Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Product Review- Benefit Fake Up Concealer


From the Brand: Cover-up goes incognito! This hydrating crease-control concealer - with Vitamin E & apple seed extract - hides dark circles & diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look. Available in three shades, it’s proven to keep skin hydrated for 6 hours!* *Instrumental test

Results too good to conceal!
  • 100% said fakeup hydrates skin*
  • 100% said fakeup feels comfortable on skin*
  • 100% said the texture feels silky*
  • 94% said the effect is long-lasting*
  • 94% said fakeup doesn’t run*
  • 97% said the formula is lightweight*
  • 91% said fakeup conceals dark circles*
  • 91% saw a natural appearance*
  • 97% said the packaging makes it easy to use*
*Results observed in a consumer panel survey.

Retails for: $24

Where to Buy: Ulta stores and online, Sephora stores and online, 

My Thoughts: This is a really great concealer if you have a dry under eye area.   It takes a while to get used to using it though, and it has a bit of a greasy feeling at first.  It's definitely only for use on yourself, and not to be used between people, as it's meant to be applied directly on the face from the tube like a lipstick.  Scraping it off and applying with a brush doesn't give the same effect.  It gives light coverage of circles, so if you have really dark circles, I recommend using the Benefit Boi-ing or Benefit Erase Paste instead.  If you have a breakout, don't use this concealer.  It won't cover enough and the emollients in it will make it slide right off after a while.  The Boi-ing is a much better option.


Final Verdict:  A great concealer for light undereye coverage for those with dry undereyes.

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Product Review- Stila Stay All Day Foundation



From the Brand: An oil-free, high definition, high performance foundation that stays all day and delivers a flawless finish. Stila's Stay All Day® Foundation and Concealer has a unique oxygen technology that leaves skin hydrated, nourished and helps prevent premature aging.

This dreamy formula glides onto skin and immediately goes to work to help minimize skin blemishes and imperfection. It is also enriched with an array of skin loving ingredients, and unlike other long-wearing formulas, includes a synergistic combination of botanical extracts that have been shown to help enhance circulation and blood flow, resulting in an increase of oxygen being delivered to the skin and letting skin breathe. These innovative extracts also help to slow down the onset of premature aging and promote healthy, hydrated and vibrant skin.

This multi-tasker also contains a creamy, full coverage concealer cleverly hidden inside the cap (along with a handy mirror) that instantly hides blemishes, dark circles and age spots creating an impeccable canvas for flawless makeup application.

Spatula and brush included for ease of application!


Retails for: $44


Where to Buy: Ulta stores and online, Sephora stores and online, Stila Cosmetics Online


My Thoughts: When I first purchased this foundation, I absolutely loved it.  The convenience of having the matching concealer in the top is pure genius.  However, I don't like the applicator "scoop" inside the main bottle to remove the product.  I think it is a giant opportunity for bacteria to get into the bottle and corrupt the foundation.  The formula itself is super thick, but very creamy and emollient.  It's easy to remove too much, which is a waste.  Once you get used to how much you need, it's a really great foundation though.  It's super pigmented, so a little goes a long way, and it can be thinned down with moisturizer to extend the life of the bottle.  It does last all day long, at least 12 hours, but it's not transfer resistant.  When I would talk on my cell phone when wearing this foundation, I'd find it all over the screen when I was finished.  (Not too much of a detractor for me honestly, since I think that's just a normal drawback of wearing makeup to begin with.)  All this being said, I do have other foundations that are a lighter coverage without the "work" of buffing it all out to a natural finish (it can look cakey if you're using too much) that I like better, and those come with an easy to use pump.  This is my go-to foundation when I'm having a really bad skin day, like with redness and breakouts, etc, but it's not what I reach for on an every-day basis. 


Final Verdict:  Would I purchase this again?  Maybe, after I've used up everything else that I have already.


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Product Review- Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliner

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner


Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner


From the Brand: Obsessed with Smudge Pots? You'll go crazy for Smudge Sticks! This highly pigmented, waterproof eye liner glides on to deliver intense, vibrant color with staying power. 

These easy-to-apply eye liners have it all:

  • Long Lasting
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to apply
  • Several shimmer-intense shades to make eyes stand out
  • Vibrant colors
  • Propel pencil

Retails for:  $20


Where to Buy: Ulta stores and online, Sephora stores and online, Stila Cosmetics Online

My Thoughts:  I've been using these liners for years now, and they are definitely one of my favorites.  I love how they are a twist up, so I don't have to worry about keeping a pencil sharpener on hand.  The formula is super creamy, which means it glides right on without skipping.  The majority of colors are all fairly shimmery, which I like, but there are matte ones for those of you who don't like a shimmery liner.  My favorite colors are peacock, stingray, stargazer, and lionfish.  Maybe it's just me, but I think it's kind of cute how they are all sea creature names (minus peacock, but for this color there's really no other color you can call it!).  As evidenced by the above photo, I own all the standard colors, and I'm sure there's a few in there that are limited edition from holiday sets.  That's usually what I recommend to people, to buy the four color sets they come out with seasonally, or to buy one of their palettes that comes with a liner.  If you have blue eyes, I highly highly recommend the Lionfish color.  It's the perfect chocolatey brown shimmer that makes blue eyes look ah-ma-zing!  I use it on clients at weddings all the time, and without fail the rest of the room is suddenly ooohing and aaahing over how gorgeous their eyes look.

Final Verdict:  One of the best waterproof pencils you can buy!


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.  This article does contain affiliate links.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Product Review- Revlon Colorstay Foundation

Revlon Colorstay Foundation Review

Revlon Colorstay Foundation Review



From the Brand: Long-wearing coverage with a lightweight formula that won’t cake, fade, or rub off. With Time Release Technology, this oil-free, moisture-balance formula is especially formulated for normal or dry skin to continuously provide hydration.  (Available in 12 shades, also available in a formula for oily/combination skin, but since my skin is dry I tried the formula appropriate for my face.)

Retails for: $11.99


Where to Buy: Anywhere drugstore brands are sold, such as Ulta stores,, Target, Walmart, grocery and drugstores.

My Thoughts: There is a reason when you look up industry standards for makeup artists, one of the foundations listed is the Revlon Colorstay line.  This stuff has been around for years, and it continues to perform.  It lists it as a 24 hour wear, but as with anything with that claim, I'm not one to test it.  I wash my face before bed, thankyouverymuch.  However, I can put it on in the morning and know that it's going to stay put all day until it is time to wash my face.  It's available in two formulas, for oily/combination skin or normal/dry skin.  For a drugstore brand, it doesn't react with the flash of a camera and give the face a washed out effect.  It's easily blended with other colors to create a perfect shade if you're in between colors (which I am).


Personally, I don't find it particularly hydrating on its own.  It is nice and lightweight, the formula itself is very creamy and blends easily.  I like using a blender sponge to apply it best, but I also had great coverage and finish with the Real Techniques expert face brush.  It doesn't look heavy or cakey, although it is not totally transfer  resistant.


I do have a few (small) complaints though.  First, it comes in a glass bottle.  I hate glass, as it's heavier than plastic and is breakable.  So it doesn't travel well.  Also, there's no pump, just an opening at the top of the bottle where foundation can leak into the cap.  It also requires you to dip something into the bottle to extract the foundation, which can cause contamination if you're not careful.  I highly recommend using a q tip dipped into the jar to remove the amount of foundation you need and either apply it to the back of your hand or to dot around your face.  Don't dip it back into the jar if you need more- use the other end or a clean q tip!  Also, don't put your finger over the opening and tip the bottle to get the foundation out.  You'll be depositing bacteria and germs from your finger tip into the foundation that way.


Final Verdict:  Another of my favs for a drugstore brand. 


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

L'Oreal Lacquer Liner 24Hr Infallible Gel Eyeliner



From the Brand: A glossy, lacquered eye is now easier than ever to create. Infallible® Gel Lacquer Liner 24H glides on smoothly for a clean, precise line that keeps an intense, high-shine finish from dawn to dusk. Available in 5 rich, luminous shades.


Retails for: $9.95

Where to Buy: Everywhere drugstore cosmetics are sold, such as and Ulta stores, Target, Walmart, grocery stores, and drugstores.

My Thoughts: These are a really great option for someone who can't get their hands on the ones by MAC (or don't want to spend the extra $6).  They glide on really beautifully, and they do last a good long time.  I don't think that any makeup can truly last a full 24 hours on the face, but it does give a solid 12-14 hours even in the humidity, and longer on days where the air is drier or your skin/eyes aren't on the oilier side.  The brush that comes with these is fairly decent.  You can rotate it to achieve varying thicknesses, on its edge for a very crisp line or flat for a thicker line.


I have two colors, the brown and the black.  They don't look patent leather shiney, but they also don't dry to a matte black.  More like in between.  I would definitely purchase more of the colors, and I use these on my studio clients for shoots all the time.

Final Verdict: Like I said, these are a great option for those who can't get their hands on the MAC gel liners.  They are very long wearing, come in a variety of shades, come with a handy brush that's actually useable, and have a nice finish.  I recommend looking for a sale somewhere like Ulta that frequently does BOGO half off on L'Oreal products for an even better deal!


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Product Review- Benefit Boi-ing Concealer



From the Brand: This award-winning concealer camouflages dark circles, minor imperfections and discoloration without creasing or fading. Even better…the industrial-strength formula is now available in FIVE shades, with a full range from light to deep. Now all gals can be imperfection-free. WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW:  Favorite shades 01 and 02 stay the same, with a new 03 shade and extended range to include 04, 05.


Retails for: $20

Where to Buy:; Sephora and, Ulta and


My Thoughts: If you've read my review of the Benefit Erase Paste, you know that I'm a HUGE fan of the Benefit concealers.  I've been using Boi-ing for years now, and it's never let me down.  There's a reason they include the whole "industrial strength" part on the packaging- this stuff works!  I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of it for the under eye area.  The consistency of this concealer is on the drier side, which doesn't always sit well on the typically-dry undereye area of most women.  However, that drier consistency makes it perfect for sticking to a breakout.  Pimples don't have the same surface texture of the rest of the skin around it, making creamy concealers a poor choice for coverage with staying power.  Even notice how the creamy concealers just seem to slide off the pimple and settle around the edges of it?  Instead, use a bullet tip eyeshadow brush to dot a dry concealer onto the breakout, and you'll get much better staying power that sticks only to the breakout!


I was getting ready to say that my only negative feedback was the limited shade range (Benefit does seem to cater to the pale people of the world), but I just saw on the website that they have expanded the range with three new shades!  Wa-hoo!  I'll most definitely be picking some up for my makeup kit once I've surpassed my No-Buy Challenge deadline in August.

Final Verdict:  Would I buy this?  Um, did you read that last sentence?  Oh yeah, I already own it for myself, and I'll be buying more to use on clients soon! Come on, August!  Momma needs some more makeup!


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Product Review- L'Oreal Power Volume 24 Hour Black Smoke Mascara

L'Oreal Power Volume Black Smoke Mascara Product Review

L'Oreal Power Volume Black Smoke Mascara Product Review
The perfect mascara wand head!



From the Brand: Voluminous® Power Volume 24H Mascara has a formula with collagen spheres and a mega brush that gives lashes 15X more impact and 24 hours of volume for fuller-looking, plumped up lashes. Clump-free. Flake-free. Smudge-free. Frangance-free. Ophthalmologist-tested and allergy-tested. Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. 


Retails for: $7.95

Where to Buy:, and Ulta stores, Everywhere drugstore cosmetics are sold

My Thoughts:  This is definitely one of the best drugstore mascaras I've ever owned.  Hands down.  It gives my lashes a full, lush look with just one coat, or I can use two coats for even more drama.  I haven't tried to wear it for 24 hours (that's just crazy!), but it does last from morning to midnight very well with no flaking or smudging.  I use the color Blackest Black, and I haven't tried the other colors. 


I really like the wand on this mascara. I'm very particular about how they should be shaped and how big they should be to reach my lashes without overwhelming my eyes.  This one fills both need (let's be honest here and call them eccentricities) perfectly.  The bristles are dense enough to one another to grip my thin lashes on both sides and coat them evenly, without clumping them together.  The formula of the mascara is also nice and thick, so it only takes one coat to see noticeable volume.  It dries quickly but not stiff, and it doesn't flake or smudge.  So far I haven't found it in a waterproof formula, but it's humidity resistant at least.



Final Verdict:  LOVE IT!  Totally recommend this mascara to anyone looking for lots of plush volume at a great price!


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Product Review- L'Oreal Infallible Foundation

L'Oreal Infallible Foundation



From the Brand: This SPF 18 makeup absorbs oil, hides blemishes and is resistant to fading for up to 16 hours. Infallible is formulated with fade-defying pigments that are resistant to humidity and UV Rays. Vitamins and minerals are added to combat signs of fatigue. 


Retails for: $12.99

Where to Buy:, Ulta stores, drugstores and retailers like Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and more

My Thoughts:  I'm pretty much in love with this foundation.  I never in a million years would have thought I'd say that about a drugstore brand of foundation, but this is truly an awesome product.  I started using this a few weeks ago, and it's almost replaced my prestige brands when I'm looking for a more full coverage foundation.  The wear-time on it is fantastic!  I apply it with a damp blender sponge, and it sets within about 60 seconds.  I top it with a light dusting of powder to set it, since it tends to dry to a somewhat "tacky" finish on my skin.  But it's very lightweight, and I can't feel the foundation on my skin.  It is more full coverage, but it doesn't look really heavy or thick on the surface.  You can tell you're wearing foundation, but it doesn't look caked on.  I can wear this all day, and it will still look fresh no matter how late I'm going to bed.  The tacky feeling on the skin might be little off-putting for some, but it does go away fairly quickly.


If you rub at it, it will leave a "blank" spot on the skin though.  I wore it all day the other day, and in the bathroom at the restaurant that night I itched my nose and suddenly I had a very visible naked spot.  I had to try to rub the surrounding area to blend it all away, but my nose did look a little red for a few minutes after.  This was after wearing it for at least 8 hours, and the rest of it still looked flawless.  It seems to stand up to heat, humidity, oil, and sweat fine, but friction can wear it off unevenly.

Final Verdict: The best drugstore foundation I've ever tried, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for a long-wearing affordable option!


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Product Review- MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner

MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner in Blacktrack

MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner in Blacktrack

MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner in Blacktrack

MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner in Blacktrack and Rich Ground


From the Brand: Ultra-smooth, Fluidline's gel formula provides the precision of a liquid liner with a silkier, softer finish.  Goes on "foolproof" with a brush in an easy dip-and-stroke action.  Long-wearing.  Smudge-proof.


Retails for: $16

Where to Buy: MAC stores or, or MAC counters in major department stores


My Thoughts: For my clients that are looking for a dramatic liquid liner look, I always reach for my MAC Fluidline.  Although personally I'm not a fan of applying a gel liner, it's a hygienic way to give a liquid liner look without using an actual liquid liner.  Those are impossible to sanitize between clients and should only be used on your own eyes.  I've found over the years that MAC's gel liner is a dependable waterproof brand.  Still, I don't recommend using it on the bottom lashline for better longevity against tears.  It's not listed as waterproof, but through experience I've found it to still be quite durable against them on my brides.  The two colors I use are Blacktrack and Rich Ground.  These also make an incredible dense shadow base for dramatic eye looks.  They wear pretty well in the waterline as well, especially when you use a matching eyeshadow to "set".  These don't dry up quickly like other brands can, and you can get a ton of use out of them.  You use so little that it really lasts a long time and makes it a very cost-effective product.

Final Verdict:  Is this a good buy?  You bet!



**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Makeup Must Haves!

Summer Makeup Must-Haves

With summer comes heat and humidity and a whole lotta sunshine in most areas of the United States where I live.  This means that the products that worked for you in the drier, colder, or gloomier months of winter (and sometimes into spring!) may not be so appropriate now that the weather has changed.  Skin goes through cycles depending on the level of moisture in the air, and so as we switch our skin care to adjust, so should we switch our makeup products as well.  Here are my top picks for summer-worthy makeup for every budget!

Summer Makeup: Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Mascara

Summer Makeup: Waterproof Eyes
Waterproof eyes are a must for hot humid days or trips to the beach and waterparks!

When your skin just doesn't want a heavy layer of foundation, but you still want to look "made up", it's easy to play up your eyes for a more glamorous look.  But when you're sweaty or oily, your eye makeup needs to be able to stay in place all day without creasing up or running down your cheeks.  I think the best all around waterproof mascara is Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes Mascara.  It's worth every penny, and it's what I reach for every day in the summer.  It's lengthening, defining, volumizing, and adds curl.  It's a wonder mascara, and it doesn't budge, even after a dip in the pool!  Liquid liners are my personal favorite, and the waterproof one that doesn't run even in heat is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner.  Sephora makes a very affordable pencil version, the Flashy Liner Waterproof.  I paid full price in the store about a month ago, but it's on clearance now online for only $3.00.  I love the color Flashy Blue, a bright blue turquoise color I think is perfect for summer.  For shadows, I love the L'Oreal Infallible shadows (following with the turquoise theme, my favorite summer color is Endless Sea, but Bronzed Taupe is a perfect soft smokey brown that is perfect all on its own) and the Maybelline Color Tattoo (in Tenacious Teal of course!).  For brows that won't go anywhere, I highly recommend the Tarte Waterproof Brow Mousse (click for review).  My favorite part is that it comes with a dual ended brush/spoolie!  MAC pigment in Tan is a super versatile product that easily makes it look like you've spent way more time on your eyes due to it's prismatic color reflection, which naturally looks darker in the crease even without a darker color on top.

Summer Makeup: purifying skin masks
Purge your skin of breakout-causing bacteria and oil with purifying skin masks to deep clean your pores!

Cheeks and Lips:
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hr Blush (click for review, video) is probably my all time favorite blush product to date, with it's wide range of bright shades perfect for adding a pop of color to cheeks in the summer.  I've yet to find a blush that lasts as long, and the clay is supposed to help control oil- a bonus for oily summer days.  The Smashbox Bronze Lights Matte Bronzer is the perfect way to add some natural sun kissed color to your cheeks, and the Suntan shade is perfectly neutral with no hint of orange.  Lips I like to either stay with a hydrating sheer color like the NYX lip butters, a natural hue hydrating lipstick like the Milani Statement Lipstick (my favorite is Dulce Caramelo), or go with a bright bold statement lip with very simple eyes like Tesorio from the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick formula.  It's a bright coral-ish red that's very summery and wears all day long with no touch ups! (click for formula review, video)

Summer Makeup: NYX, Tarte, Stila, Smashbox, Milani, L'Oreal
Summer Makeup: Waterproof Mascara, Long-wearing Blush, Bronzer, and Hydratig Lipcolor
If I had to pick only four products, these would be them!  Waterproof mascara, long-wearing blush in a bright shade, matte bronzer for a sunkissed look, and a hydrating sheer lipcolor.  Plus sunglasses, of course!

Summer Makeup: Stila multi-taskers
My multi-tasking favorites: Stila Convertible Color and Kitten shadow stick.
Stila Kitten Waterproof Shadow Stick
Waterproof shimmer for your eyes, cheeks, and cupid's bow?  Yes, please!
If you're looking for just a few products to work into your summer routine that will double-duty, you should check out the Stila Convertible Colors.  (Got a review for these, too!These little babies are perfect for adding a dewey flush to cheeks or soft color to your lips, and they aren't greasy at all.  My favorite color is Lillium, a soft peachy pink color that's great for any skin tone.  You can also use the Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Color in Kitten for all over highlights that won't wear away or even all over the lid for a beautiful budge-proof wash of shimmering color to brighten your eyes.

Last but not least, I love a solid perfume stick for warm summer days.  Alcohol based liquid perfumes can evaporate more quickly, but the oils in a stick last for hours even when you sweat.  My new favorite came in my May Glossybox, and it's by Nicka K New York.  Free Spirit 100 is a warm sweet scent that makes me think of sitting in the sand, and it's tiny size makes it perfect for tossing in my purse without added weight or worrying about broken glass.

Plus, don't forget one of the most important beauty products to keep with you at all times during the summer- a pair of sunglasses!  The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your face, and damaging sun rays penetrate to cause pre-mature aging.  Plus, squinting in the glare of the sun will cause wrinkles just as quickly.  Even more importantly, especially those with fair eyes, you can get "sunburn" in the back of your retina through your pupils that can cause eye cancer later in life!  My husband had skin cancer removed a few years ago, and they warned him to be sure to get his eyes checked every year and to pay for the retinal photo to make sure he hasn't developed skin cancer inside his eye.  A very scarey thought!

Be safe, be beautiful all summer long with these summer makeup must-haves!  Now step away from the computer and enjoy the weather!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Product Review- L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer

L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer in W 1-2-3



From the Brand: This oil-free concealer is formulated with Opti-Blend Complex to even your skin tone while concealing acne blemishes, imperfections, and dark undereye circles. Vitamin E and Pro-Vitamin B5 are added to nourish, strengthen and revitalize skin cells.


Retails for: $8.99

Where to Buy: and Ulta stores; drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid; grocery stores; Target and Walmart

My Thoughts: This is a pretty good concealer for a drugstore quality brand.  I like that if I know my color in the L'Oreal True Match family, I can pick out the coordinating products easily.  The name Super Blendable Concealer is also a good description for this concealer.  It does blend very easily into the skin, with a nice light coverage that is very natural looking.  It can be built up for more coverage if you like, so it's good for people looking for buildable coverage.  The consistency is very creamy, but I didn't notice any particular hydration coming from it.  I'd still recommend using an undereye cream before, but be sure to blot away any excess before applying the concealer so that the cream doesn't start to break down the longevity of the concealer.  It's not the longest wearing product on the market, but there's only so much you can expect in a concealer that's under $10.  But it's a L'Oreal product, so that means it gets my vote!  I think that for a drugstore brand they've got their shiz together.  They turn out great products at an affordable price.  Plus, it's available pretty much everywhere makeup is sold, except department stores.

Final Verdict: Good for the price, but there are higher end products out there that will last longer.



**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Makeup Tip #9: Better Mascara Application, Every. Time.

Want a 2 second tip that will give you a better mascara application every time?  Really?  You do?  Ok, here it is.

Bend your mascara wand at a 45 degree angle.

Yup.  That's it!  I did say it was a 2 second tip, didn't I?  Bending your mascara wand will allow you to apply your mascara at a more natural angle and allow you to get at the inner and outer corner lashes no matter what the wand looks like.  I remember reading this trick from a Cosmo magazine back in high school, and every wand I've bought has ended up bent like this since.  Benefit even used to make a mascara called "Get Bent" that came with a pre-bent angled brush head.  Sadly, it was discontinued, although I think the biggest reason people didn't like it was that the formula of the mascara tended to get clumpy.

So, would you ever bend your mascara wand?  Do you do that now?  What do you think, does it help you apply your mascara better or not?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Battle of the Balms

Going to try something a bit new here.  Each month, I'm going to pick a new "battle" between brands for the best "{insert category here}".  This month is between Maybelline, Revlon, and L'Oreal for their sheer balm lipcolors.  Next month it will be three brands that do monthly glam boxes, the month after that three different brands of the "egg" blending sponges, and so on and so forth.  What do you think?


There's a ton of debate on which of the lip "balm" products is the best of the best.  You see people on Youtube all the time talking about how they own almost every color of the Maybelline Color Whispers, or the Revlon Lip Butters, or the L'Oreal Color Riche Balms.  All claim to hydrate with a wash of color.

Here's the breakdown on each brand, followed by some swatches, and then my thoughts.  Let the battle begin!

In corner #1, it's Maybelline Color Whispers, weighing in at $7.49 per 3g, available in 20 colors: Dare to Whisper. Get truly translucent gel color from Color Whisper by Color Sensational from Maybelline. Pure color pigments suspended in a weightless gel deliver sexy, soft, see through color with a touch of shine, without the heavy waxes & oils found in traditional lipcolor.

In corner #2, we have L'Oreal Color Riche Balm, weighing in at $7.99 per 2.9g, available in 8 standard colors (some limited edition colors have been available based on current trends): Colour Riche Lip Balm goes beyond other tinted lip balms by providing the richest hydration experience and 8 hours of continuous hydration. Even when removed, Colour Riche Lip Balm continues to leave lips feeling conditioned for an additional 2.5 hours.

And in corner #3, the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter, weighing in at $7.49 per 2.5g, available in 20 colors: Color Burst Lip Butter by Revlon is a buttery balm with beautiful shiny color to give you baby soft, healthy glowing lips 94% of women felt lips were softer, smoother, and instantly hydrated.

In each of the formulas, I own two colors.  Here are swatches of the colors I own/have tried on my lips.

Legally Regal
Come By My Window

Coral Ambition

Cherry On Top

Sugar Plum

Red Velvet

The first brand I tried was the Revlon Lip Butters.  I'd bought the color Sugar Plum probably about 6 months before I'd ever even heard of the formula, and it was because I like the color in the tube.  The formula is hydrating, but I wouldn't call it a balm more than just a very hydrating lipstick on the Red Velvet color.  The color matches the outside case pretty perfectly.  I keep Sugar Plum in my purse at all times for days when I forget my lipcolor, because it's hydrating and also a good natural looking shade for when I want to enhance my lips without looking like I'm wearing "lipstick".  I bought the color Red Velvet in January after a bride was asking about red lipstick for her wedding and I bought a ton of different ones to experiment with to give her a recommendation.  I didn't even realize they were the same brand/formula until probably a month ago when I was organizing my makeup stash!  I like that the majority of the colors in this line are good every day colors.  They aren't too trendy or super bright.  I feel like they would be wearable for most skin tones and still natural looking.

The next brand I tried was the L'Oreal Color Riche Balm.  I saw the shade Legally Regal back in March on a display with some matching nail polishes and fell in love with the way it looked in the packaging and in the tube.  I didn't expect it to come out looking so candy purple on the lips as well.  The formula feels good and smells great, but the two colors I have are just too pastel for my tastes.  I'll have to try a non-limited edition color to make a better opinion on whether I like them for me.  I don't know about the whole 10.5 hours of hydration, because I drink so much during the day and have such a habitual addiction to reapplying my lip products every hour that I never had the opportunity to go that long in a test run.  I'll even wake up in the middle of the night to reapply chapstick.  It's a sickness. I know.  Let's move on.

Lastly, I tried the Maybelline Color Whispers after seeing so much about them on YouTube.  The packaging is super cute.  The whole concept of the gel colors intrigued me, but like the L'Oreal I haven't found a color that looks good on me.  The Coral Ambition is way too orange, and the Cherry on Top is too bright a hot pink even for my tastes.  I do love the smell, and they are a really richly pigmented brand for supposedly being a balm and "sheer" color.  Looking at the packaging in the store, I can't help but be skeptical that any of the colors would suit both my skin tone and my personality.  Knowing that they are very pigmented makes me hesitant.  The packaging is beautiful but very artificial in colors.  They look like jello shots all lined up, or little stained glass soldiers.  Pretty to look at, impractical to wear.

And the winner is......

Revlon Lip Butters! 

But only by a thin margin over the L'Oreal Balm.  The deciding factor was that they are only available in 8 standard colors.  The Revlon Lip Butters have a more natural looking color range (like the L'Oreal standard colors) and more options, even if they are the smallest by weight.  All three brands have a similar consistency, smell, and hydration factor, so it really came down the wearability of the colors and the shade range.  I'll definitely be trying a few more shades of the L'Oreal, because I do really love L'Oreal products, and the shade Tender Me Mauve has caught my eye.  The Maybelline Color Whispers are just too candy colored for my tastes and more suitable to younger women who enjoy that style of lip color.

Which do you prefer?  Do you have any recommendations on shades I should try from L'Oreal or maybe the Maybelline to change my verdict?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Product Review- Benefit Erase Paste Concealer

Benefit Erase Paste Concealer
Benefit Erase Paste Concealer, Shades 01 Fair and 02 Medium

Benefit Erase Paste Concealer

Benefit Erase Paste Concealer



From the Brand:  Benefit Erase Paste Brightening Camouflage For Eyes and Faces- Signs of stress & fatigue are a thing of the past with this concentrated cream formula! Available in three shades with brightening melon undertones to suit every skintone. 


Retails For:  $26 

Where to Buy:


My Thoughts:  This stuff is seriously amazing.  It's one of my favorite concealers of all time, and it's also one of the first things I ever bought from Benefit.  In fact, it might just be the very first thing if I think about it.  The best part is that it has the peach undertones to it, which neutralize the bluish dark circles under my eyes.  It's got a thick almost sticky kind of consistency, but it's not uncomfortable to wear.  Benefit has the market cornered I think when it comes to concealers.  They have three different formulas that target different concerns, but this is by far the best for under eye circles.  The only negative thing I'd have to say would be that it does need to come in some darker colors.  Even the "dark" isn't really dark enough for really dark skin tones.  It might be good enough as a neutralizer, but would need to be layered under a flesh toned concealer or foundation for those consumers.


Final Verdict: Is Benefit Erase Paste a good buy?  Absolutely!  If you have dark undereye circles, this is a great concealer for you!



**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

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