Hard to review a product I both love and hate. The color is an unassuming 'office wear' color that can be described as 'my lips but better' shade. For me it was a lipstick that made my face brighter and livelier without any effort--color is a browned rose or as Benefit describes it "cinnamon-rose" in a creme finish w/o shimmer or sparkle. On me it looks fantastic, more rose then in a tube, without mauve or orange-brown undertones that look unnatural w/ my coloring (pale, neutral undertone). The color changed the way I look at lip products--vivid reds and bright pinks catch the eye, but a good color doesn't need to steal the spotlight. Now the formula is described as 'silky-finish' and the lipstick bullet melts on contact with lips, applying an opaque layer of color with slick-wet finish that dries down to a velvet. The problem is severe bleeding of color past the natural lip line. An hour after application my lips look swollen because lip color creeps up way past the natural lip line--imagine a five year old smearing on lipstick with a single stroke. Lip liner (Soar by MAC) didn't help. Lovely color, but formula doesn't work for me.
Good multitasking product--cheek or lip stain in a see through bottle, reminds me of a nail polish packaging complete w/ a brush applicator under the screw top. Formula is essentially a rose-water scented liquid in a deep pinky-red color that gives a natural looking flush to the cheeks. Shimmer free, it looks very 'no-makeup', as in 'I just pinched my cheeks' flush. Product does stain everything it touches, so a quick application is necessary: 2 swipes on left cheekbone -->blend w/ fingers --->2 swipes on right cheekbone ---->blend. Layers well, goes under or over powder foundation, great for bare skin flush. Works best on oily to combination skin, just make sure to exfoliate, because stain will apply unevenly to dry, flaky patches. Might not work well for dry skin--creme formula blush might be a better choice or moisturize beforehand to help blend the product. On me the stain last as a blush until I remove my makeup, a favorite product in the summer months--great choice for a day by the pool. Have not used as lip-stain, so no comments there. Packaging is very not safe for travel, cap is prone to cracking if you try to close it tight--avoid over tightening or dropping the glass bottle.
This a product you either love or hate--which one will depend on the climate of where you happen to live, or season of the year in temperate regions. Wax based formula is very temperature dependent in how well it performs: in summer time it glides on and melts into skin performing as it should--brightening and highlighting (with subtle shimmer). Come fall and Eye Bright turns into a hard milky-pink crayon that will not lay down the product, and you can forget about blending! I personally use this as brow bone highlight, which means I could have bought Benefit "High Brow" w/ twice the product for same price. Sharpen when chilled, use warm for best results, blend w/ clean fingers to help melt the product. Nice to have but not life changing--pricey for what it does, i.e. try before you buy.
First things first, I have combination skin and no eyeshadow last on me---good primer is essential to any eye makeup. "Stay Don't Stray" fell in my hands as a sample in a mini sized 'gloss' tube, complete with small but functional doe foot wand. Formula had a distinct concealer-like tint that was a touch too dark (and orange) on my pale skin; formula is very 'wet'--thin and liquid, but not runny. The idea of eyeshadow and concealer primer was exiting but an all around failure in the end. Product would not stay in place on lids or my dark circles--creasing was abundant and that's in the first five minutes! I didn't even get a chance to apply either eyeshadow or concealer, as the primer basically was sliding around on my skin with every blink. Now to be fair, the formula is advertized as 'moisturizing' so perhaps paper-dry eyelids can benefit from this particular primer. My verdict--not for me.
Great all around mascara for everyday--big fat brush, no clumping, rich dark color--Bad, Bad Black. It does not last for 15 hours but it doesn't melt on my skin either. Dry formula leaves lashes full and stiff so its prone to minor flaking by end of day. An issue at multiple coats or if I to touch my eyelashes when using eye-drops. For me Opulash is an optimal compromise for a reasonable price ($16 for 11g, plenty of product for 6 months). Plus--it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes. Warm water speeds removal.
Great natural looking mascara, leaves lashes soft and defined. Not for oily types, as it does smudge big time on my combination skin. Higher end version of Maybelline's Full and Soft--both are great products, just not for me. Big brush applicator is densely packed and works great on long eyelashes--no clumps, no spider eyelashes here. Smooth formula may seem watery, but it does dry down to a feather soft finish.
Great twist up eyebrow pencil, med-hard formula, Spiked is a great color for olive/tan complexions w/ dark eyebrows. Color is "rich brunette"; on me it looks similar to Coquette e/s, neutral brown, dark but not stark--very natural results, great for newbies. Long wearing, easy to use and no sharpening needed. Price is steep for 0.09 g of product, but there is no waste and it does last. For more dramatic 'black w/ brown' color try Stud.
Great clear primer for eyeshadow, works on my fairly oily lids. Works well as base for filling in eyebrows too (I use MAC Coquette e/s). I find it less drying then Urban Decay Potion, and prefer the light texture as well as velvet-soft finish--looks and feels like skin, shadows blend more easily, no creasing w/ powder or cream formulas. A must have for me. Packaging is typical NARS, relatively practical. Pricey, but worth it.
My MAC 226 was purchased at Macy's during MAC Me Over collection; it bears a "FRANCE" engraving on the handle and looks different from my standard issue MAC 217 (made in "JAPAN"). Tapered shape is perfect, but quality doesn't equal the $26+ I paid for scruffy looking, and not so soft brush. Stray hairs of varied thickness and length are pocking out--some are missing their natural tips. I went out of my way to buy this brush based on rave reviews and it fell short of my expectations.
Perfect everyday blush for pale to fair skin. Looks very natural and glowing on skin, just not as all over face powder--too much sparkle. Color is well balanced, cool pink with a hint of peach--doesn't look like a typical blush but gives a perfect flush to cheeks. Very versatile color that's hard to overdo. Foolproof product, light rose scent, controversial value (old packaging 10g, new flip box design 7g). Packaging is sturdy cardboard and includes a brush that works surprisingly well in a pinch.
Lovely eyeshadow formula, generous amount in a practical package. Very finely-milled matte black. I personally bought this to use as an eyeliner. For me it is a true charcoal black in a very soft formula w/o silicone, mineral oil, or glitter (sensitive eyes). The downside--buttery soft eyeshadow in a large pan is fragile and susceptible to cracking. My Bulletproof developed a fracture just from being in a makeup bag that never leaves my vanity. Not so 'bulletproof', but well loved--only black e/s for me.
Great loose eyeshadow to add spice to any look. Goes on smooth over glitter base, or cream eyeshadow (Too Faced Glitter Glue or Shiseido cream eyeshadow works great). With glitter glue, which is clear, Lumi can be layered on top of eyeshadow (primier->powder eyeshadow-->glitter glue--->Lumi). As with any lose pigment fallout on application is likely; tap off excess from densely packed brush and layer the color (tap, don't swipe). Slightly damp brush can help, but be careful to not contaminate the whole pot, as there is no sifter top.