MAC "Rhythm" Lipglass

I’m mostly doing this post because I’m so excited to have bought a MAC product again after such a long time. Months & months! (Also, the blog has a new layout… Scope it out!)

So of course my one teeny lipgloss (and it is teeny) came in a box far, far too large. I didn’t pay much attention and didn’t know this collection had limited edition packaging so that was exciting. I get a little too thrilled with the packaging, though, I know. I like this one…. Makes me think ultra-bronzey hot, hot summer.

But you’ll know what I mean about me and packaging when I tell you the “ooooh, purple insides” moment I had when opening the box:

“Rhythm,” in all the blog posts I saw about it, looked so spectacular to me in swatches. It is what I think of as a happy magenta and it has golden-ish/coppery shimmer which I’m usually a sucker for.

The shimmer isn’t as noticeable on the lips or even in these flash photos as it is in natural light… It doesn’t come out a ton in swatches so it looks a bit more magical in the tube than in reality. That being said, it’s still a gorgeous shade and the sparkle IS there on the lips.
I have pretty pigmented lips and this doesn’t show up in any dramatic way but it adds a really pretty pinkness to them and nice shine. MAC Lipglass usually tends to err on the sticky side and this is a bit true with this one as well but definitely not the worst I’ve experienced.

Tried to get a little arm movement in the swatches so you can see the shimmer from different angles. The bottom swatch looks particularly nice and a good representation of how much shimmer there is when the light hits at the right (best) angle.
My lips take away from the pink brightness of the gloss but this is me wearing “Rhythm.”

23. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: lipgloss, MAC, makeup, swatches | Leave a comment

L’Oréal Advanced Haircare Shampoo & Conditioner Review

I’m not sure what it is about a certain shampoo commercial that will grab my attention and make me buy their product but I do keep my eyes peeled when I’m running out of shampoo and/or conditioner and… Probably ultimately just see the same shiny hair you get on all of them on any one particular commercial at the right time and I’m sold. My last pick was L’Oréal’s new haircare line of products called “Advanced Haircare” which are tailored to individual hair needs.
These ones I tried out were not for the same problem: the shampoo is the oleo-keratin variety for frizzy hair and the conditioner is the arginine one for fragile, falling hair. I tend to mix up my conditioners and shampoos all the time because I get the best results that way but I was still very conscious of the immediate after-effects of these ones.

… And my opinion of them is torn.

The Shampoo

The “Smooth Intense” Polishing Oleo-Keratin shampoo (these seem name-heavy, don’t they?) boasts 72 hours of frizz control by “softening and taming rough texture.” Aaand… I didn’t like this shampoo. I suppose it did give me a lot of frizz control but it did so by weighing my hair down to basically a greasy-looking mess. I have super oily hair and I almost always have to wash it everyday or it will look gross… With this shampoo, I was almost immediately in the bad zone of oily heaviness. It didn’t even give me a half-day of good-looking hair. Just too much for me and my oily-prone tresses, that’s for sure. 
I’d steer clear if you are an oil-slick like me (that’s what my mom always says ;) ) but if you are super dry… It might help you without causing problems… I definitely can’t attest to that opposite world. Please comment if you had better results!

The Conditioner

So let’s see the name of this one is “Triple Resist Arginine Reinforcing Conditioner”… For damaged, breakable hair. 
It promises three numbered improvements on the front of the bottle:
  1. Nourishes root to tip
  2. Reinforces strands
  3. Resists breakage
… Those are sort of the same things said three different ways but ok, L’Oréal, I won’t nit-pick.
It also says it will give you “3x stronger, more resistant hair.” I see why they needed those three points now.
You leave this conditioner in for 1-3 minutes before rinsing. I’m a bigger fan of the conditioner than I was the shampoo. It does give me a noticably smoother look when I use it and my hair looks healthier overall. I’m not sure I’d say it does a whole lot more than a lot of conditioners do but I do think it works, has a pleasant smell and a nice creamy consistency. I just prefer to use it with a different shampoo.
Prices vary a bit by where you shop but the shampoo I reviewed here runs about $7 and the conditioner about $5. Could probably find it cheaper at Wal-Mart or places like that, I price-quoted from Drugstore.com.

22. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: conditioner, hair care, l'oreal, shampoo | Leave a comment

Maybelline Expert Eyes 100% Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover

With Maybelline Expert Eyes Eye Makeup Remover, you get 2.3 Fl. Oz. for $4.49… It was the price tag that sold me. Now that I’ve used this several times on different brands of makeup… I’m ready to review!

First off, I like the smell a lot. It sort of reminds me of a mix between baby oil and baby wash… Although to be honest it has been awhile since I smelled either but the (light) scent makes me think BABIES!

It has a snap open cap which I prefer over a screw cap and you should lightly squeeze because it will come shooting out as it’s very thin… It is an oil-free product and the consistency is much much much like water. It seems to wipe free for me without drying or really moisturizing at all either (not supposed to be a moisturizer, just sayin’). It leaves a little bit of a scent behind but I can only smell it if it’s on my arm and I sniff it directly (this was done for review purposes). It’s not overwhelming.
When I first used this, I didn’t use enough (trying to be conservative) and it didn’t do a great job of removing without rubbing so I was a bit discouraged… Second time, I used more on my cotton pad (not a ton, enough to douse the eye area) and it removed it much better. I’ve used eye makeup removers that require less work but this does a good job in a few swipes of the pad; there is no rough rubbing or anything like that.
All in all… I like it! The fact that it works and is very inexpensive makes it a winner. I’m not using so much each time that I feel like I’m flying through the product either, like it sometimes seems with less expensive items.
Maybelline… I have to say, you’ve been really thrilling me lately and to think I barely paid you any attention before recently!

21. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: makeup removers, maybelline | Leave a comment

Milani Eyeshadow in "Girls Luv Pink"

I’ve been wanting to try Milani eyeshadows. I have tried (and liked) other Milani products so I chose this pretty light pink called “Girls Luv Pink” to give it a whirl…

I gotta say, I think this is far too subtle for my liking. I have yet to try it in a look but at best this could be used as a light shimmer on the eye. It could be pretty over a matte shadow to add a little extra oomph… But as it stands alone, this shadow is a little too lackluster for me.
To get the small payoff, I had to dip into the product with a bit of a rough hand and it is a little messy and dusty as you can see from the photos. The color payoff is really the disappointing point because while the shimmer is definitely there, the pretty pink doesn’t shine through in the swatches very well and I took photos in all kinds of light with and without flash and none of the changes in light made it show up any better.
If you are into subtle shimmer, this may be for you. I’m more of a pigmented color lover and while I do like a little shimmer on the eyes, I don’t want to give up my color payoff for more shimmer.

The top swatch is blended out a bit and the bottom is a builded, more concentrated swatch. Not a huge difference there.
And in shade… Can you see it there? You can click the photo to enlarge.
Girls may or may not luv pink but this girl doesn’t luv this eyeshadow.
Milani eyeshadows (and I’ve seen plenty others swatched that seemed to be of better quality) retail for $5.99 and are available at most drug stores. I bought this one at Meijer.
And for no reason other than the fact that she was outside while I was photographing the eyeshadow, here is one of my doggieface, Cinderella, squintin’ in the bright sun…

18. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: eyeshadow, makeup, milani | Leave a comment

Essence Gel Eyeliner Review & Swatch

When I ran out of my MAC Fluidline in “Blacktrack,” I wanted a cheaper alternative to try (all my recent posts are starting out like this, do you see the sad, sad trend?) so I selected Essence’s Gel Eyeliner in “Midnight in Paris.” (or… Black.) The 0.1 fl oz pot goes for a mere $3.99. So… I didn’t expect too much…

… However, I was delightfully surprised at the performance and quality. It took me a little while before I got around to opening it for the first time and when I did, I noticed a huge crack (in the product, not the glass container) that went across the eyeliner and all the way down to the bottom of the pot. It was a very large crack that is maybe not especially apparent from the photos now but it’s right there along the middle. My immediate thought was “ok, this stuff is going to be DRY.”

… Wrong again. The formula is actually very, very creamy and glides on beautifully. I can’t speak for the waterline as I never use liner there but it stays on my upper lid without any smudging. In fact, when I go to take it off, it’s a bit difficult to get it off without a bit of rubbing. I’m very impressed by the wear-time on this stuff! It’s smudgeable when you first put it on but then after drying, it doesn’t frickin’ budge!
Here’s a swatch of a smudged line and a smooth couple of swipes:
I think for my own personal preference it could maybe be a tad BLACKER but I really am not going to make any official complains about this eyeliner.
So let’s see… Creamy, long-wearing and very reasonably priced… Check, check and check.
You can find Essence products at Ulta stores.
Has anyone else tried any other Essence products?

16. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: essence, eyeliner, makeup | Leave a comment

NYX "Set it & Don’t Fret it" Matte Mineral Finishing Powder

With my super oily complexion, I cannot really sing the praises of setting powder enough. I’ve cycled through a few brands now and this time I went the frugal route and bought this $9.99 finishing powder by NYX.

Most setting/finishing powders I’ve used have been translucent and WHITE in color. This powder comes in two shades and is not pure white powder. I use the “Light/Medium” but it also comes in “Medium Dark” for what seems like a very small range of tones but these should blend to invisibility–and Light/Medium does do that for me.

“Set it & Don’t Fret it” is a fine powder and it’s very, very easy to blow around which is why clumsy me needs to be careful when I open this jar. It has a twist lid and even gives you a little warning about keeping it upright. I suppose this seems obvious and applies to all loose powder but this one is extra fly-away it seems–the holes are maybe larger and so when I sift it through, I keep ending up with a lot of powder to deal with in one shot. This isn’t a problem–I’m just careful to dip the brush lightly because it picks up a lot of product.
According to the jar, it boasts quite a few skin perks:
… And holds up to the claims. My makeup looks much better after I apply this mineral powder: it does absorb shine, prolong my makeup wear and also makes my skin look nicer all-around.
If you’re used to using very fine loose powder to set your makeup, you may notice that this one is not quite as fine as a higher end powder. That’s not to say I don’t like this powder because it does do a really nice job in setting my makeup and dealing with excess oils but I can just tell it’s a bit cheaper than say Make-up Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder which, at $34 worth of the same amount of product, is a bit steep for those on a budget. I’d say NYX’s mineral powder does the job well and I’m pleased–especially when I remember the price tag.
You can find NYX products at Ulta stores. This powder retails for $9.99.

15. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: makeup, nyx, powder | Leave a comment

Maybelline Color Whisper "Cherry on Top" Lipstick

I’m a big lipstick girl. I especially love high end lipstick but lately I’ve seen Maybelline popping up on blogs in a way that dazzles and excites me (or something close to that). I have been into sheer color and I perfer a sheer lipstick over a gloss most of the time so I thought I’d give the “Color Whispers” a go. Sounds sheer, right?
I thought “Cherry on Top” was the perfect kind of cheerful pink I’ve had my eye out for right now. It’s very bright and fun and youthful–but I wouldn’t say only for the younger ladies.

It has a light feel to it when you put it on which I think everyone can appreciate. It feels like an all-around sheer lipstick but I think the color pay-off is really good and not particularly sheer with this shade.

Here are a couple of arm swatches. It is slightly buildable but one swipe gave me a lot of color.
On the lips, it’s even more pigmented and sort of what I see as a bright berry. Very pretty.

Got about as much wear-time as anything else–I’m constantly sipping coffee or water so I re-apply a lot with anything usually. Not at all drying or uncomfortable on the lips. I’m a fan.
These are $7.49 each.
Anyone else try these Color Whisper lipsticks or other Maybelline products?

14. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: lipstick, maybelline | Leave a comment

A Small Haul with a Re-Appearance!

Sooooo… I took a long hiatus but I think I’m totally ready to jump back into the beauty blogging game. Thanks for coming back and reading again!
I’ve been grabbing little beauty purchases here and there when I’m out and I see something I really, really like. Being on a tight, no-real-income kind of budget right now, I have to be really choosy. I went a little bit nuts the other day when I took a trip to Ulta and Sephora on the same day.
I bought:
  • Maybelline Color Whisper Lipstick in “Cherry on Top” (As well as “Pin Up Peach” for my sister.)
  • NARS “Tolède” Lipstick (Something I had been wanting for awhile, it was the main reason I went shopping to begin with!)
  • Bite Beauty Lipstick in “Pastille Rosebud” (My first Bite Beauty purchase ever, they have some really pretty colors and this red was to die for.)
  • Neutrogena MoistureSmoth color stick in “Juicy Peach”
  • Yes to Grapefruit Exfoliating Towelettes
  • Sephora Brand concealer brush (Not Pictured)
Reviews of some stuff coming shortly… Let me know if you’d like to see something in particular or if you’re loving any of these products :)
Feels good to be back!

14. May 2013 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: hauls | Leave a comment

Sweet Libertine Mineral Eyeshadow Review & Swatches

Many months ago, I took advantage of a deal going on at Sweet Libertine Cosmetics and ordered two of their shadows for a penny I think it was. It was a promotional thing and I didn’t get to choose the colors. I remember them saying it would take a while to get the shadows and they were right about that… It took many weeks to get it and when it showed up, I had forgotten about it. I’m not saying this is their normal delivery system, I don’t know how that goes but it did take me awhile to get these and then as long or longer to write about them.

They sent me “Camisole” which is a lavender and “Brass Monkey,” a sort of brassy brown.

The flash gave a little more intensity to the shades than is really there… The following sunlight shade is a bit more true to life. The flash did pick up the sparkly-ness pretty well though.

“Camisole” looks a bit flatter in the pot than it does in swatch-form. It’s pretty either way but it does pop a bit more once swatched. On the other hand, I think I like “Brass Monkey” better in the pot than on my arm here. It is pretty, though and it’s got enough sparkle in there to add dimension so it’s not boring at all, I’m just more impressed by less neutral colors. Can’t help it.

Pretty colors. I’m not blown away by either of them but they are definitely very nice. Swatched beautifully… Very smooth and not at all difficult to a nice, opaque color payoff.
Sweet Libertine’s mineral eyeshadows are priced at $6/pot and also come in a variety of color sets. They are vegan products. They also sell bronzers, concealers and lip products (among a few other things). Also good to note that SL runs a sample program where you can receive two free (randomly chosen colored) eyeshadow samples in small baggies if you send in a self-addressed stamped envelope.

18. March 2012 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: eyeshadow, makeup, mineral makeup, swatches, sweet libertine cosmetics | Leave a comment

Benefit "Hervana" Powder

I’ve been a big fan of Benefit’s Coralista blush for a long time now and when I saw Hervana, I knew it was something I wanted. Stat.

I find the the way Benefit does blush–in boxes–to be very appealing. I like that there’s no fall out when you’re swiping your brush.

It comes with a little brush and a mirror inside the top. I actually don’t mind these brushes either. I know the quality of brushes that come with a product is sometimes questionable and while these aren’t amazing, I find them to be soft enough and usually use them because it’s so convenient.

Love the swirl of colors… Isn’t it pretty?

Finger swatches of darker and lighter colors.

And an arm swatch… This is very subtle on me as you can tell. I had to build the powder to get the heavy swatch and then next to it (to the left), and I’m not sure how noticeable it even is, is a blended out swatch. I like subtle blushes a lot, actually. It’s better for me to have one you need to build a little than a highly-pigmented one that I make a mess with.

And lastly, here is a shot of the powder after a swirling of the brush and my fingers… The colors stay separately intact.
Did anyone pick up this blush? It’s available at Sephora and on Benefit’s site. It costs $28.

04. January 2012 by Jennifer_Leigh
Categories: benefit, blush, makeup, powder, swatches | Leave a comment

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