Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MUFE HD Invisible Cover Foundation Review

Beauty editors, makeup artists, beauty bloggers, and makeup fans have all raved about the Make Up For Ever (MUFE) HD Invisible Cover Foundation. It's about time I find out for myself what all the hype is about.

The foundation itself has a very thin and liquidy consistency and provides sheer-medium coverage. I've discovered that several other HD formulas are liquidy and sheer, including MAC's Face and Body Foundation (MAC's version of an HD formula) and Smashbox's  HD Healthy FX Foundation. I just don't understand why HD formulas are so sheer! If you need to look good on film you probably need at least a medium coverage foundation, unless you have perfect skin....and realistically, who does? That being said, the HD formulas are buildable, but if you need medium-full coverage and layer a lot, then the foundation will be cakey and unattractive. Thus, I really don't understand this whole HD business. 

Back to my review of the MUFE version. I think it is good if you have perfect skin and don't need much coverage, but not if you have redness or scars that you want covered by foundation. Also, unless you have zero under under eye circles (again, who does), you need to use an under eye concealer. That being said, this foundation does photograph well. 

Keep in mind that I did use a face primer here, but only used one layer of the MUFE foundation. My skin is no where near perfect but it looks pretty good if I say so myself! 

Here is a close up:

The color range of this foundation is really good, but I don't like their numbering system because it is impossible to differentiate between warm and cool shades based purely on the shade number. You basically just have to test out a bunch before finding your right shade. Also, after looking at the close ups of my skin with this foundation on, I realize that this formula looks better in photos than in person. Maybe that is the magic of the HD ingredients? I dunno, but I know that I want my skin to look good both in person and in photos. 

Kajal Couture Rating: B

Kajal Couture Overall Opinion: I found this foundation to be just ok. I wouldn't re-purchase because I think there are much better foundations that feel light but provide better coverage while allowing skin to look good both in person and in photos. My current fave is MAC Studio Sculpt and I will be doing a review of that one soon!

Victoria's Secret Pro Airbrush FX Face Primer Review

A few months ago I was shopping at Victoria's Secret and I was given this deluxe sample of Victoria's Secret Po Airbrush FX Face Primer Review SPF 20

This primer is silicon-based and has a combination creamy and gel-like consistency. It goes on smoothly without feeling thick or heavy. 

You may have noticed that I've been using this primer in several of my recent posts, as I was testing out how well this works. So what's my verdict? This is a pretty basic primer that makes foundation and face products last all day and the bonus is that is has SPF. This primer won't reduce the appearance of fine lines or make pores appear smaller. It won't help with oily skin and it doesn't give an airbrushed look. That being said, if you are in the market for a basic primer, this is a good contender, especially because it is really affordable at $14 for a full-size size bottle. 

Have you tried this primer? What about any of the other products from Victoria's Secret new Pro line?

Friday, May 27, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Look - Hibiscus

You know how MAC posts sample "looks" whenever they release a big collection like Surf, Baby? I usually glance at them but never try them because I usually don't have all the products used in a look or I don't find the look fitting to my style. Until today. While browsing the Surf, Baby Looks, I came across the Hibiscus look and thought it was pretty.....and I just so happened to have most of the products used. So here's my interpretation (all products are MAC unless otherwise specified):

Victoria's Secret Face Primer
Studio Sculpt Foundation
Pro Longwear Concealer
Studio Careblend Powder in Gold-go-Lightly
Smashbox Halo Hydrating Powder

Beurre Lip Pencil
Hibiscus Lipstick
Strange Potion Lipglass

Lingering Eye Brows Pencil
Nars Eye Primer
Brule Shadow - Highlight
Mylar Shadow - Iinner Lid
Sun Blonde Shadow - Lid
Mystery Shadow - Crease
Teddy Eye Kohl - Upper Lash Line
Blue Noon Powerpoint Eye Pencil and Surf USA Shadow - Lower Lash Line
Prep + Prime Lash Primer
Plushlash Mascara

What do you think? Did you get anything from Surf, Baby?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Eye Looks

The MAC Surf, Baby collection is officially out online in the US and I am so excited because it's the first MAC collection in a long time that I think has some really great products. It also helps that MAC's summery beach collections tend to be amongst my favorites (I LOVED To The Beach last year!). The products I am most excited about are the eye liners (go figure) and the shadows. 

Of course, I couldn't wait to try the liners so I busted those boxes open and started a' linin'!

Blue Noon and Gilded White Powerpoint Eye Pencils

Here is a quick and easy look using Blue Noon on my upper lash line and Gilded White in the inner corner and lower lash line:

I love wearing a pop of color on the top lash line because it isn't in-your-face but it is still a fun and easy way to add color to my makeup. When you look at my overall look, the blue doesn't stand out, but up close you can tell I am wearing some color. 

MAC Paint in Chartru on lid and browbone
MAC Light Ray all over lid and browbone
MAC Coquette in crease
MAC Blue Noon on upper lash line
MAC Plushlash Mascara

Victoria's Secret Face Primer
MAC Studio Stick Foundation
MAC Moisturecover Concealer
MAC Bronze Cream Color Base on Cheeks

MAC See-Sheer Lipstick (new fave)

So after playing with the liners, I wanted to play with the two star shadows of this collection, Sun Blonde and Surf USA:

 Sun Blonde and Surf USA Shadows

I like Sun Blonde a lot because it really is more yellow than anything MAC has in their permanent collection. The closest I have is Goldmine, which is lighter and less yellow than Sun Blonde.

 Left: Sun Blonde, Right: Goldmine (with flash)

 Left: Sun Blonde, Right: Goldmine (natural light)

Surf USA is also a gorgeous shade of blue that is the perfect shade of the ocean. I already had Saffron from the Mickey Contractor collection. All the shadows from Surf Baby have great color payoff, are super blendable, and very easy to work with. 

Left: Saffron, Right: Surf USA

I know a lot of bloggers have been doing the yellow and blue beachy look using Sun Blonde and Surf USA, so I decided to do a different kind of summery look using Sun Blonde and Saffron.

(don't mind the wonky lashes...I was having a bad lash day)

In this look I used the following on my eyes:

MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque on lid and browbone
MAC Arena on inner corner
MAC Sun Blonde on lid
MAC Saffron in crease
MAC Vanilla to highlight
MAC Engraved Powerpoint Pencil on upper lash line
MAC Plushlash Mascara

What do you think of these looks? I am going to try out the Studio Careblend and creme stick bronzers from this collection and will report back on what I think of those. In the meantime, what are you most looking forward to from Surf Baby?

P.S. If there is something you want that is already sold-out online, try calling your local MAC and have them put it on hold. Most stores are going to start selling Surf Baby on Wednesday, not Thursday, so they will hold it till then. I know my local store only got 2 of each pigment stacks so if that's on your wish-list, try calling ahead to try and get your hands on 'em!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: Baby Powder at the Beach

Sometimes we get caught up in the excitement of new beauty breakthroughs and we underestimate the power of basic beauty products. Now that summer is here and many of us will be spending some time at the beach, I want to share with two reasons why you should consider tossing some good ol' baby powder in to your beach bag.

1. Sprinkle some baby powder on your skin and rub lightly to help get the sand of your skin. I especially like this one because no matter how well I rinse off, I always end up with sand between my toes.

2. Sprinkle some baby powder on the roots of your hair to help absorb any grease and add some volume back in to your hair. Baby powder works as a cheap and easy "dry shampoo" and this trick is especially helpful if you are planning to go straight from the beach to dinner.

Do you use baby powder? If so, what for? 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beauty Blog Link Love

Hey Lovelies!! Hope you are having a good weekend! I've been doing a little work, a little play, and a little beauty readin'!!! If you are looking for some good reads, check out some of the great beauty blogs below!

Jellyminx presents a bronzer lovers paradise with her ultimate Bronzer Overview.

Missed out on the New York City Makeup Show? Have no fear, for Krasey Beauty has the scoop!

Over at The Pink Sith blog, Joeybunny brings you swatches of the new Dior Rosy Tan Eyeshadow Quint and makes a shocking confession!

Have you tried lining your eyes with traditional kohl/kajal? Kajal Couture did and she shows you how.

Can the cute and new Sephora Hello Kitty-Memoirs Of A Kitty Palette satisfy an ex-punk beauty junkie like Tracy at Beauty Reflections?

Amy Antoinette showcases the prettiest lip balms in her collection.

Beautywoome has found the best light alternative to foundation for summer!

Still a Sugarpill virgin? Beauty's Bad Habit shows you Lumi Chromalust, a pigment which will have you rushing for your credit card!

Lipglossiping falls in love with an eye cream that shows promising results... but like most things in life, it comes at a price!

The Lip Print faces her fear of orange to find this absolute beauty by Tom Ford - that man sure know's how to make a lipstick!

Looking for a perfect bronzer? Check the new Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder at Fleurissante.

Unique, unusual and different...find out what perfume Lady Gaga is currently wearing! Read Hellcandy's review of it here.

Tarte's new Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eye Shadows arrive just in time for summer. See how they make eyes shine at Prime Beauty!

Love Chanel Mimosa but not the price? Find out how you can dupe it for under $10 on My Lips But Better.

Are you ready for summer? Anita reviews Guerlain's Terra Inca summer collection over at Pleasureflush.

AOYV ponders if Vasanti's Magic Liner really magical?

Mariella at Musing on Beauty has a play with the new Becca Halcyon Palette and tells it all.

Audrey Dao is giving away 3 Julep Jennifer Mani Care Sets, so you can get the perfect manicure!

Head on over to theNotice and enter to win Rae's "holy grail" face powder, a Canadian exclusive that's honestly just really, really lovely.

Hope you are able to enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Making a Customized Lip Palette

I'm on a roll with space saving ways to condense my makeup collection. First it was de-poting, now its de-tubing. Lipstick, that is!

Call it spring cleaning for your makeup drawer. Call it learning to fit things in small spaces. Or call it "I just happened to find this at my local Sephora so I just had to tell you about it!"

This is the Sephora Lipstick Palette Kit. It's no longer available online, but I found mine in the sale bin at my local Sephora. It includes an empty 8-well lipcolor palette, a lipstick melting bowl, and a spatula. Create-your-own lipstick palettes are great for making a customized palette with your favorite shades so you can easily access your favorite shades in one palette rather than search all over for tubes of lipstick. These palettes are also great for travel so you can carry multiple lip colors without it taking tons of space. The reason I picked this up is because I have a few lipsticks coming to their end and I wanted to dig out and use the last remains of the lipstick and toss the tube. 

This Sephora palette itself is pretty small...just slightly bigger than a credit card. It also includes a small lip brush.

So how do you actually get from tube to palette? I started by digging out lipstick from a tube that seemed to be finished, but I knew there was still lipstick beyond the little plastic edge. As you can see, I dug out almost 1cm of product!

I scooped the product out with the spatula that came in this kit and put it in the melting bowl/

Per the directions that came with this kit, I microwaved the lipstick for 1 minute so it was completely melted.

I then poured the lipstick in to the palette, scraping the palette with the spatula. You are supposed to do this immediately after melting the lipstick, so the lipstick doesn't solidify, so I wasn't able to capture an image of the pouring action, but you can see when the bowl looks like with the product scraped out.

The amount of lipstick I saved filled almost two wells in the palette! The top well was neat, but by the time I started pouring the bottom well I was trying to pour and scrape at the same time so it didn't fill up as neatly. 

Now I can easily use up the lipstick product that would normally be trashed. Although I am not the biggest fan of lip palettes because they can be messy, this is certainly better than digging the lipstick out of the seemingly empty tube and this palette is convenient to use. 

Have you ever de-tubed your lipstick? 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: How to Depot Shadows and Blushes

Ladies, this is a big one. Despite the other depotting tutorials already out there in cyberland, in the past some readers have requested to know my method, so why not tell all of you!?!

(Warning, this post is photo-heavy.)

So here is a basic MAC eyeshadow in the normal pot:

I open the lid and shove thin tweezers between the little crack that holds the black plastic holding the pan of the shadow and the base of the pot. This will allow the black plastic pan to pop out:

Here is what it should look like with the black plastic pan holding the shadow popped out:

I then light a candle. Holding the black plastic with tweezers, I put the shadow over the flame to start melting a tiny hole in the black plastic. Be careful with this since you don't want to burn everything and end up ruining the shadow or burning yourself. I also recommend doing this by an open window because the plastic burning smell can be quite yucky.

Here you can see that the center of the black plastic has started to melt. The plastic has not melted all the way through, but it is quite soft.

I immediately take a semi-sharp object like a ball-point pen and press it on the melted spot to help push the metal eyeshadow pan out of the plastic. I try not to melt too much of the plastic, so if the shadow pan doesn't pop out right away, I try melting more plastic until I can pop the shadow pan out. Also, I usually lay a soft towel down while doing this so that when shadow pan comes out, it will hit a soft surface and not break.

The metal pan holding the shadow should start to come out of the plastic. At this point I lift the metal pan out of the plastic with my fingers. 

Here is the shadow pan popped out of the plastic. The shadow is face down. Note the sticky glue on the bottom of the metal pan.

While the glue is still sticky, I like to remove the shadow label paper from the bottom of the shadow container so I can attach it to a magnet and attach the magnet to the sticky glue on the metal pan. In order to loosen the paper label, I hold the shadow container a couple inches above the candle flame for a few seconds. The heat will loosen the glue that holds the label on to the plastic container.

Once the label is a little warm, it should peel right off.

I then stick the label on a magnet.

I usually trim the magnet label in to a square that is smaller than the metal shadow pan. I have found that when I use a magnet the whole size of the metal pan the magnet is large and has so much magnetic power that it becomes hard to remove from a pallete.

Here is the final shadow pan. Pretty close to the shadow pans you can just buy from MAC, right?

Finally, I pop the little plastic piece that held the metal shadow pan back into the shadow container. Why? So I can Back-to-MAC it of course!

There it is! Hopefully you find this helpful!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time to Turn Up the Heat!!! MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect Review

Last week I told you how unimpressed I have been with the recent MAC collections. Flighty was ok...not as bad as it was made out to be...but still not jaw-droppingly amazing. I am hoping the upcoming Surf Baby collection will bring me out of my MAC new collection slump.

In the meantime, I figured I would share with you some of my all-time favorite products from MAC's permanent collection. This first one is a product I have purchased over and over again, and will continue to do so for years to come. It is the MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50:

The first time I bought this it was because I wanted sun protection for my face. I had tried the infamous Shiseido sunscreen for the face and it broke me out horribly. The Prep + Prime Face Protect doesn't break me out and it still offers an SPF level of 50!! Hooray!

Although the product is a white cream like most sunscreens, it doesn't make me look white in pictures and my face doesn't feel greasy all day. This also acts like a primer and helps my makeup last all day and provides a great base for foundation allowing it to blend easily over the skin. You need a really small amount to cover the entire face and neck area so one tube should easily last you through the spring and summer. I even use this as a pure sunscreen on my face when I am at the beach or pool and am not wearing any makeup. I simply apply this on my face and neck and use my regular Neutrogena sunscreen on the rest of my body.

The only thing I don't like is the tube packaging. It's one of those that you can't squeeze completely so you can't get all the product out at the end, and it doesn't have a base so it won't sit up on a table. That being said, I LOVE the product inside the package and for that I will continue using this.

Have you tried this? What sun protection do you like?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Makeup Tip Monday: Thick, Luscious Lashes

Wonder how some gals have the most luscious lashes without using falsies? Try this trick:

First apply one coat of mascara to the top side of the lashes....just fling the wand over the ends. Then apply mascara as normal to the underside. Applying mascara on the top helps thicken the lashes and also adds an extra coat to hold curl and add a bit of thickness. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Battle of the Eye Primers

In my constant quest for finding new and effective products, I decided to put 4 popular eye primers to the test: MAC's Painterly Paint Pot vs. Smashbox's Photo Finish Lid Primer vs. Kat Von D's High Voltage Eye Primer vs. Urban Decay's Primer Potion. I didn't have the Nars primer when I did this experiment, so I might have to repeat it with that. In any case, check out what happened when I applied Urban Decay's Flipside Eyeshadow over each of these 4 eye primers on my arm:

Immediately after application:
L-R: Flipside shadow on its own, MAC Paint Pot, Smashbox Photofinish, Kat Von D High Voltage, and Urban Decay Primer Potion

As you can see, on its own the shadow was very faint and hard to detect. The shadow was the darkest when applied on the MAC Paint Pot and the Urban Decay Primer Potion. During the following 3 hours I really put these primers to the test by rubbing my arm and wearing long sleeves for 30 minutes. Normally, nothing rubs up against our eyelids when we wear makeup, but the blinking motion definitely creates friction. 

3 Hours after application
L-R: Flipside shadow on its own, MAC Paint Pot, Smashbox Photofinish, Kat Von D High Voltage, and Urban Decay Primer Potion

To my surprise, after 3 hours, just about all products had faded away significantly. The Smashbox primer  failed miserably. The MAC Paint Pot worked well at holding on to the product, and the Kat Von D High Voltage worked well at ensuring the color remained bright. I had wanted to test out the ever-popular Too Faced Shadow Insurance but I just didn't have any with me at the time, and it doesn't work too well on me so it's not a product I would repurchase. All in all, this little game reinforced my affinity to MAC's Paint Pots. 

What is your favorite eye primer? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

MAC Flighty Collection: Big Bounce Shadow Review

Ok, as always, I'm going to be honest with y'all. I haven't been impressed or interested with any of the MAC launches since the Mickey Contractor collection, which was 4 months ago. That's saying a lot because I can usually convince myself that at least one product in each collection is worthwhile. I was really excited about the MAC Flighty collection launching in stores in the US today, but after reading other bloggers' reviews, I thought it would be just like the others: disappointing. 

I am happy to say I was wrong. 

Now, I know a lot of people follow Temptalia, as do I, but I find that there are numerous occasions where I don't agree with her. But that's the beauty of the blogging world....we all have our own opinions and the same products work differently on each individual. In the case of the Flighty Collection, there were many negative reviews of the Big Bounce shadows, however my experience was quite the opposite.

I had to try at least one, so I picked up my standard-issue, will-definitely-use shade of peachy gold, the shade titled Up The Ante! The texture of this shadow is somewhat of a liquidy mousse. It doesn't feel whipped, but it doesn't feel watery either. Since it is on the liquidy side, MAC was smart and included a little plastic shield so the product doesn't get all over the place when you open the jar.

 Since I heard that this new shadow creases like crazy, I decided to try it on top of the NARS eye primer. In the spirit of experimentation, I used my finger to apply the shadow on my left eye, and the recommended 242 brush to apply the shadow on my right eye. The brush applied the product more evenly and in a thinner layer, which I preferred because it was buildable.  

 Immediately after applying Up The Ante! Big Bounce Shadow

This shade is pretty shimmery, but not glittery or gritty. It might be a bit too much for the office, but you could work with layering powder shadows on top (as I do later on). The Big Bounce shadow itself dries pretty quickly, but that might be because I used a primer underneath. I didn't feel like I had to leave my eyes closed for the shadow to dry, which was a plus. In order to test out whether this product would wear well on its own (over a primer of course), I wore just this shadow for one hour.  Since most other bloggers said this creases right away, I figured one hour would be sufficient to determine how this wears over another primer.

 One Hour after applying Up The Ante! Big Bounce Shadow

As you can see, this wore really well after an hour! No creasing!!! Part two of my experiment was to see how another shadow would wear on top of the Big Bounce Shadow, so I applied MAC's Kid Powder Shadow on top of Up The Ante!

Immediately after applying Kid Powder Shadow on top of Up The Ante! Big Bounce Shadow

Applying Kid over the sparkly Big Bounce shadow gave a very subtle but gorgeous effect. I really like how this has some visual interest....the shimmer peeks through so it doesn't look like a shimmer shadow but it's not flat either. So how did this shadow combo wear over time?

Five hours after applying Kid Powder Shadow on top of Up The Ante! Big Bounce Shadow

I think it wore quite well! Sorry for the blurriness but it was late when I took this photo and I tried so many times to get a clear shot, but my camera just wasn't having it. In any case, you can see that there was still no creasing or fading of color. Thus, I am pleasantly pleased with the performance of the Big Bounce shadow and I might even go back to check out the other shades. If you don't mind using a primer first, I think these shadows will make be gorgeous as a wash of color over the lid or as a beautiful base. 

Kajal Couture Overall Opinion: A (as long as you use a lid primer underneath)

What do you think? Will you check out these new Big Bounce shadows?


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