Friday, August 29, 2008

Eyeliner Love from Guest Reviewer Joey

Hello All: I am honored and to pleased to have a guest reviewer!
Apparently I left out some "important" eyeliners in a recent
review .
Here is the lovely Joey with a
review on 3 black eyeliners for you all!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hello faithful Pink Sith readers! I’m Joey, known to MUAers as the long departed Joeybunny. Nowadays I pass my time arguing with Elvira about her blog entries. OK, maybe I generally agree with her on most things, but there are times when I just feel the need to hold up my paw and state my case. Her black eyeliner entry was one of these times.
If there’s one thing I was known for on MUA besides my highly irrational love of "Teh Buttmouth", it was my love of eyeliner. I love eyeliner in ways that are illegal in 32 states. I breathe it. I own an unholy amount of it, and because of this, I just had to note some black liners Elvira left out of her review.
One of the notable liners missing is L’Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense (it’s a liquid liner Elvira, a liquid! Why did you forsake it?!). Usually I only do super cheap-o drugstore makeup as I feel that brands like L’Oreal and Revlon, etc., are too expensive for drugstore makeup. However, this stuff is AMAZING. Before it, I was using Wet and Wild H20 Proof Liquid Eye Liner in black. While it was in fact very black, it was hard as hell to apply because it dried so fast, and it was too waterproof. I eventually gave up on it because I was losing lashes every time I removed it. And it glopped on my lashes often. However, Carbon Black gives me none of these issues. It’s extremely black with a smooth (ungloopy!) consistency, dries quickly to a glossy (but not patent leather-y) finish, and it doesn’t come off during the day (but comes off easily when you use eye makeup remover). It has a felt-tip applicator, which I love because it gives me flexibility in line shape and thickness. You can find it for about $7 or $8 in any drugstore.
Another incredible black eyeliner is Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner in True Black. I absolutely adore this! This liner has a very creamy texture but it doesn’t melt off my eyes. I often use it when I tightline because it has a completely matte finish and can look very natural when used for subtle definition. It has incredible staying power too, and never runs on my oily lids (unlike MAC Blacktrack - I’m still heartbroken over my inability to use Fluidlines but that’s an issue for my therapist and not you guys). When compared to L’Oreal Carbon Black, it seems less black, but I’m going to blame the different finishes for that – something glossy always seems more vibrant than something matte. But the depth of the black is equal.
Lastly, I have to discuss my newest black eyeliner love. I didn't think I’d fall so head over heels, but I have. The wedding is next month, and we’re registered at Crate and Barrel. My future spouse? Laura Mercier Black Caviar Eye Liner. Laura Mercier claims to have invented tightlining, and she has a series of three cake liners that she recommends for this usage. And then there are her Caviar cake liners. The black one is the original color, and for her Fall 2008 color story she’s introduced a brown and blue. The Caviar cake liners have a different consistency from her other cake liners. Instead of a powdery texture, the Black Caviar liner has the consistency of shoe polish (the kind in the tin). And unlike her other cake liners, Black Caviar can be used wet or dry. Laura recommends using the Caviar liners for smoky eye looks because of its creamy texture but I’ve found that I can tightline or make a dramatic wing or do her smoky eye. But the best part? This stuff is BLACK. If used dry, the effect is a powdery soft black (I typically use it dry when I want a smoky eye). If used wet, it rivals any other black eyeliner I’ve ever used. It has a matte-er finish than the L’Oreal Carbon Black but it’s not as matte as the Clinique, so it’s versatile. It’s similar to MAC Engraved Powerpoint pencil liner, if you’re at all familiar with the black of that pencil.
So below is a small comparison picture of my hand and the three eyeliners. The one on top is the Laura Mercier Black Caviar (and a dry application is right below that line). The bottom left line is the L’Oreal Carbon Black, and the bottom right line is the Clinique cream liner. So there we go! I hope this was semi-useful. If not, Elvira will beat me =(
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I promise not to beat Joey for such a great review! She's a good little bunny!
For your shopping list:
L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Eyeliner, Carbon Black is $8.50
Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner is $14.50
Laura Mercier Black Caviar Eye Liner is $22.00

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday Poll

image from kissandmakeup.tv

I am recovering from the Dentist.

Bleh. I hate the dentist.
Every time I go to a new Dentist I always ask them if they have ever seen the movie "Marathon Man" with Dustin Hoffman. It's a great movie but there is this one scene where this German guy tortures Hoffman by drilling in his teeth without any Novocaine! It's gruesome.
I ask them if they have seen it because it's a very famous torture scene and if my Dentist claims they have never seen it I automatically don't trust them. How, as a Dentist, can you not be familiar with that movie let alone know anything about it? I assume they have seen the movie and just won't admit it to me because they secretly enjoyed the torture scene.
"Ah Ha!" is what I want to say when I catch them in the act, popcorn in hand, the dim light from the TV set highlights their ghoulish features as they watch with glee when Dustin Hoffman gets drilled! Then the shame will wash all over them and they will have to admit what sadists they are to have become Dentists in the first place. They will eventually leave their practice and join the peace corps making sure that people in Africa have clean drinking water. It's a fantasy of mine....but I digress.

Off to the poll!


1) Lip Of The Day? - Lancome Color Fever Shine lipstick in Pixel Pink. It's slick, Creamy & Shiny and Helllooo PINK! How could I not love it!?


2) Anything Waiting for you in the mail? - My Paul & Joe Lipstick and Face Powder from this fall's new collection. Pictures & a review soon!


3) Any plans for this Labor Day? - Nope. My husband works retail so I pretty much rely on any major Holiday not to see him. Darthypie and I will hang out, maybe go to the park and for a brief shopping trip.

4) When was the last time you washed your Makeup Brushes? - I don't even want to admit how long it has been. I plan to wash them all this weekend. It always hurts my back to stand that long at the sink but it needs to be done. I'll pull up a chair this time.

5) Last Movie You watched in the theater? - Tropic Thunder. It was the funniest movie I have seen in a long, long time. Robert Downey Jr. is ah-freakin-mazing. (not to mention HAWT!). It's a must see.


6) Favorite Moisturizer? - La Roche Posay - Toleraine. However I'm looking for something else a bit more moisturizing with no SPF.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sephora Maniac Liner - Discontinued Liner Has Been Duped!

My beloved Sephora Slim Pencil lip liner in #114 was discontinued. I'm not sure what's up with Sephora. Maybe they realized that they were making it too easy to find the PERFECT pale pink nude lip liner that matched my MAC Blankety, Chanel Tender, Naive and Lunasol Beige Pink lipsticks. Who knows. Maybe it wasn't even about me...but when is it NOT about me? *wink*
ANYWAY. I was starting to hyperventilate when I sharpened my 114 for the last time. The darn thing was down to a nub. I have gone through about 4 of these liners and all of them are so short I can't even sharpen them anymore. I realized I had to suck it up and look for another liner to replace my beloved #114.
I had to meet a member from MUA (Tessa) to do a swap in person (hey, it's an excuse to meet in person and go shopping why not?) Tessa had already been shopping, which was good because I had Darthypie with me, and we only spent a few minutes together. Oh and by the way, Tessa is a doll. She not only gave me a VERY generous sample of Sweet Sienna for our swap she brought a stuffed animal for Darthypie! How nice is that?!?
We wandered into the Sephora and as I was lamenting about the #114 pencil, I spied a new liner called Maniac Long Wearing Liner.

image from sephora.com

Sephora describes it as "a highly pigmented, long-lasting lip liner." The pencil is about 2 times the length of the old Slim Pencil liner and it has a lip brush at one end. I probably won't get much use out of the lip brush but I guess it's OK. I have never successfully had the cap to a pencil with a lip brush stay on for the life of the pencil so inevitably the cap will fall off and the lip brush will be rendered useless as I seriously doubt I will be able to find the cap & keep it clean after that.
I snatched up a pencil in 12 Miel Dement (described as - matte beige putty) and as I studied it I thought, this might be a good dupe of the #114. The Maniac Long Wearing Liner is priced at $6 while the Slim Pencil was priced at $4, so a couple of dollars more and 2 times the length I was OK with that.
When I got it home I swatched the two liners side by side. Wow! It was almost an exact dupe of the #114! It was ever so slightly warmer but not so much that it would make a huge difference.
When I went to wash off the liners from the back of my hand I was amazed that the new Maniac Liner wasn't budging with light soap and rinsing. I really had to scrub it to get it off. Not hard scrubbing, but it definitely required effort. My only concern is that the liner may cause some tiny breakouts along my lip line if it requires that much effort to remove, but I'll let you all know if anything happens like that.
The Maniac Pencil does not use wood as the casing like the Slim Pencil did, so sharpening isn't as easy (in my opinion) as a wood pencil. I find that the "lead" can be broken inside the casing and while you spin the pencil around a few times to sharpen it, the "lead" may be broken and will fall out, so you have to sharpen again. Maybe it's just me, maybe it's the cheap sharpener I use I don't know, but I haven't been fond of this type in the past. I have only sharpened this once and so far so good. No breakage and no extra sharpening.

All in all. I say I'm quite pleased to not only find a dupe of the color, but to be able to find it for a VERY reasonable price and what looks like a superior formula!

Have you managed to successfully find dupes of products that were discontinued?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Addition To The Taupe Pink Sith Family - Sonia Kashuk Burnished



On my never ending quest for the unicorn. (The Sonia Kashuk Highlighter Brush) I wandered through the cosmetic aisles in Target hoping I would find something inexpensive to quell my hunger for new makeup. Then I saw it. Taupe! Taupe Eyeshadow! How could I resist?

Sonia Kashuk eyeshadow single in Burnished is a VERY close dupe to BECCA Lame eyeshadow. It's a nice brownish-greyish taupe with microshimmer.
For less than $7 this is definitely wallet friendly so I snatched it up. Like Golem from "Lord of the Rings" I stroked the eyeshadow whilst in line. Chanting "My Precious" under my breath. It's so odd but I always have people let me go in front of them in line when I do that. People are so friendly!
So here's the 411 on the shadow.
While it's similar to Becca Lame it's hardly a dupe. It's harder than BECCA (but really what shadow isn't?) and tends to be ever so slightly warmer than BECCA too.

Most important, it does not blend as well as BECCA. It blends very nicely, but when comparing the two the Sonia Kashuk Burnished is a tad chalkier than the BECCA Lame.

All in All I think it is lovely and a nice addition to my Taupe Family. I know I will get a lot of use out of it!

Today I am wearing it with BECCA Chantilly and MAC Brassbeat Liquidlast Liner (My favorite taupe liquid liner)

Monday, August 25, 2008

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator. Lets bring it back!


So I'm about 3 months too late on this.
It's not a news flash.
Actually it's old news
It's discontinued!
MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator (VAE) from the Future Earth Collection has got to be the BEST product MAC has put out since ..... ever.

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is my Holy Grail Facial Treatment ... at the moment. Since my skin has a hate/hate relationship with me. It changes its mind about how well it wants to behave.
It's major problem is poor cell turnover. I get clogged and congested skin. I get buildup. My skin does not seem to like to get rid of old cells like everyone else's skin does. My skin is a pack rat! I cannot use chemical exfoliants alone. They only do half the job. I can't use manual exfoliants alone either. I have found the Clarisonic brush to be a godsend to my congested skin, but there are days when even that isn't enough. On those days...or on days when I'm too lazy to use my Clarisonic I turn to my MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and it saves my skin!
This is a pitch black, gooey, sugar based scrub. Some may find it smells bad...not like sulfur, but like frosting almost. Heavy vanilla scent maybe. (I'm bad at describing scents) but I don't mind it. It's better than sulfur...trust me! The consistency is like a gritty fondue, a melted frosting, a cream of wheat, if you will. That can make it a bit tricky to apply, but it certainly isn't runny and it spreads easily. It comes in a round tub, which I think works best because if you don't use it for a while it can separate a bit so you will need to stir it up now & then.
MAC Claims that this is a scrub and cleanser in one. It is also supposed to help with blemishes because the scrub contains sulfur. Well, anything you wash off your face quickly isn't going to help with blemishes, that's why I leave it on for a few minutes before scrubbing & rinsing. As far as cleansing goes, you only need a little to get this up to a gray soapy lather, but I wouldn't use it as a means to cleanse makeup off of my skin just because it's a tad messy. While it rinses clean and no black residue remains, I have never thought it wise to scrub before makeup is fully removed from the skin.
As an exfoliator it's heaven. The sugar dissolves (if you scrub with water) so the exfoliation is less harsh than most scrubs. Plus with the regular edges of the sugar crystals you aren't cutting your skin like you would if you used scrubs with nuts or shells in it, because of the irregular edges. Most exfoliators I've tried are either too harsh or too gentle. Most of the time, after use, my skin is smooth for a day but I don't see any other benefit. When I use MAC VAE my skin is the smoothest it has ever been and the results last for more than 2 days. I sort of see that my skin may be clearer after use, but I usually don't use manual exfoliators when I have breakouts so I can't say that my skin is clearer for a fact. You don't need to use much product, which is a plus since VAE was a limited edition product and is impossible to find. It sells for $50 on eBay which is highway robbery since the retail price was only $19!
I was fortunate enough to have Joey to find me a jar in NYC (of all places) so I have a back up, but I'm half finished with my 1st jar and would love to have MAC make this a permanent item.
I decided to use the "Live Chat" on the MAC website. Here is a transcript form a recent chat with MAC.
Hello. Thank you for your interest in MAC Cosmetics. My name is Sara. How may I assist you?
Elvira: Hi Sara: I was wondering if you have any news about MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator becoming part of the regular line of Skin Care at MAC
Sara: Hi Elvira! I wish it would become permanent too. I haven't heard anything yet, but I recommend sending your feedback to our Consumer Comm dept. Hopefully it will come back if there is enough demand.
Sara: You may contact them via phone at 1-800-387-6707, (choose option #7) between the hours of 9am-5pm (EST) Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm (EST) Fridays or via email at consumercare-us@gcc.maccosmetics.com.
Elvira: I will for sure!
Sara: In the meantime, please try our Microfine Refinisher to refine the skin and unclog pores. It's an excellent exfoliator too.

So I'm not going to try the Microfine Refinisher because, well, it isn't VAE!

So there you have it people.
Call or e-mail MAC CS and tell them you want Volcanic Ash Exfoliator to be part of the permanent line.

And hey, in order to really get their attention how about sending in a Haiku with your request!

For those that may have forgotten, a Haiku is a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons. But who says we can't write about black gooey sugary scrubs?


Here are a few to inspire you!

MAC Volcanic Ash
How You Rub Me The Right Way
Permanent line please

Black Sugary Sludge

Misunderstood Scrub Of Love
Will This Be In stock

Exfoliation
Volcanic Ash Is The Best
Bring It Back Now Please

Midnight Sugar Goo

Cleanse And Scrub My Skin Just So

Please Restock It Now

Inky Sugar Scrub
Nothing Can Compare To It
Don't Let Me Run Out

A Skin Saving Scrub
Looks Like Primordial Ooze
Feels like a Million Bucks

I could go on for days!
OK. So who's with me?
Who is going to send an e-mail to consumercare-us@gcc.maccosmetics.com
and ask them to make VAE permanent and also (maybe) send a Haiku...At least send an e-mail asking to bring it back....no haiku needed
.

Please refrain from the Al Jolson Jokes!


Looks like something from the La Brea Tar Pits...but smells much better!

Friday, August 22, 2008

OMG! OMG! OMG! Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes at my CCO!

After an annoying phone call and having to go to the Dentist only to find I have 3 cavities, I decided I would break my no buy and do some "Retail Therapy". Not wanting to break the bank, I decided to go to my local Cosmetics Company Outlet (An Estee Lauder discount store containing Brands such as Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Clinique, Prescriptives, Origins, etc. all at a minimum of a 30% discount) to see if my beloved Mac Volcanic Ash Exfoliator had finally made it to the discount rack.

Upon walking in I looked for my exfoliator but it wasn't there. Boo. Then I went over to the Bobbi Brown display. I was hoping I would find the elusive Bobbi Brown Stone Washed Nudes Palette or maybe some of the metallic eyeshadow palettes. I saw a long black palette. It sure was the same length at Stone Washed Nudes. I picked up the palette and looked at the sticker on the bottom. It had the word Nudes on it...but wait. that word wasn't stonewashed.... it was SHIMMERING!
Shimmering Nudes?!? Wait a second. That's the new palette that is coming out this week. that's an exclusive on NeimanMarcus.com, that's not even on the Bobbi Brown website yet! Can it be? YES! YES it is and it's discounted 30%. Only $35 (from the regular $50 for our arithmetic challenged beauties)!

I picked up that palette, and in a sheepish voice I asked.

"Do you have any more of these behind the counter?"
"Sure" said the bored sales associate who eyed me suspiciously when I started to get giddy.

I had dragged along my poor son, and Darthypie was getting cranky so I had to do a quick sweep of the store and get out before he had a total meltdown. I spied 1 MAC heatherette eyeshadow trio, 3 different Bobbi Brown Metallics trios, 4 different MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes and a bunch of MAC Fafi collection paint pots. Since Darthypie was getting squirmy (I knew I should have changed his diaper before we went into the store!) I grabbed a Northern Light MSF and checked out. I knew if I had stayed I would have racked up a $200+ bill so it's good that Darthieypie saved me from spending too much. So here are my goodies!


Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes Palette
The back of the box with the price sticker just in case you don't believe me!
MAC Northern Light MSF. Even prettier in person!
Northern Light swatch in all it's peachy shimmery goodness!

OPI Tickle My France-Y is a Yawn Tastic nude!


I say Yawn-Tastic like it's a good thing!

I am revisiting this collection not because it is blow me down, unique. Far from that. OPI seems to have "reinvented" cherry nail polish again. Yup there are quite a few of the "I think I have seen this before" colors in this collection but thankfully the You Don't Know Jaques!, Tickle My France-Y, and Parlez-Vous OPI? are the stand out unique shades from this collection.

In my previous post about You Don't Know Jaques! I mention that my next purchase was probably going to be this nude color. I work in a fairly conservative environment and when I found myself reaching for my trusty Cutex Nail Polish Remover pads right before I had to train a Sr. Vice President on a new software system, I knew that I had to pick up Tickle My France-Y (TMF-Y) as soon as possible. I hate having chips in my nail polish but I hate, even more, having to remove a perfectly good manicure BEFORE it chips! That's why TMF-Y will be perfect for the office. If it chips it wont be very noticeable and even if it doesn't, my tips will be conservative enough to present to the CEO should I need to.


For even better pictures on FAR better manicured nails check out Scrangie's beauty blog for the OPI Fall 2008 collection. And hey, while you are there check out her swatches from the China Glaze Fall 2008: Rodeo Diva Collection. I think I NEED Wagon Trail. (Yet another color I probably can't wear to the office)


How about you. Can you get away with Vamp-y nails in a cubicle?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Poll

image from kissandmakeup.tv

I have been sick with a summer cold for the last 3 days. I'm crabby and sniffly and my throat is scratchy. Please participate to help me pass the time while I try to un-cranky myself.


1. Mascara of the Day? - Cover Girl Lash Blast and Dior Show


2. According to the
Telegraph.co.uk Women spend 3,276 hours getting ready According to them, women spend 136 days of their lives getting ready for a night out - enough time for an astronaut to fly to the moon and back 22 times. How much time do you spend getting ready before a night out on the town? - I spend about 30-40 min (40 if it involves false lashes)

3. How insane is the above statistic? - Semi-insane I would like to see how much time men spend in the bathroom "reading the news paper" each day. If you know what I mean!


4. Where were you born? - Maryland (at home no pain meds. my mother was a masochist)

5. a) Do you own Erika F? - No :-(
b) Does it live up to the hype? - a) No and b) I hope not because then I won't want it so darn badly!

6. Do you think Drugstore eye creams are as good as high end eye creams? - No. I have tried several drugstore eye creams and they all sucked. The
Sisley botanical balm at a kazillion dollars an ounce is better. But I need something less expensive. Recommendations please???

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Exclusive Lancôme Color Fever Gloss Debut in November. This Pink Sith is skeptical as to the hype.

OK. Admit it. You have secretly been wondering if you can pull off that black lip look for fall. You are seeing it on the runways and in all the fashion magazines. You want to wear this look, but your office is a tad...err... conservative or you don't have the right skin tone to pull it off. Personally anyone above a MAC NC10 may have issues... but I digress. Lancôme will be debuting their Color Fever Gloss in Piha Black this November along with Lancôme Color Fever Lipstick in Piha Red.





This is part of a luxe lip set created by Aaron de Mey, Lancôme’s new artistic director for makeup. The set will consist of the Color Fever Gloss in Piha Black and Color Fever Lipstick in Piha Red... allegedly inspired by the red of a Christian Louboutin sole. Helloooo?!? Did someone say Christian Louboutin? Let's not go crazy like I did for that China Glaze Lubu Heels polish from last year now shall we?
Articles are reporting that if you want to try this black lip trend, that this new gloss may be perfect for you as it is a lower pigment gloss that they claim is easy to wear alone (yeah, right) or over other colors for a "bit more drama". (as shown in the above photo where they applied the Piha Black gloss over the Piha Red lipstick) They have even gone so far as to recommend wearing the gloss on your eyes. OK. I have worn lip gloss on my eyes. It's not fun. and it looks even worse than it feels. Pluuuhease! This limited edition color set (aren't they ALL limited edition!?) will be available exclusively at the Bloomingdale’s 59th Street location, lancome-usa.com and the five Lancôme boutiques. The waiting list at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street has just opened. You can call 212-705-2886 to add your name to the list. Oh but you better hurry as there will be only 500 sets available. Ugh.

Don't forget the yonic like applicator that the color fever glosses have (yuk) but I must say the texture and slip of the Lancôme Color Fever Lipsticks are amazing! I'm torn!

Wanna know a secret?
Get a tube of Revlon Certainly Red lipstick or Besame Red Hot Red lipstick ~$7.00;
Then get Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Dark Spiral for $2.50
(and mix it w/ some clear gloss to thin it out and give it shine);
And Viola for less than $10 bucks you have a lip look that I bet is similar to the Lancôme $45 look!
Mind you I haven't tested this out. I could be just bitter because I probably won't be able to buy the exclusive set so I'm trying to justify in my mind something better, but you all get the picture. Right?!?


Are you going to be on the waiting list for this
Lancôme set?
Are you willing to try out a black gloss?

Do you already have a black gloss? Which one?

How photoshopped is that Lancôme sample picture?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

BECCA Pressed Shimmer Powder. My Holy Grail Highlighter.

BECCA is one of my love hate brands. I love a lot of the products but I hate the lack of access to it. I love the shimmer powders but I hate the on line swatches...not a terrible love hate thing but annoying just the same.
I have only used the pressed shimmer powders and never the loose ones. I have been told that the shimmer in the loose powders is more shimmery...does that make sense? The pressed version is supposed to be more subtle. But since I can't compare the PSPs to the LSPs I will compare them to Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks, MAC Mineralize Skin Finishes and Dior Shimmer Star Pressed Powder.

Key:

BECCA Pressed Shimmer Powder = PSP
BECCA Loose Shimmer Powder = LSP

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish = MAC MSF

Dior Shimmer Star Pressed Powder = Dior SSPP

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brisk = BB SB


The shimmer of the BECCA PSPs is more subtle than BB SBs and most MAC MSFs. The PSPs can easily be worn at the office and in more conservative environments without that disco ball effect like the MSFs can give off. Oh and don't get me started w/ the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks...Disco ball city! Many of the MAC MSFs are very metallic-y and I really don't get a "glow" from them like I do with the PSPs. I also like the PSPs for, :: gasp :: I can't believe I am even typing this, more mature skin. The shimmer does not emphasize wrinkles. OK and for our large pored gals :: raises hand :: it also doesn't make your pores look like moon craters. The texture for the BECCA PSPs are wonderful. They are almost creamy than powdery. They are very blendable and and lightweight.

Now I have had some people mention that there is a scent to BECCA products..especially the shimmer powders. If there is, I have never detected one. Sorry ladies. If you are sensitive, consider this fair warning that the BECCA products may have a scent to it....but personally I don't notice one at all.

BECCA PSPs are the best highlighters I have ever used. Dare I say it, they are a Holy Grail! The only thing I have tried, so far, that can even compare is the Dior 'DiorSkin' Shimmer Star Pressed Powder. The Dior SSPP is very finely milled , like the BECCA PSPs, and gives a wonderful luminous glow...so if you can't get your hands on the BECCA this is a good substitute..however the Dior SSPP is a harder powder and a tad more expensive.


Here are the prices

DIOR SSPP = $42 USD

BECCA PSP = $38 USD

BBSB = $38 USD

MAC MSF = $25 USD


As you can see MAC is far less expensive but the MSFs are usually released as limited edition so if you don't buy them when they are released you will end up paying over retail on ebay or other sites to get your hands on one.
I only have 2 of these PSPs but I would like to get at least one more. I currently have Hyawatha and Princess and I would like to pick up Gypsy some day.


BECCA Princess PSP - Direct Sunlight

Princess is a beautiful warm peachy pink color. The shimmer is ultra tiny and the radiant effect from use is amazing. I use it over my regular blush and I apply it with a fluffy powder brush on my cheeks up to my temples and on the tip of my nose. It gives me this almost sun kissed glow without being too orange.

BECCA Princess PSP Swatch - Indirect Sunlight

BECCA Hyawatha PSP - Direct Sunlight

Hyawatha is a light beige-gold highlighter, I am a medium fair skinned gal with neutral coloring so I can pull off warm & cool...but not too warm and not too cool. Anyway, I can use this powder all over. I have also been know to shake the extra powder in the pan into my loose translucent powder for an even more subtle all over glow.

BECCA Hyawatha PSP Swatch - Direct Sunlight

BECCA Just be warned that one should not tap a compact to get the loose powder out especially if one has hit the pan on said compact. Reason being is that if one were to tap compact on a hard surface after hitting the pan, one might shatter the remaining powder and see it all fall out in big chunks down the bathroom sink. If one were to be so unwise to do so in the first place. :: A-hem :: Not that I am speaking from experience or anything like that. :-P

RIP BECCA Hyawatha! Thank Goodness I had a Back Up!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Urban Decay Primer Potion - Release the Genie from the Bottle!

image from urbandecay.com

Allow me to be the One zillionth person to review this much debated product.
Urban Decay Eye shadow Primer Potion is a great product, IF YOU HAVE OILY EYELIDS. It's also a great product if you like to have your eye shadow look “morning perfect fabulous” all day long.
Yes.
It’s a bold statement and I’m not afraid to say it.
UDPP, as I like to call it, is stupendous, incredible, amazing, it slices, it dices it…..no wait. That’s the Ginsu Knife.
Allow me to give you some background on my skin.
I thought I was going to solve the world’s energy crisis because of the amount of oil my eyelids were producing. I could have supported the Tli Cho land transport truckers in Yellow Knife Canada. You know what I’m talking about…near the Arctic Circle…. Ice Road Truckers TV show….is this thing on? :: taps microphone ::
So as I was saying…my eyelids are oily.
UDPP has managed to quell that oil and keep my eye shadow in place and crease free for up to ten hours! TEN! Count ‘em, ten full hours. No creasing, no smudging, no migrating crease shadow with outer V shadow with brow bone shadow. Heck, even on days when I just wear one color (gasp! Yes it does happen from time to time) UDPP keeps my shadow from creasing like a cheap suit. I love this stuff. My ode does have some caveats though:
a) The packaging is awful. I would prefer a squeeze tube (like Too Faced Shadow Insurance). The rigid and opaque lavender Genie bottle-esque container is cute to look at but impracticable as a bicycle is for a fish. You never know how much product is left, and the little stopper at the top of the tube may actually cause many consumers to think there is less product remaining than there actually is. Personally, I’m just not fond of the color. I think it looks kinda kiddie makeup-ey like. For such a wondrous product it needs wondrous packaging. Silver, gold, high shine black lacquer… something regal. Not some reject from the “I Dream of Jeanie” TV show. Barbara Eden’s characters of Jeanie, (for those old enough to remember) was one of my favorite characters and as much as I like the misogynist idea of keeping a sexy woman in a prison like bottle for ones own personal amusement…oh wait. I have gotten off course my apologies to all readers and Gloria Steinem.

2) The doe foot applicator stinks. That awful doe foot makes people feel like not enough of the product is being delivered on their eye…which makes many people use more than they need and in turn they get poor results. I have nothing against Bambi but the doe foot has to go. I don’t like them for gloss and I certainly don’t like them for UDPP! Alas, I am just one woman. I cannot convince Urban Decay to change this aspect of their product…trust me I have written to customer service.

IV) Corporate Greed. I love Gordon Gekko from the movie “Wall Street” just as much as any child of the 1980’s. The mantra “Greed is Good” has stuck with me all these years (Thanks Oliver Stone!) but only when it is MY GREED not Urban Decay’s greed. The stopper at the top of the tube (as mentioned above) wipes off so much product from the stupid doe foot applicator that many people believe their tube is empty before it really is, which in turn makes them throw a most likely half used tube away only to plunk down more money for another tube which they didn’t need in the first place. Get my drift? Keep your own greed & money; remove that stopper from the tube when you feel that the product is getting low. You will be amazed at how much is still there. If you want to take it one step further, cut the darn thing in half and scoop out more than 5 grams of product to keep in a pigment sample jar, use a small concealer brush to pick up the product and apply to your eyes....Just be careful not to use too much.

This UDPP tube was 8 months old at time I cut it open. I had removed the stopper after 6 months


I filled a 5g pigment sample jar with product and that was AFTER I threw away some product that had plastic shavings on it from cutting it open!




This brings me to my last point
I cannot stress this enough. A small rice sized dab on clean eyelids, patted out w/ your ring finger is ALL you need. People complain that it isn’t working for them or it dried their eyes out….Bunk. (OK maybe not “bunk” but they were probably using too much product and that’s why they had problems.)
Trust me. This stuff is gold. OK it’s actually beige colored w/ no shimmer at all but it is worth its weight in gold…not that I know the price of gold on the market today but if gold is worth a lot at the time you are reading this review then UDPP is worth just as much.


Have you taken the steps to cut open your UDPP?
- Me!!
Have you moved on to Too Faced Shadow Insurance as your daily eye primer? - Me!!

What eye primer do you like to wear? - Too Faced and UDPP, they both do the job


Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Garden Inspired Eye Of the Day






The most beautiful Dragonfly was in our garden this morning! My Husband was good enough to take a few pictures of it. I decided to do a black/green/bronzey eye in honor of his National Geographic quality photos!
Here is the cute little bugger!

Here is my EOTD



I used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance eye primer
Anastasia Brow Powder
Shu Uemura Tantalize eye shadow duo
BECCA Barbarella Black cake liner
MAC Blacktrack on waterline and to tight line
Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara
Dior Show mascara

Friday, August 15, 2008

clarins instant smooth

image from US.Clarins.com

I have put another primer to the test.
Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch

According to the Nordstom.com Clarins page:
"Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch provides a flawless, smooth, fresh complexion to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and enlarged pores. The ultra-lightweight yet creamy texture smooths on effortlessly like a 'second skin,' and reduces the appearance of fatigue for more youthful-looking skin. Also enhances the beauty benefits of makeup."

OK. Lest dissect this shall we?

"flawless, smooth, fresh complexion"
Um. Flawless if you know how to use it properly, smooth from the silicones this is loaded with, fresh? Nope. Try again.
"minimize the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and enlarged pores."
Deep set wrinkles. Nope, Fine lines, enlarged pores? Yup!
"ultra-lightweight yet creamy texture smooths on effortlessly like a 'second skin"
Well. Hold on there. It's light but if you aren't used to wearing a primer this will feel a tad heavy, but I wouldn't classify it as second skin as it never really sets and can have a tendency to migrate on very hot days.
"and reduces the appearance of fatigue for more youthful-looking skin"
Ummmm. Nope. I don't see any product being able to do this.

According to the us.clarins.com page
"Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch:
The perfect marriage of make-up and skin care for a spectacular beauty effect. A magical melting, invisible texture perfectly smooths the skin by leaving an imperceptible veil over its surface. Wrinkles and fine lines are visually minimized to guarantee a flawless complexion."

That's more believable and actually more true to the product. So the question is: Why is Nordies making claims that Clarins isn't? humm. That's for another blog to investigate.

Here is how I found it.
I have oily, acne prone skin w/ large pores. This product makes me look like I have flawless smooth skin but does not keep me oil free. However that is not in any claim the product makes so I cannot fault it for that. Dr. Brandt Pores No More has been the only thing I have found to control oil for me. It's a matte paste that I use sparingly on my nose and t-zone. Sparingly is the key here. Too much of the product and it can make your foundation look cakey. I recommend this under liquid foundation for the best result. I tried it under powder foundation and had some problems because the powder makeup can look cakey over it. If you use powder foundation I recommend using Dr. Brandt Pores No More. This Clarins product has not caused me to break out but it's loaded with silicones. How am I ever going to figure out what silicone breaks me out with stuff like this? I would buy again but only for use in the winter when my skin is not as oily. All in all it is a wonderful primer that masks my large pores but the huge amounts of silicones makes me worry it might break me out with repeated use. Ingredients for Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch:
Cyclopenntasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenates Vegetable Oil, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone, Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Silica, Disterdimonium Hectorite, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Alcohol Denat., Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Silica Dimethul Silyate, Acacia Senegal Gum, Methylparaben, Mica (CI 77019), Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Carmine (CI 75470)

Other products I have tried that failed

Chanel T-mat - Didn't control oil at all. Not ever. :-( Didn't mask my large pores.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel - Broke me out w/ cystic type acne and didn't work well under makeup, masked some large pores.
Philosophy The Present Clear Makeup - Broke me out w/ cystic type acne and didn't work well under makeup. Masked some large pores.

Dermalogica Oil Control Lotion - worked for a few months but then stopped working and I was oily once again. Didn't mask larger pores.

Korres Lemon Anti-Shine Gel - Didn't work at all. Didn't control oil one bit. Didn't mask large pores.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Poll

image from kissandmakeup.tv

1) Mascara of the Day? - Exceptionnel de Chanel tester I got from my wonderful Chanel SA. It's nice but a bit too thick clumpy for me. (even with the lash comb)

2) Did you watch the Olympics opening ceremonies? - Yes. In the US they televised it with a commercial break every 8 min. Thank goodness I TiVo'ed it. It was amazing and awe inspiring. I'm thinking of doing a Chinese Opera Star Makeup face for Halloween!

3) Funniest/Worst makeup catastrophe that someone else noticed on you? - Wore a Physicians Formula bronzer to work after I had fake tanned in the morning. The darn thing oxidized on me and I turned into an Oompa Loompa. I had a manager walk in and ask me if I had bought new makeup and how it was "...very ummm...bright.". I ran to restroom only to see a bright orange face staring back at me in the mirror. That night. bronzer went in the trash and self tanner followed.

4) What is your most elusive Makeup product/tool or skin care item? The often talked about but never seen Sonia Kashuk Skunk Brush, A.K.A. Highlighting brush. It's not even on target.com!!

5) Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween costumes? - I'm not sure; that's why I'm asking you!

6) Current "Lemming" Makeup and/or other? - Lancome Erika F eyeshadow and more closet space!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

TJ Maxx $6.99 and under haul

My dear husband had to go to BestBuy to pick up his Madden 2009 Deluxe edition for his PS3 today so I went along with him. No. Not because I like BestBuy. Far from that. I went along because there is a TJ Maxx around the corner and I always like to look for toys for Darthypie and well, while I'm there I might as well check out the Health & Beauty section....right?

I have found some gems at TJ Maxx in the past.A few years ago I picked up a TON of Z. Bigatti products. Yup. the face cream that sells for $135 a jar? Yeah. I got it for like $20 a jar. I sold it on I ebay for a tidy profit. I even used some of the Z. Bigatti products for myself. Wow. It actually works. My face never looked smoother, brighter and younger. I can't justify $135 for a jar of face cream but if I ever get rich I'll be buying that stuff again.

OK. Back on Topic.

As I mentioned, TJ Maxx can have some great deals. Today I set a price limit of no more than $7 for an item.
Normally I can pick up a few facial creams, an eye treatment, a shampoo or body lotion or two... I was really pleased with the selection.
Aside from the regular no-name bath stuff the store had a selection of
Big Sexy Hair
Rusk
Frederick Fekkai
Elizabeth Arden
Korres
Juice Organics
Ahava
Bliss Labs
and Slatkin Products

OK I broke my spending limit when I saw they had a bunch of Frederick Fekkai stuff and caved on $12.99 bottle of Luscious Curls Wave Creating Spray. (It normally retails for $22) Sadly when I got it home I found out the sprayer didn't work, so I have "decanted" it to a bottle that does have a working sprayer. Meh, a small annoyance for a good deal!

In addition tot he Frederick Fekkai spray, I picked up the following:
$5.99 - Slatkin Pomegranate Lime Mimosa hair conditioner (This smells so wonderful!)
$5.99 - Caswell Massey Almond & Aloe eye pads
$4.99 - Juice Organics Apple Exfoliating mask
$6.99 - Ahava Mineral Foot lotion (great stuff. Not too greasy and very hydrating)
$3.99 - SPA Eye patches (love these jelly like under eye patches for a quick pick me up for my tired eyes)


So any excellent deals to be found at your local TJ Maxx or other discount store?

New Addition to the Taupe Family - Becca Lamé

My BECCA Lamé eyeshadow has finally arrived!
Because I'm too cheap to go buy for retail and I lost the last auction on evilbay for it, I managed a swap with the loverly cashmerewhore from MUA. Admittedly I swatched the shadow before she received my end of the swap which is a BIG "no-no" in swap etiquette, but it was calling to me.
The eyeshadow in a heap of packing peanuts was saying in a muffled tone:


"Elvira! Help! I'm all alone in this dark scary box and I need to see the light of day! Help. I'm scared that you won't love me as much as your other taupe eye shadows. Please swatch me to make sure. I know you already know what I look like because you used to own the BECCA Sateen Palette which had me in it, but you never know. I could have changed. I could be a totally different taupe. You better swatch me just to make sure. Elvira. Helllooooo! Is anybody out there?"

Well now that I'm back on my anti-psychotics my eye shadows don't speak to me as often, but I did manage to swatch the little sucker before the prozac kicked in. And here it is.....
Isn't it pretty? Isn't it unique?

OK. To non taupe addicts you are looking at this sad swatch thinking. "WTF is wrong with this woman? It looks like any other brown shadow. Didn't she just swatch this exact same color the other day?"

AH HA! I caught you.
That is where you are wrong, my mentally balanced friend.
That was MAC Smoke and Diamonds and
Majolica Majorca SV821. Which are sooooooo decidedly different than Becca Lamé.
For one, Smoke & Diamonds is gray based and SV821 is plum based while Lam
é is so brown based it's not even funny. Jeesh. You people!



Any new taupe editions to your stash lately?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

If you say taupe nail polish is too much, You Don't Know Jacques!

image from opi.com

OPI's fall/winter line "La Collection De France" has 12 new shades. Most are in the deep, plummy, dark, dusty taupe-y....Taupey? Did you say taupe? Mais Qui! Taupe. Well more like slush...you know the kind of gray/brown snow that is left on the side of the road a few days after a snowfall. Yup that's it. Nice!! And what is this color called?
"YOU DON'T KNOW JACQUES!" (from here on in this shade will be shortened to YDKJ! because I don't like to type all that much)

YDKJ! Is not for everyone but I adore it. Helloooo Taupe Hoor! Cest Moi!

I'm a fan of dark nail polishes. I only wish my work environment was a bit less conservative so I could wear them more often. When I wore Zoya Freja last year, people were like "OMG you are wearing BLACK nail polish!". I was like " Um. As if! Freja is a gunmetal gray, not black. Duh." They just didn't get it. So I switched to China Glaze Beatnick. It was a cross between a gray taupe and frost that was light enough for the office but still gray/taupe/ edgy enough to satisfy my pseudo goth wannabe tendencies.

When Valerie ( a regular reader and hopefully guest reviewer some day. Hint! Hint!) mentioned that she was getting this shade I had to get it too. We are nail polish twins and what she has I must have and vice versa. Boy was I glad she mentioned it. I stalked the MUA nail board for pictures and saw several nice ones. I just had to have it. Instead of placing an order at one of my favorite discount nail polish websites I just went to the store and picked it up. For $7.50, it was money well spent.

The polish just does not seem to photograph true to life. It looks better in person than in any picture I have seen. Now mind you the last time I had a manicure was about a week before Darthypie was born, (that was almost 18 months ago...) so if the cuticles are looking ragged and I have a hang nail or two, please forgive me....hey, at least I'm not showing you a picture of my feet!
Here is a picture of YDKJ! in direct sunlight. (I have no idea why the picture was flipped on it's side, and I honestly don't feel like trying to fix it. Sorry)

Here is a picture of YDKJ! Take on a sunny day inside my house. Please ignore any mess you might see. I tried to crop it out as best as I could.

I think the model in the picture above is wearing YDKJ! but she could be wearing "PARLEZ-VOUS OPI?" which may be my next purchase, but I might try to get "TICKLE MY FRANCE-Y" next. It's a boring beige/nude but as I mentioned above. Bleh conservative office. Did I tell you about the time that they acted like I must be going to a "Rock Concert" after work when I wore Chanel Kalediscope? Yeah. Those good old "Rock Concerts" where they play that "Rock and Roll" music and girls go crazy with taupe-ish gold nail colors and rip their shirts off for those cool "Rock Stars" Ugh.

So will you be brandishing this slushtacular color this fall?

Progrids

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