Month: January 2013

Product review: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection To Reflect Shimmer Palette

Another review from my recent Wet n Wild drugstore haul! It seems like one of the most coveted items in the new Fergie Centerstage collection is the trio of shimmer palettes, so I wanted to share my swatches and review of the one I picked up.

The product: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection To Reflect Shimmer Palette; $6, in three shades

The claim: Shimmery highlighter. Apply wet or dry.

I tried it: I picked up Rose Champagne Glow. This is the lightest shade in the collection and to me it’s a highlighter/blush, while the medium shade is a blush/bronzer and the deepest is a straight bronzer. These pans are huge and the packaging looks very luxe, especially for Wet n Wild.

The cheetah print marbling is very pretty and I think it’s pretty functional, too: the blend of pinks and lighter shimmery champagne gives you a nice natural color. This palette is extremely buildable; I honestly think it would be impossible to overdo the color on your face. If you’re super light or are new to blush, this is a pretty foolproof option!

It is fairly shimmery, as the name implies. I know some people don’t care for shimmery face products, but since I’m using it as a highlighter, I’m thrilled with how it looks. I think the sheen is barely detectable in this photo, which was taken in daylight; you can build it up more for nighttime or if you want more of a pinky flush. I swatched it on my cheek so you can see how it compares to my natural skintone. Because of the marbling, I think this color could work on a range of skintones from fair (like moi) to dark.

The verdict: Love! I feel like Wet n Wild has really stepped up their game with this collaboration and I’m really impressed with the products thus far. This palette is a great buy, especially for the price, and I think I’m going to using it quite often–day and night alike.

Product review: Julep Boho Glam Lengthening Mascara

This mascara came in my New Year’s Mystery Box, and I was super-curious to try it after hearing lots of mixed reviews. Plus, c’mon: it’s a $24 mascara. Never have I, nor do I ever intend to, spend that much money on a single makeup product. But I digress. (And once again, I’ve forgotten to switch into macro mode.)

The product: Julep Boho Glam Lengthening Mascara, in Espresso Brown; $24 at Julep.com

The claim: Lash growth enhancement ingredients and micro-fiber applicator separates, lengthens, and conditions individual lashes to lock in moisture and protect from breakage. (From the website)

I tried it: The first thing I noticed about this mascara is that it has a rather goopy, sticky formula. I had to clean off the wand and use a lash comb to separate my lashes and get rid of the clumps. Not cool!

This isn’t a waterproof formula, but more than that, it smudged and left spots on my browbones. It’s super-lengthening at first, but I felt like it wore away over the course of the day.

My verdict: This is the first Julep product I’ve used that has really let me down, but it needs to be said: I’ve used cheap drugstore mascara for less than $5 that has done a better job than this stuff. Not worth the price, not really worth it at all, and I definitely will not repurchase.

Product review: Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Concealer and Powder

I don’t normally put a lot of stock in products claiming to be “miracle” products or “do it all” for you. In my experience, those products are 50% hype and 50% outright lies. Want proof? Look at the mascara companies that have been lectured for using falsies in their ads. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

BB creams have been getting tons of hype over the past couple of years, and for the most part, I’ve avoided them, partly out of laziness, and partly because I wasn’t interested in jumping on the hype train. But I finally had to replace some makeup items this week and when I went into the drugstore for new stuff, lo and behold, I found a small display of the new Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 products. The line includes concealer, balm, and powder, and promises 10 benefits, including:

  • Smoothing
  • Moisturizing
  • Protecting
  • Firming
  • Priming + filling
  • Perfecting
  • Concealing
  • Brightening
  • Line-softening
  • Long-wearing

That’s a lot to ask of any product, in my not-so-humble opinion. But, I was in the market for new items anyway, and these had $3 off coupons attached. So I thought, why not, I’ll give ’em a whirl.

(Apologies for the blurry product photos. Guess who forgot to switch into macro mode again?)

The products: Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Concealer ($12.95) and Powder ($13.95); available in Light/Medium or Medium/Deep. (I selected Medium/Deep for the concealer and Light/Medium for the powder.) Available at drugstores (I found mine at Fred Meyer)

The claim: Minimizes the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, imperfections, blemishes, redness, and uneven skin tone. Powder minimizes the appearance of pores. With SPF 30.

I tried them: Right off the bat, I was irritated with the concealer. It’s a liquid concealer, which I dislike anyway; and it’s in one of those annoying click pens with the brush on the end. I don’t know who invented this type of concealer pen, but at the risk of sounding sexist, it must have been a man, because no woman would invent a multi-tasking product and then assume that the user would have time to fiddle with the application brush. I feel like the combo of the liquid concealer and that little brush makes for a very tedious application, as it’s very easy to glop too much concealer onto your face and it takes a long time to blend out the brushstrokes.

So, here’s my advice on using this pen: twist to click out just a dab, then dab it wherever you want to conceal: a spot under the eyes, around the nose, on any acne scars. Use the barest dabs, because it doesn’t take much. Once you’ve done this, you can use the brush, a clean makeup brush, or a clean makeup sponge to blend. It takes a while to blend it all in, but I do think it covers fairly well.

Let’s look at everything I wanted to cover. Eek, naked face time! Look away!

You’ve now seen the most embarrassing photo of me I will ever post on this blog. You’re welcome.

I’ve got dark circles, acne scars, a lot of redness (thank you, dry winter weather), and generally blotchy tone. This is not a face that should see the light of day, especially in the glare of the office window, so let’s see what happens when I use the concealer.

I have to say, this is the first time I’ve used a product and felt like my own “before/after” results actually mirrored those of the in-store display. My frustrations with the click pen aside, I feel like this concealer does a great job of concealing my problem areas and brightening my whole face in general. It feels a tad heavier than my old stick concealer, but I think that’s just how it is with a liquid: the texture is going to feel much more akin to foundation. Once it dried, I didn’t really notice it.

Now, to the powder, which is the finishing touch. (I skipped buying the balm because I don’t like wearing a ton of stuff on my face, as my tendency to break out and yet also be sensitive to lots of different products makes using foundation a rather frustrating exercise.)

The powder comes in a nice little compact with a hidden mirror and brush. The brush is nice for on the go, through I would rather use one of my fluffy makeup brushes at home; I feel like the travel one is a little stiff.

Using the powder helped “set” the concealer in place and also smooth out my complexion. I added a dab more concealer over a couple of trouble areas and added a little more powder over that, and it didn’t feel heavy at all. Using the concealer and powder together really made a huge difference in how my skin looked, and the wear time turned out to be pretty decent (several hours); I think it would last longer over a primer, but I have yet to try that.

My verdict: These items might be pricey, but I think they were well worth the investment. It won’t make your skin look airbrushed-perfect, but it does a heck of a lot to correct, conceal, and perk up your skin, without making it obvious that you’re wearing makeup. II also love the built-in SPF 30. One tip: think about the shade you want to buy. The Medium/Deep concealer was light enough for me, and as you can see, I’m not what you’d normally classify as “deep”. So unless you’re really porcelain pale, you’ll probably want to go a little darker to be on the safe side.

Product review + swatches: Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Lip Color

Another installment in my Wet n Wild haul test series! I mistakenly identified these as glosses, but they’re actually liquid lipsticks. Not sure what I was thinking there. I think I’m still in a post-holiday daze!

Anyway, I have a love-hate relationship with liquid lipstick; I’ve tried some good ones and some bad ones.But since many long-wearing lipsticks have a matte finish, liquid lipsticks can be a good alternative if you want that satin/gloss finish. I picked up four colors; here are my swatches and thoughts on each one.

The product: Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Lip Color; $2.99, drugstores

The claim: Long-lasting color.

I tried them: I’m going to run through my swatches and then go into the formula with more depth afterward.

First up, we have I Can Bare It, a nude color. This one wasn’t bad, but I felt like it was a little too brown for me. I think it would be better if you had darker skin; for myself, I prefer my tube of Fergie Daily. I might get some use out of this over the summer if I’m wearing bronzer, though, because as I look at my swatch photos I have to admit that it is a nice shade; it’s just a little too dark to qualify as a true “nude” on my lily-white winter skin.

Next we have Raisin’ The Roof. I was really hoping this would be a dupe for my old Revlon Mineral Lipglaze raisin shade, but no: it’s a weird purple, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. My initial response was “ick”, but somehow, I think this one will grow on me. However, the application on this shade was really patchy, and this color felt very drying, so I would definitely have to wear it over lip balm and some sort of base color.

Third is Do I Make You Blush?, a pink shade. Nothing special here; it’s pink. For some reason, I don’t really care for how this shade looks on me. I have a lot of trouble with pink lippies, it would seem. I think it’s time to toss in the towel on this color, at least temporarily.

The fourth shade is Coral Me Bad, and this is probably the color I liked best…though the application was not that great. More on that after the photos.

The verdict: These lippies are very drying and the application is really patchy. I think using them over a lip liner and balm, or possibly over a lipstain/balm, would help with this issue.However, I definitely wouldn’t use them straight out of the tube.

Another thing: pressing my lips together gave me the unsettling feeling that my lips might actually get stuck together. These lippies feel like glue! I hate tacky lipcolors and these are among the worst I’ve tried.

Removal is another issue. I’m used to scrubbing away at long-wearing lipcolor, but scrubbing these off is like removing dry paint. Seriously: it comes off in flakes. It’s so weird. And keep in mind, this is with my super-duper makeup remover wipes from Giovanni (which, it comes to mind, I need to review shortly).

Overall: since I bought them, I’ll find a way to layer them and use them. But while the colors are great, the textures are not. Unless you’re really a hard-core fan of liquid lipstick, I would pass on these.

Random Thursday: What’s In My Purse

 
 

I don’t necessarily tote ALL of this stuff everywhere. I try to stay pared down. But here’s a good look at what’s rattling around with me in my purse on an average day.

1. Water bottle. Gotta stay hydrated to be healthy!
2. MP3 player and earbuds. Music solves so many problems: boredom, irritation, noisy companions, etc.
3. Notebook. This one has a cool Asian dragon design on it, and was a gift from my Mom, who knows I love anything that looks like it came from the Far East!
4. Wallet. Duh.
5. Camera. In case I see anything cool and want to take a picture of it.
6. Gloves. It’s FREEZING here right now!
7. Keys. Another duh.

8. Box knife and marker. I carry these to work and then somehow they get tossed in my purse as well.
9. Hair bands and clips. Bad hair day, fixed in an instant.
10. Granola bar. I don’t like to stop for fast food, and being a vegetarian throws an extra wrench into the equation. But I have to eat often to keep my blood sugar steady. These granola bars are cheap, they don’t melt in the heat and they’re not full of artificial ingredients.
11. Lip balm. Vegan and minty fresh!
12. Hand cream. My hands get really dry and chapped, especially with this dry winter weather. So this is a must.
13. Reading material. Might be a book, might be a magazine.
14. Phone. Not pictured because it’s on the charger right now!

What’s in your purse? Do you tote a ton of stuff around, or are you a lightweight? Believe it or not, I manage to get almost everything in my pockets for work, with the reading material and water bottle going in my lunchbag. But that’s because I wear cargo pants. :P

Product review + swatches: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Perfect Pout lipsticks (plus one Mega Last matte lipstick!)

You guys might remember I recently brought home quite the haul of Wet n Wild products! Among everything else, I picked up two new lipsticks from the Fergie Centerstage collection and a new matte lipstick from the Mega Last line. I know you’ve all been waiting for swatches and a full review, so here it is!

The product: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Perfect Pout Lipstick; $3.49, drugstores

The claim: Longwearing and yet not drying, in 10 highly pigmented shades.

I tried it: I picked up just two shades from this lipstick line, but–spoiler alert–I think I need to go  back for more! I was really impressed with how creamy these lipsticks felt on application. Most long-wearing lipsticks are incredibly drying and leave me lips feeling shriveled, to put it mildly. I think you might still want a lip balm over the top of these, but altogether, they have a pleasant feeling and apply very easily. I would recommend using a lip brush for the most precise application.

Here is a swatch of Fergie Daily. I bought this with some reservations; it’s the color Fergie is wearing on the display, but I really didn’t expect to like it, since I have a lot of trouble with nudes. However, as I discovered, it actually has enough pink in it to be just right for my skin tone. Fergie and Wet n Wild both just shot way up in my personal estimation for crafting this shade. I think I’ll try to pick up a second tube of this, because I’m going to be wearing the heck out of it and I don’t want to run out!

The second lipstick is Old School Glam, which is a very bright red with just enough coral undertones to feel different. It’s a really fresh color for spring and I’m super-pleased with it. This is a super-saturated color with a very silky finish, and I see it finding a heavy rotation in my spring beauty wardrobe. It doesn’t look nearly as bright in these pictures as it does straight out of the tube; you can blot it down a bit for a calmer poppy color or make it more intense as you like.

The verdict: I love this new collection! I can’t recall ever finding another lipstick at this price that I enjoyed so much. I’ll definitely be running back to Walgreens to try to pick up more shades soon.

I also picked up another Mega Last shade ($1.99) and wanted to swatch it for you guys so you could see how it looked. I have a few of the Mega Last lipsticks and I feel that they’re hit and miss. They’re matte, which is good or bad depending on how you feel about matte lipsticks. I think they’re okay with a bit of balm, but without, they can be really drying.

This shade is Think Pink, and I thought it would be a softer pink. Wrong! It’s just not the right shade of pink for me. I should also note here, I feel that I have rather puffy lips and some lip colors seem to exaggerate this fact. I am not a fan of how this lipstick looks on my lips! Color aside, this seems to be giving me Nicki Minaj duck lips. You can see that it’s also highlighting my chapped lips–always a problem with mattes, but this shade seems worse than some others.

So, what do you guys think? Are you excited about the Centerstage Perfect Pout lipsticks? I can’t remember the last time I found a budget lipstick that was quite this wonderful. I just hope the display hasn’t emptied out by the time I get back to Walgreens!

Golden Globes fashion 2013: the best dresses of the night!

Did you get to watch the Golden Globes last night? I love movies, obviously, but I also love these awards shows for the amazing fashion that’s on display!

Last night was really hit and miss for me. On the one hand, there were some drop dead gorgeous gowns on the red carpet…but there were also some really awful numbers that made me wonder if there was an absence of mirrors in Hollywood all day long! I decided to round up my favorite gowns for the night across several different categories, and break down why each look was the winner of the night.

Best Nude

Nude and white dresses were a huge trend last night, with a dozen or so different ladies sporting some variation on this trend. But my pick for the best of the best goes to Megan Fox, who nailed that perfect line between “nude” and “washed out” in her Dolce and Gabanna dress. I also love that her dress fits perfectly–not too loose, but not, ahem, choking her bust–and that it’s neither too plain nor too ornate. She finished her look with polished waves to enhance the glamorous vibe.

Best Black

Black is always big on the red carpet, and I’m usually a fan. But this year, most of the black dresses were either yawn-worthy or really strange-looking (Eva Longoria, anyone?). My pick goes to Kate Hudson, who wore a slightly embellished Alexander McQueen creation.

Best Bright

Claire Danes showed off a sleek coral red Versace dress that was everything a bright gown should be: simply cut, well draped, and not made of shiny material!

Best Embellishment

Ornamental dresses are tricky, but I think Michelle Dockery got it right in her white and gold Alexandre Vauthier gown. She was smart to pair her dress with simple (but not undone) hair and makeup and simple accessories, so the embellishment really remained the focus of her look!


Best Covered Up

Naomi Watts was stunning in a deep red Zac Posen gown with a keyhole neck and cutout back. The cutouts balanced the long sleeves and high neckline and made for the perfect blend of covered up and sexy. Considering the cool temps, she was probably a lot warmer than some other stars, too!


Best Leg-Baring Slit

Another huge trend last night? Slits up to there. But be warned, ladies: there’s a fine line between “thigh” and “crotch”, and I felt like stars like Heidi Klum and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley just went too far. Miranda Kerr nailed it in her burgundy Zuhair Murad gown. The slit is high but not exposing too much. While we’re at it, Miranda also gets my vote for best plunging neckline: it’s not so low and wide that it looks indecent, the panels aren’t saggy, and there isn’t any side boob (cough, Rosie, cough, and Taylor Swift, cough).


Best Daring

There are daring looks that work, and daring looks that crash and burn. Marion Cotillard–whom I’m used to seeing in more classic looks–took the cake with her Dior Haute Couture dress. There’s a lot going on here: it’s orange, it’s got a half-hidden belt, it has an asymmetrical hemline. She’s also wearing matchy pointy-toed orange pumps, super-sleek hair, and odd nail polish (it looks green or grey to me). And yet, she pulls it all together and makes it work.

What do you think? Agree or disagree with any of my picks? What were your favorite red carpet looks of the night? Tell me in the comments!

Nail art idea: gradient glitter with Zoya Feifei and Wet n Wild Fergie Mermaid Curves

I’m really into teal glitter and shimmer right now, though I don’t know why. I was playing around with some polish combos and created this gradient glitter manicure using Zoya Feifei for the base and Wet n Wild Fergie Mermaid Curves for the glitter topper.

It’s really hard to capture Feifei on camera. In the bottle it’s a steel blue with gold microglitter. On the nails, it can look icy blue or it can almost take on a mermaid-esque quality, with the microglitter giving it a blue-green holographic look. It just depends on what light you’re in at the moment! It’s intriguing, that’s for sure, even though I’m not normally a “blue” person.