Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January Make Up Favorites 2011

1-4. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Strobe Light, Revlon Perplex, Wet n' Wild Gray's Anatomy & Sagreena the Teenage Witch.
5. Cover FX Brush #160. Apparently this was meant for the Full Coverage Compact Foundation which I've used with once, but I personally love it for cream cheek products like my NARS Cap Vert multiple bronzer or the Soleil Tan De Chanel.
6. Nars Madly blush. I do believe this is described as a seashell pink, and I'd say that's pretty accurate. As many have mentioned, it looks like nothing in the pan, but applied to the cheeks it boosts and livens the complexion wonderfully. I can see this being a great bronzer for NC10 skin-tones.
7. Nars Ashes to Ashes (sorry for the condition of the shadow as it is very soft and crumbled a little in transit). It's definitely a taupe that errs on the mauve side. I prefer these types of taupes on my skin vs. ones like Satin Taupe by MAC.
8-9. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (left) & Too Faced Leopard Bronzer (right). I can't get over how smooth these both apply. Chocolate Soleil (matte) blends down wonderfully and almost mimics just a darker skin-tone, which is why I think it works well for me. It's not too golden, too orange, or too red based. Leopard Bronzer really isn't a bronzer, even for my fair skin. It's more of a rose blush with a slight lavender (cool) undertone to it.
10. Wet n' Wild Color Icon Trio in "Silent Treatment". I adore this trio! I won't drone on and on, but these shadows are so soft and creamy. Honestly, they rival my high end shadows in texture, color payoff, blend-ability, and longevity.
11. MUFE Aqua Cream #13. This month was my first trial with the eye aqua creams. I have the cheek/lip versions which last forever, but can be hard to blend in quickly and thoroughly. However, the eye version is out of this world amazing. They start creamier than any of the Benefit or MAC counterparts, but then set even better and last longer than either. I do hope they come out with a matte version, though!
12. Bare Minerals Nude Beach. This is such a versatile and dreamy color. The shimmer emits a phenomenal glow that I can't seem to get enough of. I use this almost daily on top of whatever lid color I'm wearing that day.
13. Wet n' Wild Color Icon Brow Pencil. I meant to include this in my monthly favorites, but missed it on my desk when I was taping my video. This is currently my favorite brow product, period. It is incredibly soft and creamy, but also has a slight wax property to it. I'm not one who likes drawn in brows, nor do I like them perfect. This is perfect if you want to fill in your brows with ease and with little effort.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick Review & Swatches

Needless to say I fell instantly in love with the formulation of these two shades, and with almost all of the Drugstores having BOGO 50% off, I had to test out a few more.
In this post I'm going to review the colors separately and then the line as a whole; pros, cons and the whole shebang.
P.S. I do hope you find the swatches helpful. By no means am I on the level of Temptalia and her photography, but I do feel it's not too shabby for my first up-close lip swatch debut. ;cD
Heavenly is a neutral pink shade. I'd certainly wear this color for every day wear. Colors I'd say are in a similar color category (not dupes) would be YSL #2 Rouge Volupte and MAC's Blankety. I would say Heavenly is less mauve and more rose based than the other colors mentioned.
Sultry is a neutral to mid-toned brown shade with a hint of peach. I see this being the perfect nude for darker skin-tones. Colors that are similar in this color family would also be YSL #2 Rouge Volupte and MAC Blankety, but this is a little darker and slightly more brown.
Divine is simply, well, Divine!! It's a strong violet based pink lipstick. The photo is showing the violet tone more than what I see on my lips in person. Apparently this is a dupe to MAC Violetta, which makes perfect sense.
Fairytale is a coral that errs much on the peach/orange side with the slightest hint of red base. This reminds me somewhat of MAC's chatterbox.
Temptress is kind of similar to Fairytale, but doesn't sway to the peach side and therefore stays more to a true bright coral.
Kiss is a light peachy bronze shade. I currently can't think of a lipstick I have similar to. The frost is tolerable in this shade. I do like it.
Sweetheart is my least favorite shade. It's a baby rose based pink with intense frost. I'm not opposed to frost or a metallic finish, but this is too intense and unflattering on me. It washes me out quite a bit aside from the overbearing finish.

1. Incredibly long lasting
2. Full, opaque coverage (mainly with the cremes/creams)
3. Vast shade selection
4. Luxurious packaging
5. Applies very smoothly - doesn't settle into fine lines
6. Almost undetectable scent. The scent I faintly smell has a hint of vanilla, similar to MAC. Some claim there is no scent, it's that subtle.

1. Somewhat difficult to remove
2. A little drying even though they appear moisturizing
3. Frosts can be overbearing, so buy with caution.

Overall, I can confidently recommend you try these lipsticks. I can't believe such a smooth wearing lipstick can wear all day as if it were a lip stain. The packaging is absolutely incredible and reminds me of Hourglass packaging with the high shine pewter packaging. LOVE!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rock Bottom.. Literally! MAC's Mineralized Skinfinishes

A few months ago I was rearranging my makeup stash and had a few of my MSFs in a container moved out into the kitchen so I could spread things out and organize things more efficiently.
Well, this was a BAD idea! I dropped them as I was walking, tripped, and they crashed to the floor pretty violently (funny image yet? LOL). I lost Petticoat, somewhat Porcelain Pink, Refined, and the one in the photo below, which is Cheeky Bronze.
Cheeky Bronze was not only my favorite of all of them, but it was also the most damaged from this Boo Boo!
What I find interesting, and why I'm even posting this, is the pan. At first, I kept thinking I could fix the cracked part onto the base somehow and continue using it. I had NO idea that was the clay base on which they're baked (or I assume that's what it's for).

As you can see, the clay base takes on the color and everything of the MSF making it appear as if it's part of the actual product.

Below is a photo with the cracked part lifted. You can see the clay disk in more detail, including the thickness of it.

This upcoming photo is what really intrigued me. I always thought to myself, "I'm spending that extra dough, ($28 for ones like I'm showing.. I have the MSF Natural which is $26, but I think they've got a normal metal aluminum pan/base) I guess I can rationalize the price because you get LOADS of product".

Well, once the dome broke off my Cheeky Bronze and discovered the clay pan, I realized that the dome, and therefore all of the product, is quite superficial and therefore doesn't go very deep into the packaging.
(photo be low- left, soft n' gentle/right, cheeky bronze)

I will say, it's not far from the truth as you get much more than a blush that's around 5-6g for $18 and the MSF is 10g, but compared to higher end blushes, (considering people see MAC as more midrange) it really isn't the BEST deal.

As evidenced by the photo above, the MAC MSF looks far more substantial, if you will, than the Benefit Coralista. However, Coralista comes in 11g, so 1g more than the MSF at the same cost.

By no means do I dislike my MSF's, and I will more than happily pay the price tag as they're beautiful to look at and get much use, but I now feel the MSF packaging is a little misleading.

Also, does anyone know why the MSF Natural doesn't have this clay base like the Special MSF's?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HD Powders and Flash Photography

One day I was catching up on twitter and I caught a tweet from Make Up For Ever, defending false accusations of their HD powder causing Celebrity makeup mishaps. Soon after I saw gossmakeupartist do a video on this to put the claims to rest.
Needless to say, his video proved it was, indeed, the MUFE HD powder that caused the flash photography "white cast" under Eva Longoria and Nicole Kidman's eyes.
Well, I decided to test this for myself, but take it a step further and test some other HD/Invisible loose setting powders, as well.

Products I'm Testing In This Review:
1. iT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores (NEW)
2. E.L.F (eyeslipsface) HD Powder
3. Benefit Powderflage
4. MUFE (make up for ever) HD Powder
5. NEW- Laura Mercier Universal Invisible Loose Setting Powder
6. Bare Minerals Veil (regular and hydrating)

In the heavy swatch above (and I mean heavy like full on eyeshadow swatch just to be sure), I wouldn't blame the flash. I think it's proving this powder to be more opaque than a full on transluscent powder. I could visually see it without flash
Photos Above: Just to show you what it looks like swatched incredibly heavy without flash.

As you can see, once I took that swatch and buffed it with the brush (same brush used in the video review) you can barely see it. Definitely less than the MUFE HD even when I used a light hand with the MUFE and buffed it out really good (see bottom photo of this post).

Bye Bye Pores is almost invisible with flash, but left behind the area somewhat brightened (not white), which as I mentioned, helps with tired skin.

This proves the iT cosmetics has some coverage to it and may play part in how well it blurs. If you can see it in person, then you applied too much, so I think it's safe to say it passes the Flash test.

Here's another photo.

At Slightly Different Angles (to make sure)

By FAR the MUFE was the biggest culprit in causing a white cast on the skin. Second was the ELF HD, which I consider a great dupe to the MUFE, but now I say it's better because it's white cast isn't as offensive.
The other two powders (Powderflage and Laura Mercier) barely showed up, if at all, with the flash.

Which invisible loose powder wins? UPDATE
In my opinion, iT Cosmetics bye bye pores! It works amazingly on the face AND under the eyes. Second is Laura Mercier Universal which I do believe it's a new release (I got a sample w/ my order at Sephora).
The Powderflage is great, too, but meant just for under the eyes. I'm relieved to see that it doesn't cause the flash photography "no no", though!
Bare Minerals Added 1/27/11

I realized I didn't include my Bare Escentuals invisible powders! DUH me! The original mineral veil is completely invisible like the Laura Mercier, and the Hydrating one shows up slightly as there are tiny shimmers in it, but still pretty close to invisible.

A wonderful MUA and subscriber by the name of omgfuggeniloveit made a suggestion as to showing the results using a light handed approach, as all powders should be applied with a light hand. I couldn't agree more and having dry skin I learned to apply powders gingerly pretty early on.
In the photo above, I'm not sure I could see it if I didn't already know where I applied it, but knowing it's there I can detect it ever so slightly. It's more brightening instead of a full on white cast. I used my fluffy eye blending brush from flirt, which is what I use with my powderflage, for reference.
Here's a photo just at a different angle. I can still see it, but again, it's not nearly as offensive or garish as the celebrity red carpet mishap photos. I would still err on the side of caution, though, and go with other options.

Again, with any powder, silica based or not, always use a light hand. Never use a dense brush like a Kabuki, etc.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Olay Pro X Cleansing System vs. Clarisonic

Is the Olay Pro X Cleansing System a good alternative to the Clarisonic?

In my opinion? YES!
Does this mean I regret getting the Clarisonic? NOPE!

However, and in all honesty, I am glad I have both. Here are the Pro's and Con's of each product below:

Olay Pros over the Clarisonic:
1. It has a full and circular oscillating motion which moves debris more so than the Clarisonic, in my personal opinion.
2. It's extremely compact and much more ergonomic (and therefore more comfortable to hold) in terms of the grip for holding during use.
3. Sticking with the subject of size, the brush head maneuvers perfectly (and better than the Clarisonic I may add) in crevices around the nose, etc.
4. The bristles are very gentle, but effective. My new favorite thing to do is to mix a glycolic and pumpkin peel by thesourceskincare (link to the pumpkin and glycolic enzyme peel) with St. Ives Green Tea scrub and use the Olay to move it on my face. It's gentle enough that it doesn't scratch my face, but helps move the product around and remove dead skin cell debris. I do this only once a week.

5. The brush head doesn't splatter near as much as the Clarisonic!
6. I've not broken out using the Olay.
7. It seems to clean up much easier than the Clarisonic. However, using makeup remover will do the trick if either brush heads get residue.

Clarisonic Mia Pros over the Olay:
1. No battery issues (buying new ones over and over or having to use rechargeables). The Mia comes with a magnetic charge adapter which is convenient and more environmentally friendly.
2. It's completely waterproof. I don't think the Olay one is as rugged in that regard.
3. It has a timer so you don't over work your skin.
4. It has multiple brush head options unlike the Olay. I have both the normal and sensitive, but there is an even more gentle one called delicate.
5. The brush head comes with a cap to protect the bristles, where the Olay doesn't.

Now, in terms of refinement of my pores and smoothing the texture of my skin, I think both have delivered in that regard. I've not seen any miracles by any means, but dyspigmentation (brown spots) and other discoloration issues have waned quite a bit.

Overall, I love both of these products, but if you're on a budget the Olay one almost as good, and in some instances better than the Clarisonic. Both have their strengths!

Price of the Olay: $27-$30
Price of replacement brush heads: $9-$10 (it's recommended to replace them every 2-3 months, but I'll go based on how frayed or splayed the bristles get)
Where You Can Buy: Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, and some Grocery Store Chains

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fit Me Foundation and Oxidation.. or is it?

Tonight after reading on foundation oxidation and seeing so many contradictions, I coerced (lovingly) my husband to give me his hypothesis and had him help me round up some at home chemicals with different properties and pH's to do a casual experiment.

First of all, Brad's hypothesis was that the pigment was intensifying as it dried, so there was no chemical change, just that the fluid was evaporating, leaving a more concentrated product and therefore becoming darker or more orange.
Now, I didn't believe this entirely because it seemed to darken and to me that's a chemical change. Usually oils and/or adding liquid "intensifies" a pigment, which MUA's do all the time with eyeshadow.

This first lazy experiment I did on my own as I knew quite a few people would mention how oily skin may change the color. While some probably do, I have quite dry skin, so that wouldn't make sense with my personal situation.

What I did was add green tea seed oil to a petri dish and mixed it with the foundation (green tea "seed" oil is clear and won't add color).

Now, in this photo, the swab on the left looks slightly darker. At this point I was starting to think oil would change the overall color.
I swatched the two on white paper and I couldn't detect a difference in color.

In this next casual experiment, we took bleach, vinegar, a facial toner with alcohol, and Drano.
First of all, we took bleach and dropped it on the foundation as bleach is an intense oxidant. Second, toner or Sea Breeze was used, which contains alcohol-40. Thirdly, we used vinegar to see if it'd change the pH to a more acidic level. Lastly, we took Drano, which is very basic or high in pH (sodium hydroxide, a caustic substance).
Nadda, ZILCH, Zero, None of the foundation droplets changed in any dramatic manner, whether it be more orange or darker.
The only thing I noticed (slightly) was the Sea Breeze toner and as you know Alcohol can cause liquid to evaporate more easily.

Conclusion. The only test which results in a darker or more orange foundation was the fact it DRIED. It had nothing to do with pH.

Top swatch is after ten minutes and bottom is around one. This is the only REAL swatch difference I see, and that is after it set/dried for awhile.

May I add that the ingredients in this foundation are extremely incredible for the fact it didn't react to ANY of these chemicals, harsh and all (completely inert). Interesting stuff and completely unexpected!

I am now coining this phenomenon, "the oompa loompa dry down"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog Sale!! USA ONLY (for now as I want to keep shipping cheap for everyone!)

Nars Eyeshadow in Silent Night (upper left is where I used it few times)

Mac e/s Suite in Counterparts (left)
MAC Mineralized e/s Duo in Fresh Green Mix SOLD
$8 each

Benefit Dallas
$15 SOLD

Nars Blush in Desire
$15 SOLD

MAC Mineralized Blush Duo LE in Moon River
$16 SOLD

Sephora Airbrush #55
$15 SOLD

YSL Palettes
4 Color Harmony #3 (left) PENDING
Duo #11 (right) PENDING
$8 each

MAC Mineral Duos
Engaging SOLD
Two To Glow
$10 each

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Pink- used 2-3x
$20 SOLD

Smashbox Bronzer in Haute-Couture (only swatched)

Victoria's Secret Lipstick in Whisper (worn 1-2x)

Bobbi Brown Blush in French Pink
(worn 1-2x.. the photo shows it a little more berry than it is in person)

MAC Blush in Ambering Rose (worn once)

Smashbox Blush/Bronzer in Ecstasy (worn 3x)

MAC E/S All worn maybe 2x tops
Melton Mauve $7
Black Tied $9 SOLD
Birds & Berries $10

Pop Beauty Smokey Eyes Used 2x

Pop Beauty Day to Play- Used 1x

YSL Mat Touch Foundation (swatched only- way too dark)
$12 SOLD

Clinique Super Fit (used handful of times, now too dark)
#24 Champagne

MAC MSF in Smooth Merge LE (barely used.. maybe 3-4x)
$25 SOLD

NYX 10 Color Runway Collection -Strike a Pose
(used 3-5x)

Benefit Boi-ing Concealer #2
(used handful of times - swiped off top layer and sanitized)

MAC Lipsticks (all barely used)
Ahoy There! $8 SOLD
Utterly Frivolous $8, SOLD
Saint Germain $14 SOLD

Clinique Fresh Bloom LE- Bamboo Pink (used 3-5x)

Benefit Georgia Used 3-4x- no brush
$15 SOLD

Benefit Thrrrob - no brush (used handful of x's)
$15 SOLD

Revlon ColorStay 98% Full (was backup)

Revlon PhotoReady
Nude 90% full $7

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour
Classic Ivory 98%
Classic Beige used 1x PENDING
Natural Beige, 85%
$5 ea.

Neutrogena Healthy skin in 40 Nude
90% full $6

Korres Wild Rose Foundation in WRF2
used 5x $15

Nars Sheer Glow Santa Fe 95%+ (I had two)
$25 SOLD

All Foundations are Too Dark for me. I do recommend you research to find out if these shades will match you or if you own them already and need a back up.
$2 shipping for first item, $1 for each additional item 4+ items= Free Shipping
I'll ship first class with confirmation.

Message me on Youtube (ginabinawina99) what you are interested in and include your PayPal email for me to invoice.