Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Poupounette (108) Face & Eye Color by Paul & Joe Beaute

Paul & Joe Beaute is one of those brands that sucks me in with their cute packaging, although typically I admire from afar. To date this is only the second item of theirs that I've purchased, with the first having been one of their lipsticks, Toujours Heureux. So, let me introduce you to Poupounette, one of three Face & Eye Colors available from the Spring 2017 collection. Poupounette means sweetie or honey and is typically used to address little girls, although it can also used as slang for a certain sex act. Yep.
Source: Paul & Joe Beaute
The spring collection marks Joe & Paul's 15th anniversary, and is built around "makeup for love and romance", with a collection of pink hued makeup for the lips, cheeks, and eyes.  The Face & Eye Colors ($35) feature 3 shades in each palette that can be worn alone or blended together. When I was chosing mine there were few reviews online to guide me, but the softer tones of Poupounette appealed to me me the most.
The packaging is a sturdy cardboard, and the elastic will come in handy if you plan on keeping this in your makeup bag or traveling with it. It also comes with a decorative kitten's paw puff applicator. I say decorative because I will never use it to apply the powder :-) Here is how the tones of Poupounette is described on Beauty Habit:
A combination of cozy and neutral shades ideal for use day and night Hues in the palette include: Canal pink – a beautiful golden pearl, Cinnamon with hints of silver and gold pearl and Cream highlighted with red, gold and pearl accents.
The hearts will rub away upon first use, and each of the 3 colors are a satin/shimmer in finish. As an eye shadow they are extremely soft in color and best suited as a wash of color for natural makeup days.
Where Poupounette shines for me is as a blush/face color. I've been wearing it for over a month now and still find myself reaching for it regularly.  The powder is finely milled and applies smoothly.  I'm not someone who wears overly shimmery blushes, but this one has just the right amount for me. It's enough that I do no use a highlighter with it, but not so much that it emphasizes skin texture. It's a great spring/summer color for those with fair complexions. You can get different variations in color depending on what shades you mix together.
Paul & Joe Beaute products are manufactured by Albion, which is a Japanese company. My impression of Japanese powder based makeup is that they are more subtle and natural in finish and color, which is definitely the case here. Think "natural beauty" as opposed to "color impact".
As to whether Poupounette is worth $35, I think that totally depends on your perspective. I view items like this as both novelty and collector's item, so you are paying more for that. However, I do like the quality of the powder/formula, which includes:
  • Orange Flower Water – Moisturizer  
  • White Lily Extract – Moisturizer, prevents skin irritation
  • Jojoba Oil – Emollient  
  • Sodium Hyaluronate - Moisturizer 
  • Rosemary Extract – Emollient  
  • Rose Fruit Oil - Emollient 
So yes, for me it's worth it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 9

I managed to finish 6 samples this week for my #365 Days of Samples, although technically it's really 5 1/2, as I'm tossing one that is half finished. I just don't like it enough to finish it off! Might as well start off with that one and end on a stronger note.
I'm tossing the Hourglass Mineral Veil primer ($54). Having the deluxe sized sample just further reinforced that I really don't like this. I don't like the slick feeling it gives my face, and I don't like that sometimes my foundation/skincare balls up when I use it. If I pull any more samples of this, it will be going straight to the toss pile.
I was not expecting much from the Eve Lom Moisture Mask and was surprised at how expensive it is at $90 a jar. I used this as sleeping mask and was pleasantly surprised that it did leave my skin hydrated without congesting my oily skin. However, there are plenty of Korean sleeping masks that do the same thing at a fraction of the price, so I will not be purchasing this one.
The DHC PQQ Revitalizing Cream is supposed to be intensely hydrating and features an antioxidant enzyme called PQQ that is found in alfafa and green tea. PQQ is supposed to encourage cell turnover, helping skin to look skin and fresh. Other ingredients in the mix are
  • Collaxyl® IS, a peptide with messenger molecules, promotes collagen and is formulated to fight deep wrinkles
  • Trehalose firms and promotes barrier strength
  • Hops soothes, moisturizes and brightens
I only got 2 uses from the sample so I can't speak to long term claims, but this is an intriguing new product from DHC. Not sure if it is too rich for my oily skin, and although I'm not tempted to purchase, I would like to try another sample.
The DHC Eye Bright moisturizer ($23) is an old favorite of mine. I've gone through a full sized tube in the past and like this as a day time under eye moisturizer. It's a lightweight clear gel formula that contains caffeine, cucumber, and sodium hyaluronate for depuffing and moisturizing eyes. If you have extremely dry skin this will probably not be hydrating enough for you, but I like how it plays with makeup and find it works well with my oilier skin. Good stuff.
The Roberto Cavalli eau de parfum (~$40) is lovely, with notes of orange blossom, benzion, pink pepper, tonka and vanilla. It's one of those that for me was best in it's opening phase, as that's when the orange blossom was dominant. I love orange blossom :-) Sadly, the lasting power of this one was disappointing, about 3-4 hours before it had dissipated to a mere whisper of scent. The later dry down phase also smelled a bit tinny to me, although not to the point that it was unpleasant. I liked this but not enough to purchase a full bottle, especially now that I've got Le Couvent des Minimes Botanical Cologne of Love, which is a full on orange blossom bonanza.
The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel are pre-soaked pads with glycolic, salicylic, and malic acids to exofiliate skin (step 1) and antiaging actives such as retinol, resveratrol, camellia sinensis leaf extract, and radish root extracts to nourish skin (step 2). I like these, but the price ($88 for 35 pads) is higher than I want to pay. I'll continue to use any samples that come my way though.
Okay, time for the 7 samples I randomly selected for week 9 of my #365 Days of Samples series! I'll list these first, followed by the samples that I am still (still!) working on.
  1. Platinum Total Solution Miracle Skin Pore Tighting Pack by Tosowoong (foil)
  2. Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes for Body by L'Oreal (foil)
  3. Radiance Foundation Primer by Laura Mercier(foil)
  4. Clinique Smart Night Custom Repair Moisturizer (foil)
  5. Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder (foil)
  6. Nirvana White by Elizabeth & James (vial)
  7. Kate Somerville Exfolikate
  8. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Opal (foil)
  9. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (foil)
  10. Marcelle BB Cream in Golden Glow (deluxe sample)
  11. fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy (foil)
  12. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (foil)
  13. Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Lash Conditioner (deluxe sample)
  14. bareEssentuals Stroke of Light (deluxe sample)
  15. boscia Oil-Free Night Hydrator (deluxe sample)
  16. Keratase Resistance Vita Cemont Topseal hair reconstructing milk (foil)
  17. Sunshine Oil by Milk Makeup (deluxe sample)
  18. Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum (deluxe sample)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wet n Wild Perfect Pout Gel Liners: Bare to Comment and Gone Burgundy

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
I recently did a Wet n Wild haul and picked up two of their new Perfect Pout gel lip liners ($2.99). Formulated with a proprietary polymer and ester complex, these are supposed to give smooth, flawless, and lasting lip color.

Available in 6 shades, I chose the terracotta Bare to Comment and the wine Gone to Burgundy shades. These are a swivel up pencil that are rather delicate (as we shall see below), so I would not extend them too far when applying. You are getting a mere .008 ounces for your $2.99, which is not much at all. In comparison, Essence makes another bargain lip pencil ($1.99) that is a favorite of mine, and it contains .035 ounces, or a little over 4x's as much.
But on to performance: do these live up to their claims? Yes and no. They do glide on and are easy to apply, but I don't find them particularly long last. I also find that when I wear these as an all over lip color, my lips start to feel dry not long after applying. I see no hydrating ingredients in the formula, which explains that.
The second time I applied Bare to Comment as an all over lip color, it crumbled on me. Lo and behold, it's hollow inside, which better explains the .008 ounces. One thing I do not like about this is how, if you go outside your lip line, it looks diffuse as opposed to opaque. I think you can tell in the Bare Comment LOTD's below.
Bare to Comment
Bare  to Comment with Tarte's Energy 
Gone Burgundy
So, these are not without their flaws, but I like them enough that I will wear them. I won't purchase any others, as I really think the Essence lip liners are better in both formula and price.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lipstick Roulette v. 2: What I'm Keeping and What I'm Tossing

It's been two weeks since I chose 7 lip items for v. 2 of my Lipstick Roulette series, so let's see which ones I enjoyed enough to keep and those that are getting the boot! Links are to original reviews.
First of all, I seem to have lost Black Honey. I'll include it again once it shows up. So let's move on to Rosewood C211 by Makeup For Ever. Great everyday color and great formula that feels hydrating and comfortable on the lips. This is a keeper!
Naomi by Buxom is a lovely soft flamingo pink sheer gloss that gives just a hint of color, and I used it as a topper over Little Susie for these pictures. I love Buxom glosses and will be keeping Naomi, which has been discontinued.
Melted Peony by Too Faced is a light warm pink that gives creamy opaque color, and for some reason I neglected to take a swatch picture. I thought I liked this but the color just wasn't working for me unless I toned it down with a warmer gloss. You can see it on it's own in the FOTD picture, and topped with a sheer bronze gloss in the LOTD shot. I'm going to toss Melted Peony.
Julep's Electric Creme Coral is a great color but the thinness of the formula felt a bit lacking to me. It has a moisturizing core but apparently I need more moisture, as my lips felt rather dry soon after applying. I'm going to toss.
Little Susie, Little Susie by Nyx is a great summertime color and while the formula is not the longest lasting, I like how it feels and wears. It's a keeper.
Last up is Copenhagen by Nyx, and while I like the matte lip creams, this one gave me fits when I was applying it. I had a hard time getting a crisp lip line as I kept smearing it when I was trying to clean it up. I also blotted it down to more of a lip stain. I do like the color though so will be keeping. I'll use a lip liner next time :-)
So, I'm tossing two and keeping five, although if Black Honey never shows up it's more like 3 tossed and 4 kept. I'm finding this to be a very effective way to pare down my collection! Now, here are the 7 items randomly selected for v. 3 of Lipstick Roulette.
  1. Creme de la Creme Gloss by Le Metier de Beaute
  2. Charming Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick by theBalm
  3. Trixie Gloss by Buxom
  4. Sweetie Matte Cream Lip Crayon by Bite Beauty
  5. Rendezvous Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain by Revlon
  6. Peach Parfait Colorburst Lip Butter by Revlon
  7. Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil by Nars

Sunday, April 16, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 8

Happy Easter Sunday to all those who mark the holiday! It's gorgeous here in Mobile, my belly is full from Easter lunch, and it's time to see what new samples I pulled for week 8 of my #365 Days of Samples series. If you are unfamiliar with what this is, it's where I randomly pull 7 samples from my overflowing box, with the goal of using up 365 samples in the course of a year. I learned about this series from Elle S on YouTube, and there are more than a few YouTubers who are participating. To start with, let's see what samples I drew last week and how much progress I've made this past week.
I managed to finish 7 samples this week, which is not bad at all. Let's see what I thought about this batch.
The Verb is an Austin-based brand salon brand with reasonably priced products that is now available via Sephora.  I liked both the Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, which feature formulas designed to gently yet effectively cleanse and condition hair. There is no discernible fragrance in either, and featured ingredients are:

-Pro-Vitamin B5: Moisturizes and smoothes dry hair. 
-Hydrolyzed Quinoa Protein: Naturally conditions and smoothes hair. 
-Sunflower Seed Extract: Provides natural UV protection while guarding against dryness, color fading, and brassiness. 
-Hydrolyzed Vegetable Keratin Protein: Keeps hair strong and pliable. 

I have two more of these samples and I'm tempted to pull them out to continue using, and I would consider purchasing full sized bottles ($14 for 12 oz.) in the future. 
The Nude Omega Cleansing Jelly is a gel cleanser designed to remove makeup. It's similar to cleansing oils in that you apply the gel to dry skin, and when you massage to remove makeup it becomes an oil.  With water the gel transforms into a milk that will rinse away cleanly, although I would use a foaming cleanser as part of a two part cleanse. I got two uses from the sample and while I liked it, it was not enough to form a firm impression. I'm thinking this product has been discontinued, but I'm happy with my DHC Deep Cleasning Oil so would not purchase anyhow.
For some reason, Dr. Brandt products just have not grabbed me to date. The Do Not Age Transforming Pearl Serum is a staggeringly pricey serum at $152 for 1.35 ounces. Featured ingredients per Sephora are:
  • Juvenessence (Algae Extract): Revitalizes. 
  • High Tech Molecule: Helps moisturize. 
  • Paracress Flower Extract: Helps diminish the look of wrinkles. 
The sample was not enough for me to determine how well it meets it's anti-aging claims, but the price alone is enough to deter me from purchasing. It does have good reviews on Sephora.
Yet another GlamGlow sample, this time the YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment ($69). I personally think GlamGlow products are overpriced for what they are, and I find the green tea leaf pieces do not really want to adhere to my face. 
This did a good job of exfoliating with it's volcanic pumice rock, and my skin felt soft afterwards. Lot's of less expensive exfoliates do that for me, so I will not be purchasing this one.
DHC's Face Wash Powder ($12.50) reminds me of Amore Pacific's Treatment Enzyme Peel, but at a fraction of it's price. Whereas the Amore Pacific version uses papaya enzymes for it's exfoliating properties, DHC's Face Wash Powder uses protease enzymes.  It lathers nicely when you add water but is supposed to be gentle enough to use daily. It did not feel stripping to me, and moisturizing ingredients honey and sodium hyaluronate no doubt contribute to that. I like this and would consider purchasing.
I managed to use up the Fan di Fendi perfume sample even though it's not something I particularly cared for. I found it hard to distinguish what the notes where, other than it smelled strong and somewhat masculine. I wasn't even sure if it was a men's cologne or not prior to Googling, which told me it is a fruity floral fragrance for women. Really? I'm surprised, as it does not smell fruity and only vaguely floral midway through wear. Notes listed are tangerine, black currant and pear; middle notes of jasmine, tuberose and rose; and base notes of patchouli and leather.  It wasn't a scrubber but also not one I was drawn to.
The last sample finished is Urban Decay's Original Eye Primer. I wore this for years when it was in the wand format, but I swear the formula did not work as well for me when it was packaged in the tube. I would not purchase. Now, let's see what's on tap for week 8 of my #365 Days of Samples.  I'll list these samples first, followed by those from previous weeks I'm still working on.
  1. DHC Eye Bright eye moisturizer (foil)
  2. DHC PQQ Cream (foil)
  3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Opal (foil)
  4. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel (foil)
  5. Marcelle BB Cream in Golden Glow (deluxe sample)
  6. fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy (foil)
  7. Dr. Dennis Gross Original Formula Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel (foil)
  8. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (foil)
  9. Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Lash Conditioner (deluxe sample)
  10. bareEssentuals Stroke of Light (deluxe sample)
  11. boscia Oil-Free Night Hydrator (deluxe sample)
  12. Keratase Resistance Vita Cemont Topseal hair reconstructing milk (foil)
  13. Sunshine Oil by Milk Makeup (deluxe sample)
  14. Eve Lom Moisturizing Mask (foil)
  15. Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum (deluxe sample)
  16. Hourglass Mineral Veil (deluxe sample)