FOTD/Review Using Revlon PhotoReady Foundation "Ivory", Bare Escentuals Beautiful Autumn, and LA Splash "Regal"

Whoops!  I meant to post this so much earlier!  I guess I forgot to set up the automatic posting! 
Anyways, here is quick look using the Revlon PhotoReady Foundation in Ivory.  As I mentioned in my previous post about this product, it does a great job of covering and creating a natural and smooth finish.  I really like the little bit of reflection or glow this creates.  It really makes the skin look healthy and smooth.  The foundation blended into my skin along the chin and hairline effortlessly, so I didn’t have that “mask” that a lot of people complain about with liquid foundations.  My only complaint is a personal one, and that is that I’m not as quick and proficient with liquid foundation as I used to be, so this took a little getting used to! 
Face:
Revlon PhotoReady Foundation – Ivory
Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil – setting powder
Eyes:
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
Bare Escentuals “Beautiful Autumn” – inner corner
LA Splash Cosmetics “Regal” – outer corner/crease
LA Splash Cosmetics “Nude Diamonds” – high light
Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara
Lips:
e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick “Raspberry”
Retail Price: $11.99 – $13.99

Where to purchase: CVS, Walgreens, Walmart…anywhere that carries Revlon
Product: 4 out of 5
Price: 4 out of 5
Packaging: 4 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5
Would I purchase again?  Although I am not a liquid foundation user, if I had to rely on one to get me through, I would choose this.  The product sets well, it doesn’t oxidize once it is applied (no turning orange), and you can use any type of setting powder (I used Mineral Veil).  The coverage was medium, but definitely buildable, and again, I like the luminosity it gives the skin.  Most importantly, this is the first liquid foundation I’ve found at the drug store which matches my skin. 

Posted in Bare Escentuals, FOTD Brown, FOTD Golds, LA Splash, Review, Revlon | 1 Comment

Revlon Photo Ready Foundation "Ivory" – Swatches

I will be the first to admit that I am not a liquid foundation person – between the difficulty in finding a shade that matches my pale skintone, the “mask” that a lot of them create when applied, or the fact that 90% of the foundation’s I’ve tried turn to a nice Oompa-Loompa orange within hours of application, I ultimately became a mineral makeup wearer, and swear by Bare Escentuals.  With that said, after weeeks (or possibly months) of reading the rave reviews about Revlon’s PhotoReady Makeup, I decided I would venture outside the box and see what the hype was all about. 
I will run a review in the next few days, but at least to start I wanted to get some pictures up and give you my preliminary thoughts. 
The lightest shade I could find was Ivory, so that is the color I went with.  This is a very neutral color, which I needed.  It didn’t lean cool or warm in my opinion.  One of the complaints that I read about this foundation was that there were “sparkles” in it.  Now, I think this depends on the shade you purchase.  The Ivory didn’t seem to have too much shimmer…at least not enough to make you look like a disco ball.  Remember, the entire basis of this foundation is that there are “light reflecting” pieces that help give the illusion of flawless skin, so chances are there will be some sort of shimmer to the foundation, although minimal. 
The swatch before blending (above) shows you the liquid consistency.  This isn’t extremely thick, but it isn’t runny either.  I’d put this as a medium consistency.  You cannot really make out the specks of shimmer above, but once it is blended (below) you can see how this gives you quite an illuminated complexion.  Please note, this image (below) is zoomed in quite far so you can make out the shimmer.  When looking at yourself from a normal distance (lets say…in the mirror!), you just have the appearance of a healthy glow. 

Although I will do an intensive review later, I have to say my first impression is quite good.  The color blends well – you can build up the coverage, and it doesn’t change to an orange color after use.  I’m still getting used to the idea of wearing a liquid foundation, but on those days when I don’t feel like messing with foundation and just need some sheer coverage, this seems to do the trick.

Who else has tried this?  What are your thougths?  I am using mineral veil over the top to set the foundation – what have you had success with?

Posted in Revlon | 1 Comment

New at ULTA? (Or maybe just new to me??) – Essence

While wandering through Ulta this past weekend, I noticed an end-cap in the “drug store” section for a brand called essence.  Now, either I haven’t been to Ulta in a while (which is true!), or else there is a new brand in the house!   Their webpage is great and gives alot of detail about each of the products.  There is even a page dedicated to their new arrival at Ulta!  My favorite part of all, though, would be the fact that they don’t test on animals!

Talk about a bonanza!  There were so many bright and shiny colors on this display I didn’t know what to do!  And, the prices…talk about a steal!  The nail polish run at $0.99 a piece, and I think the most expensive thing I saw were some of the eyeshadows and quads which ran around $2.99-$3.99.  This display was full of fun stuff to try out – there were over 15 colors of nail polish, liquid eyeliners, pencil eyeliners, glitter eyeliners, eyeshadows, baked shadows, eyeshadow quads, approximately 4-5 different types of mascara (from volumizing to length, to both!), foundations, blushes…*phew*…the list goes on!
Now, obviously since I haven’t tried this brand, I had to pick up some things to play around with.  I chose a glitter eyeliner, lipgloss, and mascara.  I am anxious to give them a try, and will post about them here shortly.  The mascara reminded me of the DiorShow tube, so I’m hoping that is a prelude of things to come (at a fraction of the price!).
Have any of you lovelies tried this brand essence?  If so, I’d love to hear!
Click the pictures to enlarge…
Posted in essence, Ulta | 2 Comments

A Quick Swatch: Avon True Color Eyeshadow Quad "Electric Purple"

I had placed an order a few weeks ago for some Avon goodies, and decided to pick up one of their new Avon True Color Eyeshadow Quads.  I chose Electric Purple because the colors looked pretty neat.  As you can see, they have changed the actual lay-out of the quad to look like Chanel quads, as opposed to the elongated  versions they used to carry.  I was hoping that the quality of the product had changed with the packaging, but it doesn’t appear that it did.  I’ll get to that later.
The Electric Purple quad was a really neat collection of colors – the purple is truely a bright, royal purple.  There is a gorgeous shimmery golden bronze (probably the one color I will keep coming back to).  I really wanted to love this green color – it’s a pale, slightly shimmery celery shade.  Unfortunately, the color is quite chalky and not very pigmented, so it is difficult to translate the gorgeous color in the pot onto the eyes.  Lastly is a pale, matte, bone shade.  This actually was my exact skintone, so you can’t even see it below.  Overall, these colors just didn’t apply to be as vibrant and colorful as they are in the pot.  If they did, I would absolutely love them.
I haven’t tried any of the other shades, but unfortunately, I don’t think I will be.  Although the price is right, these just don’t have the creaminess and pigmentation I like to see in an eyeshadow.  It may just be me – what do you all think of these new True Color Quads?  The other shades are below, which look absolutely beautiful on paper!
Posted in Avon | 1 Comment

Review: Hana Flat 1" Iron from Misikko Marketing

Image courtesy of Misikko.com
How many of you lovely ladies have curly hair?  Or, maybe it’s not even that curly, but just needs help depending on how the weather is.  Personally, I have wavy hair, and lots of it, which I tend to keep short because it becomes a lot more managable at this length.  Recently I had the opportunity to review a flat iron and I couldn’t be more excited to post my review.
Image courtesy of Misikko.com

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Misikko.com, which is an online e-tailer for professional flat irons.  Not only do they carry the iron which I am going to review below, but they carry Chi flat irons and FHI flat irons as well.  Looking to see which irons are rated the best amongst tried and true customers?  Head on over to their best flat iron page and see the reviews there! 

Well first, let me just show you how absolutely adorable the packaging is.  Not only is this flat iron pink (how cute!), but it came packed with the cutest little silk flowers, which definitely brightened the day when I opened the package!

Included with the iron was a silicon heat-resistant mat to place on the table during use to prevent damange to any type of surface, a travel case, the tin and case that the iron fits into, and a bottle of the Hana Shine Shield, which is a heat protectant serum for the hair (below).
Carrying case for the Hana 1″ flat iron.
The first thing I noticed, outside the gorgeous pink color of the iron, was the easy-to-read “on” and “off” switch, along with temperature setting and indicator light which blinks once the iron has reached the desired setting.  There is a closeup of this below.  Also, these are ceramic plates, so you know your hair is receiving the best treatment.
Image courtesy of Misikko.com
Although I do have wavy hair, I decided a more difficult and trying test subject would be a great way to review this iron, so I picked my little sister as the guinea pig.  My sister has tons of rich, tight, curly brown hair.  Although her hair isn’t coarse at all, she has enough hair to make anyone with hair envy jealous.  Personally, I would love to have her hair – color and all – which is ironic conisidering I dye my hair blonde!  Look at all the shine and curls in the “before” pictures below – it’s just gorgeous. 
Well, with curly hair at hand, I decided to tackle the task of straightening her hair.  I had set aside about 30-45 minutes to do this, as I have tried previous brands in the past with some success, but the time to accomplish the desired look was substantial.   After dividing her hair into four sections, I went about the task at hand.  Let me tell you, the performance of this flat iron is UNBELIEVABLE!  In one pass of the iron (set at ~375 degrees), I was able to have a straight section of hair immediately, with no need to come back.  Section by section, this was no exception.  Even the tight curls underneath were simple to straighten.  I was sceptical that the 1″ width of this iron would be sufficient to staighten this much hair, but sure enough it worked like a dream.  I managed to straighten my sister’s entire head of hair in under 15 minutes.
The other nice thing is the roundness of this iron, which I think you can see in the first few pictures, is it has the flexibility to “curl” your longer hair – it doesn’t have to just be a flat iron!  There is a very handy “how to” guide that comes with the iron, and will teach you everything you need to know about achieving curls, flipping your hair under or out, and other techniques that are very helpful when using an iron such as this.
Look at these before and after shots!  Isn’t it amazing!  One thing I forgot to take a picture of was the shine serum by Hana which also came with this.  This is truely a serum, and has the consistency of mineral oil.  As my art teacher used to say, “A dot does a lot!”, and this is no exception.  About a pea sized drop of this serum and I was able to apply to my sister’s hair and protect it from the heat.  Look at how shiny her hair is, and even better, it smells tropical and wonderful!
Another key points to take away: 1) the iron comes with an extremely long cord, and where the cord connects with the iron itself, it swivles/twists, which allows you to keep working and not worry about any tangles in the wire.  2) the iron is easy to use because it’s light weight and easy to grip.  3) As mentioned earlier, you can adjust the temperature of the iron.  Depending on who is using the iron will determine what type of heat is needed.  Seeing as my hair is wavy, I don’t need a setting of 375-400 like my sister did.  This helps us protect our hair!  The guide (above), also has some suggested settings based on your hair type, which is a great starting point when working with one of these types of irons. 
All in all, I have to say this is the best flat iron I’ve used to date, and I’ve tried numerous varieties from the basic you can find at your drug store to those at a beauty supply store.  I would definitely suggest you pick one up if you have been struggling with your iron. 
Keep your eyes peeled here, as well, since I will be posting a contest to win your own flat iron, courtesy of Misikko.com. 
Posted in flat irons, hair, Review | 2 Comments

FOTD Using Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Eyeliner in black

Since I posted about these fantastic Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strip Gel Eyeliners yesterday, I wanted to post a FOTD using them as well.  Today I am posting a FOTD using the black pot of eye liner.  I also am using the new Wet ‘n Wild Shimmering Berry blush and e.l.f. Lucious Liquid Lipstick in Raspberry.  


Like I mentioned yesterday, these eyeliners are so nice and smooth, it’s hard to believe they are a gel liner.  The best part is…the looks below were only one swipe of the brush!  This means there isn’t any cakey liner that flakes off into your eyes later in the day.  
Personally, I think using black eyeliner as “test” is great, because I can tell if a product is good by looking in the mirror at the end of the day.  In the case of eyeliners, I typically have what looks like black tears in the outer corners of my eyes due to oils smearing the liner.  If the liner gets an “A” in my book, the smearing is minimal by the end of the day.  In the case of these liners, I had absolutely NO smearing at the end of the day.  For once, a liner actually stays put!!
I also wanted to try out my new Wet ‘n Wild blush in Berry Shimmer and one of my new e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipsticks in Raspberry.  I really am liking these Luscious Liquid Lipsticks – there is just enough color without being overbearing on the lips.
Face:
Bare Escentuals Foundation “Fair”
Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil
Wet ‘n Wild Shimmering Berry Blush
Eyes:
Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy
Fyrinnae Sticky Buns – inner corner
Fyrinnae Lousy Tip – outer corner and crease
MAC Pigment “Vanilla” – highlight
Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Eyeliner “black” – liner
Cover Girl LashBlast Fusion Mascara
Lips:
e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick “Raspberry”
Posted in Bare Escentauls, Cover Girl, e.l.f. Cosmetics, FOTD Brown, Fyrinnae, Physicians Formulas | 2 Comments

Review: Physicians Formulas Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Eyeliners – Green Eyes


Taking another page from the beautiful Recssionista’s book, I finally found the Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Eyeliners she reviewed here at my CVS!  And, to be totally honest, these have been pending my review for quite some time, since life seemed to get in the way of blogging for a while there.   🙂
I purchased the set for Green Eyes although there are also sets for Brown Eyes, Hazel Eyes and Blue Eyes.  The eyeliners are stackable, with bright metallic lids which interlock.  The lids themselves unscrew so you can keep your eyeliner nice and moist without the worry of drying out.  I do like the fact that they can either stack or be separate, because depending on what type of storage you use, have a large stack of eyeliners might be a deal-breaker!  The set also comes with a surprisingly nice eyeliner brush.  The brush is tapered, and flat, so it can be used to create a smooth thin line, or a thick bolder line. It is also made of sturdy, but not stiff, bristles, so it won’t tug and “scrape” along your eyelid when applied.
The three colors in the Green Eye stack are a bright blue/purple, a bright leaf green, and what appear to be a rich black.  Below is a close up of each eye line in the pot.  
As you can see below, the blue is actually a bright egg-plant, but for some reason all the blue iridescence shows up in my picture of the pot of liner.    The green is just that, a bright leaf green.  Its not as olive as it appears below, which I will show you by comparing it to MAC’s Fluidline in Sweet Sage.  You can sort of see the subtle shimmer in each of these, although some have more than others.  I’d say that the blue/purple is the least shimmery of all three, then the green, and although you can’t really see it below, the black has this beautiful turquoise and purple/green shimmer!

Just to give you an idea as to the size of each pot, I have compared this to a MAC Fluidline Pot.  Let’s be honest, MAC gives a lot of product in these pots, so as you can see, the Physicians Formula pots are quite generous, and you get three for about the half the price of a Fluidline pot.  I also wanted you to see the comparison of this particular green next to a true sage/olive green color.  As you can see, the green in the Physician’s Formula is really a true/leaf green, although there is a hint of golden shimmer to it, helping neutralize the color once applied.  
Here are the two: Physician’s Formula’s green and MAC Fluidline Sweet Sage next to eachother.

Retail Price: $10.99
Where to purchase:  CVS, Walgreens,
Product: 5 out of 5

Price: 5 out of 5

Packaging: 5 out of 5

Overall: 5 out of 5

Would I purchase again? Absolutely!  Very rarely will I give a product a 5 out of 5, but this one is the exception.  The colors are gorgeous, the application is beyond simple, and the brush is great too!  Let me just say that I have tried every drug store gel eyeliner available, and nothing applies quite like this. I would almost think it was a liquid when I applied it – the brush moved along the lashline so smoothly, and there was no tugging or pulling and dragging of the product, so you get a nice, smooth line immediately.  Also, because the eyeliner is extremely pigmented, there is very little need to re-apply over the first line, so you don’t get that cakey effect that can happen with some liners.  As a result, there is no flaking or cracking during the day!  Nothing annoys me more than when I look in the mirror in the afternoon and the liquid or gel eyeliner I applied earlier that day has cracked out of the inner corners of my eyes, so it looks as though I only applied eyeliner to half my lid!  Also, I must say that this product wears like iron.  After I swatched the liners, I let them dry, and then did the *Mally* test, as I call it…do any of you ever watch Mally Beauty on QVC and see her rigorously rub back and forth on the models hand for her liners and shadows?  It’s quite amusing, but speaks volumes to the capacity of her products to stay put!  I swatched it early in the morning before I went to work, and even after I washed my hands with soap and water, there was the remnants of the liner on my hand.  Don’t let this deter you, though – when I used my face wash, which is just basic Olay, it came right off.  So, as I said, this wears like iron!
I just wish my CVS kept things in stock – I would love to try some of the blues or browns!  I will just have to pop into another CVS or Walgreens and see if they have any other shades!
Definitely a great product – have any of you tried this?
Posted in Eyeliners, Physicians Formulas | 3 Comments