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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Avon MagiX Illuminator in Fair - my new HG concealer?


From the Avon website:

Instantly brightens skin and banishes dark shadows…like magic! The magic pen that erases signs of fatigue... and makes you look like you’ve had hours of beauty sleep (even when you haven't). Use it all over – around eyes, hollow of cheeks or chin. Wear alone – or over or under foundation to look flawless up to 10 hours! Purse-perfect essential for a quick pick-me-up any time, anywhere. .05 oz. net wt.

I have been looking for a good concealer for years.  I used to use the sticks when I was younger, and as I've gotten older have moved towards "anti-aging" concealers, in hopes that I wouldn't look dry and crepey.  My biggest concern is the dark circles under my eyes.  I am extremely fair, and with that comes very thin translucent skin under my eyes, which every morning seem to get darker and darker.  If I found one that covered, it either creased and became cakey or dried my skin out - I had yet to find a concealer that covered, brightened and lasted without any side-effects.  Even the Dream Mousse I loved became cakey and dry after a few weeks of use. 

Well, I think I've found the perfect concealer for me - Avon MagiX Illuminator in Fair.  I'm not sure how much you follow Avon, but of recent they have tried to make affordable alternatives to the high end "cult" followings in the market.  From Chanel blushes to Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat, as this MagiX Illuminator is a fantastic dupe for, Avon has really stepped up the quality of the items they product.  Just as the Touch Eclat, this is a *click* pen that has a very light, creamy, and illuminating concealer that can either be applied with the pen itself, or with your finger tips (my preference). 




There are three colors available: Light, Medium and Deep.  The formula is very creamy and light, but buildable.  This doesn't cake.  It doesn't dry out your skin.  If you use liquid or mineral/powder foundation the Illuminator works well under both.  Not only does the formula have coverage, but it has a little iridescence, which helps facilitate in the coverage and brightening under the eyes.  I also use it on the inner corners and around my nose to help hide any discoloration and brighten the eye area.  Below you can see the consistency pretty well - notice how smooth this brushes on?


And, just for the final proof, below is a before and after of the product.  Before I have nothing on but moisturizer.  After there are two versions:  The Illuminator alone, and under my Laura Geller Balance 'n Brighten in Porcelain. 




I recently discovered the magic that is a facial primer, so that helps with the minute flaws/pores in the pictures above, but that's besides the point.  I am loving the coverage, the lasting power, and most of all, the price!  Right now the Avon MagiX Illuminator is on sale for $7.99!  I would definitely suggest giving this one a whirl!

Have you tried the Avon MagiX Illuminator?  What about the Yve's Saint Laurent Touch Elcat?  Both?  What did you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A step away from makeup...DIY'ing and crafting

So, I tend to get bored easily.  When I do, I try and find something fun and crafty to do.  This typically means I have tons of little projects going at once, but since I finally finished one, I wanted to share.

Here's what started it all.  My best friend's sister Emily is an avid DIY'er and has made some of the most gorgeous things for her house (check her out here at MiniHouse).  Most recently she made the cutest yarn-wreath with little felt flowers, which was inspired by another fantastic blog, Mrs. Priss.  The lovely Morgan looks at all things from DIY'ing for your house, motherhood, to jewelry making.  Well, enter me, bored one night, dabbling through the Mrs. Priss blog.  Between the felt flowers on Emily's wreath at MiniHouse, to the gorgeous Anthropologie inspiried jewlery at Mrs. Priss, I ended up going through my old jewelry making supplies and felt, and created this...


Basically, it is three strands "pearls", all different sizes and variations in pale and gray pearls, and I made two felt chrysanthemums, one in ivory and the other in a pumpkin/spice shade.  The flowers have rhinestone centers - three in the larger one, and one in the smaller flower.   I couldn't believe how simple the flowers were to make, and I already have tons of ideas floating around in my head on ways to make and use these! 

I have to say, for a night at home with a glass of wine, I was very pleased with the results...


And, here it is on.  (I'm not sure why I'm not smiling...probably because I'm at work!) 


Cute, huh?  The possibilities are endless with these little beauties!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wet 'n Wild Color Icon Vanite Eye and Lip Quartet "I'm Baroque"


The hot spot for new products by me seems to be Meijer.  Not only did I find the new Maybelline LE Eye Studio items I posted about earlier, but I also found the display with the new Wet 'n Wild Color Icon Vanite Eye and Lip Quartets.  I chose to grab "I'm Baroque", which is a set with a peachy/pearl shade and a deep evergreen/turquoise shade for the eyes, and a pale coral and deep coral lipgloss.


Aren't those gorgeous?  The eyeshadows are consistent with the new formulation from Wet 'n Wild: creamy and pigmented.  The lipglosses are quite nice too.  Unlike a lot of glosses that  come in a pan like this, they are thick, nicely pigmented, and last all day.  These particular colors are chock full of gorgeous golden shimmer, and will be absolutely gorgeous in the summer when I actually have a little color to the skin.  Don't be scared of the deep red/coral shade to the right, either.  When applied, it gives a nice, rich coral tint to the lips without being overwhelming.  They are quite beautiful.  Swatches below...


Have you seen these yet?  Did you pick one up?  I would definitely recommend this set - although greens/turquoise may not be your color, that particular shade would make a gorgeous liner too.  A great  value for the price!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A quick NOTD: Zoya Marley


It's that time again - SPRING!  In honor of that, I decided to wear one of my new Zoya polishes from the Intimate Collection.  The color is a beautiful cream lilac with just a *hint* of shimmer.  It's hard to even see unless you have the color under the right light. 

This shade instantly made me happy, so I thought I'd share!  The formula is great - this is two coats with Seche Vite as a topcoat. 

click the image for a larger view...


Did you purchase this?  Any other shades in this collection? 

Friday, March 18, 2011

New! Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner "Forest"


Along with Mystic Mermaid (posted yesterday), I purchased a new Maybelline Limited Edition Eye Studio Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in Forest.  I find that I have a lot of warm or olive green eyeliners, but nothing on the cooler, evergreen side.  I know a lot of people swear by these eyeliners, so I was anxious to give them a try...especially since they had a color I was looking for.


Not only do you get the liner, but it also comes with a nice eyeliner brush to use to apply.  This is a flat, semi-rounded brush with synthetic fibers.  The bristles are fine, but packed densely in so you can get a fine line, or thicker more dramatic line.


Isn't that color neat?  It reminds me of Wet 'n Wild's Color Craze nail polish from Halloween a few years ago called Morbid I think?  Scrangie has gorgeous swatches of these, so here's a link....

The color is a black base with evergreen shimmer.  It actually looks that color when applied along the lashline too - it doesn't blend to become black like a lot of these types of colors do.


The texture is smooth, the pigmentation is great, and these are nice and creamy without being overly wet.  I will say these truly last forever, too.  I didn't experience any flaking, chipping, or smudging.  I wish/hope that Maybelline will come out with some more, unique colors like this one!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maybelline StudioEyes Eye Plush "Mystical Mermaid"


How about some various greens for your St. Patrick's Day today?  I saw a limited edition display for Maybelline Eye Studio Silk Plush eyeshadows the other day, and one of the colors was called "Mystic Mermaid", so I grabbed it.  A set of bright, various shades of green, I thought these would be pretty for spring. 


The first color is a bright lime/yellow green with silver shimmer.  Second is a very pale sage green with silver shimmer.  Next is a beautiful turquoise and lastly (my favorite) is a deep emerald green with iridescent shimmer. 


This was my first go-round with these shadows.  Surprisingly, they were really nice.  I agree with the "silk" in the name - they apply quite smoothly and aren't chalky at all.  The pigmentation was *iffy* without primer (see below), but with the help of a little base, the colors definitely popped.  For a primer I used LA Splash's eyeshadow primer/sealer.  There are definitely lots of possibilities with this pallet!


Have you seen this?  I also picked up a limited edition gel eyeliner called Forest, which is a beautiful deep black with evergreen pearl.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Introducing New Bare Minerals Skincare...The Treatments



Last, but not least - the treatments in the new Bare Minerals Skincare line.   Specifically, there are three treatments available.  The first is a firming eye treatment.  I don't know about you, but products that target the eye area are one of the primary treatments in my regiment.  I find that this is the most difficult to work with, not only because the skin is so sensitive (and I want instant gratification), but also because depending on the type of product used, it can effect the outcome of your makeup.  For example, I had used some "firming" serums under my eye, but ultimately the tightening action was more of a drying action, and I ended up with crepey under eyes after my makeup had been applied.  On the other extreme, an ultra-moisturizing cream can cause your makeup to run down your eyes.  It has to be something in the middle, which is hard to find, in my opinion.  A for the Blemish treatment, I actually own and love this product.  Being a powder/mineral foundation user, I find it difficult to use "typical" spot tratments for blemishes because it ends up leaving a dry coating on the blemish, which is only accentuated by the makeup.  Seeing as this is actually powder itself,it works magically with my mineral foundation.  Better yet, it actually works!



FIRMING EYE TREATMENT

What it is: This dramatically effective treatment restores firmness and reduces puffiness around the eyes. Powered by our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex, this formula delivers smoother, younger-looking skin around the eye area.

Directions: Apply in a “C” curve—from brow bone to under-eye area—and gently pat into skin until absorbed. Use twice daily.
Price: $28, 15mL/0.5 Fl.Oz. Click here to buy.


BLEMISH THERAPY
What It Is: This unique, powder treatment helps to heal, conceal and prevent future breakouts. The exfoliating properties of our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex along with the acne-healing benefits of natural sulfur effectively treat acne and blemishes while preventing future breakouts from forming. This non-irritating, all-in-one treatment also helps to minimize pores, neutralize redness and diffuse imperfections.

Directions: Swirl enclosed brush into treatment, tap off excess and gently pat onto blemish. For larger problem areas, apply a light layer over affected area (avoiding the eye area). For best results, use at the onset of a blemish. Applying a light layer over problem areas daily can also help prevent new breakouts from forming.
Price: $18, 1g/0.03 Oz. Click here to buy.


PURE TRANSFORMATION NIGHT TREATMENT
What It Is: This groundbreaking treatment remains a hero product in the bareMinerals Skincare lineup. This unique, easy-to-use component offers a clinically proven formula to visibly reduce pores, increase firmness and improve elasticity, while revealing remarkably healthier, younger-looking skin. The potent powder formula is powered by RareMinerals Active Soil Complex to replenish skin for smoother, brighter, more even skin tone with improved texture.

Available In Four Tones: clear, light, medium and tan – a treatment product that instantly diffuses imperfections, while you sleep.

Directions: Apply as the last step of any nighttime routine. Gently shake jar to allow treatment to cling to enclosed brush. Open lid, tap off excess and buff onto skin in circular motions.
Price: $60, 4.2g/0.15 Oz. Click here to buy.


Well, what do you all think?  Will you give these BareMinerals skincare items a try?  What are you most excited about? 

Wantt to learn more?  Follow BareMinerals on Twitter

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter too!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spotted at Meijer: New Wet 'n Wild Vanite Display


I finally found the new Wet 'n Wild Vanite products on display at Meijer that the lovely Nouveau Cheap posted swatches of earlier this month.  Have you seen these yet?  I picked up "I'm Ba-roque".  I'll have swatches this week for ya!

Introducing New Bare Minerals Skincare...The Moisturizers



On Friday I showed you all the details about the cleansers in the new Bare Minerals skincare line.  Well, today let's take a look at the second step:  The Moisturizers.  I think a good moisturizer/cream can make or break a skincare regiment.  This can totally effect the outcoming of your makeup, and bottom line, determines how good your skin looks naturally. 


PURELY NOURISHING MOISTURIZER for combination skin
What it is: This universal moisturizer effectively hydrates skin while improving firmness, elasticity, radiance and overall skin texture. Powered by our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex with its unique electrolyte delivery system, it’s formulated to perfectly moisturize combination skin. It also includes a powerful blend of antioxidants that help protect against environmental stressors.

Directions: Apply morning and night for best results.
Price: $28, 50mL/1.7Fl.Oz. Click here to buy.


PURELY NOURISHING CREAM for dry skin
What It Is: Specially formulated for dry skin, this luxuriously rich cream deeply nourishes skin. Powered by our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex with its unique electrolyte delivery system, it’s formulated to provide the ultimate amount of moisture for dry skin while potent antioxidants help protect skin from environmental stressors. The result is soft, smooth and incredibly luminous skin.

Directions: Apply morning and night for best results.
Price: $28, 50mL/1.7Fl.Oz. Click here to buy.

The Purely Nourising Cream looks fantastic.  I could have used that this winter when my skin couldn't soak up enough moisturizer to keep from getting dry.  I like that there is another option for combo skin too, or in my case, I would probably use it in the summer.  I'm anxious to get my hands on these!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Introducing New Bare Minerals Skincare...The Cleansers


As you all know, I use Bare Escentuals Foundation religiously each morning.  I've tried numerous other types of foundations, liquid and powder/mineral, but I always end up coming back to the BE line.  Well, they have decided to take the mineral technology they use in their foundation and apply it to a full skin-care line that has recently launched.  Specifically, the line has RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex (which has three times the antioxidant capacity of blueberries, by the way).  Amazing, isn't it!





PURIFYING FACIAL CLEANSER
What it is: We believe in what works. In our underground prelaunch of this product, customers called this a super cleanser and gave it stellar reviews. Powered by our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex, it removes makeup, dissolves impurities and rebalances skin for a soft, smooth complexion. Skin is left perfectly clean, instantly hydrated and renewed. It’s also gentle enough for eye makeup removal. Sulfate free.

Directions: Splash face with water and massage cleanser over entire face to create a light, creamy lather. Rinse with warm water. Use morning and night for best results.
Price: $20, 177mL/6 Fl.Oz. Click here to buy.
DEEP CLEANSING FOAM
What It Is: This, luxuriously rich cleanser deep cleans pores and lifts away impurities. Powered by our RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex, this non-drying formula bursts into a rich lather when activated with water to clean and instantly refresh skin for a soft, smooth complexion. Sulfate free.

Directions: Work a small pearl-sized amount into a rich foam with lukewarm water. Massage onto skin in small circular motions and rinse thoroughly. Use morning and night. Avoid eye area.
Price: $20, 119g/4.2 Oz. Click here to buy.

EXFOLIATING TREATMENT CLEANSER
What It Is: The original mineral cleanser, this effective powder formula powered by RareMinerals ActiveSoil Complex delivers a potent concentration of ingredients for a brighter, smoother complexion with noticeably smaller pores. Sulfate free.

Directions: Splash hands and face with water. Pour a small amount into wet hands and activate by rubbing hands together to form a light froth. Gently massage over face, then rinse thoroughly. Use morning and night. Close cap after each use. (It can also be used as an exfoliating mask twice weekly. Or, here’s another tip, mix it with Purifying Facial Cleanser for a gentle exfoliating cleanser.)
Price: $26, 70g/2.5 Oz. Click here to buy.
I don't know about you, but I am very excited and anxious to try these out.  I had been a loyal user of some Avon products for my skinecare line, but they are no longer available, so I have been on the lookout for something new to try.  Perfect timing I say!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Physicians Formula Happy Booster Mood Boosting Blushes in "Rose" and "Natural"



I'm sure by now you have seen and heard about the Physicians Formula Happy Booster Mood Boosting blushes, but I do think these deserve as much press as they can have.  Talk about adorable - how can that package and product not make you smile? 


Each blush is infused with pearls, the scent of violets and natural plant extracts to help promote the feeling of happiness.  All of the hearts have coordinating, but different shades that end up blending together to create a nice color on the cheek.  As the website says...

Ultra-soft and blendable blushing powder features a fresh and vibrant mix of blushing tones infused with a pop of color to create a healthy glow.

Multi-reflective pearls provide a soft iridescence to highlight contour and add radiance to cheeks.

Infused with our Happy Boost Blend, featuring Happy Skin and Euphoryl, natural plant extracts which have been shown to promote a feeling of happiness by mimicking the effect of Endorphins and helping protect the skin from environmental stress.

The sweet scent of Violet provides a feeling of joy each time you apply.
 
I don't know about you, but sometimes the packaging or how something looks is enough for me! 
 
These blushes are nice and pigmented, so as a result use a light hand and you can build up to the color payoff you are looking for.  I use my Bare Escentuals skunk brush to apply these blushes.  They do have a hint of shimmer, but nothing over the top.  I actually go over each blush with the Happy Booster Mood Boosting  Translucent Face Powder as a highlight, and it works really well.  I will say, I can smell the violet fragrance more in the translucent face powder than I can in the blushes.  Its a light floral fragrance...not exactly rose, not tropical...I guess it's violet! 
 

The swatches above show the hint of shimmer quite well.  The Rose shade has a couple of bright pink hearts that help make it more of a pinkier color than the natural, which has more corals and peach hearts throughout, giving it a warmer shade.  Both are quite beautiful, and I tend to lean towards these each day when I'm ready for my blush. 

I will take pictures of the Translucent face powder, and swatch it as well for you to see in an upcoming post. 

Have you tried these?  Who has tried the bronzers?  I am debating on picking these up, but think I may need them for summer since they don't appear orange.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Almay Intense i-Color Eyeliners Swatches & Review: Purple Ameythyst (Brown Eyes), Brown Topaz (Blue Eyes) and Raisin Quarts (Green Eyes)


Having never tried Almay's products before, I decided to give their Intense i-Color eyeliner pencils a try.  I was in need of a purple eyeliner, and having seen these on a display I grabbed the purple, brown and raisin shades. 

Bring out your eye color with rich, contrasting color! Pearlescent eyeliner defines your eyes with rich tones that make your eye color pop. Built in sharpener ensures precise application, and color resists smudging and fading throughout the day.



Hypoallergenic. Ophthalmologist tested

These liners come with a built in sharpener, claim to be smooth, smudgable, but long lasting. 




The pencils have a nice, fine point which makes application precise.  The pigmentation is quite nice, and overall they glide on smoothly without tugging.  I will say application requires a couple of passes for the desired intensity (for me), but overall application is quite smooth and seamless.  There is a slight shimmer to these liners, nothing over the top, but just enough to brighten the eyes. 


The Brown Topaz is a really pretty color, but really not that unique.  I have plenty of bronze eyeliners - I will say this is probably the darkest bronze I have without becoming brown or brown/black, and also not being so light it would be considered copper or gold.  That is a plus for me.  Raisin Quarts is quite unique.  I find that a lot of times the purple/raisin shades end up making me look tired - like I have red-rimmed eyes.  This doesn't - it's just raisin enough in color to offset my hazel eyes, but deep enough that it doesn't blend into my skintone and make me look like I've got dark circles or bruises under my eyes.  Of all three, the Raisin Quarts was the least pigmented, in my opinion.  Purple Amethyst is a "blurple" - perfect for green eyes.  I don't have any color quite this blue of a purple, so it is a nice addition to my collection.  This is the most pigmented of the three in my opinion. 

Overall these glide on quite smoothly, last well, and have good pigmentation.  Would I buy them again?  Probably not, only because I have fallen in love with some of the Urban Decay 24/7 liners, and I think they have a bit more "pop" than the Almay.  But, I will say, if you are looking for some unique colors in the drug-store variety that are wearable, last well, and are easy to use, these Almay Intense i-colors might be just the thing!  Also, keep an eye out because sometimes these are a freebie on an eyeshadow - packed together.  That would be a great way to give them a try!  Retail is about $5 for these liners. 

I'll have some EOTD's with these liners soon...


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bonne Bell Eyeshadow Stick "Sage Shimmer"


Another little gem from the Bonne Bell line - the Eyeshadow Stick in Sage Shimmer.  This is a chunky pencil with a soft but extremely pigmented eyeshadow in stock form.  These are very creamy, smooth, and easy to apply.  As Bonne Bell's site says:

"Eye Shadow Stick™ is an eye shadow and an eye liner in one and is available in a beautiful range of illuminating shades."

The glitter in these is very minute, and really gives the color more of a mirror effect than actual glitter.  Like I said, this is very smooth and creamy, so I'm anxious to try it out as not only a liner, but eyeshadow and even a base.  I haven't worn it yet - just swatched for the pictures below. 


The color itself is truly a silver-sage.  There isn't a whole lot of warm undertones to this one, so for those of you who have enough olive pencils, this might be a good option.  It is very bright, springy and cheery.  I'm anxious to give this one a whirl!  The retail is about $3.50, give or take your store.


Have you seen or tried these pencils yet?  What did you think? 


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Suave Professionals Collection - Touchable Finish Hairspray & Vibrant Shine Spray


By now you have probably seen the new, updated, and improved Suave Professionals line at your local drug store or super center.  I actually didn't realize they had redone the line until I (literally) fell over a display in the middle of my Meijer store about a week or so ago.  Once I got up and collected myself, I decided to pick up the Touchable Finish Hairspray and the Vibrant Shine Spray.  I'm always intrigued by shine sprays because I used to absolutely adore the Nick Chavez Cello Gloss, but not only was it a bit pricey for me, but I don't think it's actually available any more.  I will say, the fragrance and results were amazing, though! 


Suave's Vibrant Shine Spray is not an aerosol, but instead a pump spray that is said to restore shine as well as Sebastian Trilliant.  I haven't used Sebastian, but what I will do is compare this to the Nick Chavez Cello Gloss I spoke about earlier.  The Cello gloss was in a small, aerosol can that you sprayed on top of your hair once your style was complete.  It had a very good fragrance, almost like honeydew and made your hair shine like it was faceted.  Like I said, Suave is in a little pump bottle.  The fragrance is similar to the Nick Chavez Gloss, having a somewhat warm, melon scent.  It's not overwhelming, but just enough to make you go..."mmm...".  The product actually says to "shake to activate the mineral bursts and spray".  You'll see why in the closeup below...


See all those little sparkles in the bottle...no? 


Well let's take a closer look...


Once you shake the bottle, all these little silver shimmers incorporate into the liquid, giving your hair all sorts of sparkle and shine.  They actually do settle to the bottom if you don't shake it in between uses.  Now, don't get me wrong, these are not chunks - you won't look like a junior high cheerleader at a competition with this spray in your hair.  Instead, these add facets and shine to your hair.  Not only that, but the product istelf adds all sorts of shimmer and shine to your hair.  It's not greasy, heavy, or slick.  It won't weigh your hair down, ruin your style, or make your hair look wet.  It truely looks like you took a can of shellac to your hair and added all sorts of shine. I tried to capture this in the pictures below, but seeing as my hair is "blonde" (I use that term loosely), it's hard to see, but I think you get the picture.  Really, all I can say is go spend the $2.97 or whatever it is at your local store and give it a try!   A few spritzes and your hair looks shiney and it lasts all day!


As for the hairspray, I'm always on the lookout for an affordable hairspray that works!  I don't like *wet* sprays, and honestly one of the best hair sprays I've ever found is the Kenra Volume Spray 25, but it runs around $25 for a bottle (and the large bottle size has been discontinued), so buying that every couple of months just isn't in the budget anymore.  I ended up grabbing a bottle of the Suave Professionals Touchable Finish in Extra Hold Aerosol Spray.   I tend to only buy the aeorsols - probably because of the "wet" vs. "dry" touch of a spritz vs. aerosol. 

Well, I've been using this for about a week now, and I have to say I'm impressed!  It holds, creates volume, isn't sticky, and has even lasted through a humid day here in the midwest.  So far so good!

I'd say I've found a replacement for both my Nick Chavez Cello Gloss and my Kenra Volumizing Spray 25...not only do these two Suave Professional items work...but they are affordable!  Who doesn't like that?

Have you tried any of these Suave Professionals?  What did you think?  What's your favorite product so far?


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