Archive for July, 2010

Benefit Cosmetics Silky-Finish Lipstick in ‘My Treat’

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 30, 2010 by sbulletforever

I try lots and lots and lots of makeup. Even when something is good, if it isn’t great, I’ll return it so I can try something else that might be better. So despite my deep love of makeup, my makeup bag is practically empty. I only have a few staples in there: Laura Geller Balance-N-Brighten in ‘Fair’, Jane Iredale Pressed Powder in ‘Golden Glow’, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Smoothing Stick concealer, Tarte Cheek Stain in ‘Doll Face’, tokidoki Luminosa Powder in ‘Kabuki’, and some brushes and basic tool. I don’t even own a single eyeshadow right now… Just a MAC Paint Pot in ‘Painterly’! ANYWAYS, my point is that I hardly keep anything unless it’s perfect.

So you should know that I now own three different Benefit Cosmetics lipsticks. Three!! I’ve never owned three of any product in my entire life. But these lipsticks are so good, I keep adding to my collection, and I have no intention of ever returning them. These are HG (holy grail) lipsticks.

My newest purchase was the Silky-Finish Lipstick in ‘My Treat’. It looks a bit intimidating in the tube, I will warn you. It looks like a very vibrant pink rose, but I tried it on anyways. Using a lip brush, it went on lightly and gave me this glowing, soft rosy lip. The color is so sweet! And, as always, the lipstick goes on smoothly and flawlessly. I bought it, took it home, and then applied it directly from the tube to my lip (no brush this time). The color went on a bit darker, so it was a more vibrant rose color. Still very attractive, but slightly different from when I used the lip brush. So if you want lighter, softer color, use the lip brush. For more vibrant color, just apply it directly to your lip.

I’ve discovered something else about these lipsticks… The moisturizing benefits they provide have actually been conditioning and softening my lip and giving me permanent results! In this desert, I have eternally cracked and bleeding knuckles and dry lips from hell. When I tried on my MAC ‘Red Enriched’ lip liner, my lips looked super dry and the liner didn’t look as attractive on my lips. NOT the liner’s fault- it was just my lips. But since I’ve been wearing my Benefit Silky-Finish lipsticks on a regular basis now, my lips have totally changed. I tried on the ‘Red Enriched’ liner again yesterday and had not one single problem with it highlighting my cracked lips. Why? Because I didnt have any cracks in my lips. My lips were smooth and healthy and full like never before. The liner looks so good now, I’ve decided to add it as a ‘staple’ product in my bag.

So these lipsticks are more than just smooth, beautiful and generally perfect. They work better than any lipbalm I’ve ever used to fix my dry lips. I’m throwing my Smashbox lipbalm away now because it can’t compare in the slightest to the results I get from wearing my Silky-Finish Lipstick for an hour or so.

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Anastasia Brow Fix

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 25, 2010 by sbulletforever

Thick, groomed eyebrows are extremely beautiful in my eyes. And they are a staple of the pin-up look, which I’m obsessed with. And the two essential staples to groomed eyebrows are brow powder and wax. You want to have full, rich-looking brows and you want them to stay shaped and in place, which is where the wax comes in. For my Halloween costume I picked this up, hoping to keep my brows set through the Halloween party and after party.

This is a thick, short, colorless wax pencil with pretty pink and silver wrapping. You only get .1 ounces for $21, which isn’t a great price unless it lasts a really long time. There is a special sharpener you have to buy specifically made to fit the thick pencil tip. It won’t fit your average sharpener. The sharpener is only $6, so it isn’t so bad.

I applied this after my brow powder along the edge of my entire brow.  It is completely colorless and it isn’t super thick and sticky like a lot of wax pencils. Very smooth application with this. It did wipe away a few loose eyebrow hairs that I had, but it didn’t pull on my brows at all. It did last all night! Through wearing a mask, dancing, sweating, and general activity, my eyebrows stayed pretty much in shape. It didn’t lock them down into a waxy clump, which I’m thankful for. When I ran my fingers over my brows, I couldn’t even feel the wax! It just felt like soft, smooth eyebrows.

My real issue with this is that the pencil goes quickly. I mean seriously fast. I only got a handful of uses out of mine before I was running out of it! I have to use it extremely sparingly, which I’m not happy about. For the price, this pencil isn’t worth it. I can’t spend $21 every month or so just to replace my brow pencil!

MAC Eyeshadow in ‘Brown Down’

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 23, 2010 by sbulletforever

Hooray for my 100th post!! I feel like an accomplished blogger now.

So this review is for MAC Eyeshadow in ‘Brown Down’. I got this color a long, long time ago, back before I even knew what a crease color or a highlighter was, so I never used it. But lately I’ve been obsessing with the idea of a brown smokey eye, so I thought I’d give it a try and see if it’s worth using.

$14.50 for .05 ounces- you know the drill- which is a good price for good eyeshadow. ‘Brown Down’ is described as a “teddy bear brown” by MAC, but what does that mean? That’s kind of ambiguous, ’cause teddy bears come in all shades of brown. In fact, my own teddy is white and yellow, so I think they need to change that description. The www.maccosmetics.com swatch is off, as usual. It shows it to be a very pretty light/medium brown, but in fact it’s a much darker brown! Like a deep milk chocolate or something- very vibrant and a little intense.

This is a veluxe-finish shadow, which is new for me. I’ve tried matte shadows (which I love), satin shadows (which I also love), veluxe-pearl shadows (which I hate), matte-squared shadows (which were okay) and lustre shadows (whichI don’t like). It seems to me that the veluxe-pearl and lustre shadows have a problem with distributing even color, and sometimes with having more frost/shimmer than color.

This is a pretty, very highly pigmented dark brown. And I do mean highly pigmented! The veluxe-finish shadows seem to have the best color payoff. This is a color I only use in my crease, and I use a light hand with it. But you can go really dramatic with this if you want, since the pigmentation is so great, and you can also go more natural with it, since it’s such a matte, neutral brown. Great for a matte, classic brown smokey eye, I’d definitely recommend this shade as a staple to anybody’s makeup collection. It’s just so…versatile, and it’s simple. No shine, no frost, no shimmer, no powdery marks, no smears or creasing in the slightest. It’s more matte than even the matte-finish MAC shadows, which I find funny.

Love this brown. So classic, and so classy.

Anastasia Brow Duality in ‘Matte Shell/Lace Shimmer’

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 23, 2010 by sbulletforever

The Brow Duality highlighting brow pencil ($23) comes in two different shades: ‘Matte Shell/Lace Shimmer’ and Matte Camille/Sand Shimmer’. The Shell/Lace color is meant for yellow-based skintones and the Camille/Sand color is meant for pink-based skintones. I wanted to give this a try because I recently tried the Benefit High Brow highlighting brow pencil and hated it. It was way too pink-based and did not compliment my yellow-based skin, so I was drawn by the fact that Anastasia sold a pencil specifically for my skintone.

It’s a dual sided pencil with thick tips, so you really only need to draw a single line beneath your brow and then use your finger to blend it a bit. It’s highly pigmented, but the colors are natural and blend beautifully into my skin. I can’t even see that they’re there, but I can still see the highlight it gives me. My problem with the packaging is that the plastic caps for the pencils don’t stay on well, especially my cap for the ‘Matte Shell’ side. I have to keep it in a zipper pouch of my makeup bag so I don’t accidentally knock the plastic cap off and ruin it.

The ‘Matte Shell’ side is a pinky peach that is completely matte. I really love how it adds a glow under my brows, like there’s a light hidden there somewhere. It’s very pretty! I adore it, and it works well for any occassion. I’d use a more dramatic, white-based highlighter for nighttime looks (like dates and clubs), but this color works great on natural and classic makeup looks.

The ‘Lace Shimmer’ side is a shiny gold color that looks really intimidating, but goes on completely sheer. In fact, it goes on too sheer. It leaves only a light trace of shimmer beneath my brows, and even under industrial lighting in front of the mirror it’s hard for me to see. It shows up better in dim light, but not by much. I was really disappointed with this side because it just doesn’t do anything to highlight my brows. But it DOES look good as a gold, shiny accent to my eyeshadows. I’ve used it by my tearduct and lined my lower lash line with it and it makes my eyes POP! But as a brow highlighter, it just doesn’t cut it.

If they sold a full-sized ‘Matte Shell’ pencil, I’d be willing to pay the $23 for it. But since the ‘Matte Shell’ is only half of this pencil, and the ‘Lace Shimmer’ does nothing for me, I’d say this isn’t worth the cash. I’ll be looking for a better brow highlighter.

Bumble & Bumble Creme de Coco Masque

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 22, 2010 by sbulletforever

There was a time, back when I kept my hair white-blonde and intense pink, when my hair didn’t like me. It said, “Quit bleaching me!” and rebelled. I had split-ends, dryness, frizzies, and other general signs of unhappy hair. I already use the best Pureology shampoo and conditioner you can buy, and I take prenatal vitamins (which contains every B-vitamin you’ll ever need) and flaxseed oil, so the only way I could think of helping my hair was to get a mask. My best friend actually introduced me to weekly hair masks, and I’ve become rather fond of them. So I picked up B&B Creme de Coco mask at the urging on my hair stylist and tried it out.

You get 5 ounces for $25, which isn’t bad. I mean, you only use a hair mask once or twice a week, and my hair is short so I don’t need much anyways. The price was definitely do-able. Now, this masks promises that your hair will be soft, silky and glossy to the point that you’ll be left speachless. It’s supposed to be super luxurious. Instructions say to use it once a week, after shampooing, and let it sit in your hair for a minimum of 7 minutes. It’s best to wrap your damp, masque-filled hair with a warm towel or go sit in the sun for a while to maximize benefits. Rinse thoroughly. It smells…kind of icky. Like a sweet, plastic-like frosting with a pineapple twist. This WILL give you a headache, and I can’t leave it on too long or I start feeling ill from that smell. So gross!

Does it work? HELL no. This stuff is junk, junk, junk, junk!!!!! I’ve seen way better results using a cheap tub of Garnier Fructis hair masque. I saw minimal glossiness from this, and no softness or silkiness to my hair. I’ve had this bottle for over a year now and it’s still pretty much full, ’cause I can’t stand to use it. I can’t even get my mother to use it! It’s just a waste of $25. Avoid this product like the plague.

Too Faced Naked Eye Palette

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 22, 2010 by sbulletforever

This is a brand new palette that only came out a couple weeks ago! I’m a fan of Too Faced products, but their Smoky Eye Palette ($34) was too shimmery and wild for me, and their Natural Eyes Palette ($34) was way too shimmery for me. I’ve become a matte lover of late and can’t stand tons of shimmer! Anyways, I loved the look of the palettes and some of the colors were stunning, but I wasn’t thrilled. But when I heard the Naked Eye Palette ($35) was coming out, I drove over an hour away to pick it up at Ulta because my local Sephora didn’t even have it in stock yet.

The packaging is stunning. The box you get is a pretty pink with lots of pretty chic designs on it, and the cover has a large painted picture of a pretty “nude” eye. The lettering is black with shiny gold accent, and it looks too cute to leave alone! There is a small black cord that you pull to open the top, and when you close the box you can hear it ‘snap’ shut by magnets. The inside is just as cute, almost identical to the outside. A pink box with accents and a smaller picture of the painted “nude” eye. There is an arrow pointing to the side of the lid where three little cards are tucked neatly away. Those cards contain simple, 3-step instructions on how to obtain 3 separate looks with the shadows. There are three full-size shadows (.07 ounces) and 6 mini-size shadows (.03 ounces) with labels on them, telling you what the shadow name is and which card it belongs to. Underneath it all, at the base of the box, there is a small pull-out drawer that contains a single small brush with a sponge applicator on one side and a slanted brush on the other.

There are three looks in all: Day, Classic, and Fashion. The cards (just as pretty and decorated as the box) have English instructions on one side and French instructions on the other. There is a 3-step instruction list and a drawn image of what, ideally, the look should be. It even has numbers on the image of the eye to tell you which step goes with which shadow.

We’ll start with the Day look. You have a white-based, nude shadow called ‘In the Buff’, a neutral brown/gray called ‘Pillow Talk’, and a darker neutral brown called ‘Like a Virgin’.

  • “In the Buff” goes from your lashes to your brow
  • ‘Pillow Talk’ goes beneath your crease
  •  ‘Like a Virgin’ gets blended into your crease and outer lash line

The card shows the eye looking highly pigmented, but that just isn’t so. ‘In the Buff’ is a sheer, nude shadow that only brightens your eye and gives it a super, super sheer base. It doesn’t even look like shadow is on your eye at all, but you do get brightening and smoothing benefits from it. ‘Pillow Talk’ added a sheer, almost invisible wash of neutral shhimmer. Only ‘Like a Virgin’ was highly pigmented, and it added a very pretty touch of contrast to my eye. The look was NAKED, true to the palette’s name. I couldn’t even tell I had the shadow on under industrial lighting, an inch away from the mirror, but it looked GREAT! Honestly, it looked like I rolled out of bed with perfect eyes. My eyes looked naturally brighter, sweeter, and that wash of color in my crease gave amazing contrast. I love this look!

Next is the Classic look. You have a dark, neutral beige shadow called ‘Birthday Suit’, a shimmery light/medium pink shade called ‘Satin Sheets’, and a dark gunmetal grey called ‘Unmentionables’.

  • ‘Birthday Suit’ goes directly on your brow bone for the most intense color, then you blend it down into your crease for more sheer color
  • ‘Satin Sheets’ goes in a narrow line beneath your crease, close to your lash line, and sweeps all the way around your tear duct
  • ‘Unmentionables’ is used as a liner on your upper and lower lashes, which you’re supposed to blend to spread the color and make it look softer

‘Birthday Suit’ has tons of tiny shimmer to it, and ‘Satin Sheets’ has even more, so this is a SUPER shimmery look. The colors are sheer, though not as sheer as the Day look shadows, but you still see more shimmer than color on your eye. ‘Unmentionables’ is a really blue/gray liner with shimmer, and I wasn’t as fond of using it. Don’t get me wrong- it’s still a pretty look, and it’s a sheer, eye-catching look. It looks more neutral than ‘naked’, but still quite pretty. Note: In regular lighting or sunlight, you can really see the shimmer and the blue/gray liner stands out. But in dim lighting, it looks much, much softer and sexier. I’d recommend using this more in the evening than the daytime.

And lastly, we have the Fashion look. You have a pink-based neutral shadow, similar to the ‘In the Buff’ shadow, called ‘Pink Cheeks’, a dark, neutral brown with shimmer called ‘Lap Dance’, and a totally matte and intense black called ‘Stiletto’.

  • ‘Pink Cheeks’ goes from crease to brow
  • ‘Lap Dance’ should be blended into the crease and then blended across your lid
  • ‘Stiletto’ is used as a liner across your upper lash line. Extend it out a little further past your eye, like a cat eye, and then flip your slanted brush around and blend the remaining color into your lower lash line

This is an interesting ‘Fashion’ look. ‘Pink Cheeks’ goes on very sheer and has a subtle shimmer, so it’s more noticeable than ‘In the Buff’ but less shimmery and intense than ‘Birthday Suit’. ‘Lap Dance’ doesn’t show up at all! The color may look dark sitting in the palette, but it’s transparent when it touches your eye. I layered and layered and layered the color, but still couldn’t see it. It leaves only the lightest trace of shimmer, even less noticeable than ‘Pink Cheeks’. ‘Stiletto’ was a WOW liner! It’s the perfect shadow-to-liner color. I like this better than any of my black eyeliners! So matte, so smooth, and so highly pigmented. No smudging, smearing, or creasing with it! The look itself is a truly, truly naked look. The only thing that stands out is the black liner, while the subtle shimmer of the other two colors just gives you a more neutral-looking base to your eye.

I used my own brushes and didn’t bother with the mini-brush that comes with the palette. I did have problems with the shadows crumbling. The shadow balls up and flakes of when I touch it with my brush, which can get the palette messy, and the crumbly bits of shadow fall off my brush and get on my face! You just have to be careful to really press your brush against the shadow to smooth out those crumbly flakes. Other than that, I didn’t have any problems with the shadow. It stays even without a primer or base, and it won’t smear, smudge, or melt off your eye.

Is this palette worth $35? I’d say so. I’ve never seen prettier nude shades or combinations, and the instructions are incredibly easy to follow. The Day look is truly a naked look, as if your eye always looks that way. The Classic look was too shimmery for my taste, but it looks very soft, sexy, and stunning at night. I’d save that for a date night, but I’m a matte freak, so I’m sure most people would like this as a daytime look as well. Does it belong in the Naked Eye Palette? I’m not so sure. The Fashion look was a naked fashion look for sure. The emphasis is totally on the black eyeliner- the shadows just seem to blend and melt into your skin to give you a very subtle sheen. I really want ‘Stiletto’ as a full-sized shadow so I can use it as a liner every day!!

Sephora Collection Bronzer Powder SPF 15 in ‘Bahamas’

Posted in Health and Beauty on July 21, 2010 by sbulletforever

Matte is my new obsession, so I traded in all my sparkly products for matte ones. I was tempted on getting the award winning ‘Hoola’ bronzer from Benefit, but the Sephora Collection Bronzer Powder SPF 15 in ‘Bahamas’ was almost the exact same color for a lot better price, so I got it instead.

You get .35 ounces for $16, which is an amazing deal! Way better product-per-dollar ratio than most bronzers. Comes in a thin, bronze compact with a large mirror that is actually useful. It’s thin enough to keep in your purse, in case you want to touch up, and the lid locks with a ‘click’ and stays shut until you open it. When I use my brush on powder, it doesn’t displace tons of powder and doesn’t make a mess (a lot of powders do). No mess, no fuss!

The color with this is the exact same as ‘Hoola’ Boxed Powder bronzer from Benefit, but it goes on lighter than ‘Hoola’. You just need to apply an extra layer or two to get that deeper look. But I like that it goes on somewhat sheer and allows buildable color- it looks more natural. It’s a mostly matte bronzer, though it seems to have just a tiny hint of shimmer to it. But it looks more matte than shimmery to me, and matte is what I was looking for. Even when I wipe my fingers across my cheeks, I don’t get a bunch of bronze on my fingers. This doesn’t rub off easily like some powders do, which I’m thrilled about.

Different brushes give you different looks. When I use my Bare Escentuals Full Flawless Face Brush with it, I get even color all over my cheeks. Gives me a natural sun-kissed look that I can dust lightly all over my face. When I use my Laura Geller Retractable Bronzer Brush, the color is more dramatic and the brush is narrower, so I get a sharper line. I can use it along my cheek bones to give contrast on my face. But honestly, I think the Full Flawless Face Brush does a fabulous job.

My only complaint with this is the SMELL. The bronzer smells strongly of sunscreen and sweet, salty spray from the ocean. It’s so strong that it makes my nose twitch, and I don’t like it at all. It even makes my brushes smell and my hands smell after I wiped my cheeks with my fingers. This lingering scent is driving me nuts, and I think I’ll have to return this lovely color because I just can’t handle this awful smell.