Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Distortion, $18

I love Sephora's Beauty Insider points program. I racked up 500 points and got a set of 4 Urban Decay 24-7 eyeliners plus this Heavy Metal Glitter Liner in Distortion. I was more excited for the pencils than I was about this, but I thought, why not try it out? And I'm really happy I did!

First of all, this stuff is super glittery. This particular color is full of light-colored, iridescent, pearly glitter pieces. (Check out their other colors on Sephora's page.) I thought it would be hard to get a lot of glitter out (kind of like cheaper glitter nailpolishes that go on mostly clear) but was surprised at the amount that gets on your skin. It's really easy to use--the glitter goes on easily and dries in an instant so you can layer on more and more (if you get excited like I do!).

What really sold me on this is that it does NOT come off. With a lot of glitter products the pieces will fall all over your face and get your eyes (ouch). But, I put this to the test: The other night I used some over my black eyeliner, just on the corners (it looked fab, I must say). I danced and sweated all night and it didn't move at all! Perfect for the party-goer in all of us!

Final verdict
$18--about the same as other Urban Decay liners and shadows.
Easy: The product comes out easily on a thin liner brush, making it easy to put on a little or a lot. Plus it dries quickly, so it doesn't get everywhere, and you can layer as much as you want.
Glittery: OMG, so glittery. And with more applications comes more glitter! You could probably wear it on its own, but I think it would probably look best (and more dramatic) if you put it on top of a good eyeliner.
Stays put: Unlike a lot of glittery eye makeup, once this dries (a couple seconds) it won't move at all. No need to worry about it getting all over your face, no matter how hard you party!
Repeat offender: I'm in love. I kind of wanna buy them all! Actually, I really like the Catfight (bright pink) and Stagedive (bright turquoise) colors. If you love glitter, you'll absolutely love this liner.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, $18

Smashbox Photo Op Under Eye Brightener is a neat little tool that can instantly freshen your look. I received a sample size tube of this product and I am very tempted to buy the full size product!

This product is a nice cream that has tiny bits of light reflecting sparkles (don't worry you can hardly see the sparkles) which work to brighten your under eye area and appear more awake. This is a makeup and not a preventative product so it is definitely for effect. The full products comes with a handy brush to dab the cream under the eye, I think this is really useful because the cream is a little too thin to be coming out of the tube.

You just have to dab a little bit of the cream and spread it with your finger and instantly your under eye area has a fresh glow. I think this is a great every day product that can work the way blush does to "wake" your face up.

Final verdict:
Cost: $18 for the full tube.
Does it make the under eye area white?: No not at all, the cream is a neutral shade that seems to blend in with your natural color, it works as a highlighter and not so much as a concealer.
Would it stay on all day?: I'd suggest spreading some primer in the under eye area before the Photo Op brightener for longer staying power.
Repeat offender?: I really want to get some of this eventually to use daily. Though I must say, I think this product would be better if used in the cooler months so you don't just sweat it off.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Milani Neon in Rad Purple, $5

I had been eyeing Milano's Neon nail polish in Rad Purple for a while now. It just looked so intensely purple. In the bottle it looks opaque and vivid, an intense shade of a plum color that's usually so dark.

(It was difficult for me to get an accurate picture of this shade, so I did my best. I manipulated the pic below to get it as close to the real color as possible. Actually, the color on the site is pretty close to the bottle. My camera did a good job with the polish on my nails, though.)

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. The polish is very thin, which often happens with bright colors. I put on probably 4 coats here (I got impatient and started putting them on thicker and thicker) and I feel like I can still see through it. At first it dried quickly, but the more I put on the gooier it got (probably because, um, I put it on so thick). This meant that while it looked dry, it got smudged and nicked easily.

The color on my nails also doesn't exactly match what's in the bottle. I wanted a really grape-y, pure purple. What I got instead is a more of a fuchsia. Still a pretty color, but not what I expected. In the pic above, the ring basically matches the color of the bottle. You can see around the top of the bottle how light it actually looks--this is more like it actually looks on your nails.

Final verdict
Texture: Really thin. It dries quickly at first, but takes a lot of coats, so it gets gooey.
Color: The color is pretty--like a pinky fuchsia--but not what I expected at all.
Repeat offender?: No, I wouldn't buy this again. I might actually return it. The color's pretty, but the texture bothered me and I was really bummed that it doesn't look like the bottle!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

L'Oreal Revitalift Complete Night Cream, $12-15

Recently I had a slight panic attack about the potential for wrinkles, fine lines, etc.--I think it was from some article I read in the New York Times about French women and their obsessive skin care and wrinkle prevention regimes. I know some people are rolling their eyes right now thinking "wow, really?" but hey it's my skin and I want to take care of it! I mean we are supposed to moisturize anyways so why not buy something that says it will help with wrinkle prevention too?

Needless to say by obsession lasted about a day but I did pick up this jar of L'Oreal Revitalift Complete Night Cream in the process. I've been using this cream pretty regularly every evening after removing my makeup. I like to rub it into my skin, especially around the eyes, cheeks, and the neck. Though I can't tell you if I have seen any results from it yet (ask me in 10 years maybe?) I can say I do like to use it nightly because it makes my skin feel super soft the next day.

The cream is on the thick side so if your skin is already oily this probably isn't going to be the best bet. It seems to be working well for me and I find that a little bit goes a long way. Another thing to note is that it has kind of a heavy lotion smell that may not be favorable to many people. It doesn't bother me because it smells pretty fresh but a friend of mine (who joined me in the wrinkle freak of out 2010) said she didn't really like the scent of it because it came off a bit strong.

Final verdict:
Cost: You can find it around $12-15, and you will definitely be able to find coupons! Cheaper than Clinique and Lancome skin products!
Do you think it works?: I may never know if using night cream is going to help prevent wrinkles on my skin but I know I like the soft and fresh feeling I have after I put the cream on and even the next day.
Repeat offender?: I probably won't buy this cream again because like mascara I tend to want to try a different face cream each time I need a new one. But I would recommend it to someone looking for a low cost night cream.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths, $15 (for 30)

Skyn Iceland Glacial Cleansing Cloths are on-the-go face wipes for when you just don't have the time to wash your face (or the sink). They lather up without water and don't need any rinsing, so it would be good for after the gym, after a night out, etc.

The cloth lathered up a lot--it was actually pretty soaked, which is good if you're trying to really get clean. I liked the smell when I first opened it (almost like baby wipes and some sort of witch hazel? I've smelled it before but I can't place it . . . my mom thinks it's the glycerin).

I rubbed the cloth into my face (it says gently wipe, but I basically just used it as a washcloth) and I could feel it tingle and get into my pores, so I could tell it was working. I used it around my eyes to get off my makeup, which probably wasn't the best idea--while the cloth felt soft to my fingertips, it didn't feel so soft around my eyes. And the tingling was starting to sting on some sensitive skin I have on my cheeks. Luckily this lasted only a couple seconds.

At first I couldn't believe that this soaking wet cloth would clean my face and then dry without rinsing. I mean, it's full of soapy liquid. But, lo and behold, a few moments later my skin was completely dry and not filmy at all. Actually, it felt really smooth, clean, and soft. But, the smell started to linger and I couldn't stop smelling it, and I started to not like it. In fact, it started to give me a migraine, and I had to go rinse my face anyway.

Final verdict
$15 for 30.
Soapy: Unlike some cloths, these are packed full of soapy goodness, so you feel like you're getting your money's worth.
Cleansing: You can feel the product going right into your pores, which is awesome in some areas but maybe kinda burning in more sensitive areas. Probably not best for around the eyes.
Dries clean: When it dried, my skin felt soft and clean--no film left behind.
Smell: I liked it at first, and then it got overwhelming and gave me a headache!
Repeat offender?: I would not buy these because the smell kinda knocked me out. That, and they are a bit pricey compared to drug store brands. I'm not sure if they help clear up your skin, but I do like the clean feeling it leaves behind, so I think they would be good for cleaning on-the-go (that is, if you like the smell and are willing to pay $15 a month if you're going to use it everyday).


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sephora Collection Super Shimmer Lipgloss, Pink-o-lada, $10

What I've got here is a sample size of the Sephora Collection Super Shimmer Lipgloss. I don't use lipgloss the way I used to in high school but I thought I'd try this out because it is so pretty and shimmery. This lipgloss comes in many shades you can find here and this one is called Pink-o-lada and kind of makes me wish I was sipping on some pink lemonade alcoholic beverage!

So I put this lipgloss on and just kind of hung around, didn't eat or drink anything, made sure to smack/lick my lips and it is still on! The lipgloss is that traditional gloss texture but it isn't very thick or sticky. I love the fact that it doesn't feel stick on my lips, however if your hair touches your lips it will definitely stick!

The gloss goes on pretty much clear but has little bits of shimmer in it that show up on your lips as well. I don't mind the sparkles because they are so subtle and small. It gives your lips a really glassy look that can look great if you are trying to have something go on with your lips but don't want to wear lipstick.

Final verdict:
Cost: $10 for a full size tube which is twice the size of the tube pictured. I think that is pretty good!
Does it last?: This gloss has lasting power for sure. I love how even after a little while your lips still look glossy.
Will I have to reapply?: Face it ladies, I don't think there is a lipgloss that doesn't require reapplying! I think that you will surely have to reapply after eating or drinking but the lasting power is pretty good otherwise.
Repeat offender?: I think I could definitely make this a go-to lipgloss. There are so many different shades that I'd be interested in trying, especially the shade Red Velvet.


Monday, August 23, 2010

The Youth As We Know It by Bliss, $79

I received a sample size jar of The Youth As We Know It by the skin care line Bliss from a recent Sephora purchase. This skin cream is "an extraordinary anti-aging moisture cream" that promises to revitalize and protect skin.

The cream is light and has a faint citrus smell to it. When you put it on your face it feels super refreshing and kind of has a slight cooling effect. The product doesn't feel super heavy on the skin when blended in either, rather it dries quickly and gives you that "tightened" feeling.

I think that this cream is really excellent but I can't say that it has really given me any results. I can't do a side-by-side comparison of how I will look with or without this cream in ten years so reviewing it based on whether it works or not is kind of difficult. Obviously I am 24 years old and it's not like I have wrinkles to begin with but I am all about prevention! I think everyone should take care of their skin (this goes for men too, they hardly moisturize!) because it is so sensitive and we all feel confident when we look our best.

I can say that I like this moisturizer because of the texture, scent, and how it feels on my skin. However, I'm not a fan of the price or the fact that it doesn't have any SPF. The instructions specifically state to follow with SPF but I'm more into having a daily moisturizer with SPF included. The product is definitely pricey and I wouldn't splurge this much on it but I'm sure there are people out there who wouldn't mind the splurge for a good product.

Final verdict:
Cost: $79 for a large jar of this cream.
Does it hydrate your skin well?: Yes! When you put this product on your skin it feels instantly hydrated but not greasy or oily. Like I said before, it kind of "tightens" the skin.
Repeat offender?: Based on the price I wouldn't get this product in the full size. I like my sample but I'll stick to something that will make my wallet happy as well as my skin!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup, $24.50

Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup is a lot like the Maybelline Pure Concealer Blemish Treatment Stick I reviewed earlier this year--it's infused with salicylic acid to help get rid of acne. They stopped making the stick (I don't know why, I liked it!) but I'm hoping this might fill the void.

As Mirna mentioned in her entry yesterday, it's worth it to pay a little extra for quality makeup you're going to use all over your face. I trust Clinique's reputation as a high-end makeup brand. They're great for people with sensitive skin (like me) because they don't use fragrance and they guarantee that everything is allergy tested.

The foundation has a lot of coverage. It will definitely even-out your skin tone and doesn't add any shine (so it's great for oily skin). It goes on easily and feels smooth as it dries. It doesn't feel too heavy, but it still is a little heavy for a non-foundation wearer like myself. I couldn't wear it everyday, but I'd probably use it for a special occasion (especially if I want my skin to look nice in a photograph).

It's good to know that while you're wearing it it's not clogging your pores and making your zits worse--it's actually drying them up and medicating your skin while providing coverage. That being said, you might want to wear a light moisturizer underneath, especially if your skin is on the dry side, because the salicylic acid works to dry-up excess oil.

Final verdict
$24.50--about a mid-range price.
Coverage: The color blends really easily and covers very nicely.
Texture: It feels smooth and lighter than other foundations I've tried, but still not as light as a tinted moisturizer. (Too heavy for my daily routine, but I would use it for a special occasion.)
Added benefits: If your skin is sensitive and acne-prone, this might be the one for you. Clinique is known for its allergy-tested, fragrance-free products.
Repeat offender?: Just by trying this once, I can tell it's a high-quality product, made especially for people with finicky skin like mine. I personally wouldn't buy this because I'm not into foundation in general. But, if you have acne and you want to cover everything up completely, I recommend trying this. Maybe I'd thin it out with a moisturizer and create my own tinted moisturizer, or I might try their medicated concealer.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $42

I hardly ever wear concealer or foundation on my face but every once in a while I feel up for trying it out again. Last week I received this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in a sample pack from Sephora. While I don't regularly use skin products like this, I was excited to try it out!

This tinted moisturizer is a nice thin formula that goes on light and doesn't feel greasy at all. I really like how it evens out my skin tone and actually delivers a "glow" that it promises. Not only does the tinted moisturizer take place of foundation, it also has SPF 20 so you don't need any additional protection for every day wear.

I think that this tinted moisturizer is good because the cream isn't too thick and it blends easily. I have tried others that just feel as thick as a crappy liquid foundation. I will say though, I'd rather save wearing a product like this for the colder/dryer months of the year. Another bonus of this product is that it comes in a variety of different skin tone shades! I hate it when there are just 3 options for a tinted moisturizer!

Final verdict:
Cost: For a big bottle $42, the bottle pictured is only a sample size.
Does it feel like you are wearing a lot of face product?: Not really, I was pretty impressed with how it just felt like I was wearing my regular moisturizer.
Repeat offender?: I think it is important to buy quality skin products, especially those that are meant to match your skin tone, so even though spending $42 on a tinted moisturizer seems like a lot I would probably still purchase this brand. My only suggestion, check it out at the store to make sure you can find a perfect match!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sephora Nano Eyeliner, $5

I bought Sephora's Nano Eyeliner so that my Sephora purchase would go up to the $50 free shipping price, lol. My excuse for buying more stuff, right? Anyway, I had seen the eyeliner before and it's $5 now, so why not? I decided to get it in glitter black.

As the site says, the liner is super soft and highly pigmented. It's very easy to put on and shows up in an instant. The glitter is really subtle, like really subtle. I felt like the more I put on, the more black showed up and the more the glitter went away, and I got sad.

The liner doesn't have the greatest staying power. I wore it just over the primer and it smudged a little on my eyelid and under my eye. It doesn't come off completely, it just kinda smears/smudges.

Final verdict
Cost: It's on sale now for $5 (originally $16).
Color: I got the glitter black, and it was definitely very black--only a little on the glitter component.
Softness: It's very soft and easy to put on--no tugging at all. However, I think the softness makes it so it doesn't stay on very well.
Repeat offender?: I wouldn't buy again. I need eyeliner that's gonna stay where it's put! I don't have the patience for upkeep.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette, $44

This is the eyeshadow palette made for all makeup wearers, whether your only use eyeshadow sometimes or don't leave the house without it. The Naked Palette by Urban Decay was released not too long ago and has been selling out fast. Luckily this product is not a limited edition product. Even though it has been sold out on Sephora.com and isn't on the Urban Decay site right now you can still find it (I got mine at a Sephora store) and you will be able to find it for a long time, Urban Decay says that it is a permanent palette.

I wasn't drawn to this palette until I saw it in person. The twelve shadows range from light to darker and are a mix of smoky, grey, gold, and brown hues. The mixing possibilities seem endless with the variety of shades that are provided. The set also comes with a mini genie bottle of primer and a double-ended 24/7 Glide-On pencil in Zero (jet black) and Whiskey (chocolate brown). You basically have all of the tools to create whatever eye look you are going for.

This palette is made to be a neutral set that is still fresh and exciting. You can definitely get a neutral professional look with this palette or you can even create a sexy dark look too. The colors like Virgin, Sin, and Naked make great highlighters and base shadows while Half Baked, Smog, and Darkhorse are perfect for blending and shading. The last three colors in the palette Hustle, Creep, and Gunmetal are all great darker colors that can be blended with any of the lighter shadows to create a smoky look but they are also perfect solid shadows on their own.

I would suggest this palette to anyone who feels like they need a good everyday eyeshadow kit. While it is a palette full of neutrals it still manages to be fun and interesting and offers a variety of color and shadow ranges (from matte to shimmery).

Final verdict:
Cost: $44, you get 12 shadows, a mini primer, and two mini eyeliners
Will this really work for anyone?: I honestly think that Urban Decay created a palette that will appeal to all different women. I love this palette and so does my mom so I think it can really apply for any age group. The neutrals it promises aren't dull and they shadows are good quality--I don't know any girl who wouldn't be satisfied with that.
Repeat offender?: I think that I am going to use this palette primarily for a while. I want to experiment with mixing the different shades. I predict that this will be a palette that I actually finish and will have to purchase again. I'm really into it!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Classic SGB: Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder, $30

So, this is one instance where my experience with the product has changed. I've used it everyday since I bought it and I see a significant difference in my oily skin. Believe me, it's been tested in this summer heat! I've noticed it making a huge difference in my bangs--now that my skin is less oily, my bangs look much better. No matter what I'm doing, this stuff keeps my face in check. So, now I think I may be willing to pay $30, since it totally works! -T

I bought Urban Decay's De-Slick Mattifying Powder on a whim. I had a Macy's gift card and decided to spend it on something I probably wouldn't normally buy--$30 face powder fell into that category. I have combination skin and get self-conscious about it getting oily in my T-zone, but I hate wearing any kind of face makeup (usually feels too heavy and fake). I also have the suspicion that my bangs are looking gross by the end of the day because of my oily forehead. With the warmer weather coming along, I felt like this was a good time to try it out.

The compact is really pretty--clear purple with silver designs of skulls and filigree (much like the Ammo Eyeshadow Palette). The compact is bigger than I thought it would be, basically about the size of my palm. The mirror is a really good size. I feel like for $30, it better be big!

It comes with a flat sponge that's rubbery on one side and cushiony white on the other.

I like the sponge. It fits nicely in the compact and makes it easy to dab at or sweep across your skin. But as you can see, it's already getting dirty, even though I just use it on my bare skin. I feel like if you used it over foundation, it would definitely change the color of that cushion pretty quickly.

The powder is pure matte white, translucent when it gets on your skin--unless you get a little powder-happy, then you're definitely gonna see some of the white build up. But hey, if you're going for the super pale look, might not be a bad thing! It has a kind of tea tree oil scent, probably to aid with the mattifying.

This stuff definitely mattes out the shine. This morning I put it on in the sunlight so I had a nice glare on my forehead (ugh lol) and I could see a distinct difference between where I put it and where I didn't. To my surprise, it made a noticeable difference under my eyes as well. I think something about the lavender-white tone helped chill out my undereye darkness. I also tried it out one day when I skipped my shower (gross, I know, but anything for the blog!) and was kind of surprised with how I didn't look like a complete greaseball. And it might actually help the oil buildup on my bangs--no real definitive evidence, though.

To be honest, it does its job adequately but in actuality it's no miracle worker. You do have to reapply throughout the day. I feel like it takes the shine away but not necessarily the actual oil. I mean, my skin feels velvety, but it's almost like I can still feel the oil underneath. I'm glad I have it because it's gonna come in handy in a lot of situations, but I wouldn't have spent $30 on it if I didn't have the gift card. There are probably cheaper products that would do a comparable job (other blue-tinted powders, blotting sheets, etc.).

Final verdict
Cost: $30 is a bit much for a product that didn't really "wow" me. You do get a lot, though, and it will probably last a pretty long time. At least the compact is pretty and the mirror's big.
Skin type: Oily to super oily. I have some dry skin on my nose (stupid allergies) and it made the powder show up a lot.
Mattifying?: It works--it takes the shine down. But it doesn't really absorb the oil. You will probably have to reapply a couple times through the day.
Repeat offender?: While I'm happy to have it and will probably use it until it's gone, I'm not sure if I would spend $30 on it again. I feel like I could get a cheaper product to do basically the same job.

On a side note, they have released De-Slick in a Tube. Check it out at their site. Nylon likes it, but it has some mixed reviews on Sephora.com. I'm glad I got the powder instead of the "gel" though--it seems like you get more and can use it when needed.