Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Haul!

This is just a quick, little "summer" haul of stuff I got recently. Reviews will follow. Eventually. :)

Top row: Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum; Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner; Dermalogica Active Moist moisturizer; Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Underground.

Bottom row: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in First Kiss; Fresh Sugar Plum lip balm & treatment; Fresh Sugar Rose lip balm & treatment; Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm in Lemon & Chamomile; L'Oreal Studio Secrets eyeshadow in Brushed Suede.

If you have any questions about anything before I get around to posting a review, feel free to ask! I've already spent some time playing with things and testing them out.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Swatch Wars!

So today's Swatch War is of a different variety... It's all about mascara. Do formulas matter? How about the brush? Are they really the "blackest black" mascara on the market? To help answer those questions, I'm pitting Maybelline One by One Volum' Express in Very Black versus Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in Blackest Black (the darkest color in each of their respective ranges).

Both tubes are approximately the same price in any given drugstore and both feature a rubber-bristle brush. The difference? The Maybelline brush is kind of curved and super flexible. I mean, super. You barely have to push against it for it to bend. The Cover Girl brush? It's like a war club: rigid, straight and spiky.

Maybelline One by One Volum' Express

Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume

Maybelline on left; Cover Girl on right
For some reason, I couldn't get the Maybelline side to "smear" properly. However, I can attest that they are both the same shade of black.

Now for the scary part...

Nekkid eyes!

Ah! This is why I refuse to leave the house without mascara on!

Cover Girl on right eye (left side of screen); Maybelline on left eye (right side of screen).

So, they look almost identical... I think the Maybelline side has a teensy, tiny bit more of a "spiky" look, whereas the Cover Girl side looks more fanned out.

As far as application goes, I prefer the Cover Girl wand. It's ramrod-straight brush might be difficult for some people to wield, but I like it because it means I never have to comb my lashes when I'm done, no matter how many coats I layer on. The Maybelline one feels wimpy by comparison and I seem to get a lot transfer to my eyelid when I use it.

Also, when I initially bought the Maybelline I hated it. It was very liquidy and the smell was kind of pungent. After a few weeks it died down and the formula thickened up to the proper consistency, but I don't want to have to go through all that hassle again. The Cover Girl one is awesome from the first swipe to the last, in my experience.

With that, I think it's safe to say that Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume is the winner of this war. :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

LOTD Revlon Raspberry Freeze

I remember picking this one up a couple of winters ago because I saw it in Glamour. Damn you Glamour and your pretty advertising! Anyway... they featured it as a modern spin on a Snow White look for winter - pale skin and then a POP of color that wasn't your typical holiday red. I wear it year round, but I get what they were aiming for.

The full name is "Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Raspberry Freeze #485," but I think it's only available online these days. It's a Pearl formula, which means it's not super frosty, but it does have some shine to it. The color itself is a dark, yet wearable raspberry that can be built up to as much intensity as you want. It's a cousin to the true blue-based reds and pink-hued berries that makes it pretty versatile.

Nekkid lips.

Raspberry Freeze, slightly blotted down.

Swatched two or three times on the left and swatched once on the right.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NOTD OPI Second Honeymoon

I know Essie kind of has the market cornered on light pinks/nudes but I thought I would give OPI a shot. I've had Second Honeymoon ever since it premiered in the "Soft Shades" collection a couple years ago, but as you can see from the bottle, I haven't worn it much.

Second Honeymoon is a light pinky nude that gives my nails a subtle, pulled together kind of look. But it's not completely opaque (even after three coats), and it can streak if you're not careful. It's not my favorite color in the world, but it is something that I can slap on when my nails are super short (like they have been lately) and feel like I've done something a little more than just a clear coat. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

EOTD MAC Jest & Sable

For some reason, whenever I wear MAC Jest, I have to pair it with MAC Sable. It's like they're meant to be together. :)

Undereye concealer: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller
Undereye powder: None
Base: None
Lid color: MAC Jest
Crease and under eye: MAC Sable
Highlight: MAC Shroom and NARS Tibet
Eyeliner: Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Lionfish
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast in Blackest Black

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance

Like Philosophy, Dermalogica was one of those brands that I heard great things about but never actually tried. This past winter, I decided to get Dermalogica's heavy hitter, Intensive Moisture Balance, and see what it did for my freaked out skin. It's $40 for 1.7 fl oz and $60 for 3.4, available at Ulta and online.

Dermalogica says it's...
An ultra-rich phytonutrient moisturizer designed to combat dry skin and reduce the signs of premature aging. Contains no artificial fragrance or color.

The first thing that stood out to me about Intensive Moisture Balance was the smell. It smelled like sunscreen. It also kind of applied like it - thick and creamy. But unlike sunscreen, IMB sank in in just a few minutes and didn't leave me feeling greasy.

For all the moisturizing qualities it had, my skin just didn't like it. It didn't take away the stubborn flakes I had and just like the Philosophy cream, the more I applied to the super dried out areas, the more blemishes I got. If you're not acne-prone and have dry skin, IMB would probably be a good bet. For me, though, it was too heavy in some areas and not enough in others. Thank you combination skin for making the Great Moisturizer Hunt a royal pain.

Water, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-8, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Lactamide MEA, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Extracts Of: Rosa Centifolia FLower, Centella Asiatica, Echinacea Purpurea, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed, Camellia Olefera Leaf, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf, DIoscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root; Lecithin, Glycolipids, Phospholipids, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium PCA, Tocopheryl Acetate, DEA-Cetyl Phosphate, Superoxide DIsmutase, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA.

Monday, June 20, 2011

NOTD China Glaze Light As Air

This post was inspired by Kimberly, since she just did a post on light purple/lilac nails. :) Even though I think China Glaze's Light As Air is more of a spring color, I still like wearing it because the weather here in Po'Dunk has been cool/stormy, which is good for me but not so good for the people that actually want it to be summer. Being a redhead w/ pale skin & eyes + the sun = BAD! So I'll take my moderate temperatures and clouds any day of the week. :)

Back to Light As Air... it's a pale lilac creme with a slightly gray quality from the Up and Away 2010 collection. It was a little thick to apply, so two coats is plenty to get a nice, smooth finish. Sally Hansen's Delphinium looks like it could be a really close dupe, in case you wanted to try it out without having to track down Light As Air online.

Friday, June 17, 2011

LOTD MAC Lustre in Twig Twig

I confess - I've only ever owned two MAC lipsticks in my lifetime. Two. I know. It's very sad. The first one was "Razzberry" something, which has long since been discontinued. And my second MAC lipstick purchase was Twig Twig. Not the regular Twig, but Twig Twig, which was also discontinued. Is it me? I mean really... If I buy Viva Glam V are they going to change the color or something?

But anywho... Twig Twig was (or is, I guess, since you can still find it online in some spots) a beautiful my-lips-but-better kind of color. It's like a light plummy/pinky/nude. At the original $14.50, Twig Twig was a steal for such a flattering color and a smooth, creamy formula. Had I known they would discontinue it, I would have stocked up. As it is, I guess I'll just have to wait for them to trot it out later in one of their bazillion collections.

Nekkid lips.

RIP Twig Twig.

Swatched once.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Layout

I don't know about you guys, but I like mixing things up every now and again. So... I've messed with the layout of the blog. I'm still not 100% thrilled with it, but I was tired of the gray flower. I wanted something with a little more color and something that wouldn't wash out the pictures I upload. Since I'm a huge history nerd (hence the weird name/meaning of the blog), I kind of like the vintage feel.

That being said though, if it's killing your eyes or you guys really loved the gray flower, just let me know and I'll be more than happy to switch it back. After all, you're the ones that see it. I want to make everything as enjoyable/readable/not-migraine-inducing as possible. :)

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller

When I first heard about Garnier's new product, I was skeptical. I didn't think it would be universally flattering, nor did I think a mineral-based concealer would be enough for my shadowy undereye area. Since it only cost $11-$12 (depending on which store you go to) I figured I would at least get it and see what all the fuss was about.

As of this posting, I have 6 EOTDs featuring Garnier as my sole undereye concealer. So, it's safe to say that I like it. But do I love it? Well... yes and no. Yes, because it goes on smoothly (it's very watery in texture) and I love that it doesn't crease. My biggest gripe? The color. I wish they had more than just one-shade-fits-all. It's very warm (as you'll see in a second), which works great for correcting undereye shadows/circles, but it doesn't do anything to brighten the undereye.

Will I finish out the tube? Yes. Will I buy it again? Probably not. I'm eyeing the new Olay brush-on concealer next..

The top row is just one swipe. The second is blended out a tad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream

During The Great Moisturizer Hunt this past winter, I picked up Philosophy's When Hope Is Not Enough Replenishing Cream. I had really high expecations for this moisturizer, despite my love/hate relationship with the brand's infamous Purity Made Simple cleanser. WHINE had really good reviews all over the internet, so I choked down the $48 for a mere 2 oz.

Philosophy has this to say:

emollient facial moisturizer created for dehydrated, devitalized skin. contains natural oils and emollients to help balance and restore the skin's moisture levels.

features & benefits:
  • improves skin smoothness

  • balances and helps restore skin's moisture

  • leaves skin soft with a healthy glow

  • Instead of being an actual cream, WHINE is a light substance that is a cross between a mousse and ... jello. It's squishy and spreadable, but kind of waxy at the same time. The idea is that you're supposed to get a teeny tiny bit on your fingers, rub them together to warm up the product and then press/pat it into the skin. So the perk is that a little goes a long, long way and it never feels heavy on your skin. It also has a nice, light herbal kind of smell.

    The bad? Well, aside from the price, WHINE didn't take away my winter dryness. It felt nice as soon as you put it on, but within 15 minutes, I had to go back and put a second layer on or another moisturizer to alleviate the tightness. It also had a tendency of "balling" up on my skin after a while. For instance, if I scratched my temple 4 hours later, I'd either get a film of product on my finger or it would roll up like dough and fall off. Gross, right? And all of those extra layers I had to keep putting on to get relief from dry skin led to pimples and clogged pores in the long run.

    The verdict? It went back to Ulta. Another FAIL on the Great Moisturizer Hunt and another FAIL for Philosophy. :(

    water (aqua), prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, lauryl lactate, pentaerythrityl tetracaprylate⁄tetracaprate, cetearyl alcohol, triethanolamine, cetyl alcohol, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, dimethicone, ppg-2 myristyl ether propionate, glycerin, cyclopentasiloxane, potassium cetyl phosphate, polysorbate 60, peg-150 distearate, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, cyclohexasiloxane, borago officinalis seed oil, panthenol, allantoin, tocophersolan, beta-glucan, arginine, dioscorea villosa (wild yam) root extract, sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan, carbomer, acrylates⁄c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, sorbitan oleate, fragrance (parfum), propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, disodium edta.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    EOTD MAC Satin Taupe

    A quick EOTD, featuring MAC's cult classic: Satin Taupe.

    Undereye concealer: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller
    Base: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
    Lid color: MAC Satin Taupe
    Highlight: MAC Phloof!
    Eyeliner: MAC Eye Kohl in Smolder, with Satin Taupe on top
    Second eyeliner: Mark On The Edge Liquid Eyeliner in Cleo, just along upper lash line
    Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast in Blackest Black

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    LOTD Lancome Pink Horizon

    Just a quick LOTD showing the non-descript and kind of blah Lancome Juicy Tube in Pink Horizon. I got a mini version a while back during some Bonus time event thingy... And while the formula is nice, I'm not really rushing out for any others because to me, a lip gloss is a lip gloss and doesn't necessarily deserve the $18 price tag.

    So, grumbles aside, Pink Horizon looks like a milky pink swirled with gold mico glitter in the tube. On the lips it pretty much looks like the same thing. Because my lips are not very pigmented, I tend to only wear it when I want a really nude look or I put it on top of lipstick to give it more staying power and, you know, so you can actually see some of the color.

    Nekkid lips.

    Pink Horizon.