Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain and Lipstain + Balm

This is first and foremost a knock-off of Tarte LipSurgence natural lip tint, right down to the peppermint aroma but at less than half the price.  So is it worth it?  I got this in Honey which is a brownish pink color.  The color is very nice although it doesn't seem to go on as smoothly as the Tarte.  The color stays on ok if you're not eating or drinking (and I'm pretty sure it would come off from kissing!) but it doesn't chap your lips like some other lip stains do.  As I said in my post on Tarte, I find the darker colors stain a little better and that might be part of the problem with this.  I also like that you don't have to use a sharpener, just turn it up from the bottom.  I would recommend giving this a try if you are looking for something light with a great smell that will not dry out your lips.  Be careful not to confuse it with Revlon's Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm, which is what I originally wanted to get.  That one is a true lipstain that has a separate top coat.  Why you would call two products almost the identical name is beyond me (although it is a great name).  I bought one of those in Twilight (ignoring all book/movie associations).  As with other lips stains, this goes on like a felt tip marker and you have to be very careful, quick and precise.  However, the color stays on much longer.  Unfortunately, the packaging was incredibly hard to remove and the balm came off with the end cap so I wasn't able to use it (I used one from another long lasting lipstick).  I would try this if you are looking for longer lasting color and don't mind the 2-step process.  Just be careful when you're taking off the plastic!


Monday, August 20, 2012

eSalon Customized Hair Color - Updated

I have never been able to bring myself to pay 50+ to have my hair colored at a Salon.  Especially since I only do single color.  Instead, I've always used hair color from the drugstore and it has mostly worked out fine.  The bad parts are, I usually make a huge mess (hair color all over my bathroom and me), sometimes I can miss spots and, because I use dark brown, my hair often looks black and kind of phony until I wash it a couple of times.  I found myself not coloring on a regular basis.  I'd just wait until the grays were too much to handle.  Then, I read about eSalon.  It is customizable, salon quality, hair color you do at home and, while it is a little more expensive than drugstore brands, it is way cheaper than going to the salon.  Of course, you still have the same issues doing it at home as you had before but, and I will explain, it isn't as bad.

The first step is to go to their website (https://www.esalon.com/) and fill out a profile.  They ask you about your current hair, what you want, how your hair reacts to color, etc.  You will also be given the opportunity to upload photos and I suggest you do to get the best results.  They have such confidence in their product that the first order only costs $4.95 for S&H.  It took 7 days for mine to ship (it says 2-3 days on their website although I hadn't seen it then) and arrived 2 days after it shipped.  In the first shipment you get: 2 bottles of customized hair color, 2 bottles of developer, 2 pairs of gloves (very nice!), a packet of stain guard, a stain remover towelette, a packet of conditioner, an application brush, and personalized instructions.

I sectioned my hair into 4 parts per the instructions (something I don't always do) and applied the stain guard around my hairline and neck.  I chose to use the brush to apply it since I've never done it that way before.  Well, I am a convert!  I will never again go back to applying hair color directly from the developer bottle.  It takes more time but it is much neater and I felt like I really got all the hair covered, especially the greys.  I left it on for the recommended time and then followed their instructions for finishing - you mix the leftover hair color with water and massage it into your hair for 2 minutes before rinsing and then applying the conditioner.  The hair color turned out beautiful.  It was very rich and deep but natural looking and all my greys were covered.  It looked great for a couple of weeks and then I noticed all my greys were showing again.  Not just at the roots but like the hair color had washed off.  Since I am only covering greys, I couldn't tell if it was my whole head or just the greys.  In my feedback email, I mentioned this.  They replied and said the would take it into consideration for my next shipment.  (You are put on auto-ship and you chose the frequency but it is also very easy to turn off.)

My 2nd shipment came in July and only contained one bottle of hair color and developer because at this point you are touching up I guess.  It also did not have the brush but I had saved it from before.  Otherwise, it had all the other stuff. 

My instructions this time called for it to be on longer and I believe they slightly changed the formula.  It has been more than two weeks and the hair color still looks great and my greys are still not showing (yay!).  I will continue to get shipments and I may even move up the date since I am only on every 12 weeks.  I should mention that the options for hair color are limited by your natural or dyed color - basically, the darker your hair, the less options but you knew that, right?  For $4.95, I really can't see why you wouldn't try this. 

Update:  After more than a month, my color looks great and the only grey I see is new growth.  I think I'll move up my shipment date!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool

Liquid eyeliner has been around since the 60s and it has it's pros and cons.  It usually stays on longer than pencil and gives you a very definitive line.  On the con side, you have to be very quick and precise and it gives you a very definitive line.  In the past, I have used liquid eyeliner with a little black eye shadow smudged over it to soften the line because that is the look I like.  This new lash lining "tool" from Too Faced is a little different although you could probably achieve the same look with a single point eyeliner, it would just take a little more work. 

As you can see, the tip consists of 3 prongs.  You can use these to create dots in between your eyelashes giving the appearance of thicker lashes.  This is mostly how I use it.  I actually don't think it shows much without mascara, but when you add mascara, it definitely makes it look like you have more lashes.  The second way to use it is to create a tightline near your lashes.  You can do this by going either above or below your lash line.  I prefer to go above so I don't accidentally get it on my water line.  I read a review that said it works on the water line but I haven't found that to be true.  It might be ok if you did top and bottom, but if you only do the top, it will bleed down onto your bottom and outside your eye.  The third way to use it is to slightly angle it to give yourself a thicker line.  You can turn it up at the end for a Cat's eye look.  Be warned though, this will give you the 60s, Brigitte Bardo look.  I love how dark this is and I feel like I have a lot of control when using it.  It really doesn't budge once it's dry.  I love that but it can also be a con.  If you take your time, this is a great new "tool" to add to your collection.

 (I recommend watching the video on their site to see it in action)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!

I don't usually write a review after sampling something one time but I am going to make an exception in this case.  I had read other reviews of this product and had really considered buying it.  I don't like to wear heavy foundation but I do like a little something to even out my skin tone.  I go between tinted moisturizers/primers and foundations in all its forms (liquid, powder, mousse, etc.).  I was happy when this one of the free samples with purchase from Sephora.  Well, once again, Benefit does not live up to the hype.  I'm not sure the color was perfect for me because it was only two choices but I picked the closest one.  The color isn't the problem.  It did not go on smoothly at all!  It was hard to spread around with my fingers.  By the time I got to work, my face was shiny in my normal areas and especially on my nose.  My pores didn't look any smaller and it really didn't even out my skin.  I definitely will add this to my list of "fails."

Origins Plantscription anti-aging eye cream

This eye cream has a nice texture, goes on easily, absorbs quickly and gives a nice finish.  Unfortunately, that's all it does.  I didn't notice any difference with my fairy trails or dark circles (I need to think of a new names for those too!).  I think if you are younger, or just genetically blessed, this could be a good eye cream although you could probably use something cheaper that works just as well.  I even preferred the sample of their GinZing eye cream (although it didn't work miracles either) which is $13.50 less.  I think it is comparable with the Burt's Bees Radiance eye cream and, because of the price, I would recommend that one first.  This one will be returned as my search continues.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Updated - tarte smooth operator™ Amazonian clay finishing powder

I think I'm in love!  I was standing in line at Sephora when I saw this sample you could get with bonus points.  I opened it and spread what I thought was a sort of hard cream on the back of my hand.  It gave me a beautiful, matte finish that felt so soft.  I was so excited I got an extra one for my sister.  My intention was to keep it in my purse for touch ups when my skin gets oily, as it always does.  Imagine my dismay when I realized it was a powder.  (Not sure how I missed that in the store.)  I still tried using it with my finger and it worked ok but I found myself using it less and less.

Jump to several months later when I am cleaning out my purse to make a switch.  I decided there has to be some use for this.  I also must confess that I totally skipped over the word "finishing" in the name.  I decided to try to use it as a primer.  Lo and behold...it worked great!  I put this on with a brush before my concealer and tinted powder/sunscreen.  It seems to keep my make up in place and my face from getting too oily.  It even helps smooth out my fairy trails.  I also like that, as a powder, it doesn't add a lot of "weight."  And you can use it on top of your make up, as it is intended, as well.

I know there are a lot of primers and finishing products out there and I have had mixed results.  For now, I am going to stick with this one and may even try it in the bronze flavor.

Update 9/25/12 - I did end up trying the bronze and somehow it just wasn't the same.  It didn't give the same smooth even finish of the original and I took it back.