Holy Grail Cream Blush

31 Mar

I first read about these on the brilliant Makeup and Beauty Blog, where Karen gave these tiny little tubes an A+. She is one of the most prolific and thorough reviewers out there, so when she gives something an A+, I buy it.

I’m currently using “Dragonfruit,” which is a bright pink (see far right in the picture) out of the tube, but looks like a fresh, natural flush on my cheeks. A few weeks later and no regrets here! These tubes are tiny (picture a tube of eyelash adhesive), but they are not kidding when they say a little goes a long way. The color is riiiich. You can give your cheeks and lips a natural, lasting wash of color with just a tiny bit of this stuff. When used sparingly, the color is sheer enough to be the most natural-looking blush I’ve ever used. And it lasts all day. You can build the color if you like your blush a little bit stronger, or follow up with a quick dash of powder blush (which will also help it set for the day).

This stuff is amazing, you guys. I’m so hooked on the pretty glow it gives me that I’ve started carrying it around like an amulet. Should I string it around a cord and wear it like Sarah Michelle Geller’s character in Cruel Intentions? Hers was a secret hiding place for cocaine, but mine will be (fittingly) a cheek stain.

Source: Fark.com

Source: Fark.com

Oh, and bonus? The Dragonfruit smells like fresh grapefruit (or fresh dragon fruit? I don’t actually know what dragon fruit smells like). Needless to say, I’m hooked on these little guys – waiting for the Raspberry shade to arrive in the mail! I really hope it smells like actual raspberries.

Sanctuary Warming Microbrasion Polish

20 Aug

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I love reading the beauty sections in magazines about all the products that people use on a daily basis. One of my favorite websites for this (trolling someone’s makeup and skin routine and wanting to buy everything she uses is Into the Gloss). The ladies featured on there are super glamorous, um HELLO Alessandra Codinha, possibly the hottest woman in the world. They always have these international products that they’ve discovered and kept using because they work so well. 

My foreign obsession is the Sanctuary Microbrasion Polish. Its from Boots, so not crazy expensive or chichi or anything. Just a good old-fashioned warming scrub that leaves your mug gleaming like the day it was born. Ok, maybe the day after, because aren’t babies born covered in goo? I tried this stuff on whim in London last year and have not shut up about it since the day I cracked it open. It’s gentle, moisturizing, creamy, and satisfying to use.

You smooth this creamy exfoliator on your face (don’t worry, it doesn’t feel rough, it’s not trying to have discourteously have its way with your pores).  You’ll feel it warming up on your skin and opening up your pores. HEAVEN. You only need to leave in on for a few minutes (though, in my perennial quest to outsmart cosmeticians, I always leave it on for longer). Then you rinse off with warm water (if you’re like me, you’ll need a face towel to get it out of your eyebrows). Voila, a beautiful, clean, and moisturized visage.

 

 

Stila Waterproof Eyeliner – HG Liquid Liner

20 Aug

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THIS.

Of all the eyeliners I have owned, Stila is the one that has failed me the least. You’d think I’m an Olympic swimmer with really greasy skin from all the eyeliner fails on my beauty dance card. But alas, I’m pretty sedentary as far as humans go and, I don’t know, maybe my eyelids are secretly greasy, but I can’t see any of it.

Anyway, enough about me. This liquid eyeliner has a thicker brush tip. I know some people prefer the skinny minnie brush. If that’s you, move along, genius make up artists, this liner’s not for you. I find that this slighly thicker brush allows me more control over the line I’m drawing (and the liner can still do the little cat-eye flick really well – subtle or Adele. You decide). Most importantly, it lasts all day. And I mean, ALL day. I wear it every day and I can usually just follow yesterday’s line if I need to touch it up and go. The color I use is Jet Black, which makes for a rich, sexy line. I want to try them all!
Stila Waterproof Eyeliner, $20

The Holy Grail: Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner

11 Jun

As my previous post might suggest, eyeliner has been a problem for me as of late. It slips and slides around my face and I end up looking like I dressed up as the Morse code for Halloween. I’ve tried a lot of drugstore brands and department store brands and had more or less given up and just started wearing whatever I could dig up first (the optimistically named Line ‘n’ Seal by Styli-Style being my latest mediocre go-to).

BUT, my compulsive shopping and aimless wandering has paid off! I wandered by the Chanel counter at my local Lord and Taylor (Chevy Chase) the other day and randomly asked Heather, the makeup specialist on duty at the time, to do my eyemakeup to replicate this look. Not the easiest task, when you think about it, because I am brown and my eyes are a pretty intense dark brown. BUT, she pulled it off! I left the store with some new eyeshadow (the Blue Tendre) duo, a new bottle of Aqua Lumiere foundation, and a concealer (reviews on those products coming up!). I felt like a movie star, even if my boyfriend thought I looked like a Mexican soap opera star (a real backhanded compliment if you’ve ever watched a Mexican soap opera). But whatever, I’ve learned a lesson or two from the Man Repeller. Sometimes? You gotta wear the shit that makes YOU happy. Amirite?  No, but really, the look above is not the least bit garish, it looked VERY expensive and demure. I think my boyfriend is unaccustomed to seeing me so made up (I’m of the school of thought that makeup should be essentially invisible). This particular look was perfect for an evening out ( a wedding, a cocktail party).

Bringing it back full circle to Chanel Eyeliners… Heather lined my eyes with a regular Chanel pencil in navy blue and it held up verrrry nicely for the rest of the day. However, given my history with eyeliners, I got a bit greedy and took home the WATERPROOF eyeliner instead. (I was all, “I never want to line my eyes AGAIN!”, etc).

I got my wish. I got the liner, like, three days ago and I had to practically scrub it off with my Almay Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover pads. I mean, am I going to have to buy Chanel Makeup remover (which is SO good, btw, but so expensive) JUST to remove this eyeliner? … I’ll think about it.

Chanel Waterproof Eyeliner, $28

My Personal Greek Tragedy

31 May

is that I absolutely cannot wear eyeliner without looking like a prostitute that just fell into the Hudson River. Let’s just say that the product migrates all over my face and gives me serious raccoon eyes. For a while now, my mainstay has been L’Oreal Carbon Black Liquid Eyeliner (look for a review on that later!). This is a decent eyeliner, relatively easy to apply for a liquid liner (you basically have to be a Japanese calligraphist to use those crazy tiny brush ones that look like nail polish- this is more a of a marker). I tend to do a cat eye and my main complaint with this liner is that the artful little flick past my lash line usually either fades or descends under the corner of my eyes for a truly unbecoming sooty eye. So, like any self-respecting beauty junkie, I’ve kept looking. Enter Bobby Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink.

 I’ve always coveted the soft gel/eyeshadow-lined look. I think it’s much less harsh and (needs to be a lot less exact) than what you get when you work with a liquid eyeliner. I was really excited to try this! And at $21 a pop, plus $25 for the matching eye brush, I had to put my money where my mouth was. This product is known as the best gel liner money can buy…. and it ended up all under my eyes by the end of the night.

The application process started out well. I dipped my newbrush into the eyeliner and it went on like a dream: creating a smooth, relatively clean line across my eyelid. I topped it off with mascara and completely forgot about it until a few hours later, when I looked in the mirror and saw this:

Okay, MAYBE sans the tears, but it’s hard to know. I might have watched a sad commercial.

Anyway, my point is that this eyeliner did NOT blow my socks off, and I find myself reaching for my regular pencils and trusty L’Oreal liner.

Lesson learned: try it before ya buy it. Have the makeup counter give you a sample or put the product on for you before you splurge your hard-earned cash on some product. I certainly am not one to be giving advice to compulsive beauty shoppers, but do yourself a solid and let people like me do the legwork and then try the product you like instore. Most places are pretty cool about applying the product on your face and/or letting you take home a sample. If they apply  it for you, you can go about your day and keep an eye on it to see how it holds up. It definitely won’t give you the same rush as flouncing out of Sephora with a shiny new bag, but it’s a recession and we need our money for the shit that works.

And that’s why I now ask you, my friends. Do you have a really great eyeliner (it can be pencil, gel, liquid, or even shadow) that really works for you? Please share the love in the comments below.

Down to Business

27 May

What better way to start a beauty review blog than with a beauty review?

I discovered Girl Meets Pearl by Benefit a few months ago and I am already on my second bottle! The product is the golden update to the cult favorite That Gal , which has a pinkish hue and is more flattering for porcelain-skinned ladies. I’ve got yellow (or if you want to be nice about it: “olive”) undertones and this golden version was definitely the way to go for me!

The ladies at Sephora recommend that you blend this product in with your foundation or just use a dab to highlight your cheekbones. I personally have a tremendous fear of looking like I caked on my makeup à la Kim Kardashian (not hating, just saying- she NEVER looks natural). When I spend hours and hundreds of dollars on makeup, my goal is actually to look like I come from a genetic super-species that has no pores, and boasts amazing cheekbones, pillowy lips, enormous eyes, and floor grazing eyelashes. It may sound like an impossible task, but I’m willing to die trying.

Anyway, so when the Sephora makeup artist suggested that I mix Girl Meets Pearl in with my foundation, I was aghast. I had visions of myself as

Don’t get me wrong, I like sparkle (and the Cullens) as much as anybody, but I really didn’t want to be a human disco ball at work or, God forbid, be walking around in broad daylight and have an unwitting friend point out that my skin is all shimmery. So what I’ve done consistently is mix this product with my moisturizer. This gives my skin a little oomph and glow, without causing any car accidents or blinding light-refractions. I then follow up with my usual foundation (either Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer or Laura Mercier mineral powder) and all is right in the world. My skin is glowing, just a lil dewy, and soft!

Though the product is definitely a Holy Grail highlighter for me, it has some drawbacks. First, the price. I think $30 is a bit hefty for a supplementary product in my beauty regimen (I prefer to spend more money on the core basics like foundation, concealer, etc). Second, if you leave the bottle uncovered for more than a few hours, buildup clogs the twist-up dispenser and it becomes impossible to tell whether you really have used all the product or whether there is a little more left. When this happened the first time, I used a bobby pin to poke any build-up out of the holes and released a bit more product. This didn’t work the second time. It should tell you something that I went about 2 days without this highlighter before losing my shit and scampering to my local Sephora and buying a new one (which I have kept firmly sealed, thankyouverymuch).

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