Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee

You know how those BOGO offers induce you to select something you wouldn't ordinarily?  Well, that's the story of me and Creme Brulee.  I wanted the new Colorburst lip butter called Sorbet, but I swear I don't remember deciding on Creme Brulee as well, although I must have!
I must have convinced myself I can rock a nude lip, although that really hasn't been the case thus far.  Fortunately, Creme Brulee is somewhat sheer, so it didn't render me corpse like.  It wasn't particularly glossy, although it did not feel dry. 
I'm just not sure I'll get much use out of this, as it's kind of 'ho-hum' to me.  Maybe as a layering alternative with other colors?  That's probably the way I'll go, as here it is layered with Sorbet.  A much better color for me, I think!
Disclaimer:  I purchased this.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ulta Complete Eye Palette in Alternative

I don't have much experience with Ulta eyeshadows, but the design and colors of the Alternative palette grabbed my attention recently.  It didn't hurt that it was on sale for $5 either, as that lowered the risk considerably if it turned out to be a dud.
I love the design of the shadows, there is something so Art Deco about it!  The shadows in the generously sized compact are not named, but you get 4 shimmer shades surrounding the center dark brown matte.   I found these to be somewhat loosely packed, or perhaps powdery is a better description, in that I pickup up a lot of loose shadow when running my brush across them.  Tapping the brush before applying or patting the shadow on before blending helped reduce fallout.
Three of the shadows are really nice, and 2 are flops.  First, the star performers:  The lightest shade on top is a warm golden tan with a nice shimmer, and the shade beneath is a warm bronze.  The smaller band beneath the dark brown is a lovely burnished olive green and probably my favorite of the five. 
Inside lighting
Now, for the duds:  The center dark brown matte and the blackened forest green along the bottom were lacking pigment, difficult to build, and applied patchy in the arm swatches. Fortunately, these were the colors that would have received the least use from me, and the other three shadows are really pretty! 
Outside lighting
There are eight color combos of the Complete Eye palettes available, all with names based on different genres of music.  If these interest  you, I'd wait for another sale, as the quality seems to vary shadow to shadow.  I'm happy with them for the $5 I paid, but at the regular retail of $12....not so much.

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hr Primer in Fair, Light, Medium and Tan Swatches

Tarte has released another version of a BB cream, but they are calling it a "tinted treatment" that is also primer, which I think is wise.  Or maybe it's all just semantics, as they describe it as a
"multi-tasker that acts as a primer, moisturizer, anti-aging treatment, light foundation, and sunscreen all at once!"
Fair, Light, Medium, Tan
It contains a proprietary tripleB complex, which is a blend of natural diamond powder, plant extracts, and lipoaminio acis.  I recently received a sample card of Tarte's BB tinted treatment 12-hr primer, and after trying it out this week, thought I would swatch the four available shades. 

I was pleasantly surprised that this covered well enough that I did not feel the need to also use a foundation, although I did set it lightly with powder.  My skin is far from perfect, so that is saying something!  The second to the lightest shade, Light, was a good match for my complexion. 
With a SPF of 30, the consistency is creamy, smooth and blends easily.  I did have some settling in pores, but that is true of most products with me.  On my very oily skin, I'd say it wore for a solid 8 hours before I noticed significant fading or blotching.  The texture felt like it had silicones, and sure enough after looking at the ingredient list, it does.  On the plus side, it does not contain parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, or synthetic fragrances. 
This sample card definitely served it's purpose, as I like this enough to purchase a full size!  I'm kind of kicking myself because I recently purchased Urban Decay's BB cream to use as a primer (review coming soon), and I'm thinking based on initial impressions, I'm liking Tarte's better.  
Tarte BB tinted treatment in Light
Active Ingredients: titanium dioxide 4.55%, zinc oxide 3.50%
Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, isododecane, polysilicone-11, mica, polymethylsilsesquioxane, hexyl laurate, PEG-10 dimethicone, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, stearic acid, cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, alumina, triethoxycaprylylsilane, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline, diamond powder, iron oxides.
Disclaimer:  I received this as a sample gift with purchase.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February Birchbox: Red Carpet Ready and Oscar Predictions

This month's Birchbox pays tribute to the various big events in February - Super Bowl, the Oscars - with a box themed "Red Carpet Ready".  The only movie I've seen that is nominated this year is Life of Pi, although I've been wanting to see Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty.   Here are my predictions for tonight's Oscars, none the less: 
  • Best Picture:  "Argo"
  • Best Director:  Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
  • Best Actress:  Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
  • Best Actor:  Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Sally Field, "Lincoln"
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Now, back to Birchbox!  First up is a Golden Root purifying mud mask by Wei Beauty.  Made with soft China clay and the botanical Golden root, this mask is supposed to both detoxify and reduce oxidative stress. These come in single use containers, 8 for $42.  Sample value is $5.25.

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangler is a leave-in mist that is paraben and sulfate free and 100% vegan.  It protects hair from heat and UV rays while conditioning.  Looking forward to trying this and love how generously sized the sample is!  Value is $2.74.

The Color Club mini polish is the red creme Mamba.  Appropriate for red carpet season, no doubt, and definitely a classic color.  It leans warm, which is good for my skin tone.  Sample value is $4.

Couture La La is the latest from Juicy Couture, and is a "bright sparkling mandarin with bold white florals".  Description is pretty accurate, as I can definitely smell the citrus upon first spray, followed by a strong floral sweetness.  It's not my style, but not bad smelling, although the dry down becomes a bit stale on me. Sample value is $1.32
The extra this  month was another Wei Beauty product, the Pomegranate buffing beads.  These are designed to be added to the cleanser of your choice to aid with exfoliation.  There were two single use packets enclosed, and sample value is $2.
The value of this month's box is $15.32.  I'm pleased with the variety and samples sizes from this month's box, and continue to enjoy my Birchbox experience!

Disclaimer:  I subscribe to Birchbox for $10/month.  If you would like to subscribe, you can use my affiliate link (I earn 50 points for referrals) or go directly to Birchbox.  

Linking up to Birchbox Brag:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Olia Oil Powered Permanent Hair Color in Medium Golden Blonde

I color my hair about every three weeks, and the idea of an ammonia free permanent hair color is appealing.  Garnier recently introduced their Olia line of hair color, which uses an exclusive 60% oil blend with natural flower oils for maximum color performance, while claiming to visibly improve the smoothness and shine of your hair.  Sounds good, doesn't it? 
I typically use a medium golden blonde or just golden blonde shade, depending on the brand I'm using.  Olia has a Light Golden Blonde, which seemed too light, and a Medium Golden Blonde, which I was concerned might be a shade too dark.  Between the two, I decided on Medium Golden Blonde and plunged right in.
The black and yellow packaging is quite appealing and steps it up a notch from most hair color lines.  There are two ingredients that you mix together and an after color conditioner, all clearly labeled.  I did find the container that you mix the ingredients in a bit unwieldy when I was shaking it, as I needed to use two hands for a firm grip.

I applied to my roots and left on for 20 minutes, and then applied the rest of the mixture on down to the ends of my hair.  I usually only apply color to my roots to color the grow out portion, but since I was concerned the color was a bit darker than my current color, I did the second step as well to avoid a reverse ombre look.  I found the scent to be pleasant and on the mild side.

The instructions say to massage the mixtures around on your head just prior to rinsing, but I did not find that easy to do, as the cream is actually on the thicker side.  On the positive end of the spectrum, that meant I also had no problems with the solution dripping.
Post color
My roots did come out darker than I would have liked, so I was right that the Medium Golden Blonde was a shade darker than my current color.  I can also see a bit of the previous grow out area, so I may need to leave on longer than the recommended time.  However, I did received a comment on how natural the color looked, so it's not as obvious to others as it is to me.   I'm thinking a shade in between the two colors currently available would be perfect.
Post Olia
I've got the say, Olia definitely delivers with the shine and smoothness claims!  Even though I'm at the point where my hair desperately needs a trim, it looks really nice and healthy.  I'm glad I got to try this and can see using it again, although I may have to custom blend the Light and Medium Golden Blondes together to get the perfect color for me.
Post Olia
Disclaimer:  I'm a BzzAgent and received the Olia Oil Powered hair color as part of a Bzz campaign.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ulta Double Duty Lip Stain and Balm in Romance

There's a part of me that wants to rock a vibrant lip and then there's the part of me that is self-conscious when I do.  But, I keep trying, especially in light of all the bright pink lips I've been seeing in springtime ads.

Enter Double Duty Lip Stain and Balm in Romance, which I picked up on sale for $3 recently at Ulta.  One side is a felt tip liner for the stain and the other is a sheer balm for sheen and moisture.  In the picture below, I applied the balm over the stain and then below it, and while it does have a slight tint, it is barely visible.
The stain side of Romance applied well and does indeed stain the lips, but I was not impressed with the balm side.  It's more waxy feeling than balmy, imparted almost no shine, and left my lips feeling dry and tight. 
I would say the stain lasts for several hours even with eating and drinking, as my lips still have color to them after coffee and a pancake brunch.  They are not a vibrant pink, but they are darker than my natural lip color. 
Romance with a clear gloss on top
So, for the $3 I paid, I'm satisfied.  I'm not so sure if I would be for the regular price of $8, however.  Ulta is always running sales, however, so it should be easy to pick them up at a cheaper price.  There are currently 5 colors available.

Disclaimer: I purchased this.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Scandal Eyes Eyeshadow Sticks in Bulletproof Beige and Bad Bronze

The Scandal Eyes eyeshadow sticks are the first Rimmel London products I believe I've tried, and they are fabulous!  Smooth, creamy, easy to blend, long lasting, and inexpensive - what more could you ask for?
Bad Bronze
Bulletproof Beige
These remind me of Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On shadow pencils, but at a fraction of the cost.  The UD pencils are $20, whereas Rimmel's are $4.49 each.  Given the frequent BOGO deals on drugstore products, they can be even cheaper.  UD does have a better color selection with 12 pencils, but I'm seeing nine current colors in the Scandal Eyes, which is not bad. 
Here I used Bulletproof Beige from lash line to crease, and Bad Bronze smudged out along the upper and lower lashes.  Scandal Eyes eyeshadow sticks are supposed to be smudge and waterproof, and in the week that I've been wearing them, I'd say that is true.  They are blendable when first applied and I've been using an eyeshadow brush to smudge them out, but once set, they wear beautifully.  I do use an eye primer, but my lids are very oily so a primer is a must for me. 
For this look, I applied shadows first and then Bad Bronze smudged along the upper lash line and Bulletproof Beige along my lower lash line.  I love that they can be used as both a shadow and a liner and find them really easy to work with!  I've got two more colors that arrived today, so it will be interesting to see if there is consistent quality throughout the color range.

Have you tried these?  What do you think?

Disclaimer:  I purchased these. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne

There is something so refreshing and comforting about the smell of a freshly peeled orange.  There is an uplifting warmth to it that puts me in a good mood, so it's no surprise that Atelier Cologne's Orange Sanguine would be a hit with me.  This is the most realistic fresh orange scent that I've come across!

Atelier Colognes are designed to evoke a mood, and here is how Orange Sanguine is described:
"It was the kind of moment you would want to revisit. Everyone was here, gathered on the terrace for breakfast, and the scent of fresh oranges was diffusing in the yellow heat. A symphony of their laughter and waves hitting the cliffs played in the air."
I'm trying to remember if I've eaten a blood orange before.  Surely I have, but I'm drawing a blank in trying to remember an orange with a dark red center that tastes slightly like raspberries.  Blood oranges are native to Italy and Spain, and I think the postcard that came with Orange Sanguine definitely captures a Mediterranean setting.  

Orange Sanguine is a fairly linear fragrance, although there is a slight warming from the amber woods and sandalwood after the initial burst of citrus.  Sometimes consistency is good, especially when the opening notes are the ones that caused the warm fuzzies to begin with.  So, the fact that Orange Sanguine stays essentially citrus from first spray to dry down is not a problem for me.  Lasting power is a good 4-5 hours, and considering that citrus fragrances are notorious for their fleeting nature, not bad at all.

Atelier Colognes have a higher cologne absolue concentration which contributes to their longevity, and Orange Sanguine is concentrated at 15% and composed of:
  • Top notes: blood orange, bitter orange
  • Heart notes: jasmine, geranium from South Africa
  • Base notes: amber woods, tonka beans, sandalwood
The 1 oz bottle retails for $60, the 3.3 oz for $95, and the 6.7 oz for $155.   I've now acquired two Atelier Colognes with Vanille Insensée (reviewed here) and Orange Sanguine, and I've got to say I'm a fan!

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.