Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Benefit Cosmetics Rockateur Blush - Review and Swatch

I did a Sephora haul the other day and I was going to do a blog on it, but I think I will save it for later this week. Rockateur was part of the haul so I feel a bit silly, cart before the horse type of thing, plunging into a review of one of my haul items before I even reveal the haul! Nevertheless, I was excited about this so I wanted to do a blog on it asap. Rockateur is one of Benefit's boxed blushes. I think they have improved them over the years and they have started to use better ingredients which makes me happy.

Tiffany D and every other blogger under the sun has been raving about this blush. It is a little unique in that it is a rose gold colour. It looks very shimmery in the box but when you apply it, it isn't very shimmery, just a little. I do wish that the colour in the box translated exactly to be that colour on my cheeks. I find that it turns a little orange on me as some products do. If I use a very light hand, it doesn't look so orange. So for me, less is definitely more.

The box has a mirror in it and it comes with a brush that I likely won't use, although it might work for a bronzer.....I digress. The product is 5.0g or 0.17 oz. which is decent. The packaging is super cute as most Benefit products are. Overall, this is a neutral blush that anyone could wear that is light or medium skin toned. It might work as an interesting highlighter for those of you with darker skin. I think this would look great on a redhead or natural blonde. It works for me too and I am very much a brunette. This is not the most pigmented blush in the world. Some of you might need to use a heavier hand if you are not fair. That being said, I only need a little of this product to give me a little something, something. I could wear this blush with almost any look due to the neutrality of it. If you were doing a bold eye, this blush would be a good choice as it is not overpowering. It would be a funkier, wilder cousin of Tarte's Exposed but of lesser quality than a Tarte blush. This is a very flattering colour and would be on most people.

The formula is not as smooth and silky as I would like, but it will suffice as is. Rockateur is $28 U.S. or $36 Canadian which I think is very pricey. Here is the swatch:

Packaging: 10/10 (cute as heck)
Pigmentation: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 5/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Colour Stays True: 3/10
Travel Worthy: 5/10
Attractiveness of Product: 9/10
Would I buy this again? Maybe (this box will last me for a long time)
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Smashbox Eyeshadow in Vanilla - Review and Swatch

Sorry I have been M.I.A. all week! I was getting over the flu earlier in the week and then I had to go away for work for day, then I was busy booking a vacation and then I had some company come over yesterday. I've been busy! I promise you though that I am back in action and will be doing a number of blog posts this week.

I really like Smashbox eyeshadows, but I don't own many. Why, I don't know! Smashbox briefly sold single eyeshadows but they stopped doing that awhile ago. I was lucky enough to pick some of them up on the cheap when they were phasing them out. Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada had them briefly. I actually got the one I am blogging about today at Winners for $7 a few months ago. Winners is like Marshalls or TJ Maxx for those who live in the U.S. In fact, I think they are all owned by the same company now....

Back to the task at hand. One thing I like about Smashbox eyeshadows is that they frequently use the same eyeshadow colours in their palettes. This single eyeshadow in Vanilla for example, can be found in some of their eyeshadow trios and larger palettes. So if you like a colour, you can get it in a few different formats or collections. Vanilla is described as a matte warm ivory. It is a bit yellow I find, more so than say MAC's Brule which is more beige. I really like Vanilla although it could be less yellow for my taste. I have been wearing it as an overall wash of colour on my lid lately for work. Throw on some eyeliner and mascara and you are out the door.

Vanilla is very pigmented and builds on the lid easily. It's a nice matte opaque colour. It lasts all day for me with just a bit of eyeshadow primer (to avoid creasing). If you wear a MAC Paint Pot under it such as Painterly or Soft Ochre, it looks even better, but it isn't totally necessary. The formula is soft and creamy. The single eyeshadow is 0.059 oz. or 1.7g. so it should last me a little while. Here is the swatch:

As you can see, for a such a light colour, it's really pigmented! This also works well as a brow highlight and as an inner corner eye brightener. The only con about this product is that I hate the screw top lid. It's a bit time consuming and annoying when you are in a rush.

Packaging: 6/10 (hate the screw top lid)     
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: ? (they did used to sell for close to $20 ouch before this format got discontinued but I got all of mine for a lot less)
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Would I buy this again? Yes

Sunday, 20 October 2013

LORAC Pro Eye Shadow Palette - Review and Swatches

I had hoped to have this post up yesterday, but I have been a bit under the weather I am afraid. Anyway, without further ado, here is my review on the LORAC Pro Palette. Based on the reviews that I have seen on the Internet so far, I think my review will be the most honest that you are going to get!

This palette came out about a year or so ago I think. Everyone and their mother was raving about it. I didn't rush to buy it at first for a few reasons. One, I wasn't very familiar with LORAC products. Two, I cringed when I saw the list of ingredients. Just to name a couple, mineral oil is the fourth ingredient and there are two different types of parabens in there. Three, this palette was sold out a lot at Sephora constantly. Four, it was $55 Canadian or $42 U.S. which isn't bad, just not terribly cheap. I just checked Sephora right now and it is out of stock again as we speak.

There are 16 eyeshadows in this palette and it comes with a Mini Behind the Scenes Eye Shadow  Primer. All in all, if you are not fused about ingredients, for $55 Canadian or $42 U.S., it's pretty good bang for your buck if you want a lot of neutral, wearable eyeshadows. The colours are from left to right, and top to bottom, White, Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black, Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lt. Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple and Slate. As you can see, LORAC didn't get too creative with the names. The top row are matte eyeshadows and the bottom row are shimmers.  
Let's start with the good things about this palette before I get into the not so good things. First of all, all of these colours are neutral and wearable. You have every colour that you need here to create a number of put together classic looks. If you don't own a lot of makeup and want to get a lot of colours and bang for you buck, this might be a good palette to have. Also, the palette is very slim and good for travel. You could seriously take this one vacation with you and not pack another eyeshadow. Quick and easy! If you don't care to own a lot of makeup, wear makeup infrequently, or hate searching for colours to put together, this LORAC palette may be the solution that you have been looking for!
Other positives. Most of the colours have very good pigment and blend well together. I will get into the nitty gritty by colour in a moment. Most of them are very long lasting with an eyeshadow primer and will last you all day long. I really appreciate the thought that LORAC put into the colour scheme. I have never seen such a good selection of neutral colours put together in one convenient palette before.
Ok, before I get to the negatives, here some swatches which correspond to the top row of the palette:
From left to right we have White, Cream, Taupe, Lt. Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso and Black. The below swatches are the bottom row of the palette:
From left to right are Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lt. Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple and Slate.
So things I don't like about this palette. As previously mentioned, I do not like the list of ingredients. It was almost a deal breaker for me to not buy it. Not impressed about that. Secondly, I find all of the eyeshadows to be very dry in texture. The dryness reminds me of cheap eyeshadows. I am so used to using really good eyeshadows all of the time that I forget how dreadful some can be. These LORAC eyeshadows are the polar opposite of creamy. Not only would I recommend using a primer with these, but also a coloured eyeshadow base with most, if not all of them. I say this for two reasons. One, some of them look muddy after a while without a base and two, it helps keep the dryness of these eyeshadows off of your skin!
I found some of these to be a bit itchy. Due to the dryness and ingredients I suppose. I have oily lids. I can only imagine how brutal it would be to use these if I had dry lids. As I mentioned before, some of these colours look muddy without a coloured base or at least some type of MAC Paint Pot. These colours are Taupe, Black, Garnet and Deep Purple.
The best colours in here are White, Mauve, Espresso, Nude, Gold, Pewter and Slate. Cream and Champagne have very little pigment and are super dry. Pewter is a mink colour and there is nothing "pewter" or silver about it. Deep Purple looks gorgeous in the pan but is quite flat and muddy without a proper base. Black is chalky and looks a bit ashy.
To be honest with you guys, I will be packing this palette away in my stash as soon as I finish this blog post. I really don't like the texture of these eyeshadows and the ingredients are poor. I will not be using this palette again anytime soon. For me, this was a waste of money. I have not tried the eyeshadow primer that it came with yet, but when I do, I will let you guys know what I think. I had to buy this out of curiosity to see what all of the fuss was all about. I am just glad I bought it in the States so I saved some dough on it.
Packaging: 10/10 (compact, slim, great for travel)    
Pigmentation: 8.5/10 Overall
Easy to Work With: 7/10 (blends well but dry and some can look muddy) 
Longevity: 9/10 Overall
Colour Stays True: 8/10 Overall
Texture: 1/10 Overall
Price: 8.5/10
Ingredients: 2/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10 Overall
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Would I buy this again? Definitely Not

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Blissful - Review and Swatch

I bought this blush last year on a trip to Vegas. I wanted a nice coral peach blush that didn't have any shimmer and I love Tarte blushes so this was a no brainer....At first I thought this colour was a bit loud for me, but it isn't as long as I use a light hand when applying it. A lot of people get confused over whether to buy this blush, Blissful, or its more sultry cousin, Tipsy. Both are really nice by the way but the choice is really quite simple. If you are more fair, get Blissful which is described by Tarte as a warm peach and if you have medium or darker toned skin, opt for Tipsy which is a hot coral.

This blush is $31 Canadian and is $26 U.S. Not cheap I know, but I love my Tarte blushes! They last all day long and look great. They are smooth, easy to blend and always look fabulous. They contain great ingredients and they are 5.6 g. or 0.20 oz. each which is a good size. You only need a very small amount of product each time. Just looks at my picture above. I've barely made a mark on the pattern.

Tarte makes some of the best high quality blushes on the market and I can't recommend them enough. Blissful is so pretty, unusual and great for summer or anytime really. Here are two swatches:

Packaging: 10/10 
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 9/10
Texture: 9/10
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? In a flash
Overall Rating: 9/10 (it's the price that is hard to swallow)

Monday, 14 October 2013

bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara - Review

Today, I am going to review a product that was a disappointment for me. I got this full sized mascara in a set of bareMinerals products that I bought at Ulta a few months back. I just got around to trying this a week ago. I have tried it several times since and it's just not for me. This particular mascara is lengthening but does not add any volume hardly to my lashes. I like a mascara to do both personally. As far as the lengthening is concerned, it's just ok. It does smudge a little and it can flake a little. It doesn't curl my lashes in any way, shape or form. I am so used to getting some curl from other mascaras that I normally use. So to not have that anymore felt wrong.

I have the colour "black" and it's not very black. After wearing it for a few hours, I find my lashes looked weighed down and droopy. Also, I felt like they were getting in my eyes and they felt uncomfortable. My lashes remind me of old, wet celery when I use this. Not a good look. I took some pics of myself wearing this mascara and you can't even tell I am wearing any! Gahh!!! This stuff is only good for wearing to the grocery store and even then...I didn't post the photos because they are that pathetic!

Here is the brush. Normally, I love this type of brush and when I saw it, I had high hopes. Those hopes were quickly dashed as soon as I used this mascara though. This mascara is $24 Canadian and $18 U.S. I would not recommend buying this mascara to anyone I am afraid.

Just a little P.S.....I am going to actually start using my twitter page for mostly makeup related items and so on so that you guys know what I am up to and what I am buying and trying out. So stay tuned!

Packaging: 8/10
Pigmentation: 6/10
Easy to Work With: 4/10
Longevity: 0/10
Texture: 1/10
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 0/10
Would I buy this again? No way!!!!!!
Overall Rating: 4/10

Friday, 11 October 2013

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Mushroom - Review and Swatch

First of all, I have to say thank you to all of my readers! I hit 100,000 hits on my blog this past week. It's nice to be in the 6 figure range! It wouldn't have been possible without all of you loyal readers so thank you very much! For my Canadian readers I also want to say, Happy Thanksgiving! 

I had been hearing good things about this eye pencil so I had to pick one up. I normally love all of the Urban Decay (UD) 24/7 eye liners so I knew that I couldn't go wrong. Mushroom is a great colour to have if you are sick of browns and blacks. It's kind of a taupe khaki shimmery grey. Hope that makes sense. UD describes it as a metallic taupe-pewter shimmer. It's very creamy, glides on easily and can be smudged out if you like. I really like this colour. It even works well with some nude eyeshadow, mascara and away you go! I am really happy I picked this up. It's $23 Canadian and $19 U.S. After I swatched this, it was stubborn as hell to get off my arm, but you need that kind of staying power for an eye product t o last you all day. Here is the swatch:

Packaging: 9/10 cap is sometimes a bit too loose for my liking
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 8/10
Ingredients: 7.5/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? Yes with a capital "Y"
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nivea Body Milk Pure & Natural - Review

I bought this a few week ago and I love it. It is right up there with my Burt's Bees lotions - maybe it's even better. It's definitely cheaper....I think I bought this one sale for around $5 at the Loblaws Superstore. The bottle I have is 625ml or 21.1 fl. oz. and it says it contains Organic Argan Oil & Jojoba Oil and it is for Dry to Very Dry Skin.

This lotion is labelled as having 95% naturally sourced ingredients and has little to no scent. I find that one application lasts me for hours on my hands and all day on my body. Sometimes when I use this and then I wash my hands a little while later, I don't feel like I have to run and reapply my hand lotion right away. For me, that is rare indeed. This product absorbs quickly and makes my skin feel super comfortable.

I think that the bottle looks really nice and sleek. The pump is very sturdy and not flimsy at all. Now I am afraid that this product will disappear so maybe I better stock up and buy a bunch of them. I have a feeling that this will be my go to product once winter rolls around. I can't recommend this stuff enough!

Packaging: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 9/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: No (I won't bother rating this here as this product isn't intended for travel)
Would I buy this again? Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!
Overall Rating: 9.5/10

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Oil of Olay Pore Minimizing Cleanser + Scrub - Review

Lots of bloggers have been raving about this product for the last year plus. I am still on my quest to find a really good facial cleanser by the way. After using this, I can tell you now that I will keep on trucking! I didn't like this product at all. My skin can be sensitive, but I wouldn't say it is super sensitive. If you are even thinking about purchasing this product, I wouldn't dream of it unless you have really tough or insensitive skin.

To be fair, there are four positive things I can say about this product. The first is that it is inexpensive. I think I paid around $8 or $9 for this. The second is that the packaging and product look cool as is the dispenser. No wasting the product possibility here. The third is that it lathers and foams up really well. It was almost fun to use at first! Finally, the last positive thing I can about this, which is likely the best part, is that it really deep cleans your skin. After I have used this, I cannot find any trace of makeup left on my face, even when I go over my skin with a toner or makeup remover cloth. If you are a clown (I am being serious actually lol) this would get all of your clown makeup off in a snap. For the love of Pete though, don't use this on your eyes!

On to the negatives. I hate the smell first of all. It smells like it wants to smell like a mineral infused ocean, but the smell is very chemical and off putting. The second thing is that this product is very harsh! Every time I have used it, my skin has felt like it is itching and burning in places. This leaves sections of my cheeks extremely irritated for a long while. I assure you I am not scrubbing very hard! I will not be using this on my face again. I have tried it about 4 or 5 times and enough is enough.

When I last used this a few days ago, my skin was irritated once again and I had to pile on the moisturizer so I could sleep. When I woke up, my skin had broken out in the exact same areas that were irritated the night before. I had large, red, painful blemishes. The likes of which I haven't had in years. It hurt to touch them. Luckily, they have shrunk and have started to go away. Luckily, my makeup was able to hide most of the mess, but the bumps on my skin were obvious. There was no escaping that horror.

Maybe you could argue that this product was merely cleaning out my pores and "doing it's thing". I don't think so, but maybe I am wrong. I don't think you should walk away after washing your face with burning, irritated skin that feels like it has been scorched.

Just because I had a bad experience, doesn't mean that everyone will. Look at all of bloggers who love this stuff! I am just not one of them. Like I said before, if your skin is the least bit sensitive, I would stay the hell away from this cleanser.

Packaging: 910
Texture: 1/10 (gritty and harsh)  
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 5/10
Easy to Work With: 8/10  
Travel Worthy: 5/10 (bulky, heavy but not likely to leak)  
Deep Cleans: 10/10
Moisturizing: 0/10
Comfortable/Softening: 0/10
Smell: 2/10
Would I buy this again? No Way  
Overall Rating: 5/10 (if you have insensitive skin) and 0/10 (if your have sensitive skin)