Friday, October 28, 2016

Warm Nude Shimmer Strip All-in-1 Palette by Physicians Formula

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
I still seem to be in "collect all the highlighters" mode, so I decided to try Physician Formula's Custom Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Nude Palette.  It can be used on both your eyes and face, and I quite like it!
The shimmer strips are rather pricey for the drugstore (~$13-$14), so I waited until there was a 40% off sale at Rite Aid.  There are two versions available, Natural and Warm, but I went with the slightly darker Warm Nude.
These worked quite well as both eye shadow or a face highlight, and I like that you can focus on different squares or rows of the palette to vary the intensity of color.  Of course, just swiping your brush across the entire palette gives a lovely overall glow when used as a highlighter.
I would say wear time as an eyeshadow (with primer, always, for my oily lids) was about 8-9 hours with some fading.
As a highlighter, I felt like the product had faded and broken up a bit by the end of the day, so I would only rank it as about average in wear.  Warm Nude does give a nice glow to the skin without emphasizing skin texture. Definitely pretty!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fortune Cookie 2016 Halloween Soap Box: I Put a Spell on You!

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Way back in August Fortune Cookie Soap offered a pre-order on their Halloween box, and I bit. I'll admit I've never watched Hocus Pocus, which probably lessens the impact of the names of the items. I've also never tried any of Fortunue Cookie Soaps' boxes, but was quite curious to see what they are all about.  So, here are the goodies!
I've put the prices next to each item, although the scents in the Halloween box were limited edition and exclusive to the box, but other scents are available in each category. To start with, I'm really liking the color, smell, and texture of the Good Zombie Aloe Me Body Whip ($12.99).
Good Zombie is supposed to smell like white chocolate dipped candied apples rolled in marshmellow cream and drizzled with melted butterscotch. I mainly smell the apple, but this does have some good staying power and feels quite nice on the skin.
Next is probably the biggest disappointment for me, as I love a good perfume oil. I Put a Smell on You ($7.99) has notes of cotton candy, sugar, and dragon's blood. The scent is pleasant enough but has little to no staying power.  Now you smell it, now you don't :-( I do like the melted wax stopper. I'm probably spoiled by my Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils, which are my gold standard. To be fair, they also cost triple the amount.  I'll give this one a try in the oil burner.
The one Fortune Cookie Soap product I've tried before is an OCD hand sanitizer ($2.89), and Sistas is a light fruity blend of passion fruit, guava nectar, and pink bubblegum. What's with all the fruity scents at Halloween? Is that a Hocus Pocus thing? Regardless, it's the time of year when hand sanitizer becomes more important to me, so I'll be bringing it to work with me. BTW, did you get your flu shot?
Oh, Booook! is the Fortune Cookie shaped soap ($3.99) with an adorable eye. Again with the bubblegum, although this also features notes of black cherries. It smells good.
Amok! Amok! Amok! is a foaming sugar scrub ($11.75) and I really like it!  I love sugar scrub soaps, especially to use on my hands in the mornings after applying makeup. It smells delicious with notes of caramel corn, crunchy buttercream, and red apples.
The Bubble Bubble I'm in Trouble bath bomb (~$7?) comes in a cute little black cauldron. I haven't unwrapped mine yet, but I'm looking forward to trying it out with I dog sit for my mom this weekend. The limoncello and sour candy scent definitely sounds invigorating.
Is it weird that I get excited about natural deodorants? I've recently (like this past weekend) started making my own, but Salem ($12.99) with it's cucumber/canteloupe + cotton candy scent will definitely get used. The gel consistency works quite well in this roll up form, as the last natural roll up deodorant I tried was a bit crumbly.
Last up is Master, an exfoliating body wash ($12.99) with notes of gummy raspberries, candied pineapples, watermelon, and cotton candy. There are real strawberry seeds in this, and the light foaming action was pleasant. I like it.
Any exfoliating action must come from the other ingredients, however, as the strawberry seeds give no texture to speak of.
The total value of the box is $72.59 and I paid $49.99.  I love "surprise" boxes and there is definitely a nice variety of items here. While the perfume oil let me down, I think I'll enjoy and use everything else! Now, I should probably rent Hocus Pocus so that I can better appreciate the names on these.

Friday, October 21, 2016

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte Cream in Key Red

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Well, I think I inadvertently saved the best of PUR's The Perfect Matte set for last, as Key Red is stunning. I had no issues at all with this baby, just intense and smooth statement making color.

I find applying a thin layer of the Velvet Matte with a lip brush followed by an application with the wand works best for the most intense color payoff. The doe foot wand does have a small reservoir that captures pigment and one dip in the wand was plenty to coat the lips.
I mentioned in a review on one of the other colors that the mousse like texture is easy to smooth out, and for the best results I found using a lip brush or my finger to make sure everything was smoothed out worked best. I still need to try these as a cream blush, but just look at how pretty Red Key is completely blended on my arm.
I did line my lips with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics NSFW lip liner, which is an almost perfect color match to Key Red. That helped get a more precise lip line and I had no issues with feathering or smudging.
Be warned however: although these are completely matte upon application, they are not budge proof. They do not "set" like some matte liquid lipsticks do and if you rubbed your lips with your finger outside of the lip line, it will smudge the pigment. Interestingly enough, however, a kiss test shows almost zero transfer.
Topping Key Red with the Agave Lip Oil yields a creamy red that is also lovely. I blotted this after applying the lip oil but it still has a nice sheen that lasted right up until I ate lunch. These will not survive eating but reapplying is not an issue, as the formula is not the type that dries or cracks.
Key Red + Agave Lip Oil
Bottom line, I'm sold on these. The formula is different than the other matte liquid lipsticks I've tried thus far. They are quite pigmented, easy to apply as long as you know how to work with the formula (smooth it out), and did not dry out my lips after 5 days of back to back wear. All of the colors except for Key Red from The Perfect Matte set are available as singles ($20), but I honestly like all of the colors in this set and will wear them again.  Here are links to my earlier reviews on Addiction, Obsessed, and Oh Bae. I continue to hope PUR releases the Agave Lip Oil as a single as well. It's the first lip oil that really does make my lips feel hydrated.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

PUR Cosmetics Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Oh Bae

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
If, like me, you had to look up what Oh Bae means, here is a quick explanation from an Esquire article: an acronym that stands for "before anyone else," or a shortened version of baby or babe, another word for sweetie, and, mostly unrelated, poop in Danish. Thank the deities for the internet.
The mousse like formula, which does have a tendency to be a bit clumpy, seems to be more forgiving when it comes to the lighter shades. Any bunching of color with Oh Bae is less noticeable than with a darker shade like Addiction. Honestly, making sure you smooth everything out on application seems to take care of the clumping, but that and the mixed reviews on Ulta.com are worth noting.
The Perfect Matte Set ($34)
What I am truly loving about these is how comfortable and non-drying they are, plus how light they feel on the lips. I'm guessing ingredients like Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Honey Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, and Vitamin E have something to do with that.
I'm back at work after my 2+ week staycation, and getting back into the swing of things is rough. Putting my makeup on in the mornings is something I actually look forward to, as it's become a kind of calming ritual before I take on the day.
I went with a coppery plum eye look using some of my Kat Von D mattes from the Ladybird palette paired with some Le Metier de Beaute shimmer singles, and I like how it turned out.  I've been using Ladybird quite a bit lately in anticipation of receiving the new Kat Von D Metal Matte palette, as I want to compare the matte formulas between the two.
Ladybird True Romance palette
I also tried samples of the Make Up For Ever Step 1 primer and Ultra HD foundation. I had to mix Y225 (Marble) with Y335 (Dark Sand) to match my skin, not sure how I feel about it yet. Blush is a combo of Estee Lauder's Alluring Rose with Lover's Blush, courtesy of my new Tarteist Pro Wild Animal palette.
Oh Bae is my favorite of the ones I've tried from The Perfect Matte set so far, but Key Red is yet to come, so we shall see. You may not see it until next week, however, as I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear it to work :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mermaid Multipurpose Brush Set Review

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
You know when you want something really expensive yet you are apprehensive about spending so much money on something that you may not even like once you try it? Well, that's how I was feeling about the Artis brushes. I came so close to purchasing one or two during the recent spaceNK 20% off sale, but decided to restrain myself after reading multiple reviews online. I instead decided to buy a set of "mermaid" brushes, which are essentially inexpensive versions of the Artis brushes to see if I liked them or not. I've been using these daily for over a month now, so it's time for my review!
First off, the #7 brush from Artis I was considering is $60, and the 10 set of Artis brushes will set you back $395. There are various knock-off sets available and I chose this one from Amazon. The price is slightly cheaper now, but I paid $38.28 with shipping for the set and it arrived on September 10th, just 7 days after ordering.
Along with the distinctive "spoon" design, these are densely packed synthetic brushes which are supposed to give you a flawless makeup finish.  You apply foundation with long stroking motions and because the brushes are so densely packed, they do not absorb much of the makeup.
I've got to say that I love these for applying cream or liquid foundations! They give an airbrushed finish in a snap, as the size of the brush spreads the foundation quickly and smoothly. The bristles are very soft and I do not feel like my skin is unduly tugged nor irritated, and I rather enjoy the experience. Less truly is more when it comes to the amount of foundation used with these brushes, which is another nice benefit.
Mermaid brush #1
I use the largest brush #1 for foundation, and #2 to apply primer or other liquids such as my Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge, which I use prior to applying foundation. You can even use these to apply skincare products, although I haven't gone that far. The smaller oval brushes can be used to apply bronzer, contour, or highlight products, and I do really like using brushes #4 and #5 for those purposes.
Mermaid brush #3
I do think the more useful brushes in this set are the ovals, although I have used brushes #7 and #8 to apply cream brow products to good effect. I did not find these useful at all when it came to applying eye shadows or liner, as they are hard to manipulate in the eye area and feel scratchy in the delicate lid area.
Mermaid brush #6
Mermaid brush #7
You can also see that brushes #6 and #7are cut unevenly, so I ended up clipping them to get an even surface. I also do not use the smallest round brushes #9 and #10, as I prefer more traditional lip brushes. I've read some reviews that said they are good for contouring the nose area, so there may be uses for them yet to be discovered by me.
Mermaid brush #9
I also purchased an inexpensive acrylic brush holder from Amazon that I'm quite happy with. It sits on the window sill next to my vanity and keeps that small area from getting too cluttered. I knew from reading online reviews that the handles of the Mermaid brushes are rather flimsy and will snap if too much pressure is used, but I tend to grip them close to the brush head and brace the brush with a finger, which works well for me.
I really like the oval brushes for cream foundation and blush, but prefer a looser and more fluffy brush for powder products. Nor will these replace any of my eye brushes. After having used them for a month I have not experienced shedding beyond a bristle or two, and cleaning them is relatively easy on a day to day basis. I use a rough cloth with a spray brush cleaner to do a quick cleanse after applying foundation, which is keeping them in good condition. The brush I use to apply primer has clumped together a bit and requires more thorough cleaning to remove the primer.
Mermaid brush #1
Overall, I'm glad I purchased these! I'm still curious about the Artis Oval #7 and may purchase at some point, but I now know that one or two of these will really suffice and that by no means do you need them all, should I decide to invest in the more expensive brushes.