Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

LUSH Do Knot Disturb
LUSH Do Knot Disturb

LUSH Do Knot Disturb

LUSH Do Knot Disturb ($29.95) includes four products: French Kiss bubble bar, Sex Bomb, Lust soap, and Soft Couer massage bar. Note, mine is a press sample, and it came with Dirty Toothy Tabs, whereas the ones for purchase include French Kiss–boo!hiss! since I adore lavender! The bubble bar as the fourth item is a way better pick, because those Toothy Tabs aren’t for everyone (so just ignore it in my photos!). With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share this with you, because I think it’s absolutely adorable. Totally a cute gift to give to your special someone who loves LUSH!

French Kiss is a bubble bar, which is described as a “calming and reviving lavender, rosemary, and thyme bath.” Bubble bars are typically used to add bubbles and scent to a hot bath. While you can certainly drop the whole thing into the tub, the best way to use these is to crumble a few pieces into the bath. I normally get two to three uses out of each bubble bar.

Sex Bomb is a bath bomb, which is described as “jasmine, clary sage, and ylang ylang.” It also has soya milk to make the water milky and helps to soften your skin while you soak. It primarily adds scent and color to a bath, and this particular bath bomb turns the water pink. Not as moisturizing as a bath melt, but skin won’t feel dry after a long soak with this. It will leave a faint purple ring around the tub, which I found rinsed off once I turned the shower on, but still something to mention.

Lust soap is all about jasmine. It’s full-on, unabashedly jasmine. I’m personally not a fan of jasmine (or most floral-based scents), but if you do love jasmine-scented products, it’s nice. It’s not synthetic or like a layered perfume.

Soft Couer is a massage bar, which is described as a mix of honey and cocoa powder. If you’ve tried Honey I Washed the Kids, the scent should be familiar. Massage bars are solid forms of moisturizing butters that melt as they’re slid around the skin (assuming you’re warm-blooded, of course!). I actually picked this up a couple of years ago in a trio of massage bars. If you do any massage, these are excellent–they really melt upon contact with the skin, and you can work it in over time, because it doesn’t dry down immediately.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Haus of Gloi Lavender Sugar Bubbling Scrub

Haus of Gloi Lavender Sugar Bubbling Scrub

Haus of Gloi Lavender Sugar Bubbling Scrub ($8.00 for 6 oz.) is described as “straight French lavender and a heapling spoonful of pure muscadovo sugar.” Haus of Gloi’s Bubbling Scrubs have a lightly foaming base with both fine and medium grain sugars, and then they add shea butter so you feel moisturized post-scrub, too.  I love that you can buy a sample size (2 oz.) for $3.50; sample sizes are probably the best part (my opinion, of course) about shopping with smaller companies.  I picked up the full-size myself, but if you like to hop around scents, unsure if you’d like one, and so on, smaller sizes are often available.

If there’s one scent that I really, truly love and tend to love and gravitate towards in body products, it’s lavender. I am the type of person who can’t relax; like I get stressed out just trying to relax. The only time I ever feel totally relaxed is about forty minutes into a massage–and that’s when I finally can let go of my five mile long to-do list and twice as long worry list. Lavender helps me get there, even if I so rarely achieve perfection in relaxation, the scent always reminds me to relax, to focus, and to breathe in long and deep and slowly.

Lavender Sugar is just right for someone who loves an herbal, earthy lavender with just a faint hint of sweetness. The sweetness of the overall scent kicks in a few hours later, making it less herbaceous. If you tend to prefer sweet, more vanilla-like scents with a hint of lavender, the lavender in this will be too potent. It’s definitely the note at the forefront. The scent isn’t very nuanced, but it’s beautiful in its purity. It does linger throughout the day–about six to eight hours for me–but it clings, so it’s not a scent that will waft, but you’ll be able to smell it on your skin.

I like scrubs that have a good grit that gets dead skin sloughed off but with a little lather so it glides and melts against the skin. A lot of sugar scrubs seem to use a larger grain, and while I wouldn’t describe my body’s skin as sensitive, it’s not always the most pleasant. This scrub has a nice mix of sugar granules that really do melt while you’re massaging the product against the skin, but it doesn’t melt instantaneously–about thirty to forty-five seconds of massaging and most of the granules have dissolved.

It has a milky lather that helps the scrub glide across the skin–I hate when a scrub is so thick that it sticks and doesn’t cover the entire area–and leaves skin with a light moisturizer. It’s not enough hydration to cure dragon scales from infrequent body moisturizer application, but if you regularly moisturize already, you could probably get away with skipping the moisturizer after using this scrub.  You’ll never feel dry, tight, or oily post-scrub, though!

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 1)

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. There are fourteen shades in total, and I will review all of them, but this post focuses on: Black Lab (shimmering black sky), Bulldog (intense royal blue), Chihuahua (bright silver), Cocker Spaniel (opalescent pink), and Collie (sparkling champagne).

I went to Buxom’s site to see if they had a more accurate description of the product’s pigmentation (at least, what it should be), and each shade actually gets a breakdown, which includes listing the type of coverage. All of the shades in the range are described as “sheer, buildable.” They’re vibrant in the pot, but the vibrancy doesn’t translate as much on the lid, so if you’ve steered clear because these look daunting in the pot, then don’t worry about it. If you’ve seen the pot and went, “Whoa!” and wanted opaque color coverage, you’ll be disappointed, as these are true-to-description: they’re sheer. They’re slightly buildable but not enough where you could get opaque color as it looks like in the pan but it varies between shades.

The formula is fun to play with, just because the consistency is unlike most products on the market. These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture. 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!

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.

  • Black Lab has a semi-sheer, semi-matte black base with multi-colored shimmer; you get flecks of green, blue, violet, and silver for the most part. Chanel Mirifique looks similar in the pot, but they’re not very alike swatched. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle is a bluer-tinted base.
  • Bulldog is a semi-sheer medium purple-tinted blue with soft micro-shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is more intense and slightly purpler. Inglot #336 is somewhat similar but darker and matte.
  • Chihuahua is a bright, foil-like silver with a metallic finish. This was a really opaque color, actually. MAC Electra is similar but less metallic. Inglot #448 is slightly darker.
  • Cocker Spaniel is a pale peach with a subtle iridescent finish. It’s not pink on me, but I can see some of a pearly pink in the pot, so I think this is a shade that will look pinker/peachier depending on your undertones (with my yellower undertones, it leans peach). MAC Double Feature 5 is a bit like this but more of a true peach. Make Up For Ever #940 is quite similar but has a stronger iridescent sheen.
  • Collie is a peachy gold with a frosted, metallic sheen. This was one of the more opaque colors as well. It’s not quite as orange as Dior Couture Gold or as yellow as Urban Decay Blunt.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

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 Black Dog). 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

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Make Up For Ever #8K Khol Pencil
Make Up For Ever #8K Khol Pencil

Make Up For Ever #8K Khol Pencil

Make Up For Ever #8K Khol Pencil ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “navy blue sheen.” It’s not navy blue; it’s a blackened violet purple with blue micro-shimmer.  I couldn’t think of a dupe within the purple eyeliners that came to mind.   The color payoff was good but not as intense as other shades I’ve tried in this formula.  Though, to put things into context, this is one of the better pigmented purple eyeliners, which are notorious, as a group and across brands and price points, to have mediocre payoff.  It also has a drier texture, even compared to #4K.

It’s just slightly creamy, so it does not apply quite as easily as the two other shades I’ve reviewed.  I felt like this one needed more than one pass to really deliver opaque color.  When I trialed this particular hue, it wore for five hours on the lower water line and eight hours on the lash line on its own.  I did, also, set the lower water line with powder (as per Make Up For Ever’s recommendation for “long-lasting” results), which allowed the product to stay on for six hours on the lower water line.

The Glossover

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product

#8K

B+
If you're looking for a waterline-approved eyeliner, you might want to consider Make Up For Ever's Khol Pencils! They deliver excellent color payoff and have a great creaminess that helps them apply easily to the lash line.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

NYX Haute Melon Lipstick
NYX Haute Melon Lipstick

NYX Haute Melon Lipstick

NYX Haute Melon Round Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a creamy semi-opaque coral with a natural shine. It looks more orange in the tube, but over my lips, it looks a bit lighter–almost pinker–due to the natural pinkness of my lips. There’s also a translucency to the color that lets the natural lip color peek through; it’s not really sheer, but it’s not typically opaque. It’s similar to NARS Niagara. Laura Mercier Tangerine is a touch more orange. MAC Crosswires is more orange. Lancome Chris & Tell is lighter. theBalm Strawberry is pinker. Bite Beauty Rose is more intense.

This shade had more slip than other shades I’ve tried within the range, so the color does slide around a bit, which can cause minor unevenness. It’s lightweight even though it’s creamy. I imagine that its shorter wear time of three hours may be due, at least in part, to the same slippery texture that gives it slight application issues. Mine didn’t have any scent, but other NYX lipsticks I’ve tried have almost been vanilla scented. I’ve had this for some time before opening it, though, so it’s possible the scent faded away over time (a lot of my budget-friendly lipsticks lose their scent very quickly).

The Glossover

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product

Haute Melon

B
If you're looking for a coral hue that doesn't lean too pink or too orange, you may find this works as a happy medium, especially if you prefer creamy, shimmer-free finishes!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Tarte Amused Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush
Tarte Amused Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush

Tarte Amused Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush

Tarte Amused Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “bright pink.”  It’s bright, all right!  It looks practically glowing in the pan, but if you’re like me and fear more pigmented blushes, it can be blended out to look like a soft pop of pink.  It’s very easily a brightened, medium-dark pink with cool blue undertones set in a satiny finish.  There’s just a hint of sheen but nothing shimmery or frosty. MAC Overdyed has a similar intensity, but it’s less pink, more purple. MAC Amazon Princess is also less pink, more purple–but not quite as purple as Overdyed. MAC Her Blooming Cheek is just slightly less pink but similar. Make Up For Ever #3 is a bit darker.

I really like the texture, finish, and feel of the formula, but the wear definitely doesn’t get to 12 hours for me.  Amused managed to look mostly fresh for eight hours but did look noticeably faded after ten hours.  The lighter shades in the range don’t do quite as well, but these really intense shades seem to linger for longer.  The powder is very finely-milled and soft, but it’s also so soft that powder easily gets disturbed, and it’s easy to get too much on the brush.  Since this shade is so intensely pigmented, I recommend a stippling brush and/or gently tapping the excess off for light to medium color coverage.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Tarte Amused Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It doesn't quite meet the twelve-hour claim, so wear is where this product falls short for the most part. It is almost too soft, though it's both good and bad, as it adds to the blendability but creates excess loose powder on the pan itself as well as allows too much product onto the brush at once. The pigmentation is plentiful, and the texture is silky soft, though it almost gets powdery.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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