Saturday, February 27, 2010

End of the Month Lemmings, February

Man, February being so short always messes with me.

Let's see what lemmings I got this month...

1) L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Boosting Serum

image from

I have naturally thicker, longer than normal lashes, but who doesn't like the idea of even nicely, longer, thicker, healthier ones?  I don't wear mascara all that often, since it can damage my eyelashes, so I don't think I'm who this is really geared towards, but the idea is still nice.  Also, the price, $12.50, is pretty nice for a product that claims to do that it does.  Probably won't end up getting this one, or its cousin, but still.

2) L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara - Black

image from

Meet the cousin of above, hehe.  Now this I might actually look into, since it would help protect, condition, strengthen, and prevent lash fall out while you are wearing the very thing that often leads to needing those things in the first place.  $10.50 at a lot of the places I have looked, that's really not that much, especially when combined with sales (which is what I am waiting for).  I like the original (red) double extend mascara, so as long as this is just as good, I think I'll be happy.

3) Rouge Bunny Rouge - Bronzing Glow Powder - As if it were summer still...

as you can see, this image is from

At £41.00, this is one lemming that I don't think I'll ever have satisfied (especially with the £15 in shipping to the USA).  I saw this on The Gloss Goss, later on the page I linked, and it was love at first site.  Normally I'm not the hugest bronzing person, but the blendability of this, combined with nice ingredients... *sigh*.  Like I said, though, never gonna happen.  A person can always dream, though (or set a goal, which is what I'm trying to do, but probably am going to fail).

4) POPBeauty Petal Jam

These just look so lovely.  "This unique lip-loving bloom-balm binds hydration to the lips restoring the natural moisture barrier. A powerful mix of Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Vitamin E, protects and nourishes lips. A subtle taste of crushed sugar and fruity petals will provide your sugar rush while leaving your lips glistening like morning dew."  Mmmmm.  Petals and sugar and oils.... Yeah, I don't think I need to say anything else, hehe.

5) The Body Shop Fuzzy Peach Bath & Shower Gel

I actually just got a bottle of this recently, but the lemming is for backups.  I have been a customer of The Body Shop since I was a little kid (1993, actually), and I remember this gel so well.  I happened to go to my local store (which is far away, so I don't get to go often), and knew I had to get this.  I wonder how long they will have it before they get rid of it again...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lancôme 'Photôgenic' Skin-Illuminating Concealer SPF 15

Price: $27.50 for .16oz (4.6g)

What they say:
"A creamy-sheer, easy-to-blend concealer that hydrates and protects as it hides blemishes and dark circles. For a naturally radiant, flawless complexion that's perfect in every light. Lancôme's new Photo-Flex Complex optimizes the effects of light to perfect the look of your complexion while ginseng, ginkgo and vitamin C help energize your skin and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens help protect the delicate eye area from sun damage. Like a second skin, it leaves a natural, powdery-soft finish. Won't cake. Won't clog pores. Won't settle into lines. In six shades to complement the seventeen shades of Photôgenic Skin-Illuminating Makeup SPF 15. Ideal for all skin types. Oil-free. Noncomedogenic. Ophthalmologist tested. Dermatologist tested. Fragrance-free."

What I say:
I originally got a sample of this at Nordstroms, when I went to return the Guerlain blush that was such a failure.  I also, at that time, bought this product with the gift card that I got as the return.  The reason I did both?  Because this was completely sold out, so I needed to get a sample until the item I bought could be shipped out.  Have I mentioned how much I love the customer service at the Nordstroms I go to (Arden Fair mall)?

I ended up getting this concealer in Camée, which, depending on what site you look at, is the second or third shade, going light to dark.  I actually don't think that it is that dark, but more salmon than the other light shade in that row, Light Buff, which looks more yellow to me.  Ivory, while I could pull it off, would not look quite right on my skin, being more of an undereye concealer color, or maybe a sallowness corrector, when compared to my flesh color.  Actually, Camée is a tad darker than I would call perfect, but nothing that blending doesn't fix, so not even this one is really a good match.  At least it's not yellow (or reverse panda).  This line could use a lot more options.

The texture of this is like a whipped cream, not like a whipped foundation.  It's thin, but highly pigmented, and when warmed becomes more liquidy.  Blending this is a dream, and it layers nicely.  It doesn't layer wonderfully, though, so if you need to add a lot of layers, you might need something thicker.  This concealer also plays nicely with others, layering over my Bobbi Brown corrector without a problem.

This can look a little cakey if you add too much, mostly when you go to add a powder on top, since the powder will stick to the concealer like wasps to a soda.  This can be solved with a little more blending, which this thing is a champeon at, so no real problem there.  It also doesn't like scabs, you know the ones, so watch it with those.

Like I stated before, this is really pigmented stuff.  The sample that I got is still going, and I haven't even opened (to use) the one that I purchased.  To give you an idea of the pigmentation, I had a that-time-of-the-month breakout of doom on my chin.  Red, large, more red, you know the type.  This stuff covered it, not completely, but to the point that it looked more like a faded scar.  I did not use foundation, I did not load this stuff on, and I did the covering in a hurry.  This stuff is strong.

The lasting power of this is really good.  Put this on, set it with a little powder, and away you go.  I never had to retouch, and it never started to slip off, or just disappear.  There is one thing that I noticed, though; watch it if you wear glasses.  I need them to drive, and happened to have a mark at the nose piece that needed to be covered.  While this did cover it, every time I wore my glasses for a decent (hour) amount of time, I would have to reblend the concealer at that spot.  It was still there, still blendable, still going strong, it had just started to gather around the outside of the nose piece.  Just thought I should point that out.

Also, I break out semi-easily.  I put this on the zit of doom, it didn't make it worse, or prolong it.  I wore it on just discoloration, no new zits, breakouts, nothing.  Good stuff.

Oh, and SPF in a concealer that can go under your eyes?  I like.

4/5  (-1 for lack of color range)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner

Price: $34 for 1g, .03oz

What they say:
"An exceptionally elegant eye makeup innovation, this ultra fine, loose powder, with a touch of iridescence, can be applied as an eyeliner using the wand applicator or applied as an eyeshadow using the brush. "

What I say:
After that review I did on their blush, I thought I would review something from Guerlain that I did not think totally sucked.  Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner (henceforth known as "kohl") is a decent product, but one that is not an immediate success, unless you know what you are doing.

First, the video link: how to apply kohl the Eastern way.

As you can see from that video, the way that this shines is the fact that you can put it on your waterline very quickly, without any tools but the one that came with it, and basically without a mirror (if you get good enough at it).  Yes, it does look a bit scary, but after having done this a number of times myself, I can attest to the fact that it is in fact not painful at all, and actually really simple to do.  If you can put on contacts, you are more than capable of doing this maneuver.  Hell, contacts are scarier, since you aren't watching this with the eye you are doing it with.

This power does not hurt at all when it gets in your eyes.  I have gotten it in my eyes a lot, and never felt a thing.  The powder does end up in your inner corners of your eyes, but you can just take that out when it gets there.

Lasting power: it's good.  I do notice a little migration if I don't prep properly beforehand, but that's my own fault, and the fault of my slightly oily, watery eyes.  This stuff, when it finally migrates to my lash area (which it does, but seriously, it looks like you meant it to be there, and just makes your lashes pop), does not want to leave.  Oil cleanser can take care of it, and it is easier to get off than mascara, but sheesh, it can be a bastard.

Colors are limited, but the ones that I have tried are nice (brown and black).  I want to get my hands on 00 Glow and 04 Oriental Metal.

Price is ludicrous, until you think of how little you are using each time.  You're supposed to tap off the excess back into the jar, so really, all you are using is what little powder sticks to the plastic stick, which is basically nothing.  Yes, it's only 1g, but it lasts a really long time.

Which actually leads me to my next point.  Sanitizing.  You sanitize a eyeliner pencil by sharpening.  You sanitize eyeliner pressed powder by spray and wiping off the outer layer.  How do you sanitize this?  The key is the stylus.  It is hard plastic, which is incredibly easy to sanitize.  Just wipe it off/sanitize it after each eye, and before putting it back in the product.  Since it is hard plastic, unlike a brush, it dried pretty much immediately.  If you are uncomfortable doing that, using a toothpick that you rounded the edge off is something that I have read online, though I have not tried that myself, so don't quote me on that.

So, overall, do I feel it's worth it for the price?  Well, yes, and no.  Kohl that is safe, and lead free, is actually harder to locate than you might think.  Colors are nearly impossible to find.  While this stuff is quite expensive, I look at it in more than one part:
1) It come with its own applicator, which is convenient.
2) It comes with its own nice looking container, which is nearly unheard of.
3) It is safe for your eyes, unlike many kohls and kajals on the market (that are easily accessible).
4) A little does last a really long time.
5) It does not contain lead.

So yes, I do think it's worth it, at least as a gift.

4/5  (-1 for price being so high)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Make Up For Ever: HD Microfinish Powder

Price: $30 for 0.35 oz

What they say:
"What it is:
A universal translucent finishing powder to be applied over foundation or worn alone.

What it does:
Sets the foundation and slightly mattifies skin without changing its natural contours. This 100% mineral silica powder softens the appearance of imperfections. Completely evens out the complexion for a glowing, radiant look. One universal shade for all skin tones.

What else you need to know:
It's completely translucent and goes on any skintone. Its talc-free formula does not dry the skin and is formulated with 100% silica. Dermatologically tested. "

What I say:
I've had, and used, this powder for a while, and have to say that I really like it.  There is no whiteish cast, it lasts all day, and it helps control the oil on my T-zone, which really is all I ask in a powder.

The texture is a very finely milled powder, like powdered sugar, that feels cool when applied to the skin (at least it does to me).  A little goes a really long way with this one, so tapping off the excess from your brush is a must.  I use a MAC 187 (or equivalent) for this one, since I want it to be as light of a layer as possible, and the effect is a non-noticeable layer of powder.  Many people online say that they get a white cast when using this.  I have not noticed this myself, and wonder if it might be a difference in application techniques.

MUFE HD powder sets my base makeup beautifully, without the cakey look that can often be associated with a setting powder.  On top of this, I do notice a difference between when I set with this powder and when I do not in terms of lasting powder, and oiliness starting to show through.  I would say that it mattifies the skin, like they claim, but it doesn't cause a dewy foundation to go straight to matte.

The price, while steep, I feel is actually worth it.  I use a small container for travel for this powder, and leave the rest in the container until I need to refill the container I use.  One small travel thing of this powder (think the size of container that you get for samples) lasts me several months, and the jar holds a lot of these containers.  There are dupes online of pure silica powder, which have a much lower price tag, but without trying them, I cannot say if they are worth it or not.  Part of what makes this powder so nice is how finely milled it is, and that's something you cannot tell from a picture online.

If there is one thing I don't like about this powder it would be the container it comes in.  The holes on the sifter are far too large, allowing way too much powder to come out of them.  That's one of the reasons I use a travel container, since I have all but one of the holes closed in it.  If I were to change anything, I would make it one of those sifters that looks like a fine mesh instead of a piece of plastic with large holes.  The powder would be easier to get back into the container without opening it up completely, and less of the powder would be at the top, waiting for the person who is not paying 100% concentration on opening this powder to come along.

Overall, I highly recommend, especially if you can get a sample, which would last you at least a couple weeks.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

How do I love boots?

Let me count the ways.

Boots and I go way back, to even before I cared at all for dressing up on occasion, or anything of the sort.

Back in highschool I would wear nothing but boots, except in gym, where I had to wear tennis shoes.  Most of these were hiking boots, but still, boots.  There's just something about them that makes me happy, like a pair of cozy socks, or a bowl of soup.

Later came... the craving.  I started buying more types of boots, from little booties to full blown knee high motorcycle boots (which I waterproofed, and made into my rain boots.  They can't handle a deep puddle, but they can handle rain and small puddles).  Most of my boots are black, but there is the occasional brown or tan boot that makes an appearance.

So why all this talk about boots?  Because boot season is starting to come to a close, and I am giddy with excitement.  While most people see this as a good day because they can finally whip out their flip flops (never cared for those, myself), I see it as the day to go bargain hunting, and find boots at an even cheaper price!  Bwahahahaha!

I never stop wearing the boots; I just start bringing the occasional sandal or non-boot dress shoe with me.  You know... in case.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Guerlain 'Cherry Blossom Blush Éclat' Compact

Price: $49

What they say:
"The freshness of a morning stroll in a garden still damp with dew. The first sunbeams caress her blushing cheekbones. Her complexion is luminous and radiant. This is the 'healthy' promise of Cherry Blossom, a pink and peach blush with shades reminiscent of Japanese cherry trees in bloom. Ultra-lightweight and transparent, they revive cheeks left pale by the winter. These extremely soft colors will boost a natural glow in one stroke!"

What I say:
Did not like this at all, and actually returned it.

I bought this blush, after countless reviews read, and swatches looked at, thinking that maybe I could get it to work.  The blush is a light pink down the middle, with peach on the outsides, and a darker pink over spray to get the blossoms to appear.  The spray itself does not last long, but I expected that, hearing that the blush underneath was a peach-pink, mattish, nice shade.

I believed them.  That is, I believed them, until I got the blush.

Now, let's start with the packaging.  The packaging is quite lovely, and if the blush wasn't rubbish, I might have kept it for this alone.  It's sturdy like a solid wood desk; large, beautiful, understated, and can take a thrashing.  It clicks shut nicely, and has a certain weight to it that makes you feel like you could lob it at someone, and it would be fine.  In fact, this turned out to be a good thing, because it came almost damaged.  I say "almost" because if it had not been for the packaging, it would have been damaged.  The outer container that housed this was trashed, ripped, and in an overall mess.  The shipping box was too large, and the padding was not nearly enough.  I'll hand it to Nordstrom, they didn't care when I brought it in in person to show them, and refunded it no problem.

The blush looked rather small, but some math (which I deleted, sorry) showed me that it was because the opening to the blush was rather small, but the blush should, if I was correct, be deeper than the blushes that I was used to.  It was still not the best deal per ounce, but I was paying for the quality, and for the fact that I was also getting a new brand.  So size wise, it could be worse.

The blush itself, texture wise, was okay.  It's not the smoothest, it's not the least chalky, and it's not the most pigmented.  It's nice in all three of those, but not really that great.  I think it is safe to say, that at least in the blush department, you are paying for packaging and name more than you are paying for the actual product.

Now the kicker, the color.  Too light.  In MAC terms, the universal language, almost, of color, I am a NW20 in the summer.  I'm near that in winter, as well, since I don't like to go out in the sun, but I'm still never darker than NW20.  This was too light for me.  It might have been a nice highlighter, but I have those, and really did not need another light pink, sheer, and especially, extremely expensive, highlighter.  I was paying for a blush.   I am still in awe of how light this product was.  If you want to see a great swatch of it, look at Karla's post, which also shows the rest of the collection.  I swear it was lighter than that in person, but that's probably a difference in the lighting.

So, sadly, or not so sadly, I returned this blush, and used the money that I got back to get myself a concealer, which I am still testing out before I review.

Overall, I have not turned my back on this brand, yet.  After feeling the packaging, I really want to try something else from this brand, but this time, I want to get something that I know will work (I actually thought the blush would, so this is going to be hard).  It's too bad the nearest place that carries them is over 2 hours away from me, but at the same time, this is not a brand to just buy willy nilly.  It is expensive, and I, at least, will only purchase from them when I have a special reason to.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Random - fragrance

So I got a sampler of fragrances from Sephora for Christmas 2009, and am just now getting around to testing all the fragrances.  Man, it's funny how personal fragrance is to people, hehe.  I was looking at reviews, just to see what people smelled in them, staying power, etc, and one of the fragrances, Ralph Lauren Romance, to be exact, I could not /stand/, but had good reviews.  I just found that funny, thought I would share.

Oh, and I might be reviewing another fragrance soon, since I have this sampler, and my husband's (he didn't like any of them, so looks like I get his coupon, too, woohoo!).  Let's see if I find anything worth getting a large bottle of!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 640 Summer Angel

Price: $7-10

What they say:
"Smoother Lips, Better Colour This moisture-infused lip essential reduces lip dryness by up to 65% for smoother lips and better colour. Developed with SPF 18 and a cutting edge Self Adapting Moisture Complex that features Hylaronic Acid, Collagen and Vitamins A, C and E to nourish lips, leaving them with a smoother surface for better colour application and wear. 24 creamy, moisturizing shades come richly wrapped in an elegant metallic purple case."

What I say:
I got this lipstick while I was on the hunt for the Hardcandy nail polish that I got at Walmart, and really I just got it because of the purple tube, my lack of lipstick on me at the moment, and the SPF 18 that this claims it has.

The lipstick is sheer, and extremely frosty.  Now, maybe, in another color, this would be okay qualities, but Summer Angel is a cool champaign color, so sheer and frosty just means it looks like I'm wearing, well, nothing but frost.  I can't really think of another way of putting it.  It's like when you  have a highlighter that doesn't give much color of its own, and you put too much on, that frosty, kinda greasy but not grease, sheen.

To make matters worse, the frost and formula itself make your lips lines show like you put a neon sign up pointing to them.  I know my lips have been a little dry as of late, with winter and all, but I had just treated them and moisturized hours before I wiped the treatment off, and the lines still showed.  This is definitely not a lipstick for someone who doesn't have absolutely perfect lips, and even then, this probably isn't the lipstick for you.  Like I said before, maybe this is just a fault of this color, but after this one, I'm not sure I want to find out if that is true or not.

On to the smell and taste.  Horrible, both of them.  I can stand some chemically smell and taste, but for this lipstick, the taste never goes away.  Seriously, it's gross, that's about all I can say.  The texture, surprisingly, I didn't hate entirely.  While it feels a little greasy, it's not drying, and it almost feels like the grease is moisturizing your lips underneath the cover.  There's slip, and the lipstick doesn't last the longest, but really, it could be worse.

Finally, a good point, the packaging.  I love it.  A rounded squared cylinder, purple plastic, and a crown at the top.  Very nice.

Overall, I would not repurchase.  For the price, this is absolutely terrible.  I would expect something like this if I paid less than $5, but I paid over 7 to experience this.  Unfortunately, I lost my receipt, and I'm not about to make a fuss over that amount, but otherwise, I would be taking this back for a refund.  Hopefully I'll be able to find something to layer on top of this, since it might at nicely as a shimmer adding coat.

1/5, horrible.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Random - I hate being sick

So, I went to a concert (only the second one I've ever been to, hehe) last week, and came back with hurting ears, a cold, and a better appreciation for a couple of songs that I rated lower before I saw them played in person.

Now this cold has taken my voice away for 3 days, and counting, and has just generally pissed me off in any way it could.  Everyone around me has it, but for some reason I'm the only one that had their vocal cords affected.

Any case, this leads me to a small rant: if you are sick, for the love of all that you hold dear, don't go to a crowded event and get everyone around you sick!  Sheesh, it's called common curtesy.  If you have to go (this concert was really once in a lifetime), wear one of those facial masks to at least /try/.  Oh, and cough into your sleeve, not onto people!

Well, at least I got to see a couple really good bands in person.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MAC Viva Glam VI SE Lipstick

Price: $14

What they say:
"A lavender-lovely Fergie asks us to enter a new kind of dreamscape, to feel the "Yes, we can!" of tomorrow, and to push forward on behalf of every man, woman and child affected by HIV/AIDS. VIVA GLAM VI Lipstick, Lipglass, and Special Edition Lipstick lead the way. Every cent of the selling price of VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass is donated to the M·A·C AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS."

What I say:
The website claims that Viva Glam VI SE (Special Edition) is a Soft Blue Pink (Lusture), and I think that is a pretty good description.  It is not the most pigmented lipstick, but I have no trouble layering it to get it more opaque.  This is just a MLBB color, though, so if you are looking for something more dramatic, this is not the color to turn to.

The texture itself is like many of MAC's lipsticks; not drying, a little moisturizing, doesn't seep into lines easily, and doesn't stay on lips for an extraordinary amount of time.

Is it worth the price?  Well, I would say yes, since it is better than many drugstore lipsticks that you can buy, but for a little bit more, you can get a department store brand.  Really, that's why MAC is called a mid brand; you can pay more, and get a little better, or less, and get a little worse.  I'm not saying MAC is a bad brand, I'm just saying that they are not the be all and end all that many people seem to think they are.  (In fact, I have quite a few MAC items, but I always weigh them for price and quality before I buy from them).

Overall, I like this lipstick.  I wouldn't buy this color again, since it is just another MLBB, but it is nice to feel that you are donating to something, even if it is only a little bit.