theBalm continues to impress with Stainiac

Friday, August 27, 2010

What it is: TheBalm Stainiac tinted gel blush/lip stain in Prom Queen

The wear: Like many stains, this has a liquid-gel texture — meaning that it’s definitely not moisturizing, but also that it isn’t really drying. It wears for about the same amount of time as any other stain does on me, and as the colour fades, it doesn’t give that telltale ring of colour around your lip line. (However, like all stains, it might catch on dry bits, so don’t forget to exfoliate first!)
The colour: Prom Queen’s packaging is pretty deceiving – the description (“sheer rosy pink”) is spot-on, but the orangey text on the tube had me worried about the colour inside. It’s not too warm-toned, though, as you can see in the swatches!
indirect sunlight / flash
The catch: Also because of the liquid-gel texture, this takes a little getting used if you’re going to be using it on your cheeks. For instance, if you use an oil-based moisturizer (or just straight oil,) it won’t go onto your cheeks well at all — make sure to skip the oils and silicones, or “cheat” on your skincare for a day, skipping the oils and ‘cones on your cheeks altogether. It takes some time to apply, but the gorgeous stain lasts all day!
bare / stained. click to enlarge.

Don’t forget: never try to apply a stain to your lips if you’ve just put on lip balm! Like oil on your face, things like petroleum and beeswax will create a barrier between your lips and the stain, preventing it from absorbing properly for that all-day wear. Instead, put on your lip balm or gloss after staining!

topped with clear gloss.



The verdict? I’ve tried a lot of lip and cheek stains, but I can safely say that this is one of my favourites. It’s most similar to my Etude House stain, but I like the smell/taste of this one a lot more (read: there isn’t one of either,) and the packaging is so much easier to deal with. Plus, Prom Queen is a great colour — very wearable, and sheer enough to give almost all skintones a lovely, subtle tint.

AvailabilitySephora, Apothica, Beauty.com

New product alert: Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle UV Damage Corrector


Clinique’s rolling out a snazzy new Repairwear product this month, and they’re hauling the train ‘o science along with it. I don’t know how I feel about all these lab claims… sometimes it turns out that the science is solid and the product works wonders, but sometimes it’s just as much of a flop as it would be without all those crazy terms!

I guess it’s just more bells and whistles from marketing — at the end of the day, science-y claims don’t affect what I try. But then again, that’s mainly because I’m a beauty blogger, so (unlike consumers,) I buy products based on what my fellow beauty junkies are saying, NOT based on what the boxes are telling me!

Anyhow, the new Repairwear contains:

  • Micrococcus luteus (ultrasomes V,) photolyase fermentate (photosomes V,) and OGG-1 Fermentate (roxisomes) to help fight UV damage,
  • Whey protein, retinyl palmitate (vitamin A,) and acetyl hexapeptide-8 to fight wrinkles, and
  • Vitamin C and E (aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate and tocopheryl acetate,) ergothioneine, and pomegranate juice extract to battle those darned free radicals. 

But here’s what we’ve randomly decided:

  • It can’t be that bad; Clinique skincare is pretty solid!
  • We won’t be able to use it, because of the ‘cones, 
  • $53 for 30ml is out of our budget, but not totally unreasonable for a targeted product, and (most importantly,)
  • The bottle is pretty.

So… what’s going through your head about this one right now?

The Hana Elite really wows me, but… have you *seen* that price tag?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What it is: Hana Elite flat iron, sold through Misikko.

The really good news: remember what a mess of a review the Professional iron produced? Well, fret not — this one is (fairly) clean and simple! The iron itself looks more sleek and is weighted just wonderfully, and doesn’t feature that same problem… you know, that one where it wasn’t working the way it should. (Plus, I really prefer this mate black over the not-quite-hot but not-quite-pastel pink!) The light, this time, is constant when the iron turns on and flickers as soon as it’s reached the desired temperature.

I had my cousin, Kylie, try out this iron as well, because we thought she’d be a much better test for it than I. I’ll be using it to curl my hair, mainly, but Ky’s hair is gorgeously thick (no, seriously, it is thick,) not 100% straight, and quite coarse. 

Comes with a tin, a case (pictured,) a heat-resistant (black) mat and a storage pouch.



This Hana heated up incredibly quickly (hurrah!) taking practically no time at all to reach the highest setting (450 degrees.) She only had to go over two sections of hair before being wowed, and I have to admit, it was the same for me, too!


What she liked about it: Aside from the already mentioned super-fast heating up time

  • it hadn’t the slightest trouble with her ends (she described this by mentioning that most flat irons get most of the hair shaft just fine, but have trouble getting the dry ends as straight and shiny.)
  • the iron left her hair feeling incredible — which I could see, too. Talk about super-straight and silky! I mean, I’ve seen her hair flatironed before, but it looked nothing like this. (Sorry my dear! Your hair does look wonderful, but you know exactly what I mean. It looked awesome.)
  • the flat-ironed effect lasted all day (no mid-day frizzing up!)

What I liked about it:

  • It was also a dream for curling hair, sliding over the sections flawlessly and finishing the job super-fast. 
  • The curl says really well, too, holding up through an entire night out without any hairspray, and leaving enough curl and body in my hair that there’s no need for me to style it the day after, either.

The downside: This does pack a $230 price tag — ouch! Ky couldn’t compare it to other high-end flat irons (as hers have all been mid-range so far,) but to be honest… I like this iron more than any of the other irons I’ve worked with, from low-end Conairs and high-end CHIs. And for what it’s worth, after using this iron, she started asking about what kind of high-end iron I’d recommend!

A sidenote: I ended up giving her the Hana Professional, which (as I’m sure you remember) didn’t work out so well for me. However, I found that it was pretty intermittent at the beginning, working really well some days but working terribly other days. So, after some oh-so-technical shaking and hitting, it seems to be working fine — and she’s really happy with it!

The verdict? I can’t give you a verdict on this one, because the choice will be so different for each and every one of you. Do I think it’s an amazing piece of technology? Certainly. Would I, personally, spend $230 on it? No way in heck — I wouldn’t use it nearly enough to justify it.

However, if you’re going to flatiron your hair every day and want a high-quality iron, this definitely has it’s pros and cons. The “con” is the price, but everything else is a “pro.” It heats up quickly, works like a dream, has a gorgeous matte black finish and a swiveling cord (it’s a minor feature, but one that makes a major difference for me,) and its plates are both tourmaline-infused and 100% ceramic. Plus, there’s a two-year warranty, meaning if you straighten or curl your hair six out of the seven days of the week, you’d get at least 624 uses out of it…

The decision is yours!

MAC Nail Trend Fall/Winter 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why does this scare me, you ask?

Well.

I can’t tell if that’s a really gross-and-oily woman who just so happens to be super flat, or if it’s a really gross-and-oily man who just so happens to have massive pecs.

It would be helpful if those arms were coming from that body, but… I don’t think they are.

Hm.

Hard Candy creates a baked shadow right out of my Daydream

What it is: Hard Candy Kaleyedescope (okay, “Kal-eye-descope”) Baked Eyeshadow Duo in Daydream

Why we love it:
  • The shadow is just stiff enough — you don’t have to scrape-scrape-scrape to get product off, but it doesn’t crumble everywhere, either.
  • I’m sorry, have you seen how cute this is?
  • One duo is $6, which is just… whoa. I mean, when’s the last time you bought a baked shadow
  • It wasn’t tested on animals, hurrah!

Why we don’t:

  • The pigmentation leaves a little something to be desired — I mean, the shades are great, but they’re a little hard to build up. It’s not too bad, though, and for a drugstore product (that’s actually at a drugstore price,) the amount of colour you can foil on is definitely still decent..
swatched dry, top halves over primer.



The ingredients:

Mica, talc, mineral oil, dimethicone, magnesium aluminum silicate, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben.
May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, chromium hydroxide green, manganese violet, ultramarines, red 7, yellow 5.

The verdict? For $6, I think these duos are a pretty good buy. They’re a little on the sheer side, but for an easy, soft look, and for that price, I’m not complaining!

Check out Daydream in this FOTD!

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