Monday, October 11, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains - Photos!

As I mentioned, I picked up a few of the Villains...and they are really pretty great. 

From Cruella de Ville:
  • Darkly my Dear - blush
  • De-Vil - eye shadow
  • Wicked Ways - lip gloss

From Maleficent:
  • Formidable - nail polish
  • My Dark Magic - mineralize eye shadow
The blush is a nice deep rose color, which is looking good with that fading summer color. The De-Vil eye shadow is a shimmery copper color that is also looking great as a fall shade. I've got several base shades that look great with it - most pearly and peachy. The lip gloss was just for fun, and is a terrific hot pink. Looks nice with a raspberry shirt.

The Maleficent shades were largely fun shades. I love the polish on my toes as it's one of those shade-shifter types depending on the light. The eyeshadow is supposed to be a split pink / purple pot. But as you can see, mine cracked in shipping. So it has turned into a nice purple shade for a smokey eye.

Yes, I just picked my favorites, and am very happy with the selections. Nice fun packaging, and great color.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains Collection

Makeup and Disney, how do these go together? Well, MAC Cosmetics obviously thinks that one can get inspiration from Disney characters, and who am I to disagree when the collection is so fun and well thought out.


The MAC Venomous Villains Collection launched Monday 9/27 in the late evening. It's been talked about on the beauty blog circuit for months and now it's here. Interestingly, several of the shades have already sold out. I'm not big on collecting the MAC collections, but this one was a must see for me. I've loved the Disney Villains for a long time. I even bought a villains poster the last time I went (in 2003) and still have it, ready for framing. While I think the princesses and heroes of the stories are all wonderful, the villains are the most fun and ridiculous part of each story. Cruella de Ville has been a favorite for many years.


I've ordered a few items, including a smashing nail polish from my other favorite Maleficent's collection. I will post pictures when they arrive.


Please see this posting at Temptalia and her links to photos if you are at all interested, and order quickly. I suspect this is one of the most sought after collections for MAC and collectors get there early.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bare Escentuals Modern Pearls Collection

The last installment of the QVC Bare Escentuals Pearls auto-delivery arrived as the Modern Pearls collection. It's an interesting kit of fall shades mixed with various pinks. I'll admit off the bat that I'm not a green eyeshadow fan, but this looks to have a fair bit of charcoal in it so I'm liking it much more than usual.

  • Cultured Pearl Eyecolor - light pearl pink
  • Modern Pearl Eyecolor - jade gray
  • Big & Bright Eyeliner - charcoal gray
  • Flawless Definition Mascara
  • Pink Pearl Blush
  • Brightening Pearl Mineral Veil
  • 100% Natural Lipgloss in Praline - plum rose
  • Wet / Dry shadow brush
  • Soft Focus shadow brush
  • Angled blush brush
I really like charcoal eyeliners, so this is a nice addition. Again These eyeliners are pretty average in staying power for the oily skinned gal, but have nice color payoff and the application is easy. The lipgloss is an excellent, non-shimmery shade of rose that I think is going to be great this fall. Matches so many of my rose blushes, that it's going to get a ton of use.

The eye colors are very pretty. I love the Cultured pearl shade of pink for the all over lid color. It pairs nicely with many of my shades, and also looks nice with the Modern Pearl shade. The swatch looks pretty green, but when I applied to my eyes, it came out as a nice deep shade that looks almost charcoal. The eyeliner especially highlights the deep quality of the shadow.

Overall, it's a nice kit - though I like the last one with the peach and navy the best of the four. Again, eBay is a great source for these kits - especially if you're only looking for a few pieces. Keep your eye on QVC.com - it's possible the kit will show up as a special in October or November. It's another great value from QVC and Bare Escentuals.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Best of the Drugstore

Fall is coming. It's definitely back to school for many folks, and the rest of us are probably feeling the pinch of summer vacations or upcoming holiday shopping. So in honor of looking great while saving a buck or 10 - I present to you the Best of the Drugstore. Okay, well at least they're my drugstore favorites...

  1. Tinted Moisturizer - Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again - this product rocks. SPF 20 and retinol in a drugstore moisturizer. See my full review of this product here
  2. Mineral Foundation - Neutrogena Mineral Sheers (loose powder OR compact)
    The
    Mineral Sheers foundations come in loose powder or compact,  and either product works great. SPF 20 starts you out, and I like to use the loose powder over the tinted moisturizer for a great looking natural face. All of it is a sheer coverage which is great in the summer and for teenagers. If you're looking for something with full coverage - look at the Revlon line of foundations for the ColorStay products.
  3. Mascara - Cover Girl LashBlast (original orange tube)
    This has got to be my favorite drugstore mascara. Every other one has disappointed me in some way. This one does everything I want and doesn't smudge through the day. See my review here for more information.
  4. Primer - L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base
    This silicone based
    primer is great in small amounts when patted (not rubbed, makes a mess) onto the skin. It does all the good stuff many of the more pricey primers do for controlling oil and keeping makeup in place. 
  5. Blush - Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush
     
    This is a great blush for all skin types. It's whipped consistency allows you to build color on your cheeks as it dries down to a powder. The colors are sheer and very pretty, most have a shimmer to them. It doesn't seem to clog pores and doesn't fade much during a long day.
  6. Lipgloss - L'Oreal Infallible Gloss or Lipcolor Compact
    I have both of these in my desk drawer at work, and they get about equal play from me. The gloss is quick and easy and lasts quite a while. It's not terribly goopy either, so it's great for quick put-on-and-go usage. The Compact has a color, then a sheer topcoat. This stuff lasts for hours, but the 2 coats and the wait in-between can be annoying if you want something fast. 
That's about all I need for work and most teens would need for school. If you are looking for some eye shadows and eye liners you should check these out. Though - one caveat, I would use these shadows with a primer for long lasting wear (Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance are readily available at Ulta - and worth the extra money. I haven't found a drugstore one worth a dime - yet).
  1. Eyeshadow - L'Oreal HiP Shadow Duo's
    They come in several shades, and duo's are great for creating a unified look. The color is fairly pigmented, thought it might take a couple passes to get an intense look. Highly recommend a brush application with these.
  2. Eyeliner - L'Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner
    I don't know that you're going to find something to compete with my Urban Decay 24/7 liners, but these are pretty decent. They are not highly pigmented, but this is nice because you can build up the color. Decent staying power, though it will slide a bit on oily lids (though primer seemed to help). This is a decent liner at a reasonable price.
  3. Eyeliner - Cover Girl LiquilineBlast Eyeliner
    This is another decent liner. It also is not as pigmented as the Urban Decay, but also does a nice job blending and building color. This doesn't stay quite as well as the L'Oreal but will also do better with primer and on normal to dry lids.
  4. Eyeshadow - NYX Shadow Palettes
    This comes straight from the Makeup Geek, who is a huge fan of these shadows. Again, a good primer is mandatory and these will need some building to get the shade just right. They are inexpensive and colorful for any one who wants to dabble in a little color.
I have purchased these products to play with them.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hair Straightening Products

I have tried a couple of "no frizz" and "straightening" products in the last few months. I'd like to tell you about them, since I know some of my readers have thick and wavy to curly hair much like mine.

The first is Living Proof no frizz Straight Making styling cream. This has a nice smoothing ability, and my hair after drying was bouncy and straight. It definitely helped the drying process and made straightening easier. But it didn't give me much shine and had the best results after using a flat iron post blow-out. It also works well if you have mostly straight or straighter hair that is prone to the summer frizz. Overall it's a nice product, but a tad bit pricy and hard to find. The 8oz. bottle retails at Sephora for $35.

The second is Pantene Curly Anti-Frizz Straightening Creme. This product impressed me in a big way. My hair is shoulder length and very thirsty (especially in the summer), so it takes about 3 pumps of product to coat my hair. When I blow dry with a brush, my hair comes out nice and smooth - almost no flat irons necessary, unless I'm going for that stick straight look. My hair was also nice and shiny, which is unusual after a serious blow out. This gets a huge thumbs up from me. Economical and works, better than most of the high end serums and straighteners I've tried. Check this out at your local drugstore for around $6.00.

The last product I've tried recently is the Phytodefrisant. It's a relaxing balm, and I received a couple samples from Sephora. I've been using it when I style straight and it works about as well as the Pantene. I've not yet found a Phyto product that I didn't like, and this one stands up with all the rest. This line is pricey (5oz. for $35) and available at salons and Sephora.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coach Poppy Project

So what's up with the cute poppies on the blog? It's a blog contest from Coach. Both bloggers and readers can be winners, which I thought was pretty cool. It's also another way to get some exposure to the blog.


Here's the scoop:
Readers grow the poppies by Tweeting. You can click a "black" or, in my case, "gray" poppy and it will fill in the Tweet for you. If you Tweet using the #CoachPoppy hashtag, it will grow the poppies on all sites. If you use MY hashtag #kimbers_corner, it will grow the poppies on my site. You can also click the "Like" button to like the project on Facebook.


Readers can win handbags if a handbag appears in the poppies, you should click it.


Readers can Follow the trail of poppies by clicking on that link at the upper left of the page. You can see some new blogs (which can be fun!) as well as get a chance at finding a surprise like the handbags.


Bloggers win if their site appears in the top 10 list of all blogs being Tweeted about. I don't expect to win, but I do think this is a fun way for Coach to connect with bloggers and readers alike. I've always liked their bags, and what a fun way to show it off.


So go ahead and Tweet or Like and Follow the poppies. Grow Poppies Grow! #CoachPoppy #kimbers_corner


You can participate in the project by following this link http://poppyproject.coach.com/

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maybelline the Falsies Volum' Express Mascara

So I got sucked into another drugstore mascara purchase. Largely because this got a few good reviews, and I want to give you as many inexpensive options as I can. While I love Diorshow, who can really afford $22-$24 for mascara on a regular basis?


Maybelline recently released "the Falsies" version of their Volum' Express mascara. Interestingly, it performs very much like the Colossal Volum' Express - though I like the brush better here. The formula is pretty wet, but doesn't seem to clump (yay!) so be careful when applying or you will have some smudging. The brush is what they are calling the "spoon" brush. It's just a bit curved, with the bristles inside the curve being a tad bit shorter than the bristles on the edges. It's great for getting up close to the lash line - but still seems to leave a bit of mascara on my lids. I'm sure I don't have the technique down yet.


As for how this looks when applied - I love the volume I can get with it, and it does do some lengthening. It's not super at lengthening though, so if you want super length you'll need a different mascara. The volume is great, and the color is great. I wouldn't recommend more than 2 coats though or you will start to look like Tammy Fae Baker (spider lashes! scary!). No smudges for about 7 hours, and if you have dry eyelids I would imagine this would be all day. My super oily lids smudge a bit after 7-8 hours.


Overall, this is a good mascara if you have normal to dry lids and are looking for volume and length. If you have oily lids - I'd stick with the Cover Girl LashBlast (orange tube). It appears to be widely available, and I purchased mine at Ulta.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Benefit POREfessional

I believe I mentioned that I needed to sample Benefit POREfessional before buying. Well, sample it I did. Stopped in Ulta last week for a few supplies and decided to check this out. The sample in the store turned out to be a little runnier than the bottle I purchased, but was still a good indicator of how it would work for me.

This is meant as a makeup primer / pore hider. It's oil free (huge plus for the oily skinned girl like me) and can be used under or over makeup. Yep, I said over makeup. It's silky and smooth with just a hint of tint. It blended right over my tinted moisturizer and didn't disturb it. My pores look smaller and smoother after application and appear that way for several hours. The nice thing is that you can touch up with it if you have a dinner date and no time to run home. I thought it fought my usual shine problem very well and compares favorably with my favorite primer - Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector. It also has the added benefit of not affecting the finish of my mineral makeup. It applies smoothly over the POREfessional and has no added shine or texture. 

This is now appearing in several retail chains including Ulta and Sephora for $28. It's fairly pricey and almost double what I pay for the Clinique - but it's a larger bottle, so I'd say it will just stop you from purchasing as often. It's a pretty impressive product and I've been testing it in 90+ degree weather for the last 2 weeks. So its a great consideration for those that have a desire to hide the appearance of their pores and control shine.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette

This has been my one big beauty purchase this summer. Urban Decay always has some of the best shadows, richly pigmented and sometimes a little sparkly. So the Naked kit, with it's neutrals and non-sparkle set of 12 shadows, 2 liners and primer was a steal for $44.

What a terrific set of color. I see several neutral eye looks, and at least 3 smokey eye looks that can be accomplished here. Most neutral eye sets don't include such terrific black / grays along with beautiful dark mauve / pink shades.

Included in this set:
  • Primer Potion - Original
  • Zero 24/7 Eyeliner - black
  • Whiskey 24/7 Eyeliner - brown






Eyeshadow shades:
  • Virgin
  • Sin
  • Naked
  • Sidecar


  • Buck
  • Halfbaked
  • Smog
  • Darkhorse


  • Toasted
  • Hustle
  • Creep
  • Gunmetal



If you are looking for a collection of great matte and shimmer shadows in just about every color you would "need" for any trip - I think this is it. At $44, I don't know that you can get this quality and quantity anywhere else. I'd highly recommend picking this up at Sephora or Urban Decay. Keep in mind, this already sold out at Sephora once and they just announced receiving their second shipment.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Summer Products

Okay - limited budget time. I haven't purchased any new products to review or test out recently - so I don't have much to write about. But I am really interested in a few new products, especially from Benefit and Bobbi Brown. I do have Urban Decay's new Naked palette on the way here, but that's about all I've managed to justify.


So here are some links to reviews and pictures of some of the cool new summer products:


Benefit Scene Queen - New Benefit kit with eyeshadow, blush and a few other goodies. Looks great, but do I really need all that? Checkout Temptalia's review.


Bobbi Brown Denim and Rose - Okay, these colors are really appealing. Pink and navy are just somehow so simple but pretty. Again, I can't seem to justify the purchase after having just received a peach and navy kit from somewhere else. But check out this review at Temptalia if you're interested.


Benefit POREfessional - This looks like an interesting primer product, but at almost $30 - I need a sample size test before springing that much cash for something that appears to be hit or miss. Two reviewers have talked about this one at Gouldylox and the Muse. I'm so picky about primer, that this one could go either way for me.


Urban Decay Vegan Palette - Another great looking shadow palette from Urban Decay. But at this point, I think I have enough Teal / Aqua shadows to last a lifetime. Check out this review at Temptalia.


That about covers the latest releases that I had any interest in. I'll let you know about the Naked palette as soon as it gets here and I can play with it. From all the reviews I've seen - it's smashing!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Skincare Basics

So, being that I review a lot of "beauty" related products, I thought we should at least bring up the topic of skincare. Largely to state that I am NOT an expert in this area. I'm a woman who had pimples until she was about 35 because she was using the wrong products and never could figure out the right products.


Let's just say this is a topic I'm learning about, and I'm trying to go to the right sources. One of the books I picked up at the library a few years ago has quite a cult following. "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me" by Paula Begoun is a real encyclopedia of products, ingredients and information. Her associated website, to which I now subscribe, Beautypedia.com has the most current and updated reviews and information available.


Now, they don't review things as a like or dislike. They review things based on the ingredients and whether they are good for your skin or do what the companies claim. So some of the products I swear by, don't get such great reviews from Paula and her team. But for the most part - I take her information seriously. While my skin may not react to something visibly, an ingredient could be causing damage and that is something I am trying to avoid.


But here is a summary of what I've learned, and it's all rather basic.


1. Anti-oxidants are good - they help fight invisible damage to your skin. This just plain makes your skin look and feel fresher. Anti-oxidants are ingredients like vitamins A, C and E. Paula has an article here about these excellent ingredients. Interestingly enough, one of the best anti-aging ingredients is Retinol which just so happens to be Vitamin A. 


2. Exfoliation is also good - You need to keep your skin fresh and help cell turnover. Scrubs however can be bad. Many are overly abrasive and can actually irritate your skin. There are many ways to exfoliate, and one of the best ways is to use a clean washcloth when washing. Clean is key, I use mine twice, and toss it in the wash. Another great ingredient for exfoliation is an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) or BHA (Salicylic Acid). I'm currently using a 2% salicylic acid gel daily, and it keeps my pores clear and my face generally blemish free. The difference is AHA is water-soluble and BHA is oil-soluble. So AHA's a great for those with drier skin, and BHA's are great for the oily skin folks.


3. Moisture rocks - No matter how oily your skin is, and mine is super oily, you need to keep the moisture in your skin. This is a huge challenge for the western U.S. where the air is so pleasantly dry. (I love living in Colorado, I'm from Chicago and know humidity very well) Finding a good moisturizer is probably the biggest struggle for most people. But I know that if I don't use one, I have very flaky skin. Find a balance is my best advice, and read beautypedia.com for recommendations to try. I'm currently using a lightweight serum with Retinol at night, and a tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 during the day. It's just enough moisture to keep the flakes at bay, but not stimulate more oil.


4. Sunscreen is mandatory - Seriously, do I need to say more about this? Find a great moisturizer with sunscreen and a great foundation with sunscreen. Period. If you want a great tinted moisturizer with Retinol and SPF - look at Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. It's great, inexpensive and available at your local drugstore.


One thing I should mention, Paula also creates her own products in a line called Paula's Choice. I use a few of these, and so far - what I have tried is excellent. The BHA 2% gel has been a skin saver this summer.


I'm not an affiliate of Paula's Choice or beautypedia.com, I just find the information there very useful.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cover Girl LashBlast Fusion

Cover Girl's LashBlast is one of my favorite drugstore mascaras. It's thick and black and builds serious volume on my lashes. They have taken this line and created a lengthening formula and a shimmer formula. Their most recent addition is Fusion which is a combo of the lengthening formula and original volume formula.

I had to hunt for a tube, my local Ulta just didn't have it, nor did Target. I finally found a tube at of all places Wal-mart (which isn't a usual shopping spot for me - but with the new interior re-do, they've certainly eliminated many of my complaints).

I've tried it for a couple days and found it to be a decent mascara for the approx $8 I paid for it. I don't like it as much as the original, but it's pretty good. The volume isn't as good as the original but it does add nice length to my lashes. I still don't love the big thick applicator either - tough to get those tiny lashes with it. But overall this is a good mascara for someone who wants a bit of both volume and length without being extreme in either category.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bare Escentuals Vintage Pearls

So the 3rd installment of the Bare Escentuals Pearls Auto-Delivery from QVC arrived last week. It's called Vintage Pearls and I have to say that it's really a classic look set of colors. Navy and cream being the highlights and an excellent shade of dark Navy eyeliner.

Included in this kit:
  • Antique Pearl eye color - light peach coral
  • Twilight Pearl eye color - blue steel
  • Big & Bright Eyeliner in Midnight - deep Navy
  • Flawless Definition Mascara
  • Vintage Pearl Blush - washed poppy
  • Brightening Pearl Mineral Veil
  • 100% Natural Lipgloss in Glazed Donut - champagne mist
  • Blending Brush
  • Full Tapered shadow brush
  • Flawless fan brush
The eye colors are very pretty and very classic.  Antique pearl is a creamy shade of palest peach and it looks natural on the eye. The Twilight Pearl is a nice shimmery navy color that I thought blended pretty well and made for a nice classic eye (it also happens to match my new USA Soccer jersey which I thought was pretty handy for USA vs. England). They eyeliner shade is just about the most perfect navy I've seen. It's deep and almost black but not quite. It performs like the other ones from previous kits, so it's not an all day stay liner for me - but does pretty well for about 5 hours.

The brushes are pretty basic, though I don't have a fan brush and likely won't use this one - largely because I'm not an artist with my makeup. The full tapered shadow brush is a staple in my kit, so it's good to have a double for travel (it's great for a classic "darker lid" look).

Overall, I like it just as much as the other pearl kits and I suggest you keep your eye on QVC as these kits tend to show up as "specials" on shows about 4-6 months from now. eBay is always another good option for these kits or individual pieces.

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    MAC To the Beach

    Another month and another MAC collection. This time, it's To the Beach and it's really retro and pretty.
    I know this topic has been written about on several blogs, and they all got me excited to try a few of the products. I selected a lip gloss, eyeshadow and Marine Life highlight powder.

    The eyeshadow in Shimmermoss is a beautiful teal that is highly pigmented and very shimmery. But it works well with a few of my more shimmery Bare Escentuals colors as a base and I quite like the shade.

    The lip gloss (Tinted Lip Glass) in Easy Lounger is a true pink. It's not as sheer as my Buxoms, but it's a great fun summer color that really stands out on the lips. It lasts a couple hours as well which I really like, and seems to nice and moisturizing.

    The Marine Life highlight powder has not yet shown up, back-ordered to extinction I'm afraid. But here is an excellent review of this sold out shade.

    A few of the colors are still available at MAC and Nordstrom. Or if you want to search eBay...

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

    Make Up For Ever is a line at Sephora that always has interesting products. I love their Aqua Eyes eye liner, it doesn't smudge or budge on my oily lids. One of their new products this summer is the Aqua Creams. They come in 22 colors and are formulated for either eyes or cheeks / lips. 


    I purchased 2 colors that are for the eyes, shade 21 (turquoise) and shade 3 (silver). These are billed as waterproof and smudgeproof creams. I'll give this to you in 2 categories - the Good and the Bad.


    The GOOD - Color payoff is excellent! I love the intensity of the shades and the even color they provide. They are very slick to apply and blend very easily. No sparse pigment here people, just intense color.


    The BAD - Oh did they ever smudge and smear. I was expecting great things. Several bloggers gave them the thumbs up, but they must not have oil slicks for eyelids like I do. I thought because the eye liner pencils are so great, that these would hold up just as well. I was severely disappointed. I ended up with a big silver streak in my crease. Not attractive.


    In summary - these were a total bummer. If you have dry lids - they will work amazing for you, I even think those with normal skin can make them work. But if your lids are oily, forget it. The whole point of something smudgeproof is for it to NOT SMUDGE. I don't want to use primer with cream shadows, I want them to stick like the Bobbi Brown long wear Cream Shadows. All in all that was a waste of $40. Two excellent colors, two complete meltdowns.

    Monday, May 24, 2010

    My Summer Favorites

    Well, I'm out of new products at the moment. I thought I would go over some of the previous posts with the intent of reminding you of some of my summer favorites.


    All of these products for one reason or another are essentials in my makeup kit and all are long wearing. I'm really looking forward to that lighter and easier makeup season this summer. Our community pool opens this holiday weekend and you can expect to see me in my waterproof LashBlast and SPF 30+.

    Here's to summer. Cheers!

    Monday, May 17, 2010

    MAC Cosmetics Greasepaint Sticks

    The MAC Cosmetics line has all kinds of interesting and fun products. They come out with new lines almost every month it seems. These items are from the Art Supplies line that came out a few months ago. 

    I'm always looking for interesting products and from the reviews I read, the Greasepaint Sticks were really cool and came in some excellent colors. They are billed as eye crayons and seem to have a nice build-able coverage. In other words you can build up the intensity of the color on the eye. 

    I picked these up in 2 shades and I must say the color is awesome. I got Dirty and Uniformly Blue, and love both of them. Dirty is a gunmetal shade and Uniformly Blue is an excellent navy. These are fatter than an eyeliner, so are in theory are great for sultry eye. I absolutely loved the color of both sticks.

    They also applied very easily, slid on and I was able to blend the color on my lid to get a great smokey look. But they were a complete disappointment in the wear category. They are billed to be water-resistant and long wearing. My oily eyelids creased them after about 2 hours. I tried them on top of my Clinique Touch Base for Eyes the next day, and they creased again. I haven't tried them over my Urban Decay Primer Potion yet - but the whole point was that they were supposed to be long wearing without primer.

    Overall, the concept and colors are terrific, but if you have oily lids they don't last. I'll let you know if I try them with my Primer Potion, but I'm currently so bummed out about them that it might be a while.

    Available at MAC stores and online.

    5/17 - Editor's Note: I tested these with Primer Potion today, and while the primer managed to stop the creasing and smearing - it also made them impossible to blend! My favorite part of them is the blending. So yes, I'm still disappointed and will continue to experiment on how to use them best.

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Instant Self Tan

    It's self tanner time, at least for me. Spring is no time to be blinding your co-workers and self with exceptionally pale skin. But I'm not a fan of "orange" tanners either, so it's tricky to not look like a pumpkin. 

    Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy line has a few self tanners, and Instant Self Tan Lotion appealed to me. I've had good luck with the tinted instant dry type of tanners. They look brown when you apply, and tan nicely as opposed to some kind of orange shade. I picked this one up on a whim and have to say I really like it.

    It's brown and shimmery when squeezed from the tube. Applies very sheer, but with enough of a tint that it allows you to avoid the standard streaks that come with most self tanner. It gives you a bit of a tan tinge and the scent is a combination of oranges and coconuts. It has very little of the nasty "chemical" smell you get with most tanners. All of this was pretty impressive. Most impressive was the tan I got after a nice full day of wear, not orange and tinted just enough to take off the white glow of spring from my arms. I wouldn't recommend wearing with a white t-shirt or bra because you will get some transfer of the product. Those are safe for the next day, post shower. But for the most part, it dries and does not rub off. Neither is it sticky or slimy. 

    Like I said, I was surprised and impressed with this product and think it will be a repeat purchase. Retail price is $12, but they are currently running a special - 2 for $20.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Laura Geller Chocolate Volume 2 - Berry

    I received the Volume 2 auto-delivery from QVC of the Laura Geller Delectable Chocolate plan. This volume is Berry themed and very pretty.

    For a full review of the products, please see Volume 1 here.
    This kit includes:
    • Balance -n- Brighten in Fair (my choice)
    • Blush -n- Brighten in Berry
    • Marble Eyeshadow in Raspberry Creme Truffle
    • Eyeliner Pencil in Eggplant
    • Shine & Shield Lip Gloss in Fresco Berry
    The colors are all so pink and spring. The lip gloss is absolutely strawberry and just so fun and pink. The eyeliner is in the ever popular color this spring - eggplant. I have to say, it's just like the Bare Escentuals kit shade so I feel like I just got a duplicate. They seem to perform similarly, so I won't be running out of eggplant eyeliner any time soon.

    I think my two favorites in the kit are the eyeshadow and the blush. This is a pretty popular shade of Laura's blush and is a great pink shade that I think works pretty well with most skin tones. It looks great on me and I'm almost out of my current pot. The eyeshadow is a beautiful bronze raspberry shade that is great dry, but really shines when used with a wet brush. It just brings out the deep intensity of the color. 

    Overall, I really like the kit for spring and if you didn't get in on the auto-delivery you can likely pick it up on eBay new. I like this method for picking up individual items that maybe the buyer didn't like, but you love (seriously the eyeshadow and blush are worth it).


    I purchased this kit.

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Burberry Summer Fragrance

    My last trip to Sephora ended in a surprise fragrance purchase. I might have mentioned this before, but I'm a complete sucker for Burberry fragrances. I have not met one that I don't like, and these are the only fragrances I've ever "used up" outside of that one Liz Claiborne bottle in high school. 

    So when the fragrance sales lady hit me up while I was cleaning tester samples off my hand - I was putty in her hands. She spritzed the two latest Burberry scents for me Burberry Brit Sheer and Burberry Classic Summer. I liked them both. The Sheer was just that, fresh with scent of light peony and grapes. The Summer had me at the get go - warm and citrus with a hint of rose. It was love at first sniff and there was no way I walking out without it. Fortunately I had a bit of left over gift card cash to help me along, though it's pretty reasonably priced at $50 for a 1.7oz bottle.

    I know fragrance is a personal thing, but if you're looking for a great Mother's Day gift - I'd highly suggest either of these for the fabulous women in our lives that are our mothers. Neither is overpowering, and both are perfect for summer. My mother has the best garden in town - so almost any scent with rose or peony makes me think of her.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    Urban Decay De-Slick Spray

    Urban Decay's spring line has some new and innovative products. The first thing I read about and HAD to have was one of their makeup setting sprays. They have several new models that they partnered with Skindivinia to create. Amongst the best setting sprays going are those made by Skindivinia, so to see Urban Decay partner with them to bring these to the masses really is exciting stuff.


    I choose the De-Slick model as it's summer coming around the corner and I simply get oilier and oilier with each passing month. This spray is meant to keep the oil at bay and everything looking fresh. I've been testing this over the last few weeks in conjunction with my regular routine.


    I've found that it does make my face a little shiny when applied after makeup. I've got my makeup application down such that it's usually matte unless I'm sweating when applying. I give this 2 spritzes and let it set. It seems to bring out the pores I just concealed and the wrinkles I just blended. I don't like either the shine or the pores, so that didn't thrill me. So I started spritzing to just set the foundation, then applying my Mineral Veil over the top. This kept the pores and shine in check without affecting the purpose of the spray.


    As for it's oil-control and staying power, I thought it did a pretty good job of controlling the daily oil production. My makeup stayed put slightly longer than usual - but not enough so that I just HAD to keep using  daily. I think it this is more of a special occasion product for me, as the products I use daily seem to do well enough with staying power and oil control. But if you are struggling to find those products, you surely should give one of the setting sprays a try.


    The setting sprays come in several flavors all meant to work with various skin types. They retail for $29 and can be had through Urban Decay.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Neutrogena Healthy Skin Tinted Moisturizer

    Spring is trying to settle in here in Colorado - though Winter is making it a tough go, woke up to 2 inches of slush on April 7th. I am starting to plan when it's time to switch from my winter "super moist" routine to my summer "oil control" plan.


    My current favorite summer tinted moisturizer is one from Neutrogena. I LOVE the Healthy Skin Enhancer in Fair to Light for summer. It's slightly darker than my winter color and controls oil like nothing I have found yet in a moisturizer. It's also highly ranked at Beautypedia and when they like the ingredients, so do I.


    This product is SPF 20, which is huge around here in the summer, for sun protection. It also includes a good amount of Retinol and anti-oxidants. This stuff is all good for your skin, and the kind of thing that is in night treatments. I say, why not treat your skin during the day too. 


    This product is not "officially" an oil-control product, but for whatever reason, I think it works pretty well at the oil-control game. Granted, I use my primer over it - but in summer I need some extra help and I think this manages just fine.  If you are super-fair skinned, you may have trouble finding a shade. The rest of us will do well with the shades available.


    Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer is priced around $12 and is available at Ulta and your local drugstores and supermarkets. 

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Bare Escentuals Sailor Girls Buxom Babes

    Another great Buxom Babes collection for this spring from Bare Escentuals is the Sailor Girls. Yes, I am totally in love with these glosses. So of course I had to break my self imposed buying ban to pick these up. 



    The colors described by BE:
    • Mini Marina Buxom (island plum)
    • Mini Skipper Buxom (juicy coral)
    • Mini Misty Buxom (sparkling sand dollar)
    • Mini Sunny Buxom (golden sunrise)
    They seem to have a bit more shimmer than the regular glosses without being actually glittery like the holiday collections. I really like the colors included as a real deep coral shade is in this bunch. I have had a thing for coral lip shades forever (my signature lipstick in college was a shade of bright coral) and most of the Buxom glosses are so sheer that the coral factor is diminished. Not with this most excellent shade, so I think Skipper is my favorite.

    These are available at Bare Escentuals, Sephora, QVC and other retailers for $28. If you're looking for great summer pocket glosses - give these a try.

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    Bare Escentuals Exotic Pearls Collection

    As part of the Pearls Auto-Delivery program from Bare Escentuals and QVC, I received my second installment last week called Exotic Pearls.
    It included:
    • Exotic Pearl eyeshadow (winter sage)
    • Black Pearl eyeshadow (smoky violet)
    • Big & Bright eyeliner in Plum
    • Flawless Definition Mascara in Black
    • Pearl Blossom blush (pink geranium)
    • Brightening Pearl Mineral Veil
    • 100% Natural lip gloss in 7 Layer Cake
    • 3 brushes - Tapered Crease Defining, Fast & Flawless, Angled Face
    I really like the eye colors as they blend well and have a fabulous shimmer. Purple isn't my favorite color but darn if it doesn't look great with my blue eyes and fair skin. The plum eyeliner is also a great shade, better than the black from the last kit. Though, I'm not impressed with the lasting power of this liner. Wore it all day Saturday and by the end of the day it was no longer a line, but a smudge of what used to be there. The blush is a great color - but again, I didn't swatch it because I probably won't use it. I love the pale pink lip gloss, though it really is sheer and has hardly any color payoff. Though, it is moisturizing and feels good on the lips.

    The other nice bit of the kit is the booklet with a nice face chart of one look you can create with the colors. These are a great getting started point for the beginner or people like me who like ideas and pictures.

    The colors are fabulous for spring and the kit in general cheered me up, because it's just so girly. These are colors I haven't loved since grade school but will definitely be using this spring for fun.


    While this kit is not yet available from QVC as a kit, you can probably find it on eBay if you're really interested.


    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Makeup For Ever Aqua Eyes Eye Liner

    I've been picking items out of my stash to write about lately since I've put myself on a bit of a makeup purchase "slow-down". I've been on hiatus, so I don't have anything "new and fabulous" to tell you about. Having written about the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils, I thought I would write about one of the other pencil liners that I like.


    Enter Make up For Ever Aqua Eyes liner pencils. These are sold by Sephora,run $17 a piece and come in amazing array of colors. Shades are yellow to black to everything in between. I picked one up because I was specifically looking for teal and found the perfect one. They work similarly to the 24/7 pencils but are not quite as creamy. Otherwise, they do last and are waterproof (to an extent, won't run - but don't rub your eyes when they are wet!).
    What does this mean to you? Well, they won't apply as quickly and easily as the Urban Decay because they are harder. But they do have great color pigmentation and staying power. They also don't smudge as easily but that wasn't a consideration for my purpose. I like liner in a line, and smudging is for my Shadow Liners.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Laura Geller Bronze -n- Brighten

    Spring is trying to make an appearance here, at least it did - until winter gave it a nice smack down yesterday. But it does make me want a little bit more color on my face than my awesome Too Faced Snow Bunny is providing. So I'm back to my favorite bronzer, Laura Geller Bronze-n-Brighten.


    Please excuse my photograph for showing more of the base pan than the actual product. It does prove how much I love this bronzer. It's a beautiful swirl of browns and tans and pinks that when applied looks like a tan rather than a pumpkin. It comes in both a regular shade (shown here) and the Fair which has a bit less of the brown. For me, the Fair would be fine in the winter - but I do get a touch of color in the summer so I prefer the regular shade. It doesn't clog my pores, or look dirty on my skin. For me this is the ideal bronzer almost year round. Obviously, I'm going to need another compact of this product, so I'm shopping for the best deals.


    Available at Laura Geller's Website with a brush, QVC without a brush and in a great Starter Kit if you've never tried her products. Laura Geller is also available at the new CVS Beauty360 stores and online.

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liners

    Out of curiosity, I purchased the Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner 3 piece kit from QVC a while back. I wanted something smudgy and smoky in one swipe. We all know that most eyeliners can be smudged to give a sultry look, but we also know that this requires a little technique and some eyeshadow to get it just right. These liners were demonstrated as a "no-fuss" smudgy look.


    I have to give them serious credit. They are really smudge proof once applied. I can attest to the waterproof-ness as well, it definitely required waterproof makeup remover. The kit on QVC comes with a stiff tapered brush that allows a thinner application or a wider line. The formula has a little play time to allow a finger smudge once applied and then it sets. I have the Spotlight and Envy shades which are plum and a shimmery black. You can apply them thinly as a liner using a different brush, but what is the fun in that? The #30 brush makes it so easy to get a smoky eye look without all the mess and work. The plum Spotlight shade surprised me in how much I like it for a less intense look, but still smoky and sultry. The black Envy is very intense and so far, I've only used it for my Halloween makeup. I'm so fair skinned, that it's not fair for it to be in my kit. Someone with darker skin would find this color fabulous and shimmery (Very similar to Sarah Jessica Parker's Oscar look).


    Both Sephora and the Smashbox website are now selling these in duo kits, which I find interesting as they have a lighter shade presumably to blend with the darker shade on the eye. I think the real gem of the Shadow Liner is the #30 brush which I don't see sold separately on their website. I see the #15 brush which appears similar, so definitely get the brush with the Shadow Liner - you won't be disappointed.
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