Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer

I have been experimenting with several of the new Hard Candy products lately and have found some great products, but this is not one of them.  Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer is anything but perfect.  It has the feel of a silicone primer like Smashbox Photo Finish primer, but it doesn't blend into your skin leaving it smooth, rather it tends to clump up as you blend.  I tried using a very small amount of this product, and it still balled up on my skin forcing me to wash my face and start all over with a different primer.  I did not have this problem with Hard Candy's original Sheer Envy Primer; in fact I really liked that one which led me to try the Skin Perfecting Primer. 

Here's the description from the container: "Perfecting primer evens out skin tone and creates a flawless, smooth finish to skin.  Fills in fine lines, wrinkles, and pores.  Can be worn alone or under makeup."

As you might guess, I completely disagree with all of that!  Steer clear of this product ladies, and go for the original Hardy Candy Sheer Envy Primer instead! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April Birchbox!

April brought me yet another great Birchbox!  As always, my box was prettily wrapped and was a delight to open.  See my previous blog entry for more information about Birchbox.

This month's box included the following product samples.  I have briefly tested most of them and included my initial impressions.
  •  LIV GRN Natural Eau de Parfum - a light, clean, cucumber melon type scent that is perfect for Spring
  • Suki Exfoliate Foaming Face Cleanser - lemon scented cleanser that really seemed to exfoliate and deep clean at the same time
  • Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion - a heavily rose scented lotion; felt very greasy on my face
  • Zoya Nail Polish in Dove - light gray shade; went nicely onto nails and nearly covered in one coat; seems to have really great staying power, as I have been wearing it for about 5 days without any chips
  • Zhena's Gypsy Tea Italian Chamomile - not too sure about this doesn't exactly seem like "my cup of tea"
  • Wildflower planting card - very cute addition to box; I plan to plant this once Spring actually arrives in Upstate NY!
Can't wait to see what next month's Birchbox brings!

Has anyone else subscribed to Birchbox?  What came in your box?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mark Product Reviews

Mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes and Mark Cheekblossom Cheek Color Tint
Mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes
I recently received a couple Mark products to sample from my wonderful Avon lady, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the two products.

First, I have the Mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes.  I was pretty impressed with this compact; it is cute, has a sleek design, and a large mirror.  I really like the combination of colors for a rosy-bronzy blush shade, and the lighter colors can be used as a highlighter, as well.  For those of you who really like multipurpose products, you can even use the individual color cubes as eye shadows.  The cream cubes have a nice creamy texture and are well pigmented.  Overall, I think this is a great product and one that I will be getting a lot of use out of this Spring and Summer!

Sadly, the Mark Cheekblossom Cheek Color Tint was a let down.  The cheek color tint is a clear gel that when applied to your skin is supposed to react with your skin's chemistry to create a natural flush...but, I got no reaction at all and no color from it.  I liked the silky consistency and feel of the gel; it's just too bad it didn't change color on my skin.  I wanted to love this product because at $6.50 it is a fraction of the cost of Smashbox's similar product O-Glow.  I have tried Smashbox O-Glow in Sephora, and it works nicely.  So, if you are in the market for a product like Mark Cheekblossom Cheek Color Tint, I would suggest you try O-Glow.

Have any of you tried any great or not so great products lately?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Another Must Have Brush!

Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki F80 brush

The Sigma Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki brush is a revelation in liquid foundation application.  The flat top design and dense fibers of this brush make it great for applying liquid foundation.  I found that by dipping the brush in a small amount of foundation and then applying it to my face with a light stippling motion, I was able to get a really well blended and flawless look without much effort.  The brush does not absorb a lot of foundation; so, you aren't wasting as much product as you would with a sponge or regular foundation brush.  Another very important feature of this brush is that it is super soft and feels great on your face.  In my opinion this brush is tied with the Beauty Blender sponge in terms of best liquid foundation application. 

If you are a fan of the Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation, this brush works really great with it, and you use just the tiniest amount of foundation to cover your entire face.  I found that the sponge that came with the foundation didn't last long and was impossible to clean.  But, my Sigma Flat Top Kabuki was the perfect solution!

Sigma brushes are professional quality brushes that are affordable; I ordered this brush from the Sigma website for $16.  I believe that Sigma brushes are only available online.

I have to give thanks to Pammy from Pammy Blogs Beauty and Agnes from Pinkbox Makeup for their great reviews of this brush!  I am loving this brush, too!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Unii and Z Palette Reviews

Top: Unii Palette; Bottom: Z Palette
 After much deliberation, I finally decided to attempt depotting all of my single eye shadows in an effort to save space in my makeup drawers.  This decision led me to order Unii palettes and a Z Palette to store the depotted shadows in.  Both of these palettes are great, though I think I am a bit partial to the Unii palettes due to their durability, design, and over all cuteness.  So far, I am pretty happy with my new palettes and how my depotting experience went; I only had one casualty!  Though I did manage to slightly dent most my shadows in the process; I feel like I will get more use out of my single eye shadows now that I have grouped them together into palettes.  It definitely makes it easier to find the shadows I want to use!

Unii Palette filled with depotted NYX, MAC, and e.l.f. eye shadows

Unii Palette Features:
  • Has a large mirror, which is good for travel or doing your makeup on-the-go
  • Has thumb grip to prevent placing fingers in makeup
  • Made of durable, hard plastic with a sturdy closure
  • Comes apart for easy cleaning
  • Comes with magnet strips
  • Available in several colors
  • Inner Dimensions: 2.8"D x 5.4"L x 0.4"Thick
Z Palette filled with depotted Cover Girl, NYX, and L'Oreal eye shadows

Z Palette Features:
  • Large surface area for depotted pans
  • Clear window for viewing makeup
  • Easy to open magnetic closure
  • Comes in designer prints
  • Light weight design

Pros of Depotting:
  • Save space
  • Organize eye shadows by color or coordinating groups for easy use
  • Can create personalized palettes for traveling or on-the-go use
Cons of Depotting:
  • May crack or dent eye shadows
  • May be necessary to destroy original packaging to remove eye shadow
  • Takes time and patience to depot eye shadows
Before you think about depotting your precious eye shadows, be sure to do some research.  I watched a number of videos on how to depot eye shadows, as well as how to fix eye shadows that have been cracked while depotting.  I've included links below to the most helpful videos.

EnKore Makeup Depotting
Depotting NYX Single Eye Shadows
EnKore Makeup Mending Cracked Shadows 
Kandee's How to Fix Broken Eye Shadows 

Happy depotting everyone!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fresh Treats for Your Lips

fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 and regular Lip Treatment SPF 15
fresh Tinted Lip Treatments have become my new favorite go-to lip balms.  I just love how sheer and hydrating they feel on my lips.  They have a light lemon scent, are flavorless and have SPF 15, too.  I have both the colorless lip treatment and the Sugar Plum lip treatment which looks very dark but is a sheer plum shade.  See the swatch below for a good idea of what the color looks like.

Here is what Sephora's webpage says about this product: 

"Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 blends reparative oils and waxes with real sugar, a natural humectant, for delectable and dependable moisture. Sweet and tart blackcurrant oil, rich in plumping essential fatty acids, cushions the lips while antioxidant grapeseed polyphenols and vitamins A, C, and E provide protection from wrinkle-causing free radicals. It also provides essential, year-round protection from damaging UV rays."

That is sounds like a science experiment; but, the outcome is a lovely product that delivers great moisturization that makes lips look and feel great! 

What's your favorite lip balm?

Swatch of fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment