Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Product Review - Radiant Creamy Concealer by Nars

About a month ago, I needed to purchase a new concealer as the one that I had been using for a long time was almost all used up (it was by NYX) and, while it had served me well, I wanted to try something different. I did some research and found a number of glowing reviews for the Radiant Creamy Concealer by Nars.

I actually went to Sephora to get the product to make sure that the color was going to work well on my skin as, generally I get the palest color but I sometimes need a touch of pink in it. They have 16 shades to pick from so I definitely wanted to make sure I got the right one.

Right away, when I tried a bit of the product on my under eye area, I could tell that it would be perfect and offer great coverage. (Pro tip: when trying products that go on your face, try them on your actual face instead of your hand or wrist as your skin may have a slight difference in color, enough that it might look off on your face.) And, yes, it has proven to be very effective at covering my dark circles and blemishes.

Because my previous phone had such a crappy camera, I sadly don't have very many pictures to show what my makeup used to look like before. But here's a picture of what it looks now.

When I apply this concealer, I put little dabs under each eye and over any blemish that I need to cover, then, with gentle and light strokes,  I smooth and feather out the concealer on the under eye area. It looks super pale but then I apply powder over it and it smooths out nicely.

The product is a little pricey at $30 for a tube but a little really goes a long way so I dare say that, if you're someone who wears makeup on a regular basis, it is a good investment.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Product Review - Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill by Benefit Cosmetics

I went to Sephora on Friday to get mascara and noticed that Benefit Cosmetics now has a line with different products for eyebrows. Let me backtrack for a second.

I naturally have blonde hair so I need to put something over my eyebrows, otherwise it looks like I have no eyebrows. I used to apply black mascara over my eyebrows and then switched to applying gel liner for a more defined look. But the gel liner would be smudgy so I switched back to applying mascara. And then switched recently to using just a dark brown eyeshadow with an angled brush for a more natural look... but it still wasn't hitting the spot.

So I decided to take a chance on the Benefit Cosmetics product, selecting the Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill.

I liked the angle of the pencil and that it had a brush at the end and figured that I'd give it a try. Given my black hair, I picked the darkest color, 06. When I tried the product on my hand, it seemed to be a good color for my eyebrows.

I tried it this morning and I have to say that I was impressed and loved the results (shown below). It was actually easy to apply, although I had to put a little more pressure on the pencil than I thought I would have to. But it worked nicely and can be built to your desired intensity. So contrary to any of the other products I had tried before, I could adjust how intense and dark I wanted my eyebrows. After applying the pencil, they recommend using the brush to smooth the product in and that made my eyebrows look more natural.

The products is $24 but I will say that it was well worth the price. I would definitely recommend it. I also love that there are 6 different shades available so you can definitely find something that will work for you, on top of being able to customize the look based on how much you apply.

They also have different versions of the product that have different shape and size of the pencil, depending on the look you like for your eyebrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Product Review - Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara by Too Faced


I received a sample of the Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara by Too Faced via a makeup subscriptions.

First off, I generally hate those play on sexy talk as names for makeup and this one takes the cake. Seriously? Better than sex? Pffffff... Okay, I get it, they're bold and believe in their product. I could make a bunch of comparisons that would be highly inappropriate and NSFW but I will refrain.

I have been using the product for about 4-6 weeks. It started out okay: it applied well enough, wasn't clumping, and was a nice intense dark. Probably THE best feature of this product was how well it builds.

Sadly, though, for the last 10 days, it feels like the product has been getting thicker and harder to apply. Reading comments on the Sephora website, it appears that I'm not the only one who had that experience. And, honestly, at $23 for the full size (which is typical for a product in that category), I'd expect for it to last better than that.

It was also very difficult to completely remove the mascara. That is something that usually happens with waterproof mascara, hence why I typically don't buy those, but it seemed like this one was even harder than most.

I wouldn't really recommend this product but I will put a caveat that it might be a case of it's just not for me but others may like it. Again, I feel that it was a product that wonderfully builds so I'd be tempted to purchase it for that, especially for stage performances. I actually might recommend that a casual makeup wearer get the travel/sample version (which is $12) and use it for stage. I might even contemplate doing that myself.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Medusa's Make-Up September Box

My 2nd Medusa's Make-Up box subscription arrived last week. How was it going to compare to last month's box?

Well, here's the loot:
As with the last time, there were 4 items, including this time around:

  • Brush cleanser
  • Eye dust in lemonade
  • Eye shadow brush
  • Body shimmer
Not too shabby. I haven't tried the brush cleanser yet and will need to figure out how it compares to my favorite one, which is by MAC. I like the eye shadow brush. The body shimmer is in pink, which is cute, but I'll need to pick and choose where to apply it b/c it IS different than my skin tone... but I can see using it to good effect for stage.

At first, I was a little... hmmmm... dismayed by the yellow of the eye shadow. But, yanno, when your makeup subscription sends you lemonade, you make... an awesome makeup scheme. ;) Here's what I came up with:
I applied a bronze primer, Submissive by Be a Bombshell, over my eyelid. I applied that Lemonade eye dust over the primer. I used the eye dust in Magma from last month's Medusa's Make-Up box at the crease. And a light cream colored eye shadow at the brow bone. (And black eyeliner and mascara, of course.) I'm actually madly in love with this makeup scheme.

Here's a look with one eye closed to see the layers better.
I was wondering if I would keep loving this subscription and I sure do. I received my Beautycon Box yesterday (my 3rd one) and, while I like it, I don't love it. (I may do a review of it.) In fact, I went ahead and cancelled it because I would much rather keep having the Medusa's Make-Up subscription. I feel like getting both the Ipsy and Medusa's Make-Up subscriptions complement each other well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review - Medusa's Make Up Monthly Box

A couple of weeks ago, I saw that Medusa's Make Up was starting a monthly box subscription and, well, since I love their products (you can read my previous review here), I had to jump at the chance.

I received the products while I was gone on vacation. Funnily, it came in the same pink padded envelope as the Ipsy bag so I thought that it was the Ipsy one. In my fuzzy, jet lagged and sleep deprived state, I didn't clue in for a while and realized that I should have taken pics of all the opening steps. lol So the 2 plastic wrapped things in the picture below were wrapped in some other protecting sheet with a cute sticker to close it.

Still plastic wrapped pic:


Opened so we can see the colors of the lipstick and lip gloss:


What I received, from left to right on the above picture are:

  • Lip gloss in Loverboy
  • Eye glitter in Ozone (which is a lovely pale blue/teal color)
  • Eye dust in Magma
  • Lipstick in Baroque
I was surprised to see that all 4 products were actually full size. I re-read the description of the subscription box to see if I had just missed it but it just said that you receive 3-5 products to try... I thought they'd be samples. So I got 4 full size products for $15.95. That's pretty darn good. I just checked their retail price for all 4 items and it'd be $35. Granted, you're not choosing the colors but it's a rebate of $20. They're not asking you a quiz about your preferences so they're likely just picking out stuff and shipping that to you. So, funnily, I have an eye dust that is in a similar shade as that Magma, just a bit paler. I do love both, though.

Would I recommend it? Yes I totally would. That was good loot. (I of course reserve the right to change my mind depending on upcoming months.)

And here's a pic of me wearing the eye dust and the lipstick:

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Dita Experience

In April, I saw Strip Strip Hooray (it was wonderful!) and not only did it make me want to bling up all my costumes but I also picked up Dita's new book, Your Beauty Mark, signed, of course. This entry won't be a book review (though I may do one later) as I haven't read it fully yet. However, it is about my experience since the show and starting to read the book.

Before the show, I had noticed that I hadn't been wearing as much makeup as I used to (it partially explains why I've had fewer entries on this blog for a while). Mostly, it was due to time constraints to get out the door in the morning so cutting on makeup application was shaving off some time.

Something else that happened in the meantime is that I've gained back quite a bit of weight between the stress of moving quickly from Indianapolis to Seattle, adjusting to all the new things (new job, new apartment, new city, etc.), and the amazing food here. My confidence has been going down increasingly and it was hard to look at my reflection in the mirror and I felt like a failure given my previous weight loss. So I was feeling pretty low.

Watching the show, seeing gorgeous women of all shapes and size being wonderfully sexy, I had this moment where I leaned over to my partner and said "I think that I need to rekindle my glamorous side." It dawned on me that it would be something that might be helpful. And it sure was.

I started first with wearing more makeup, getting back to the whole routine that I used to do, which involves Beauty Balm instead of foundation, concealer, loose powder, eye shadow application, eye liner, mascara, and blush. Shortly after that, I added wearing lipstick too (which I wouldn't do before), which makes for a more complete look.

When I started reading Dita's book, I was reminded that I also had been neglecting my skin care. I knew it but sort of was ignoring it because the products I normally use are a little pricey. Not outrageously so but more than what my budget could withstand at the moment. But the book reminded me of less expensive options so I slowly added back items to my skin care regime to supplement what I didn't have as samples thanks to Ipsy.

It's been about 6 weeks now and, yes, it does help. I feel better about myself and its much much easier to look at myself in the mirror. My confidence has definitely increased too. It feels like it's totally worth the time and money investments to feel this way.

As for the book, yes, thus far, I would recommend it. The caveat is that, as is to be expected, it's very Dita focused with some of the experts in the book showering her with compliments on her dedication to this or that. So it very much is a celebration of Dita and she explains how she does things but also has some other suggestions. It's definitely not a comprehensive book and never was meant to be. But I find it interesting to hear about her world, her process, etc. And the pictures are gorgeous.

Monday, May 16, 2016

NYX palette

Recently, I wrote a review for the Beautycon box and then a specific one on the Maybelline Rock Nudes palette where I promised that I would write a review of a NYX palette. Yup, this is it.

First off, I have to put the disclaimer that I am rather a fan of NYX. And I'm super glad that Ipsy often has NYX products in their bags. So I was of course delighted when I received this palette with lovely warm neutral tones.

Interestingly, it looks like it might be an Ipsy exclusive, as I don't see a palette that matches exactly on their website. I love the high pigmentation of the NYX products and they are generally not too expensive so it is a very good purchase for the price. I know, though, that it can be hard to find the products depending on where you live but you can order from their website and get free shipping after $25. I have recently purchased from their website and they were fairly quick. They also have more options on their website than what you can find in stores.

Here is how these shadows look on me. And if you want to do a comparison with the previous blog entry with the Maybelling Rock Nudes, you'll see that this below look pops more.