Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dior Put Me In Extase with DiorShow Extase Mascara

$28.00 USD for 0.33oz
I have family visiting, so I will make this a blitz-post if there ever was one! I first discovered this mascara last holiday season from a very expensive Dior palette which included six eyeshadows, a blush, a sheer powder, a beautiful lipgloss called Flash (seriously can't get over that gloss), and this little mascara. I'm excited to use the palette for the coming holiday season, because hey! it's still good stuff, right? and I look forward to buying a full-sized version of this mascara some day far from now when I no longer worry about spreading my resources across many, many mascaras....

No, you say? It will never happen, you say? Well, sweethearts, for this one, it might just happen!
without makeup
wearing Kirkland Mineral Loose Eyeshadows, e.l.f. Coffee Eyeliner, and DiorShow Extase Mascara
Dior DiorShow Extase Mascara is a lengthening mascara whose wearable comfort is unparalleled--at least in my experience. Since I started wearing mascara almost a decade ago, I've never had a product that caused no irritation upon application--zero around the eyes, in the corners after blinking, in my nose because the product smell is so strong, on the lashes because I have to apply so thickly--no irritation, I repeat!

I also find that this formula has the best results with the least fuss, i.e. a few sweeps and you're done really. I can see why this was included in a holiday palette, easy on/easy off and all. On that note, I don't particularly like waterproof mascaras because they are murder to remove; being the heavy, lusty lover of sleep that I am, I don't take kindly to things that make me stay awake longer, and waterproof formulas of anything really stay on far too long after scrubbing them for my tastes!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lotus Bio-Mineral Pressed Foundation SPF 20

$30.00 for 9g or 0.32 oz

I bought this in Fair 1 to see how fair I could actually be considered, and sadly, I am this pale. I have stronger yellow undertones than this foundation does, and in summer I was most definitely too dark for this (can anyone say Fair 2?). However, it could be my powder foundation for the rest of autumn/winter easily!

Packaging: At first this gunmetal and silver compact reminded me of my Burberry foundation and eyeshadow (adore that packaging) but upon handling it more, it's not only lightweight but can feel very plastic-y in places, as though a good accidental ding might crack it. The compact does not come with an applicator and the mirror-lid is too thick to allow you to squeeze your own sponge or teeny-tiny brush in there. Bummer too. The powder can get kicked up when using a brush and if you don't use all that kick-up then the powder gets on the mirror when you close it. I, personally, don't think I'll be carting this around at all for fear that the powder will crack and get everywhere. However, this is far more convenient for me than the loose powder foundation--infinitely better!
(I've subsequently de-potted this and put it into one of my Z-Palettes.)
without makeup on skin (only on eyes)
wearing Aveda Apricot Whisper on cheeks, Aveda Amazonia Bronzer on temples and below blush as contour, Lotus Mineral Foundation, Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara, Aveda Shadow Trio in Twilight on eyes, and Dior Addict Lipstick in Basic on lips

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Aveda Uruku Bronzer in 104 Amazonia

$24.00 for 0.3oz/8.5g

Aveda Uruku Amazonia Bronzer is a blend of a neutral, luminous medium brown and a redder, rusty brown shimmer that really wakes up my face. For all of my foundations in winter, I am so pale that without a little contouring I look as though I am about 1.5 feet in the grave, so something that catches the light and places with the shadows a bit keeps me feeling more among the living. Even now at the very last days of summer I find myself looking in the mirror, saying "good lord, where is my bronzer? I can't go out like this." Yes, my non-existent summer tan is more obvious now that the sun shines a little less brightly and radiates just a little bit cooler light; I'm out of summer-skin-luck!
top: the neutral, medium brown half of Amazonia; bottom: the rusty-brown half with golden sheen
To be perfectly clear, I certainly don't need to really layer on the bronzer to achieve the look I am going for in my day-to-day appearance, but I am pleased to report that Uruku Bronzers (both Amazonia and Brazilian Sun) have buildable and blendable color payoff. As always, you don't have to think very hard about how I most likely apply this (and every other product save for corrective color)...sheerly. I'm predictable that way. I am also so ingrained with the shame of having once-too-often overdone color in my youth (younger youth, that is) as to be unable to overdo the application in photos and swatches on my skin. I seriously freak out if color looks like too much on my skin, and now that I don't have the luxury of the first month of blogging, where I was at home all day and no one was looking, I can't really just experiment with heavier color and certainly not regularly.

Aveda Petal Essence Face Accent in 181 Apricot Whisper

$24.00 for 0.3oz/8.5g

This blush from Aveda features three separate strips of powder that can be used separately or in unison. While apart the colors could be a highlighter (the golden yellow), a blush (the peach), and a contour (the rosy pink), I prefer the simple glow that comes from sweeping over all of the powder and blending along the cheekbones. "Whisper" was a  good addition to the name because, while there is very buildable coverage from this product, it goes on quite sheer at first. Knowing me though, you understand why this is a bonus. Control in color placement and depth is crucial for pale skin--when you over-do it even slightly, it is WAY over-done and extremely distracting to anyone trying to focus on what you are saying or doing.
Aveda Petal Essence Cheek Color in Apricot Whisper (left to right: contour, blush, and highlight)
The staying power of Petal Essence Apricot Whisper is on the higher end for such a sheer product, or application in my case, with mine usually lasting until mid afternoon (so 6-7 hours) before I notice that I am looking a little sallow and need a bit of color to wake my face back up. Sometimes I don't reapply this color in the afternoon and instead go for something a little rosier; however, now that I write about the product, I realize I could just focus the brush more on that darkest strip of color for a richer, afternoon pop on the cheeks. It's amazing what you think of when you just pause to think something through, duh!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Coffee

$1 for approx 0.04 oz
With how much I adored my Black liquid liner from the brand, I thought it best to add the neutral Coffee alternative to my makeup arsenal. Now, the main difference between the two products is that Coffee is in pen form and Black was in bottle form, but what a huge difference it makes!
without liner, wearing e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter
e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Coffee
While Coffee may be waterproof and in a slightly more convenient packaging, the application is about 4 times more difficult, and I can really on speculate as to why. The pen-tip is the same as the small felt wand in the bottle version of this liner, but I find that the pen-tip cannot stay saturated with product for the full line along the upper lash. Inevitably I have to go in to do touch-ups but the line never turns out entirely straight and needs shadow over top to blend out the edges (since the waterproof formula sets/dries so fast). For $1, I live with it and use it to boost pigment beneath darker shadows and lighter liners, but the whole thing is still a bit difficult.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Aveda Inner Light Mineral Dual Foundation

$22.50 for 0.24oz/7g (shown center)
Take a wild guess which color I am, I dare you! That's right, the lightest, 01 Cream...

Aveda Inner Light Mineral Foundation is a shock in two ways; one, because it has buildable coverage that I have rarely seen within the brand, and two, because it can, and does, last all day when treated correctly. The powder compact's formula is lightweight and can be applied sheerly with a fluffy brush for a slightly skin-tone-even-ing glow or heavier with a sponge to get concealing coverage that is at least medium. While this powder blends very nicely with other powder products, I have been unsuccessful in finding a good way to keep it from rubbing off during the day. Inevitably, something gets smeared on my clothes from trying to get an itch without using my hands or simply from pulling my apron over my head.
without makeup
wearing Aveda Inner Light Dual Foundation in 01 Cream (single layer)

Estee Lauder Mini-Haul!

This may look like a decent sized haul, but really I only bought two things: Equalizer Smart Makeup for Combination Skin and the full-sized Advanced Night Repair Eye serum I've been lusting after (yes, I bit the bullet after this month's mask post). I couldn't help myself.

Hopefully the Equalizer Foundation proves to be the EL foundation I've been hoping for for about a year now, i.e. an actual color match to my neutral/yellow toned, super fair skin. Wish it luck!

In this haul is Time Zone SPF 15 (day) and Time Zone Night Cremes, Advanced Night Repair (for face), Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara, Soft Clean Tender Creme Cleanser, Pure Color 46 Barely Nude Creme Long Lasting Lipstick, an eyeshadow quad with my friend Pretty Penny, and samples of Pleasures and Sensuous Nude (perfumes).

Gotten your haul on recently?!

Monday, September 19, 2011

NARS Douceur Blush--Totally Natural and Multi-Tasking

$27.00 USD for 0.16oz/4.8g
I was on the hunt a good while ago now for something special, something to give me a glow without the shimmer and shine of a "glowy-glow." Well, I found it inside a rather unsuspecting blush because Nars Douceur is a very versatile blusher. For me, it changes into a sort of bronzer sometimes that has a dustier quality without looking like I put brown/tan on my very fair skin. The pigment in it can pack a punch, so I think darker lovelies will find plenty to like while still being more natural and flattering.
NARS Douceur Blush
 The very finely milled powder, I find, does need to be worked a tiny bit with your brush to get it started on the pigment intensity I am usually looking for (then I blend the leftovers as 'bronze' at my temples, etc.). That is not to say that the compact is hard--just that the powder inside is very subtle and has a melt into your skin texture which can sometimes make it harder to tell where it's gone on without layering.
Douceur heavily swatched on left, blended on right

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kirkland Signature by Borghese Mineral Loose Eyeshadow & Mineral Eyeshadow Base

$17.99 for 0.53oz/15g & 2 brushes
At Costco, magic happens; there is really no denying that. You get to fulfill those long-suppressed fantasies of binge-shopping and have next to none of the guilt. In fact right now all I feel guilty about is not getting the anti-aging wrinkle defense serum in conjunction with my night cream, oh and I really want Fango--not a real reason, but it sounds like a do-it-yourself spa day in a jar.

But COSTCO, my love, this is a lovely birthday present for me! You shouldn't have! Count 'em: 4 full size eyeshadows (0.07oz/2g each), a full size/larger base (0.25oz/7g), AND TWO FULL SIZE BRUSHES. And honey, I've paid more for a single brush that's done less for me and my beauty than even just one of this seven piece kit!!! Lordy, my personal heaven has arrived, and it's a warehouse.....?.....
without eyeshadow or primer, only concealer
Setting aside my personal love for everything Costco, first, the two included brushes a perfect for use with these eyeshadows and every other eyeshadow you own. That's versatility for ya. One is a liner brush with medium firm bristles that will not scratch the lash line and have a dual fibered look (coloring, not composition). The other is a tapered slightly fluffy blending brush for both all-over and crease application, again with dual coloration, and both are fantastic at what they do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mask of the Month: Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Mask

$40.00 for 2.5 oz.
I haven't done a MotM in so long, probably due to my obsession and religious use of the Borghese mask that literally changed my skin into something I don't hate, but today's little diddy is well worth a gander!

Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme Ultra Firming Mask is a thick, creamy, iridescent mask that smells good, like a light musk/floral infusion (but I am very bad with scents so don't go by my description of that). Over a year ago, on my bf and I's road-trip, cross-country move, I used this mask every night to relieve some of the stress of all-day driving that my skin was definitely suffering from. My under-eye circles were almost purple by the time we got to our hotel rooms each night, and that is where the lovely EL Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex (below) came in super handy. But for the moment, lets go back to our lifting mask...
I'm not even to my mid-20s yet, so I will be the first to admit that my face does not need to be "lifted" at all, but one of the claims of the Resilience Lift Mask is that it "brighten[s] up the look of tired skin," which is most certainly a category my skin fits into about...oh, I don't know, all the time! While Resilience Lift sits on my skin I feel tightening, but it's not uncomfortable. Mostly, the aroma is relaxing, and my skin seems to be absorbing that iridescent glow from the cream. Usually, I left this on for as long as I could before I had to rinse and moisturize in order to actually fall asleep, but I also noticed that my moisturizer seemed to absorb more quickly after this mask. My skin also seemed much better hydrated in the morning after using this mask. Although I started with a sample size tube of 1 oz, I will be purchasing the full size when I have the funds and run out of other masks. It's worth it, bottom line.

The eye cream/gel is like liquid gold though! You seriously need to try this stuff if you have not because every night I put a tiny amount of this under my eyes, I woke up the next morning with absolutely no under-eye darkness of any sort. Literally, I looked like I had a full-coverage layer of concealer already on, but not as though I had makeup on, you understand; I just looked rested and like a photo-shopped model...at least in the eyes, well, the under-eyes... This goes into my all-time favorite skincare products category, and I strongly encourage you to see if it works this well for you! At $49.50 for 0.5oz, it certainly costs like liquid gold, but I used a 0.1oz tube over four weeks with no skimping (a very little bit goes a very long way).

Beauty Newb Rating: (mask)✪✪✪✩✩ (eye cream)✪✪✪✪✩
Available at Estee Lauder counters (and online) in Macy's, Nordstrom, and other fine retailers, and also online at Estee Lauder.com for the mask and eye serum.

e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer and Highlighter- 2 products for 3 bucks and a "meh"!

$3.00 USD for 0.34oz/10g
As many of my other posts on e.l.f. products have shown, I'm not sure whether I rate and review products differently all together because of its price/brand. Knowing that eyeslipsface products are meant to be held to the 'higher standard' (or the standard of a higher price range) but cost a lower price, I can imagine, that while not entirely without bias, I am giving a pretty accurate description of how well the product works and what it is worth to me.

I mention all this because e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter is one of those products that I want to describe correctly to show it's real worth. Does this product work? Yes, in many ways it does, but does it work better or as good as more expensive alternatives? No, I don't really think so.

First, the formula of both of these products is a little thinner than I expected. If you haven't noticed, a good rule of thumb with concealers are two things need to be present: thickness and pigment. Even if a formula is really pigmented, too thin of a consistency will mean that blending moves coverage away from areas you want; if a concealer is thick but lacks pigment, you have to layer and layer to get coverage and end up with patches of your face or body looking like you slapped a wax sticker on them. This concealer/highlighter is the former: it has decent and tone-correct pigment but too thin a consistency to concentrate the coverage. If I put this concealer all over my face, I would call it a good foundation, but this whole tube would only cover my face twice before being empty.
e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter; Concealer above, Highlighter below

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Double Whammy From Britain--Rimmel Max Volume Flash and Soft Kohl

$7.49 for 0.29 oz mascara and 0.04 oz pencil
Since I've finished school and been on the hunt for a job, I've definitely been pinching my product purchasing pennies, so when I found a 'free gift' package on the Rimmel display, I grabbed it fast! I don't know that I needed or even wanted the two products included (well, I was looking for a new mascara), but man, am I glad I stopped to try them out.

Rimmel The MAX Volume Flash Waterproof Mascara had me a little worried upon first try; my lashes looked like absolutely nothing had been done to them which is not a good sign :-/ Then I took a moment to swish the wand around quite a bit around the sides of the tube, and presto! Beautiful volume!!! I'm excited by this mascara because it isn't overdone, i.e. it gives volume but not "I'm wearing fake lashes" volume. That always makes me feel like I'm trying too hard...or at least that I look like I'm trying too hard. Also, even though it is waterproof, it is not that hard to remove and doesn't seem to be as harsh on my lashes or in smell (because sometimes the smell will sting my eyes upon application).
Wearing Rimmel Soft Kohl Jet Black and Volume Flash The Max Waterproof on eyes, and Burberry Lip Glow in Nude Beige on lips