos).  Cos Bar's Bronze is not a Styleseeker dupe, but it was also $1.50 and beautiful for Fall.

These polishes are currently on clearance at Target.  After that, I have no idea where to find them.

Overall: 10/10

Thursday, February 14, 2013

FOTD: Valentine's Day

Products used:

  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Mat Velvet+ foundation
  • MAC Mineralize concealer in NW15
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush
  • Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette (W.O.S. and Faint)
  • Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer
  • MAC Pink Tea blush
  • L'Oreal Voluminous mascara in brown/black
  • Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in gray khaki (brows)
  • Milani lipstick in Teddy Bare

Sugarpill birthday sale - 20% off today only

YAY!  I remembered that Sugarpill did this last year, so for the last two weeks I've been putting off making purchases, but I am totally picking them up today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Review: Zoya Song Nail Polish

Last Fall, Judi from Middle Aged Beauty Queen sent me several phenomenal care packages.  One of these care packages contained Song by Zoya from the Zoya Fall 2012 collection.  

OMG.  Where has this polish been all my life?  This polish is a bright, true royal blue with shimmer. 

This polish is incredibly opaque without being thick or clumpy.  The swatch above is one coat.   One.    I just ... I couldn't believe it.  The polish wore really well one me.

Overall:  10/10