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eye primer

Sizzling summer with Tarte!

Yes, I admit it.  I am a Tarte addict.  I think there are only one or two items I’ve tried that are not my favorites; and frankly, they are the holiday kits that don’t measure up to the normal standards.  This is pretty typical for beauty companies, who often outsource holiday kits to manufacturers that don’t adhere to the same standards.  But that’s another story!

To follow up on Carolyn’s post about the Tarte Maracuja 6 Piece Collection, which will air on QVC on July 13th, here is my review.  I ordered the Light, since I’m currently wearing the Light-Medium Amazonian Clay Foundation.

The Maracuja Miracle Foundation is a light liquid, which I find to be medium in coverage.  It is buildable however, but if you are looking for fuller coverage stick with the Amazonian Clay foundation.  It felt good on the skin, but the brush was simply horrible.  I was sadly disappointed in the brush, since most Tarte  brushes are divine.  It seems like they jobbed this one off to Brushes-r-Us or something.  It was scratchy, and shedded all over my face, sticking to the foundation.  Yuck!  In the trash with that one.  Instead, I used my big fluffy foundation brush from the above mentioned Amazonian Clay foundation.  That works perfectly, as does a Beauty Blender (my other fave).  Once the foundation was applied, I used a touch of Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Light (not included in kit) to clear up a few things on my face.  Finally, I finished with Smooth Operator powder (not included in kit).

On my eyes, I started with a layer of Tarte Shadow Stick in Champagne, which was part of the holiday collection.  With shadow sticks, I don’t tend to wear an eye primer.

With an eye primer, these products smudge and crease on me; however, without a primer and with a thin layer, I get much better play.  After the Champagne, I used the dual ended ModernEyes Waterproof Cream Shadow/Liner Duo in Plumberry/Plum Brow.  Then the SmolderEyes end smudged in the crease.  While I like the dual ended design, I am a bit unhappy that the eyeliner end was already coming out of the casing and looked to be a very short product.  At this price point, that should be a larger amount of product in a better housing.  That said, the product itself is great, it glides on and after about 30 second of play time it won’t’ budge.  The color is quite a bit different from the Fig or Violet EmphasEyes and it’s a good brown purple to have in my stash.

I love the way the purples made my blue eyes flash.  I also used the shadow box from the Miracle of Maracuja TSV, with Pink Cloud on the browbone, and Silver Mist in the crease.  I finished off my eyes with teh Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara; since this is a Holy Grail product for me, I’m always happy to get more.  As a girl who wears glasses, I find that I wear more mascara on days I am not wearing contacts and this product makes my peepers really stand out.

I finished this look with Tarte’s 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful, as well as Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illumination Serum.

On my lips, I love the baby pink of the Smitten Lipsurgence but I hate the new packaging.  One of the reasons I really liked the chubby pencils is that you didn’t have to sharpen them.  This new skinny pencil with the sharpener is nice for precision but sharpening a lip crayon is an exercise in frustration.  I suggest putting them in the freezer first so they are firm enough to sharpen.  This is the same design as the Buxom Lip Tarnishes and while I adore the product I absolutely hate the packaging.  Sadly, with limited manufacturing facilities, eventually everything looks the same.  But more on that later.  I topped this with Pure Optic lipgloss in Golden Pink (not included in kit).

All in all, I love this kit and it’s a great value.  If you are looking for a lighter foundation for summer, but will still get medium – full coverage, go for it!

You can order this kit on Auto Delivery or one time only from QVC.  Don’t forget to use ebates!

I’m feeling well rested at last!

Have you been sleeping lately?  Well, no, me neither.  Life’s little stressors, insomnia, work, all the things that get to us – or even sometimes just your body’s natural chemistry or genetic luck of the draw, sometimes we need help to hide those dark circles.

There are dozens of brighteners and highlighters out there, but the best of them actually counteracts the blue black color of those shadows.  Bare Minerals makes one of the better products out there, a loose mineral powder called Well Rested.  Well Rested, in the original loose form, is a creamy mineral powder with a pale buttery yellow color.  The yellow counteracts the blue, and brightens up those dark places.

Unfortunately, if you’re like me and you’re getting a touch long int he tooth, or if you have dry skin, the loose minerals can tend to settle in the cracks and creases adn make the under eye area loose crepey and wrinkled.  No thanks!

Thank goodness the team at BE has coem up with a fantastic solution!  Well rested now comes in a creamy liquid form, in the now iconic (from other manufacturers) pen.  This new formula is translucent but still has the yellow tone which is important for counteracting dark areas.

The creamy liquid is a blend of mineral powders, as well as antioxidents like Vitamin E, which brightens, lightens, and treats those areas.  You can use it before your mineral foundation, or after your liquid foundation to illuminate areas you want to highlight.  The benefit of the pen format is that you can reapply at any time during the day for a little boost.

Keep in mind this is not a concealer.  If you have serious darkness, or problem areas, you will need to use a concealer in addition to the brightener.  I also own Touche Veloutee, which is a brightening concealer.  While not as natural as Well Rested, that product is truly a concealer.  Well Rested is intended as a brightener only and not to provide full coverage.  Well Rested has no shimmer so it’s a great way to subtly highlight and is half the cost of any other similar product.

Note:  I did take pictures but you really can’t see it on camera.  It’s a very subtle highlight, illuminating glow without shimmer.  I plan on experimenting with mixing this in iwth my traditional Well Rested for a creamier coverage.  Other similar products that I will try:  Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperlight; Mally Perfect Prep Undereye Brightener

The Well Rested Face & Eye Brightener is available at QVC.  1 fluid ounce is $22.  Since a little goes a long way, this should last you a while.

Happy glossing!

A Star is Born!

I admit it,  am powerless against the draw of a TSV!  When I first read about this Laura Geller kit, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to invest my money because I have so much Balance & Brighten, I could open a store.  But, when I looked at the gorgeous blush and the eye primer, I couldn’t resist.  This All Stars kit was designed for the Geller Girl who has everything already, and wants to pump it up.

In this kit, you get:

  • Champagne Spackle, a primer with a light glow
  • Balance and Brighten, a baked powder foundation
  • Blush and Brighten in Pink Grapefruit, a gorgeous light pink blush
  • Waterproof Eye Spackle
  • Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Amethyst/Starburst
  • makeup bag

Laura Geller is known for her primer, which she named Spackle because it “smooths over” the imperfections on your face and creates a flawless base.  The Champagne version is a light, airy glow, with teeny sparkles.  It’s very similar to Ethereal, which is slightly darker and not as sparkly.  Spackle hasn’t made my Top 5 primer list yet, but I need to play with it a bit more.  I find it very slick and slippery, and not my favorite.  C+

The Balance and Brighten is something I use almost every day these days, and it’s a rich, creamy powder foundation that can provide as little or as much coverage as you want.  I use it over my favorite BB cream for a flawless finish, or on it’s own for a light layer on a lazy day.  If you apply it with a damp makeup sponge, or a beauty blender, you get more of a creamy medium coverage.   I currently use Fair, but generally I am Regular (Medium).  The great thing about this product is that there are many colors in one, and you can pick out the colors you need or swirl them together to provide a multi toned product. A-

The Pink Grapefruit Blush and Brighten is gorgeous!  I love this color and I had seen it in another kit at Ulta and was looking all over for it.  This is not a full size, but it will still last you forever.  It’s a pretty bright pink in the pan but when you dust it on the apples of your cheeks, it is a sweet, natural flush.  Remember, a LITTLE goes a long way here!  A

One of my favorite items in the kit is the Waterproof Eye Spackle.  I am constantly looking for the perfect eye primer, as I have super sensitive eyes and many products don’t work for me.  Until recently, Too Faced Shadow Insurance was my fave, but recently, it has been causing me some irritation so I had to search for a new primer.  The eye spackle is in a clicker pen, which makes applying it a breeze.  Just a little dab, blended on your eye, will brighten it up and make it look awake and open, while providing a great base.  Use this, and your makeup will stay all day.  The only down side for this, is that sadly, it contains parabens.  Hopefully, they will be eliminated in the future.  B

The last item in this kit is an eyeshadow duo in Starburst/Amethyst.  The marble eyeshadows are always fun because they have so many colors swirled in to the one.  The Starburst is a pink, gold, bronze int he pan, but when you apply it you get a dark gold bronze glow.  The Amathyst is a purple and gold marble, and when applied it is a darker purple with a golden background.  These are girlie colors and the gold really warms them up.  Again, sadly, there are parabens in the eyeshadow.    B

This kit is $55 on QVC right now, and the TSV had an Auto Delivery option that will give us a new color of blush, eyeshadow and spackle in the future.

This kit is a great value, even if you only keep 2 of the pieces.  While I really didn’t need any more Balance & Brighten, it’s easy to sell that to a fellow makeup lover and make this kit worth every penny.  I have become a bit of a collector of Laura’s eyeshadows, because they are simploy beautiful and the marble effect gives you multiple colors in one.

Over all, I have to give this kit a B because several of the products contains parabens.  If they were eliminated, then this would be an A in my book!  The staying power of the blush and eyeshadow is phenomenal, and I love the baked effect.

Happy glossing!

 

It isn’t easy being green!

Or is it purple.  Or is it green.  It’s really tough to describe Bare Escentuals new coored eye primer, Urban Nature.  It looks green at first glance, but then you get iridescenat purple and pink tones.  LOVE!

You probably know about the original, brightening, shiny, gold plated and iced Prime Time For Eyes primer, but these latest incarnations are more like a cream shadow with extra oomph.

They claim :

provide vivid, rich, light-reflective metallic color in a lightweight texture. Wear these unique primers alone or try them layered with your favorite bareMinerals Eyecolors for more intense color and infinitely gorgeous possibilities. Perfect for those with oily lids, uneven skin-texture or anyone who experiences creasing and fading.

I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use it, so I did a quick google search and came across a look that one of my favorite beauty bloggers Phyrra did.  I’ve been following her blog for about 8 months now, and she goes from mild office gal Friday looks, to gorgeous color popping going out looks.

MUFE #7

Urban Nature

So I started this look with a dab of Urban Nature, blended out on the outer 2/3 of my lid.  Then, I patted Meow Cosmetics Astral Projection, an iridescent shimmering grey, purple, crystalish non color, in my inner 1/3 and also highlighted with Astral.  Then, I lined with Make Up Forevers Aqua liner #7 (Diamond Black Purple) and blended a bit out with BE Celestine, finished with Benefit They’re Real mascara.  Can I just say that I am in LOVE with the MUFE liquid liners?  They are gorgeous and come with a fine point applicator that lets you give very precise control.

It’s now 6:30pm, and my eyes stayed pretty much put all day.  I didn’t experience any creasing, and the color stayed fast and true.  I’d say that they lived up to the claim!

  • Does it do what it claims? YES, it really delivers stay there color!
  • Does it have good color payoff? YES
  • It it a good value? Sort of.  At $18 for .1 oz, it seems overpriced, especially compared to the Clinique Lid Smoothie which is $1 more for more than twice as much.

Even though it’s a touch pricey, with a coupon or sale, you will get a steal.  I also purchased Chroma Violet, a shimmering purple, which I have yet to try.

What do I think?  Go try it!

I love the way this turned out!  Thanks Phyrra for the inspiration ;-)

 

 

 

 

Perfect in green

Today, I am wearing the third installment of the Holiday 2011 Auto Delivery Collection from Bare Escentuals, The Perfect Gift.  In this shipment, you will get, in that cute little hatbox:

  • Tinted Hydrating Mineral Veil
  • Appreciate Blush
  • Enjoy Eyecolor, a golden yellow chiffon
  • Savor Eyecolor, a deep sage shimmer
  • Big & Bright eyeliner in Bronze
  • Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in black
  • Pretty Amazing Lipcolor in Courage, a warm strawberry and one of my favorite PAs.

I don’t use the B&B liners, so that was tossed in my swap bin right away.

On my face:

  • Too Faced Primed & Poreless
  • BE Original in Light
  • Summer Bisque as concealer
  • Faux Tan to contour
  • tarte natural eye primer
  • blush and eye colors from the kit
  • Buxom Suede Lashliner
  • tarte Amazonian Clay liner in Shimmering Sage (I think!)
  • Buxom Amplified Mascara
  • Pretty Amazing lin Courage
  • Brandi Buxom

With my golden fair skin and blue eyes, I wasn’t sure that the green tones would for me.  Happily, I love the gold and the green is a nice accent color.

I foiled the Enjoy all over the lid, and buffed it out with Enjoy dry to just above the crease.  Using a small brush, I applied Savor in the crease.  For liner, I started with Buxom Suede lashliner, followed by the sage tarte liner, finishing off with the Amplifed mascara.  I love the way it brings out my eyes!

What do YOU think of PG3?

A MAC Daddy Haul!

When I was a teenager (ok all the way through college) I was a MAC whore. I wore nothing but MAC, good bad ugly and the rest.  I went away from makeup for a long time, but recently, while passing through a town to the North, I stopped by the CCO.  For those of you who don’t know, CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet) is an outlet store for Estee Lauder brands including Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and yes – MAC.

While I was browsing, I came across last holiday season’s “Highland Fling” collections.  Priced at $45 (Nordstroms), I paid $34.95 for the gift sets which contained a paint pot, a mineralize eye shadow duo, mini mascara, and lipglass in a cute Tartan plaid tin.  There were two kits, My Scottish Fling and Swinging Violets that I snatched up.  There was a third kit that I didn’t get, but I might run back and get that too; this is a screaming value, since the paint pot and eyeshadow alone are over $30.

I played with them today and am wearing:

  • UDPP in Eden
  • Paint Pot in Fresco Rose (limited edition)
  • Pink Split Mineralize eyeshadow duo (dark) in outer 1/3
  • Earthy Riches Mineralize Eyeshadow (grey) in crease
  • Paint Pot in Bare Study on brow bone
  • MAC Zoomlash Mascara
  • BE Frills as liner

 

Paint Pots: Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Stila Kitten, Painterly, Fresco Rose

kit contents

 

I really love paint pots.  I could have gotten away without a primer, but since I was wearing some very loose shadows, I wore one anyway.  These waterproof cream shadows make an ideal base instead of primer or with primer, and are very creamy and blendable until dried.  Once dried, they are stay proof and fairly creaseless.   I currently own Painterly and Soft Ocre and use them and all over bases often, since they smooth out the texture and color of my eyeslids.

L to R: Soft Ochre, Bare Study, Stila Kitten, Painterly, Fresco Rose

Stila came out with smudge pots, which are similar, but I find that smudge pots are better used as liners.  However, i included a swatch of Kitten here because it’s very close to Bare Study, just a bit pinker.

Fresco Rose is a beautiful deep rose shade that is a funn all over lid color.

MAC consistantly puts out beautifully holiday collections, and this is no esception  This was an excelent value, and I’m a bit of a CCO stalker now – because you never know what might show up there!  I love purples, and these colors are soft, and can be smoky or not.  Perfect for blue eyes.

The tin itself is a great size for lip pencils and eye pencils, which helps out my messy storage area.

Mascara:  Defines and seperates, no clumping!  This mascara is gorgeous.  I will definately be buying a full size tube – 5 stars

Mineralize Duos:  Can get muddy, hard to seperate the colors of the Earthy Riches – 4 stars

Paint Pots:  Tried and tested – 5 stars!

Over all:  4.5 stars.  This kit was a good deal at $49 but for the outlet price its a STEAL.

Happy MACing!

 

 

Purple is where it’s at!

It’s no secret, I love purple!  Today’s look it a bit sparkly because I’m going out to dinner, and I was in my pjs today working from home.

  • Benefit Primed & Poreless Primer
  • BE Matte Foundation in Golden Fair
  • NARS Illuminizer in Orgasm. I just got this in a Beauty.com haul, and I love the way it’s true to the Orgasm color, but adds a nice rosy glow. I used it to highlight my cheekbones and around the eye socket.
  • BE Glee as blush
  • Two Face Shadow Insurance in Candlelit
  • BE Nude Beach patted all over lid and used to blend
  • BE Water Lily on outer 1/3 of lid
  • BE Midnight Diamond wetlined
  • Buxom Mascara (2 coats)
  • I needed a little more oomph so I added Myth in the crease, and patted more Water Lily in the middle of my lid
  • BE Pretty Amazing in Courage with Buxom Claire over it.

Happy Hump Day!

Feeling TARTEy!

Today, I decided to go for an all (well, mostly) Tarte look, using the 8th Wonder of the World Collection from QVC.

  • Mally Poreless Perfection Primer
  • Monistat Anti Chafing Gel on the nose (hey!  It’s cheap and it’s a GREAT silicone primer!)  In fact, the active ingredient, Dimethicone, is the primary ingredient in most silicone based primers.  I swatched L’oreal, BE and Smashbox primers on my hand, along with Monistat.  They are ALL clear silicone primers and all function the same way, more or less.  I will say that the Mally primer is not the best for mineral makeup, but works wonders for cream powders or liquid makeup.  I find that the BE primers and also another fave, the Benefit Primed & Poreless work wonderfully for BE foundation.
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Light
  • UDPP in Eden
  • MAC Painterly Paint Pot as base
  • Tarte Shimmering Sand patted on lid and sweeped over lid
  • Tarte Shimmering Plum in the outer 1/3 of eye
  • Tarte Shimming Cocoa in crease
  • Tarte Emphasize Eyes eyeliner in Golden Plum
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Glisten
  • Tarte Pure optic Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Golden Pink
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara

This is definately a great collection, and I can’t wait for the next Auto Delivery in June!

The Making of a VIB – part 1

The past year, no really, the past six or seven months, I’ve become something of a makeup hoarder.  It all started with a small collection of mini Bare Escentuals eyeshadows I purchased about 7 years ago, but still own.  Those things are next to IMPOSSIBLE to use up!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have struggled with makeup my entire life; it wasn’t until recently that I realized that there are tools out there that actually work for me, and could work for you too.

So – using that as a backdrop, I’m about to embark ona series of posts about my mounting makeup collection in 2011.

What is a VIB you ask?  A Very Important Beauty of course!  That is the term that Sephora uses to categorize its frequesnt shoppers who exceed a ridiculous certain level of purchases in any calendar year.  IN this case, it’s $350.  Given that it’s only May, and that I’m telling you I’m a VIB, you can imagine how much product I’ve gone gaga over.  But that’s another story.

So here is part 1:

Dateline, November 2010.  Sephora was having a deal that if I purchased  a certain amount, I’d get a free Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil.  Ok so since I’m a sucker for a steal, deal, or sale, I bought just the bare minimum that was on my watch list:

Stila Smudge Pot in Brown.  There is a story behind this purchase like many others but…

Smashbox Wish for the Perfect Pencil  - a holiday set of 4 mini waterproof eyeliner pencils

Detect a pattern?  well my biggest struggle with makeup my entire life was getting it to STAY ON MY FACE!  Primarily, I have a serious issue with eyeliner.  For me, personally, if I don’t use the right eyeliner, I end up looking like which is just NOT attractive in any way.  So i sort of gave up, because by noon, my makeup would be smudged, budged and otherwise bothered.  Who knew why, it just way.  I also struggled to find a an eye primer that didn’t irritate my crazy allergy sensitive eyes.  So I didn’t use one.
I did a bit of research, and found that there were RAVE reviews on the Smudge Pots as well as the Smashbox liners.  So off I went to click and buy.
These two products were GREAT!  They really were the foray in to a happy makeup life for me, because for ONCE when I wore them, FINALLY they didn’t budge.  They stayed put.  They didn’t move.  I could put eyeshadow on top of them and it )mostly) looked good an hour later.
Hallejulah!
I still use the Smashbox pencils from time to time, and they are great, small, and travel friendly.
I have abandoned the smudge pot – thought I”m not sure why, so I’ll need to revist that to review it.  Stay tuned!

A Prim-er on Prime-r: Stila Prime Pot

 

One of my biggest struggles with wearing eye color, is that it just falls off my eyes during the course of the day.  However, since I love wearing color, and I am sick and tired of not playing dress up because I look like a racoon by noon, I am on a mission to find the right eye primer.

I have used several kinds of eye primer, and non primer primer like products (um MAC Paint Pot anyone?).  The biggest issue that I have had is that my uber sensitive eyes react to the primer, and make wearing makeup a moot point because I am crying and stinging all day from the very product that was supposed to SUPPORT my sparklecrack habit!

Enter the Stila Prime Pot.  If you are familiar with Stila Smudge Pots you will see that these are very similar.  In fact, they are also very similar to MAC Paint Pots.

 

The difference with these is that not only are they available in only two shades (Taffy and Caramel) but they are less creamy, and a bit more sticky than Smudge Pots.

Stila says that these are a waterproof eye shadow primer that promises flawless, creaseless eye shadow wear. A revolutionary polymer adheres to eye shadow and allows for shadow to wear all day and night.

Does it live up to the print?

I’ll give them cred, it ALMOST lives up to that claim.  I did have some wear and tear about 3pm.  Stila further claims that this innovative waterproof formula is crease resistant and extends eye shadow wear all day. Prime Pot also creates flawlessly smooth lids and keeps excess oil at bay.

True enough!  The most important thing in my book is that it is EXTREMLY gentle on the eyes.  I had no reaction at all with the product.

As previously mentioned, there are two shades

 

Taffy – soft beige pink

 

 

Caramel – warm tawny beige.  Caramel was a bit too dark for this paleface, but I can see it being a great contour color, and also for medium skin tones.

 

With this product, a very little goes a long way, so the $20 price tag is very affordable, particularly compared to the $18 Urban Decay Primer Potion (review on that later) and Bare Escentuals Prime Time for Eyes.

This is a must have product for me!  I’ll post a follow up review after I use it a few more times.