Sunday, 29 April 2012

Makeup Geek MUG Eyeshadows in Vanilla Bean, Moondust and Sensuous - Review and Swatches

I have gone and purchased another 12 (yes...12) Makeup Geek eyeshadows. I got 8 of them in a kit which was on sale and bought the other 4 a la carte. I was that impressed with my first 8 which I did a blog post about a few weeks ago. I have only gotten around to trying out 3 of my new 12 so far. I will showcase them here today. From left to right, both pictures, Vanilla Bean, Moondust and Sensuous. I don't know if you can even see my swatch of Vanilla Bean. It is skin colour needless to say. I so wanted Vanilla Bean to be a dupe of my beloved Shroom by MAC. At $5.99 each, it would be 1/3 the price of Shroom. Alas, it was not to be. Vanilla Bean is more like a cross between Bisque and Shroom but is a much poorer cousin. It is chalky and I don't like the feel of it. The colour is forgettable. I will find some use for it, but I just don't like it. I feel similarly about the MUG Shimma Shimma, although Shimma Shimma makes a very nice brow highlight.

Moondust is much better. It is fairly smooth and is a bit unique. It would almost be a dupe for MAC's Satin Taupe but Moondust is more silver and is not as smooth and complex in colour as Satin Taupe. If you are on a budget though, Moondust is a good choice. I will be happily wearing this colour for months to come. I wore it the other day and received a number of compliments. Now on to Sensuous. I LOVE THIS COLOUR! This colour is gorgeous! It is by far my favourite MUG eyeshadow to date. It is smooth and looks amazing. It wears like a dream and doesn't fade (assuming you use a primer of course). My second favourite MUG eyeshadow is Unexpected which I already mentioned in another blog. Sensuous reminds me of a dupe for Trax by MAC only Sensuous is more purple than violet. I seriously can not decide which one is nicer. The quality of Sensuous is unbelievable. Trax is one of my favourite eyeshadows so this causes a dilemma! I wore Sensuous with Shroom yesterday and black gel liner and I was set for the night and looked totally polished without spending hardly anytime in front of the mirror. MUG better not go out of business because I need to stockpile this colour stat. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Vanilla Bean Rating: 3/10
Moondust Rating: 7.5/10
Sensuous Rating: 10/10

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner Ivy Shimmer Ink 14 - Swatch and Review

I had to search high and low to get my hands on this product. Until recently, it was extremely difficult to get Bobbi Brown products here in Canada. I think only select salons and Holt Renfrew had them. Now Sephoras in Canada have Bobbi Brown here just in the last couple of months....sigh. So anyway I bought this gel eyeliner in New York City last summer. This colour, Ivy Shimmer, is really hard to find. I had looked in Buffalo on past trips, nothing doing. Sephora at the Eaton Centre only has the basic colours even now. This colour is very dark as you can see. It looks grey or black from a distance. If you want to try green gel liner and are scared of loud colours, this would be a good place to start.

I don't know why this particular colour is so hard to get and why people love it. I do like it, don't get me wrong, I just don't get the hype. I have not tried it on my waterline yet so I will suspend judgement until I do on that issue. The "shimmer" is not very noticeable I find. To me it is just a dark moss green. It glides on well but I do find you need to be heavy handed with the brush when you apply it. It can go on very lightly if you are not careful. I know the colour looks very pigmented in the above photo, but I actually find this one is to me one of the least pigmented gel liners I own. Give me MAC or Clinique any day over this! This colour is unusual though and I haven't seen anything else like it in the major gel liner brands.

Rating: 6.5/10

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Contest Time! Thank You Readers!

Hello! I have decided to have a contest to thank my readers for following me. I get a lot of hits on this little blog daily. Seriously. Hundreds. That is part of the reason why I continue to do this, because people like you, care to read to my blog and are truly interested in the subject matter! As some of you may have noticed, I don't have a lot of followers, thanks to spice things up a bit, I am offering up a prize to one random person who decides to become a follower on my blog. The prize is this brand new, never used, swatched or tested eyeshadow by Prestige in C-178 Glisten. The size is 2.2g or 0.08 oz. In the interests of full disclosure, I did take the cellophane off of the container as I was planning to use it myself but instead decided to contest it out.

In order to win this prize, you must do two things.

1. Sign up to become a follower on my blog.
2. Write a comment on this blog post. You can say anything at all. This is to confirm that you don't just wish to follow my blog, but you also wish to win the prize!

It's that simple. I will ship this to anywhere in the world and I know my readers are everywhere, even Mongolia! I will contact you if you have been selected as the winner to ask for your mailing address. The contest will close at 6 p.m. Eastern Time in North America on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. I will announce the winner that night! Good Luck! Thank you for reading my blog!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Bumble and Bumble Bb Straight Blow Dry - Review

Now for a new product which really sucks. I purchased this several week ago at a salon. For years I have been a slave to the regular Bumble and Bumble Bb Straight which is a clear gel formula. I really like this product and it smells nice for when I blow dry my hair straight or using a flat iron. I went to get a new tube and the salon told me that the Bb Straight Blow Dry is the new version of my beloved favourite and that it works better. So I bought it and I can tell you it blows something alright. It is like hand lotion for starters. It looks like it and feels like a slimy version of hand cream. It smells ridiculously manly. I do not like the smell at all in my hair. When I use this and then try to blow dry my hair, my hair goes all frizzy. The only way my hair looks and feels good with this product is if I take the flat iron to it after a wasted blow dry attempt. Horrible stuff this is. Hate it. Will never buy again. I only bought the travel size to try it out (thank God) and I think it was still about $15 Cdn. for 2 fl oz. or 60ml.

Rating: 2/10 (I am being kind only because a flat iron will save your hair after you use this)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

OPI Dutch Treats Mini Set - Show and Tell

Hello! This is a show and tell because I haven't worn any of these yet so I can't do a review. I always try to pick up OPI mini sets when I can because they are such a good deal. I have personally never finished a bottle of nail polish in my life, so I never get full bang for my buck. OPI's mini sets let you try the colour and get many applications out of one bottle if you like the colour. You also usually get to sample a good range or the best of the new collection. Four usually come in a set. The price is usually $14.95 Cdn. Considering that one full size is anywhere from $6 (clearance price) to $15, I would say this is a good deal. The colours are so cute in the collection and the names as usual, kill me. We have from left to right (both pictures) I Have a Herring Problem (shimmery green-blue sea), Red Lights Ahead....Where? (coral red), Kiss Me on My Tulips (hot pink) and Pedal Faster Suzi! (pink-lavender shimmer).

The descriptions I have used above are from OPI. My description of them would be similar but with a few differences. To me, I Have a Herring Problem, is a cold grey blue sea shimmer. I don't see the green factor. It's quite unusual and I am looking forward to trying it out. It reminds me of a dark, rainy day at sea with Jack Sparrow or some such thing. Red Lights Ahead....Where? is a coral red which is to say it is very orange for a red and it is what I normally call hot tamale red. I am not big on orange reds myself, but since I don't have any in my collection, I now do. Kiss Me on My Tulips is so cute!!!! I have similar colours in my collection, but this is the nicest hot pink I have in my stash. I love this colour. It is everything that screams summer, pool parties......if you like hot pink nail polish and don't have this colour in your stash, go and buy this now while you can. Finally, we have Pedal Faster Suzi! which is a princess fairytale pink purple. This is an usual colour for nail polish. At first it just looks like a dreamy baby pink shimmer, but when I put it next to my baby pink nail polishes, they look quite light and beige in comparison. This really is a true pink with lavender in it. Looking forward to trying this one on too soon. Each bottle in the set is 3.75ml or 1/8 fl. oz. OPI nail polish is very decent in my book and is pretty much as good as, if not better than, any regular nail polish out there.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

John Masters Organics Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair - Review

Hello! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I have been crazy busy and I am tired.

I have had this product for a few months. I am 2/3rds through the bottle. I bought this with a bunch of other John Masters things online a while back. This shampoo is supposed to be for dry hair which is what I have. It is a dark coloured shampoo, and to me, it smells like beer. Of course I can't see beer in the ingredients, but that is what the smell reminds me of. This shampoo completely reminds me of a Lush product. That product is the Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo. It looks and smells very similar. I have used the Lush shampoo in the past and wasn't overly in love with it. I have a similar impression of this John Masters shampoo as well. It really does a good job of cleaning your hair and I find it gives me quite a bit of volume and body which I was not expecting. It is not overly moisturizing. It is supposed to be. I have used more moisturizing shampoos from the drug store. It does a decent job of detangling and let me tell you, my hair is a rat's nest when it is wet.

Since this is a natural product, it says it contains no GMOs, parabens, DEAs, MEAs, TEAs, sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial colour, artificial fragrance, nor petro-chemicals. It costs $22.50 Cdn. Also, and this may sound kind of crazy, sometimes I think my hair colour looks darker after I use it. In fact, one day a co-worker asked me if I had dyed my hair darker. So I find that kind of odd and strange. I can not believe I am going to finish this bottle but I will. The symbol on the bottle says it is only good for 6 months! I guess that is the price you pay for going with a natural product. I will not be repurchasing this product but I may try another John Masters shampoo at some point.

Rating: 6/10

Sunday, 15 April 2012

MAC Cream Colour Base Pearl, Bronze and Hush - Review and Swatches

Hello! Sorry I have been negligent about doing a post the past few days. I have been busy! Anyway, today I am going to do a review on three of MAC's Cream Colour Bases. I only own three at the moment, however, I think there are only 5 or 6 colours in the permanent line. They are $17.50 U.S. or $21 Cdn. Each container is 3.2g or 0.12 US oz. I think one of these would last anyone a lifetime. The colours are left to right above Pearl, Bronze and Hush. I don't know how much you can tell from the swatch, but they are very frosted and all 3 are labelled as "frost" colours. The Pearl and Hush are from the permanent line and the Bronze was Limited Edition I believe.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this product, it is a frosted cream product which blends very easily. Some people use the lighter shades to highlight the tops of cheekbones or run down the nose to slim it out. You can also use them as eyeshadow bases (but they do crease so use a primer!). The lighter shades are for highlighting the brow or the inner corner of the eye or simply on the eyelid for a little zip and to make eyeshadow pop. Personally, I use Pearl the most. I don't regret buying Hush, I just don't reach for it all that often. Bronze is great for putting in the crease and then applying a similar colour eyeshadow over it for an old school Hollywood look. I am wearing it today and it sure does a good job when recreating those looks. If you ever get the chance to get your hands on Bronze, such as if MAC ever does a repromote, grab it while you can. Hush looks better on people with medium to darker skin tones and for those of you with peaches and cream complexions. These are a lot of fun and have multiple uses. Maybe I should try Hush as a blush...hmm

Rating: 8.5/10

Thursday, 12 April 2012

MAC Zoom Lash Mascara - Review

Before I jump into this review, I would first like to say that in general, MAC does not produce the best mascaras in the world. I don't think that is any big secret. There was a time, not so long ago, when I had tried every mascara MAC had. They have come out with a few new ones lately, and for the purposes of full disclosure, I have not tried the Opulash or False Lashes mascara yet. I don't think I will be trying the Opulash as the brush is huge and that type of brush never works on my skinny minis. I am on probably my 4th tube of Zoom Lash. I got this latest tube a while ago and I just opened it for the first time over the weekend. My Benefit They're Real mascara has dried out. I need to go and buy some more, but alas I had an unopened Zoom kicking around so I have to use it. Of all of the MAC mascaras that I have tried over the years, this one is definitely one of their better ones. MAC has actually discontinued a few mascaras that used to be in their permanent line in recent months. So alas, it would be pointless to do a review on those. I guess the discontinued ones weren't selling....maybe because they weren't very good.....

This mascara is nice and rich black. It's glossy. It wears decently. I don't wear this one with my glasses as it tends to smudge a bit much for me. It smudges a little once in a while when I am wearing my contacts as it is. The price is $15 U.S. and $18 Canadian. It's not worth the money if I may be frank. The latest tube I have came in one of those makeup kits they had over Christmas that I bought so I didn't buy it on its own. In my opinion, there are better mascaras on the market which give me more length and a lower probability of smudges. MAC has another mascara which I have tried and which is better than this one. Separate post will come on that one shortly.

Rating: 6/10

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

L'Oreal HIP Bright Shadow Duo Flare 404 - Review and Swatch

Today, I am featuring the L'Oreal HIP Bright Shadow Duo in Flare 404 . Hopefully you can see in the second picture that this eyeshadow has a lower compartment which contains the standard, useless applicator. There is 2.4g or 0.08oz. of product here, so 1.2g per colour. I have another duo in a different colour from this line and there is a mirror in the lower compartment along with the applicator. Not sure if they forgot the mirror in this one or if there are cutbacks at L'Oreal. I don't know what these cost in the U.S. but I would guess they are quite cheap. I got this one at my local Wal-Mart, full price, for $8.46 Cdn. Shocking as this may be, Shoppers Drug Mart sells this for $12.99 Cdn. If you decide to buy this, please, I beg of you, get it at Wal-Mart or like store and save the money. This isn't worth $12.99 in my book. There are some very questionable ingredients in this product as I have learned. There is no ingredient list anywhere on the packaging and this came sealed. I had to google to find out. Isn't it funny how they hide what is in it when there is something to hide?

Anyway, let's get to the meat of the matter. The pigmentation is decent. These colours are kind of different and neat. They are soft but not as soft as my regular higher end eyeshadows. There is something more dry about them. They don't feel super comfortable on. They don't feel uncomfortable either per se, but you can tell this is not high quality stuff. What do I expect for $8.46? I saw an online makeup tutorial with this duo and I was intrigued. I really don't think I will be using this duo much in the future. If you want to experiment with crazy colours which you know you likely won't wear too often, this may be the product line for you. That way the hit to your wallet is minimal. Don't get me wrong, this stuff is ok, it's just not a keeper for me. It does wear well all day. If you are on a budget, this may be a good choice over a lot of other drug store eyeshadows.

Rating: 5.5/10

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow 4.0 The Dream Sequence - Review and Swatches

As some of you who read my blog might recall, I went to town about a month and a half ago and trashed the Bare Escentuals (BE) bareMinerals 9-piece Get Started Set. I may have gotten a tad carried away with myself, but I stand by every word I said. I then tried one of their new pressed eyeshadow palettes which were getting good reviews. The first one I bought was The Truth which is a cool brown neutral palette. I loved it. I have a blog review on it if you are interested and have not already read it. I was so impressed with that palette that I bought another one which is featured in this blog, The Dream Sequence. I apologize for camera being in the second photo.

The swatched colours are left to right, 500 Thread Count, Romp, Boudoir and Nightcap. My favourite here, hands down, is Romp. What a gorgeous colour! 500 Thread Count didn't look very exciting but it is actually a nice brow highlight. Boudior looked insane to me at first and I thought I would never wear it. It actually goes on a lot softer (check out the swatch) than it looks and it works great as a crease colour or just to warm up the lower brow area a little. Nightcap is a really nice matte plum wine.

Bare Escentuals (BE) products are supposed to be more "natural" than most cosmetics so you do get spared a lot of chemicals in their eyeshadows. As I mentioned in my other BE eyeshadow palette blog, the black case is nice and thin and sleek which is good for travel or popping into your purse. Each eyeshadow is 1.25g and to put that in perspective, each MAC eyeshadow is 1.5g and each eyeshadow from the Urban Decay Naked Palette is 1.3g. So basically the amount of eyeshadow you get is decent. The mirror in this thing is huge. You also get two eyeshadow placement insert instructions in the palette which I think is always a nice bonus in case you are starting out with makeup or need inspiration. The usual useless applicator came with the palette.

Normally, I would go gaga for a purple palette over a brown one, but even though I really like this palette, I think The Truth is nicer and better value for your money. It takes a lot for me to get excited about a brown neutral palette, but I love The Truth. Ok, price. This palette is $30 U.S. and is $38 in Canada. I managed to score The Dream Sequence at Sephora with a 15% off coupon to help cushion the blow. I am now on a mission to own the other two 4.0 palettes. Yes, I am that impressed with this product. I will wait for a discount coupon first though I think or buy them in the U.S. These eyeshadows blend really well and are nicely pigmented. They are super smooth, creamy and stay where you put them. They feel really soft, light and nice on the eye. I use primer (never leave home without it) and MAC's Painterly Paint Pot when I wear this palette and the colours look great and last all day. Good job BE!

Rating: 7.5/10 

Friday, 6 April 2012

MAC Paint Pot Bare Study and Rubenesque - Review and Swatches

I think this blog on a couple more of my beloved MAC Paint Pots is long overdue. Today, we have Bare Study and Rubenesque. These are both permanent Paint Pots I believe. They are 5g or 0.17 US oz. On the left, both pics, is a swatch of Bare Study and on the right, the swatch is Rubenesque. Bare Study is a frosted creamy light pinky peach and Rubenesque is a coppery orange colour. Bare Study is for those times when you want more bling than say Painterly or Soft Ochre. It is very sheer and it blends out and washes out easily so using it can be tricky. I also find that Bare Study is the driest of my Paint Pots and has been since the day I bought it. I have Paint Pots which are very old and they are not as dry as my Bare Study. I am not sure if it just my jar, or if it is the nature of this colour.

Rubenesque is for a sparkly warm eye look. I don't think that this colour gets enough love. I am not really into the J. Lo look as I have mentioned before, but when I wear looks like that, this colour is an excellent go to as an eyeshadow base. Paint Pots are very smooth and creamy and wear all day with a primer under them. They make boring eyeshadow look awesome. These are $21 Cdn. each and in the U.S. they are $17.50. Paint Pots look seamless and are effortless to use with a tiny bit of blending. These are really a cut above all other similar products on the market. Now if only they didn't crease, they would be close to pure perfection.

Rating Bare Study: 7.5/10
Rating Rubenesque: 9/10

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour 577 Mimosa - Update and Review

Hello! I already did a preview blog for this product last week and this is just the follow-up that I promised. Please check out the other blog for more info.

My nails lasted two whole days before bits started chipping off. Considering that I cannot usually go more than 1 day without chips, two days was impressive for me. I used a Butter London base coat, 3 coats of the Chanel polish and one coat of the OPI topcat. Some people loved the colour who saw it, others hated it. In a way, I ended up liking it more than I thought I would but in other ways less. I always thought yellow nail polish was a bit yucky until I saw this one online. For yellow polish, I actually found myself admiring my nails while I had it on. The iridescent glitter that you see in other people's photos online looks gorgeous, but I could barely see it even up close on me. I think you need to be outside in the sunshine and have an excellent camera for this to look that fantastic. So in that sense, I was disappointed. This is expensive nail polish, I expected, or rather I should say hoped, for more something something.

Rating: 7/10 (for being unusual and kind of different)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dr. Hauschka Translucent Make-up 01 - Review, Dab and Swatch

I've had this product for quite awhile. It's basically an all natural make-up which is foundation-like. I say foundation-like because to me, it isn't quite foundation. I have 01 which is for fair skin. They also have 00, 02, 03 and 04 for colours. The colour looks dark as heck in the tube. I find 01 a bit dark for me, but this product is very thin and somewhat buildable so it doesn't look super dark on. In the swatch above, I have a dab of the colour on the left side of my wrist and it blended in on the right side. Hopefully, you can see that. I find that this product is more like a cross between a sheer foundation and a tinted moisturizer. For me, it doesn't provide enough coverage day in, day out. I will wear this if my skin is looking particularly good or if it is a Sunday and I am only popping to the grocery store. It is long lasting. The product is very thin and spreads like crazy on your face. It also smells super spicy and the smell lasts all day long. So if you don't like to smell spicy, this product isn't for you.

When I first apply this product, I feel like my skin can't breathe. Instantly beads of sweat start to form on my upper lip. Gross, I know. This problem goes away within 45 minutes. Personally, I don't like that. My normal foundation never does that to me. This product feels very cool on the skin when you first apply it and then the sweating starts as it dries. You need very little of this product to cover your face. I always squirt way too much on my finger or brush. It does give you a nice, dewy, sun kissed complexion. This product is just not for me. I have a friend who loves this product. She likes the coverage and it doesn't make her sweat. So I guess it could be for you and is just not for me. The cost is $36.95 U.S. and I think about $44 Canadian.

Rating: 5/10

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss Baby Pout and Divine - Review and Swatches

Good Evening! This is Part II of my Smashbox lip gloss review. You can read my last blog post if you are interested in my rant on lip gloss in general. I will spare you a repeat performance in this blog. I took two pictures above so that you could see each swatch in a different light. The swatch on the left is Baby Pout (which I suppose is the baby sister of the cult Smashbox favourite "Pout" lip gloss) and on the right is Divine. Baby Pout is a baby pink with silver/green/blue iridescent glitter. It has a really nice shine but basically little to no colour. Add it to a light pink lip pencil and it looks fantastic! Divine is well....J. Lo. That is how best I can describe it. It is a golden, caramel lip gloss. Very South Beach, very sun goddessish. Divine has a lot of pigment and does not wash off easily. That's a good thing I suppose. It does look great with the right outfit and makeup.

As with other Smashbox lip glosses, they are a bit sticky, not too sticky, and they last a fair bit of time without reapplication. They are nice and shiny, comfortable and have almost zero smell. These lip glosses are better than 90% of lip gloss products on the market. The ingredients could be worse but some of the colours are worse than others. You can buy them at Sephora or most Shoppers Drug Marts. They are $18 U.S. and $22 Cdn. each. I like these colours less than the ones mentioned in my previous blog. Someone out there who loves Divine and/or Baby Pout will think I am daft.

Rating: 7.5/10

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss Radiant and Ecstasy Review and Swatches

I am not the biggest fan of lip gloss in general. I think it is a necessary evil, something that every girl/woman should have in her makeup arsenal, but I honestly hate most lip gloss. I am probably the pickiest woman alive when it come to lip gloss, or what I like to call "lip goo". A lot of them stink of plastic or vinyl and the smell is enough to make me puke. Some even taste like plastic if you are unfortunate enough to get some in your mouth. Some burn my lips and puff them up like I am having an allergic reaction to them. Others are so sticky and annoying that you can't think straight. Then there is the ingredients...most of them are so scary it would make your hair curl. Still other just get goopier as the day wears on and cakes up all over the insides of your lips. Ever smelt a lip gloss after you have had it too long or haven't opened it up in a while? Gross.........

Now, I do wear lip gloss. Not everyday....and I am super picky about what I am willing to wear. I think lip gloss is almost a necessity if you are going out for a night on the town and you need to add something something to your lipstick.

A friend of mine bought me a set of Smashbox lip glosses as a gift a while ago and I was pleasantly surprised. They are a bit sticky, not too sticky, and they last a fair bit of time without reapplication. They don't have too many sheer glosses, which are my preference, and that is a bummer. I don't love the frosted, glittery ones. They are nice and shiny, comfortable and have almost zero smell. In the picture above I have Radiant on the left and the right swatch is Ecstasy. I am not sure if they make Ecstasy anymore. I really like the Radiant which is described as a metallic golden rose. I like this one the best of all 6 that own. It looks fabulous on its own with a deep rose lip liner. Party perfect. Ecstasy is like a blackberry wine. I would say this is my second favourite, although the pigment washes out quickly I find after wearing it no time at all. The ingredients could be worse but some of the colours are worse than others. You can buy them at Sephora or most Shoppers Drug Marts. They are $18 U.S. and $22 Cdn. each.

Rating: 8/10