Monday, December 8, 2014

Makeup Review: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

ProductToo Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

Review: I looooove this primer. Love it. I got a little sample tube from Sephora, and I was actually a little depressed when I ran out. I had too many other little primer samples to use up, so I haven't bought it yet, but I plan on it!

This primer comes out as sort of a beige color, but it goes on clear. It feels a little silicone-y, but not enough to bother me. Excessive silicone feel is one of my big primer pet peeves, so I'm always happy to find one that works really well and doesn't squick me out during the application process. Anyway, you only need a tiny amount to cover your whole face, and I think a whole tube would last me for at least 6 months with daily use. Which it should, if you're plunking down $30 for it.

However, the best part of this primer is how damn amazing it makes your skin look under foundation. I had no idea a primer could make such a huge difference in the appearance of my skin, but holy balls, this stuff is great. I've tried it with liquid and powder foundations with awesome results, and it makes your makeup last all day long. I would get home and be amazed that my makeup looked pretty much the same as it did in the morning, and that's with me being a chronic face-toucher during the work day (horrible, I know, I know. It's a wonder I don't have more pimples than I do). Oh, and I didn't use setting spray with it either. That's how awesome it worked for me. I definitely preferred it over Hourglass's Veil primer, which I will review in the next couple weeks or so.

All in all, I think it is definitely worth all the hype and I'll happily pay for it once I run out of some of my other crap. Plus, I think this would work for most skin types. I have very dry combo skin with sporadically oily t-zone, and it seemed to keep my cheeks moisturized while controlling the oil on my nose and chin. It didn't cause any issues for my skin, but my skin isn't all that sensitive, so I can't speak for the sensitive-skinned people. But if your skin isn't all that sensitive, I think you'd find this primer to be a worthy investment.

I should ask for it for Christmas! Gonna go add it to my list now....

Rated Beauty Grade: A

Price: $30

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Makeup Review: Too Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool

ProductToo Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool

Review: I really love this in theory. I'm an impatient person and, while I love the look that tightlining gives me, I haaaaate actually doing it. I find it time consuming and persnickety, and in the mornings, I am not in the mood to painstakingly dot between my damn lashes.

If this liner worked the way I'd like it to work, we'd be best friends. And it sort of does work like it's supposed to. The 3 prongs cut my tightlining time in half, and I am able to create a nice cat eye with it. Sounds delightful, right? It's not every day you come across such a handy eyeliner, and I would love to give it high marks based on the convenience alone. Unfortunately, the formula blows.

 Everything great about this liner is nullified by the shittiness of the actual liner formula. Oh, sure, it looks nice at first. Sure, when you apply it, you have to go over it a couple times, but I can overlook some things. At least the end product looks nice! And then it fucking disappears after a couple hours like Harry Potter disapparated it off your face. First, it smudges. Then, it fades. And then it's just gone.

I don't have oily skin. I wear eyeshadow primer. I have tried out this liner with 4 different primers and not one of them will keep the end result looking fresh at the end of the day. I will admit that I'm a bit spoiled after discovering Stila's awesome liner, but when a $22 liquid liner refuses to stick around for a full 8 hours, I have no patience for it. Also, since it's supposed to go so close to your waterline, why the hell isn't it a long-wearing/waterproof formula? Grrrrr....

If they changed the formula, I would happily give it an A, but until then, I remain displeased with it.

(BTW - I have seen some reviews lauding it's performance. Reviews seem to be either YAY or MEH. Perhaps Too Faced suffers from some production inconsistencies?)

Rated Beauty Grade: C-

Price: $22

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Skincare Review: Ole Henriksen Truth Revealed™ Vitamin C Super Crème SPF 15

Product: Ole Henriksen Truth Revealed™ Vitamin C Super Crème SPF 15

Review: I am really picky with daily facial moisturizers. Because I have combo skin that is SUPER dry in the cheeks, I tend to go with really heavy lotions that moisturize the ever loving crap out of my face. The only problem with that is they tend to take forever to sink in enough for my foundation to adhere, and I get resentful that I could have spent those 5 minutes sleeping in the morning. Who isn't a morning person? This bitch! Woo!

And then I found this product. The only other Ole Henriksen product I've fallen in love with. This moisturizer is probably the shit they slather on angels in heaven. It's sooooo creamy, and nice smelling (slightly herby oranges!), and luxurious. I've tried moisturizers from La Mer to Shiseido to Lancome to Estee Lauder and on and on. This is the first one I've really, truly fallen in love with because it is amazing for my skin and works as a legit day cream. My skin, like, eats this up. It absorbs so well! I don't have to wait 5-10 minutes before applying my makeup. More like 1. Or 30 seconds. Miraculous! And it has some SPF that doesn't make my face look super shiny, like a lot of SPF moisturizers do. Instead, it's just a perfect, wondrous moisturizer that makes my skin super soft and hydrated all day long. Plus, it works in tandem with the Truth Serum (yes, I caved and bought the full size) to keep my pesky freckles at bay and make my pores look tiny.

This product is also marketed as an anti-aging moisturizer. No moisturizer is going to make you look 20 forever, but I have found that it does a great job at erasing those fine lines that are beginning to sneak up on me (I'm 27, and I'm hyper-vigilant about this stuff, because I don't want to look like a sharpei in my old age). I noticed a really faint line at the corner of my mouth last month, and now I can't find it. SCORE!

I will say that I don't think this moisturizer would be ideal for people with very oily t-zones or oily skin in general. It absorbs like crazy into my skin, but I have a dry face. Because it's so thick and creamy, I just can't see it behaving the same way on oily skin. Also, I have seen a couple negative reviews about it stinging people's eyes. Um... it's a sunscreen moisturizer. How are they getting it into their eyes? Rubbing their eyes maybe with it still on their fingers? I have no idea, because I have had zero problems with it and I definitely put it all over my eye area. Carefully. Like you should with all products that go on your face. Am I sounding super bitchy? Eh, don't care.

All in all, I just love this stuff so damn much. Will this stop me from looking for budget dupes? Haha, no. I'm a "champagne tastes on a Franzia budget" kinda girl, cause I gotta pay those student loans... But until I find something cheaper that's comparable, I am sticking with this product for my pre-foundation moisturization needs until they stop making it.

Grade: A+ (but probably not for oily-skinned people)

Price: $55

Where to Buy: Sephora

Friday, May 30, 2014

Skincare Review: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum® Vitamin C Collagen Booster

ProductOle Henriksen Truth Serum® Vitamin C Collagen Booster

Review: It's been a really long time, and I think I've finally got a decent arsenal of products to review, so I'm going to attempt to start up this blog again. But no promises! We might get attacked by aliens or the zombie apocalypse might occur, and that might put a damper on my plans... Anyway, since I'm stressing myself out way too much about what new facial regimen to buy this week (too many options! I am overwhelmed!), I figured I might as well review all the Ole Henriksen products I've been using for the last couple months (travel sets are the best!). To stay with the Ole regimen or try something new? That is the dilemma.. one that hopefully blogging will help me resolve.

I'm going to start out with my favorite Ole Henriksen product, the Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster. It's awesome and it smells like fresh oranges - not in a fake artificial way, but in a tasty I-would-like-to-eat-this kind of way. The scent fades really quickly, so the scent-sensitive should be fine with it. When you prepare to slather it on your freshly-washed face, you only need about a lentil-sized amount. It's not too watery and it absorbs really quickly.

As with most serums, you apply this stuff under your normal moisturizer. I've used around 3 or 4 different moisturizers over it and haven't experienced any adverse effects. On the contrary, it makes my face sooooo smooth and soft. Way more so than if I just use my moisturizers alone. Also, it fades my freckles to a delightful level of paleness, and I love that it does so without retinol.  You can wear it in the morning, you can wear it at night. YAY! Plus, it's not oily, it absorbs quickly, and it doesn't dry out your skin, so I think it would work for all skin types.

Basically, out of the 7 Ole products I have tried so far, this is hands down the first one I would pay full price for. It's not cheap, but the bottle should last at least 6 months, if not more.

Grade: A

Price: $48

Where to Buy: Sephora

Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Covergirl Lash Blast Clump Crusher

Product: Covergirl Lash Blast Clump Crusher

Review: I think this is hands-down one of the best mascaras I've tried, and I've tried a freaking amount of mascaras. When I'm not wearing makeup, it pretty much looks like I have no lashes, because they're short-ish, fine, and have no natural curl to them. So, I've been looking all over for a mascara that makes my lashes look long, lush and basically more like my little sister's, who has lashes to kill for. Seriously. Why did I have to get the wimpy lash genes? UGH. So jealous. Anyway...

When I use this mascara, my lashes are insanely long and separated. It looks like I was naturally blessed with perfect lashes, meaning it's versatile enough for dramatic and everyday looks. I always apply it after curling my lashes, using the side-to-side-then-blink method of application and I normally only use the "comb" side first, because I like to control exactly how much is applied.

Thus far, I haven't had any issues with clumping or flaking, which apparently some people have experienced. I have seen a flake here or there if I accidentally mess with my lashes, but that's a given with a lot of mascaras out there, even the high-end ones. If you rub your eyes, you're going to have messed up mascara. It's only logical. As for clumping, I wonder if it's an application thing, because the way I do it, it's pretty impossible for my lashes to clump up. I think it could also be a formula thing, like a bad batch, because my current tube is pretty damn clumpless.

Either way, the brush is awesome. So much length! So much separation! I plan on washing and saving the brushes every time I run out of this stuff, because no brush has ever separated and defined my lashes in such a magical fashion. In my opinion, it does a better job with my lashes than any other mascara out there, because it doesn't create volume by glomping all my lashes together into sad spider legs that I have to spend ages combing out. Winning all around! But not if you get a batch that clumps and flakes excessively, I guess.

Grade: B+ (points deducted for possible manufacturing issues)

Price: $7-ish

Where to buy: Any place with drugstore brands

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: Kat von D Lock-It Powder Foundation

Review: I tried this after I ran out of my normal Bare Minerals foundation. It had just come out with rave reviews, so I was excited to try it. This is what it claims to do:

Day or night and everything in between, this budge-proof foundation promises flawless coverage around the clock. The buildable formula evens the complexion and hides imperfections—all without the need for touch-ups. Smudge- and sweat-proof, this foundation won’t cake or crease and the velvety texture wears with a breathable, light touch.

Lofty claims, right? I mean, it sounds like my dream powder foundation. I wanted something with higher coverage that didn't look cakey, because a) I like to disguise my freckles and b) I get really red when I'm angry/embarrassed/drinking an alcoholic beverage. My foundation needs to help combat the flush factor by balancing out my skin, and pretty much every powder foundation I've tried has just been OK for this issue. And I also have the issue of it not lasting for a full 8 hours. Irritating. So yeah, that's my skin background. 

So, let's attack these claims, shall we? Because the product didn't live up to the hype, in my opinion. First off, I wasn't impressed with the coverage. I tried it with a brush, I tried it with a sponge, and either the coverage was too weak or it started to look super powdery, which means it's not actually all that buildable or natural-looking. Second off, it wore off by the end of the work day even with my most hard-core primer. And third, it is totally not sweat proof. I tested that out by doing a light workout to see how it held up. HAHAHA, fail. 

The one thing that it has going for it is that it is matte. Like really, really matte. It will suck up oil like nobody's business. And it slightly balanced my skin tone. Long story short, I feel like this is better off as a finishing powder than an actual powder foundation. If you want a powder foundation, there are better ones out there at the same price point or less. 

Rating: C

Price: $34

Where to buy: Sephora

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review: Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

ReviewOrigins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

I just realized that although I am crazy for this face wash, I've never actually reviewed it. Whaaat? Yep. I fail. This stuff is amazing and I can't say enough good things about it, because it's a product that actually delivers. When it says it's frothy, it is not lying. It's like a bubblebath for your face! So much delightful foam that smells of delicious minty things! It really does deep-clean and balance out your skin without drying it out. Oh, and it doesn't have sodium laureth sulfate, so those that are SLS-sensitive can go nuts with it.

I think this stuff is fairly flexible when it comes to being effective on different skin types. I have very dry skin with an oily nose, and I adore it. So far, I've seen other adoring reviews from ladies with oily skin, acne issues, and sensitive skin, so it seems to be one of those magical broad-spectrum products that almost anyone can use with great results. Well, unless you're a person who hates the smell of mint, in which case... yeah, this might not be for you.

Another plus is that while this is definitely more expensive than your average drugstore product, you can make it last forever. You only need a tiny, tiny amount to get the foaming action, so you can easily make it last 6 months or more, depending on your face-washing schedule.

The only problems I can really foresee people having are a)sensitivities to some essential oils or maybe another ingredients, b) a hatred of all things peppermint and c)some skin dryness due to lack of moisturizing afterwards. Apparently there are people who get all mad that their skin feels dry after washing their faces because they don't moisturize after. What? Who does that? That is just crazy to me, but then again, if I don't moisturize on the regular, my skin gets tight, starts itching, and I want to claw my face off.

Grade: A+
Price: $20
Where to buy: Sephora

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