Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Makeup Geek MUG Lipstick in Innocent and Shy - Review and Swatches

Here are the other two lipsticks from Makeup Geek that I was talking about the other day. Innocent is on the left both the swatch above and the tube below and Shy is on the right. Sorry but Innocent tube is already looking a bit used. I showcased the packaging for these lipsticks in a previous blog if anyone is interested. For me, there is no contest if I were to compare the two. I love Shy.It looks great with a light rose lipliner. It's a kind of muted greyed rose. I know it looks more peachy in the swatch above but it doesn't look so much that way in real life. This colour is hard to find in any makeup line. It's nude but not to the point of washing you out.

As for Innocent.....sigh....I was disappointed. It is a very opaque, nude peach. It totally looks bizarre on me and washes me out. It looks so nice on Marlena from Makeup Geek. The colour reminds me of a sick colour of Play-Doh. The only way I can get it to look passable on me is mixed with a darker liner in the same family of colour and mega gloss. You have been warned. I believe Innocent was supposed to be a dupe for MAC's Jazzy which was limited edition. I have never owned Jazzy, but it sure looks nice in some youtube makeup tutorials. Maybe it's just not the colour for me. These lipsticks are $7.99 U.S. and are a great value. They are long lasting and creamy. I did find that Innocent felt drier than the other colours I have. I will be buying more of these lipsticks for sure but Innocent is a pass for me.  

Rating: Innocent 3/10
Rating: Shy 8.5/10

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream/Creme - Review

This is by far the best product that Burt's Bees makes and they make some good stuff. If they ever discontinued this I would go ape$!@&. Seriously. I love the smell of it - lemons. It is wonderful on any dry or flaky bits that you might have whether it is hands or feet or joints. It really is a miracle worker. When my fingers get dry and my cuticles peel in the winter, I reach for this and the problem is solved. Any split skin or cuts, works there too but because of the lemon it may briefly sting. Just forewarning you. It's great on cuticles of course and can be used as part of a mani/pedi or for mani/pedi maintenance. It is like a smooth wax. One tin, if used sparingly, could last years. If you use it frequently, maybe a few months. It has a smooth wax texture. A tin is .60 oz. or 17g. I think they are around $12 Canadian but don't quote me on that. I love, love, love this. Everyone should have some. It reminds me of this stuff my Dad called "snow fire" which he used the whole time growing up and he had my Grandmother send over to him from England all of the time. Only this stuff smells better, works better and isn't dark green.

Rating: 10/10

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 - Review

I got this as part of Sephora's birthday gift free thingy for V.I.B. customers earlier this year. It is fantastic but the price is insane, at $22 Canadian. It smells like lemons, but in a good way. It is super moisturizing and really softens lips. I like to wear it to bed or when I am bumming around the house. Dry, flaky lips be gone! It is as good if not better than any lip balm or treatment on the market. The difference is, of course, that those lip products are 1/3 or 1/10 of the price of this. I can't slam this at all except in the area of the price point. If you have money to burn, or can get this one sale, by all means pick one up. I just think $22 is criminal for lip balm.

Rating: 7/10 (-3 points for price)

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Clinique High Impact Eye Shadow Quad 05 Polar Blue - Review and Swatches

Happy Sunday Night! Well for many of us, like me, it's work tomorrow so I will try to make this brief. I have a love/hate relationship with Clinique. It was the first makeup that I was ever introduced to. My mother, who wears almost zero makeup except lipstick, face powder and if it is a special occasion, some blush, had very little makeup on her dresser when I was a kid. What she did have, was tons of Clinique Bonus Bags! She use to buy their moisturizer for years so she always got free goodies when she made a purchase. Anyway, Clinique was the only makeup my mother would let me wear when I was in my early teens and I remember when she threw me a lipstick she didn't want from a bonus bag it was like getting manna from the heavens. I digress. Clinique has come a long way over the years but with so many fabulous brands on the market now, they have been left behind as a dinosaur with a few product exceptions.

I wanted this palette forever. I think the colour combination in this palette is sheet perfection. I finally bought this some time ago. Heck, it is so old now that they don't even make the palette in this shape anymore. A useless dual-ended brush comes with it. It is $27 U.S. or $32.50 Canadian. Although, I love the look of the colours in the palette, in actuality, it sucks. The colours are not very pigmented. It took me two applications to get the dark blue navy swatch above to look half decent. The light blue is practically off white and is the most pathetic of the bunch. The brown is the nicest colour as it is a kind of taupe grey chocolate. The cream colour, like all four colours, are chalky city. I do not recommend this palette. Clinique makes better eyeshadows than this. These are really sad.

Rating: 3.5/10

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

One of My Favourite Summertime Blushes - Benefit Cosmetics Coralista A Review and Swatch

This is one of my favourite summertime blushes: Benefit's Coralista. The box says "Take a pleasure Rio. Sweep this coral pink powder onto cheekbones....bikini optional! (avoid eye area)". So I guess we shouldn't put this on our eyes (not that I would). Benefit makes some awesome blushes, but they have a nasty habit of using parabens. Coralista is one of the few blushes that they make that does not have parabens! Yeah, way to move into the 21st century Benefit! Ok, I am being a little sarcastic. Seriously though, it is one nice blush. To me it is a coral peach. I don't see any pink here. On the swatch above I have well taken a regular swatch on the top and below the stripe or swatch I have blended some of blush out to show you what it looks like blended. It may be a bit hard to see...sorry! There is a golden sheen to this blush which is nice and somewhat subtle, not overboard. This colour would look fantastic on darker skin tones, someone with a nice tan or a redhead. I can certainly wear it, but there are people with other colourings which could rock this better than me.

The formula is smooth and is super easy to work with. The best part is that I got this free a little while ago from Sephora as a 500 point perk. This was a full sized box that I got by the way. Sweet. This blush will last me forever. It is 12g or 0.42 oz. I have never come close to finishing a Benefit blush. These retail for $28 U.S. and $36 Canadian. That is expensive I think. I know you get a lot of product but $36??? MAC blushes are what around $22.50 Canadian? Crazy! The price is a definite minus. The standard scratchy, useless Benefit Cosmetics brush came along with it. I chucked it to the side as I hate those.The box is damn cute though.

Rating: 9/10

Sunday, 15 July 2012

theBalm Balm Shelter SPF 17 Tinted Gloss Material Girl - Review and Swatch

This is hands down one of my favourite lip glosses if it isn't my favourite perhaps. The genius of it, is it's simplicity. This is theBalm's Balm Shelter. It comes in a variety of colours. The one I like, and keep buying, is Material Girl. It is described by theBalm as a sheer plum berry. That is exactly what it is. There is no gross glitter or shimmer or frost here. You can wear this alone (as I do sometimes) or you can wear it with a lip liner (looks great this way) or you can simply dab on a little onto a lipstick and turn a blah colour into va va voom. This colour suits my colouring best so it is my colour of choice. I suppose one of these days I will try another colour, but I am really pleased with this one. They retail for $19 U.S. and $24 Cdn. which is not chump change. A tube is 5.5g and believe me it doesn't last long. I almost never finish a tube of lip gloss but I go through these like crazy. I wish they made a bigger size given how much it costs.

This formula is not sticky and it is moisturizing. Feels great on. Very comfortable. There is a very fruity smell to it, but a pleasant one. The smell is not overly fake fruity and certainly is not offensive. There are so many lip glosses out there that smell like plastic or chemicals. The very thought makes me sick. You should see the look on my face right now just thinking about it - it's like I have been sucking lemons! theBalm is very serious about staying away from using a lot of chemicals in their products so the ingredient list for this is tame which also makes me feel good about choosing to buy this. I seriously love this stuff and will be buying yet another tube this week. They could be a little longer lasting I think but I will gladly sacrifice that for better ingredients and no nasty scent. You can purchase them at select Pharma Plus store and Sephoras in Canada. If they ever stop making this I will freak out. A great product which never leaves my purse.

Rating: 9/10 (the price is a bit crazy)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Origins Full Story Lush-lash Mascara - Review

For those of you who follow my blog, you may have read one of my first ever blogs which was on an eyeshadow called Twinkle by Origins. I hated it. Still do. I love Origins skin care products but that eyeshadow was just awful. After my customer service experience with Origins when I complained about the eyeshadow, I swore I would never purchase any of their makeup products again. I have kept that promise. I was given a tube of this mascara to try by a sales clerk at the Origins counter a couple of months back when I made a large purchase. So I cracked this puppy open a few weeks ago out of curiosity.

This mascara seems a bit watery to me. It smears pretty badly when I am wearing my glasses. It was so so when I tried it with contacts. The volume I got was in the average range, perhaps a step below. Lengthening? Meh. Ok I guess compared to drug store stuff. This is better than most drug store brands but that isn't saying much. It retails for $15.00 U.S. and I am guessing around $18 Cdn. The wand and brush are average looking. The formula is very comfortable on. Might be an option for those with sensitive eyes. Your lashes stay soft and do not get crunchy. The "uplift" benefit of this mascara doesn't really last. Your lashes look a bit limp like soggy celery after a little while. I certainly would never spend my money on a tube of this.

Rating: 3.5/10

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Makeup Geek MUG Lipstick in Lavish and Delightful - Review and Swatches

I have wanted to get my filthy paws on these puppies for a while. I just recently ordered four colours from Makeup Geek's (MUG) new line of lipsticks. I have only tried two so far so a review on the other two will follow shortly. These are $7.99 U.S. plus shipping. The shipping I think for four was around $5 - nothing crazy, very reasonable. These are paraben free and there are no scary ingredients. You can view Makeup Geek's website if you are interested in the full in ingredient list. In the top picture, I have Delightful on the left and Lavish on the right. The lids have a clear centre on the top so you can see the colour of the lipstick. Neat idea. There is also a black embossed emblem on the side of the lid. They have a slight smell, almost a lighter version of Revlon's smell perhaps? It's not an unpleasant smell. Delightful is described as warm pink with a peach undertone. I personally would describe it as vice versa, warm peach with a pink undertone. On me the colour is quite peach., pink less so. It is the perfect peach colour that I have been looking for though to wear with heavier eyeshadow looks. On the second picture above, I have to the far left Ever Hip by MAC, MUG's Delightful in the middle and Lavish on the far right. Ever Hip is a close dupe of Delightful but Ever Hip is more of a glaze, Delightful is matte and Delightful is also more orange/pink bordering on having a hint of red.

Lavish is described as a Rosy (Rosey ?) Nude Pink. To me it isn't rosey, nude or pink. It is flaming red! I would rethink that description if I were them. It is a true matte red. The strange thing is that sometimes it looks like a blue red and other times it looks like an orange red depending on what I am wearing and what light I am in. It's kind of a chameleon. All of MUG's lipsticks are matte. It must be a long time since I purchased a matte lipstick because for me these were a shock. I forgot what matte lipstick looked like. It brought me back to the 1980's circa Dee Dee McCall on the TV Show Hunter. Okay, there I go, dating myself again. I was only a little girl when that show was on but I remember Dee Dee's makeup very well. Both of these lipsticks are very moisturzing and creamy nad they stay that way for a long time on. I think they look a bit matte though (duh!) so I personally prefer just a drop of clear gloss on them to spruce them up. Makes a world of difference in my book. These are seriously long lasting lipsticks. I have to scrub to get them off some nights. I ate a meal and had two snacks wearing Lavish the other day and the colour barely budged and I had gloss over it. Insane. Elizabeth Arden is the only other company making lipsticks this long lasting these days which are also creamy and not drying as far as I am concerned.

The price for one of these is phenomenal. I can't get a Revlon lipstick for that price at the drug store anymore unless they are on sale. I got complimented while wearing both of these on separate days. I also got asked what lip liner I had used to make my lipstick look so perfect. Truth is, I wasn't wearing any lip liner either day. I was at work and was feeling super lazy. I would, however, recommend that you use a lip liner with these (as I would with any lipstick) to make the colour last and look good as long as possible. I think I am going to use a nude pink liner with Delightful to make it a bit more pink for my taste when I am in the mood. Anyway, good job Makeup Geek! I will be back for more!

Rating: 9/10

Monday, 9 July 2012

ELOTD - BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 8.0 The Cocktail Hour, MAC and Tarte

This is a bad picture. I really suck at taking makeup pictures. I promise to improve! Maybe it's my camera, the angle or something else such as my lack of talent. Colours always look so washed out and faded when I take a pic of my looks which is why I seldom bother. If anyone has any tips or tricks, please let me know!!!! Part of me if wondering why I bothered to post this picture at all....Anyway, this is the eyeshadow look I wore a couple of days ago. I am wearing:

Lid/Inner Corner Pocket - Libation (bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow  8.0 The Cocktail Hour)

Crease/Outer Corner/Lower Lash Line - Shaken Not Stirred (bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0 The Cocktail Hour) 

Brow Bone - Soft Brown by MAC

Brow Highlight - Icebreaker (bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0 The Cocktail Hour)

Upper Lash Line - Tarte emphasEYES Aqua-Gel eyeliner in Black

As you can see, Shaken Not Stirred turns grey when blended out. Very bad indeed! Shame on you bareMinerals for producing such sub-standard fare!

Please ignore my eyebrows, I need to do something about them. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 8.0 The Cocktail Hour - Review and Swatches

I have been meaning to do a blog post/review on this for so long. I can't believe it took me until now. I really wanted to try each and every colour before I passed judgement so that is part of the reason why it took forever and a day. Anyway, I bought this palette because when I swatched the colours in Sephora, I fell in love. I had all kinds of crazy visions - I pictured this as a palette that I would take on a cruise and work exclusively with it for 7 days and always look glamorous and ready for cocktails. I am sad to report, that although I do like the palette, it ain't all that.

What I do like about this palette to start off is the case. It is sleek, as are most of the bareMinerals READY palettes. I love the colour and the big mirror that is inside of it. It is very 1970's, very Charlie's Angels, very cool. Ok, maybe I am dating myself here. All of the colours are shimmery except one, Black Tie Optional. If you don't like shimmer, you won't like this palette. The palette comes with a dual ended brush. It looks more useful than most brushes that come with palettes, but to be honest, I haven't even tried to use it yet. There is a total of 8g or 0.28 oz. of product here. So 1g per eyeshadow. The cost, I think, is off the wall. I think Sephora was charging around $55 Canadian for it. I believe it retails around $40 U.S. I had to have it at the time and I had a V.I.B. coupon so at least I got a discount.
The colours are from the picture above, left to right, starting at the top, Black Tie Optional, Icebreaker, Swanky, Spiked, Elixir, Invite Only, Libation and Shaken Not Stirred. So Black Tie Optional is a dirty greyed black which is matte. Since it is a universal eyeshadow colour, it has it's uses, but it's nothing to get excited about. Icebreaker is a crisp shimmery white. It's a good brow highlighter and inner corner sparkler. It is super crazy sparkly though so beware. Swanky is my second to favourite colour in this palette, It is a really nice mid toned purple with gold flecks in it. I am thinking NARS has a colour like it, but don't quote me on that. It reminds me a bit of MAC's Trax but it's less burgundy more purple. It blends well. Spiked is ummmm......pumpkin. Big ol' jack o' lantern in my books. It's a rusty orange and while I can work with it come say autumn, it isn't a favourite eyeshadow shade in my book.

Elixir is a pink purple shimmer which I swear bareMinerals already used in their READY 4.0 The Dream Sequence palette only the colour in this 8.0 palette is more subdued. Invite Only is moss green. A bit yuck for me. Makes me look sick and tired. Not a winner in my book. Libation is my favourite colour in this palette. It is a peach fairy dust colour. Mega shimmer and glitter but it is cool and I have never seen anything like it. Looks great on the lid on its own. Finally, we have Shaken Not Stirred. I thought this colour was going to be the bomb. Oh it bombed all right but not the way I had wanted it to. It is a shimmery navy with electric blue shimmer. Looks gorgeous in the pan and not so bad swatched. It has fallout issues and it does not blend well at all. When I blend it, it blends out to a grey colour. Very disappointing. It works well as eyeliner though but the shimmer is almost undetectable when it is used this way.

My humble apologies but I swatched the colours badly, (i.e. in the wrong order because I ran out of lame to say I know). They are top to bottom, Invite Only, Elixir, Spiked,  Swanky, Icebreaker, Black Tie Optional, Libation and Shaken Not Stirred. In retrospect, the colours as a package don't make tons of sense as a group to be used together. An insert comes with the palette which shows or suggests 3 looks. I tried two of them and was not impressed. Two of the three use the moss green, Invite Only, as the base lid colour. Yuck! Not with my colouring I am afraid! In fact, I am hard pressed to think of anybody's colouring which could rock this colour. If I ever create an eyeshadow palette in my life, moss green will be no where near it. The pigmentation is good though for almost all of the colours. No scary ingredients here. I wished I had passed on this one and saved my money. I wish I could have found an honest review on this too before I took the plunge. Well now I have done for all of you!

Rating: 5/10  

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes - Review

I was so disappointed with these. I totally love the Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Facial Towelettes, so naturally I thought I would love these too - not so. I have a previous post on the blueberry ones. I bought these in the U.S. while I was in Vegas. They were $5.99 U.S. I saw the Yes to Blueberries ones too but they were $9.99. So I cheaped out and decided to try a different scent/type. To me, the two are like night and day. No shocker in retrospect that these are nearly half the price of the other ones! These do not remove as much makeup as the Yes to Blueberries ones. I hate the smell of these. I half hold my nose when I use them. In the interests of full disclosure, I normally am not keen on cucumber scented anything so take that with a grain of salt. If you like the smell of cucumbers, maybe you will like the scent of these. I find these kind of scratchy. I didn't find that with the blueberry ones. Sea salt is an ingredient in these. I am not sure about the blueberry one, but I doubt it does. I finished my last pack and tossed out the wrapper. I don't find these to be overly soothing . My face feels a bit irritated after I use them for a few minutes. They are also not so refreshing as the blueberry ones are. Sigh. I guess these just suck. Not sure why I am still using them......I guess to get rid of them. Never again. It's the blueberry one or bust for me.

As an aside, it says on the label that this product has a Best of Beauty Award by Allure Magazine for 2011. Not sure what their readers are smoking...maybe they have facial skin like an elephant's trunk and no sense of smell. Or heck, maybe it is just me who doesn't like them. Do not try to use these to remove your eye makeup. These sting like hell.

Rating: 2/10

Monday, 2 July 2012

OPI Just a Little Rosti at This - Mini Review and Swatch

I got a pedicure last week and this was the colour that I chose: OPI's Just a Little Rosti at This which was part of the Swiss Collection circa Fall 2010. I love this colour. This is the kind of red I like for nails. I am not so much into the, what I call, Hot Tamale Red. I prefer berry reds. Just my personal preference. I hope no one is grossed out or offended by the picture of my foot. I am just trying to show off the colour as a quasi swatch. I know this colour can still be purchased at a lot of salons and I will definitely be picking up a bottle. They also have them still Trade Secrets I believe. Love, love this colour! I love OPI colours and I love their nail polish names. I find OPU lasts just as long as any regular nail polish on the market. OPI is my favourite brand based on selection and quality.