Friday, September 27, 2013

Save or Splurge?

If you've ever wondered if it was worth it to splurge on a new foundation or mascara at the department store, I hope my musings will help a little bit. In my teens and early twenties, I relied on drugstore brands to fill up my makeup case. In my thirties, I've come to have a steady mix of both inexpensive and pricier brands in my stash. So the question, when to spend the money and when to skimp? Here's my take:

Foundation - ultimately, finding the right foundation shade at the drugstore has been the biggest difficulty for me. L'Oreal has tried to institute a system with their True Match line that makes it somewhat easier to figure things out but nothing beats wearing foundation for several days to determine whether or not it's for you. Most department stores offer samples after an associate or makeup artist determines your match. This is something I would definitely take advantage of, especially if gearing up for a special event. Not only will this raise the chances of getting a proper color, but wearing foundation for a few days may help determine any issues with the formula that you may need to address. Assuming the associates know their product well, they could also help you find a formula that suits your skins needs and your lifestyle. So for foundation, I say splurge.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Snapshot September 2013

This is the pared down routine I've employed for the last several months. I had to get off the prescription tretinoin treatment I was on and really keep things simple so I looked at what I had and picked the most basic items that I thought I wanted to incorporate into my face cleansing routine. I grabbed the Pond's facial wash shown here which came with some makeup remover wipes that performed very well, I have to say. The facial wash has the same consistency I remember from years of using older versions when I was much younger and it works well with the Clarisonic too, if I choose to use it with the gadget. I paired this cleanser with the old standard Clinique yellow moisturizer which delivers moisture where needed. Although this does not have any anti-aging or skin renewing properties, I've found it to be quite enough especially since the weather had been pretty warm. It's really a good basic summer moisturizer. I can't wait to try the new and improved version but I haven't yet been able to go through the sample that I've received.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Benefit Watt's Up! Soft Focus Highlighter for Face

As part of Sephora's Beauty Insider rewards program, members receive a gift on their birthday. This year's gift includes two Benefit products, one that I reviewed as part of a mascara feature and the other is the Watt's Up! Soft Focus Highlighter for Face.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

C. O. Bigelow Lip Balms

If you've been following my blog for awhile now, you've probably noticed how much I love lip balm. I have dozens of them and I keep them all over the house. I even have a jar of multi-colored eos balms decorating my living room. Those, I keep there just because they're cute although I do like those balms as well. Out at the outlet one time with my family, my daughter and I ran into a moisture emergency and so we sauntered into the nearest Bath & Body Works to get hand cream and lip balm. Bath & Body Works carries a few lines, not just the ones marketed under their own banner. We purchased True Blue Spa creams for hands and body (we are always on the lookout for fragrance-free hand creams) and a slew of lip balms by C.O. Bigelow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

L'Oreal True Match LUMI Healthy Luminous Makeup

I've always found L'Oreal foundation to be the easiest foundation to pick out at the drugstore. I like the premise of True Match and the shade selection is probably still the most varied one you can find at that price point. However, based on past experience, I know that True Match is still hit or miss for me. I lean towards N2-W2 but with many of their formulations, they can be a bit too light for me. As it was summer when I bought it, I thought I'd grab the True Match LUMI Healthy Luminous Makeup in N3 Natural Buff. I figured, if it's a little dark, I could just mix in a little tinted moisturizer or a little bit of foundation that's a shade lighter to get it to work better.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Séduction

Chanel Quadra Eyeshadow in Séduction

Jeux de Regards, the eye collection from Chanel, features two eyeshadow quads, two illusion d'ombre eyeshadows and one new eyeliner. I was originally going to get the eyeliner to add to my collection but at the last minute decided to go for the limited edition Séduction eyeshadow quad instead.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mascara Quicknotes VI: outrageous volume

For this installment of Mascara Quicknotes, I wanted to feature three department store brand mascaras in a similar price range. These three mascaras turn to their volumizing properties for lash-building while maintaining that lashes will remain separated, free of clumps and flake-free. All three samples I tested come in the shade Black. None are waterproof.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Laura Mercier Kohl Liner Extreme

Laura Mercier Kohl Liner Extreme

I'm not usually into the heavily-kohled look but something about this new, limited edition kohl liner from Laura Mercier had me playing around with the idea. The creamy eyeliner is packaged in a small, lipstick tube-sized container. It's a chubby stick with a pointed tip and requires no sharpening. Confession: I've never bought eyeliner that's packaged this way before so I was a little worried about how I was going to use it. But really, I didn't need to worry. This baby was so easy to use!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau BB Cream Swatches and New Powder Pics

I have for you today pictures of Guerlain's new BB Cream product, the Lingerie de Peau BB Cream SPF 30. This product has the same concept as pretty much every other BB Cream out in the market. It's a one-step makeup product that evens the skintone while hydrating and remaining lightweight on the skin. Personally, I haven't found a BB Cream that I really liked. If I'm going that route, I much prefer a tinted moisturizer paired with concealer but at the end of the day, I still prefer the coverage of foundation.

I stumbled upon the Guerlain BB Cream on a trip to Sephora and was given samples of the two shades that it came in, light and medium. Already, I hear the warning bells tolling. I'll tell you right now, much like every Guerlain foundation product there is, the shades are so limited. Perhaps they thought, because the product is sheer, they only really needed to make two shades. But if you're really fair or pretty dark, there's nothing for you here.

Left: Light, Right: Medium

I tried putting this product on in the light shade, which was a tad too light for me, and did a quick swatch test of the dark shade which was definitely much too dark for me. I settled on applying the light shade on the areas of my face that I felt needed it. Well, it adhered to dry patches here and there and did not sink in very well. I couldn't stand the way it looked and had to grab a makeup remover wipe to quickly remove it. I was already running late at that point but I would rather go out bare-faced than with it on.