Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Stila Curacao Sparkle Eyeliner
Stila Curacao Sparkle Eyeliner

At Last – Stila Curacao Sparkle Eyeliner

As promised, Curacao! :) It’s so pretty, I couldn’t just slide it into the original post without some sort of fanfare! Stila describes Curacao as a sparkling violet blue. I found it more blue than violet, though. At best, you might argue indigo, but I think it’s more of a rich, navy blue with electric blue shimmer. It’s bright without being neon; dark without being black.  Curacao has nice color pay off and glides on as easily as the other shades in the Sparkle Eyeliner family.  It’s an impressive formula, and if shimmer in your eyeliner is your thing, you’ll probably enjoy Stila’s new liquid liner.

For a full review of the Sparkle Eyeliner formula, please check out this review.

Have you tried Stila’s Sparkle Eyeliners?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($15.00 for 1.7 oz. / $38.00 for 5.1 oz.) is recommended as a daily cleanser for all skin types as an “ultra-gentle face wash” that also contains “nourishing amino acids, rich soy proteins, and soothing botanicals to hydrate, calm, and tone.” According to Fresh, despite being a gentle cleanser, it “effectively removes every last trace [of makeup], even around the delicate eye area.”

It’s taken me months to flesh out this review, because I like this cleanser overall, but it’s hard to quantify why. (I usually jot down notes as I test products, then do some summary points at the end to later write a review with.) I wouldn’t say it’s the best cleanser I’ve ever tried yet I reach for it whenever I’m in-between cleansers. I think those who go heavier on the eye makeup will find it lacking in comparison to cleansing oils or dual-phase removers. I don’t find it breaks down longer-wearing products like eyeliner well enough to warrant skipping the eye makeup remover–good but not perfect.

As a general cleanser, I love it–it feels gentle and leaves my skin clean without being dry. It does do a good job of breaking down face makeup like foundation and tinted moisturizer, though. When I use my toner, it’s easy to see how effective the cleanser is, because there is really nothing left behind, except for around the hair line (which I don’t always get cleanser far enough up, just because I don’t want it in my hair, ha, so that’s more user error!). One of the best things about this cleanser is that it is incredibly gentle on the eyes; no burning, clouding, or stinging at all for me.

Fresh describes it as a creme gel formula.  It’s a semi-opaque gel that squeezes out of the tube, and while it foams, it doesn’t foam as much as your typical gel cleanser would. It’s more like a cross between milkiness and full-on lather. I’ve heard some complain about the scent, but I really like it–it smells like fresh cucumbers to me with a little hint of soy. It comes in two sizes, and honestly, I wouldn’t bother buying the larger size (at least not initially), even though it is less expensive by the ounce. It’ll take you several months to work through the 1.7 oz., and it might be better to 1) see how long it takes to get through a tube and 2) be able to get a fresh tube more regularly than using the same one 3 or 4 times as long. I use about a pearl-sized drop of product each time.

ingredients: Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Distillate, Centaurea Cyanus (Cornflower) Water, Water, Coco Glucoside, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Xanthan Gum , PEG 120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Glycine Soja Germ Extract (Soybean), Glycine Soja Oil (Soybean), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Rose Flower Oil, Borage (Borago Officinalis) Oil (Borago Officinalis), Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Extract, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Helianthus Annuus Oil (Sunflower), Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polymethyl Methacrylate, PEG 40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium Propylparaben, Polysorbate 20, PEG 35 Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, BHA, BHT

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ ($34.00 for 1.7 fl. oz. or $56.00 for 4.2 fl. oz.) is described as “oil-free, ultra-lightweight” while using a “patented photo-stabilized technology with long-lasting broad-spectrum protection” against both UVA and UVB rays. Kiehl’s recommends layering over your moisturizer for optimal protection. It contains Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), and Oxybenzone (6%).

The consistency of this is most definitely fluid, and I recommended shaking well prior to use to ensure proper consistency, which is still thin and runny–much like milk but slightly thicker. The thinner consistency allows for easy application, as it spreads well and evenly across the face and doesn’t require five minutes of massaging it into skin to avoid any white casts or streaks, as some thicker and higher SPF products might.

I loved how non-greasy and quick-absorbing this sunscreen was.  It doesn’t leave behind a heavy shine at all–mostly semi-matte to slightly natural in the dry down. It does smell somewhat like sunscreen when applied, but I found the scent faded within a few minutes and didn’t linger throughout the day. When I initially tried this last year, I thought it was breaking me out, so I immediately stopped using it, but I re-initiated testing a couple of weeks ago to great success (and no breakouts), so I’m relieved and pleased to have found a new sunscreen for summer–even if it is still rather gloomy here in June!

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Monday, June 6th, 2011

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner
Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner

Renee Rouleau Elderberry Toner ($30.50 for 8 oz.) is a calming and hydrating toner that’s alcohol-free. Over the years, one of the musts in toner, for me, is to ensure it is alcohol-free, because toners that contain alcohol are often too drying and leave my skin feeling stripped rather than refreshed.

The Elderberry Toner is effective while being simple and straightforward.   It removes any vestiges of makeup I might have missed during cleansing (particularly around the hair line), gives my skin a boost in moisture, and preps skin for my moisturizer.   It never leaves my skin feeling dry or stripped, just clean, refreshed, and moistened.  I’ve been using this at least once a day for the past couple of months, and I’ve used–at most–15% of the bottle.  It’s actually cheaper and stretches further than one of my favorite toners–NARS Hydrating Lotion.

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Monday, June 6th, 2011

Revlon Strawberry ColorBurst Lipgloss
Revlon Strawberry ColorBurst Lipgloss

Revlon Strawberry ColorBurst Lipgloss

Revlon Strawberry ColorBurst Lipgloss ($7.49 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “weightless gloss [that] makes lips pop with 5x more shine than patent leather.” It’s supposed to yield mirror-like shine with “rich color” and a “weightless feel.” It also includes “moisturizers and anti-oxidants such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E.” The range includes fifteen shades.

Strawberry is a softened pink-red with subtle, warm yellow undertones and flecks of silver and pink micro-glitter. The formula is soft and smooth, and while it’s a little thick and nearly non-sticky, it’s comfortable to wear. I was able to get semi-opaque color with ltitle effort, and there was definitely a high-shine finish.  This gloss wore about three hours on me, which is particularly noteworthy given that it isn’t a sticky gloss.  I wouldn’t call it a moisturizing lipgloss, but it didn’t dry out my lips either.

I detected a subtle scent of sweet vanilla initially, but the scent seems to disappear in the tube and when worn on lips quickly–the two tubes I bought two or three months ago no longer have any scent to them.   The packaging is slim and functional, with a semi-matte black cap and clear tube.  The applicator is interesting, as it is an indented doe-foot (best understood by a visual, as included below).

The Glossover

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product

Strawberry

A-
Revlon's ColorBurst Lipglosses are one of the best drugstore lipglosses I've come across, and it would hold its own against some high-end lipglosses, too. The pigmentation is on point with formula that doesn't dry out lips, wears well, and looks as shiny as advertised.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, June 4th, 2011

MAC Sheer Plum Lipstick
MAC Sheer Plum Lipstick

MAC Sheer Plum Lipstick

MAC Sheer Plum Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “rouged chocolate” with a lustre finish.  It’s a reddened brown with semi-opaque color and a subtly glossy finish. For a lustre, it’s particularly pigmented, though it’s not completely opaque.  It glides on easily and leaves behind ample amount of color with a good amount of shine.  I actually found this lustre to be a bit moisturizing, as compared to other lustres that do nothing for me in the moisturization department.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

P.S. — I have no idea why the tube of lipstick looks like that; it didn’t look like it had anything on it when I swatched it originally.

The Glossover

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product

Sheer Plum

B+
This is a shade that makes it easier to wear brown, because the red in it brightens and softens the brown.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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