Monday, October 31, 2016

Estee Lauder Color Portfolio

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I'm a fan of Estee Lauder's annual Color Portfolio's, as I find them an economical way to collect a variety of the Pure Color shadow, blush, and lip shades.  I did not purchase last year's version, but succumbed to temptation with this year's Color Portfolio ($39.50 with purchase), and thought I would put some swatches up in case you are considering it as well. These can sell out fast!
The sides of the palette pull out to reveal the blush shades, 3 on each side.  I love Estee Lauder's Pure Color blush formula, but I know they recently reformatted the formula so this gives me a chance to try them out.
The shadows are selections from the Pure Color quads, which are new to me as well. Names are on the back of the palette, and I like how the colors are divided into warm shades on the left and cooler shades on the right.
There are a mixture of shimmer, satin, and matte finishes.  I was surprised at how pigmented and creamy/dense the matte shades were and wish there were more of them in the palette, as they are lovely.  A few of the colors were disappointing in their lack of pigment and took some building up, namely Silver Edge  and Fierce Safari 3 (the numbers refer to the shadows position in the quads).
I'll be forming more opinions once I have the opportunity to play with these and will post some reviews, as the quads are quite pricey ($52) and there are not a lot of reviews that I've seen.
The disappointing shade in the cooler toned palette is Provocative Petal 1.  It barely registers at all, and I did swatch these over primer. Overall most do look promising.
The Pure Color lipsticks are lovely, although cream with shadows palettes are always problematic. I will probably depot these into a palette so that the there is no shadow transfer, and in fact have a Z palette on it's way from the recent Ulta 20% off sale.
The Pure Color Kajal pencils in Blackened Black and Blackened Cocoa are smaller than the usual sample sizes.  I love Blackened Cocoa and use the ones I've collected several times a week.
The gloss this year is Reckless Bloom, which provides more sparkle than color. It's pretty and I do like the formula of Estee Lauder's glosses.
The blushes are smaller than in the 2013 and 2014 Color Portfolio palettes that I have, but you do get two more.  They are just big enough to fit most blush brushes, but it is a bit awkward considering you don't want to kick up much powder with the lipsticks right in the vicinity.  I will probably depot this as well and create a large blush palette with all the Pure Color blushes from the portfolios.
 I'm curious to compare the formulas between the older shades I have and the new reformulated ones.  At first swatch, Sensuous Rose does not appear as pigmented, but I've yet to swatch them side by side.

These are buildable and what I love about the Pure Color Blush formula is that I find them skin enhancing and natural looking.  The two new shades to my collection are Brazen Bronze and Pink Ingenue.
I purchased my Color Portfolio from Nordstrom during a GWP event, as I like to stack a purchase with purchase special with a GWP if I can find one.  A great site to keep abreast of GWP's is GWP Addict, and you can also sign up for emails to alert you.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Warm Nude Shimmer Strip All-in-1 Palette by Physicians Formula

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I still seem to be in "collect all the highlighters" mode, so I decided to try Physician Formula's Custom Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Nude Palette.  It can be used on both your eyes and face, and I quite like it!
The shimmer strips are rather pricey for the drugstore (~$13-$14), so I waited until there was a 40% off sale at Rite Aid.  There are two versions available, Natural and Warm, but I went with the slightly darker Warm Nude.
These worked quite well as both eye shadow or a face highlight, and I like that you can focus on different squares or rows of the palette to vary the intensity of color.  Of course, just swiping your brush across the entire palette gives a lovely overall glow when used as a highlighter.
I would say wear time as an eyeshadow (with primer, always, for my oily lids) was about 8-9 hours with some fading.
As a highlighter, I felt like the product had faded and broken up a bit by the end of the day, so I would only rank it as about average in wear.  Warm Nude does give a nice glow to the skin without emphasizing skin texture. Definitely pretty!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fortune Cookie 2016 Halloween Soap Box: I Put a Spell on You!

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Way back in August Fortune Cookie Soap offered a pre-order on their Halloween box, and I bit. I'll admit I've never watched Hocus Pocus, which probably lessens the impact of the names of the items. I've also never tried any of Fortunue Cookie Soaps' boxes, but was quite curious to see what they are all about.  So, here are the goodies!
I've put the prices next to each item, although the scents in the Halloween box were limited edition and exclusive to the box, but other scents are available in each category. To start with, I'm really liking the color, smell, and texture of the Good Zombie Aloe Me Body Whip ($12.99).
Good Zombie is supposed to smell like white chocolate dipped candied apples rolled in marshmellow cream and drizzled with melted butterscotch. I mainly smell the apple, but this does have some good staying power and feels quite nice on the skin.
Next is probably the biggest disappointment for me, as I love a good perfume oil. I Put a Smell on You ($7.99) has notes of cotton candy, sugar, and dragon's blood. The scent is pleasant enough but has little to no staying power.  Now you smell it, now you don't :-( I do like the melted wax stopper. I'm probably spoiled by my Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils, which are my gold standard. To be fair, they also cost triple the amount.  I'll give this one a try in the oil burner.
The one Fortune Cookie Soap product I've tried before is an OCD hand sanitizer ($2.89), and Sistas is a light fruity blend of passion fruit, guava nectar, and pink bubblegum. What's with all the fruity scents at Halloween? Is that a Hocus Pocus thing? Regardless, it's the time of year when hand sanitizer becomes more important to me, so I'll be bringing it to work with me. BTW, did you get your flu shot?
Oh, Booook! is the Fortune Cookie shaped soap ($3.99) with an adorable eye. Again with the bubblegum, although this also features notes of black cherries. It smells good.
Amok! Amok! Amok! is a foaming sugar scrub ($11.75) and I really like it!  I love sugar scrub soaps, especially to use on my hands in the mornings after applying makeup. It smells delicious with notes of caramel corn, crunchy buttercream, and red apples.
The Bubble Bubble I'm in Trouble bath bomb (~$7?) comes in a cute little black cauldron. I haven't unwrapped mine yet, but I'm looking forward to trying it out with I dog sit for my mom this weekend. The limoncello and sour candy scent definitely sounds invigorating.
Is it weird that I get excited about natural deodorants? I've recently (like this past weekend) started making my own, but Salem ($12.99) with it's cucumber/canteloupe + cotton candy scent will definitely get used. The gel consistency works quite well in this roll up form, as the last natural roll up deodorant I tried was a bit crumbly.
Last up is Master, an exfoliating body wash ($12.99) with notes of gummy raspberries, candied pineapples, watermelon, and cotton candy. There are real strawberry seeds in this, and the light foaming action was pleasant. I like it.
Any exfoliating action must come from the other ingredients, however, as the strawberry seeds give no texture to speak of.
The total value of the box is $72.59 and I paid $49.99.  I love "surprise" boxes and there is definitely a nice variety of items here. While the perfume oil let me down, I think I'll enjoy and use everything else! Now, I should probably rent Hocus Pocus so that I can better appreciate the names on these.

Friday, October 21, 2016

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte Cream in Key Red

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Well, I think I inadvertently saved the best of PUR's The Perfect Matte set for last, as Key Red is stunning. I had no issues at all with this baby, just intense and smooth statement making color.

I find applying a thin layer of the Velvet Matte with a lip brush followed by an application with the wand works best for the most intense color payoff. The doe foot wand does have a small reservoir that captures pigment and one dip in the wand was plenty to coat the lips.
I mentioned in a review on one of the other colors that the mousse like texture is easy to smooth out, and for the best results I found using a lip brush or my finger to make sure everything was smoothed out worked best. I still need to try these as a cream blush, but just look at how pretty Red Key is completely blended on my arm.
I did line my lips with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics NSFW lip liner, which is an almost perfect color match to Key Red. That helped get a more precise lip line and I had no issues with feathering or smudging.
Be warned however: although these are completely matte upon application, they are not budge proof. They do not "set" like some matte liquid lipsticks do and if you rubbed your lips with your finger outside of the lip line, it will smudge the pigment. Interestingly enough, however, a kiss test shows almost zero transfer.
Topping Key Red with the Agave Lip Oil yields a creamy red that is also lovely. I blotted this after applying the lip oil but it still has a nice sheen that lasted right up until I ate lunch. These will not survive eating but reapplying is not an issue, as the formula is not the type that dries or cracks.
Key Red + Agave Lip Oil
Bottom line, I'm sold on these. The formula is different than the other matte liquid lipsticks I've tried thus far. They are quite pigmented, easy to apply as long as you know how to work with the formula (smooth it out), and did not dry out my lips after 5 days of back to back wear. All of the colors except for Key Red from The Perfect Matte set are available as singles ($20), but I honestly like all of the colors in this set and will wear them again.  Here are links to my earlier reviews on Addiction, Obsessed, and Oh Bae. I continue to hope PUR releases the Agave Lip Oil as a single as well. It's the first lip oil that really does make my lips feel hydrated.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Oh Bae

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
If, like me, you had to look up what Oh Bae means, here is a quick explanation from an Esquire article: an acronym that stands for "before anyone else," or a shortened version of baby or babe, another word for sweetie, and, mostly unrelated, poop in Danish. Thank the deities for the internet.
The mousse like formula, which does have a tendency to be a bit clumpy, seems to be more forgiving when it comes to the lighter shades. Any bunching of color with Oh Bae is less noticeable than with a darker shade like Addiction. Honestly, making sure you smooth everything out on application seems to take care of the clumping, but that and the mixed reviews on Ulta.com are worth noting.
The Perfect Matte Set ($34)
What I am truly loving about these is how comfortable and non-drying they are, plus how light they feel on the lips. I'm guessing ingredients like Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Honey Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, and Vitamin E have something to do with that.
I'm back at work after my 2+ week staycation, and getting back into the swing of things is rough. Putting my makeup on in the mornings is something I actually look forward to, as it's become a kind of calming ritual before I take on the day.
I went with a coppery plum eye look using some of my Kat Von D mattes from the Ladybird palette paired with some Le Metier de Beaute shimmer singles, and I like how it turned out.  I've been using Ladybird quite a bit lately in anticipation of receiving the new Kat Von D Metal Matte palette, as I want to compare the matte formulas between the two.
Ladybird True Romance palette
I also tried samples of the Make Up For Ever Step 1 primer and Ultra HD foundation. I had to mix Y225 (Marble) with Y335 (Dark Sand) to match my skin, not sure how I feel about it yet. Blush is a combo of Estee Lauder's Alluring Rose with Lover's Blush, courtesy of my new Tarteist Pro Wild Animal palette.
Oh Bae is my favorite of the ones I've tried from The Perfect Matte set so far, but Key Red is yet to come, so we shall see. You may not see it until next week, however, as I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear it to work :-)