Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rimmel Kate #4 and #15 Swatches and Review

After I read on Nouveau Cheap here and on her You Tell Me page that Rimmel lipsticks are on sale this week at Walgreens, I decided to show some swatches of the two lipsticks that I own.  They are both from the Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Collection.

#4, #15

Number 4 is a dark vampy cool plum with no shimmer, and #15 is a color that I don't see often in the drugstore - a shimmery ash purple.  In the display, it's promoted as a "Smokey Look" topcoat, but I love to wear it alone.  It looks scary swatched, but I feel it is wearable for cool-toned ladies across the spectrum. 

Swatches in bright sunlight

The lipsticks have a strong fruity smell that is noticeable upon application, but fades after 15 to 20 minutes after application.  They apply smooth and creamy and have a slight sheen, but can be blotted down to a matte finish.   They wear for about 4 hours before fading, but I reapply often due to my constant water drinking.  I always use lip balm under my lipsticks, but after removing these at the end of the day, my lips feel fine and are not dried out.

 Overall, these are lovely lipsticks with a great formula.  They are a great buy, even at full price.

My Stash: Foundations

They are a necessary evil for me.

Since I've gotten really obsessive with makeup, I've been on the hunt for the perfect foundation.  I need it to be easy to apply (preferably with fingers), be a good color match, provide a demi-matte finish, blur imperfections without looking like a mask, and cost less than 20 bucks.

Am I asking for too much?

Well, at this point I am at a good working place.  I have foundations that work well for me, but not perfectly.  There's always something a bit off!

First, the liquids:

From Left:  Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily Skin in 360 Rich Ginger and 400 Caramel, Maybelline Mineral Power Foundation in Dark 2 Caramel (discontinued), Revlon Colorstay Whipped in Caramel, Covergirl Natureluxe in 365 Chestnut and 360 Nutmeg (discontinued).

Revlon Colorstay: It's a classic and my go-to for weddings and other all-day events. It wears all day and only requires minimal blotting.  I mix Rich Ginger and Caramel in different ratios to match my skintone throughout the year.  It works well, though I'm discovering that both shades are a little too pink/red for my skintone.

Revlon Colorstay Whipped: This also wears well, but not as well as the original. I love the texture! This would be a good foundation if I had a better color match.  Caramel is a little too dark and red, and Rich Ginger (which I tried, then swapped away) was waaaaay too light.  Maybe Revlon will come out with a shade between Rich Ginger and Caramel that would be a good match for me.

Maybelline Mineral Power: foundation is a good color match, but its silicone-y finish transfers easily.  Even if it was an awesome foundation, it's discontinued, so I still need an alternative.

Covergirl Natureluxe: This foundation met my finish requirements. It is easy to apply with fingers and dries to a semi-matte finish.  The undertones were just right, too; most foundations are too red for me.  However, I could not find a perfect skintone match. 

I also have liquid foundations:

Clockwise from left:  Avon Ideal Shade Cream-to-Powder Foundation in H304 Earth (discontinued), L'Oreal True Match Powder Foundation in c7 Nut Brown, Black Radiance Pressed Powder in Creamy Beige, Black Opal Oil Absorbing Pressed Powder.

Avon Ideal Shade: Maybe once upon a time this was a good match, but now it's a shade too dark and the undertones are too red.  I haven't used this in a while, but I remember it applying well, looking good, and not breaking me out.

L'Oreal True Match: This powder is the best match to my skin right now.  It evens out my skintone well and blurs imperfections.  This is my everyday go-to for a natural, everyday look. The only thing this doesn't do is control oil, and I have my Black Opal powder for that.   I've already repurchased this for when I run out.

Black Radiance Pressed Powder: I achieved a natural look effortlessly with this powder, but Creamy Beige is too red a shade for me.  I wish that the colors were easier to tell apart in the store.

Black Opal:  This is not a foundation, but it completes my collection of pressed face powders.  I talk about it here.

So I have seven foundations, some in more than one shade, which makes for nine foundations in my stash.  In my opinion, this is too many.   I only want three to four at the most: one or two powder foundations, a lighter liquid foundation for everyday wear, and a medium to full coverage foundation for a more flawless look.  To achieve this goal, I will purge what isn't working for me and throw away the expiring foundations.  I'll stay on the hunt to fufill my foundation, but resist the temptation to become a foundation junkie.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Stash: Concealers

For my face to achieve the flawless look, concealers are a necessity.  (sigh)  However, I'm not usually so ambitious with my everyday makeup, so I rarely use them.  Here's my stash:

From left:  Black Opal Total Coverage spot and scar eraser in Heavenly Honey, NYX Concealer in a Jar in Orange and Tan, BO Total Coverage in Truly Topaz.

The Black Opal concealers are thick and creamy and they dry to a powder finish.  They will cover anything, especially layered.  They are thick enough to be used as foundation, but can look cakey on dry spots.  The NYX concealers are smooth and creamy as well, but they definitely need to be set with powder.  The Orange works well as a color corrector for dark and deep dark skintones.

Even though I'm too low-maintenance (read: lazy) to deal with concealers on a daily basis, I am still on the hunt for a nice one to brighten my undereye area and disguise blemishes.   I plan to try a few new concealers as well as give each of these pictured another chance. 

Any suggestions?

My Stash: Primers

We have primers for the paint on our walls, why not have them for the paint on our faces?

I love them and have managed to accumulate quite a few:

From right, counterclockwise: NYX Eyeshadow Base in White, Hourglass Mineral Veil primer (trial size and Sephora 100 pt size), Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Wet 'n' Wild Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer, Urban Decay Primer Potion, L'Oreal Magic Perfecting Base.

I love a good eyeshadow primer!  I like all three featured here.  The Wet 'n' Wild primer was a surprise hit and I'm glad I tried it.  It works just as well as my mid-end counterparts and is a good deal for the budget-minded.

On the other hand, I don't perceive any added benefits in using a face primer.   I tried the Hourglass primer after reading the Beauty Reductionista's raves for it here.  It feels good going on my face, and doesn't make me break out.  Unfortunately, my makeup doesn't act any different when using this or just my Olay sunscreen moisturizer, so I won't be repurchasing.  I've already swapped away all my other face primers as of this post.

My plans for this stash is to hold off on buying any more primers until my remaining ones are used up. I love to try them, but I really don't need more than one at a time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Stash: Brow Liners

I came into my brow obsession in stages.

In high school I only got my eyebrows shaped once, for a special event.  (Prom?  I don't remember.)  My brows were beautiful and perfect as they were, thank you very much.

In college,  I decided that maybe I should keep up my eyebrows on the regular.  I visited the same barber shop as my boyfriend at the time.  The guy there used a razor, and the results were awesome.  If I still lived in my college town,  I'd still be visiting that guy.

After college, threading was my choice for brow grooming.  Never mind that I never got used to it and left the store every time crying from the pain while admiring the handiwork.

In time, the ecomomy got tough and I tired of driving across town just for eyebrows.  I found a wonderful lady around the corner from me, and I've been a loyal and regular customer for several years.  I thought I had this brow thing handled until seven months ago. I renewed my driver's license and noticed that I had no eyebrows on my picture.

Then and only then did I understand the point of brow products.  Since then, I have acquired a few:

From left, all from Maybelline:  Expert Eyes Twin Brow and Eye Pencils in Dark Brown and Velvet Black; Expert Eyes Retractable Eye Pencil in Velvet Black;  Eyestudio Mastershape Brow Pencil in Dark Brown.

My favorite product is the Twin Brow pencil in Velvet Black.  It is a soft black that provides a natural look to my black brows on my caramel skin.  The Dark Brown Twin Brow pencil was too red.  The retractable pencil lost its point too quickly.  The Mastershape pencil is useable, but high-maintenance. I also use Revlon matte eye shadow in Rich Sable on my eyebrows, and I like it a lot.  I mentioned it here.

[I just went to the Maybelline website to search for the correct names for my products, and I found out that my Expert Eyes pencils have been discontinued!  What am I gonna do now?  I was ready to sit and be satisfied with what I had! Aww, whatamIgonnado? /end rant]

Well, I have five (Rich Sable included) brow products.  Despite my qualms over Maybelline's discontinuing of my favorite brow pencil, I'm set for a while.  To streamline this stash, I'm purging all but my Revlon shadow and my Velvet Black pencil.  If I see these pencils in the store, I'll buy a back up to hold me over until I find a replacement.

This actually isn't an area where I had a hoarding problem, so I'm okay with my stash in this category.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Stash: False Lashes

I don't even know why I have these.   I've never worn any in my entire life.

From Left:  Ardell Glamour Starter Kit with #105 Lashes, Ardell Fashion Lashes #116, NYX Fabulous Lashes #210.

This is what happens when you are hit by the duo of awesome Youtube makeup tutorials and clearance sales. 

At least I only have three pairs, right!  I'm all about using my stash, so I'll be trying these soon.

Neutrogena Hand Cream Review

Sometimes I need a good hand cream.  I'm talking industrial strength!  Even though the winter down here in the South has been mild this year, the dry indoor air and harsh workplace soap can turn my hands into a dry, ashy mess.  Even worse, if I let my hands get really dry, my eczema will flare up, adding a itchy rash to my hand troubles.

Because of this, I'm constantly trying new hand creams to see if I can keep my hands in good shape.  I've read good things over the years about Neutrogena Hand Cream, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Was it my hand savior?  Keep reading after the jump...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Holy Grail #2: Black Opal Invisible Oil Blocking Powder

My face is oily, especially in my T-zone.  My nose gets especially oily.  Without remedy, my nose will proceed to call all sorts of attention to itself with its shine.  Whether I use liquid or powder foundation, I need something extra to control the oil and keep me from looking greasy.

I had read good things about this powder on Makeup Alley, and when I accumulated some +UPs at Rite Aid, I decided to give it a try.

This is a translucent loose powder that can be used alone or to set foundation.  Because Black Opal makes products for darker-skinned women, this powder is darker than others.

I use my e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush to swirl this on my face.  I touch my brush to the powder, then tap the excess into the lid.  Then I take whatever is left on the brush and tap, glide, and buff it into my face.  Sometimes, my face looks a little powdery immediately after application, but it soon settles.  As time passes, it soaks up all the oil my face can put out there.  It doesn't keep me matte all day; nothing can do that!  However, a quick blotting and my face looks fresh again.  This product makes a big difference in how long my makeup looks good.  It even has a slight blurring effect on my face when I use it without foundation. I think it's because the powder soaks up the oil that would otherwise make my scars and spots shine.

The only problem I have with this is that it doesn't travel well.  So, when I got ready to go on a trip, I went and picked up the pressed version:

The pressed version works just as well as its loose counterpart. You aren't losing any effectiveness here. 

I recommend this powder to all with oily skin, even my fair and tan sisters.  You won't regret it!  There's a reason why the loose and pressed powders rank #3 and #6 on Black Opal's Bestsellers list.

You can find these powders in select Rite Aids and CVS's, as well as at Black Opal's online store.  It retails for $8.95.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Stash: Mascaras

Oooh....mascaras!  My favorite cosmetic.  I just love what they do to my eyes!  I can pretend that I was born with long, lush lashes instead of the ones I really have, which are average in every possible way.  Even when I wasn't a makeup connoisseur, I was a mascara junkie, trying all the new ones as soon as they hit the shelves. 

I just purged a bunch of mascaras; I talked about it here and here.  Here's what I have left:

Front, left to right: Urban Decay Supercurl Curling, UD Lush Lash.  Back row, left to right:  LA Splash Mascara Primer, Maybelline Full 'n' Soft, Estée Lauder Sumptuous, Maybelline Volum' Express the Falsies, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara.

Maybelline is my favorite brand for mascara!  Full 'n' Soft and the Falsies are staples.  I haven't tried any of these other mascaras yet.

I gather my mascaras, take pictures, and then find another one!

 Clinique High Impact Mascara. mascaras and a primer in my possession.  This is plenty, but not excessive by any means.  I religiously throw out mascara after three months, and I often have two or three mascaras open at a time.  At the moment, I just have one mascara open, which is a rarity.  I plan to open one mascara a month.  If I keep to my three-month limit, I shouldn't have but three mascaras open in any given month.  Assuming that I use them all and none of them suck, I'd be completely through this stash in ten months!

I have no immediate plans to purchase any more mascaras.  As my stash dwindles, I'll go back to my old habits of buying my Maybelline staples and trying a new mascara here or there.  I generally stick to the drugstore for my mascaras because throwing away a $15+ mascara just hurts my heart.  However, I love trying mid- and high-end minis, and I love that they normally cost around $10 even more.

Edited to add:  I actually found another mascara!  I also have Covergirl Natureluxe in Very Black, raising my mascara total to eight.