Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bare Escentuals Prime Time

Being that I have oily / combo skin, foundation primer is an absolute must have. Granted, I didn't know this until a few years ago. It certainly stopped the issue I've always had with makeup and the "gone by 3pm" syndrome. The very first primer I tried was Bare Escentuals Prime Time in the original formula. It now comes in an Oil Free formula as well - I'll tell you about both products.


bareMinerals Prime Time Foundation Primer 1 oz.Original Prime Time is a nice slippery primer meant to put a barrier between your skin / moisturizer / oil and your foundation. It's a silicone primer with Vitamins C and E, and just slides right over your skin. I like this because it doesn't disturb my tinted moisturizer. It makes a nice smooth matte surface for applying your minerals or whatever other foundation you like. I've found it lasts probably 5-6 hours on my oily skin without touch ups. Even then, I just blot and do a quick dusting of powder to look great again. Overall, this is a pretty good primer comparable to Smashbox's Photofinish in both ingredients and behavior on my skin. If you are more of a combo to dry skin person, you won't experience the breakthrough oil that I see mid-day. This also hides some of that dry skin flakiness you see by smoothing the skin's surface (which I like especially in the winter).

Bare Escentuals Prime Time foundation primer oil controlThe Oil Control version is a different story. It does not contain silicone, but is water based with Witch Hazel and glycerine. I really don't like this formula at all, it's too wet and messes with my tinted moisturizer during application. It also "tingled" a bit, which is clearly related to the Witch Hazel (which I don't really like much - my skin has always seemed sensitive to it). I also found that when I applied my minerals they seemed shiny when used over top this primer. Not a look an oily skinned girl appreciates. There are many people who really like this version of the product - but not me. So while I'm not impressed with this version, it might be worth trying a sample if you are super oily and not looking for application over tinted moisturizer. Otherwise, I give this version a no-go.

I don't mind silicone in my primer - some people are very sensitive to it. So if you know it's a problem, you might like the Oil Control version. I am in the other party who doesn't like Witch Hazel and does like silicone - so the regular formula is my choice.

Both products are priced at $21 and can be purchased in the Bare Escentuals Boutiques, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom and Amazon.com among other retailers.

I purchased this product.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Smashbox Get Sexy kit

I just can't resist telling you about a good deal. I had a review all lined up for today - but then found out that Smashbox is on QVC today with an amazing deal. I've been impressed with what Smashbox products I've used so far, but don't have very many of their kits. 


So - the Get Sexy kit is the QVC Today's Special Value - today, Monday 2/22/10. It's a 7 piece kit, all full size products and under $50. Yes, I said under $50. The colors are all purple / mauve shades and really beautiful for spring. These things usually sell out, and the great price goes away at midnight ET.


The descriptions from QVC:



  • face and body highlighter in Allure, a light shimmery gold
  • jet set liner in Vamp, a deep purple
  • lip enhancing gloss in Smitten, a nude
  • lip enhancing gloss in Lust, a deep red berry
  • creamy cheek color in Captivate, a rose
  • eye shadow quad in Charm, with sand, lavender, lilac, and deep purple
  • limitless eyeliner in Smoke, a deep smoky purple

Jet Set is their signature eyeliner, and is waterproof and pretty impressive. The eye shadows never disappoint because they are always well pigmented and apply smoothly. I like their lip glosses as well, though I have tried this particular model.


If you want a nice kit to vamp up your spring colors - I highly recommend this one largely due to the incredible price.


I am not affiliated with QVC or Smashbox, this kit just looks awesome.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nars Blush

Well, I know I talk about blush often enough and that I don't like Bare Escentuals blushes. But I don't think I've answered the question of "what blush do you like?" The answer is NARS powder blushes. There is just something to be said for a quick swipe of a brush across a palette and then the cheek. No fuss.


I have 2 shades of Nars blush in Orgasm and Outlaw. Orgasm gets rave reviews everywhere you go because it really is the perfect peachy pink shade. It goes with almost every skin tone and looks fabulous on me both in the winter and summer (an accomplishment). It's got some shimmer to it, so if you don't like shimmer - I wouldn't look their direction. I like it, as it acts as blush and highlighter in one. This stuff has some staying power as well and doesn't fade for at least 6 hours.


Outlaw is an awesome dusty rose shade that is low on shimmer. I had a L'oreal blush (my first blush in fact) in this shade for years and it just works with my pale skin. Again, the staying power is really fabulous for any blush (most fade on me after 3-4 hours, so getting a whole day out of one application is amazing).


Now, I will say this - don't shop for blush online unless you trust the website swatches. I purchased 2 blushes through Sephora.com and had to return one of them. Outlaw looked pink on the website, and turned out to be a deeper rose shade. The other one I ordered was what I thought to be rose, and was brown when I  received it. So the colors are misleading. You are much better off shopping in store for blush. I am going to send you to another blog for excellent swatches, no one does a better job of swatching than Karla Sugar. Keep in mind, this is not what I would call "cheap" blush, they run $26 a piece. But the payoff in both color and wear is worth it.


That being said, NARS blushes are available at the NARS website, Sephora, department stores and Amazon.com.


I am an affiliate of NARS and Amazon, but purchased this product.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bobbi Brown long wear Cream Eye Shadow

I had never tried, let alone heard of cream eye shadow before I found this product. I had only ever seen powder shadows either in mineral form or pressed in trays. So I started doing research about long wear products for eyes since my lids are so oily and crease-prone. What I found was Bobbi Brown long wear Cream Eye Shadow is the best at put it on and forget it.


Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow StoneI went to the counter to try this product as it seemed like it needed a bit of expertise in the application area. The makeup artist explained that it needs a stiff synthetic brush for application because of the long wear formula. Fluffy wasn't going to cut it for this creamy stuff. They then did a very simple application of Bellini as an all over color, and Stone as the lid shade. I asked for a neutral "wear to work" look, and this was perfect. I didn't want to buy them until I had walked around the mall for a while to see if they creased or not. If something is going to crease on me it does it quickly, so I just went shopping. They held the colors for me as I did my "trial".


Not a single crease after 2 hours, not even after 9 hours. This stuff is simple, pretty and incredibly hardy. There are 20 shades listed on the website, most of which are very neutral and pretty. some of the most popular colors are Ballet Pink, Navajo and Bone. People use the darker shades like Steel and Slate as lid / contour shades. It requires pretty precise application for multiple shades as it doesn't "blend" like powder shadows. But I use my finger to apply Ballet Pink and Bellini regularly, as I use them for a quick single shades. Powder shadows can be used over them, so if you want a beautiful crease-free base for a powder lid or contour shade - these are wonderful.


The shades are either shimmer-free or slightly shimmery. The newer Metallic line is where the glitz and glam come in to play. These are fun, though I would recommend wearing them as single shades - it's very hard to blend the metallics.


These shadows at $22 can be purchased at Bobbi Brown counters, Amazon, QVC and the Cosmetic Company Store at your local outlet mall. They don't have the latest colors, but will give you a good price on them so I always check there for shades from "last season".


I purchased this product. Photo is clockwise left to right - Ballet Pink, Bellini, Stone

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Skin Revival Treatment

I am no skin care expert, but believe you need to know what you are putting on your skin. I do a lot of reading on sites like Beautypedia.com where the science of skin care and makeup is taken into account of the product ratings. If you read sites like that, you will find that this is one product where I'm completely ignoring the advice of experts. Largely because I think it's giving me results where other products have failed.


bareMinerals RareMinerals Night Skin Revival Treatment - Clear .15 oz.On to the Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Skin Revival Treatment. It was the first in the RareMinerals line, which is their skin care line. The formula includes Vitamin C and Vitamin A. I started using this about 3 years ago, when I was saying to myself "I'm in my mid-thirties now, why does my skin look like an 18-year old?" (and I wasn't talking about wrinkles folks...). I haven't been without my "magic dirt" since.


What I've found is that my forehead - previously full of tiny pimples, that products like Proactiv only made worse, was completely clear. Zero pimples on my forehead, nose, chin or cheeks. This seemed like a miracle after 20 years or so of fighting oily and breakout prone skin. I have also found that the red rosacea patch on my cheek noticeably smaller and less irritated. I also think my skin is smoother and less splotchy looking as well. 


This product works as a night treatment, and I usually put it on last after a good moisturizer. Without it the product can be drying, so I wait for the moisturizer to absorb and pat on my magic dirt. I can't give you science behind it - I just know that I no longer fight with blemishes on a regular basis. Just one or two small ones will crop up occasionally, and I use this with a brush to treat those by just dabbing some on directly. I also have changed my routine to only use this on my oily "t-zone" during the winter to keep down the drying on my cheeks. There are folks out there who find it incredibly drying, so if you're dry to start it might not be the best product for you.


It comes in several shades if you are looking for night time coverage, or clear (which I use). It's available for purchase at several locations for $60, including the Bare Escentuals boutiques, Sephora, and Amazon.com.


I have purchased this product on several occasions.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Too Faced Shadow Insurance

Eyelid primers are just about mandatory for me if I want to wear eyeshadow. I've already talked about the amazing Urban Decay model, which got me interested and sold on primer. I'd like to talk about another really terrific primer from Too Faced called Shadow Insurance.


Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer .35 fl oz (11 g)Shadow Insurance is a silicone based primer with a slight skin tint to it. It evens out the color of your eyelids (mine have purple veins - I'm fair skinned, this happens), but is not heavily pigmented so skin tone matching is not an issue. I also like that it is non-shimmery so it just tints the eyelids and preps them for shadow. This stuff, like any other primer is "sticky", so I like to apply a nude shadow over it to start my colors so that they blend easier. 


As for long wear? Yep, long wearing. I did a full test drive of this product on a work trip a few weeks ago. I had very long days, and didn't have to touch up at all after 9 hours. Nothing creased or faded. It also didn't have the tell-tale itch of some of the eye primers I've tested (Smashbox itches for me after a few hours). 


Shadow Insurance is another great primer for eyes. I've got one more eye primer which I think is fabulous and will eventually write up for you (it's from Clinique!). I was tipped off about it by a friend and reader, and you don't have to put it in your travel baggie.


Too Faced is available at their website, Ulta, Sephora, and Amazon just to name a few, and is priced at $17.

I received a sample with purchase.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Anyone else having serious dry skin this winter? My skin feels crispy almost every day no matter how much lotion I use. Some of this comes from having a complete addiction to fancy scented body washes, the rest is attributed to the Colorado arid climate. Well, I found a new body wash at the drugstore to help combat this dry feeling.

The Dove Deep Moisture body wash with Nutrium is pretty impressive. Usually I get out of the shower and instantly itch. When I'm done after using this, my skin feels much softer and less irritated. I still slather on the lotion, but this takes the edge off and my lotion lasts longer. There is all kinds of science behind the Nutrium - but the bottom line is that it really acts as a moisturizer in the shower. 

The scent is nice and clean, and my husband has taken to using it as well to help fight the winter itch. It's not the foamiest formula, but it does get you clean along with a nice shot of moisturizer. If you don't feel like spending $15-$20 on the "latest" scent, but around $5 on something that works for your skin, I'd suggest the Dove Deep Moisture body wash.

It's available at your local grocery and drugstores.

I purchased this product out of desperation.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Mascara

I mentioned a few blogs ago that I kept receiving this mascara in several kits. After 3 kits with full sized tubes, I decided it was time to give it a serious look-see.

bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara - Black 0.33 oz The Flawless Definition Mascara is new this summer to the bareMinerals line and is probably their best mascara. I have not been impressed with any of them to this point. This one has a nice skinny brush with the rubber bristles. I really think these types of brushes do a great job of defining and separating lashes.

 This formula is great, it has a good amount of volume building as well as lengthening and defining. I love how long my lashes look and how separated they get with this brush. I was surprised by the volume I was able to build after two coats as that has never happened with one of their mascaras. It's soft on the lashes, washes off easily and guess what - it doesn't smudge! So this meets all my requirements, without being overly pricey.

I've seen it on Amazon for around $14-$15, retail from the boutiques is $18.

One thing to note, is that I'm not so sure about the tube / dispenser. After about 2 weeks, my tube and wand are pretty gunked up with mascara which is causing my brush to be gunked up. I don't know if the bottle I received is faulty - but I would love to know if anyone else has experienced issues with it.
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