Wednesday, August 17, 2011

M.A.C Bronzing Powder in Redefined Golden Swatches & Review

M.A.C Claims: 
A lightly frosted, tinted powder that gives skin sheer, natural colour effects and highlights. Ideal for enhancing a skin tone or to accent or strengthen a tan. Skin-conditioning - and formulated to provide a smooth, even application on all skin types.

Before trying out any of M.A.C's Bronzers I actually tried M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in a deeper shade than my own. The way it looked is very natural and I still use it from time to time. Instead of dealing and using the same product for one thing, I decided to branch out and try a bronzer because it's a little deeper in color and has some shimmer to it, it's also a less expensive alternative than using a Skinfinish for everything. 

When I went into the M.A.C Counter I was promptly greeted by the M.A.C girl that always helps me out. I explained what I was looking for. I wanted a nice bronzer that I could use to contour my jawbone, cheekbones and little of my forehead. Without hesitating she picked this up and showed me what it looked like. I saw the shimmer and thought to myself "Oh my God, I'm going to look like a bronzed glitter ball," although those were my first thoughts I took the risk and tried it on just to see what it looked like. I loved the way it looked. The shimmer showing up on the skin is very toned down compared to the pressed product in the packaging. It gave just the right amount of shimmer.

M.A.C. Bronzing Powder in Redefined Golden: Left is layered on, Right is blended.

After experimenting with this Bronzing Powder, I've grown to love it. It's very pigmented on my medium toned skin so a little goes along way. It can be sheered down for a more natural look. 


Pigmented, Careful with Application

Over All Rating:

M.A.C. Bronzing Powder's can be purchased at M.A.C Stores, M.A.C Counters and for $23.00 US.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

M.A.C Surf, Baby Swatches & Review

Grab the board, hop in the Jeep, cruise the Pacific Coast Highway… Surf’s up! The lure of the endless summer starts here with My Paradise Cheek Powder, Summer Stash of Crushed Metallic Pigments, Hibiscus Lipstick and Splashproof Lash Mascara that just won’t smudge. Colourful, lustrous, and full of life…journey to a world where feeling the rush means taking a risk. Hang Ten!
Here’s bronzing for every dude and dudette looking to hit the half-pipe with a killer tan. Bring commotion to the ocean with Solar Riche Bronzing Powder and new Gold-go-Lightly Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder. Capture the surf spirit, add contours & dimension with the latest Skinsheen Bronzer Stick! Defy sun-and-sea blasted lips with Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balms.
Limited edition.
 Swatches & Review after the jump.

M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Review

M.A.C Claims: 
A luxurious domed face powder with minerals, slowly baked to provide a dimensional yet natural-matte finish. Provides perfect low coverage. Use to set and fix foundation or as a touch-up throughout the day

The first thing I ever purchased when I started experimenting with make up was the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. The reason that I decided to start off with this is because the make up artists told me that this product had coverage, but not enough to be visible to eyes. It's also buildable, lightweight and looks natural. When I first started applying this product I would use the Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush, since the brush itself is duo fibre it allowed a lightweight but airbrushed finish of the skin.

When I wanted to move up in coverage I asked the M.A.C Make Up Artists about the Studio Fix. She asked me what I was using on my face because it already looked good. I told her that I was using the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus. Instead of suggesting a foundation that was higher in coverage she suggested the Fix + (spritz of vitamin and minerals, review coming soon). That in itself gave me awesome coverage without looking like I was actually wearing make up.

I own  Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in two shades, Medium Plus and Medium Dark. The reason that I owe them in two shades is because in the winter I can go with Medium Plus and to contour or during the summer I can use the Medium Dark shade. To set my Prolongware Foundation I use my Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus to town down the pink undertones in my skin. Therefor giving me a natural even tone. I have also ran in to the problem where my shade is no longer matching me because my skin darkened during the summer, so instead of buying a darker shade of foundation I dusted on some Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark. That itself saved me not only a trip to the M.A.C Counter, but also money on a new foundation.

Not only can the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural be used to set and give warmth to your face, but it can also be used alone. This product itself is a product that I seem to purchase time after time. It's truly one of my favorites.

Light Weight
Used for Setting
Gives Color/Warmth

Low Coverage

Over All Rating:

M.A.C. Mineralize Skinfinish Natural can be purchased at M.A.C Stores, M.A.C Counters and for $27.00 US.

Sonia Kashuk Double Duty Brush Set Review

Sonia Kashuk Claims: 
Each brush takes on twice the application! This set contains a blusher/contour brush, foundation/concealer brush, large eye/ angled eye shadow brush, eyebrow comb/Crease shadow brush and case.

After having much success with Sonia Kashuk's Highlighting Brush I saw these at my local Target and decided to give these a try. Not only did I not have any of these brushes, but I also fell in love with the cute white case that came along with it. This set comes with four sets of brushes. 1. Blush/Contour 2. Foundation/Concealer 3. Large Eye/ Angled Eyeshadow 4. Eyebrow Comb/Crease and of course that cute white case.

When I first got this set I was mainly focusing on my Concealer & Eyebrow Comb as well as the Case. I didn't pay much attention to the other brushes because I wasn't into that much make up. The only thing that I was wearing on my face at the moment was M.A.C's Mineralized Skin Finish Natural and M.A.C's Studio Finish Concealer. The other brushes that came in the set were for "just in case" purposes. I didn't intended of using them at the moment. I ended up giving the Blush/Contour Brush to one of my friends since blush wasn't part of my life in that moment.

The other brushes in the set worked perfectly. I still use the Foundation/Concealer Brush. I mainly use the Concealer in for M.A.C's Paint Pot's. The foundation brush I use on other people or when blending colors in together. I feel that the Large Eye/Angled Eyeshadow Brush duo is an okay brush. The Large Eyeshadow brush is too big for my lids. The Angled Brush is too thick for precise thin lines. The Eyebrow Comb is one of my favorites, I can use it to separate my eyelashes when they get a bit clumpy.

Overall this brush set is pretty versatile for almost any situation. I really enjoy the look and feel of these brushes. I used these for mainly travel purposes until my case broke. I loved the quality of these Sonia Kashuk Double Duty Brushes that I ended up buying the full brushes on their own.

Lot's of Brushes
Good Quality
Blend Well

Large Eyeshadow Brush is Big
Angled Eyeshadow Brush is Thick
Contour Brush is Small

Over All Rating:

Sonia Kashuk Double Duty Brush Set can be purchased at Target & for $21.99 US.

Almay One Coat Triple Effect Mascara Review

Almay Claims: 
Get fuller, longer, curvier lashes in one coat for 100% pure impact. the patented triple action gel formula instantly builds, extends and sculpts your lashes. triple impact brush wraps mascara evenly around every lash in one smooth application. gently formulated with aloe and vitamin b5 to help keep lashes conditioned. extra gentle, non irritating formula.

This is probably one of the first mascaras I ever tried. I really enjoyed the way it made my lashes look thicker and longer. The brush was probably the best and worst part of the whole ordeal. The brush gave me control of where exactly I wanted to apply the mascara since it's a one sided brush. The one thing that kinda sucked about the brush is that it didn't give much of a one swoop and you're done. It was constant application for the regular look.

Overall I truly enjoyed the mascara. It did flake a bit but not enough for me to discontinue the use of this mascara, I finished the whole tube dry. I wouldn't repurchase just because I've had better mascaras.

Longer Lashes
Thicker Lashes


Over All Rating:

Almay One Coat Triple Effect Mascara can be purchased at drug stores for $6.89 (prices vary) US.

Sonia Kashuk Matte Blotting Papers Review

Sonia Kashuk Claims: 
These sheets instantly absorb excess oil without disturbing makeup or leaving a powdery residue. Perfect for touch ups on the go! Includes pouch and 100 blotting papers...

After my failed attempt at Oil Blotting Sheets with E.L.F. Essential Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets, and after much success with Sonia Kashuk's Highlighting Brush, I figured that these blotting sheets would be magnificent. I saw them at my local target and figured getting 100 sheets for $6.99 would be a steal. I use these for a couple of days and noticed that make up was being left behind on the blotting papers.  That was the end of our relationship.

After carrying these in my bag for a few months I realized that I would rather use some blotting powder to control my oil than have these sheets disturb my make up.

The one thing that I really did like about these sheets is the fact that they are pretty big and only need one to get all the oil. They do absorb oil pretty well, but half my make up ended up on the sheet as well. With that said, my search for the perfect oil blotting sheets continued.

100 per Pack
Big Sheets
Nice Case

Don't Control Oil
Shift Make Up

Over All Rating:

Sonia Kashuk Matte Blotting Papers can be purchased at Target & for $6.99 US.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Upcoming Release: MAC Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15

With our all races credo, we’re redefined what a perfect match should be with new Matchmaster Foundation SPF 15 technoloigy, using translucent pigments to create a formula that enables a fully personalized finish influenced by the subtleties of your own skin tone. Adding to Matchmaster’s true-to-life appeal is its moisturizing demi-matte finish, medium buildable coverage, and line-reducing soft focus powders. Add the fact that this formula reduces excess shine-creating oil, and who could resist?

Shades: 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5 &10.0

Suggested Retail Price: $32.50 US/$39.00 CDN

North America, September 22, 2011
International (excluding Asia), September 2011
International (Asia only), September 2012

Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush Review

Sonia Kashuk Claims: 
This airy brush provides the sheerest application for foundation, highlighting, bronzer, or blush.

When I first started playing with make up the first brush that I ever purchased was M.A.C's 187. Reality finally set in that I had spent $42.00 on a brush that I didn't know how to use properly. I was barely getting into make up. I decided to return the 187 but desperate looked online for something comparable that I could work with. I found this baby.

The Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brush is everything that I could ask for and more. Not only does it work identically to the 187 but it is also very inexpensive. It literally cost a fraction of the price of the 187. If I had the chance to change the past, I wouldn't. I'd keep this brush. I can use it for powder, liquid, bronzer, highlighting. It's a multipurpose brush that I always reach for.

I have a few very pigmented blushes that only this brush can work with. It picks up just the right amount of product. I'm glad I picked this one up.

Blends Well
Airbrush Look
Holds Right Amount of Product

Sheds a Bit at First

Over All Rating:

Sonia Kashuk Highlighting Brushes can be purchased at Target & for $12.99 US.

E.L.F. Essential Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets Review

E.L.F. Claims: 
These amazing little sheets instantly absorb oil, minimize pores and mattify shiny skin. Woven texture eradicates shine and keeps skin matte for hours. Green Tea Extract helps re-texturize skin and masking facial imperfections. Travel pack fits neatly into your purse for on-the-go touch-ups.

When I first saw these at the cosmetics department at my local Target, I couldn't hold myself back. I knew that I had to try such an inexpensive item. What did I have to lose?

I tried these out and I absolutely loved them the first few times I used them. I noticed that they were taking the shine away from my oily nose, chin and forehead. I didn't notice much of the "oil controlling properties" that it claimed since my oil was instantly coming back.

In the process of constantly blotting my face I started to realize that these blotting sheets were shifting the make up around my nose.

Absorb Oil

Don't Control Oil
Shift Make Up

Over All Rating:

E.L.F. Essential Shine Eraser Oil Blotting Sheets can be purchased at Target, & for $1.00 US.

Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Waterproof Mascara Review

Maybelline Claims: 
Does For Lashes What Stilettos Do For Legs 55% LONGER LASHES, shiny patent finish Waterproof
I am very scared when it comes to trying out a product that I cannot return or exchange with a breeze. I'm also not the biggest fan of waterproof mascaras. The reason being is that most waterproof mascaras tend to get hard, flaky and end up leaving specks all over my face.

The reason that I decided to look for a good waterproof mascara is because my bottom lash area tends to get very watery and other waterproof mascara seemed to always smudge. I was on the hunt for the perfect waterproof mascara that I could use on my bottom lashes. I wanted to look for one that wouldn't run down my cheeks. I spoke to a friend of mine and she recommended the Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Waterproof Mascara. We ended up at the store the same night and I decided to give it a try. I tried it on my bottom lashes and was satisfied with the fact they didn't smudge. I decided to go that extra mile and see what this mascara did for my top lashes. Needless to say, I don't think I can ever look at another waterproof mascara the same way. This mascara accomplished everything that I was looking for in a mascara. It gave me length, volume and kept my top lashes curled. Keeping my lashes curled is something that I've struggled for quite some time and I think I found my solution.

Although this mascara does everything my other mascara haven't been able to accomplish, there is one down fall. It's almost impossible to remove with eye make up remover. I feel like I have to rub my face for ages before it actually comes off and still manages to leave some residue.

Although it is a pain to take off, I always reach for this before anything else in my make up bag. This mascara is truly amazing. I guess now I shall be on the hunt for a perfect eye make up remover.

Longer Lashes
Thicker Lashes
Smudge Proof
Keeps Curl

Hard to Take Off

Over All Rating:

Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Waterproof Mascara can be purchased at drug stores for $8.95 (prices vary) US.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation Review

Make Up For Ever Claims: 
The MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Complexion products use innovative formulas to create a new generation of make up which is both invisible on HD cameras and to the naked eye. The HD Foundation is an oil-free medium-to-full coverage liquid foundation which covers skin imperfections, while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life. Its extremely fine texture is supple and easy to apply. Enriched with moisturizing agents, it leaves the skin soft and radiant. It is available in a wide range of shades to suit all skin tones. 
When I first walked into Sephora I practically ran to the Make Up For Ever section of the store. I wasn't sure what color I would be but I knew I was going to be around the medium range of the foundation. I was promptly matched by one of Sephora's sales associates. She was truly a doll and helped me out with this product. The one thing she didn't mention is that this product has no type of oil control or mattifying properties. The thing is I have oily skin, and this foundation can't battle my dangerous t-zone.

In store the associate applied the product with a sponge, which I am personally not a big fan of, since sponges harbor bacteria and soak up most of the product. Once she was done applying it on my whole face I was really satisfied. It truly looked like I wasn't wearing any make up. The sales associate decided to set it with the Make Up For Ever HD Powder. Once it was set with powder, the appearance of make up was more noticeable. I was truly happy with the end results and was sure this was going to be my Holy Grail Foundation. The associate offered me a sample so I decided to try it out and buy it if I liked the results.

I am truly happy that the associate offered me a sample of this product. If she hasn't offered the sample, I would have bought the foundation and returned it the very next day. The foundation started melting off my face once I stepped outside my home the next day. I applied it with M.A.C's 188 brush, and I apply almost everything with this brush. My t-zone looked super oily and very unflattering. I really wanted to love this foundation.

Blends Well
Good Color Match

Low Coverage
No Oil Control
Doesn't Last Long

Over All Rating:

Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation can be purchased at Sephora, and for $40.00 US.

M.A.C Brush Cleanser Review

M.A.C Claims
This one product will clean, disinfect and condition the brush fibers so that brushes will last longer. It is convenient to use and is specifically designed to extend the life of high quality brushes. Brush Cleanser leaves your brushes smelling fresh and clean, and helps shorten their drying time
This Brush Cleanser is probably one of the best out in the market. It is also hands down the best one I have ever tried myself. It leaves a fresh clean scent on your brushes without the overpowering smells that other brush cleaners tend to leave behind. I use this cleanser to clean off my brushes after every use. I use Johnson's baby shampoo for a deep clean once a week.

I've tried using this brush cleaner in different forms and I've found out that using it with a spray bottle works the best. I went to my local Target and bought one of the empty travel size pump containers. I spray some directly to the brush and wipe on either a paper towel or a hand towel, whatever your preference is.

I also tried taking some brush cleaner and putting into an empty container, swirled my brushes around and then dried with a hand towel. I feel that this method can waste quite a lot of product. That is why I believe the spray bottle works the best, for me.

Cleans Very Well
Dries Fast
Not Very Pricey

Product Can be used up very quickly
Can get expensive with constant purchase

Over All Rating:

M.A.C's Brush Cleanser can be purchased at M.A.C Stores, M.A.C Counters and for $13.00 US.