Thursday, August 2, 2012

Silent Treatment Always Works!

I know I sound like a broken record but Wet N Wild really does make the best drugstore shadow! Their saturated pigments and velvety textures really set them apart from the usual chalky, pale shadows you find on the next shelf over. Surprisingly enough it’s also one of the most affordable brands! Although I stand by any of their shadows, I think the Silent Treatment trio really deserves the spotlight.
Indoor, no flash.

Outdoor, no flash
So, the “browbone” shade is a frosty, shimmering pearlescent peachy pink.  The “crease” shade is a very dark brown with peachy pink glitter.  The standout, in my opinion, is the silvery-taupe “eyelid” shade.  These colors are beautiful on their own but blend seamlessly to create a gorgeous wash of color.  Check out the swatches to see how the colors compliment each other (I’m still working on my swatching technique!).  Keep in mind that the swatches below are applied over a thin coat of Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Indoor, no flash. L-R: browbone, crease, eyelid.

Outdoor, no flash. See how the peachy browbone shade really accentuates the glitter of the crease shade?
This palette is great for those who want to practice blending. The velvety texture really allows the shadows to move on the lid, requiring little effort to blend. The colors all have a little bit of each other mixed into them so there’s no stark contrast (unless you really amp up the crease shade). If you’re still weary, WnW tells you exactly where to put each shade! Could it get any easier?
Just FYI:
·                     The “eyelid” color is said to be a great dupe of MAC’s “Satin Taupe” eyeshadow
·                     The “browbone” color is said to be a great dupe of MAC’s “Jest” eyeshadow
·                     For a more neutral look, use the “crease” color as a liner instead of in the crease
·                     For a more dramatic look, wet your brush before application
·                     Because this formula is so saturated, try a pressing technique instead of a sweep. Pat your brush onto the shadow and then press it onto your lid instead of dragging it across.  This will decrease fallout and adhere the shadow better.

I’ve saved the best for last:  this beauty is less than $3.  Need I say more?

Set it and Forget it

Urban Decay’s All Nighter is a long lasting makeup setting spray that is supposed to keep makeup in place for 16 hours. This spray has temperature control technology in it that keeps the face from melting when it’s hot and humid and from cracking when it’s dry and cold.  It prevents “loss of color, melting, sliding, caking, cracking, excess shine, fading blush, drooping eye shadow and lip color disappearance.”

I purchased this from Ulta a couple of weeks ago and have been using it pretty regularly.  Pitts and I put this spray on and tested it’s staying power for 8 hours. On this day, we did a lot of shopping and eating (which is a typical day for us).  Here are our before and after photos:

After eight hours, our makeup did look the same.  We didn’t do a 16 hour test because we thought that it was too long for us to have our makeup on.  Typically, I wear my makeup for 8 hours but occasionally I wear it for 12 hours.  I’ve found that this spray helps settle the powder on my face and blends my makeup.  It leaves my skin looking matte all day.  I have combination skin and my forehead and nose can be oily throughout the day and this spray controls my oil. I think it keeps my makeup looking fresh, but I do still use an eye primer and a face primer. I don’t think it helps with lip color disappearance because the color from my lipsticks and glosses still fade, but I think it does everything else it’s supposed to do.
PROS: easy to use spray bottle, no scent, keeps makeup on, lightweight, vegan, cruelty free

CONS: Expensive- a 4 oz bottle is $29
I would recommend this product to anyone who thinks their makeup disappears throughout the day or for anyone with a special event coming up. If you’re going to a wedding or going out, I would try this product to make your makeup long lasting. I think this product is a little pricey for everyday use. All Nighter is similar to MAC Fix+, but I have never used it so I don’t know how they compare.
Gigi’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Please let me know if you’ve tried this product and what your thoughts are!

Grease is the Word

LUSH's Grease Lightning

Grease Lightning is a spot treating cleanser that has aloe, witch hazel, tea tree, thyme, grape juice and rosemary.  This concoction zaps unwanted pimples and fights bacteria.  This product sounded too good to be true, so we had to test it out!  One of our friends was willing to participate in an experiment for us.  Our subject prefers to remain anonymous, therefore we will call him “Alcide” to hide his true identity.  He is seventeen years old with acne and unpredictable skin.  Alcide applied Grease Lightning morning and night after cleansing his face.  We tracked his progress for two weeks.

Day One
Day Two
One Week

Two Weeks

Before and After

PROS: Grease Lightning was very gentle and effective.  There was a noticeable difference in Alcide’s skin within two weeks.  Grease Lightning balanced and cleared up his skin.  The pump made it very fast and easy to apply the product.  Alcide was able to incorporate this into his skin care routine with ease.  This product is also affordable.  A 1.5 oz bottle is $12.95 and if you just use it for spot treating, one bottle can last a long time.

CONS: Grease Lightning dried Alcide’s skin.  It also stung a little bit on the days he shaved.  Grease Lightning has a natural scent that Alcide wasn’t fond of, but he said it wasn’t terrible.
Overall, Grease Lightning did what it said it would.  Everyone is different and these results might not be the same for everybody, but Alcide loved it.  I wish I found this product a long time ago!
Alcide’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for all of your help, Alcide!

LUSH “It Started With A Kiss”

Gigi & I picked this up lip tint on a whim and we’re (mostly) glad we did. Let’s start with the product description and then we’ll get to the review. LUSH says this “crimson red tinted balm”, formulated with Cinnamon Oil, Fresh Red Apple Infusion and White Chocolate, is sure to lure Prince Charming your way.

During one of our marathon shopping days with our friend Sheila we all tested this tint. Check out the pictures below to see how it measured up on our different skin tones! Obviously it is most noticeable on fair skin and more understated on darker tones. I don’t think the pictures show it very well, but the tint seemed to pull more red on fair skin and more pink on the medium and darker tones.  I think we all used a pretty light hand with this application, so keep in mind that the color you see can definitely be built up. 

 Okay, time for the verdict.
1.                  We all liked the color but agreed it might be best for fairer tones.
2.                  We all hated the taste/smell.  I don’t even know how to describe it.  You can definitely pick up the spiciness of the cinnamon and the sweetness of the white chocolate.  These flavors might be fine on their own but they do not work well together.
3.                  Sheila and I disliked the texture – gritty and somewhat dry.  Gigi didn’t have a problem with it.
4.                  For sanitary reasons I don’t prefer my lip products in pots or tins (but I bought it anyway, haha).  I don’t think Gigi and Sheila mind this aspect. 
5.                  It lasts!  I could still see the tint six hours later!

So, would we rebuy?  I don’t think so.  The staying power of this product is its best feature, second to the shade.  The taste and texture are what make us second guess a repurchase (you can probably find another effective tint that is more pleasant). 
Sheila’s Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
Gigi’s Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Pitts’ Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars (I’ll bump this to a 5 when Prince Charming arrives)

DiorSkin Forever, Will You Marry Me?

Book me on the next flight to Vegas because I’m ready to marry this foundation!  After 8 years of empty promises from other brands, Dior came to my rescue and showed me that not all foundations are cut from the same mold.

Before I discovered Dior I was using mostly Clinique foundations.  I tried “Redness Solutions”, “Superbalanced”, “Superfit” and the “Even Better” formulations.  What attracted me to the brand was their scientific approach to skin but the attraction didn’t last long.  No matter which formula I was using, by the end of the day I would inevitably end up with an Oompa Loompa mask on. Some unknown ingredient was mixing with my oils throughout the day and oxidizing into a horribly dark, fake-tan orange color.  Definitely not the color I left the house wearing!  Finally it hit me that the problem was not the formulation – the problem was the brand.  I broke up with Clinique and never looked back.
It was so eye-opening to learn that I didn’t HAVE to live with an Oompa face.  My search for the perfect, non-oxidizing foundation began (and ended) at the Dior counter. Completely new to the brand I relied heavily on what the sales associate recommended for me.  I told her that a long-wearing, non-oxidizing formula was a must.  Without hesitation she applied Forever on me in Ivory 010 and I was hooked!

Okay, enough of story time.  Here’s why I love it:

·                     It doesn’t oxidize – no matter how oily I get this stuff stays the same shade it was when I first put it on!
·                     It’s pigmented & rich – without being streaky, one pump of this stuff can cover my whole face!
·                     It’s not heavy – no “mask” feel.

Of course there’s room for improvement in every product.  I wish this foundation was a bit more mattifying but it is not marketed as a mattifying foundation so I can’t judge too harshly on this aspect.  The most important factor for me is the color consistency and this product has it down to a science so I’m happy.  This is definitely one of those cases where you get what you pay for.  Our future together might be a little costly but compatibility like ours is priceless.


By Special Request: My Skin Care Routine!

One of our favorite readers (Katherine) suggested I do a post on my skin care routine.  There's not much to it really but hopefully she (and you!) can find some of this info helpful!  Most of my routine takes place at night, so I will start there.  Here we go!


1.                  Remove eye makeup with Up & Up Eye Makeup Remover (not pictured, sorry!) and a cotton ball.
2.                  Pump some of philosophy’s purity made simple onto my Clarisonic and cleanse for one minute (Clarisonic has an automated timer).
3.                  Optional: apply a face mask (follow directions on packaging).  I don’t do masks every night but when I do, it’s always at this point of my routine.  The type of mask varies depending on what my skin needs any given evening.
4.                  Apply Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado all over eyes & orbital bone.
5.                  Apply The Body Shop’s Wise Woman Regenerating Night Cream.
6.                  Sleep – a very important factor in skin’s restoration and overall health!



1.                  Rinse face in shower.
2.                  Exfoliate when necessary (not every day, especially if you’re using Ocean Salt like I do!).
3.                  Apply Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.
4.                  Apply The Body Shop’s Aloe Soothing Moisture Lotion SPF 15.
5.                  Apply makeup.

That’s it!  Pretty simple, right?  Perfecting my skin routine took a long time and a lot of product testing.  If your routine is in limbo right now I recommend getting a facial from a professional esthetician.  As they complete the facial they will review your skin’s needs with you.  After my first facial I learned that I was overcleansing and drying out my skin – major surprise to me!  With this knowledge I was able to rethink my routine and finally get the most out of my skin.
If you have any questions, let me know!  Any must-have products that I am missing out on?!

Jump On It!

It's a hockey puck!  It’s a bar of soap!  Nope, Jumping Juniper is really a shampoo bar from LUSH!  Honestly, I was pretty nervous about using a shampoo bar.  I didn’t think this would really clean my hair or have a nice lather, but I was proven wrong!  This product is for oily hair because the juniper, lavender, rosemary, lime, and lemon decongest oils.  I tried this product because I have oily hair and my roots would sometimes be greasy by the end of the day.  Since using this shampoo bar, my hair has been really clean and hasn’t been greasy.  I do admit that I wash my hair everyday.  I know you’re just supposed to wash like other day, but I just can’t do it.  I really do think Jumping Juniper has reduced the amount of oil in my scalp, without drying it out.  It lathers very easily and is very simple to use!  I rub it on my wet hair and it gets really foamy and I work the lather into my hair and rinse.  This product has a very light scent that doesn’t linger, and that’s one of the reasons I really like this product.

I recommend this product for anyone with oily, greasy hair.  If you don’t have oily hair, this product might dry out your scalp.  One shampoo bar costs $9.95 and I think it’s really affordable because I’ve been using the same one for almost 2 months and I still have a little left.  The only downside to this product is that I’ve reached the point where the juniper twigs are coming out and I had a few twigs stuck in my hair.  I have to remember to pick out the twigs from the shampoo bar before I use it or else I’ll have little surprises in my hair.  If you do give Jumping Juniper a try, I suggest getting the shampoo tin to store it in because the shampoo bar sticks to surfaces after it dries.  I’ve also purchased LUSH’s Ultimate Shine shampoo bar and I think I’m going to start using Jumping Juniper on my roots and Ultimate Shine on the rest of my hair.  I think the concept of a shampoo bar is different and definitely worth a try!

Gigi’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (I had to take off half a star for the twigs)