Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Matte Moisture Lotion

Before I begin the review, I want to say thank you to all of my readers! I know lately there haven't been that many posts and god, I feel like I haven't done a review in forever, but I thank you all for sticking around. And I thought I would do a review on a skincare products as I've made a few changes in my skincare routine. Fyi, I have fairly oily skin that tends to get blackheads very easily. I don't really breakout that often but I do get an occasional pimple during my cycle. My biggest problem is the oily look that accompanies oily (or combo) skin. Honestly, I spend so much time with primers, blotting powders/papers, etc. It's just such a pain so I've been looking for products to decrease the oiliness of my skin so that I won't need to wear as many products to keep my skin looking matte as they do take a toll on my skin. And I was in Marshalls a while ago and came across Elizabeth Arden's Matte Moisture Lotion clearanced for $5!!! I've had my eye on this one for a while but at full price it is $34 for 1.7 oz, which is a ridiculously small amount. Honestly though, I would pay that much for this stuff cause it is GOLD!!!

I have to say that 1.7 oz of product is absolutely ridiculous. I just finished my Clinique DD lotion and it's 4.2 oz for $24, so a much better value.

The package promises to normalize skin within a week, but let's face, if you have oily skin it's not really going anywhere. It does however get rid of some of the oiliness and my complexion is definitely better.

Here's what the actual bottle looks like:

Yeah, so not nearly as bit as it looks like, only 1.7 oz.

And the dispenser:

I like the dispenser. It's a small pump that is relatively easy to control.

One pump:

The texture is very thin, almost like a serum, but white. It goes on very very light and doesn't feel at all heavy.

Rubbed in:

It leaves my skin feeling very moisturized, but not oily. Within a couple of minutes the lotion absorbed and my skin was left looking nice and flat. It didn't make my skin look completely matte like a mattifying gel might, but my skin did not look in the slightest bit oily. My skin actually looked like normal skin and I was shocked when I didn't have to use my powder as often. Usually, if I apply my makeup in the morning around 7, I'll be oily at around 11-12. Wearing this moisturizer, I didn't really notice my face becoming oily until around 2, almost 3 o'clock, which is awesome!!! Also, when my face does get oily it's not that super greasy/sweating look. Rather, my face looks a bit dewy. I definitely don't get as oily. I have to say that this lotion completely shocked me as I've tried probably 3 or 4 of these types of lotions and I honestly wasn't expecting much. I checked some reviews online and from what I can see people don't think that it is moisturizing enough. If you have normal or dry skin then yes, this lotion will not be moisturizing enough. It's the same complaints I always hear about Clinique's DD Gel. However, both are great for oilier skin types as they give just enough moisture. And if you're the type that gets those pesky dry patches, do what I do and use a heavier moisturizer at night and a lighter gel/lotion in the morning. And getting back to this lotion, it does have a bit of a smell that I don't really like but it's not bad and dissipates pretty quickly. Other than the price, the only other negative I have with this lotion is the same one I have with Clinique's DD Gel--no SPF. Overall though, I had a really good experience with this lotion. Of course, as everyone's skin is different what works for me may not work for you. If you can though, give it a try. Just check out a Marshall's or TJMaxx first. $34 for 1.7 oz...that's just crazy :(


Price: $34 (for 1.7 oz...yikes!)

Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat., Talc, Tridecyl Salicylate, Urea, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitan Oleate, Dimethicone, Ethoxydiglycol, Propylene Glycol Isoceteth-3 Acetate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Carrot Extract, Commiphora Wightii Extract, Cucumber Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Grape Seed Extract, Lemon Extract, Rosemary Extract, Witch Hazel Extract, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbic Acid Polypeptide, Retinyl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Allantoin, Panthenol, Phospholipids, C12-20 Acid Peg-8 Ester, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth 7, Polysorbate-60, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbitan Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Polyacrylamide, Phenyl Trimethicone, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol

Disclosure:The product featured in this post was bought by me for the purpose of my personal use. If you have any further questions about disclosure, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mini Haul!

I went over to the Dollar Tree yesterday and was shocked at what I stumbled upon! I found Sally Hansen Salon polishes at two for a dollar!!! And imagine my shock at finding limited edition shades from the Tracy Reese collections!

And sorry in advance for the crappy pics. They were taken with my cell :(

The two shades I got were Arabian Nights (left) and Pink Twice (right). I actually wanted to get Arabian Nights when the collection first came out but I couldn't find it anywhere. I probably went to three CVS's and still couldn't get it, so to find it at the Dollar Tree, and only for $1 was great!

Again I got Arabian Nights, which is a purple with pretty golden shimmer in it, and Pink Twice, a shimmery pink.

Here's a swatch I found of Arabian Nights from All Lacquered Up:


Isn't it so pretty!?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Updated Swatches: Estee Lauder Tender Lip Balms

A while back in this post I posted a review for Estee Lauder's Tender Lip Balms. I didn't have time to upload lip swatches, so here they are now! And they're in decent lighting too! FYI, I applied them pretty shear over an Aquafina lip balm.

Tender Peach

And Tender Berry

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Swatches: Lancome Eyeshadow Palette in Topaz Kisses

This is the Topaz Kisses palette that Lancome released during the holiday season a while back (long while, like a year or two ago). I know, you're probably getting sick and tired of seeing LE stuff, but some of the shades are permanent shades and I'm sure you can find something similar from Lancome to any discontinued shade.

The colors:

The actual shadows:

The palette comes with a mini brush. It's kind of like the one you get with MAC's holiday shadow palettes. Overall, kinda useless. It's really tiny and the bristles aren't very packed. As far as the shades go, the top row is more like the natural day palette and the bottom row is the more intense, shimmery, night shades. But you can really mix them up anyway you like.

First up, Rendezvous:

This one was a bit difficult to photograph because it's not just a shimmery white. The shimmer is an opalescent pink. In fact, it's a bit like the center shade from the Dior Stylish Move quint I just posted last night. The dark shot above was the best I could do. I was kinda disappointed because I wanted to use this shade as a highlight but it was way to pink.

Next up is Wear It Well

It's a really light, tan shade. I like to use it in my crease and along my lower lash line just for a bit of definition. It slightly deepens my natural skin tone for a very effortless, natural look.

Backstage Pass:

I think that this shade has been included in just about every GWP palette I've ever gotten from Lancome. It's a deepened reddish brown with a bit of purple. It really makes my blue eyes stand out, so I usually use it as an eyeliner.

Off The Rack:

This is just a shimmery pink. I usually just use it in the inner corner or as a highlight.


A brownish silver. My fave color from the palette. I really like to use this allover and then use the next shade, The New Blue, as a smudged out liner on the top lash line for a smoky look. It's very pretty!

The New Blue:

It's a bit of a blackened silvery blue. I apologize for the crappy pic. It really is more blue in real life and it looks amazing as a liner.

Well I hope you enjoyed! I absoluetely love Lancome's shadows cause they really are pigmented and easy to work with.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Review: Dior Eyeshadow Palette in Stylish Move

So a while ago I posted these same pictures, but I didn't actually review the palette. Well, here's that review!!! And first off, I have to say that the packaging of all Dior products is absolutely stunning. It just has this sophisticated, expensive feel to it that makes one feel so luxurious using it, haha! And it comes with a little velvet case which is nice, because your palette won't get all scratched up. I've had this one for about a year now and it still has only a couple of scratches. I've had some of my Lancome quads for much less than that and they are all banged up.

I own a few of these palettes, but the one I'm reviewing today is #970, Stylish Move. It's a purple palette.

Here's what the shadows look like:

And closer yet:

I've used these quite a bit, as you can tell.

And finally, swatches on my hand:

Order of swatches: Bottom left, bottom right, top left, top right, and center (sorry they weren't clockwise or something..,didn't think of it at the time).

Let me tell you that these swatches don't do the palette justice. They were applied dry without any base, but I will usually apply them with UDPP or wet for a more dramatic look. Actually, I've been using the darkest purple as a liner a lot, and it goes on really intensely.

As far as palettes go, I think that this one gives you a nice range of colors. You've got a dark, two sorta midtones, and two lights (one shimmery, and one not so shimmery). Overall, I am able to create a variety of looks using this palette, anything from a dramatic smoky all the way to a light barely there natural look. This palette is very versatile, which I like.

As for formula, overall, the shadows are very smooth and soft, easy to work with. The only color I've had problems with is the bottom right, the lighter purple. For some reason this shade is harder than the others. I almost have to dig to get the powder on my brush. I don't know if I just got a bad one, but this shade was very difficult to work with. You can even kinda see it in the close up of the shadows. The bottom right looks chunkier, harder. But overall, the shadow's are super velvety soft. Other than this one shade I've never had any problems with Dior eyeshadows. However, because they are so smooth and soft, I would definitely recommend that you wear a base otherwise they will crease.

Do you need this palette: no. But, if you like the feel of luxury, like pretty looking packaging, and amazing shades (especially for spring), then yes, you definitely want this palette!


Price: $58 (Eek!!! Wow, price has gone up since I bought this. It was $54 then.)

Ingredients: Talc, octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate, nylon-12, silica, magnesium stearate, dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, calcium sodium borosilicate, bis-behenyl/isostearyl dimmer dilnoleyl dimmer dilinoleate, triethoxycaprylylsilane, tocopherol. May contain: mica, CI77891 (titanium dioxide), CI77491-CI77499-CI77492 (iron oxides), CI77007 (ultramarines), CI19140 (yellow 5), CI77742 (manganese violet), CI77510 (ferric ferrocyanide), CI75470 (carmine), CI 77289 (chromium hydroxide green), CI 77288 (chromium oxide greens).

Disclosure: The product featured in this post was bought by me for the purpose of my personal use. If you have any further questions about disclosure, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.

Swatches: Lancome Eyeshadows in Sunset Gleam and Daylight Glow

I got these a while ago but I figured I'd share now cause they're really pretty colors for summer and spring. That and I'm running out of pics cause I still haven't gotten another camera :(

And the swatches:

Left, Daylight Glow. Right, Sunset Gleam.

I've been wearing sunset gleam a lot. It's like a warm silver, which is a pretty odd combination. Also, Lancome's got another shade called Daylight, a matte white. Basically, Daylight glow is a shimmery version of that shade. Not too shimmery--it gives more of a sheen.

That's it for now. I'll try to get some more pics up this weekend.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Review: Clinique Gloss Wear For Lips Lip Gloss in Whisper

I actually got this gloss as part of a set from Clinique. It was a set of five mini lip glosses. Of the shades available now, Whisper, Sunset (warm gold brown), and Mystic (a sheer purple) are the only one's from the set that, to my knowledge, are still sold although they are now formulated for the Long Last Glosswear line, which is a lot stickier in my opinion.

The shade is Whisper, a clear gloss with some very pretty silver shimmer in it.

The applicator:

Just your standard doe foot. I have to say that I much prefer these types of applicators than the brush ones. I find that with brush applicators I tend to apply too much gloss and am left with goop on my lips. Plus, with a doe foot the application is much more even in my opinion.

A swatch:

So yeah, as stated above, just a clear gloss with some silver shimmer in it. I really like the formula of this gloss. It's not thin, but it's not too thick either, it almost has a gelly feel to it. I don't usually wear clear glosses alone, so I've been layering it over matte lipsticks. It is very very glossy, and wears comfortably, not drying at all. Not too much to say about this gloss. Solid choice, but again, I'm not a big fan of shimmery clear glosses.


Price: $14 (for the fullsize)

Ingredients: Lanolin Oil, Hydroxylated Lanolin, Polybutene, Microcrylstalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina), Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ceresin, Isopyropyl Lanolate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocophyeryl Acetate, Linoleic Acid, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Arachidyl Propionate, Propylene Carbonate, Tin Oxide, BHT, Propylparaben.

Disclosure: The product featured in this post was bought by me for the purpose of my personal use. If you have any further questions about disclosure, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.

Review: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipgloss in Touch of Toffee

Maybelline dabued these color sensational lip glosses last year, I believe, and I have to say, they are pretty great! I have two of them, the one in this review is Touch of Toffee and I also recently picked up Born With It. Both are, at $6.49 (even without any sales), great values!

Here's the applicator:

The applicator is a standard doe foot, but it is slightly smaller I think than the regular ones with is great for added precision.

Some swatches:

Left is slightly lighter application, Right is a bit darker in different light to show shine. As you can see, you can layer these on. They are very pigmented glosses. If you are looking for a super pigmented red, this would be the line to check out.

And on my lips:

This gloss does something magical to my lips. It makes them look fuller and plumper. I swear this is a lip plumper. I'm not even kidding. It smells just like them, it makes my lips look fuller--can you see how there are barely any of the natural lip lines you have from pursing your lips? I don't know if anyone else experienced what I did, but I love this gloss!!! In addition to making my lips look fuller and super duper shiny, it is also very pigmented. Above you can't really tell because I went with a lighter application for a neutral look that wasn't too brown. If I did a full application it would look like I was brown lipstick, no joke. I really wasn't expecting it to be this pigmented. Also, it lasts fairly well. I wore it for 4 1/2 to 5 hrs. before dinner and it was still on my lips. It did wear off a bit, but not like other glosses. And it didn't smear either, which is good. After wearing it my lips felt really soft and moisturized, not flaky or dry. The only negative I can come up with if I really had to is the taste and smell. It's not really that bad, but it smells and tastes like a lip plumper. I don't know if this is just mine because I heard that the others are supposed to smell like the name of the gloss, but mine really didn't. The smell fades after about half an hour so it isn't really that bad unless you are sensitive to scents. Finally, I have to say that I love the packagng. The gloss comes in a clear, slim tube with no writing what so ever on the actual tube, which I like. Too often cosmetic companies plaster their products with odd fonts and pictures. This gloss is sophisticated and chic-- I definitely would not be embarrassed to pull this out of my purse to reapply. I highly highly recommend this gloss! Really, you gotta try it!


Price: $6.49

Ingredients: Not listed on the product or Maybelline's website. If I find them, I'll post.

Disclosure: The product featured in this post was bought by me for the purpose of my personal use. If you have any further questions about disclosure, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Swatches: Summer Blues!

Blue, although not my favorite eyeshadow color, is one that makes a reappearance just about every summer, so I thought I'd quickly share a few that I actually quite like. I know, these aren't the greatest swatches, but bear with me!

First up is Urban Decay's Shattered:

On it's described as a "bright iridescent aquamarine," and it is. Sorta. It's like a muted teal with golden shimmer. It is on the warmer, side, with a lot of green coming through when you apply it. It looks amazing on olive skin tones.

Urban Decay's Electric:

When I first purchased this one, I hated it. I loved the shade but the difficult, uneven application frustrated me to no end. No matter what base I used or how I applied it, it would always look uneven. Last summer, though, I applied it with a damp brush along my upper lash line and it looked and applied absolutely spectacularly. I love experimenting with this shade. It's probably the brightest I own, haha!

The last one I'm sharing is actually a duo from YSL, #19, in Oatmeal and Petroleum:

I really like the Petroleum (dark blue shade) because it is slightly green, so it looks nice and warm rather than stark, like other shades of navy. On the Sephora website it is actually described as "a rich green navy," and that description is spot on!

That's it for now! Lemme know if you like these kinds of posts and I'll try to do more of them in between reviews!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hit Pan! Mini Review + Swatches of My Laura Mercier Palette

So I finally hit pan in a lot of my Laura Mercier eyeshadows. I bought the palette and the pans at Sephora around Christmas last year and thought, based on the huge eyeshadows, that I'd never finish any of them. Much to my surprise, except for the blush and one eyeshadow, I've dented all of them!!! I always feel so accomplished when I hit pan just because it proves to me that I'm not just hoarding makeup. I'm actually using it, you know? I know many other makeup lovers out there feel the same way. It's like you buy, and you buy, and you buy, and one day you look up and you're like, "What the heck happened!? How did I get THIS much makeup!?" I've really been focusing lately on finishing a few products as opposed to using a little bit of everything I own, and it's working!

Ok, so back to the palette. One of the reasons I chose to buy this palette from Laura Mercier because it reminded me so much of Bobbi Brown's customizable palette. They're both dark, come in a variety of sizes, and you can fill them with whatever shades you want. In my opinion you get much more variety with the Bobbi Brown palette as you can also put in cream foundation, concealer, and lip colors (with overs so they don't get gross!) while with the LM palette you're limited to eye and cheek powders, as well as some cake liners. However, I do like LM products very much and decided to try it out. Be prepared for a ton of pics, too!!!

One downside of the packaging--shows every single print and smudge. The upside? It's a dark color (dark shimmery reddish brown black) that is very simple, sophisticated, and elegant. I wish it was black, but that's just my preference. It also comes with a really big mirror which is very convenient.

Here's the inside:

I got the one that fits six powders--there's also one that fits three. I only bought five to put in the palette, and they were crazy expensive. One of the huge downsides of these customizable palettes is that each part costs a lot. Each eyeshadow was $22, the blush was $24. I was going to get a cake liner in black for $22, but they were out. The actual palette was only $10 (the one that fits three is also $10).

Here are the shades I got:

Vanilla Nuts is just a matte beige:

Deep Night is a purple based black:

It looks like it's got shimmer, but it's just matte. I've been using this one and the next one, black plum, which is actually a dark brown, as eyeliners (by applying them with a damp brush), which is why they look kinda weird.

Black Plum, unlike the name, is actually a matte, cool brown:

Rose is a light pink with golden shimmer:

It looks really nice with Black Plum (the brown) if layered into the crease.

And finally, Rose Bloom, which is my lone blush:

It really is more orange than rosy.

Some swatches:

L to R, Vanilla Nuts, Rose, Rose Bloom, Black Plum, Deep Night.

As you can see, with the exception of the Rose eyeshadow, they are all really nice matte shades. One thing I really like about the eyeshadows especially is how pigmented by hard they are. A lot of eyeshadows, while pigmented, are really soft and tend to crumble. I've got no such problem with these. I just barely touch the powder with a brush and there's enough for wear, which is great cause they'll definitely last. While this is great for the eyeshadows, you kinda have to be a bit more careful with the blush. It is very pigmented so it's easy to apply too much. And this stuff is pretty heavy duty, so fixing a mistake like that is difficult. On the other hand, the lasting power of these blushes and eyeshadows is superb. I put them on in the morning and they are there till I take them off. Often times, when I apply an eyeshadow with a damp brush as a liner the lasting power is not so good, but with Deep Night, if I apply a winged liner in the morning, it lasts and lasts. Overall, Laura Mercier products are of great quality and I highly recommend them. There are a lot of great shades to choose from in different finishes, not just matte, so there is something for everyone. And I have to say that the fact that the product ingredients were listed right on the site was very helpful! There are also some hints for application withe just about every single product, so check them out here. Wow, I just realized this wasn't such a short review, haha!


Price (eyeshadow): $22

Price (blush): $24

Price (palette): $10

Ingredients (eyeshadow): Talc, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Stearate, Mica, Silica, Dimethicone, Isonoyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethiconol, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Synthetic Beeswax, Tetrasodium EDTA. (+/-): CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77007 (Ultramarines).

Ingredients (blush): Talc, Dimethicone, Nylon-12, Methicone, Zinc Stearate, Silica, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Lauroyl Lysine, Squalane, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Silk Powder (Serica), Propylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499). (+/-): Carmine (CI 75470), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Ferric Ferrocyanide (Ci 77510), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140).

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were bought by me for the purpose of my personal use. If you have any further questions about disclosure, don't hesitate to ask in the comments.