Monday, July 27, 2009

Avon brings the word "intensive" to a whole new level

Photo from avon.com

Several years ago I traveled to Germany during one of the harshest winters in 100 years. The cold was wretched, horrid, treacherous, bitter, and cruel. There were days when the cold would sneak into by mouth, slither inside my lungs and squelch what breath I had. It was so cold that when I covered my face with a scarf, my breath would crystallize on it in a matter of seconds, and this was on the clear days. On the snowy days, the snowflakes would land on my eyelashes, melt my mascara and then the cold air would rapid-freeze the lashes. I would leave the hotel with many lashes and return to the hotel room with just four huge ones.

I thought I could handle cold, but Munich and Fussen (what is the code for the umlaut?) took my courage shattered it and laughed in my face. Needless to say, my skin screamed in pain. It felt stretched, raw, and assaulted by needles. No matter what I put on, I could not ease the sensation of pinpricks. I could not quench the thirst of my desperate skin. My skin wanted to shed tears, but it was too dry to do so. The cold had sucked the soul out of my skin. Damn you, cold weather! Damn you!

If I had only discovered Avon Moisture Therapy Intensive Hand Cream sooner (side note: it says "hand cream," but I put this all over my skin). Holy Hydration! There needs to be an emphasis on "intensive." Had I had this cream during my frigid trip (other than the cold, Germany was lovely), my skin would have rejoiced. Rejoiced, I tell you. This cream is for extremely, extremely dry skin. I mean, really dry skin. This is like aquaphor times 100. This sucker adds moisture and locks it in like a world-class vault. Not even John Dillinger would be able to infiltrate. In addition, take note of the "therapy" description. This cream is so heavy it really isn't for "after-every-time-you-wash-your-hands" use. This cream is strictly for night time or low activity time. Had I owned this while in Germany, I would definitely had spread this all over at night after my bath time, and my skin would have sighed in relief.

Also, a little goes a long way. When I first got this cream, I made the mistake of squeezing out a quarter-size dollop. Man, I was was massaging this into my skin for half an hour, and I was sticky for quite some time after. However, my skin was like a plump grape, as opposed to a dried up raisin. Also, be sure to warm up this cream in your hands because it is difficult to distribute. When the cream is squeezed out of the tube it is a translucent white, thick, aquaphor like substance. Then when rubbed into the skin it turns white, and then goes into the skin. Your skin will quickly show a healthy glow, but it will feel a little coated, hence not for all the time use.
When applied it feels like the cream is sucking all of the available moisture from the air and absorbing it into your skin. Of course, it may be because glycerin is the second ingredient. Oh, and the scent is light and inoffensive. It kind of reminds me of a light, powdery baby scent, but now the cheap kind.

You know, this cream reminds me of the Neutrogena Norwegian cream, but less expensive (from last I checked which was a while back.) When I have massive rough patches, this is my "go-to" cream. My skin thanks this cream in the winter. Most definitely. You know what else thanks this cream? The scholar's elbows. Whoa, nelly! Those elbows get rough and tumble. This cream attacks some of the ash.

So, if you suffer from really, really bad, dry skin, give this a check. Avon sells the cream in various sizes, and they throw the cream on sale on a regular basis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 happy wallets (Remember not for all-the-time use. I continue to use Curel for everyday use, and I use this cream when I need some serious moisture. If you live in a humid climate, you will feel as sticky as a fly trap. )

Price: $1.99-$3.99 (1.5 oz to 4.2 oz), check out my rep's website. Ms Anita is most excellent.

P.S. just a reminder that this review is for the hand cream. Also, thanks to Lovememore for the recommendation

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eye make them smolder (lol, poopy pun)

Back in the day I was all about the smokey eye. My mission was to make all, men and women, suffer from the smoke inhalation caused by my hot eyes. Had I been a superhero that would have been my superpower. After I applied the combination of grays and blacks, I would go out with my friends and make sure to squint while pursing me lips. Why, well, that is what sexy women do. I would dart my brown eyes left and right to see who was spontaneously combusting from the effect of defused charcoal eyeshadow. HOT, I tell you! HOT!

However, after so many nights of squinting and burning people with my ardent eyes, I got tired of it. I needed a break from the dramatic look, so then I moved on to a defined liquid eyeliner look with red lips, because that isn't dramatic at all.

This was more than four years ago. Can you believe I haven't done a smokey eye (to go out) in all of that time? I mean, now everyone does the smokey eye. Hell, now the smokey eye is considered natural. I just had this revelation last night, and I figured I would ease myself back into the art that is fiery eyes. In addition to doing a smokey eye, I also revisited the Revlon Colorstay eyeshadow quad in "Sultry Smoke" (such an appropriate name). I am also testing out Maybelline's new XXL Extension mascara in "very black." My first impression of the mascara is "hmm, this can work. Let's try again without all of the shadow."

Anyway, here are the pics and a quick review of the eyeshadow quad.

Review:
I absolutely love these colorstay quads. They are smooth, nicely pigmented, and they don't overload on the shimmer. As a matter of fact, some of the shades are totally matte, which is rare in a drugstore product. Why is that? These shades glide on very nicely on the lid, and they last for more than 8 hours. The color does fade a bit throughout the day, but there is no creasing. I really like these shadows for work makeup too because they are pigmented but not overwhelming nor overly dramatic. The color combos are just right too. I have many of the quads, and I probably will get the new ones. Big fan of these quads.

Colorstay 12 hr eyeshadow quad
see my reflection in the glass, lol?

Revlon Colorstay e/s
no names, just swatches. I used all of the colors. The light silver, blue, and gray shades do have shimmer in them, but it is very subtle. The black is matte.

another closeup of smokey eye
breakdown:
Maybelline define-a-brow in "dark brown"
UDPP
NYX jumbo pencil stick in "black bean" on outer 3/4 of eye (base)
NYX jumbo pencil stick in "yogurt" on inner corner (base)
Blue of quad on outer 3/4 of eye (the black bean really makes the color pop)
Gray of quad on outer corner and bottom lash line
Blue silver of quad on inner corner, and above crease to blend the darker colors
black of quad as liner in waterline and top lash line (sealed in the unstoppable eyeliner)
Maybelline Unstoppable eyeliner in "pewter" in waterline and tightlined
Maybelline XXL Extensions mascara in "very black" (several coats)
Maybelline Mineral Power concealer in "beige" with mark. powder buff powder foundation in "natural" on top of concealer

Smokey Eyes
face breakdown:
mark. powder buff powder foundation in "natural"
mark. bronze pro bronzer for contouring
ELF bronzer in "warm tan" for highlighting
NYX round lipgloss in "cafe latte"

There are more pics in my flickr photostream

Monday, July 20, 2009

my lashes can fan a fire


photo from covergirl.com

So, I have been on a mascara kick. I am even revisiting ones I had tried before. Now in the rotations is Cover Girl's Fantastic Lash waterproof mascara. When I had initially tried this mascara several years ago, I felt "meh" about it. What made me pick up this mascara again? Curiosity, I guess. As it turns out, I am glad I bought it because I really like it. This mascara pretty much does everything is promises. The waterproof formula doesn't budge, the lashes look long and well defined, and my lashes look lush.

The volumizing with this mascara is interesting because the the formula doesn't obviously plump the individual lashes. Instead, it seems to amplify the individual lashes without any clumping. I am doing a crappy job in describing exactly how nicely this mascara volumizes. Hmm...how should I explain this...ok, the mascara coats the lashes to enhance fullness of the lashes as a whole, but it does not overwhelm the lashes with formula. Therefore, the lashes look full and lush without looking fake. Here is the best part, I can layer the mascara and I don't have to use a lash comb to get rid of clumps because this mascara doesn't leave clumps. How crazy is that?! So for full, natural lashes I could just wear one layer, but seriously, I never do that. I like full, obvious lashes, so I apply two to three layers of lashes. With some other mascaras, I have to comb through the lashes after each layer to prevent clumping. With this mascara I can swish, chill, swish, chill, swish, pick up the baby and go. Pretty nice. I think the lack of clumping is because of the semi-thick yet drier formula, which as I have mentioned before is my favorite type of formula.

Also, the brush is a typical shaped brush, but the bristles are shorter and tighter together, which helps to grab as many lashes as possible, and it also lets the brush get close to the lashes. The formula and brush really do make the lashes "fan" out. Oh, and the mascara held my curl pretty well.

Rating: 5 out of 5 happy wallets (no clumping, smudging, holds curl, lengthens and creates a lush look)
Price: $6 to $8 at drugstores

Pics
Bare lashes (from a previous review)
eye without Maybelline Colossal

CG Fantastic Lash WP!
Cover Girl fantastic lash WP

Cover Girl fantastic lash WP

Friday, July 10, 2009

Quick Tip: tightlining

I love to tightline my eyes. (Tightlining is when you line the base of your top lashes. You do this by pushing the liner into the base of your upper lashes. So the liner isn't visible on the lid; instead, your lash base looks thicker. Tightlining is perfect for giving a thick lash illusion without the dramatic liner line on the lid. I should provide a picture, but this quick tip just came to me.) However, whenever I use a pencil liner, the liner sometimes smudges or runs. Luckily, the other day I picked up a very helpful makeup book, and I would like to share one the tips. The book is titled Makeup Makeovers: Expert secrets for stunning transformations by Robert Jones. Mr. Jones makes a simple recommendation of using eyeshadow instead of eyeliner to tightline.

This tip never occurred to me. Why? I don't know. I mean I use eyeshadow at eyeliner all the time, but I never thought it would work for tightlining. Well, let me tell you that today I used a black eyeshadow (by La Femme) to tightline, and I was seriously impressed. My lashes looked thick, there was no running, and I think my application was much more precise and accurate.

Has anyone else tried this method?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

At least Maybelline didn't lie to me

After the debacle that is Revlon Ultimate super-stick lips. I went back to a sleeper hit that was hiding in my lipstick drawer: Maybelline Mineral Power Lip color. Hmm, these are comfortable and cozy. Maybelline ensures that these lipsticks are light, smooth, soft, and overall naturally delightful. And, they are. These lipsticks are like mildly pigmented lip balms. They truly are very moisturizing without feeling waxy. They add a tint of color to the lip without being overpowering nor overbearing. These lipsticks really are very pleasant. Did you notice that I am using kind of romantic adjectives: "pleasant," "cozy," "delightful"...? Yeah, these lipsticks remind me of the very delicate damsel who always ends up in distress. These women usually sport a very soft, kissable, healthily glowy, cushiony lip that draws both villains and heroes in.

These lovely lippies just glide on the lip and delicately enhance the lips; the lippies leave a "my lips but better" effect. Even though they go on sheerly, the shades are buildable, however, it will take many layers. These lippies are great for the days when you have bold eyes and you want to play down the lips, or when you want a very natural look.

The texture of the lippies is creamy but light, and slick. It feels like a thin and melted shea or cocoa butter. Since the texture is so light, the staying power isn't crazy long; however, the staying power of the moisture is stellar! My lips felt so soft they could be confused with silk (not really, exactly, but they do feel pretty soft) long after the color has disappeared. Plus, when I have the lipstick on, it doesn't feel like I am wearing anything heavy, which is so nice when I want to look like a natural-makeup-wearing-damsel-in-distress (this occurs at least twice a month). Oh and no overpowering smell, either.

I bought three shades when they were on sale. I am satisfied with these three colors, since I have only started to venture into the world of sheer lipsticks. I tend to like more pigmented formulas, but this is very excellent for the natural days that I have been embracing more often.

If you aren't really heavy into lipstick, then this is a nice introduction.

Rating: 5 out of 5 happy wallets (lives up to the description. Very nice and moisturizing. I love how my lips feels afterwards).
Price: about $5 to $7 dollars depending on drugstore

Pics
maybelline mineral power lip
Ruby doesn't really match the name. It is not as bright as I would think with the name Ruby. As a matter of fact, on the lips I get Ruby and Sienna confused. However, Sienna does have a little more orange than Ruby.


maybelline mineral lip swatches
These swatches are several coats of the lipcolors so that they can show up. They are quite sheer, but, again, buildable. Plum wine is my fave of the three.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I've gotta be doing something wrong

Soo, I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but Revlon is one of my favorite drugstore brands. I love their super lustrous lipsticks, their Colorstay foundations, powders, eyeshadows, polishes, and liners. However, Revlon has this most excellent knack of creating crap to balance out the good. Talk about good vs. evil, seriously.

When I saw the beautiful Jennifer Connolly seductively putting on her new Colorstay Ultimate liquid lipstick. I had to do everything in my power not to rush out and buy the damn thing at one in the morning (Cheeks decided to be social.). I also practiced temperance when I saw the tube of promise at the drugstore. No! I was going to wait for a sale. I could live without having a "food-proof, ultra conditioning" lip color for just another week. I regularly check Make-Up on the Cheap's blog for the weekly sales, and then it happened! Revlon was on BOGO sale. This was when I said to hell with moderation, packed Cheeks in his infant car seat, snapped him in the back seat, and high-tailed it to Rite Aide. During the car ride, I explained to Cheeks the importance of having a non-transfer-doesn't-budge lipstick. Sure, I have others, but this one...Well, this one promised so much:
"Food-proof lip color with a built-in, ultra-conditioning topcoat.
One-step application- No topcoat required for comfortable wear.
Stays comfortable and wears beautifully for up to 12 hours.
Does not feather or fade; no touch-ups required, even after meals.
Available in 20 full-coverage, soft satin shades." (from the Revlon site)

Guess what! I shake my fist at Revlon. I shake it vigorously. I would rather spread latex paint all over my lips than sport this caca. That's right, I equated the liquid lip color to caca. My first impression of this lip product was so disappointing, I knew I had to be doing something wrong. There is no way Revlon--my favorite brand, the same brand that produces the super lustrous lippies--could create such an uncomfortable lipstick. How should I describe the sensation of the lipstick on my lips? Hmm...First off, this lip crap is thin in the tube. So applying is a little interesting because thin lip product and doe foot applicator does go together. The doe foot just smears the product around on the lips without evenly placing it on my lips. So when I am done putting on this stuff, I have a distinct line around the edges of my lip and a thin layer on the rest of the lip. Then, I can't apply more because another layer will just add to the mess. My finger won't help the distribution because the product rapidly gets tacky and becomes reluctant to move. Also, since the formula is so thin, the product settles in my grooves. Therefore, my lips look older and drier than they ever were.

When I initially put this on and had the above mentioned experience I figured the product just needed time to settle. It never settled. As a matter of fact the product just got more uncomfortable. My lips would stick to each other when pressed together. The sweet tarts I bought stuck to my lip (gives a whole new meaning to "sugar lips"), and there was no luster to the look. I understand that longer lasting lippies will be matte, but this product states that it "wears beautifully" and it has the "built-in ultra conditioning topcoat." Did my batch forget the friggin' topcoat? I can't even smooth my lips against each other. How in the world will the Scholar want to continue kissing me if it feels like I have a glue trap on my lips? Is this what Revlon insinuates when they show the models kissing the man endlessly? It isn't that the man (also a model) wants to repeatedly kiss the woman; it is that the man cannot pry himself away.

I got a tag line for this liquid lip color, "Trap your partner's lips like the Venus Fly trap." Again, very sexy.

Oh, and this is very difficult to remove. I have to steal Cheek's baby oil to take it off. It seriously feels like a layer of sticky shellac. So, it does last long, but at what cost?
You know what, I could further discuss the disappointment that is this lip product, but I am just going to move on.

Readers, my beautiful, dear readers, please let me know if I am doing something wrong. Has anyone else tried these Liquid lip colors? What has been your experience?

As far as ratings, you already know what I am going to give it: 1 out of 5 happy wallets. I gave it a "1" because it doesn't smell at all and it is food proof.

Price: regular price, $10-11 (don't even get me started!)
Places: drugstores
Shades I got: Premium Pink and Maximum Mocha.

Ultimate Colorstay tubes

ultimate colorstay swatches
They look pretty here. All shimmery and alluring

Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid lip
Not but maybe 1.5 hours later. Pretty much looks the same as first application. See, lips look lifeless. I did eat two hot dogs, popcorn, and drink water while wearing. Not much change. It just doesn't look pretty though.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Quick Tip! Happy 4th

Hi beautiful readers (yeah you, I am talking to you!),

Just a quick tip, don't forget to let go of the firecracker after lighting it. Don't forget to run away from the fireworks after presenting it with fire, and don't grab a sparkler by the hot end (learned that the hard way).

Also, really enjoying the Sally Girl bronzer in "Sin-namon." It is a browninsh, orangey color. I know it doesn't should nice, but it gives my skintone a nice glow. There is also a touch of shimmer to it. The powder is less than $2 at Sally's.

I am going to do a review of my favorite economical brushes soon, too. I feel inspired. All I have to do is bribe Cheeks McGee to give me some time to do it.

Have a lovely day