Month: October 2012

Product review: NYX Shine Killer Foundation Primer

I have a real love-hate relationship with face products, and finding one that I love enough to recommend as a must-have is rare. In fact, I often skip the face makeup and just go with eyes or lips, simply because my skin is so picky.

However, like everyone else, I deal with lots of skin problems that can make going bare-faced daunting: breakouts, shine, redness, etc. And with fall’s crop of vampy lip makeup, I really want to be able to wear foundation so that I can nail the lip trend properly. To do that, however, I need a primer: I have combo-oily skin, so while I tend to have shine issues anyway, applying foundation solo means my face will turn into an oil slick by midday.

Hence, when I saw this NYX primer on sale at ULTA, I jumped at the chance to try it.

Product: NYX Shine Killer Foundation Primer, $13

Claim: “Apply this nourishing Vitamin E formulated invention prior to your usual makeup routine to assist your makeup to be more long-lasting and flawless throughout the day. This marvel eliminates the appearance of oil and shine keeping your face matte!” (from their website)

I tried it: Like I said, I have combo-oily skin, and my face is inevitably slick and shiny by midday. It gets worse when I apply foundation. I really hate to use an excessive amount of powder, though, because a) it accentuates any dry spots on my face, b) it accentuates any fine lines, and c) I think it just looks really obvious and fake.

I finally turned to primers as a solution to disguise my pores, control the shine, and make my make-up “stick”. The trouble? Some primers control the shine and soften my pores but do little to prolong the wear of my makeup. Others don’t manage to control the shine, and might even seem to worsen it. And lots of primers make me break out like crazy the next day, even if I’m a good girl and wash my face before bed.

I hadn’t tried NYX before I picked up the Shine Killer, so I wasn’t really sure how I’d like this product. First, I have to note that the packaging is nice; a tube is more sanitary than a jar.

The primer has a middling consistency that’s not too firm or too runny, and not at all sticky. It has a very velvety feel and gives my skin a soft-focus effect that softens my pores and smooths my skin without looking matte. I also feel like this helped to soften the fine lines around my eyes. Even if I skipped foundation, I would probably use this primer solo as a base just to help smooth my skin and make it look a little nicer!

As for oil control, it definitely lives up to its name: I applied in the morning and was still shine-free by evening, even without blotting! I’m super-happy with that fact, since it was my main concern when purchasing this product. Also making me happy: my foundation wore much longer than normal.

Here’s the real icing on the cake: I forgot to take off my makeup before bed (I know! Shame on me!) and I still didn’t break out from using this product. Do you think I ever got away with that with my old L’Oreal primer? No way. One of the biggest reasons I skip wearing primers and foundations is that they can make me break out super bad, so the fact that this one didn’t make me break out gives it major brownie points all by itself.

My vote: Buy it! I love this primer and as an added bonus, you can often find it on sale at ULTA, so it works out to be one of the cheaper primers on the market. This will definitely be added to my Holy Grail beauty list!

Random Thursdays: Blogger Pet Peeves

It’s time for something new and different! I hooked up with Random Thursdays from Em (m-pir-i-cal), Lin (Linny’s Vault), and Sarah (Sunlight After Rain).

This week’s topic:

Well, where to start? I suppose I have a lot (some of which I myself have been guilty of in the past!). Let’s try to tackle the big ones:

  • Disorganized follow and contact info. There are few things that irk me worse than finding a blog I love, then having to hunt all over the main page for the follow and contact buttons. Bloggers use so many tools to connect: Google Friend Connect, Hello Cotton, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, and so on. Please, bunch them all together in one spot so it’s easy for me to stalk follow you!
  • Captchas. Need I say more? I suppose lots of bloggers have a reason for using them, but I turned mine off because I personally find them aggravating.
  • Cluttered layouts. When your contact info, link lists, button swaps, personal photos, assorted widgets and advertisements/sponsor info are mixed and mashed together, it’s not just an eyesore, it’s hard for me to discern what’s what. I know my own layout is not the most organized (and likely never will be), but some layouts are just too, too, too much.
  • Blogs with no easy-to-find “Search” bar. How else am I supposed to quickly filter through all those amazing posts for the one I forgot to bookmark earlier?
  • Archives without a hierarchy menu. I switched to a drop-down menu and quickly switched back because I find these menus difficult to navigate. Especially if your blog has tons of posts for a given month, I want to be able to scroll a small list of them in the sidebar and click on the posts that look interesting.

Well, I think that’s just about it for me! What are your pet peeves? (Anything you think I should change?)

One piece, multiple ways: cream lace dress

I’m all about clothes that can be worn again in multiple different ways to create a variety of unique outfits. I just picked up this cream lace dress from Kohl’s; it’s got a short hem, a scoop back, and 3/4-length sleeves. While it’s totally cute and adorable all on its own, I love that I can style it in a variety of different ways and have a different look each day of the week. The look changes depending on the accessories I add!

Here are five fun ways I style this dress: polished, boho, casual, trendy, and date night.


Polished

I added a shrunken black cardi, simple black pumps, and a black skinny belt. I put my hair up in an imperfect updo with a skinny headband to make the look less stuffy.

Boho

A feathered fedora, denim jacket, and funky cowgirl boots make this dress very laid back and boho-chic.

Casual

Oh, look–it’s a skirt! Add a colorful long-sleeved tee, a chunky bracelet and sneakers (I love Converse All-Stars) for a casual vibe.

Trendy

Oversize earrings, a printed scarf, a military jacket, and military-inspired heeled booties make this dress autumn-appropriate.

Date night

Red lips and red platform pumps turn a little white dress into an ooh-la-la outfit. I like wearing my hair in a dressy ponytail for a look like this one.

Something funny! “Am I Wearing Pants?” flowchart

I like to give you ladies something different to read from time to time, and today I thought I’d post something humorous. I found this hilarious flow-chart courtesy of Shoes, Sushi and Spare Change, who re-posted the link from BuzzFeed.

“Am I Wearing Pants?”  is a flowchart designed for all of those girls confusing tights, leggings, and jeggings with actual pants. It’s kind of funny, and kind of informative. Thank goodness, I am apparently wearing pants today! Are you?

Nail Polish of the Month: October 2012

I’m going to try to get these NPOTM posts up earlier in the month from now on! I know I’ve really been slacking lately.

This month I went with this gorgeous shimmery olive green. It’s L.A. Colors Color Craze nail polish in Cactus ($2). I love this color and would almost consider it a lovely fall neutral–it’s so very wearable and chic.

This color definitely requires 2-3 coats for proper wear. From a distance it looks like it could be brown or gray. It actually has a really blue base, which is odd, but once you add another coat or two it becomes a lovely olive green.

(Apologies for the rough cuticles, it was a bad night at work.)

I actually bought this hoping it might be a bit of a dupe for Butter London’s “Wallis” lacquer, but as it so happens I now have that very lacquer sitting on my desk, waiting to be swatched! So I guess at some point I’ll have to do a post comparing the two.

Cute Shoe Monday: cheetah print booties

I’ve been looking for a pair just like these for some time–amazing that Forever 21 created a pair that matched the image in my mind to a T! You could wear these with skinny jeans, skirts, dresses, or even shorts–the possibilities are really endless. Rowr!

Platform Leopard Booties, $32.80, Forever 21