Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

5 Uplifting Light Blue Eyeshadows

I love a good sky blue/pastel blue eyeshadow, especially for spring, but it also can work really with more summery colors as a way to tone down some of the vibrancy of those brighter hues.

  1. Buxom Husky — light ethereal blue with a soft frosted finish
  2. MAC Styledriven — light-medium blue with a soft frosted finish
  3. Make Up For Ever #150 — pale sky blue
  4. Urban Decay Clash — vibrant sky blue with sparkle
  5. Bare Escentuals Illusion — pale pastel blue

What’s your favorite light blue eyeshadow?

Monday, May 21st, 2012


BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer

BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is available in two formulations: one for normal to dry skin, and one for combination skin. It’s supposed to be hydrating, lightweight, and leave skin protected and smooth. The brand also states that it is “[c]linically proven to reveal brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and remarkably smaller-looking pores.” Both formulations are also available in a sheer tint, but I don’t know how much of a tint it gives–the one I tried was for combination skin without a tint.

Like the rest of the BareMinerals skincare range, there’s a light, herbal-like scent that seems like it’s the ingredients’ coming through, rather than a specific scent added. It’s innocuous and very subtle, and I don’t notice it at all once I’ve applied it. This product uses physical blockers (5% Titanium Dioxide and 3% Zinc Oxide) to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Physical blockers can be great for those who tend to be more sensitive to chemical sunscreens. I’ve definitely worn this under foundation in photos, and I didn’t see any major reflection back, but physical blockers can sometimes cause this to occur. If you have a major event, I’d opt for chemical blockers, but during regular life, the preference is yours based on what you find works for your skin!

I liked it! The consistency is thin, more like a lotion, so it spreads easily and evenly across the skin. It feels lightweight, not greasy, and it absorbs in three to five minutes. My face never felt dry at the end of the day, which was surprising, because this is one of the lighter moisturizers I’ve tried recently. Whether I wore it alone or under makeup, it performed well. I can’t speak to anti-aging benefits and the like, but it did keep my skin looking hydrated, healthy, and smooth. It’s packaged in a plastic cylinder with an airless pump. You can unscrew the cap, too, and all that is left is about a usage and a half at best (which is pretty good!). I was able to get the last bit out with a cotton swab.

It didn’t work for me as a sports sunscreen, because when I played tennis, this broke down under sweat more easily than a thicker, heavier sunscreen (I’ve been using Shiseido’s for tennis). I’ve been outdoors just walking about, and it’s held up better, but if you’re going to be really active, I didn’t think this did as well there. I liked it much more as a daily moisturizer. I’m a huge fan of bareMinerals’ skincare range–it’s actually a range I would consider returning to if I stopped testing skincare. It’s affordable, effective (for me), and doesn’t seem to over-promise. I also really appreciate that they include their ingredient lists online.

Ingredients (Normal to Dry)

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Aluminum Hydroxide, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil [Anthemis Nobilis], Ascorbic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Citronellol, Coumarin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract [Epilobium Angustifolium], Ethylhexylglycerin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil [Glycine Soja], Isostearic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil [Lavandula Angustifolia], Lavandula Hybrida Oil [Lavandula Hybrida], Lecithin, Limonene [Limonene], Linalool [Linalool], Phenoxyethanol, Phytoecdysteroids, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Potassium Sorbate, Propanediol, Retinyl Palmitate, Sinorhizobium Meliloti Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Soil Minerals, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethylhexanoin, Trisodium Edta, Water [Aqua], Zizyphus Jujuba Seed Extract [Zizyphus Jujuba].

Ingredients (Combination)

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 3.0%. Inactive Ingredients: Acacia Dealbata Flower/Stem Extract, Alumina, Aluminum Stearate, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Powder, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matracaria) Flower Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Citric Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Ectoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Geraniol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Jojoba Esters, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propanediol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Silica, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Soil Minerals, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Beautiful Beginnings with Bare Escentuals

What was the first Bare Escentuals product you ever tried?  Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely?  What was the first Bare Escentuals product you purchased?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?

my answer:  I really hadn’t had much experience with the brand until the past year or so.  The first products I tested were their High Shines, which had fantastic color and payoff but awful packaging.  Next was their skincare (which I guess is technically bareMinerals), which I adore and still adore!  I’ve come to appreciate the brand, and eventually, I’ll try their loose eyeshadows.

Share your first time experiences with Bare Escentuals in the comments! :)

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) won’t be available until May, but hang onto your seats, because it’s such a lovely duo. This is one of the best eyeshadow formulas on the market, and bareMinerals didn’t let us down with their expansion of their Ready line-up. Alter Ego consists of two shades: Wicked and Daring.

Wicked is a springy yellow-tinted green with a frosted finish. It has excellent pigmentation and goes opaque with very little product needed. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is darker, more olive green. MAC Juxt is yellower, a bit darker. Inglot #364 is very similar but a matte variation. It’s a warm, yellow-based green, but subtly done–it’s not as yellow or as warm as other shades that might be similar.

Daring is this rich, smoky purple with subtle red undertones and almost bluish tint. The color payoff is amazing–I couldn’t believe it–it was so soft, smooth, and rich. MAC Indigo Noir is similar but matte. MAC Imaginary is purpler and brighter. MAC Starless Night is similar but more shimmered, less muted.

What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery.  This texture and payoff translates seamlessly to the lids during application.  They’re soft and blendable.  Without a primer, it wears for over eight hours with no noticeable issues–after ten, there is the faintest fading around the crease.  With a primer, I have no problems even after ten hours.  The price point is palatable, too–two full-sized eyeshadows for $20.

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 3)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The last four shades I’m reviewing are: Saint Bernard (deep sea green), Schnauzer (vivid violet plum), Sheepdog (frosty white), and Shih Tzu (gilded lime green).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Saint Bernard is a pop of green-based teal that’s semi-sheer. This shade did not build up color as well as some of the other shades–it was more like Black Lab in that respect. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is similar but a little less green. NYX Seafoam Green is slightly darker. NARS Misfit is darker and more opaque. MAC Aquadisiac is slightly less green.
  • Schnauzer is a brightened eggplant purple with red undertones and a fine violet shimmer. Like Saint Bernard, it’s not as buildable in color as other shades, so semi-opaque is the highest opacity I was able to achieve. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is similar but a touch darker. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig. 1 is a bit darker and has a matte finish. Inglot #445 is lighter and has a frosted finish.
  • Sheepdog is a frosted white with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s similar to a lot of other white eyeshadows.
  • Shih Tzu is a springy green with a chartreuse shimmer-sheen. MAC Lucky Green is brighter, more intense. Inglot #412 is lighter, more olive. Make Up For Ever #304 is brighter and greener.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 3)

A-
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Saint Bernard). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 2)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The next five shades I’m reviewing are: Golden Retriever (vibrant copper red), Husky (baby blue), Mutt (bronzed taupe), Poodle (pale yellow gold), and Pug (smoky pewter).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Golden Retriever is a warm, slightly red-tinted bronze brown. It can be applied sheer or as mostly opaque color coverage. Benefit Dandy Brandy is slightly darker. Maybelline Bad to the Bronze is darker and less red-toned. Urban Decay YDK is less brown.
  • Husky is a pastel baby blue with a silvery white shimmer. The color coverage can be built to opaque color coverage with ease. MAC Styledriven is slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Illusion is whiter, more aqua. Inglot #367 is similar but matte.
  • Mutt is a muted brown with a gilded bronze sheen. It doesn’t read taupe to me–it’s too warm and golden for that. Like the previous two shades, it can be built to opaque color coverage or applied as a sheer wash of color with less product. Urban Decay Suspect is a little more yellow-toned. MAC Magical Mist is a bit grayer. Urban Decay Juju is less red-toned. Urban Decay Spotlight is lighter.
  • Poodle is a pale yellow gold with a soft, metallic sheen. It, too, can be opaque or sheer, depending on application, but it doesn’t take much product to get opaque color. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is a little lighter. theBalm Wild Child is very close. Givenchy Lune is also similar. MAC Nylon is slightly whiter.
  • Pug is a dirty gray-brown; it’s kind of taupe, but I feel like it’s too gray to be taupe. It’s such a cool shade, though, and it works well as a wash of color that’s more than just beige or brown. MAC Keep Your Cool is darker, less reflective. Urban Decay Mushroom is similar but a touch darker. Chanel Illusoire is darker, almost more purple-tinted.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A
I really love these five in particular, because they represent some of the best shades of the Stay-There range. They're sheer, they're opaque, they're truly buildable, which makes them incredibly versatile products.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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