Thursday, January 28th, 2010

All Warmed Up: Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland + Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Look

Brrr, it was FREEZING (!) today here in California. Of course, freezing here is 55 degrees, but I swear, it felt way colder! I was happy with how this looked turned out; I hadn’t initially planned on putting Wonderland in the crease, but it looked so much better when I did–I was so tentative applying it at first! I was like, “Oh man, I’m going to wreck this look by doing this…” But it worked out. So, don’t be afraid to try is the lesson learned there!

Oh! And I’m happy to say that I found my perfect shade in Bobbi Brown’s Extra Tinted Moisturizing Balm — it’s light-to-medium.  Medium was a little dark and looked a bit yellow-ish on my skin tone, but the next lighter shade blended perfectly.

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Eden Primer Potion as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply Muchness eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Oraculum eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Queen eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend Queen eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Next, define the crease by applying Underland eyeshadow with the 226. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Femme-fi eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Penny eyeliner on the lower lash line. Finish by applying Liquid Pen Liner on upper lash line and then sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.

For cheeks, apply Nectar shimmerbrick to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Coral Reef lipstick first, and then layer Coral Sand lipgloss for a complementing lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown EXTRA Tinted Moisturizing Balm with SPF 25 Review, Photos

Bobbi Brown EXTRA SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm ($50.00 for 1 oz.) is a thick tinted moisturizer that comes in a glass pot with a black screw-on lid. It’s available in eight shades: Alabaster (lightest), Extra Light Tint, Light Tint, Light to Medium Tint, Medium Tint, Medium to Dark Tint, Dark Tint, and Deep Tint.

It is described as, “A lightweight foundation alternative for dry, dehydrated skin, this formula is ultra-rich, and blends easily, giving skin a dewy look with light coverage. SPF 25 helps protect skin against damaging UVA/B rays. Dermatologist tested.”

Bobbi Brown also has a SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer (not so thick) that retails for $40.00 for 1.7 oz. (but I haven’t tried it myself beyond squeezing a drop or two out in-store, so I can’t give you direct comparisons). According to the Bobbi Brown website, though, the SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizer is ideal for Normal to Dry skin types, whereas the SPF 15 Tinted Moisturizing Balm is recommended for drier skin types.

EXTRA feels like a cream and looks like one, too, in the jar, but you have to remember that it’s a tinted moisturizer and not use it as a cream–seriously, if you use it as a cream, you’ll end up with far more product than you need! Whether you use fingers or a brush (or a clean spatula, whatever!), you really don’t need more than a pea-sized application to cover the entire face with a sheer, lightweight layer of tinted moisturizer. It also has a lovely lemon-y citrus scent that’s dreamy (very tarte, not sweet).

This tinted moisturizer does have a distinct dewy finish; it was too dewy for my taste by itself, so I had to set with powder to minimize some of the dewiness–then it was just fine for everyday wear. It’s also definitely a sheer coverage product; I’ve tried some tinted moisturizers where coverage is a bit more than sheer (more like a light coverage foundation), but EXTRA is sheer. It’s like “your skin but better,” because it’s not going to hide too many skin imperfections, but it will help even out your skin tone. This is, though, the very nature of tinted moisturizers, to be sure!

When I’m on a good skin kick, EXTRA is just enough for me to wear on a daily basis, even with full makeup elsewhere (eyeshadow, lipstick, blush, etc.). With the dryness of the winter season, my skin is definitely more normal-to-dry, so EXTRA is just moisturizing enough to help keep my skin hydrated throughout the day. I do, though, tend to use a moisturizer in the morning, because I often shower in the morning but not apply makeup until a few hours later. I don’t find it too heavy, though, doing that double-duty moisturizing.

I do think this may be a little too rich for those with normal or normal-to-oily skin types, just because it such a thick, rich cream-type tinted moisturizer. I would recommend trying a sample to see if it works with your skin type. Most tinted moisturizers feel more like a lotion or a thickened liquid foundation, but this feels just like a face cream, so it does feel quite nice when applied to skin. I would also recommend waiting five to ten minutes for it to dry a bit before layering any makeup on top (like blush or bronzer).

Bottom Line: I like it a lot, but I’m more of a matte-finish kind of gal, so the dewy finish is just not my style. I did receive several compliments from readers when I wore it in some looks this past month–some saying it looked better than my usual tinted moisturizer (Kiehl’s, lately). It’s a good tinted moisturizer for those with drier skin who are only looking for sheer coverage to help even out skin tone. It is also significantly pricier than Bobbi Brown’s regular Tinted Moisturizer–EXTRA costs $10 more and you get about 35-40% less. To be fair, a pot of EXTRA is going to last you at least a few months since you need so little per application, though.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been looking for a more hydrating tinted moisturizer, Bobbi Brown’s EXTRA may be the one to quench your skin’s thirst!

Availability: Bobbi Brown

See more photos of me wearing this tinted moisturizer! Continue reading →

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Sunset Eyes with Maybelline Eye Studio

As promised, here’s a look using Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Eyeshadow Palette. I think these are definitely some of the better drugstore eyeshadows I’ve tried in recent history, particularly from such a mass marketed brand as Maybelline. I don’t think they are better than MAC or other high-end shades, but for $6-10 for four shades compared to $10-15 for a single shade, they’re a worthwhile option for those on a budget or who just want to try out a certain color and don’t want to shell out $16 for one shade that they’re not even sure they’re going to use.

I found these eyeshadows very easy to blend, but do remember to use a light hand, because it can be easy to over blend soft shadows such as these (I often have the same issue with soft eyeshadows from Urban Decay and Stila). I’m expecting to try out a few of the more colorful palettes in the next few weeks, because I am definitely curious to see just how well they do true color (because this palette is still neutral, which I do feel is an area drugstore brands are stronger at as compared to bright, bold color, for instance). I’ll keep you updated, but what better way to show you how these perform than with a look, right?

I also gave Bobbi Brown’s Extra Tinted Moisturizing Balm a try in this look, but it seems to run a little yellow-ish on me, so I think Medium Tint might be too dark or something (maybe I’m Light to Medium). I did love the scent, though — a very lemon-y citrus kind of smell.

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot (neutral beige base), Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Palette (champagne white-gold, gold, copper-bronze, bronze), Maybelline Eye Studio Sinful Sinnamon Marbleized Eyeshadow (burnt red / pink), Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black (black), Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara (black)
  • Face: Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Moisturizer (Medium Tint)
  • Cheeks: Lancome Shimmer Mandarin Sky Blush (peach-coral)
  • Lips: Benefit Jing-a-Ling Lipstick (soft rosy pink), MAC Nymphette Lipglass (sheer golden pink)
  • Brushes: 226 (fluffy crease brush), 219 (pointed crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 116 (dense blush brush)
  • Substitutes: For MAC substitutes, try Nylon, Goldmine, Amber Lights, and Bronze

For eyes, start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Using the 239, apply the gold eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply the copper eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with dark bronze eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Lightly blend the dark bronze eyeshadow, with the 239, on the outer corner and lid. Next, define the crease by applying Sinful Sinnamon eyeshadow (the burnt red side) with the 226. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep the white-gold eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Blackest Black gel eyeliner on the lower and upper lash lines with the 208. Finish by sweeping lashes with  Exceptionnel mascara.

For cheeks, apply Shimmer Mandarin Sky blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.

For lips, apply Jing-a-Ling lipstick first, and then layer Nymphette lipglass for a complementing lip.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →