May 31, 2012

The Summer Series: Eyes

In the summer months, I don't like to wear much eye makeup because I have oily eyelids. When I do wear eye makeup, I try to make sure it is longwearing and very simple. I also think it's fun to add a pop of color here and there, but I can honestly say that most of my collection is neutrals... which means I should probably consider investing in a nice palette with some fun colors, eh? But I digress... this isn't a post about makeup products I want. This is all about the eye makeup products I do wear/will wear during the summer!

I always wear a primer or base under my shadows, especially in the summer when it is hot and humid. I've tried a few throughout the years and in all honesty, I haven't found one I really dislike. I know some people are very picky about their eye primers, but for the most part I've had reasonable luck with the primers I've tried (aside from the L'Oreal one I tried years ago, but I don't even have it anymore. The three eyeshadow primers I use most often are Benefit Stay Don't Stray, Urban Decay Primer Potion, and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. 

I got Benefit Stay Don't Stray in their Big 10 set for Christmas this past year - the full size costs $26. The great thing about this is that it comes in a nude shade that slightly covers the veins in my eyelids, but I don't like the price. 

Probably the best known eyeshadow primer is Urban Decay Primer Potion. It costs $20 for a full sized tube and comes in four shades (Original - a sheer nude, Eden - a matte nude, Sin - a shimmery champagne, and Greed - a shimmery yellow gold). It works wonders for my oily eyelids and has been in a more convenient packaging than what is shown below for at least a year now. I haven't actually tried Eden, Sin, or Greed, (I only have the original) but I am definitely interested in trying them in the future.

The least expensive of the three is Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which costs $18. It is offered in Original (a sheer nude), Lemon Drop (yellow to cover discoloration), Candlelight (what I have pictured below in a sample size, it's a shimmery light gold), and Glitter Glue (colorless, specifically created for loose glitters and pigments). I wear candlelight on its own sometimes and I think it has a very nice effect. I definitely plan on buying the full sized tube of it when I'm out of the sample, but so little product is needed that I'll be working on this tube for a while (since I alternate primers).
I also included the Covergirl Intense ShadowBlast primer and eyeshadow, but for some reason I didn't take a picture of it with the other primers. I have the shade Beige Blaze and it costs around $9 at drugstores.

I always like to wear neutral eyeshadows, so my favorite palette of all time for that is the NYX Champagne & Caviar palette (I think it has since been renamed to Caviar and Bubbles, but I haven't seen that one in person so I can't say for sure). It has ten colors that work with my skin tone and I can just throw it in my makeup bag without worrying about having the right colors for a complete eye look. It also only costs $10 and there are several different palettes, so if these colors don't excite you then there just might be a palette with colors that do.

I still adore my Maybelline Color Tattoos. They give me a no-brainer look. The only problem is that without a primer, they actually do crease a little on very hot days. Regardless of that, I still love them and I still love the price! $6-8 a piece is great for the quality of these products. As I said in my review, I just wish they would release more colors.

Finding an eyeliner that won't smudge on me has been quite the challenge. Even the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners smudge... in fact, they usually do within the hour. I like the Revlon ColorStay eyeliners a lot. I used to have one in black, but the lid broke in my makeup bag and I haven't gotten around to repurchasing it. Anyway, these don't smudge on me and there are quite a few fun colors. I have Teal and Charcoal and these are about $8 at Ulta. I will say that these eyeliners run on the dry side, but I never have a problem with application or lasting power, so they are great for summer.

Before this year, I have never really found a liquid eyeliner I liked. Brush applicators give me thick lines that look unappealing, so the fact that the Covergirl Lineblast 24 Hour Eyeliner has even stayed in my makeup collection this long is pretty amazing. It only comes in black and brown, but it has a felt tip applicator, it lasts all day, and the pen itself hasn't dried out. It also applies very smoothly and I can really control the thickness of the line. I believe this costs around $8 and it has been worth every penny.

When it comes to mascara, I tend to stick with Maybelline and Covergirl because I think both brands offer great mascaras. The new Maybelline Mega Plush (Volum' Express) is a mousse/gel formula with a big brush that tapers at the end. I find it gives me a natural look and it doesn't clump. Another advantage to this is that although it is new, the waterproof version came out with the washable version (I'm not a fan of waterproof mascara). I bought this at Target for about $7 and I'm pleased with the results. The only problem I have with this mascara is that it does flake a tiny bit by the end of the day, but it doesn't give me raccoon eyes.

The thing about eye makeup is that there are so many products available that it would be difficult for me to cover every single thing that is great for summer. What I choose to use this summer is just my opinion and other people also have valid opinions. That being said, I hope I've been helpful!

May 26, 2012

The Summer Series: Face

Summer is right around the corner! I have oily skin, so of course the fewer layers I have on my skin, the better. This is especially the case in the summer. Part one of my new summer series is focused on face products!

In the past, I've relied on tinted moisturizers or powder foundations during the summer. This year I've been trying out different BB creams and I'm pretty impressed. I have yet to try an Asian BB cream, but I might do so because I hear they are better than the Western BB creams that have been released. As many people already know, BB cream stands for blemish balm, beauty balm, or beblesh balm. I will link to a more complete history of BB creams at the end of my post because so many other people have written about it and have been using authentic BB creams for a long time. Now, back to face products!

Three items I personally recommend are the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, the MAC Studio Moisture Tint Tinted Moisturizer, and the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm. Neither of the BB creams I mention are even close to what I've heard authentic BB creams are like. Apparently the ones I'm mentioning are much more like tinted moisturizers because they do not possess the skin-helping benefits of typical BB creams.

The Smashbox BB cream is probably my favorite face product at the moment. The shade "Fair" is light enough for my very fair skin and it has medium coverage (it also comes in five shades). It is a 5-in-1 product: it moisturizes, primes your skin, perfects your skin, protects your skin from the sun (SPF 35!), and controls oil. It's quite pricey though - $39 for a 1 ounce tube. I have oily skin and I definitely recommend this for other people with oily skin.

The MAC Studio Moisture Tint comes in seven shades and has light to medium coverage... it has more coverage than other tinted moisturizers I have used. It also has SPF 15, which isn't much, but it is better than none. A tube of this costs $30 for 1.3 fluid ounces, so while it is a tad expensive for what it is, it is definitely worth at least getting a sample from the MAC counter. This product is great for normal to dry skin, but it's probably not ideal for somebody with very oily skin (like myself). I actually use this more in the winter, but I know people who love it for the summer.

The Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm was featured in my April Favorites post. I still adore this product because it has light coverage and it gives me a nice glow. The lightest color is a tad too dark for me, but it doesn't look orange. This product comes in four shades and costs $32 for a 1.5 ounce tube, which is a nice value for what it is. It also only has an SPF of 20 and has some light shimmers to it, but when the product is on my face I don't see any shimmer. This can also be used as a primer under foundation.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Fair, MAC Studio Moisture Tint in Light, and Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm in Vanilla Glow
I don't own a great concealer I can use on my face, but I do have the Revlon PhotoReady concealer, which I use under my eyes. It doesn't cake for me and it has an SPF of 20. It has a little more coverage than my Rimmel concealer, so I've been using this one more often. This can be found at drugstores for $8-10 and comes in 6 shades.

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer in Fair

Urban Decay's De Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray is a product I highly recommend for somebody with oily skin. I didn't expect much when I purchased this because most products I've used in the past just make my skin oilier. I only have the miniature bottle of this, but when I run out I plan on buying the full size (which costs $29). I actually save this for days I know I'll be in a hotter environment for a long period of time because it is expensive for what it is.

Urban Decay De Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray

I don't wear many cheek products because I'm still experimenting with colors and figuring out what really looks good on me, but one thing I have found that I love is the Revlon PhotoReady Sculpting Palette. There are four different palettes from this line and I have it in "Pink" and I am impressed. These cost $10-14 at drugstores. If you already have a favorite blush, then I recommend either Benefit High Beam ($26) or the Maybelline Summer Glow Luminous Glow (I have it in Blissful Pink, but there is a yellowish shade as well - these are $6-8 at drugstores). Both give me a healthy glow without looking like a disco ball. The final cheek product I have to recommend is Benefit Posietint ($29). It lasts all day for me and for those who don't like pinks, there is also the classic red Benetint and the new mango Chachatint.

I honestly do not have any bronzers to recommend because every bronzer I have tried is the wrong color for my skin and I personally don't feel the need to even bother with bronzer. 

Revlon PhotoReady Sculpting Blush Palette (Pink), Benefit High Beam, Benefit Posietint, Maybelline Blissful Pink
I think the fewest layers possible is still very important, but I also think that if at all necessary, a good face powder can make a difference. I love (and have loved) Maybelline Dream Matte Powder for years. It was the first powder I purchased nearly four years ago (back then it has at least 10 shades, but it doesn't offer much coverage so Maybelline now offers this powder in four shades and I believe this wonderful powder costs $6-8). Another great pressed powder is NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder. It's translucent and only costs $3!

Now, as for an explanation to what a BB cream is, I think Musings of a Muse distinguishes the difference between a BB cream and a tinted moisturizer quite nicely.

May 21, 2012

The Summer Series: Coming Soon!

Over the next few days I plan to post a few blogs containing (in my opinion) great products to use this summer. My plan is to include face, eyes, and lip products. If there are any particular items I can't find that I consider to be the "best" then I won't include anything. For example, if I don't have an eyeliner that is smudge-proof, I won't include eyeliner (this isn't the case - I've got a couple different eyeliners I want to include!)

I may also be doing a post with my travel makeup bag, but we'll see! :)

May 20, 2012

Mini Haul: May 19, 2012

I have another mini haul for you all. Recently I've seen other blog posts about some new releases from Maybelline and Revlon. I was particularly interested in Maybelline's Mega Plush mascara because of the large brush and innovative formula (it's supposed to be a gel-mousse). I have the shade Blackest Black but I believe it is also sold in Very Black and Brownish Black. I've also been on the lookout for the new Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream, but I have yet to find it. Apparently the US version has 5 shades and I am hoping the lightest shade is closer to my natural skin color than my Too Faced BB cream.

Revlon released the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain recently. I don't remember how many shades I spotted at Target, but I'm guessing there are at least ten. The shade I bought was Honey and it is a neutral shade. One color that stood out to me in the collection was a bright orange (I wouldn't wear it because I'm not a fan of orange, but the color itself definitely made an impression). The packaging to this reminds me of the Clinique Chubby Sticks, but I've never tried those so I can't say whether the two are similar or not.

The least surprising of my purchases was probably the full sized Bellaboo kit. I recently picked up the EZ Blitz Serum and I liked how gentle it was, so I decided to try more Bellaboo items since I haven't been happy with my skin care products. I've actually already tried these and so far I am impressed. I'm also happy that these can be found in Ulta. That makes it so much more convenient for me. I just wish they had the travel kit at Ulta since I do travel on occasion and the full sized bottles will be a bit of a hassle to carry around.

I'll definitely post a review on some of these products in the coming weeks. I'm still weeding out my collection and I already have some videos and blog posts planned.

May 14, 2012

Review: Covergirl Eye Enhancers Eyeshadows

As I've mentioned before, I am a college student. This makes it difficult for me to try new and higher end makeup products because I am on a budget (I do make the occasional splurge if I am really excited about a product). Other than that, I'm always looking around for inexpensive items. Some are impressive and others are useless. The overall quality of Covergirl eyeshadows is a mix, in my opinion. I have two trios (Cafe au Lait, which has a shimmery taupe, a satin beige, and a cream shade and Smoke Alarm, which has three satin grays of different deepness) and one quad (Fairytale, which has a shimmery black, a gray with a bit of a pink tinge, a shimmery pink, and a satin plum). My favorite of the three is probably Smoke Alarm... I can't wait to try it under my Maybelline Color Tattoos.

I remember using Covergirl eyeshadows when I first started wearing makeup four years ago and at the time, I probably had two eyeshadow brushes and I was just hearing about Urban Decay Primer Potion (I didn't even take the plunge to try THAT one until last year!) All that being said, I wasn't incredibly impressed. My favorite shadow from the Covergirl line is actually a single (Tapestry Taupe, but it shattered and I have yet to repurchase). 

Alone, these shadows are all pretty sheer. They definitely need some sort of base in order to look even close to what you see in the pan. I have swatched them and when I dipped my fingers in, it seemed promising, but when I swiped the shadows on my skin I felt rather unimpressed. Some of the colors felt smoother than others. What I've noticed is that generally the darker colors have less payoff, which I don't have an issue with because I like subtle makeup.

I also have oily eyelids and I can't imagine they would last more than a couple of hours without creasing. I may try that one day to see how they hold up, but I always have some sort of base or primer under my shadows.

I have pictures of all of the shadows with an exception of a picture of swatches for Cafe au Lait because the only color that actually showed up on my skin was the taupe.

I would probably give all of these a 6 out of 10. They are good for beginners because they are inexpensive (they are all within the $4-7 range where I've seen them) and there is a nice variety of shades so a beginner could experiment with colors. If you aren't a beginner, you may like these too if you have the proper tools and some patience.

Cafe au Lait
Smoke Alarm
Smoke Alarm swatches
Fairytale swatches

May 13, 2012

Mini Haul: May 13, 2012

I did some shopping today at Ulta and Walgreens! Walgreens had a buy one, get one half off on both Covergirl and Revlon products. There were some Covergirl eyeshadow quads and trios I hadn't seen so I snatched some up (the quad is "Fairytale" and the trio is "Smoke Alarm"). Recently I've realized that I am not a big fan of the Maybelline Eyestudio Master Drama Eyeliners and that the best twist-up eyeliners (in my opinion, this can be different for everybody) are the Revlon Colorstay Eyeliners. I used to have the shade "Black" but the lid cracked and I replaced it with the previously mentioned Maybelline eyeliner. I still haven't replaced the Revlon in black, but I did buy "Teal" and "Charcoal" because I think they will add something unique to my collection. I really like "Blackberry" and I may buy that in a few weeks.

Ulta now has Bellaboo skin care! I am a few weeks away from turning 20 and I realize that the Bellaboo line is designed for younger teenagers, but I've heard so many positive things about the Bellaboo products that I felt like I needed to try something. I bought the EZ Blitz serum and once I finish up some other skin care products I have, I plan on buying more Bellaboo products. Ulta also now has the OPI Spiderman collection! I was immediately drawn to "Just Spotted the Lizard!" and I spotted a few other colors in the collection that look nice, so I may pick up those.

As always, if anybody specifically wants a review, just ask so I can review it here or on my YouTube channel sooner rather than later.