Aww, you’re making me blush!

Friday, May 29, 2009

I planned on posting this much later on, but figured hell, why not?! It’ll be nice for you guys to be able to compare this to Tess’ Just A Pinch review from yesterday.

Product: Tarte‘s Blushing Bride cheek stain. I have the mini of this super-hyped stick/gel blush, but fear not! It’s the same product, just with cuter packaging.The good stuff: Aside from being cute and portable, this stain definitely has other positive attributes. Like how it smells freaking fantastic! Berries? Raspberries? Plums? I’m not sure, but it’s great. It’s also — as I’ve just learned — paraben-free, and I know this will be great for my sister. Why? It’s super simple, and very easy to blend. Like a cheek stain for dummies!
One layer

The bad stuff: Though this is the perfect dark-red in the tube, I found it to show up more orangered than the blue-red I was expecting. It’s on the sheer side, especially for a stain, but again: that’s definitely a positive for a makeup newbie! The one thing that really turned me off this product, though, is that it’s incredibly sticky. Even when given plenty of time to set, it left a tacky finish.

Two layers — all that “dewiness” is making it super sticky!

The verdict? Honestly, in my opinion, this product isn’t worth the hype. It’s overpriced at $28/tube, and I only wear it if I’ll be layering another blusher on top of it (the stickiness is great for picking up powder pigments.) I’d definitely give it a better rating if it was less sticky and more pigmented, but alas! it is not.
It takes a LOT of setting powder to stop the stickiness, toning down the already sheer colour.

However: if you have the cash, you’re allergic to parabens and want to try a gel blush, or if you’re always on the go, this would still be a good thing to consider! It’s so easy to toss in your bag or apply quickly, as you just need your fingers – but you’ll have to set it, or live with the stickiness. And with eleven shades (plus their berrylicious, natural beauty, and a perfect whirled versions) you’ll definitely be able to find the right colour for you!

Just a note: like most cream blushers (MAC’s Just A Pinch and Blushcremes have been said to do this a well, though my Lancome cream blusher doesn’t!) this will sweat a little. Just wipe it off and continue on your way — it’s not a bad thing, it just is!

Please excuse the "morning face" and damp hair!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yesterday, I told you about my new love — Neutrogena’s PureScreen, and mentioned that I liked it as a tinted moisturiser of sorts. (Actually, it has more coverage than a lot of the tinted moisturisers I’ve tried!)

Here’s what it looks like! These are crap photos, but they do a great job of showing how well it works for me. I even waited for a BSD (bad skin day) to take the pictures. Be proud, be very proud.

It brightens, and the whitish cast will come in very handy for those of you who aren’t as religious in applying sunscreen. It’ll tone you back to your normal skintone, so there’ll be no foundation-shade-switching required! :P

This is what four hours of sleep looks like.
I’m not photogenic on a normal day, much less at eight AM on a Saturday.

After the PureScreen.
My eyes are slightly swollen. I can just feeeeel it.

After concealing!
I really should have taken another photo that didn’t cut off my face. But I’m a lazy ass.

Neutrogena: the new sun authority?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I picked up Neutrogena‘s new sunscreen for babies a couple of weeks ago — Pure & Free, with their PureScreen complex. I just call it PureScreen, because let’s face it: that’s a much more awesome name.

It’s paraben and chemical sunscreen free, which is why I picked it up in the first place. (As a lot of you know, my sister is allergic to both!) We’ve been desperately hunting down something that she can actually use, without feeling totally gross… and coming up empty handed.
Texture and finish: The PureScreen is on the thick side, but not nearly as thick as a normal suncreen. No, it’s more of a “heavy moisturiser” thickness. The heaviest moisturiser I can think of right now is Korres’ Yogurt one — this is much lighter than that!! Its finish is very natural; there’s no oiliness, shimmer, or “dewiness” (which drives my sister nuts. Going through the Sephora beauty book, the only comment she could manage was “why are they so glowy?! It’s disturbing. And icky.”)

Oiliness through the day: Unlike most suncreens, I didn’t end up as an oil slick. In fact, I was no more oily than normal! This is not only waterproof and sweatproof, but also hypoallergenic and oil-free! The last two are terms that I usually discredit to marketing, but I really feel that this product lives up to them.

Major reasons why I love it? Because I’m so fair, this acts not only as an awesome suncreen, but also as a tinted moisturiser! However, this is a disadvantage as well: darker skinned girls will definitely notice the whitish cast moreso than I do. And it’s almost scent free, which is definitely a bonus from that awful suncreen scent that usually follows you around all day!

The verdict? This is an incredible suncreen, for both face and body! Sure, I don’t love the finish as much as Shiseido’s lotion sunscreens (that stuff sinks in like a dream) but keep in mind that theirs has both parabens and chemical suncreens. And at about $11/3oz, you can’t beat the PureScreen’s price! Especially when the next runner-up for “best suncreen ever” costs $48/3.3oz *glares at Shiseido*

Ecotools? Move on over!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Product: MAC‘s 129 powder/blush brush

What I use it for: blush! As you all know – I’m not much of a foundation girl, and this would apply too much powder for my liking. But I’ll get into that more later in this post, don’t you worry! I use this every day, unless I’m wearing a cream blush. It’s ousted all my other fleeting loves because of it’s great application, bristle distribution, and weighting!Loves: I really love this for cheek colour application. It’s not the softest brush ever, but it is most certainly on the softer side of the spectrum. As a MAC brush, it’s a quality piece – I’ve had this for quite a while now, and it’s almost never shed on me! (I say “almost” because it has lost a whole two hairs, !gasp!) My blusher goes on very smoothly, and this brush doesn’t “eat” colour: what you pick up off the pan deposits right onto your cheek, instead of ending up 90% in the bristles. The head is full and lush, just as it should be… like a gourmet dish. Or wine*.

Dislikes: Not many, actually. I feel that if this was softer, it would be too floppy, so I have no complaints there! It’s weighted nicely and such; the only complaint is that though this is marketed as a powder/blush blush, I think it’s more of a blush/colour brush. What I mean by this is that it has too heavy of an application for powder, but this is personal preference. As you all know, I don’t like wearing a base! If you’re applying powder foundation, or powder for some coverage, this would actually be great — it would be too much only if you use it for translucent setting powder, or setting powder that you don’t want coverage from. And don’t worry. Unlike cheap sponges that come in your pressed powder foundations, despite the density, this one won’t give you the dreaded pancake face**.
The Verdict? This is definitely worth the splurge of $34USD, as it’s a staple item. You don’t buy one in every colour, the way you would with, say, eyeliner – you buy your one blush brush and you’re set for five to ten years, depending on how well you take care of it***!

Make sure to check online first (I’ve seen them go for about $25 used very gently), or even consider buying the SE mini version (some people say that the SE quality isn’t as good, but I’ve never tried one so I can’t say for sure!) if you’re on a tight budget.

*do not consume wine while using this brush. Result –> CRAZY BITCH CHEEKS. Do not want.
**do not consume. Pancake face is gross, and will do gross things to your intestines.
***do not consume this brush. It is not meant to be eaten, though it’s — pause for a bad joke — so nice I could eat it up!

Exposé: the dark truths behind beauty blogging

Monday, May 25, 2009

I just thought I’d take a moment to show you guys what it is I do to photos before posting them – and why it takes over a month from date-of-photo to posting date, most of the time. No it’s not black market trading or under-the-table payoffs from multinationals…

…it’s the dreaded dark image!

Here’s a LORAC It Kit that hasn’t been posted yet. I take photos of the product, swatch it, etc, and upload within about a two-week span. From there, it goes into my “raw” folder. Once it’s been cut down to about 1000 pixels accross (instead of about 2500) it’s named and goes to “theNotice: work”.

The original photo (resized to about 1000 pixels).

From here, it’s brightened, cropped, and resized to 700 pixels… dependin
g on the item, no retouching has to be done, or a lot of work is needed. If I took an EOTD, for instance, and there was a loose eyelash on my cheek? I’m totally OCD, so I’d airbrush that out. Contrast needed? The colours are too yellow? Blue? More fixing.

Once it’s finally done, it goes into the “theNotice: done” folder. That’s where it stays until I write a review, at which point it’s moved into the correct folder – for instance, “Tutorials” or “Product Photos / High-End / LORAC”.

What you guys see

It’s quite the process! I know it could be a lot easier, but I feel obligated to have nice photos for each post – ones that really represent and show the true product. It’s hardest in the winter, when the sun goes down by about 5PM, because I don’t usually have time for doing blog stuff until 9! (Sunlight photos are the easiest to work with: they have the best colour representation, the cleanest lines, and the overall brightest image.)

That’s all =) Have a great Tuesday!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

I got tired of having to deal with three stacking palettes, so I reboxed my Senna Makeup Box — here are the photos!
I considered depotting, but that would have cost around $40, with a combination of MAC, Stila, and Japonesque palettes. Instead, I bought three thin boxes at $1.50/each, put some ceiling tile in the bottom (lightweight and the perfect thickness!) and cushioned one palette in each.

They’re “strapped in” with strips of overheads; the palette itself has no glue etc on it!It took about two hours, but was so worth it- they’re much easier to handle (and therefore getting even more use!) Plus, I love day projects ^^

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