Saturday, June 30, 2012

Eminence Garlic & Tomato Masque Review

 I've got a deep whitehead on my cheek that's been trying to work it's way up to the surface, and I've foolishly tried to speed up it's journey.  Foolish, because now I'm afraid it's going to get infected and/or leave a pit. After I realized my folly, I pulled out Eminence's Garlic & Tomato masque and applied pronto.  This is a masque made for oily, acne prone, and congested skin and one I turn to especially in warmer months, when my skin goes into overdrive.

This is what I consider to be an 'active' mask, in that I can feel it doing things to my skin.  It does have a distinct odor which some may find unpleasant, but I personally like it.  It contains odorless garlic which is an anti-inflammatory/anti-bacterial that helps to get oxygen to the skin, sweet yellow clover which is a stimulant and anti-inflammatory, tomato puree and juice for anti-aging antioxidants, honey to moisturize and nourish, and St. John's wort as a anti-irritant to help sooth and calm skin.

You can actually see the tomato seeds in this one, as Eminence uses whole fruits and vegetables in their formulations.  All of Eminence's products are 100% certified organically grown and do not use commercial preservatives, which also means they have a more limited shelf life.  I keep this masque in my refrigerator when I'm not using it, as it's not one I use on a weekly basis, but more when I'm having a skin emergency.  I've had it for over a year and it's still good, but I'm guessing the usual shelf life is about 18 months.  I do wish they marked their products with expiration dates, my only complaint.

Using the enclosed applicator, I use about a quarter's worth mixed with a few drops of water.  Instructions say to leave on for 5-10 minutes, but I've left it on for up to 30 minute with no issues.  It dries down to a tight, matte texture and I use a warm, damp washcloth to help rinse off.   This masque can also be used as an overnight spot treatment, which I'll be doing on my cheek.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love Eminence Organics products.  They are quality - but you pay for it.  This masque retails for $48 and can be purchased at Amazon, dermstore, and other online retailers.  I got mine at a spa.
Ingredients:  Tomato Puree, Tomato Juice, Odorless Garlic Puree, Glycerin, Honey, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, St. John's Wort, Sweet Yellow Clover, Vitamin B, C, E, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Biotin, Benzoic Acid, Folic Acid, Sorbic Acid.

Disclosure:  I purchased this and have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sephora by OPI Bohemian Brights Mini Nail Colour Set & NOTD

Bohemian Brights mini nail colour set
I think Bohemian Brights may be my favorite boxed mini collection of the season!  I love these colors, they are just "me".  First up is Let's Hear it For the Free Spirit!, a soft copper gold flecked foil.  I don't have anything like this, so pretty!  Next is What Aura Gonna Wear?, a medium fuschia pink cream.  Not super unique, but a pretty summer color.  It's Totally Karma is a vibrant granny apple green cream.  I don't have anything like this in my collection, so a welcome addition.
Let's Hear it For the Free Spirit!
Neutral Beauty is a camel beige cream and gave me grand ideas to attempt some kind of nail art using it as a base.  Until I realized how much work nail art is, and decided to not go there.  That's What Fringe is For is a pretty peach with silver and pink microshimmer.  Finishing up the collection is Happy Earth Day to Me, a gorgeous dark olive/army green with a faint gold shimmer.  I had originally thought it was brown until I got it outside.

I took these pictures a day after applying and there is some faint tip wear.  I did two coats but think three is probably needed, as there are a few light patches visible in the sun.  There is not a single color in here that I would not wear, so I was quite happy to get this online from Sephora on sale for $17. 

Disclosure:  I bought this.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Liquid Diamond

Liquid Diamond
Out of the 6 news shades of Infallible eyeshadow L'Oreal recently released here in the US, Liquid Diamond is the one that called out to me the most.  Liquid Diamond is a silvery lilac gray and makes a lovely companion highlighter for another Infallible shadow I own, the matte bluish gray Sultry Smoke.  Some of the Infallible eyeshadows run a bit too shimmery for me, and while Liquid Diamond is shimmery, it has a nuance that makes it very flattering on. 

For those that may not have tried the Infallible shadows, they have a unique formula that feels creamy, but is composed of dry, loose pigment packed into the jar.  A plastic topper sits inside the jar to keep the pigment condensed.  If you press too hard on these, you will see that that they really are comprised of loose pigment.

I've had the best luck using my finger to apply these, but I've used foam applicators and brushes as well, especially on the lower lash line and inner eyes.  These shadows are waterproof, but I find they do crease on me without a primer.  With a primer I get at good 10 hours of wear with minimal fading.

For this look, I used Liquid Diamond from the inner to mid portion of the lid, and Sultry Smoke on the outer portion and crease.   I used Endless Pearl, a matte cream from the Infallible shadow line, on the brow bone and inner eye.  I lined my upper lash line with the new Infallible gel liner in Slate, which I'll be reviewing soon. 

Infallible shadows retail for about $8 at most places, although some have been fortunate to find them a few dollars cheaper.  I got Liquid Diamond at Ulta, which currently (6/24-6/30) has a buy one get another 50% off sale on these.  Combine that with the $3.50 off $10 coupon, and it's a deal!  However, the new shades are not yet listed at Ulta.com, so those will apparently have to be found in store.

Disclosure:  I purchased this.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

L'Oreal HIP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Eggplant Review & Swatches

Yet another product that I picked up from RiteAid at 75% off.  I find myself trying items at those prices I would not buy otherwise, but I'm having a fairly high rate of success with the ones I've picked up so far!

HIP stands for High Intensity Pigment, and the shade I picked up is a deep eggplant purple.  Eggplant is one of my favorite colors and one of the few purple shades that I'm drawn to.  My favorite winter coat of all time, bought at The Limited, was eggplant purple and had massive shoulder pads.  Yes, it was the 1980's.  I lived in Boston at the time and that coat got worn nonstop during the winter.  I never got tired of it.  I don't remember when I retired it, but I'm sure it was past it's prime.  

Okay, back to makeup.  Look at the lovely sparkles!  As usual, I found the brush this came with to be useless.  It was not difficult getting a good, solid line with a decent brush.  Staying power was great and I had no problems with smudging.  These are waterproof and the swatches I tested in the shower came out pretty much like they went in, just some slight flaking.  You will probably need a makeup remover or cleansing oil to help with removal. 

I've read several reviews that said these dry out quickly.  I've had mine for about a month and it's fine, but if I does dry out I'll update this review.  The HIP cream eyeliners are a bit pricey for a drug store brand, ranging from $11-12 from what I've seen.  They come in 5 different shades:  black, brown, blue, teal, and eggplant. 

Swatches post shower.
Disclosure:  I bought this.
Ingredients:  Isododecane, Polyethylene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Alumina, Phenyltrimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, Propylene Carbonate, Propylparaben, Butylparaben. May Contain: [+ or -]: Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77492, 77499, 77491), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Black (CI 77499) (CI 77266), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090) (CI 42090), Barium Sulfate (CI 77120) (CI 77120), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510) (CI 77510), Carmine (CI 75470) (CI 75470)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush and Lip Gloss Review & Swatches

HSN had a great deal on the new Benefit Ulta Plush lip glosses earlier this month that I took advantage of.  For those that may not know, Benefit has 6 new gloss companions for their Box O' powders Bella Bamba, Coralista, Dandelion, Dallas, Sugarbomb, and Hoola.  Since I've been late to the party regarding Benefits box blush/powders, this was the perfect push to try one, so I chose Sugarbomb.

The original deal was $29.50 for both the blush and lip gloss, but ebates notified me of a coupon code that took another $10 off!  Plus there was free shipping.  It was a trifecta, I'm telling you! 

Sugarbomb consists of four colors that you swirl together for the finished look, which is a light golden peach on me.  I was a bit fearful it would be too shimmery after reading some online reviews, but I'm actually liking the nice highlight it provides.  Sugarbomb does kick up a fair amount of dust and I'm finding I need to lightly swirl my blush brush to risk not overdoing it.  Sugarbomb did not play nicely as a topper for my Josie Maran argan stick blush, however, as it got a bit cakey.  I'm disappointed about that, but perhaps it will work better with a non-sticky cheek stain.  On it's own, it provides a subtle highlighting flush.

The Sugarbomb Ultra Plush gloss does indeed look like a blend of the colors in the blush.  It has a nice microshimmer but is not highly pigmented, barely changing the color of my lips.  It feels very nice on, has a light peach scent, is not sticky, and lasts for about 1.5 hours being needing to be reapplied.  I like it, but not for $16, which is what these sell for.  I'm glad I got to try it as part of a set and at such a great price (essentially for free), but I doubt I'd spring for it on it's own.  
Sugarbomb Ultra Plush lip gloss
Sugarbomb blush and lip gloss

Sephora was also offering a mini Dandelion blush and gloss set as a freebie with $25 purchase to VIB insiders, which if you were able to get one, is a great way to try the formula before investing in the full sized version.  I will be posting a review for Dandelion soon. 

Disclosure:  I bought these.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sula Beauty I'ts Not Me, It's You Lip & Cheek Tint Review, Swatches, and Comparison

It's Not Me, It's You
I was browsing in Ulta recently and found a shelf with marked down items containing a variety of Sula Beauty products.  Sula Beauty offers lower to mid-priced natural cosmetics that are free of parabens, phthalates, and petroleum byproducts.  The founder of the company, Susanne Langmuir, recently launched Bite Beauty, which I've noticed at Sephora.  I've also seen Sula Beauty's display at Ulta before (love their packaging) but never purchased anything, so took advantage of this sale to snap up four different items.

As I've mentioned before, I love me some cheek tints and have more than my fair share.  If they are natural products, all the better.  Tarte started my collection, Josie Maran continued it, and now Sula Beauty Lip & Cheek Tints have their place!  Sula's cheek tints are .21 oz., which is slightly larger than Tarte's .17 mini cheek tints and the same size as Josie Maran's mini Argan color sticks. 

I got It's Not Me, It's You, which is a vibrant coral pink cream.  It has a light scent which is vaguely lemony but very unobstrusive.  When swatched, it looks quite pigmented but blends out easily for a nice flushed look.  I really like this color!  I was searching for any potential dupes in my collection, and the closest I could find was Tarte's Blissful, another favorite of mine. 

So, I did a comparison between Blissful and It's Not Me, It's You.  Blissful leans slightly more orange and It's Not Me, It's You slightly more pink.  They are close, though.

Tarte Blissful vs. Sula Beauty's It's Not Me, It's You
I've got to say, Sula Beauty's cheek tints compare very favorably to the more expensive Tarte and Josie Maran!  Blissful was more sticky after application, although after about 20 minutes that tackiness was gone.   Sula's cheek tint retails for $10 (I paid $5.99 on sale), whereas Josie Maran's mini sticks are $14, and Tarte's minis are usually only available in collections.  A full sized Tarte cheek stain will set you back $30.  Sula Beauty is more limited in their selections, however, with only 5 cheek tints on their web site.  On the plus side, It's Not Me, It's You worked well on my lips, and I generally don't care for Tarte's or Josie Maran's as lip tints.  Sula's are a bit more dense and have no discernible taste, which I think translates well for lip wear.  Wear time as a lip balm was not particularly long, but it was comfortable.
Blissful (top), It's Not Me, It's You (bottom)
I'm glad I stumbled across It's Not Me, It's You!  But, here's the hair in the soup.  Ulta will no longer be carrying this brand, although Sula Beauty's web site still says "Available at Ulta Beauty Stores and Ulta.com".  I'll be going back to Ulta and getting a few more items before they are all gone!
Blissful vs. It's Not Me, It's You (blended)
Sula It's Not Me, It's You on lips and cheek
Ingredients:  Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis ( Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Cera alba (Beeswax), Argania spinosa (Argan) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polymethylmethacrylate, Natural Flavour, Tocopherol. (+/-) Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Carmine (CI 75470), FD&C Blue No. 1 (CI 42090), FD&C Yellow No. 5 (CI 19140), FD&C Yellow No. 6 (CI 15985), FD&C Red No. 40 (CI16035), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), D&C Red 6, D&C Red 7, D&C Red 33

Disclosure:  I purchased this. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Papaya Review, Swatches & Comparison

RiteAid had some random Colorburst Lipglosses on sale for 75% off a few weeks back and I was able to snag Papaya, a lovely coral with a faint microshimmer.  I don't know if it being so deeply discounted means that Revlon is discontinuing this shade and I don't see it currently listed on their site, but that would be a shame if so.  It's a winner, in my humblest.  Vibrant without being overwhelming, this is a great summer color.

I find the Colorburst Lipglosses to be comfortable on and last about 2 hours on me before needing to be reapplied.  They are relatively non-sticky and do have some hydrating ingredients such as sweet almond oil, avocado and olive fruit extract,  hyaluronic acid, and vitamin e. 

I dug out some of my other glosses and lip balms to compare, and the closest in color ended up being another new item I got recently, Clinique's Chubby Stick in Mega Melon.  No dupes, though.

There are some online retailers such as Amazon still carrying Papaya and the price seems to range from $5-7.

From top to bottom: Revlon's Papaya, Tarte's Peaceful, Revolution's Vibe, Clinique's Mega Melon
Disclosure:  I bought this.

Ingredients:  Triisostearyl Citrate, Polybutene, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Silica Silylate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Cellulose, Paraffin, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Phospholipids, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atelocollagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Soluble Collagen, Galactoarabinan, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Squalane, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Ozokerite, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, BHT, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol. May Contain: MICA, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Carmine (CI 75470).

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Clinique Color Surge Coffee Shop Eyeshadow Duo Review and Swatches

Coffee Shop Color Surge duo
Clinique had a gift with purchase event in May that I took advantage of and the Color Surge eyeshadow duo called Coffee Shop was one of the two choices available for eye shadow.

Clinique describes this combo as "blushing bronze partnered with deep brown", but I'd say the lighter color is more of peachy pink.  The brown translates as a chocolate matte, as the very faint sparkle you can see above does not show up (click on photos to enlarge).  The brown swatched rather patchy, but worked fine as a lash liner, which is primarily what I will use it for.  The peachy pink is a perfect all over lid shade for me and makes for a quick and easy eye look.  I used the foam applicator to apply and found it to be smooth and it clung well to my skin. 

I'm getting the impression, based on these and the Colour in Bloom palette I previously reviewed, that Clinique does mainly "safe" eye colors.  They are muted, soft, and make for a good everyday, work appropriate kind of look.

Clinique describes the duos as "Perfect pairings of in-demand shades, with more of the more-used highlight shade. Deliver creamy, intense colour in one stroke. Comfortably lightweight, long-wearing. Layerable, blendable. Ophthalmologist tested."  I'd debate about the "intense colour" part.  I did think the quality of the peachy pink shade was much better than the shimmer shades in the Colour in Bloom palette.

The Color Surge duos retail for $19.50, which to me seems a bit high for what I'd classify as an average eye shadow formulation.  Now that I've tried those in the Colour in Bloom palette and this duo, I doubt I'd repurchase.  There are better shadows out there, especially in the color selections Clinique features, and at cheaper prices.

Messy updo of the day

Friday, June 22, 2012

stila one step bronze Review & Swatches

stila one step bronze makes a lot of claims!  It claims to warm, enhance, illuminate, and brighten your skintone while also diminishing the appearance of sun spots.  Futhermore, this serum says it primes the skin while nourishing it with a "youth revival bio-available mineral complex from Arclay".  It also claims to minimizes pores, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate and balance skin, and control oil.  Way to get my expectations up, stila!  I do like multi-taskers, and one step bronze did deliver for me in several areas.

It does indeed warm my skin tone and provide a nice hint of  all-over color without leaving any lines of demarcation or appearing too obvious.  The texture is a light mousse that blends easily and feels good on the skin, leaving no greasy after feel, which is mucho important to me.  It also did quite well as a primer, making it easy to blend the BB cream I'm currently using and even prolonging it's wear.  I did not have as much of an issue with the BB cream settling into my pores.

I've got extremely oily skin and I think it did help a bit with oil control.  I was concerned about its shimmer, but found that after applying my BB cream there was no obvious shimmer bits visible, but instead a nice glowing/highlighting effect, which is more apparent in the sun.

I like the packaging and find that one pump dispenses just the right amount for full facial coverage.  I'm also a bit fascinated with how those coils look, for some reason.

stila one step bronze retails for $36, which at first glance seems a bit steep.  Given it's multitasking qualities, however, the price does seem somewhat more justifiable.  I doubt I would have investigated this product if it had not been part of my June Birchbox, but I've got to say it's now going to be my go to primer for the summer!

Ingredients:  Water/Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Phytantriol, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Palmitic Acid, Dextrin Palmitate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Chloride, Lysine, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Montmorillonite*, Illite*, Kaolin*, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, May Contain (+/-) Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Zinc Oxide (Ci 77947), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499)

Disclosure:  stila one step bronze was part of my June Birchbox, which I subscribe to for $10/mo.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette: In the Heat Review and Swatches

In the Heat baked shadow palette
There are a lot of really lovely palettes that have been released featuring spring/summer colors, but the one that I decided to purchase was Sephora's "In the Heat" palette.  I personally like baked shadows and how they can be used dry for lighter coverage or wet for more intense color.  It's almost like getting twice the number of shadows!

Packaging on this is nice - a compact plastic case that is 5.5 x 2.5 inches.  It's got some heft to it and feels quite sturdy.  The inside cover has a mirror and the 10 shadows are the typical dome shape you see with baked products.  There is no applicator included.  This particular palette was made in Italy, which is where I usually see baked products coming from.  I previously reviewed Sephora's Hot Hues baked palette in Vivid Mulberry, and that one was made in Taiwan. I honestly can't tell a difference in the quality of the shadows, however.  One nice difference is that they did name these shadows, unlike Vivid Mulberry.

Starting left top row, we have Bronze, Rose, Shimmery Apricot, Gold, Shimmery White.  On the bottom, starting left, we have Champagne, Plum, Toasted Rose, Copper, and Teal.  I almost ran out of arm swatching these, but here they are all together so you can get an idea of how the colors work together - quite complementary, IMO.  The top row is swatched dry using my finger, the second swatched wet with a brush.  All are over Urban Decay shadow primer in original.

All of these have a shimmer finish, although not obnoxiously so.  There is also some fall out with using these dry, less so when wet.  Wear time on these was slightly less than what I experience with regular powder shadows.  I had some fading but no creasing after about 6-7 hours of wear (over primer).  I think that may be one of the limitation of baked shadows.  Has anyone else noticed this?

Teal, Copper, Toasted Rose, Plum
Champagne, Shimmery White, Gold, Shimmery Apricot
Rose, Bronze

In the Heat retails for $30 and is available at Sephora.

Disclosure:  I purchased this.