Monday, January 11th, 2010

My Winter Skin Savior from Origins

Origins Make a Difference Ultra-Rich Rejuvenating Cream ($36.00 for 1.7 oz.) has been my go-to night cream for the past month!  It has just enough richness in texture (it is most definitely a cream–thick, viscous) to leave me feeling like I’m really treating my skin right during the drying winter season, but it’s not so rich that it never sinks in.

As per usual, I tested this cream out for a full four weeks (I’m actually still using this, though–haven’t decided what to try next!).  I typically spend anywhere from two to six weeks trying out skincare products, but usually four to six weeks for creams and the like (cleansers, toners, etc. I don’t feel obligated to try for as long–particularly since I don’t review for anti-aging efficacy).  It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed any Origins products, but I’m really glad Origins thought to send this to me as a possible way to combat my dry, winter skin.

According to Orgins’ website, “Tested on the driest of skins. Clinically proven to instantly satisfy the deepest of thirsts. This rich, quenching cream owes its endless hydration to the drought-resistant resurrection plant, The Rose of Jericho. But there’s more. Reviving Trehalose virtually erases visible dry lines to restore smoothness. And oceanic Padina Pavonica rebuilds skin’s barrier to help keep moisture levels up to 100% all day. Discover why when it comes to renewing and refreshing dry skin, only nature can Make A Difference™.”

It’s recommended for dry skin, and I’d definitely say it’s meant for dry skin.  I have normal-to-dry skin, and I love the way it feels and keeps my skin moisturized all night.  I don’t think it’s too heavy for me at all, but during the winter, I can get dry patches if I don’t use the right moisturizer.   I think this is a moisturizer that doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles–it’s not claiming to turn back the hands of time by 40 years, that it has all these funny patent-pending technologies that do this and that, etc. etc.  The only claim the product really seems to make it is it’s going to restore your skin’s hydration level.  The copy says “erases visible dry lines to restore smoothness,” but note it says dry lines so I don’t interpret that as aging lines, but merely more like the cracked-skin-look that dried out skin can have.

I was using a few other moisturizers during the late fall/early winter, and I noticed I was still getting dry periodically, but I haven’t had a single dry patch since using this cream, so my experience has been really pleasant.  It has this slightly citrus-y scent that has the smell of freshness.  I use this as a night cream, because it is a heavier cream and works best for me at night time, since I can really let it sink in and not worry about whether my makeup will work with it or not.  I find it sinks in within fifteen minutes or so; I always apply it about a half hour before I go to bed (which is typical of my night time regimen) or whenever I remove makeup–whichever comes first.  By the time I get into bed, it’s sunk in and my skin feels happy.

I’ve been loving it, and this is the first time in awhile that I’ve liked a skincare product enough not to want to switch over to something else to test out for you all!  I only wish it came in pump-packaging rather than a tub, but I can deal with it. I’ve been using it for a full month now and it’s maybe a third through (definitely not half-way, though), so I think each jar should easily yield two, if not three, months of daily usage–just keep in mind I only used this during the evening, so just once a day.  Also note that skincare is very personal, so my experience may not be the same as yours; your mileage may vary!  (Such is the nature of skincare, sigh!)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you have dry skin, you may want to check this cream out.

Availability: Origins

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Urban Decay Rush Lipstick

The Spring Season: Urban Decay Rush Lipstick

Urban Decay Rush Lipstick ($22.00) is a beautiful shade of creamy, no-shimmered rosy pink. It has a glistening sheen that makes lips look a little fuller and more pout-y. It applies easily and goes opaque in about two layers. It’s a very natural, soft shade of pink, so it’s suitable for everyday wear or to complement a darker eyeshadow look. I like the way it hugs lips and looks subtle but still way better than my natural lip! I get decent wear (about four hours) with this shade, and it’s moisturizing without being thick. It smells very sweet, maybe a creme brulee or caramel kind of scent.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Weekend Quickies:  Carnival Lights, Lancome Cream Shadows, Philosophy Holiday Shower Gels

Here are some products I’ve tried in the past few months with reviews done all quick-style ;)

  • China Glaze Carnival Lights Nail Lacquer ($3.50) has a medium pink jelly base with silver micro-glitter and larger silver hexagonal glitter. It doesn’t go opaque on my nail, as you can still see the tip of it a bit. Above is two coats.
  • Lancome ‘Color Design’ Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00) came in three shades: Garter Belt (deep burgundy with red shimmer), Haute Smoke (soft taupe brown with multicolored shimmer), and Pink Lace (a milky pale pink). These lasted on my lids well (until I took it off, so about eight hours or so), though they are advertised to last for sixteen hours (I don’t think I usually wear my makeup for much more than eight hours!).
  • Philosophy Candy Cane Shower Gel ($16.00) smells exactly as advertised — like the peppermint-y candy canes of the holiday season. Lathers up quite well, as the rest of their shower gels do.
  • Philosophy Have a Cherry Christmas Shower Gel ($16.00) lathers up nicely and smells like slightly sweetened cherries that still have that tartness to them. The Muse has a more in-depth review if you’re curious. I love me some Philosophy Shower Gels, but how many times can I tell you that? Ha! ;)

See product photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Lipstick

The Spring Season: Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Classic Cream Lipstick (#130) ($27.00) is a beautiful soft pinky-rose. It has a semi-sheer look that looks very natural on lips. Even though it’s not opaque, it’s one of those “You don’t know I’m wearing lipstick” kind of shades. It’s just a very subtle hue and the color clings and never looks heavy. It is, though, surprisingly not as pigmented as several of the other Classic Cream shades I’ve tried, unfortunately. I like the way the results regardless, but I just thought I’d note that quality.

Is this the right pink for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Chanel Pin-up Glossimer

The Spring Season: Chanel Pin-up Glossimer

Chanel Pin-up Glossimer ($27.00) sheer, light peach champagne with just a smidgen of pink in it with pale gold and champagne micro-shimmer. Glossimers are thin in texture, smooth in shimmer, and non-sticky in feel. On my lips, the golden tones of this gloss really pop, but I really love wearing this for an extra kick over any lipstick.

I used to not *get* the hype over glossimers, for two reasons: 1) why would anyone pay $27 for a gloss? (OK, totally over that, as I always say, once you pay $50 for a gloss… there’s no going back!) and 2) it just looks like a gloss! Now, it does and doesn’t look like any ol’ gloss. It’s a very, very good gloss, but to really fall in love, you have to see it glittering and shimmering like the ocean in the sunlight. That’s really where I had my “I get it!” moment with these. I don’t care if a gloss is sticky or not, so that wasn’t a selling point for me, but I know it is for others.

Most of glossimers do run sheer, and this one is no exception, but that is one of the reasons I love it over other products. It enhances without detracting from the base color (usually a lipstick in my case). I wore it most recently in a Valentine’s Day Look.

Is this the right nude for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Kitschmas vs. Kitschmas: The Results

Much to the dismay of neat-freaks everywhere, pigments once again exploded in my household. I conducted this messy project in my kitchen (easier to clean) with a very small (pocket-sized!) digital scale that can weigh up to 500 grams. I go through the entire process in detail further into the post. This is a follow-up to my original comparison post from a few days ago.  I used ounces for comparison, particularly because you get more decimal places using ounces, so I feel like it’s more accurate that way.

Kitschmas: Original Packaging, Labeled 7.5 grams / 0.26 oz.

  • Actual Weight: 8.7 grams / 0.280 oz.
  • Empty Jar Weight: 0.402 oz.
  • Total Jar Weight: 0.670 oz.
  • Bonus: You got 1.2 grams / 0.020 oz. more than you expected! :)
  • Sad: Lost approximately 0.012 oz. in transporting it back into the packaging :(

Kitschmas: New Packaging, Labeled 4.5 grams / 0.15 oz.

  • Actual Weight: 6.0 grams / 0.212 oz.
  • Empty Jar Weight: 0.282 oz.
  • Total Jar Weight: 0.476 oz.
  • Bonus: You got 1.5 grams / 0.062 oz. more than you expected! :)
  • Sad: Lost approximately 0.018 oz. in transporting it back into the packaging :(

One of the bigger concerns I saw voiced in the comments was paying the same price for 40% less. In the comparison between the two jars of Kitschmas, you still ended up with 0.212 oz. of Kitschmas, even in the new packaging. Everyone believed and expected MAC to give them 0.26 oz. of pigment before (though it is clear that they give you more, which is actually a common practice). So, I’m only going to look at that, but in this instance, you aren’t losing 40%. You’re really losing 0.048 oz. or 18.5%.

Keep in mind that MAC only need meet the advertised label of 0.15 oz., so your mileage may vary. Rich Life weighed in at .212 oz. as well, while Universal Mix weighed in at 0.187 oz.  I do want to be honest and tell you that it’s the same Universal Mix I used for the original comparison post, so I imagine I lost (at least, because I did a lot of transferring back and forth) 0.012 oz. (this is based on how much I lost just doing these minimal transfers for Kitschmas comparisons).

From weighing several different jars, it seems common practice for MAC to overfill, rather than exactly fill, their pigment jars. For instance, Push the Edge should only have 0.15 oz. of product in it, but it actually has 0.427 oz.–that’s over twice the amount advertised.

See both instructional step-by-step and full-sized (and additional) photos through the process, PLUS weights of other pigment jars for comparison… Continue reading →