Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of the Month Lemmings, October

Another month, another post of lemming-a-tude!

1) Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Shadow Duo

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It's the powder tool but in eyeshadow form!  Seems like it would be really awesome for people who do makeup, since it would be really easy to sanatize.

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I almost bought this during the Sephora F&F event, but I just couldn't do it to my wallet.  It looks like a great traveling palette.  Maybe I'll ask for it for the Holidays.  Someday I'll own a NARS palette.  Someday.


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Do you have any idea how evil it is that Sephora got this the /day/ after I placed my once a year major damage haul?  Yeah, I'm sad/angered.  Oh well, I guess it's just not meant to be.  Still, just look at that picture and tell me you don't have some measure of want?

4) Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15

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Another thing I almost got, but was told that it was greasy.  The lemming still remains, but is fading.  I was going to get one of the nude shades, since I have a lot of reds and pinks already in my collection.

5) ChapStick Fresh Effects, Invigorating Green Tea Mint

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The Muse posted about this, and the wanting began.  I also think that regular chapstick is too waxy, and usually use a more expensive lip treatment that just sinks in.  The problem is, it's expensive, and I'm not made out of money.  I really want to try this out to see if it would make a good substitute for daytime use.

So there's my lemmings.  What are yours ^_^?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DuWop: Private Red

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Price: $22

What they say:
" DuWop has unlocked something new! Private Red, a color-changing lipstick that morphs into each woman's personal red, is the first of its kind to transform a single red shade into an endless variety of hues. This silky lipstick goes on smooth, and the rich pigment changes within five minutes to leave behind the ultimate perfect red.

Private Red's proprietary formula includes a blend of three naturally derived pigments - annatto, hibiscus, and henna - and the technology behind the classic “mood lipsticks” of the seventies to provide a vibrant red shade that adapts to suit each individual's coloring. Annatto lends a rich pigment base, while hibiscus flowers offer gentle antiseptic properties, and henna leaves behind a long-lasting stain. Additional hydrating ingredients such as beeswax, caster oil and Vitamin E keep the lip color lightweight and emollient.

Red is a stunning classic, but it can be the hardest to wear. Private Red offers a provocative answer to the question, “what is my best shade of red?” without the hassle of selecting the perfect shade from amongst an endless sea of choices.

Private Red is available in an ENDLESS variety of shades."

What I say:
I got this item in Sephora Favorites Lip Service Delux Sampler box, and actually liked it more than I thought I would. They claim that it morphs itself to your individual color. I don't think it does, I think the "morph" is really just your natural lip color messing with it, and the color of your skin next to the lipstick altering how it looks. This is true of almost all lipsticks, so that's not a problem for me, I just don't see how they can claim it changes colors because of chemistry (if this is actually happening, it is happening so fast, and is altering to the same color for all the people I have seen wear this. Kinda like O-Gloss).

The color is a Cherry Red color, kinda pinky, not too warm or cool, brighter red. It is nice for me, but I can see how many people say the color looks off for them. This is not a color for everyone (unlike what they claim).

The formula is a little drier than a lot of lipsticks that I own, but it didn't dry out my lips. I would recommend making sure you don't have tons of lip flakes before wearing, both because of the formula and because of the color. There was no bleeding for me, but my liplines were noticeable (I tried this without gloss to see if this would happen or not). The wear is great. I ate my entire lunch, and drank 2 glasses of water, and while the color is a little faded, there is no ring of doom, and the fade is even. I didn't even use a lipliner, and it lasted hours for me.

Overall, a good product. If you are in the market for a bright red, you might want to check this one out. It might not have the mood ring effect of changing to suit you, but it is a nice color, and it really does last a really long time. The price is a little steeper than many people might be willing to pay, so I wouldn't call this a must have, but it was fun to try.

4/5 A little expensive, doesn't change color like they claim, nice overall.

Edi: Sorry for the invisible text, blogger decided to mess with my code on this post. All's well now ^_^.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

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Price: $34 for 1.7oz, $46.50 for 2.5oz

What they say:
"Enjoy rapid refreshment and a full 12 hours of soothing moisture with an addictive by-a-waterfall feel. Advanced hydration boosters and a new botanical blend hold skin's moisture in balance through stressful shifts in humidity, indoors and out."

What I say:
I have combination skin, and this stuff is HG (holy grail, meaning cannot be without) for me.  It is a common mistake for people who have oilier skin to skip moisturizing or hydrating their skin, thinking that they don't need it.  You do, and your skin might be oily because you aren't hydrating it.

That said, this is a hydrator, not a moisturizer.  Use this under your moisturizer, or as a mask.  A little of this goes a long way, but I am still am already on my second jar (and already ordered a third).  I have been using it for months, and my face is clearer, less oily, and softer than it ever has been.

Give this a try; get a sample, buy it, anything, but you have to try this.  The worst that happens is you give it to your SO for their face (this is the only facial thing my husband will use.  He won't even use real facial wash).

Thing to note:  Do not get this at a CCO unless you are certain of its age!  I purchased one a couple months before I needed it at a CCO (Cosmetic Company Outlet, Estee Lauder's outlet store, which sells MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and other subbrands at a discount) since I was in the area, and don't get to go to a CCO often.  By the time I opened it, it was too late for an exchange, and the smell was off, like it had already gone bad.  20% off is not worth risking your face over.

And to give your an idea of how popular this stuff is, it sold out at Sephora's during their friends and family event in one day.  Both sizes.

5/5 HG

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Max Factor Pan-Stick

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Price: $6.50-8.00 for .5oz, depending on seller

What they say:
"Get full coverage with a soft, dewy finish. Pan-Stik Ultra Creamy Makeup uses a high-tech formula to cleverly conceal pigmentations and skin imperfections while giving you maximum coverage for a flawless complexion with no caking."

What I say:
Day 1.5 (I actually tested this before for color, and didn't break out from it, so kept going):
So far, so good.  I used a MAC 187 to swipe some out of the container, and then blend it on my face.  The coverage was great, did not look fake, and blended quite well.  I topped with MUFE (Make Up For Ever) HD Microfinish Powder, also with the same 187, which had almost no product on it after using such a light coating.  While it does cover wonderfully, I still needed Bobbi Brown's Corrector in Light Bisque (dark circles of doom), but the two layered beautifully.

By the "end" of the day (I put this on at 7am, and took it off at 4pm, so 9 hours... really? o_O) I did not notice any creasing, fading, flaking (except my eye, but that's a whole 'nother story, and nothing against this at all), or transfer to clothing.  I took this off with a combination of Jane Iradale's "Magic Mitt" (which I am also testing, seems to work so far) and my usual nightly cleanser.  Seemed to come off easily.  Now to play the waiting game...

Day 3(of wearing, not total) Still no breakouts.  I waited a number of days between applications in case breakouts would be caused by inadequate cleansing, or other factors (ex, that time of the month).  Still covers well, and still need a transparent powder on top.  I don't really mind this, since it helps control oil, and makes it last longer.

Day 5  Loving this still.  Had to travel with it, which is where this foundation shines.  Being just a larger than lipstick tube, it handles travel like a champ.  Since it is also opaque, it really cuts down on how much you have to bring, since it can double as concealer.

Overall, I'm still liking.  Usually I break out from things that have too much silicone, or too many petroleum products (blame my genes on those).  This has no silicone, but the first ingredient is mineral oil.  I have combination skin, and had absolutely no problem with it (very rare).  Even though it is a cream, it can accentuate dry skin, so exfoliate if that is a problem for you.  The color selection is a but meh.  I was able to find a very good match with Natural, but Nude Ivory might be a better bet in the Winter (I'm actually not sure of that, since the number is higher, but I have heard that Nude Ivory is lighter from some people).  A lot of the colors learn towards cool/pink, but some of them are warm.

I really wish Max Factor wasn't leaving the US in early 2010.  This is a great product, but I don't think importing it would be worth it, because of shipping.  Maybe it would be, though, if you got a CP, and bought some other stuff along with it.

4.5/5  Took off .5 for mediocre color selection.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MAC Brush Cleanser

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Price: $11.00 for 233ml

What they say:
"This one product will clean, disinfect and condition the brush fibers so that brushes will last longer. It is convenient to use and is specifically designed to extend the life of high quality brushes. Brush Cleanser leaves your brushes smelling fresh and clean, and helps shorten their drying time."

What I say:
You know, I was surprised at how much I like this.  I had heard so much about it, I just assumed the people who said it was good were hyping it because it was MAC, and the people who said it was bad were either right, or hating it just because it was MAC.  Eventually, enough YouTube videos won me over, so I decided to try this out.

First off, this isn't a usual brush cleaner.  It has alcohol, and apparently can be a pain to remove if you follow their instructions.  The way that I use it (and saw a lot of others online use it) is not the way it tells you to use it on the packaging.  First, take a tissue (or in my case, a papertowel) and fold it in quarters.  Take the side that can flap open, and pour some of the cleanser on that side until it is wet (and soaked all the way through the layers, this is important).  This leaves you with a mostly dry papertowel, and a wet corner.  Take you brush, and work it back and forth, or even circles, into the corner, occasionally wiping it off on the dry parts.  If the wet or dry part gets too dirty, switch to a new "sheet" in your "book" that you made.  After the brush is clean, reshape it, and lay it on its side to dry (which shouldn't take long, the first one I did was dry by the time I was done with the last one).

Using the above method, I was able to clean all the brushes that I usually use, and still have enough clean sides to clean some more.  What I cleaned was: two eyeshadow brushes, one foundation, one concealer, two eyeliners, one blush, one slant brush (white, so really hard to clean normally), and a skunk brush that was covered (lightly) in cream foundation.  What really amazed me was the skunk brush.  Those who own them know how the bristles can stain easily, even if clean.  Mine came out like new.

Overall, I am really happy with this product.  I have heard people say that you still need to clean your brushes the normal way (baby shampoo, brush cleaner and water, etc), and I can see how some people might if you are really working product deep into your bristles, but for me, this method should be more than adequate for my needs.

For the price, you get a generous amount of product.  I can see this lasting for a long time before I need to get more.

This is one of the best brush cleansers I have ever seen, and also one of the easiest to use, and fastest drying.  I highly suggest checking it out if you don't already have a HG method of cleaning your brushes.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Avalon Organics Hand and Body Lotion

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Price: $11.45 (though you can often find it cheaper) for 12 fl oz (350 ml)

What they say:
"Product description: A triple dose of rich lipid sources -- certified organic sunflower, flaxseed and coconut oils -- restores the skin's lipid balance for long-lasting, easily absorbed moisturization and silky, supple skin.

Features and benefits: Formulated with our special Triple Lipid System and beta glucan for fresh, healthy skin, our certified organic herbal blend of organic peppermint oil and moisturizing glycerin leaves skin soft and refreshed."

What I say:
This is a really good product, and I could not easily live without it.  This is one of the few products that I have found that I can use on my eczema that doesn't cause it to act up.  It isn't the most moisturizing, or the cheapest, but I think it's great (great enough that I have gone through several bottles of this stuff).

The smell of the one I get is real peppermint, and dissipates quickly enough that it shouldn't give people a headache.  The consistancy is pretty standard: not really runny, not really that thick.  I would say it's a little more on the thick side, but not by much.  I have not noticed a buildup of product on my clothes from using this (for.. years now, I think), nor have I noticed my skin getting used to this, and needing more moisture.

So, yeah, I love this stuff.  You can find Try Mes at Whole Foods, and perhaps other places, though I haven't seen many places that have this in person. does carry it (for a decent price, as well), and you can also get it from

HG 5/5  

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oscar Blandi: Pronto Dry Shampoo

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Price: $11 for 1 oz, $19 for 2.5 oz

What they say:
"What it does:
Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo is the ultimate time saver. It refreshes, revives, and rejuvenates the hair in a matter of minutes—no water or blow dryer required. Voted Best Dry Shampoo and Best Quick Fix by Allure magazine, it effectively soaks up oil, removes product build-up, and boosts volume. Hair looks, feels, and smells freshly shampooed with a clean, lemon verbena scent. Go ahead, hit snooze!

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petro-Chemicals
- Phthalates
- Triclosan"

What I say:
This stuff tries hard, and kinda makes it to the goal, but really kinda fails along the way.

What do I mean by that?  Well, let's start off with what it does.  It does get rid of the oilies, for the most part.  It does leave your hair with some volume, and it does leave it smelling nicer.

What does it fail at?  First, it's a bugger to get out.  It doesn't spread easily enough to really get all your roots, so you end up using too much of it.  It leaves a whitish cast to your hair, that no matter what you try (towel, more rubbing in, brush, brush with boar bristles) won't go away.

So would I say this is a complete failure?  Not really.  For lighter haired girls (I have light brown hair, btw) this would work better, since the white cast of the powder would be harder to notice.  For hikers, this is great, since you only need this and a brush to get your hair less greasy (I hate that feeling when hiking).  For people stuck in airplanes, and don't care, it would work, too...  Basically, it works great, /if/ you don't need to worry about the white cast.

I have tried this 4 times now, and unless I'm just missing something basic (which is entirely possible) this is just a no-go for me.  I have heard there is another type, from a different brand, which is the same thing, but darker powder, so no cast.  I might try that one out in the future, but in the meantime I'll just stick to my shampoo and conditioner.

2/5  Will not rebuy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hair removal: Epilating

I decided to write this review mostly because of how obscure this topic is:

Epilating.  Some of you have heard of it, others of you have no idea what I'm talking about.  Epilating is the act of removing hair by pulling it out by the root with a mechanical device that is easier described as a lot of tweezers that rotate.  This is not a pleasant way to remove hair, but it has its ups and its downs, so let's talk about those, shall we?

Epilating, once you have the device, is very cost effective.  The epilator itself is about $33-$70, depending on brand, features, and speeds, and should last you several years (or at least mine has lasted that long).  The one I have has a trimmer, so it can cut longer hair (or to keep some hair at a constant length), an epilating head, and two clip-ons that you use with the head; one is for quick work, the other helps raise the hair, and massage the skin, so it's better for beginners.  Mine also has two speeds: destroy you fast, and really destroy you fast.  Since you buy the device once, you can do this as many times as you want, without having to think about cost, unless your epilator dies.

The hair that is removed comes back more slowly, and "finer."   I say "finer" because in actuality, the hair is just as thick, it just comes out tapered.  This is like waxing, so however long it takes your hair to come back after that, this is similar

For those of us who have "shadow" as soon as you shave, this is a must have.  I suffer from the dreaded "pit shadow," and even if I don't have time to do the rest of me, I still try to keep up with my underarms.

This is painful.  Some claim that epilating is just as painful as waxing, others more, others less.  I say it is less painful, mainly because no heat, no stuck skin, and no ripping all out at once.  Also, the more you epilate, the easier it gets.  At this point, I don't really feel it all that much (I still feel it, mind), and since hair comes in sparser, there's less to get every time,so less pain.

This takes time.  A lot of time.  You start, and watch a show, and you might still be epilating when it is done amount of time.  Granted, on the other hand, it takes less time than shaving every day or two, if you add the time up.

You need a power source, and the epilator is not water proof.

It does not remove all the hair.  Shocker, really, but what really does?  I epilate once a week or two, and then shave when I'm done to get the rest that I missed.

You need to clean it when you are done.  This is the same with razors, though, so *shrug*.

So there you have it.  Epilating, the not-so-heard-of art of hair removal.  Do I suggest it?  That's a matter of preference, now isn't it?  I think it is great, but my mother despises it (she says it's too painful).  If you are interested, I say try it, or at least look into it more.  Oh, and Braun, the maker of razors, make some decent epilators.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Haul Post: Giorgio Armani Lip Wax

My samples on the left, #2 and #7

So my order from the 20% off sale arrived, and of course, I am in love!  I love how Giorgio Armani gives out 2 samples per order.  That's a great way to get people to buy try something they normally wouldn't, and possibly buy it if they like it.  For something as expensive as their foundations, this is a big deal.

I only picked up 2 more lipwaxes, bringing my total up to 4 now.  I love the formula so much, someday I might actually own them all, but for now, I'm happy with what I have.  I picked up the colors #2 (Antique Rose) and #6 (Deep Chianti).  I have heard a lot of people say that #2 looked odd on them, but it looks great on me.  It must be the opposite of the effect that makes most roses look bad on me, and good on other people, hehe.  Deep Chianti is a stunning red, and I can see why so many people raved about it.

Swatches!  Please excuse the quality, it is hard to get good lighting where I live.  The colors are in reverse numeric order, so #7, #6, #4, and #2 for both pictures.

In shade (for some reason it won't let me have this horizontal, so the colors are 7, 6, 4, 2 downwards):

In sunlight:

Hope you enjoyed the makeup porn ^_^!.

Please do not use my images without my permission.  If you want to link something, feel free, just give credit where credit is due ^_^.