Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Product Review- Smashbox BB Cream

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Review



Smashbox BB Cream Review


From the Brand: Your go-to for flawless skin. Just let it BB.

So what does BB do?

PRIMES: Wear alone, or under your favorite foundation to create a smooth canvas.
PERFECTS: Tinted formula in 5 shades evens out skin for a flawless finish.
HYDRATES: Improves skin moisture in 4 weeks. Guaranteed.
PROTECTS: SPF 35 guards against UVA/UVB rays.
CONTROLS OIL: Minimizes shine with no chalky finish.


Retails for: $39.00


Where to Buy:  Smashbox.com, Ulta.com, and Sephora.com as well as Ulta and Sephora stores


My Thoughts:  This was the very first BB cream that I ever tried, and I think it set a bit of a precedent for those that came after it in my mind.  I still find myself comparing them to this BB cream.  The coverage of this is more that of a light to medium coverage foundation.  It really contains a ton of pigment and evens out skin beautifully.  It looks very natural on the skin and has a nice satin finish.

However, the downside is that I still definitely need to layer a moisturizer underneath it for my dry skin.  I think it's much better suited to those with combination to oily skin.  I've heard this feedback from several other makeup artists, too. 

After wearing it all day, I felt that the pigmentation didn't last very well in my t zone ironically.  For someone with dry skin, I wouldn't expect the coverage in my t zone to wear away, but it does.  If I wear this BB cream, I'll put a little bit of concealer around the sides of my nose and then set everything with a powder for better all day wear.


Final Verdict:  I don't notice any special difference in my skin with using this brand vs drugstore brands of BB creams, so personally I find this a bit pricey.  They do have a really great kit that offers a small size of the BB cream, their Photo Finish Primer, and the Halo Powder (which I ADORE) for only $29.00, so I'd recommend trying that first before purchasing the full size to see if it's right 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. This article contains some affiliate links provided through Viglink.com. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Product Review- Tarte Maracuja Oil

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil Review


Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil Review



From the Brand: 
This nutrient-rich oil contains vitamin C and essential fatty acids to hydrate sensitive, dry, and acne prone skin, leaving skin even toned and smooth without a greasy feel. Pure maracuja oil is a hydrating treatment oil known for its anti-aging and healing properties for firmer, brighter, and smoother looking skin, and will not cause breakouts.

Product Performance: Essential fatty acids repair and rebuild skin, and promote skin recovery by reducing redness, irritation, and inflammation. The nutrient-rich oil instantly hydrates sensitive, dry, and acne prone skin, leaving skin even toned and smooth without a greasy feel. Vitamin C brightens dull skin for a radiant, dewy, and luminous complexion.

Powered By: Maracuja oil: pure maracuja oil has been known to replenish, rebuild and brighten skin. The nutrient-rich essential fatty acids repair & rejuvenate skin for a firmer complexion. The moisture-rich formula replenishes & hydrates skin.

Known as “puro milagro” or “the pure miracle”, only one crop of this rare Amazonian fruit is harvested each year by Amazonian women affiliated with tarte’s cooperative in the Amazon. Piece by piece, they sustainably pick and extract this nutrient-rich seeded pulp from each individual maracuja fruit by hand. This naturally harvested treasure, referred to as the “alma” or “soul” of the maracuja fruit is then hand pressed without the use of heat to guarantee the maximum amount of nutritious essential fatty acids and vitamins.


Retails for:  $46.00 for 1.7 fl oz


Where to Buy:  www.tartecosmetics.com, online at Sephora.com and Ulta.com, in Sephora and Ulta stores


My Thoughts:  I really like the way that this sinks into my skin, and it doesn't break me out.  I'm not sure what about it didn't agree with my skin personally though.  I was suffering from dry flaky patches on the sides of my nose, and instead of fixing and preventing that, it seemed to exacerbate it.  It has a slightly nutty scent to it, nothing overpowering but not unpleasant. I love the bottle.  It's very pretty with it's jewel tone purple and easy to use dropper.  This comes in a lot of of sets from Tarte it seems, and I've got lots of samples of it.  Maybe it will be better to supplement my new skincare routine now that the dry patches have been resolved, so I plan on trying it again to see if the dry patches come back or not.


Final Verdict:  I think this would be a great facial oil for those with combination or oily skin, since it sinks in quickly and doesn't leave a residue on the skin.  Drier skins should use in conjunction with a rich moisturizer to lock in the benefits of the oil.


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. This article contains some affiliate links provided through Viglink.com. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Product Review- NARS Radiant Cream Foundation

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Review



NARS Radiant Cream Foundation Review


From the Brand:  NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation brilliantly evens skin with a lightweight, luminous finish. Combining the supple feel of a cream foundation with the sleek ease of a portable compact, the Advanced Emulsion Technology formula may be applied wet or dry for artistic versatility. Blending seamlessly with weightless medium buildable coverage, skin feels soft and comfortable with moisture levels boosted by 80% after 12 hours, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and enhancing skin's radiance.


Retails for:  $38.00 for the foundation refills, $10 for the compact


Where to Buy:  Sephora stores and Sephora.com, NARS counters at select department stores, http://www.narscosmetics.com


My Thoughts:  I was not a fan of this foundation at all.  Instead of hydrating, I found it greasy on my skin and difficult to set without looking cakey.  It emphasized my dry patches and didn't offer a level of coverage I wanted.  I tried it with a damp blending sponge, the dry sponge that was included in the compact, and a Real Techniques Expert Face brush.  All three applications I had the same problems.

I've heard such amazing things about this foundation that I was really disappointed in how it worked for me.  I got the best finish with the Real Techniques brush, but by the end of the day the foundation had absorbed into my skin and left my complexion looking blotchy.  My skin was really dry at the time, so I'll try it again later in the year when the weather is warmer and my face isn't so flakey.  Hopefully it will change my opinion of it.  At the present time, I'm not a fan at all.

I love the fact that this comes in a refillable compact. It's lightweight and portable, and you don't have to worry about it spilling in your handbag.  The compact itself is a little big for my taste, with the sponge sitting next to the foundation rather than in a compartment above or below the makeup itself. 


Final Verdict:  If the formula works for you and you can afford the hefty price tag, go for it.  If you're looking for something more affordable, keep looking.  This isn't it.


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. This article contains some affiliate links provided through Viglink.com. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Product Review- e.l.f. Baked Eyeshadow

e.l.f. Baked Eyeshadow Review




e.l.f. Studio Baked Eyeshadow
Review


From the Brand:  The silky and blendable formula of our Baked Eyeshadow provides smooth and even application with each sweep of color. Baked in an oven, these eyeshadows offer rich pigmentation for a beautiful effect. Infused with active key ingredients Jojoba, Rose, Sunflower, Apricot and Grape to nourish and hydrate the skin. The long-lasting and shimmering color can be worn wet for a vibrant effect or dry for sheer pigmentation, offering a variety of gorgeous eye looks!

Retails for:  $3.00 each for single shadows, $10.00 for 10 pan palette


Where to Buy:  eyeslipsface.com, Select Target stores (singles only, limited shades)


My Thoughts:  I absolutely adore these eyeshadows!  I can't believe the quality you get for only $3.  This is definitely one of the best e.l.f. products they make.  Sometimes it can be hit or miss, and typically I'm not a fan of their pressed eyeshadows.  These, however, are a different story. These are much more pigmented, and the color payoff is both brighter and longer lasting.  I also find little to no fallout at all from these.

I have three different colors, although I only showed two in this photograph.  I first heard about these from a video by Emily from Beauty Broadcast on YouTube.  (I caution you if you watch her videos, you're going to be making a list for the drugstore so you can go shopping!  This woman is the queen of finding the best low-budget products, and she's probably the reason I have so many drugstore brands in my bathroom now.  Which if you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have told you I hate drugstore brands!)  She recommended the three colors I picked up, but after trying them out I think I'm going to go back and get the palette next. 

The colors shown in the photo are Toasted and Burnt Plum.  The other color I have at home is Bark.

I've only tried them dry, but since it's a baked eyeshadow (which is almost the same thing as a pressed pigment in my opinion, since they're a much more concentrated color than a traditional pressed eyeshadow) they can be used with a damp brush for even more concentrated color.

Final Verdict:  They're really missing out on huge profits only charging $3 for these!  In a blind test, I'd guess they were a much more prestige brand based on the quality of the shadows.


**Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Product Review- NYX Lip Liner Pencils

NYX Lipliner Pencil Review



NYX Lip Liner Pencils Review


From the Brand: Slim, trim but never prim, our lip pencils come in a variety of dashing shades—from auburn to orange and traffic-stopping red. The buttery, long-wearing lip liner formula goes on easily and resists bleeding.

Retails for:  $3.50


Where to Buy: http://www.nyxcosmetics.com/, Ulta.com and Ulta stores


My Thoughts:  I'm pretty sure there isn't a thing that NYX Cosmetics makes that I don't love.  Now granted, I haven't tried everything, but pretty much everything that I have tried has impressed me with its quality for the price.  They are a really good value for someone who is looking to build a kit but cannot invest in all high end products, someone just starting out in wearing makeup, or people who want to try out a new trend without blowing their paycheck every time they find a new photo to "pin".  If I'd known about them in college, there would have been fewer nights eating Ramen noodles or Kraft mac n' cheese, that's for sure.

These lip liner pencils are a good quality for the price.  They do glide nicely, remain true to their color (which does match the paint on the end of the pencil pretty well), and are decent in the lasting category.  I'm habitual with reapplying lip gloss, so I found that it ended up melting into the gloss pretty quickly and disappearing faster than if I'd just been using it under a coordinating lipstick.  Kudos to them for a cheap liner that doesn't feather!  Which, really, is the key thing here.  At least from my professional opinion.


Final Verdict:  For the price, these are a great value.  I like that there are a bunch of shades, so I can stock up on matching liners without breaking the bank.


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. This article contains some affiliate links provided through Viglink.com. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Product Review- Yes To Blueberries Makeup Remover Towelettes

Yes To Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes

Say Yes To Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes


From the Brand:

These Cleansing Facial Towelettes are formulated with Blueberries and Coconut to gently cleanse, remove makeup, and moisturize skin all in one. With Lemon Peel and Apple to help brighten skin, these are a great addition to our Age Refresh collection. They leave your skin feeling clean, youthful, and glowy!
  • 99% Natural
  • Made with compostable, FSC certified fabric
  • Petroleum, SLS, & Paraben Free
  • Cruelty-free


Retails for:  $5.99 (on sale now online!)


Where to Buy:  www.Yestocarrots.com, Target stores


My Thoughts:  This was my first product from the Yes To (Insert fruit/veggie here) line.  I'd seen Yes To Carrots for what feels like years but never tried anything.  Then I started seeing Yes To Tomatoes, Yes To Cucumbers, and finally Yes To Blueberries.  Not sure what actually came about first, but that seems to be the order I saw them appear either in articles, store shelves, and other various places.  I got a travel pack of the blueberry face wipes in a monthly subscription box a while back, and the first time I used them I fell in total love with them! 

The cloth itself is super soft.  It's durable, but it isn't stiff or scratchy on my face.  It's like a tissue on crack.  It also doesn't fall apart or leave lint on my skin.

It smells so delicious, I almost want to take a bite of it.  It has apple and lemon peel, and those two ingredients give it a slightly sweet but fresh smell.  They also work to both brighten the skin and add hydration.  My skin for once doesn't feel totally stripped and dried out after using a makeup wipe!  Hooray!  There's also no residue left behind that I feel I need to wash to remove.

I've since purchased the face scrub, the serum, and the moisturizer in the blueberry formula and the night cream in the carrot formula and have been thrilled with the results the past two weeks.  My skin totally transformed from dry flaky patches around my nose to soft smooth skin with way less redness, even in a winter determined to make a hermit out of me.  I've actually been totally confident in walking around with no foundation on instead of just telling myself it's ok, because I'm too lazy to put it on. (Some days that extra 15 minutes of sleep is just too crucial to the safety of those around me.)  Traditionally in the winter, I've sworn by the REN skincare line, but this is a much more cost effective brand that still has the qualities I like: paraben free, cruelty free, natural ingredients, no heavy perfumes or artificial scents.


Final Verdict:  This is like a gateway drug.  I'm addicted to their products now.  But my wallet thanks me!


**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. This article contains some affiliate links provided through Viglink.com. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

Product Review- Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream


Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream Review





Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream Review


From the Brand: 
Think sheer moisturizing tint with benefits.  A true multitasking miracle that hydrates, primes, illuminates, and perfects leaving a sheer bare skin finish.  Specialized mineral pigments that instantly adjust to your skin shade allows one color to work for many.  The sheer application can be built up for just the right amount of coverage.  In addition, this amazing BB Cream formula contains high performance anti-aging botanical ingredients that revive and re-mineralize skin for a natural glow. Your skin will look natural, dewy, youthful and radiant without looking like you are wearing heavy make-up.

What you should also know: Don't expect this to be a heavy foundation.  This is more close to a tinted moisturizer leaving you with a natural finish.



Retails for:  $16.00


Where to Buy:  Pacificaperfume.com, Select Target stores


My Thoughts:  I wish this came in more colors.  I love the finish of this BB cream.  It has a very soft glow to it, almost like a luminizer but not as shimmery.  I'm so pale in the winter that it was too dark for me.  It tinted my skin just enough to look almost dirty.  I definitely can't wear it on it's own without some foundation over it to bring my color back to normal, which kind of defeats the purpose of the BB cream.  I'm not one of those people who use a BB cream as a moisturizer.  There really isn't a whole lot of pigment to it, so if you're looking for coverage I'd go elsewhere.  But if you're fair skinned, you do need to get a different brand, too.  Not sure if it would be enough to wash out a darker skinned person or not.


Final Verdict:  It will be time for a retry and probably follow up post this summer when I have some sun and get little tanner.  But the finish is great, it feels nice on my skin, and it gives some hydration.

 

**Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  As with all my articles, the opinions expressed herein are fully my own.  For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Product Review- Almay Clear Complexion Foundation

Almay Clear Complexion Foundation Review


Almay Clear Complexion Foundation Review



From the Brand:  Clear Complexion Blemish Healing Liquid Makeup by Almay has BlemisHeal Technology contains salicylic acid to heal and conceal blemishes for an even complexion.


Retails for:  $12.99


Where to Buy: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Ulta.com and Ulta stores, pretty much anywhere drugstore makeup is found.


My Thoughts:  At first, I didn't really like this foundation at all.  My skin is on the dry side, and in the winter it gets to Sahara-like proportions.  This definitely would be a foundation that works best on oily skin that can use a little oil-sucking.  Needless to say, it dried me out a bit.  However, I do have to say that it really worked great on drying out my acne as well!  By the next day, my skin was noticeably clearer.

The color didn't oxidize on my skin, and it matched me really well.  I used a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply it and buff it into the skin.  It gave a believable finish to the skin, not too heavy and made up, but it also gave me enough coverage to dull out the redness of the breakouts.  My acne hadn't been picked at and opened up.  It was unextracted white heads or red bumps that hadn't developed into a full blown zit yet.


Final Verdict:  I love this foundation for around "that time of the month" when my skin is starting to freak out, but I can't use it for more than 3-4 days in a row with my dry skin.  I'm really looking forward to using it during the summer when I don't have to worry about that.

Want to see this foundation in action?  Check out my video review on my YouTube channel!  Check it out, like it, share it, then SUBSCRIBE for more great reviews like this one!



**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products. This article contains some affiliate links provided through Viglink.com. All the opinions expressed in this article are my own. These items were purchased with my own money. For more information on my policies, please view my Let's Chat page.

 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Live Life Beautifully

If you're one of my regular readers, you've probably noticed that I've been quite absent from both the blogging world and social media as of the last six weeks or so.  It's been a difficult time for me, with an unexpected tragedy for my family.  The day after Christmas, my husband, sons and I traveled to Florida to visit with my husband's father for the holidays.  Sadly that one week vacation turned into four long weeks of caring for him by his side as he fought his last days in the battle with bile duct cancer.  As you can imagine, my focus wasn't exactly on my blog.

November and December I hadn't been blogging much either, as a result of me working more full time hours with the boudoir photography studio, Capital Boudoir.  Much hasn't changed since I came home just two weeks ago, with me working six days a week for the rush of clients getting photos done before Valentine's Day.  As the studio is looking to expand, I will probably continue working more hours with them both doing hair and makeup and as the booking specialist in charge of scheduling clients.  It's been a nice "promotion", even if it has been a lot of time. 

It doesn't help that my desktop is still out of commission, but not being home I haven't had the necessity or the time to get it fixed.  The bright side to working 40 hour weeks at the studio?  More time to product test new makeup on clients, and some one-on-one time with my laptop to enjoy blog reading and YouTube videos by my favorite gurus.  Looks like one more roadblock to getting more consistent with my own videos, but at least I'll have a list a mile long of my own tutorials and video reviews I want to film by the time things calm down and I can get more time at home in my own studio.  I really hope that this month I can get back to regular blog postings and more active in my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

I know I'm committing one of the cardinal sins of blogging- not posting a photo- but there really isn't something that can accurately express what I've been through in the last six weeks.  The world has lost an amazing man, and I hope that throwing myself into the work I love so much can help to dull the pain over time.  I appreciate the patience of my audience as I come back, and I urge each and every person reading this to please call your mom, your dad, your best friend, your sibling, someone you love and just tell them how important they are to you.  Life is too short to not live to its fullest.  Enjoy it with every breath.  Live Beautifully.
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