Monday, August 21, 2017

Make Up Forever Aqua XL Color Paint M-56

Disclaimer: This was a Sephora Point Perk sample with purchase.
One of the Sephora 100 point perks that I picked up in July was the Make Up Forever Aqua XL Color Paint in M-56, a medium taupe brown cream shadow with a matte finish.  The full size is $25, and these can be used as a liner, eye shadow, or as a base.
Per Sephora, these are supposed to "glide on seamlessly, and it’s flexible texture makes it easy to blend and layer for perfectly vibrant color that’s waterproof, smudge-proof, and crease-resistant. Enriched with mango butter, this nourishing formula hydrates skin, leaving lids comfortable throughout the day."
I love a good cream shadow and was hoping that this one could serve as an easy one and down eye tint, but the finish was not smooth enough on my less than perfect lids.  You can see some areas where the pigment is bunchy and just did not want to smooth out.
Consequently, I used M-56 as an eye base, and I thought the looks came out quite pretty.  I experienced no fading or creasing (worn over primer) after a full day's wear.
Shadows do apply nicely over the color paint as the texture is quite smooth and not 'grabby'.  I used Estee Lauder's Fierce Safari #5 above, which was part of a GWP eye shadow quad and is a gorgeous color.
In this look I applied a more concentrated layer of M-56, but still could not get it smooth enough to wear on it's own. For shadows, I used a GWP shadow palette from Ulta called "Essentials".

Bottom line, I don't think the Aqua XL Color Paints are for me, as I could not wear this one on it's own as a shadow.  There are different finishes and the more shimmery ones would probably work just fine as a shadow, but $25 is rather pricey IMO.  Glad I got to try this one out as a Sephora point perk though!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

#365 Days of Samples: Week 19

Time for another #365 Days of Samples, albeit it a bit late.  Life is busy, blah blah blah, you know how it is. Seems like it's going to be that way for quite a while, so I'll be posting as I can. I will say I'm trying out a lot of new (to me) makeup and skincare, so the well is definitely not dry :-) Also, I learned about the concept for this series from Youtuber Elle S, if you would like to delve into it more. It really is a great way to work through sample build up, of which I obviously have a lot.
Let's see what I thought of this current crop of finished samples, as there were some definite hits and and one definite miss.  Let's start with the miss first.
I've actually got the wrong product showing in the group shot (Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave In Conditioner, which I like).  The Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel ($26 for 8.5 oz.), however?  No, no, no.  I felt like I had a bad hair day every time I used it. I live in a climate that is humid to the extreme, so I had hopes for this, but I couldn't really tell it made a difference in that area.  It will act as a styling gel if you want to go that route, but I always blow dry my hair as opposed to letting it air dry. So, a definite no go for me.
The other hair product in this week's used up products was not bad. DevaCurl is marketed towards the curly headed lasses, but it works just fine for us stick straight headed girls as well. The Waves Ahead Low-Poo Delight Weightless Waves Low Lather Cleanser ($22 for 12oz.) is a gentle, low lather shampoo that still did a good job of cleansing my hair.  I do find I need to use a clarifying shampoo every few weeks to remove product build up when I'm using gentle shampoos like this, but that's not a biggie. No plans to purchase however, as I've got other less expensive shampoos (from Hask, for example) that I like better.
The Skynn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Neck Gel ($35 for 4) does indeed feel cool on the skin, and it did a good job of staying adhered to my neck, which is something that I've not always had luck with when it comes to neck masks. My neck is showing some age with both sagging and crepiness, This mask has some nice ingredients, such as Niacinamide, Adenosine, Rubus Chameamorus (Arctic Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Oxycoccus Palustris (Arctic Cranberry) Seed Oil, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Buddleja Davidii Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract, Daucus Carota Sative (Carrot) Root Extract, and Panax Ginseng Root Extract. Seven dollars a mask is a bit steep, however, so I would not purchase.
The It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizer Super Cream ($48 for 2 oz.) foil sample only gave me about 2 uses, so not enough to really form a strong impression.  My initial impression is that it may be too heavy for my oilier complexion, but I'd need to try more to really say. No plans to purchase.
I've used a Farmhouse Fresh Three Milk Ageless Moisturizer ($33 for 2.5 oz) foil sample in this series before, and my impressions are positive so far.  The foil size is not really enough for more than one or two uses, so what I'm going to try to do going forward when I pull a foil sample that I know I have others of is to pull all of them and use them in one go. No plans to purchase right now, but I do like it.
Praise the deities, I finally finished the Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil ($38 for .5 oz.) sample!  This has been in the series since March, and it took finding a way that I would consistently use it before I started making any real progress on it.  I started using it on the back of my hands in the mornings when I was applying my makeup.  If I used tape on the edges of my eyes when applying eyeshadow, I would put the tape on the back of my oiled up hands first.  This made the tape less adhesive so that it does not pull my skin when removing, yet it still sticks nicely to my skin. I've moved on to another oil for this purpose, but I've got to thank the Sunshine Oil for forcing me to innovate!  I can't say I like the rollerball applicator for anything else, however, and I would not purchase.
Now, for an uber expensive oil balm cleanser, let's talk about the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm ($110 for 1.7 oz. or $32 for the sample sized jar). I was curious but skeptical about this cleansing balm that features Hungarian Moor Mud which is supposed to detoxify and purify the skin. I was especially resistant to the method of applying over my skin and then only using a warm cloth to remove, as I'm so used to oil based cleansers that rinse well with water.  This one does not, and you absolutely need to remove it using a wet/warm cloth. However, when you use it as directed, it really does a great job of removing all makeup and leaving skin feeling soft and clean.  

I experimented using it alone and with a foaming cleanser afterwards, although using a foaming cleanser afterwards potentially negates the benefits as you are washing away the mineral complex that is supposed to benefit your skin.  To see if the balm on it's own was doing a good enough job of thoroughly cleansing, I used a toner afterwards and there was minimal makeup left behind. Minimal, as in probably areas around the edge of my face that I did not do a good job of cleansing to begin with.  So, I've got to say I was impressed, but not enough to spend $110 on a jar.  I can see the appeal though, and the orange blossom scent is a plus for me.
Okay, now for the new batch of samples for week 20 of my #365 Days of Samples series! I'll list the new samples first, followed by those I'm still working on.

  1. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multipurpose Dry Oil (foil , no longer sold in US)
  2. Japonesque Pro Performance Makeup Wipes (foil, 1 wipe)
  3. Cane+Austen Miracle Pad+ (foil, 1 pad)
  4. Sonoma Scent Studio's Fig Tree (vial sample)
  5. Oribe Cote d'Azur Restorative Body Cream (deluxe sample)
  6. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (deluxe sample)
  7. DERMAdoctor kakadu C Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad (foil, 1 pad)
  8. DHC Dry Skin Care Cream (foil sample)
  9. Julep Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil (foil sample)
  10. Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipstick (deluxe sampler, discontinued)
  11. Miu Miu perfume (vial)
  12. Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Cream (deluxe sample)
  13. Ulta Beauty Mattifying Balm (deluxe sample)
  14. Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack (deluxe sample, discontinued)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NOTD: Gorramit by Nerdlacquer

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Nerdlacquer was/is my favorite of the indie polish brands, but purchasing from them became such a crap shoot that I gave up after my last buy in 2015. Pulling out Gorramit to wear reminded once again of what I loved about the brand though, and it looks like the Nerdlacquer site is up and running and has new products, so who knows?
Gorramit is one of the "vintage" Nerds (but apparently still available) and is described as "a cantankerous golden yellow with silver sheen plus red, copper, rust and gold glitter. A little feisty, but easy on the eyes, and quite opaque in two coats. Keep away from liquor, women, and firearms."
Yellow is not the easiest polish color to make or wear, but the formula on this is superb. I've been wearing it for over a week now and had zero tip wear when I decided to clip my nails back after about 5 days, as they were getting a little long for my taste.
These glitter intensive polishes are top coat hungry, and I used two coats of Gelous to smooth things out and there is still a bit of texture. I don't know if Gelous is why Gorramit is wearing so well, but my bottle of Gelous is still going strong after several years with no signs of thickening/drying out, which is saying something.
I dunno if I'll be dipping my toe back into purchasing any new Nerdlacquers, but I do cherish the ones I own!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Julep 5-in-1 Skin Perfector with Turmeric in Nude and Beige

Disclaimer: I purchased these.
I'm a bit behind in posting my Julep Maven box from July, but it actually works out well as I wanted to get another shade in one of the products I selected: the 5-in-1 Cushion Complexion Skin Perfector with Turmeric ($30). I was able to accomplish that with my August box, so now I've got a shade that works as foundation (beige) and one that works an under eye concealer (nude).
I'm really liking the Skin Perfector so far as both a foundation and a concealer. This multi-tasker is supposed to conceal, correct, blur, brighten and illuminate and has a thin consistency with medium coverage. I use the cushion tip to apply stripes on my face and then buff it out with a damp Beauty Blender. The finish is matte, which works well with my oilier skin. I have noticed that it will settle into fine lines, but making sure to smooth out those areas so that excess foundation is not building up seems to work to fix that problem.
July Maven box from Julep
Per Ulta's web site:
  • Turmeric extract provides long-term brightening benefits and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Camellia seed oil (sourced from Jeju Island, Korea) contains skin - calming properties and provides nourishing & moisturizing benefits.
  • Soft-Focus Powders blur the look of fine lines & imperfections while creating a smooth, demi - matte finish that's never flat.

I'm a huge fan of turmeric in both my diet and skincare, so I'm excited to see it in a foundation/concealer product! I add turmeric to my green smoothies and a new favorite way to consume it is something I'm calling spicy lemonade, which consists of the juice of one organic lemon, half a teaspoon of turmeric, a dash of cayenne and black pepper, and some stevia to sweeten. I fill a 48 oz. tumbler with water, ice and my spicy lemonade concoction and I'm good to go all day. Just make sure to drink using a straw, as lemon juice is acidic and can hurt your tooth enamel and turmeric can stain your teeth. Turmeric really is wonderful on several levels, especially with it's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Nude on top, Beige on bottom
If you are using these as a foundation, I could see where the size at .16 oz would be a downside.  I'll be interested to see how long the beige one lasts for me, as I'm using it for foundation. The thinness and pigmentation of the formula may work in my favor however, as I really don't have to use much to get good coverage.
Beige on left, Nude on right
The formula does contain silicones, so if you use a primer make sure to pick one that works in tandem with 'cones.  I've been using Julep's Mattifying Treatment Primer (one of the few face primers I like), and so far so good.
August Maven box from Julep
Other items I chose for my July and August boxes are the No Excuses Sunscreen SPF 30 (my second bottle, really like it) and the polishes Wilma and Peyton.
I think Julep is doing a really good job with new product development when it comes to their skincare and makeup offerings! The Maven subscription allows me to purchase items at a substantial discount, which means trying new items is low risk and if I like them, repurchasing is also at prices much below their normal retail price.  I like :-)