Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: Cover Girl Advanced Radiance Age Defying Makeup with Olay #105 Ivory

I don't recall why I picked out this foundation at the drugstore. The Cover Girl Advanced Radiance Age Defying Makeup SPF 10 comes in an attractive plastic pump bottle. It retails for about $13 at local drugstore (less at places like Target and Walmart). I picked up the lightest shade in the range, #105 Ivory. You can probably tell from the bottle shot above that this is nowhere near pale.
So even though there's a fairly hydrating ingredient towards the top of the list (glycerin), this baby is chocked full of silicones. I immensely dislike foundations with tons of silicones (some I can handle) but this has dimethicone crosspolymer, some other special dimethicone with some numbers (sorry, I'm not a chemist by any means), regular dimethicone, methicone, another special dimethicone with different numbers... whew. Basically, this is a story of me picking a foundation without reading the back, likely carrying too many things in my hands and feeling rushed.
So even though the color is all wrong and the ingredients kind of scared me, how did this perform? If you need absolutely no coverage and want to use this as a base for your makeup with a tint, then it's fine. You can see it blended in on the right side of my hand. It slightly cancels out the redness in my hand and doesn't look obviously dark and off. I'd liken this to something like Origins Vitazing though I've never tried it.

If you want a foundation that actually covers anything, then you're going to have a problem. The above is my attempt at a second layer. First of all, it doesn't smooth over the first layer easily, it cakes up and goes all patchy. And of course, you can start to see just how yellow and off the foundation is for me (though my hand is a bit more pasty than my face). It's just all wrong. I've been battling some "time off the month" breakouts and this made my face look horrible. When I went to ""blend"" (major air quotes there), it kind of mushed the product around. It just wasn't attractive.
Basically, it looked like I had applied something on my face, but I hadn't applied foundation, if that makes any sense because it didn't cover anything but you could definitely see it! So unfortunate.

So, if you like silicone primers and you want one with some kick or you have perfect skin and shouldn't be wearing a mask of silicone anyway (but that's just my opinion) maybe you would like to try this? At close to $15 with tax, it's on the pricey side.

I returned mine thanks to the awesome CVS Beauty Guarantee. Sorry Cover Girl. This was not easy nor breezy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Giveaway! Win a Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Glossy Stain in Red

My review on the Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Glossy Stains has gotten a lot of views since I posted it. So I figured since it's been awhile since I posted a giveaway and I managed to snag another one in Red today, I would give it away! Please note that I am giving away 1 Sexy Booster gloss in the shade Red (although the photo above is the one from the original post - these suckers are difficult to photograph!). One gloss, one winner, open worldwide (even with the recent postal hike) yadda yadda. Enter via the rafflecopter widget below! Good luck!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Big Lots Haul - and Reminder

I had a bit of a haul today in Big Lots. I bought a lot of boring stuff: cereal, more velvet hangers, a mattress pad that made me so excited I tweeted about the deal (it's that good), Gatorade, and other household necessities. But there was some fun stuff in the loop. I think I did pretty well, especially since today only Big Lots is having another 20% day for rewards members so everything was an additional 20% off - they do this every few months which is nice. And I was quite restraint considering there was a lot more goodies to be had.
I wouldn't say this is super exciting, but most girls need razors and these are a pretty decent deal at $3.20 for 4. I'm pretty sure these razors are discontinued but I have a few of the "tails" around from when they've been at sale at the local drugstores over the years.
Usually, I don't have the patience to go digging in the cosmetic aisle, but I found a whole bunch of Maybelline for $1.50 a piece (or $1.20 after discount). I picked up 3 of the stylish smokes trios (Lavender Smokes, Plum Smokes, Emerald Smokes) which I believe are discontinued but retailed for around $5 or $6 at the drugstores. If I remember correctly, they were rather favorably received when they were still available for purchase.
Next are 3 blushes that I believe came out in their Spring 2012 Limited Edition collection (per Nouveau Cheap's first look). These were probably around $5 or $6 at the drugstore but once again, they were only $1.50 a piece (or $1.20 after discount) at Big Lots! I picked up Champagne Blossom, Pink Peony and Coral Blossom.
I also found this gem, the Maybelline Eye Studio in Spirited Seas for $1.50 (or $1.20 after discount). These eye studio quads usually retail for $9.99. I was looking for more colors but only found this shade. Very excited about this one.
Last but certainly not least, I picked up a pack of the Epielle wipes in the Green Tea scent which I've never tried. These are usually $1.00 per pack which is a bargain but these were only .80 after coupon. ;)

Have you been to Big Lots recently? What did you score?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Caudalie Cleansing Water

In the past year or so, I've made it a point of trying lots of these micellaire waters. Given that my skin is fairly sensitive and on the drier side, these new cleansing products seem ideal. Also, I am super lazy and all-in-one products are awesome. I was excited about trying the Caudalie version since I haven't found a Caudalie product I hate yet. I'll cut right to the chase and say that while I don't hate this product, I'm a bit lukewarm. You see, I already have a great love for the Makeup Forever Sens'eyes cleanser and I basically compare every other remover to that blue concoction of wonderfulness. To be honest, I was pretty surprised the Nuxe's version easily removed long-wear mascaras. The Caudalie version removed face makeup like a champ but it left remnants of my eye makeup which included a non-waterproof mascara.

It smells like the signature Caudalie fragrance which is quite strong but doesn't bother my nose and I quite enjoy it. Still, I wish it weren't so highly fragranced. The cleansing water doesn't burn my eyes or skin for that matter. It's non-drying although it seems to leave a bit of a residue that is sticky for the first few minutes after application. I do like it for long-wear lip products as it doesn't taste foul and removes everything on the lips without drying them out. I personally wouldn't buy a product just to remove lip products though as I don't do epic lip swatching sessions and don't wear long-wear products on a daily basis.

I've gone through about 1/5 of my bottle and I just don't know. It's ok? If it managed to remove eye makeup a bit better I'd say I'd repurchase but because it doesn't quite get the job done in that area, it's not something I'd look into buying again. A bit disappointing since I do enjoy the brand in general.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Poloxamer 184, Glycerin, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cocamidopropyl Butanamide Mea Chloride, Bisabolol, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Chloride.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow Glossy Stains

I wouldn't say I had the best luck with the YSL Glossy Stains, but I've been intrigued with lip products that have the ability to stain your lips while having a glossy finish till they wear off. I haven't yet had the chance to try the L'Oreal ones, but when I saw these at my local drugstore on sale, I quickly picked them up. Physicians Formula brought out a new Sexy Booster line (complete with blushes and bronzers), a spin on their Happy Booster line. The Physicians Formula version only comes in two colors, "Red" and "Hot Pink". Since I managed to get them for only $3 on sale and after coupons, I picked up both.
Physicians Formula has some of the cutest drugstore packaging ever. Just look at the shoe charms!
Aside from the cute ribbon and shoe charms, the packaging is a standard square tube and comes with a rounded doe foot applicator.
These have a similar formula to the YSL glossy stains; however, the formula differs between both of the colors. For example, the red one is much more translucent and more gel-like and doesn't seem to "dry down" which makes it retain some moisturizing properties. The hot pink is much more like the YSL Glossy Stains, as it seems to dry down on the lips and is more sticky and a bit less moisturizing. It is also a bit more pigmented than the red shade so I'm not sure if that contributes to the different textures (or if it's quality control issues).

The red is a more tomato-warmer red and the hot pink almost looks purple! These aren't colors I would wear on a daily basis, to the office for example; however, I think they are fun and they do actually stains the lips.
They definitely stained my hand in any case!
lip swatch - "Red"
lip swatch (poorly done, apologies) - "Hot Pink"
I took this picture after "Red" had been on my lips for about 5 minutes and I wiped it off. I definitely got some staining, though it was more evident on my bottom-more pigmented lip than the top one.

I've heard that these have some issues with wearing off unevenly like with what I experienced with the YSL version but for some reason, it bothers me less with these likely due to the price point! I don't know if Physicians Formula can really claim anything with pheromones. I don't know about your loves, but my husband won't kiss me while wearing anything red on my lips, pheromones or not.They definitely aren't "kiss proof" as claimed until you wipe the gloss part off.

Cute, but not amazing, but they were cheap enough to keep. ;)

Have you tried these yet? Thoughts?

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Birchbox

So here's an instance where the box isn't that great, but I'm actually really excited for the products. I have been wanting to try Embryolisse for quite some time and have heard great things about thebalm's blushes. While the Ojon is a miniscule size (about the size of a perfume sample), I rarely get through hair oils though I do like trying them so I'm happy with it. I could do without the perfume sample and I don't need yet another mascara sample (plus it's tiny). I've seen "better" boxes for January but I'm glad I got one with Embryolisse plus the 5 samples will net me 50 points so what turns out to be about $5 ain't too shabby.

Did you get a January box?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

December Empties

I'm back with another empties post. A recurring theme is I seem to be disappointed with the number of products I have used up. While that is definitely important, I think it's easy to get a little obsessed with making sure everything is empty and it becomes a chore. You think, "oh, I'm really getting tired of this face wash and I want to use something else but I only have a quarter left, I better finish it". I doubt I'll change my whole mindset though. The idea of finishing products and not having half used products littering my bathroom is very appealing but I do like some variety. Please tell me that I'm not the only person with this thought process! Anyway, onward!
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Seasilk Volume Shampoo and Conditioner - These are the smaller 1.7oz sizes. I found these is my bathroom cabinet and while they aren't for my hair type, I brought them to to pool with me for showering purposes after my water Zumba class this fall. They were ok but I wouldn't purchase the full size. I do really like the packaging of these samples though (you twist the cap to release and close the product).
ion Repair Solutions Effective Care Treatment hair mask - I bought a few of these the last time I was at Sally Beauty Supply. At the time, they were on sale for $1; they are regularly $2.29 a piece with the discount card. I found this mask very effective but I wasn't the biggest fan of the scent. It's a very fake creamsicle scent though thankfully, it didn't stick around after showering. The one major selling point for me for this treatment is there are no silicones and I found it did a great job of moisturizing my hair.
Benefit Total Moisture Hydra-Concentrated Face Cream sample - I complained on twitter that this made my skin smell like flowers. The cream is highly fragranced. While I found it moisturizing, I like to stick with products that don't smell like floral perfumes especially since that can be a trigger for my migraines. Liked the consistency and the moisturizing properties but I wouldn't purchase the full size.
Mor Neroli Clementine hand cream sample - You should know that I've been loving Mor. Truly amazing line and this hand cream smells divine. I quickly ordered the hand/body wash and the hand/body lotion duo. Great crisp and fruity scent and the texture of their hand creams and lotions is to die for. Seriously amazing.
Zoya Remove+mini - For awhile there, it seemed like I was getting a bottle of this every few months as Zoya was adding it to most of the orders. This is a pretty decent polish remover. I don't go through a lot of polish remover in bottles as I tend to use the tubs that you stick your fingers into. Once the tubs get grubby, it takes me awhile to repurchase and I may as well with all these 2floz Remove+ bottles lying around. Effective though on the pricey side.
The Body Shop Satsuma shower gel mini - Satsuma is the scent The Body Shop is known for. It's a fruity zesty citrus based scent. It reminds me of my teens as they used to burn this in every single TBS shop and you could smell it wafting in the mall. The Body Shop shower gels are a bit more watery than I like but they do produce a nice lather and I love the scent options (and of course the sales!). I'd repurchase.
La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel - Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the facial cleanser that wouldn't die! This 6.76oz bottle lasted forever. You only need the tiniest amount to cleanse your face. It's for normal to combination sensitive skin. While it was pretty nice during the summer, I need something less harsh in the winter and have since switched to balm cleansers. Still, if you need a no frills cleanser for a reasonable price, this is a good one.

So there you have it. What did you use up in December? Link your empties post below, I love reading them!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

NOTD: NcLA Rock Solid

I received this NcLA polish in Rock Solid in one of my Little Black Bags. They seem to carry items from the NcLA line quite often. The polishes generally retail for $16. Rock Solid is described as "a luxurious, slate grey cream shade, illuminated with fine silver metallic sparkles" which is fairly accurate. It's pretty unique and the extra bit of glitter makes it less flat than a standard grey cream. My only complaint is the formula is quite thick and goopy and I probably should have used some thinner prior to application had I known. Nonetheless, it easily covered in 2 coats.

Disclosure: Referral link.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Architectural Tweezers?

Leave it to Michael Graves to take architecture to the masses, with everything from tea kettles to tweezers. I would highly recommend looking at the above image blown up for his comments (source: Allure December 2012). When I was studying Architecture in college, we are were all trying to achieve our own aesthetic. When you look at something from Michael Graves, you know its his. I'm curious about this pair of tweezers. At $19.99 they aren't cheap but there is something fun and different about them.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Review: Elemental Herbology Purify & Soothe Facial Cleansing Balm

Ever since my brief love affair with the eve lom cleansing balm (which I have since purchased for a steal off spacenk), I have been on the hunt for other cleansing balms. Using these oily balms has made my skin feel so good and they are often awesome cleansers to boot. With the help of a muslin cloth, they gently exfoliate and cleanse without irritating sensitive skin. When I saw the Elemental Herbology Purify & Soothe Cleansing Balm on sale, I jumped at it. The normal price of the product is quite high at $46 for 2.5floz/75ml. While it's a bit cheaper than the eve lom, it's definitely not in line with my normal skincare prices. Nonetheless, on sale I quickly picked it up.

Elemental Herbology's description indicates the balm "gently dissolves impurities and melts every trace of makeup. Infused with anti-oxidants and harmonizing botanicals, [it] will purify and soothe dry skin to reveal a clear and radiant complexion". The product is free of mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, color, sulphates and parabens. Elemental Herbology also does not test on animals.

I have so enjoyed using this cleansing balm. Now, while it promises it melts off makeup, I have had some issues getting off extreme long-wearing mascaras; however, it gets off everything else including long-wearing foundations, powders and more standard eye makeup. Also, it doesn't burn, sting or otherwise irritate my eye area and because it's so moisturizing, it hydrates the area even after removal. In fact, after cleansing, my whole face has never felt so plump, radiant or soft. Holy cow. Generally, if I wash my face, my face afterwards feels tight and lifeless and it isn't unusual for me to have flaking. Not with this. After I wash my face, I have this desire to touch it (although I probably shouldn't).

Packaging is a pretty standard matte tube. I definitely prefer the tube delivery system even though it requires a firm squeeze since the product is quite thick. I tried to take pictures of the product, but the ones below show the product beginning to melt. I wasn't successful in getting it in its original slightly hardened balmy state.
it's already starting to melt here
extra melty
The one thing I'm not crazy of is the scent. It's great that there are no synthetic fragrances and it's not offensive, but it's slightly herbal and not my favorite.

Scents aside, I am quite pleased with this purchase. I highly recommend this cleansing balm and urge other dry skinned ladies (and gents) to hop on the cleansing balm train. While I still have my trouble areas, my skin absolutely loves these types of cleansers and has never looked better. I will certainly enjoy using this balm during the winter months and in the future, I would definitely consider repurchasing.

Ingredients: Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*, Hydrogenated Vegetable (Soya Bean) Oil*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax*, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Powder*, Plukenetia Volubilis (Sacha Inchi) Oil*, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Canola Oil*, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract*, Narcissus Poeticus Flower Wax*, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Althaea Officinalis Root Extract*, Angelica Archangelica Root Oil*, Boswellia Carterii Oil*, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil*, Maltodextrin*, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Limonene*, Linalool*. *Ingredients Derived From 100% Natural Source.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Review: Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup #110 Ivory

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup launched earlier this year and honestly, I've been a bit conflicted about it. The first time I tried it, it was a disaster and I promptly returned it - fingers, various brushes all made it look awful. The second time I bought it, I finally found an application method that worked for me: cue beauty blender. I can't say it's a holy grail product because while using a beauty blender to apply foundation yields great results, especially on us drier gals, the process and clean up take a bit longer than I'd like. I know not everyone does this, but I like to wash my beauty blender immediately after I use it which doesn't lend itself to the early morning workday rush!
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup comes in a heavy glass jar with a fairly flimsy plastic lid. I know there have been complaints about the bulky packaging and also the lid but so far, I haven't had any cracking and managed not to drop it either. The wide mouthed jar comes with a stopper which keeps the packaging clean and limits air exposure.
The texture is a little strange. Revlon says this is a whipped product, but it seems much more dense than you would think something whipped would be. I don't find it especially light and airy; but I don't find it as thick as something like the Kat Von D foundation either. It's somewhere in between a cream and a liquid.
Color wise, the shade Ivory isn't horrible (though I'd prefer a touch lighter). If I apply a light layer all over my face, it doesn't look off. Actually, I wore this out to dinner with my parents a few weeks ago and my dad mentioned that it was the best my skin had ever looked (surprising since I had been battling several breakouts). The combination of this plus a damp beauty blender gives a lovely finish and with my dry skin I don't have to even think of setting with powder. I give a quick mist with my Skindinavia and it stays put till I take it off at night. Disclaimer, pretty much every foundation lasts well on my skin so your mileage may vary.

At just under $15 at drugstores, it's a nice addition to the drugstore lineup. It doesn't have SPF so you don't have to worry with flashback with photography. Revlon is often on sale and I picked up my jar for around $6 after Extrabucks/coupons which I think is very reasonable. If you haven't had much luck with this foundation, I'd suggest using a damp sponge similar to the Beauty Blender to apply. You may be surprised with the results! I know I'm glad I gave it a second shot.