Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Poll




Since my brain has basically thrown up all over my last post titled "Not The Thursday Poll" I'm a little spent in the creativity department.  I think I'll just cut to the chase and get to the poll.
HAHAHAHA
Of course not. I have to write about something or else you would think I have been replaced by a pod person.
So let's talk about Spring.  The Spring that never sprung. It's cold outside. It snowed on Monday and my daffodils are so confused.  I just hope that I get to have a slow start to Summer because of this delayed Spring. I hate hot weather.  OK. So that sums up my thoughts on Spring.
On To The Poll!

1. Lip Of The Day? - NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Majella. Oooh I love the ease of application, the color and the overall look. I might need a back up.

2.  What is your favorite season? - I LOVE the Fall. I love the crisp air, the colorful leaves, the colder temperatures, wearing sweaters, pumpkins and apples and FOOTBALL!  It's my favorite time of the year.

3.  Would you pay $35 for a single eyeshadow or lipstick if it was the PERFECT shade for you? - Yes. I have and I will again.  Sadly. I wish I had that part of the brain that smacks you back into reality when you contemplate buying a $35 eyeshadow when you already own 3,500 eyeshadows. I was born without that part. Sadly.

4. Name a beauty myth and bust it. - Washing your face three times a day will get rid of acne.  FALSE! Sure maintaining a clean face will help a little, but three times a day is not only excessive, but could be counterproductive. Depending on your cleansing method you might be dehydrating your skin, which in turn causes it to produce more oil, which could cause you to break out.  Also, some acne is not cause by "dirty skin" and no amount of  washing will get rid of it or prevent it.

5. Recent beauty purchase? - An item for an upcoming Makeup Wars challenge and Shiseido Cotton Squares.  Boring.

Not The Thursday Poll


Mic on mixing board


I started out writing this as part of a Thursday Poll piece, but the topic is so sensitive and so serious it seems insulting to ask you what your favorite lipstick is after reading this.  So you can read and comment if you like, but I'll post another REAL Thursday Poll after this.  I just have been thinking about this a lot and I had to get my thoughts out there.

A post that went viral about a year ago (April 24, 2012) showed up again in my Facebook feed yesterday. It was titled "The Secret Meeting That Changed Rap Music and Destroyed a Generation".  I had never seen the original post but this time I made a concerted effort to read it. In this long post from an anonymous source, the writer unburdens his guilt over events that took place in 1991.  According to this anonymous source, in 1991, a secret meeting was held with some of the music industry's top people.  The attendees were told to sign confidentiality agreements before the meeting even happened.  A plot was orchestrated to task the music industry, through Gangsta rap, to recruit, influence and encourage the American populace who to listen to this genre of rap and commit crimes in order to benefit the burgeoning private prison industry.  It's a pretty incredible story if you believe it.  

The concept of music being used as a for of social engineering is not new. (Look at the anti-war movement during the 1960's as an example)  There are even a few pieces of circumstantial evidence that could be used as proof that the story is true.  For example, the change in the message of Rap and Hip Hop from a more social issues type voice, to a more criminal tone in the early 1990's. Gone were the days of Grandmaster Flash, The Sugarhill Gang, The Fresh Prince and Kurtis Blow and in was the new, and more angry message of  N.W.A., Public Enemy, Ice-T (well before his Law & Order SVU career), Dr. Dre and Wu-Tang Clan, to name a few. You can also look at the privatization of the prison system that started in the late 1980's early 1990's.  Now corporations were making money (exceptionally good money) off of the increasing overpopulation of state run prisons and overflow of inmates as a result of that overpopulation. That overpopulation was caused by a number of factors, one of them being 1990's "Three Strike Rule" making repeat offenders lifetime inmates. Also, higher conviction rates for smaller offenses and new laws making some offenses that were settled with fines or probation, mandatory prison sentences added to the prison population numbers.  If the alleged 1991 "secret meeting" as relayed by this anonymous former music industry executive are true, it may be a reason why the private prison industry has maintained its profitability.

However, I question how a room full of people could keep a secret like that, for so long. Someone else would have talked by now. Making one sign a non-disclosure and waiving a gun in their face may keep some people quiet for a little while, but 20+ years and a room allegedly full of people? It seems suspect to me.

Most important. I find it highly insulting the writer is blaming music for behavior. Having been a long time fan of Goth/Industrial music It pained me that the Columbine massacre was partially blamed on bands like Korn and the like. We all know that those 2 idiots may have listened tot he music, but that music doesn't influence people to shoot children in a high school. I don't think that everyone that listens to rap and hip hop are so weak minded that they are influenced to commit crimes and eventually end up in prison.  It's disgusting to suggest that the majority of people who listen to rap/hip hop are so dimwitted that they allow a rapper or a rap song to dictate what choices they make in life. I mean really? Biggie made me do it? I don't think so.

Do I think private prisons are suspect? Do I think the owners of these companies that run these prisons try to unfairly influence lawmakers and others in the justice system for personal gain? Yes. Absolutely.  But this "article' does nothing but throw shade on an unnamed "group" of nefarious people whose sole intent is locking people up that listen to rap music. I just don't buy it. This type of conspiracy theory is not constructive to finding a solution to the problem at hand.  I would rather take an honest look at WHY there are so many people in prison (specifically black males) today and what the REAL causes are for them ending up there.  It's easy to blame a nameless/faceless group of people for our society's problems, but what we need to do is take responsibility for our actions and start fixing what is broken. Because if you look long enough at that faceless group, you'll start to recognize that the faces staring back at us are our own.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birchbox March Box - Review, Pictures Swatches


Birchbox Box


As I mentioned in my last Birchbox review, I was so disappointed with Birchbox I was thinking of cancelling my subscription. I had the subscription for an entire year and looking back over my posts about it, I saw I was far less satisfied with each month's box than I thought I was.  I cancelled my subscription in March, but it was too late to stop the March Birchbox from shipping out. I wasn't upset about that. I figured I would get one final box to review as a send off.  The March box arrived, and I honestly didn't even open it for about a week. I was done with Birchbox. The excellent customer service and the point system made it hard for me to leave, but in the end it came down to money. Why spend $10 a month on something that isn't going to make me happy?  I finally opened the box and was completely and utterly NOT surprised by the contents.


Here is the March box with the "March Madness" theme.  The contents have literally NOTHING to do with March, March Madness or anything. Had I been this oblivious to the other themes in the past?  Yes. Yes,  I had.


Moving on. When I opened the box I saw that little mini package inside.  That can be a good omen or a unlucky omen.  In this case,  it was an unlucky omen.  For when I opened it up I found it was shave cream.  OK. So I guess the box does have SOMETHING to do with March. That's the annual shaving of the legs month for married women!

OK. So this is everything I received.


Yawn.

Let's go through the items, shall we?


Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
It smells pleasant. I totally don't need it. Not because I don't shave my legs. I do every year. It's just that I have other shave cream samples I haven't used up. Plus shave cream samples are like one step above fragrance samples. So lame.


Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board
Now this I could use.  Except it has to be the flimsiest emery board on the planet (Hyperbole). It literally started to peel apart after using it once.  The thing was useless. Oh and this was the "Beauty Extra" in my box this month.


MAKE Face Primer SPF 30 and MAKE Satin Finish Eyeshadow
Birchbox lists these as 2 separate and unique items. I guess they are, but they are so incredibly tiny I almost thought it was the "Beauty Extra" for the month. The face primer has a liquidy-sunscreen quality to it, and it left a white cast on my hand when I tested it there.  



The eyeshadow seems OK. It's well pigmented, but for $18 for a full size shadow, I know of other brands that I like more.



Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Color-Saver Sulfate-Free Shampoo
A decent size for shampoo. The scent is not for me. I can't describe it. It just didn't agree with me. I'll keep it in the guest bathroom with all the other sample shampoos.  I'm just waiting for a guest to call hoarders on me from all the sample sizes I keep in there.

Well that was quick.

I didn't want to spend too much time on this box since I cancelled my subscription.  Of course,  you can still subscribe at birchbox.com, but I'm not using my referral link here. I'm done, finito, finished, gone, and all that jazz.  I must admit there were no paper coasters or hair ties or laundry detergent pods in this box, so it wasn't a total disaster.  Plus there was actual makeup in this box, that's always enjoyable.  It's kind of bitter sweet, now that I reflect upon it.  Oh well. Onwards and upwards

Was this month's box as pathetic as I think? Do you think I made the right move cancelling my subscription?  Did you get this month's Birchbox?  What were your thoughts?

ipsy March Bag - Review, Pictures, Swatches


ipsy logo




So here I am again, late with my ipsy bag review. I'm sorry about that. I did intend to review it as soon a I received it, which was on the 2nd week of March, but you know what there were 2 reasons I was delayed. 1) my photography studio area is a mess, and I just wasn't motivated to clean it up and 2) the bag as kinda "meh". It wasn't bad, per se, but it didn't excite me as much as other bags in the past.  So here is my delinquent review.

ipsy march bag

Nice bag, I guess. It looks like the colors ran in the wash, right?  I'm not sure if that effect was on purpose or not, but it's not my cuppa tea. The whole nautical theme isn't for me. I can give the bag away to someone. At least it's made well, and the fabric is silky feeling.

And here is what was in my bag.



(cue tumbleweed blowing by seriously lacking bag)


Yeah. Not much. In fact. I was a little surprised that it seemed lacking. I mean it's no less than other bags. 4-5 items are the average. So I wonder why it seemed like less. I think it was a combination of the minute eyeshadows from Yaby, skin care and the empty palette.  They were all decent and useful products, so I'm no sure why I felt like this wasn't working for me.  Oh well. Perhaps I have become jaded from all my sample bags/boxes.

So let's look at what I received


Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist
Sample Size.
ipsy is offering 20% off $30 or more at juicebeauty.com/ipsy with a special code for subscribers.
The Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist is supposed to tone, hydrates, and refreshes your face and hair while on the go, anytime of the day. Since I wear makeup and this spray recommends using on cleansed skin I actually use this in my hair when I have it curly.  The mist re-activates the curl in my hair and I can scrunch it up, and it looks all curly wavy again.  I like using it for that, plus the ylang ylang, and rose oils make it smell very pretty and not cloying.  As a hydrating toner, I have not used it, but I suppose it would be nice.  I like this little sample size because I can travel with it and if Ido decide to buy a full size I can just decant it and add to this small bottle.

Ingredients: organic juices of vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*, vegetable glycerin, sodium levulinate, sodium anisate, rosa canina (organic rosehip fruit extract)*, decyl glucoside, polyglyceryl-4 laurate/ succinate, vitis vinifera (grape seed extract), avena sativa (oat extract), rosa damascena (rose oil extract), sodium benzoate, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, citric acid, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) pure essential oil
 

La Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover 8ct Pouch
Travel Size
ipsy is offering 30% off beauty wipes at lafreshgroup.com with a special code for subscribers.
The La Fresh Travel Lite portable towelette wipes are nice, but I do not like the scent at all  it smells similar to the fragrance they use to clean the restrooms where I work. *shudder* Also the 2nd ingredient being mineral oil is not terribly skin friendly to most. While I personally do not have a sensitivity to mineral oil, I know many people do. While the packet is small, and handy for travel I can't get past the scent and ingredients. This one will go by my photo studio set up to be used to remove makeup for swatches on my arm. So I guess that's kinda handy.  The only saving grace about these wipes is that they are made in the USA, with renewable solar energy and the wipes feature biodegradable and compostable materials.

Ingredients:  water, mineral oil polysorbate 20, tocopheryl acetate, octyldodecanol, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, fragrance


yaby es442 Sand Dune and yaby es296 So Vein

yaby Eyeshadow Refill
Full size (retail $3.29)
ipsy is offering 25% off any [UPDATE] yaby cosmetics only [UPDATE] order at camerareadycosmetics.com with a special code for subscribers.
Not the 2 colors I would have picked for myself, but hey, I can't be choosy, right?  Well maybe I can, but to be honest yaby eyeshadows are not for the color timid.  They have a lot of bright colors and the mini size make them perfect for small storage. I think they are kinda like Pokemon you "Gotta Catch Them All". And at a mere $3.29 a piece along with a 25% discount, how could you not get all 80 shades?  Apparently the shadows can be used wet or dry and are vegan friendly, so that's pretty nice. One reservation I have is that the pigment quality on the two shadows I received were kinda "meh" when I swatched them dry. Maybe that is because they were matte shadows, 



I'm not sure.  camerareadycosmetics.com sells Sugarpill, Senna, Z-Palette, OCC, Kryolan, Face Atelier, Embryolisse, Ellis Faas, Cinema Secrets, Ben Nye, and Alcone, to name a few, so that 25% discount will be put to good use regardless of my thoughts on the yaby eyeshadows. [UPDATE] I didn't read the fine print. the code is ONLY good for yaby cosmetics.  Bummer.  [UPDATE]

Ingredients: talc, mica, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, isopropyl palmitate, dimethicone, methylparaben, propylparaben, bht. may contain: mica and titanium dioxide, iron oxides, ultramarine blue, manganese violet, chromium oxide greens, fd&c red no.40 al lake, fd&c yellow no.5 al lake, fd&c blue no.1 al lake


GlamRX Mini Freestyle Palette
Mini size
ipsy is offering 20% off on a GlamRX Touch Up Palette at glam-rx.com with a special code for subscribers.
Since the GlamRX Mini Freestyle Palette was made exclusively for ipsy Glam Bag subscribers I can't actually put a price on it, but I can say that if I decide to get more yaby shadows they will fit perfectly in there.  




Sadly my coastal scents shadow pans are not magnetized so they won't stay in the mini palette unless I add tiny magnets to them. So not worth the hassle, in my opinion.  I did notice that my Stars Makeup Haven Shadow pans are magnetic and fit in nicely. I can fit in three, but it's a extremely snug fit.  I think that it's a neat little case and fits in my travel kit well.  The magnetic base is sturdy, and the case has an ample mirror.   


The discount is for the GlamRX Touch Up Palette It is also a pocket-sized palette, but it includes a top layer with a "brightening concealer, flattering tinted lipbalm, shine erase powder, and black eyeliner". It also includes an eyeshadow/eyeliner applicator and a blush brush. The bottom level is the same magnetic palette that is included in the March Glam Bag. The GlamRX Touch Up Palette retails for $16.50 and the makeup included in the Touch Up palette is vegan and cruelty free. I have no desire to buy the touch up palette, but I'll keep an eye on the brand to see if they expand their line.

Dimensions: About the same size as a credit card, except thicker. 3.5" x 2.5" x 0.75"

So all in all, not a terrible bag. Not a blockbuster, but not terrible.  I mean all of the items are functional. I can't complain. Plus for $10 I finally get my hands on some yaby shadows and get to see what size they are in real life.




Teeny Tiny!  But at least I know. And knowing is half the battle.

Did you get a March ipsy bag?  What were your thoughts?  If you didn't get the bag, do you think this month was worth it?  Does this bag make you want to subscribe or did it leave you wanting?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Changes to The Pink Sith Blog Feed and E-Mail Subscription


Gil Elvgren Pin Up Postal


Some of you don't actually see The Pink Sith Blog on your web browser each day, but you are still able to read all the articles. That's because you have an e-mail subscription to The Pink Sith Blog.  Others subscribe to the RSS feed via Feedburner and view it in Google's Feedburner along with a slew of other blogs to which they may subscribe.  Using a service like Feedburner is popular among bloggers because the service is free. It's simple and easy to set up. 

Feedburner was/is a free service purchased by Google about 6 years ago.  Google has a history of acquiring various software and either rolling it up to all of the Google users or, in the case of Feedburner, slaying it unmercifully, thereby putting many bloggers that rely on their RSS feeds for users to read their content, out in the cold.

When last checked, the Feedburner forum, the Feedburner Twitter account and the Feedburner blog were all dead. What remains of the rotting and bloated corpse of Feedburner is a little bit of outdated support documentation and many RSS feeds that are not being updated at all anymore.

That's why I switched from Feedburner to FeedBlitz

When I read about the capabilities that FeedBlitz had, I was very excited to sign up. FeedBlitz manages The Pink Sith Blog's RSS feeds and then turns it into automated emails, Tweets and Instant Messages for subscribers.  If you already subscribe to The Pink Sith Blog RSS feed via e-mail you do NOT need to sign up all over again. A note was sent to you to opt OUT as you were imported from Feedburner, to let you know about the change.  Also, as a reader, you do NOT have to register with FeedBlitz to get updates.  Since you subscribe using a sign up form on The Pink Sith Blog, you are automatically registered, You simply respond to an e-mail sent to you and you're done.


So why am I pushing the e-mail subscription feature?  Well, not everyone understands RSS, Atom and XML. And according to marketing research, only a fraction of Internet users knowingly use RSS subscriptions and know what it is. That's why I wanted to provide an alternative way for you to subscribe to The Pink Sith Blog content.  Also e-mail is ubiquitous. Everyone has it an pretty much any Internet connected device they own.  If you're too busy to use your RSS feed every day, e-mail is the easiest way to read all the Pink Sith posts while you’re not able to use an aggregator, such as when you’re away on travel and/or vacation.  I also recommend an e-maul subscription because it is searchable.  The Pink Sith Blog feed delivered to your inbox can be sorted, and searched just like all your other e-mail. But most important, many of you WANT an e-mail subscription.So I just had to find a service that was easy to use like Feedburner and still provided the e-mail service many of you desire.  That's why I chose FeedBlitz.

Feedblitz is a business and it’s not free like Feedburner was. But I figure the price I pay to keep you reading The Pink Sith Blog is worth it.  I hope you will sign up for the e-mail subscription, but I also hope you visit the actual blog page from time to time to let me know your thoughts in the comments section of the posts.  I do love your comments.


How do you sign up?
Well, you can click on the link in the sidebar that says "We have moved our Feed! Subscribe via email"

Or you can click HERE for the RSS feed

Or you can click HERE to sign up for e-mails

So what does this mean if you don't use the RSS feed and you don't have an e-mail subscription?
Nothing
Nichts
ஒன்றும்
Apa-Apa
Rien
ничего   
Wala 
Niets
Niente
Nic
ไม่มีอะไร 
Nada
нічого
Ingenting
hiçbir şey
कुछ नहीं
τίποτα
何も
שום דבר
Intet
Không 
Nimic
Ništa
کچھ بھی نہیں 
Semmi
Nihil
Dim Byd

Monday, March 25, 2013

Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis - Review, Pictures, Swatches

Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis



This is a musical story about my personal experience with the Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis.  Described on the lisewatier.us website as, "Four shades of eyeshadow. Four times four gorgeous ways to create so many different and stunning looks. Our Paraben-free Quatuor Eyeshadow Quartet will have you singing odes to joy every day and every night." I was inspired to include music in my review. You may sing in your own mind when you see my musical cues or you may click on the link to hear what I was trying to convey.  And now on to the review!

Once upon a time there was a beauty blogger that was enamoured with a brand from the great white North of Canada.  In an area called Montreal which resided in the Quebec territory of Canada, there was a cosmetic manufacturer called Lise Watier.  Now this beauty blogger had been to visit Montreal, was familiar with the brand of Lise Watier cosmetics, and was truly impressed by the decent quality without a super high price for the products she tested.  That is until...

(cue dramatic music)
♪ ♫ Dun Dun Duuuunnnnn! ♪ ♫

Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis

...she tried out the Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis.  She picked Les Kakis based on the beautiful colors she saw on line. She wanted an olive green eyeshadow look, but coupled with the light peach, and frosty coppery pink as the image showed on line, she knew it would be a stunner!  Alas, it was not meant to be.

You see, when the package arrived from Lise Watier, which, by the way, was excellently packaged and even had some lovely samples in it), the colors on line did not match the colors in real life.

(cue sad trombone music)
♫ ♪ whaa whaa whaa whaaaaaa ♫ ♪

First of all, the light peach was now yellow, and the pinky copper was now a full on burnt umber copper.  The greens looked almost the same, but the olive green had more yellow than she expected and the dark green looked more sooty grey than she wanted.  All in all, she wondered if she received the wrong eyeshadow quartet.  Alas, she did not.

It wasn't a tragedy. It's just eyeshadow after all.  The Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis was just a tad warmer than she expected. This plucky beauty blogger knew she could make it work for her.  So she set out photographing it and swatching it.
 
Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis swatches

The results from the swatching with a foam applicator were particularly promising.  Deep rich pigment. An almost silk like application.  She was again, thrilled to have made the selection, even if it wasn't exactly what she had first expected. She was now super psyched to apply it to her eyes rather than her forearm.

(cue triumphant trumpets)
♫ ♪ Ta Daaaa ♫ ♪

After priming and prepping here eye lid, the beauty blogger used her best brushes to create a dramatic and stunning olive green eyeshadow look.  Using her clean brushes she applied the pale yellow color shade all over her lid. Then she applied the deep copper color in the center of the lid.  Using the lighter olive green she applied it in the crease and lightly in the corner of the eye.  That darker green was used as an accent and applied as a liner under the lower lid and in the outer 'V' of the lid.  She finished it up with an olive green pencil liner from another brand and mascara.  The result.

(cue suspenseful orchestra music)


Oh my. That did not turn out well.  Not only was the application looking quite awful, but the finish was chalky and uneven.  The beauty blogger attempted three other applications, hoping it was just user error, but alas, each and every application after the next was just as bad.  It was not user error. It was this particular eyeshadow quartet.  She attempted to wear the shadows on her lids for an entire day. By the end of the day, all she was left with was traces of a muddy green and copper that had faded significantly.  She remembered having had another Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet (Les Cuivres) applied to her lids in the past, but it also turned out muddy looking and drab. She had originally chalked that up to an inexperienced makeup artist. But now, having used an entirely different quartet, she was starting to wonder if all of them were like this.

(cue sad walking away music from The Incredible Hulk)

Lise Watier Quatour Eyeshadow Quartet in Les Kakis

Alas. This beauty blogger could not recommend this quartet to her readers. Retailing for $32 USD, she felt it was just too much money to spend on a product that wouldn't perform. She would still try to use it and still received the same results.  It's just sub par. There are better eyeshadow quads on the market. However, her love of Lise Watier cosmetics has not faded. She still loves the brand, but now knows that, like every other brand in the world, not every product can be perfect.

The End.

(cue loony toons ending music)
♪ ♫ That's All Folks! ♫ ♪

Ingredients: Talc, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zinc Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Polyethylene Glycol. +/- Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Silica, Alumina, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Palmitic Acid, Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77489, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 75470 (Carmine), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77861 (Tin Oxide), CI 77266 (Black 2), CI 16035 (Red 40 Lake), CI 15850 (Red 7 Lake), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Polyethylene.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Lipstick League – week of 3.18.13



Question of the Week - Describe your everyday, go-to makeup look. 

Answer - Taupe eyeshadow, winged liner, red lipstick, neutral blush.  Ho hum. Dull. I know.


Vampy Varnish - loves the new Deborah Lippmann Staccato Nail Collection for spring but it is a bit pricey compared to some other brands with similar shades...

we heart this - check out post 1 of 2 about Stef's Makeup Show haul; featuring Cult Nails, Kevyn Aucoin, Ellis Faas and more. That's right, 2 posts! She may have a problem...

Beauty Junkies Unite - Amber brings us 5 facial exfoliators that absolutely rock!

Clumps of Mascara - finally does an update on Baby Clumps. She is practically a big girl as the tender age of 2 months.

EauMG - Happy spring! Victoria reviews a perfume that reminds her of blue skies and fluffy clouds.

Gouldylox Reviews - Wondering if Aveeno's BB Cream is anything more than a re-hashed tinted moisturizer? I've read (and re-read) all of the ingredients. The results aren't what I expected!

My Beauty Bunny - is giving away a Derma Evenly Radiant Gift Basket!

Nouveau Cheap - puts the new Lumene BB cream to the test. Could this possibly be her new favorite drugstore BB cream? Come find out...

Pink Sith - believes that if red lipstick was currency she would be a billionaire. Check out her latest red lipstick acquisition, the Givenchy Le Rouge in # 307 Grenat Initlé.

Prime Beauty - wanted to spy on her favorite bloggers to see what they use to pamper themselves and found out she's not as low maintenance as she thought! See what products and rituals 13 other bloggers indulge in on Makeup Wars, At Home Pampering!

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Phyrra - I adore Mandy from PrettyMaking and her post about tarte maracuja's creaseless fair concealer made me want not only that concealer, but the Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint, too!

Friday, March 22, 2013

L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur - Review, Pictures, Swatches

L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur

Look! Up on the shelf! It's a moisturizer, no, it's a foundation, no, it's a primer, well kind of, it's L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur!

Smoother than silk! More useful than a liquid primer! Able to instantly blurs lines, wrinkles, pores and uneven texture in a single swipe! Mild-mannered skincare from L'Oréal is really the greatest superhero of them all who fights a never-ending battle for a smooth complexion, a velvet soft matte finish, protection from the sun and beautiful looking skin!

OK. So the L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur may not be a real superhero, but it certainly has super powers for all it can do.

L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur

Dubbed as the "The 30 Second Miracle" L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur is supposed to instantly erase the look of wrinkles, lines and pores.  According to L'Oréal, it contains "Opti-Blur Technology" and a "Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen". I like the sunscreen addition, but I think it would only be useful if you are wearing it alone, and even then I would still use another sunscreen underneath it because you will need a lot more sunscreen than you would L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur on your face.

L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur Swatch
Let me tell you about the texture.  The Gouldylox Blog described the texture as "fluffy earwax from a faerie".  I have to agree.  The texture is decidedly different from most primers you may have used in the past. It's not "hard" but it's not soft either.  However, when you start to smooth it out it starts to blend easily and the texture transforms to a more creamy feel.  It has an almost cushion-y texture against the skin. It does feel extremely silicone-y, so those that hate on the silicone feel, steer clear of this buddy.  For those that don't mind or prefer that silicone feel, this is the product for you.

The "Opti-Blur Technology" is supposed to diffuse light on the skin for a soft focus effect. When you read marketing material like that, understand that "diffuse" means matte. A matte complexion will "diffuse light on the skin". That "soft focus effect" is from the silicones in the product that float over fine lines and pores giving an even layer look to the skin combined with the mattifying effect you get that "soft focus" look.

OK. But as far as blurring and masking pores, the L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur does work!  Check out the swatch on my hand.


Dude. It's like blurred! for real!

It works even better on your face, where it is supposed to be used!

I have tested this for a couple of weeks off and on, and I do notice that my skin appears smoother when I use it. My foundation applies easily over it, however my oily skin does still break through around 4 hours into wearing this if I don't use my mattifying powder underneath it.  The L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur applies best when used on clean moisturized skin. If you add any powders to your skin before application, the L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur will tend to ball up and be harder to blend into the skin.  Those with dry, normal and combination skin will find that this works well for you. Those with oily skin should consider using a mattifying moisturizer and primer underneath...however that might prove redundant as many mattifying primers also contain a lot of silicones, so applying both may be silicone overload for you.  While I have sensitive skin, I found that the silicones in this product did not break me out, nor did the chemical sunscreens, but everyone is different, so use at your own risk.

Now L'Oréal claims "In 4 weeks, wrinkles, lines and pores appear minimized.  Skin texture appears smoother."  I have to say that I did not see this effect, but I also did not use it consistently for 4 weeks, so that may be the issue.  Looking at the ingredients, I only see:

Sunscreens like Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Oxybenzone; Silicones such as, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Silica Silylate, and Dimethicone Crosspolymer; and Skin Conditioning Agents, which are essentially emollient, anti-microbial conditioning agents that make other oils feel less greasy. Those include C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (an anti-tackiness agent, solvent for sunscreen ingredients, making it easier to incorporate those ingredients into products like moisturizers) and Diisopropyl Sebacate.

So where is the ingredient to minimize "wrinkles, lines and pores"?  It's not in there unless they are counting on glycerin to do that.

The L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur is sold in drugstores and is part of the L'Oréal RevitaLift line.  While most face primers have an average price around $33, the L'Oréal RevitaLift Miracle Blur retails for $24.99 and many times you can find it on sale for $19.99 or lower. For example, right now Drugstore.com and CVS.com (non affiliate link) both are selling this for $19.99.

Do you NEED this?  YES,  if you have dry, normal or combo skin and wish to lightly diffuse lines and pores.  No,  if you have sensitive skin to chemical sunscreens and/or silicones.

What say you?  Have you tried this product yet? Do you think it's a superhero? Why do you think L'Oréal made that claim about seeing fewer lines in 4 weeks of use?

A huge THANK YOU to April from Glitter Gloss Garbage blog for passing this press sample along to me!

Ingredients:
Active Ingredients:  Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 6%.  Inactive Ingredients:  Dimethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Talc, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Silica, Silica Silylate, Glycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Water



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Poll

Thursday Poll
My friend Kimberly, who is the genius behind the super fantastic Australian Beauty Blog, The Plastic Diaries, recently wrote about her disdain for blogger contests run by brands or magazines that claim they will crown the best blogger or similar title by holding a popularity contest.  In her post "Getting Personal: Popularity Contests Are Banned" she says, "The thing I hate most about popularity contests is that it ultimately says one being is the “winner” based on nothing to do with skill, often with some kind of voting system."  The "Vote for Me" requests you most likely have seen are merely a result of a blogger being in a contest where the only way to win is to shill for votes from their friends and followers and strangers and anyone else that gets caught in the social medial tidal wave of the "vote for me" requests. I have been guilty of this, at least once that I can remember. I entered the Rescue Beauty Lounge contest to come up with a fan inspired color.  I honestly did this on a whim and didn't really put much thought into the color. I mean, I didn't think about when the color would be released or the fact that the color I chose would be a) old news by the time voting came around, and b) not seasonally appropriate by the time the voting came around.  I did ask you all to vote for my color, but in retrospect I think I wouldn't have entered at all if I actually stopped to think about how "winning" would be achieved.  I will say however that that specific contest wasn't based entirely on popularity, but it did have a lot to do with it. There was that element of being creative enough to get the concept of your color and to get that concept across to the audience voting for the color.  The three colors that did win were remarkably pretty and well thought out. However, there were some other colors in that contest (not mine) that certainly were beautiful ideas and could have won if the creators of those colors had the social media "gravitas" to garner votes. I would bet that the ones (other than mine) that only received a few votes may have been from fans that did not have a blog or large following on any other social media venue.  Anyway. That's history.  The reason I bring up voting in contests is because I was recently contacted by a company to enter my blog in a Top Blogger contest. The criteria were that I had to post my blog URL on the brand's Facebook Page, and then ask for people to "like" my post on that page.  While the prize was something I would have LOVED to win and while I truly do like that brand, I decided that this wasn't the right contest for me. First of all I didn't want to beg for votes. I genuinely hate hounding you and my friends to "like" something on Facebook.  Secondly, that sort of contest is against the Terms Of Service for Facebook. It wouldn't be a strike against me, but it isn't a good idea for the brand that is asking for the likes. Lastly, The "contest" did not judge my blog on how good the content is, how well I write or anything related to skill. It simply judged me on how many people I could get to "like" my post.  There are some other bloggers that I am friends with that did enter this contest. I hold nothing against them, and I do not judge them for entering. I mean, the prize is pretty impressive. Entering is their choice, and they are obviously more comfortable asking for votes than I am. That's fine. I hope someone I know wins.  I would rather be recognized, as Kimberly put it, "...for the countless nights I have stayed awake editing photos or to compensate the amount of times my lips have bled from swatching too many lipsticks..." and for effort I put into coming up with creative ways to review a 60th red lipstick, 140th taupe eyeshadow or 78th nail polish on this blog.  You know what I mean?  So from now on I pledge to not enter these types of popularity contests again*. You will not be harangued about voting for me. I will not send e-mails and set up Facebook "events" asking for your vote.* And most important, I will NOT be made to feel that the work I put into this blog is anything less than awesome because I didn't get enough "likes" "re-tweets" or votes. If I'm going to be made to feel that my blog is anything less than awesome, then it's going to be my own inner voice telling me that.

On To The Poll!

1.  Lip Of The Day? - Guerlain Rouge G Le Brilliant in Betsy. A sheer, cool toned, plummy pink. I need to have a spring-y looking lip to battle the cold temperatures today.

2.  How much has your collection of makeup increased since you started to read beauty blogs? - Oh i would say about 100 percent. But I'm a blogger, so it's hard to gauge. Before I started blogging I would say my makeup collection has increased by 50%

3.  Have you ever won a contest, lottery, or something similar? If so what was the most recent or most memorable? - I once won $5 in a scratch off ticket for the lottery. The ticket cost $5, so I broke even. Meh.

4.  What one makeup item do you have a major weakness for? In other words, what makeup item can you not resist buying? - Lipstick. I will always pick up a lipstick if I see a pretty color or new formulation. I'm a total sucker for that.

5.  If you won a million dollars in the lottery what would be one of the first beauty items you would purchase? - I guess this is more of a service rather than an item, but I would buy a years worth of facials and products to make my skin finally acne free!

* Unless the prize is so wondrous and so spectacular I am willing to throw my principles out the window and become a hypocrite in order to win.
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