Saturday, 29 August 2015

Makeup Geek MUG Eyeshadow in High Tea - Review and Swatch

I have been so lax about doing my Makeup Geek product reviews. I ordered a bunch of stuff over the last few months and I have only put a dent in using them. Time to get serious. Today, I am going to review one of their new eyeshadows, High Tea. Makeup Geek describes this eyeshadow as matte medium brown with gray undertones. I totally disagree with that description. To me, this is straight up khaki. If you look at the swatch on their website, it looks very greenish. Khaki city. I bought this eyeshadow for three reasons. One, I love the name High Tea for anything so I had to buy it. Two, I liked the description of the colour and was hoping that this colour was more a brown grey than how green it looked on their website. Three, it was like nothing I had in my collection so I wanted to test it out. It's $5.99 U.S. as are all of Makeup Geek pan shadows.

Let's talk quality. Makeup Geek eyeshadows are known to be fabulous quality and High Tea is no exception. There are very few Makeup Geek eyeshadows that I don't like. There is even one I previously said I didn't like that has warmed up on me. I will have to do a blog post on that one soon. I am willing to eat some crow if I am wrong!

Swatch time! Looks a little brown in my first pic unfortunately....


High Tea is very pigmented, blends easily, is creamy, long wearing etc. I have no qualms whatsoever about the quality of this fine product.

I am not crazy about the colour, but it is an unusual colour. There was a certain je ne sais quoi about it. I have worn it in the crease with a neutral lid and the look was interesting. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. I would think that there is a segment of the population that might absolutely be over the moon about this colour. Especially if you are a rocker type or like strong non-traditional crease colours. It's a good colour to break out when you are in a makeup rut and everything starts to look the same.

Packaging: 10/10  (the are palette refills so nothing to get excited about but they serve their purpose)
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10 (it's green damn it from application to removal!)
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 10/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: this is personal taste can't really rate this
Would I buy this again? Maybe
Overall Rating:  10/10

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Skin MD Shielding Lotion - Review

Like the perfect face wash and face powder brush, I am also obsessed with my never ending search for the perfect skin lotion or cream. Tiffany D used to rave about this product so I decided to give it a shot. I cannot find it for sale in Canada anywhere. If any of you know where I can buy it, either here in Canada or in the U.S., please leave a comment below. I have gone to some of the stores in New York state that Skin MD says sells this product and they don't have it. In fact, most of the store clerks and pharmacists at Walgreens and CVS have never heard of it. I ended up ordering two bottles online. Once I paid the exchange and shipping, it seemed like a waste to only buy one so I got two bottles. I am still on my first one. A 4 oz. bottle is $18 U.S. and an 8oz. bottle is $27 U.S. online. If you sniff around, some health food store sites sell it for a little less in the U.S.

You can also purchase this product with an SPF for a little more money if you are into that. This product doesn't do what I expected. I bought it in the hopes that it would deeply moisturize and penetrate my skin in winter. When I use it as a dry skin lotion, I don't feel it does much. If I use it on my hands, I don't find the feeling comfortable at all . Needless to say, I struggled for the longest time figuring out just what exactly this product did!

I was in Italy a month ago and they were in the midst of a serious heat wave. I got some mega sun and although I didn't burn (thank you sunscreen), my skin started to get mini blisters which it does when my skin gets overheated. It's like a cooking chicken skin I tell you. My skin was irritated when I got back from my trip. I busted out a host of pricey, tried and true creams and lotions. Nothing would soothe my skin. I put on the Skin MD out of randomness and my skin felt better within the hour. My blisters were gone by the next morning and haven't returned. My skin was soothed and no longer irritated. The light bulb went on. The penny dropped.

I then got a few mosquito bites (damn Canadian outdoors) and put some of this on. Guess what? Bites no longer itched within the hour and could not be seen the next day. The point is, this product soothes irritated, sensitive skin. I can see why if you had a rash or skin condition that this would be heaven sent. It does appear to create a barrier between your skin and further irritants or irritations.

Back in the winter, I did notice that it protected my skin against further dryness or new dryness, but it didn't really absorb the way I wanted it to. It is non-greasy and absorbs as much as it will, quite quickly. I don't get the hydrating aspect though really if you only have plain old dry skin.

I think I am rambling. Bottom line is try this if you have fussy, sensitive skin that reacts easily. If you are only looking for a hydrating skin cream, pass. To me this is more of a medicinal cream than a daily use one. I hope my review helps!

Packaging: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10 (results last but you do need to reapply a couple of times a day)
Texture: 8/10 (feels weird)
Price: 10/10 (not bad for what it is)
Ingredients: 9/10
Problem Skin Fixer: 10/10
Moisturizing: 6/10
Travel Worthy: Yes
Would I buy this again? Yes
Overall Rating: 5/10 as a dry skin cream 9/10 as a medicinal cream

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Lorac Unzipped Eye Shadow Palette - Review, Swatches and Dupes?

I purchased the Lorac Unzipped Eye Shadow Palette awhile back when I was in the States at Ulta. It contains 10 fairly large eyeshadows weighing in at 1.12 g or 0.039 oz. per eyeshadow for $42 U.S. For those of you who have followed me for a long time, you might be surprised to learn that I purchased another Lorac eyeshadow palette. After all, I have to say the Lorac Pro Eye Shadow Palette was the biggest palette disappointment of my makeup life ever. I wrote a scathing review. The link is below if you are interested. I still stand behind every word. I ended up selling the palette and to this day, I keep wondering what I am missing and why people love it so. It haunts me. The only props I can give that palette is the colour range is perfect and I wish I had a palette with those colours, but that were better, or even fairly good quality, which it is not.

Lorac Pro Eye Shadow Palette Review

Enough bitching and whining about the Pro Palette. On to Unzipped. I bought this palette for 3 reasons. One, Emily from Beauty Broadcast raved about it. Second, the ingredients are totally different from the pro palette - short ingredient list and no parabens, talc, mineral oil or propylene glycol etc. unlike that rubbish they laced the Pro Palette with. Third, I was convinced Lorac was better than the Pro Palette and they needed redemption.

From left to right and top to bottom we have Undercover, Unbelievable, Unattainable, Unconditional, Unbridled, Undiscovered, Unreal, Uncensored, Unspoken and Untamed.

Overall, I really like this palette. There are some negatives to it, but the good outweighs the bad. The quality of the eyeshadows is very good. They are smooth and creamy, blend easily, are very pigmented and have great longevity. So unlike the Pro Palette (oops there I go again). I can put together a number of sophisticated looks with little effort when I use this palette. I especially like the matte shades - Unconditional, Unbridled, Unspoken and Untamed. I think you get a lot of product and its good value for your money. This is a perfect Fall palette and since we are heading into Fall soon....I hate saying that.

Okay, the cons. A lot of the colours are similar and I would have preferred more variety. There are a lot of shimmer eyeshadows in here and they can look muddy after awhile if you wear too many together. They have crazy crumble issues and the fallout to touch them is downright unforgivable. As you can see from my picture above, the palette is a hot, crumbly mess. It was like that from the day I opened it and continues to be so. The strange thing is I don't get much fallout on my face when I apply them but the shadows just flake off the brush like mad and when I was swatching them, I could see large bits falling through the air.

The palette is nice and slim. I would recommend it for travel if the colours didn't crumble so badly and if there was better colour selection. Swatches....

Above is from left to right is Undercover, Unbelievable, Unattainable, Unconditional and Unbridled.

Finally, in the picture above we have Undiscovered, Unreal, Uncensored, Unspoken and Untamed. Sorry, I used my left hand to swatch the second row and I didn't apply enough pressure when swatching, but they are very pigmented my friends.

Unreal is similar to Stila's Kitten only Unreal is more pink. Unconditional is a close dupe of MAC's Quarry and is similar to Makeup Geek's Unexpected. Unbridled is a dupe of Makeup Geek's Bitten.

I just wish that Lorac would make the Pro Palette with the formula of the Unzipped one. Then I would buy it!

Packaging: 10/10  
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 8/10  Fallout is an issue
Longevity: 10/10
Colour Stays True: 10/10
Texture: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 9/10
Travel Worthy: 6/10
Attractiveness of Product: 9/10 Too many of the same colours
Would I buy this again? Maybe
Overall Rating:  9/10

Sunday, 16 August 2015

L'Oreal Color Riche L'Ombre Pure Lumiere 507 Pin Up Pink and 505 French Riviera - Review and Swatches

These two eyeshadows are from the L'Oreal Pin Up Collection that were created in celebration of the Cannes Film Festival. The festival took place in May, but I couldn't get my hands on the collection until late June. I couldn't find it anywhere but eventually did at Shoppers Drug Mart. I have a feeling it was released in Europe, and probably the States, before it finally got to Canada.

There was a mascara, a nail polish, lip gloss, bronzer, lipstick and a black liquid liner in this collection as well. These two eyeshadows are the only eyeshadows in the collection I believe. I don't remember already what I paid for them, but it wasn't much. Maybe $5-$7 each? I think I got one on sale as I bought them separately. One store was sold out of one colour and then I got the other at another Shoppers location. Yep, I stalked a few Shoppers Drug Mart stores for weeks.

I think the packaging on these looks a little cheap, but it's drug store so I really need to check myself. What do I expect? The colours look gorgeous though in the pan. One ended up impressing me greatly and the other was a disappointment.

A little background to start off. I saw 505 French Riviera on Pixiwoo's blog months ago and I was in love. It looked like a straight up dupe for one of the colours in Chanel's Les Ombres 224 Tisse Riviera quad. I ended up buying 507 Pin Up Pink as a total afterthought. It looked pretty so I thought what the hell.

Swatches. Pin Up Pink is on the left and French Riviera is on the right.

I tried 507 Pin Up Pink first. I was blown away when I applied it. It glided on, needed almost no blending and the colour was fantastic! It looked like a very expensive eyeshadow and the colour was like nothing that I had in my stash. I threw some black liquid liner on and mascara and I was out the door! This eyeshadow continued to look great up until about the 8 hour mark when it started to fade and look chalky. So it's not a party all day and night eyeshadow. However, if you are only going on for a few hours or an average evening, you will be fine. I am very pleased to have acquired this eyeshadow!

On to 505 French Riviera. I have to say I had the highest of hopes for this colour and I am still trying to find a way to make it work. It looks so pretty but when I put it on, it just looks so chalky and not iridescent at all. It looks cheap, there is no polite way to put it. Yet, it looks good swatched on my arm. After wearing it for only a couple of hours, it looked like a hot melty mess and kind of greeny yellow. I tried putting a cream eyeshadow under it and still didn't look nice. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

There are no parabens in these eyeshadows so I was happy about that. They are made in Italy. I cannot find the weight listed anywhere on the packaging. Hopefully, if you are interested, you can still get your hands on these, or at least the Pin Up Pink before they disappear.

Packaging: 5/10  
Pigmentation: 10/10 Pin Up Pink  5/10 French Riviera
Easy to Work With: 10/10 Pin Up Pink  4/10 French Riviera
Longevity: 7/10 Pin Up Pink  2/10 French Riviera
Colour Stays True: 7/10 Pin Up Pink  1/10 French Riviera
Texture: 10/10 Pin Up Pink  7/10 French Riviera
Price: 10/10
Ingredients: 7/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10 Pin Up Pink  1/10 French Riviera
Would I buy this again? Just Pin Up Pink but its limited edition so unlikely
Overall Rating:  7/10 Pin Up Pink  2/10 French Riviera

Bits and Bites

  • I didn't end up doing a favourites for July. It just seemed in too late in August to do it last week. I will try to add them to my August favourites.
  • A big eyeshadow palette review is up next! Actually, I have a few I am testing out at the moment so I should have quite a few in the upcoming weeks.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Clarisonic Replacement Brush Heads - Sensitive vs. Normal Smackdown

On the left is the Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head and on the right is the Normal Brush Head. When I first got my Clarisonic Mia 2 it came with the Sensitive and Deep Pore heads. To this day I am too scared to try the Deep Pore one. Although I was very happy with the Sensitive one, and my skin was looking good, I felt I could do with a harder scrub. My mistake.

I proceeded to buy the Normal head. It's a bit scratchy and I think it irritates my cheeks a bit. Both heads look near identical but the Sensitive one has more fluffy or loose bristles. The Normal head has stiffer, more dense bristles. I have been using my Normal head for many months...long past the 3 month recommendation. I don't use it every day because it is a tad harsh and I keep waiting for it to wear down and be more usable. Nothing doing...

Clarisonic recommends the Normal head for those with normal to oily skin who want an invigorating cleanse. It also recommends this head for men who are preparing to shave. As for the Sensitive head, it is for sensitive or combination skin types (me!) and it's meant to be balancing.

Now few people have exactly the same skin type. However, I have read many reviews and heard many conversations in the Clarisonic section of Sephora that anything other than the Sensitive Brush is just too harsh for most people and many have developed skin issues from other brush heads. I think if you are in any doubt or have skin that is remotely sensitive, you've got to stick with the Sensitive head. The Normal head really is for very rough, durable skin. I would consider using it on my body rather than face.

My skin has not been anywhere near as good as it was when I used the Sensitive head. Have to go back to it. Simple as that.

Get the Sensitive head. It's just more effective and safer in my book. Price is the same for both at $30 Canadian.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

July 2015 Empties!

I haven't posted a blog in nearly a week! Ahhhhh. I was away for the past week and a half on a fabulous cruise and I spent most of the "land" time in Spain and Italy. I had some posts scheduled in advance, but I never seem to have enough of them at the ready to fill in all of the time that I am away on vacation. Anyway, on to my empties!

L'Occitane Precious Cleansing Foam in 50 ml or 1.7 oz. (small travel size) did nothing for my skin, but it sure smelt and felt nice going on. Sadly, I bought another small bottle at the same time so I have another one to get through in my spare time. Will not repurchase.
Full Review:

Klorane Conditioner with Magnolia which is now known as Klorane Magnolia Wax Conditioning Balm I picked up at Shoppers Drug Mart for $2 or $5 from their clearance shelf. I really love a lot of Klorane products, so for that price, I thought I would try it. I am sorry that I never did a full review on this conditioner. I really liked it. It worked well after I washed my hair with Wen by Chaz Dean. It adds a smoothness and silkiness to your hair and I love the smell. The smell might not be for everyone though. It smells like an old school lotion, something I would have found in my mother's stash circa 1970's or 1980's. I will repurchase it, if I can find it.....not sure what the regular price is.

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum in 30 ml. I bought the small tube of this as it was expensive and I wanted to see if I liked it before I dropped the really big bucks. So far I do. It works well on dark spots or marks left from blemishes. It smells like straight up salmon which is bizarre. I have already repurchased. My skin has been particularly bad lately and I just hope it is not because I changed over to this serum from my usual Origins Plantscription. I am going to see how it goes. Full Review:

Origins Brighter By Nature Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 35 this was a small tube (15 ml) but a little went a long way. I used it religiously on some dark spots for months and it never did a damn thing. In fact, I think my spots got darker when I applied it an went in the sun! Will not repurchase. It had a really funky smell too that I didn't love putting on my face. I never did a full review on this product because I was so disgusted with it. Not one of Origins finest. Now you know.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara is my work mascara holy grail. It's the only mascara that doesn't smudge on me no matter what. I have bought so many of these. You are all probably tired of hearing me talk about it. I wish it gave a bit more va-voom though. If it did, I would never purchase another mascara ever again. Already repurchased. Full review:

Estee Lauder DayWear SPF 15 another small jar bit the dust. I quite enjoy this moisturizer, especially in the summer months. It can be quite soothing and protective, yet not greasy. I think I have a few more samples kicking around. Hmmmm. Full Review: 

Fresh Sugar Shine Lip Treatment was a free gift I got with some promotion from Sephora. It was ok. It's a bit pricey so I don't think I would repurchase strictly based on the price point. The product was good, but didn't wow me. It didn't "sing to me" if you will. Full Review:

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair I must have one of these in my empties every month. Damn free samples! Full Review:

L'Occitane Dry Skin Foot Cream love this stuff! Must have for summer. Already repurchased 2 tubes! Full Review: 

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes I had never used these before. I bought them for my recent trip and they came in handy. They were ok, maybe a wee bit harsh for my skin. However, they do come in a sensitive skin formula so my bad for not getting those. I seem to have lost my empty package so I stuck a picture in here instead. In general, I don't get the point of spending money on makeup remover cloths on a day to day basis, but they are great for travel in my opinion. Maybe would repurchase.

May do a monthly favourites for July if I can get it up in the next day or two! It's been awhile and this one will be a bit of a throwback I think.

Lots of eyeshadow reviews coming soon! Stay tuned!