Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème™ Makeup – Could This Be Your HG Foundation?
Revlon Colorstay Whipped™ Crème Makeup is one of the line’s mainstays and one of Revlon’s few foundations not reformulated in recent years. That’s a good thing because this a great medium-full coverage cream foundation without sunscreen for those with normal, combination, slightly dry to slightly oily skin.
Price: Varies by store. Walmart offers most colors for around $11 for an 0.8 fluid oz. jar. Some shades cost a little more and are only sold only with shipping fees upwards of $5. ULTA and many drugstores (CVS, Walgreens etc.) sell this foundation for $15, but these vendors frequently offer Buy One, Get One 50% Off deals on Revlon products (which translates to 25% off or $11.25 each when you purchase two or more).
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup Photo from Revlon.com
Color Range:Revlon markets 12 shades from the very light “Ivory” which has a neutral yellow undertone to deepish “Caramel” which has a more warm reddish undertones. However, most major retailers – ULTA, CVS, Walmart to name a few – carry only 8 of the 12 shades in stores. And different retailers tend to stock different colors. That’s either good news or a giant hassle based on your color needs and shade availability in your area. The good news is that drugstores and large discount retailers like Walmart have return policies almost as lenient as Sephora’s (generally allowing you to return opened/used products within 90 days of purchase with a valid receipt), so you can usually exchange it, provided you can find a suitable color match. The color range is mostly neutral. The deeper colors are not all that dark, or at least they don’t appear to be online. Unfortunately, most retailer don’t carry the darkest shades in store which is disappointing because shipping can be expensive due to the heavy glass jar packaging (more on that below). I’ve actually purchased 4 different shades and find my skin varies from 200 to 250 depending on the season, and shade 150 works very well as cream highlight.
The thick and creamy texture of Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (Shade 150)
Application: This foundation is (as you might expect) thick and creamy. Revlon describes this as a “bouncy, whipped” formula with a “mousse-like texture that feels like silk on your skin.” I wouldn’t expect an airy whipped cream texture because it’s definitely thicker than that. And it’s heavier and creamier than the mousse that you use in your hair. But it does feel silky, with enough “play time” to allow you to blend it in without steaks.
Because this foundation is packaged in a jar, you’ll need to use clean hands every time you apply this foundation and/or be sure to use a clean brush or sponge each time you dip into the jar. Otherwise you risk contaminating the product and creating a breeding ground for bacteria or other contaminants that could ruin the foundation (or worse) cause acne, breakouts or other skin reactions. So, be careful.
Left-Right Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation (Medium 54); Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation (Light-Medium Sand); Milani Conceal+Perfect (03); Becca Ultimate Coverage (Noisette); Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup (250)
Texture + Finish: Revlon claims this foundation has a “mousse-like texture feels like silk,” on your skin and the time release formula balances skin for a flawless look. Revlon also promises that their Colorstay Whipped™ Crème is capable of self-adjusting to your skin’s needs, magically balancing out any dry or oily patches for a perfectly flawless look. Yeah, no foundation is capable of doing that. This one looks good on your skin as long as you’ve taken the time to prep your skin first. Despite Revlon claims Whipped™ Crème “never looks cakey,” if you pile on too many layers, it can look slightly cakey. Even then it can be sheered out with a damp sponge and a spritz of moisturizing setting spray.
Wear: Continuing with Revlon’s amazing claims for this product, they promise an astonishing 24-hour wear-time for this foundation. First of all, barring some major disaster or unforeseen event, nobody should be wearing their makeup for 24-hours straight. That said, this stuff will not last for 24 hours anyway. It breaks on me (at least) after about 10 hours, even with a great primer and periodic touch-ups. But that isn’t a deal-breaker. The best makeups require touch-ups because the skin on our faces is always producing oil; shedding skin cells. We sweat; talk on the phone and smudge makeup off. Whatever. Life happens. With realistic expectations, this foundation wears as long as some of the most expensive products with similar formulations. All matte, liquid foundations (e.g. Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet SPF 15) will always last the longest and perform the best in high humidity, but those foundations also have the greatest likelihood of emphasizing wrinkles, fine lines, etc.
Skin Beneficial Ingredients: This product does contain several emollient and skin-beneficial ingredients. Among them – Glycerin (skin replinisher), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hyaluronic Acid (emollient), Silk protein (may have antioxidant properties). The Vitamin E and Silk protein’s antioxidant properties will lose efficacy after a few weeks of regular usage due to product’s packaging. The sodium hyaluronate may eventually lose efficacy as well. The emollients will not be affected unless the product becomes contaminated as described above.
Revlon chose to house this foundation in a (very) heavy glass jar. Jar packaging is not my favorite due to sanitary concerns and because jar packaging means repeatedly exposing product ingredients to air, thereby decreasing effectiveness of fragile ingredients like antioxidants, etc. But I don’t usually rely on foundation for antioxidant or skin treating ingredients. Typically I applies those things as part of of my skin care regimen prior to applying my makeup. The heavy glass jar means you won’t want to carry this in your purse. So using it for touch-ups is out. And the absence of sunscreen means you’ll want to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (preferably one that includes some antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, etc.) of at least SPF30 before applying this foundation.
Summary: This is a great bargain for your beauty dollars and all-around wise purchase if you have normal, combo, or slightly dry to slightly oily skin and you’re looking for a medium to almost full coverage foundation with an attractive skin-like finish. This one comes in a wide array (for drugstore foundations) of neutral shades, but most retailers do not carry the full range of color option. The absence of sunscreen means this foundation won’t interfere with any selfies or photography you may encounter, but it means you’ll need to pair this with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 if you plan on using this as your everyday foundation.
Wisdom for the Day:
“Who is wise? And who knows the meaning of anything? A person’s wisdom brightens the expression; it changes the hardness of someone’s face.” ~Ecclesiastes 8:1 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.
+++More Info on Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Raspberry – Simply the Best!
Matte lips are a big trend these days. Practically every makeup line from low to high end offer liquid lipsticks, lip paints, lip tars and stains. As with most makeup trends, the look is incredibly flattering on some and not so pretty on others. Trends are by definition cyclical – going in and out of style – and I suspect the matter lip trend to be no different.
Something that never goes out of style is plump, moisturized healthy-looking lips. And that’s exactly what you’ll get from Superbalm™ – an all-time favorite lip gloss from Clinique. Here’s my review:
Price: $17 for a o.5 oz. tube.
Color Range: A total of five shades are available. Four are available from Clinique counters and at Clinique.com and a Fifth is available exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com.
Lilac – a light purpley pink with more blue undertones
Grapefruit – a very light neutral pink that doesn’t lean too orange or too blue (my all-time fav topper for nude lipstick)
Raspberry – a brighter cherry red/pink with blue undertones
Currant – a slightly deeper mauvey purple that still leans toward pinky tones, especially when applied on bare lips
Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Gloss in Currant. Photo from CLNIQUE.com
The Sephora-exclusive shade, Black Honey, is probably the most popular. Black Honey is a deeper wine-like shade that is perfect for fall and neutral enough to compliment a variety of skin tones.
None of the shades contains shimmer. Some previously available colors did offer shimmer but have since been discontinued. So if you’ve been afraid that gloss will make you sparkle like a glittery 70’s disco-ball, don’t worry. This one won’t.
Application: Superbalm glosses have a plastic slant-tip applicator which has a tiny hole through which the product dispenses when you squeeze the tube. That applicator is actually part of the tube. It’s actually more sanitary than the removable doe-foot wand applicators commonly used on many recently-launched lip products. When you remove a wand/applicator from a liquid cosmetic product and apply the product directly to the skin, you expose the applicator to bacteria and other contaminants in the air and on your skin. Those contaminants are then introduced to the product when put the wand/applicator back into the product. An external applicator (especially a hard plastic one) may be cleaned to remove dirt and contaminants. But an internal applicator, especially one made of spongy material, cannot. We spend so much time cleaning our makeup sponges and brushes, but I for one never consider the fact that I constantly reuse doe-foot applicators that I cannot clean. Something to consider.
Superbalm™ Has an Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Clean Applicator
Coverage: Each shade is sheer without shimmer, providing a tint of color and big-impact shine. Superbalm™ is designed to be worn alone or layered over color lip products. Because the colors are so sheer, you can literally layer any shade, with the possible exception of Black Honey, over any lip color. Even Black Honey won’t dramatically alter your basic lip color but will darken and warm it slightly while adding shine and moisture. Grapefruit is probably the easiest shade to pair with other lip products. Because it’s a nearly clear pink, it’s unlikely to alter the shade of a lipstick when layered over top. But because it’s so light, Grapefruit provides no meaningful coverage on its own. It will highlight your lips own natural beauty and make them look fuller and more attractive naturally.
Clinique Superbalm™ Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Shade Grapefruit
Texture + Finish: This is big glassy shine, so expect some tackiness after application. I find the texture very similar to NYX’s Butter Glosses but more sheer and far more moisturizing. Some Sephora reviewers describe Superbalm™ as sticky but I don’t find the level of stickiness to be problematic and certainly no stickier than other more expensive glosses on the market. The glass-like shine lasts at least 30 – 60 minutes depending on your activities, whether you eat, drink etc. after application. The color remains about 30 minutes after the shine has dissipated depending on the shade (with deeper shades like Black Honey and Raspberry sticking around longer).
Wear: The glass-like shine lasts 15 – 60 minutes depending on your activities, whether you eat, drink etc. after application. The color hangs around another 30 minutes+ after the shine has dissipated. The moisture remains at least another hour which is fantastic, for anyone with chronically dry lips, those living in a dry climate, or anyone who gets chapped lips during colder winter months. So basically everyone can enjoy this product at some time or another!
Skin Beneficial Ingredients: Clinique includes several proven moisturizers like petroleum, wax, soybean oil, linoleic acid and squalene. Also included are several antioxidants – retinal palmitate (Vitamin A derivative), Vitamins E and C. This gloss is also fragrance-free.
Full list of ingredients available at here.
Summary: This is a terrific lip gloss suitable for all skin types and anyone looking for a hint of color along with big shine and a healthy dose of moisture. These glosses look great on their own but work very well with just about any type of lip product (the possible exception being liquid lip stains that specifically instruct you to avoid glosses that contain any oils). Otherwise, these glosses will play nicely with just about any lipstick in your collection! At $16 each, Superbalm™ glosses qualify as wise beauty buys!
Additional Comments and Notes: If you already love this gloss and live within driving distance of an outlet mall that has a Cosmetics Company (Estée Luader Outlet) Store, I encourage you to head on over to said mall and stock up because Cosmetics Company routinely sells these glosses for just $11-12 each. And the deals don’t stop there! You can save on all kinds of Lauder-owned brands of fragrances, skin care, hair care, and makeup (M.A.C., Clinique, Smashbox, Bumble & bumble, and more!). Click here to locate a Cosmetics Company Store near you. Wisdom for the Day:
“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will tell about your praise.” ~Psalm 51:15 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.
Moisture Surge CC Cream Product Photo from Clinique.com
I first purchased this a couple years ago during a particularly dry phase for my skin (due to heavy Retin-A usage). At the time I was big into layering BB/CCs over high SPF sunscreens and wanted the most emollient products available. I purchased this one based on positive reviews, describing it as extremely moisturizing, offering greater coverage than most of other available options. Broad spectrum sun protection is present through the following actives: Titanium Dioxide 5.2% (UVA/UVB), Zinc Oxide 3.2% (UVA), Octinoxate 7.5% (UVB), and Octisalate 5% (UVB).
After a few tries, I found that the product applied unevenly on my skin. I couldn’t achieve the flattering finish I’d expected. It never absorbed to dried down but seemed to shift throughout the day. I decided it just didn’t work for me at that time and gave it to my mother (a Clinique devotee). I recently decided to give this CC Cream another try and my own thoughts and review follow based on most recent testing of the product. I’ll preface my opinions by saying my mother still adores it!
First Swatch – Arm
Left Side = Concealer Only, No Foundation Right Side = Concealer + Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector SPF30 (note difference in pores)
Price: $38.50 for 1.4 fluid oz. Color Range: 6 shades available, ranging from “Very Light” to “Deep” (for reference, I were shade “Light Medium”). I would add that the mineral sunscreens in this product may look a bit ashy on darker skin tones. Mineral sunscreens actives can also look a bit shiny and reflect camera flash exaggerating skin imperfections so keep that in mind if you’re expecting to be photographed. Coverage:Clinique states this product provides “Sheer to Moderate” coverage. I think “moderate” coverage is more accurate. It would be difficult to get this down to sheer coverage without it looking very patchy and streaky. And trying to build up multiple layers is likely to feel heavy and look very unnatural. Several Sephora reviewers of this product state this product has been reformulated, that the original offered smoother, fuller coverage. Texture+Finish: The texture is thick but expected that given the touted moisturizing properties. The thicker texture makes blending tough. If you skin is sensitive in addition to dry, that’s going to be a problem for you. I found that I had to rub more than bounce my makeup sponge in order to blend this in. All that rubbing kicked up some flakiness in my skin and resulted in more redness after application that before. Not a good result for a foundation-type product! But my biggest complaint is the finish. I found that it tended to exaggerate my pores. I never really think about having a problem with my pores, at least not until I tried this stuff again. Made me think, “man, my pores are huge! I better start using that Retin-A again. But if I do that, I can’t really wear this stuff anyway…” You see the dilemma.
Arm swatch blended. Despite nearly flawless skin on my inner arm, product still settled into pores and fine lines.
Wear: I did have to touch up about midway through the day. But with all that’s not a huge problem for me. I usually touch up with a mineral powder sunscreen because it reassures me that I’m getting additional sun protection in areas where my foundation already tends to break up – around my nose and chin, a little across my forehead. This product did oxidize a bit on my skin, turning a bit darker later in the day. However, I’m reluctant to blame that entirely on the CC Cream as I was piling on several layers of emollients underneath. The pore issue cannot be attributed to other products as I tested this product with a pore-minimizer primer underneath and even without any other products underneath (when going out after dark) – same pore magnifying result. Skin Beneficial Ingredients: Primarily the broad spectrum sunscreens along with squalane, a couple of lecithins, and a tiny bit of sodium hyaluronate (moisturizers); as well as linoleum acid; Vitamins E and C (antioxidants). Summary: Between the difficult application, relatively high price point and less-than-flattering final result, I’d say this is a pass. There are wiser purchases for your BB/CC/Tinted Moisturizer dollars. I will say my mother loves it and still uses this product. But as I mentioned my mom is totally devoted to Clinique. Mom has very sensitive skin and sometimes “forgets” to remove her makeup at night. So she tends to favor makeup that won’t irritate her skin even if she sleeps in it. While I never support sleeping in your makeup, you cannot argue Clinique’s status as a leader hypoallergenic makeup and skin care products.
Note the appearance of pores around my cheeks (I intentionally left the product clump on my neck to illustrate difficulties I had with blending)
Additional Comments & Notes: Despite the SPF30, if you love this CC Cream, I would recommend you always layer this over a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF30. If you’re unsure about which sunscreen is best for you or just confused by all the sunscreens on the market today, check out this in-depth article breaking down the best high-SPF sunscreens under $15.
Wisdom for the Day:
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness on the horizon. Those who lead many people to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. ~Daniel 12:3 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.
A few years ago (August of 2012 to be exact), Allure Magazine published an article online describing the Top 50 Beauty Products You Have to Try before You Die (ominous title, right?). It was and continues to be a very popular article. It continues to resurface periodically on various social media platforms. It recently showed up again on my Facebook feed republished by Allure, so I reread the article to see where I measure up in terms of having tried the 50 products and to see whether I agree with the list.
As a beauty blogger, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve only tried 22 of these so-called 50 “must try” products. There was a time when I would rush right out and immediately buy the remaining 28 products. But, I’ve grown up a little, gotten married and adjusted to our single-income budget. So I’m less likely to run right out and buy the latest or (purportedly) greatest products. I may have become a teensy bit cynical too, after having tried and been disappointed by so many supposedly magical products over the years.
Of the products I’ve tried my opinion is that some are deserving of the hype and some aren’t. I’m listing the products I’ve tried below as well as my impressions of each and whether or not I believe them to be “must try.” Have you seen this article? If you’re a beauty product aficionado (like me), then I’d love to hear your comments on those products you’ve tried and if you concur with Allure Magazine that these are musts for any beauty fan.
1. Chanel N°5 EDT:This was the first, classic fragrance I ever purchased for myself. My mother is a big fragrance fan as well and she taught me from a young age the value of classic, high-end scents. When I was about 12, Mom schooled me on classics like Joy, Shalimar, Diorissimo and Chanel N°5. Diorissimo and Joy were too flowery for my young tastes, and Shalimar was too strong (though I respect everything Guerlain creates).
N°5 became my goal because I’ve been a Marilyn Monroe fan since forever. When I read that Chanel N°5 was her favorite, I decided I HAD to have this fragrance too! With my babysitting money in tow, I trotted down to our local Dillard’s Department Store and purchased a great big atomizer of this without even testing it. I still remember the box and the shiny black lacquered bottle. Alas, the fragrance itself never won me over (again, probably too flowery) so I gave it away. But I’ll always have a sentimental fondness for this one…It was Marilyn’s favorite, after all.
2. L’Oreal Elnett Satin Hairspray: I tried this one about 5 years ago because I’d read an article calling it the best hairspray ever. Honestly, this one didn’t blow me away. The scent is just…wow! It’s just really strong! And frankly, I was then and am still far more impressed with Sebastian’s Shaper Plus (pictured below) and the generic Shaper Plus alternatives now readily available at drugstores and Wal-Mart) which out-perform Elnett without the overpowering smell. If you love this hairspray but (like me) don’t enjoy the fragrance, you’re in luck because L’Oreal has released an unscented version. 3. La Mer Creme De La Mer: I’m sucker for a celebrity endorsement. I once read that Jennifer Lopez slathered her whole body in this uber expensive night cream before she went to sleep each night. And who doesn’t wanna have their own JLo glow? So, I did and purchased a 1 oz. pot of this purported miracle cream. I liked it. It’s an effective moisturizer; although I now know that most of the effective anti-aging ingredients will be rendered ineffective due to the jar packaging. But I cannot justify the price anymore; nor can I ignore the fact that most of the active anti-aging ingredients in this product lose their efficacy due to the jar packaging. For more on that, check out this review from Beautypedia.com.
Fortunately, there are other, more reasonably priced face and body creams available. I personally love these 3 fantastic options from Paula’s Choice, each contain a number of potent anti-agers and each one is thoughtfully packaged in a way that preserves the efficacy of those ingredients.
A Trifecta of Effective PAULA’S CHOICE Anti-Aging Moisturizers
4. NARS Orgasm Blush: I had this one a few years ago as well, and it was also a blind purchase (this time from Sephora’s website). Honestly, I disagree with the reputation this has for being “perfect for every skin tone.” It’s not perfect for mine. I actually like their other brighter pink blushes better on me (my current favs are “Desire” and “Gaity“). I cannot argue with the excellent pigmentation of all NARS’ blush products. They’re fantastically pigmented and one compact will last you a looong time!
5. Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush: These blushesare great! I should qualify that statement. If you enjoy cream, cream-to-powder or gel blushes; if your skin is on the drier, more sensitive side, you’ll probably love this blush! It really is great. The pigmentation is great. There’s an excellent shade range from pale candy pink to bright red, coral and a phenomenal bronze shade that’s terrific and works for a number applications. When I took stock of my makeup inventory for this article, I discovered I currently own 4 Dream Bouncy Blushes (in Pink Frosting, Fresh Pink, Hot Tamale, and Coffee Cake). As with the NARS shades, I tend to favor the lighter pinks, but I adore the bronzer (Coffee Cake) which works well on my skin tone as a cream contour.
7. Crest 3D Professional Whitening Strips: I used these a couple years ago to brighten my smile. They worked okay but the sensitivity I experienced during treatment scared me off trying these strips again.
8. Yves Saint Laurent Touche ÉClat: I sampled this product the day the Gainesville (FL) Sephora opened in 2008. It was suggested to me by the guest makeup artist attending the event as a possible coverup for the purple Botox shiners I was sporting at the time. It did not cover up those bruises, and I’m not convinced this product is a great concealer (it doesn’t cover my bluish underage circles either). However, it is an effective and elegant click-pen highlighter that basically started the trend. These days, I actually prefer Maybelline’s DREAM LUMI® Touch Highlighting Concealer to YSL’s version. It’s worth noting that both YSL cosmetics and Maybelline are owned by the mega-company L’Oreal. Those major cosmetics conglomerates often share researchers, product testing and formulations.
9. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+: I started using Clinique’s famous 3-step protocol at age 13, after several of my little girlfriends mentioned their mothers had introduced them to the line’s famous protocol. I still remember dragging my mother to nearest Clinique counter and insisting that she buy me the soap (the scent of which was so recognizable that it still conjures up powerful middle school memories), the clarifying lotion and the unmistakable yellow cream. Fast forward 27 years later and there’s still a bottle of Dramatically Different in both my bathroom and my mother’s. It’s not the highest-tech, most sophisticated night cream on the market. But this product has undeniable staying power and its simplistic formulation makes it suitable for virtually all skin types, even the most sensitive. Side note, if you’re looking for an effective and gentle moisturizer that provides proven anti-agers, check out this widely available and reasonably priced lotion from Cerave. It contains 3 different types of ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. It melts into the skin quickly and gives my skin an immediately plumped appearance. 10. The Original beautyblender®:This super sponge revolutionized makeup application and spawned an army of knock-offs. Sponging is my preferred way to apply foundation, and this tool outperforms nearly every other sponge on the market, especially for a smooth, fuller coverage foundation finish. I find that it doesn’t work the best around my eyes, and I’ve yet to try the beautyblender micro.minis mostly because I find the idea of paying $18 for 2 such itty bitty sponges. Most days, I only wear a BB cream, so I tend to use this sponge from Real Techniques. But when I have a special occasion or event I’m going all out for, I still swear by the original beauty blender when I need a flawless full-coverage result. 11. Lip Smackers: All hail Bonne Bell Lip Smackers! These waxy flavored chapstick-style treats are a right of passage for tweens around the world. This is (yet) another product that I’ve long since set aside in favor of more grown-up lip balms, but I still have a soft spot for for these soda or candy-scented sticks.
12. Aquaphor’s Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment: Maybe the ultimate beauty multi-tasker, in my opinion this stuff definitely deserves a spot among the 50 must-try products. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker! I have used this as an intensive but gentle moisturizer post-procedure (e.g. post microderm or fractional laser treatments), as a heavy-duty balm for cracked and peeling lips, to keep my brows in place, as a cuticle tamer, and to soothe my feet after a long workday wearing 5″ heels (mercifully I don’t wear those heels very often now). I also used it daily on my pregnant belly to prevent stretch marks. I’m not sure if it was the Aquaphor or genetics, but I am very fortunate to have escaped pregnancy with zero stretch marks. This stuff stuff was also recommended by our pediatrician as a gentle but effective post-bath moisturizer for our daughter’s sensitive skin. Works like a charm!
13. Clarisonic Classic Sonic Skin Cleansing System: I purchased a pink Clarisonic Mia (1st generation) maybe 3 years ago now. I like it and used it consistently for about a year, replacing the cleansing brushes every 2-3 months. I even convinced Hubs to try it (quite a fete since I’d selected a pink one!). He liked it (he likes almost all techy toys) . We both used it for a while, until we tired of purchasing new brush heads for that one (which we had to do even more frequently when we were both using it). About that time, Foreo released their LUNA sonic cleanser.
I quickly succumbed to the LUNA hype and purchased it with my 20% Platinum ULTA coupon. Once I got the Foreo Luna, I put the Clarisonic away; though I still have it. In writing this article, I got the Clarisonic out, recharged it and used it along with the Luna for comparison. I found that the Luna is a bit gentler than the Clarisonic which is important for my sensitive skin. Plus, the charge on the LUNA lasts at least 10 X longer than the Clarisonic. That, along with the cost savings of no longer having to purchase replacement brush heads, seals the deal for me.
14. Dior Diorshow Buildable Volume Mascara:Here is an almost $30 mascara with a big rep for creating huge, separated, clump-free lashes. I purchased it in 2008. It is a good mascara. I enjoyed using it. It was particularly effective since, at the time that I purchased Diorshow I’d been using Latisse for about 6 months. So this mascara produced great volume without much need to lengthen my lashes. I’ve never purchased it again, because I just never felt – based on my experience – that it was worth the price tag.
Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara Mini
Keep in mind that Dior is a subsidiary of LVMH – the giant conglomerate which owns Sephora stores and brand cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics, MAKEUP FOREVER, Givenchy and Guerlain, Kat Von D makeup and several other beauty brands. I personally think that Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara is a great dupe for Diorshow. Whereas Diorshow costs $28.50; They’re Real costs only $24. Hey every $4.50 saved is money you can spend on buying (what else?) more makeup! Also, Benefit offers a travel size option for just $12, available at both Sephora and ULTA stores and online shops. If you’ve struggled with (full-size) mascara tubes drying out and turning clumpy, I’d recommend you try a travel-sized version for your next mascara purchase.
15. Guerlain Meteorites Pearls:Another product I (incredibly) was able to convince my mother to buy me, a then 15 year-old. I remember circling the Guerlain counter multiple times and asking the poor sales person to allow me to test this product. My mother finally succumbed to the pressure. If memory serves, this one was part of a birthday present, and I remember being over the moon to receive it and open the elegant packaging. I guess this was my first highlighter which is really its main purpose. It’s nearly impossible to use individual colors for color-correcting.
16. Cnd Shellac: Big fail for me. No idea what happened but this stuff just peeled right off my nails after just 2 days. Worked great on my toes, but like almost all polishes (even those professionally applied) this one tended to peel off my nails. Side note, back in the day (i.e. the 90s) when I wore (sigh) acrylic nails, even falsies lifted and peeled right off my nails. So these days, when I need a long-wearing manicure, I prefer to use the Red Carpet Manicure brand gel polish set. It’s cheaper than a salon mani/pedi, and I can touch it up at home if (when) I need to. 17. OPI Nail Lacquer in Lincoln Park After Dark: I like OPI polishes a whole lot! And this one deserves its legendary status. It’s a lovely deep plum shade that’s neither to warm or too cool. The color is sophisticated and chic. Appropriate for women of all ages, it’s edgy enough to feel youthful but understated enough to work for more mature women.
18. Tigi Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day Thickening Spray: I have fine hair. So I’m always on the hunt for styling products to make my hair look thicker. I purchased this one from Tigi a few years ago along with several other sprays including Redken’s Guts root thickener spray, and the now legendary Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray. In all honesty, I prefer Oribe’s version. It’s brilliant and smells amazing! But, it’s quite pricey and only available through Oribe salons or the Oribe website. Bed Head’s Queen for a Day is an effective and more cost-efficient alternative, but it’ll never replace my Après Beach.
19. Tweezerman Slant Tweezer: I’m not ashamed to admit I’m the proud owner of 4 of these terrific tweezers. I keep 2 pair in my bathroom (one on each side of the br, nearest my best makeup mirrors) and the other two are stashed in various handbags. I hate to ever be without one. They really are the best and worth every penny!
Quite simply the best tweezers available!
20. St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse: As mentioned above, I have light (sometimes pale) skin. Always have. I think shimmery bronze skin is beautiful, and I believe that having a tan can hide a multitude of flaws, especially any creaping or dimpling on the legs. I used to frequent tanning beds in search of a browner color, but I now realize the error of my ways (and have to sun spots to remind me) so I stay as far away from those places as possible. This self-tanning mousse is the truly the best I’ve tried. It doesn’t smell awful. It’s thick but still easy to apply. And the consistency is smooth enough to offer a little extra “play time” during application to prevent major speaking or random clumps of brown stain. A close, if not-quite-a-dupe product is Jergen’s Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse (I use Deep Bronze shade). Jergen’s tanner also has no offensive odor. It has an almost identical texture and applies evenly without streaking. Plus, the deep bronze shade is very close to St. Tropez’s Classic Mousse color. But the Jergens option costs just $13 (for 6 oz.); while the St. Tropez version costs $42 (for 6.7 oz.). 21. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick (Black Cherry): I LOVE Revlon lipsticks. Always have. My earliest makeup memory involved me (at around 4 years old) rooting through my mother’s purse and discovering a bright purple lipstick shade from Revlon. I remember being mesmerized by the color and taking (AKA stealing) it to play with. About 10 years later, I got Black Cherry. I finished that tube and now keep at least 4 other Revlon Super Lustrous shades on hand at all times.
22. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage:This product is one of the many, many (probably over 50) concealers I’ve purchased to cover my genetically-bestowed under-eye bags. This product contains two shades that can be used separately, combined to create a custom shade or layered for color-correcting purposes. Because the skin around my eyes is always super dry, this one didn’t work very well. Both shades are very pigmented. And this is one concealer Wayne Goss recommends for his “lift the eye” concealer trick (described in the video below). Sadly, for me it creased and settled in my fine lines. But I think it works brilliantly for others without my particular constellation of under-eye “issues.”
Side rant: I once loved LM products and swore my allegiance to her foundations thanks to a couple of her foundations that were perfect matches for my skin. Sadly, both my Laura Mercier HG foundations (the first generation Moisturizing Foundation and the original Silk Creme Foundation) have since been discontinued and/or reformulated. I wish cosmetics companies would listen to their consumers and stop messing with successful products! Thankfully, the LM Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF20, remains unchanged.
Wisdom for the Day:
Commit your path to the Eternal; let Him direct you. Put your confidence in Him, and He will follow through with you. ~Psalm 37:5 (The Voice)
Read more here.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
Do you need a lift around your eyes? I sure do! In this video Wayne Goss describes his quick (and very easy) technique for giving your eyes a nice lift WITHOUT the need for medical interventions:
I’ve resisted joining the whole eyeshadow palette craze. Sure I’ve been tempted by the latest, most buzzed about launches (my obsession with YouTube beauty vloggers doesn’t help with the temptation). More than once I’ve found myself drawn like a moth to the flame of the glitzy displays for the newest Urban Decay, Tarte or Anastasia palettes. I can’t seem to resist sticking my fingers into those glistening powders and swatching them on my hand or wrist (side note – that can’t be very hygienic for folks who actually test those display shadows on their eyes. I’m sure I’m not the only one sticking my fingers in those things!).
Anyway, a few years ago I tried dipping my toes into the palette waters when I blind-purchased the first Naked Basics palette, basically an all-matte baby version (containing 6 shades vs. the 12 shadows in Urban Decay’s original Naked). After all the buzz surrounding UD’s Nakeds, I was really eager to try out the formula, but I was – quite frankly – disappointed. Based on Sephora’s reviews this product (which convinced me to buy Basics in the first place), it appears I’m the only person who doesn’t love this little guy. I was super excited when I received my Basics palette, expecting to fall in love. I tried to love it. I honestly did. I applied the shadows over a varied assortment of different shadow primers and with the best brushes I could afford. At one point of desperation, I tried applying the shadows with my fingers, thinking that was perhaps the key to achieving better color payoff and blending. It wasn’t. Regardless of application method and the primer underneath, I still have trouble building up any noticeable color with the Basics shadows. On my skin, the colors are beyond “naked.” They’re more like invisible. So, my Naked Basics experience left me a bit palette-shy and unwilling to drop even more money. Plus, the idea of spending upwards of $50 for eyeshadow just seems ridiculous to me, especially if there’s a chance I won’t like it. All that to say I haven’t purchased any shadow palettes….until recently.
A few days ago, I was minding my own business, leisurely wandering through my local ULTA when I stumbled upon a great big shiny display of LORAC Pro palettes (BTW did you know LORAC = Carol spelled backwards, named for the brand’s founder, Carol Shaw). There they were – 3 different curated sets of mostly neutral shadows all lined up, just begging to be swatched (like in this pretty pic from mary82martin on ULTA’s page for this product:
LORAC Pro Palettes 1-3 As pictured by mary82martin
They’re beautiful aren’t they? The display beckoned to me, and I figured no harm in playing around with the shadows. After all, some earnest ULTA staffer had taken the time to set up this appealing display. The least I could do is check it out, right? Holy mackerel! I was blown away. The color payoff was amazing, especially for the metallic shades. The shimmery shades felt incredibly creamy to the touch and left a nearly opaque swatch with just one swipe. Because we’re currently saving up for Baby Girl’s first birthday party, I fought the urge to grab one of the LORAC palettes and tossing that bad boy into my giant ULTA bag (also TBH I couldn’t decide which iteration of Pro Palette I preferred, so that sort of discouraged me from purchasing one as well).
After several minutes spent playing with the beautiful shadows, I finally tore myself away and continued my stroll through the designer makeup section. Just a few minutes later I (somehow) found myself facing the main LORAC section and discovered this little beauty:
LORAC Pocket Pro
These shadows are VERY pigmented, so I buffed and blended out the final look to make it more daytime-appropriate.
“It’s so cute,” I exclaimed as I immediately began sticking my fingers into the 3 buttery soft, glistening powders. Just as soft and pigmented as the full-sized palette and only $18! I thought. “I HAVE to get this,” I explained to my husband (who was, to his chagrin accompanying on this ULTA safari). He nodded, recognizing it was futile to argue. I think he was just relieved that I didn’t try to justify spending the $44 for one of the full-sized Pro palettes. The next morning I awoke excited to try out my new shadows. I was then and am still very pleased with my $18 purchase. I definitely got my money’s worth. I easily achieved a nice daytime look with these 3 nicely-sized pans of taupe shades, and I snapped this pic of my eyes a few hours after application.
Each of these 3 shadows in LORAC’s Pro Basics have varying levels of shimmer, but they’re creamy, not glittery or chunky. I was pleased that the shimmer is easily muted and appropriate for daytime wear. And the pigmentation is outstanding! A note about my application “technique” – I freely admit that I’m no makeup artist. I’m still trying to learn the right shadow application technique. Don’t come to me looking for a tutorial on a 5-minute cut crease application. I’ll point you in the direction of some actual makeup artists. God knows there’s a ton of ’em on YouTube these days! I’m just a regular makeup geek searching for the best colors and formulations for my skin tone/type and the most flattering products for my facial features. I imagine I’m not the only woman who loves makeup despite lacking a professional makeup artist’s skill set. So when I find an easy-to-use makeup product that allows me (and my novice-level skills) to achieve an attractive finished look, I feel it’s my duty to share with others.
So, if you haven’t tried LORAC’s shadow palettes, you’re in the market for an everyday, high-quality shadow palette or are in the market for something new but you can’t afford the standard $45+ per price tag, I encourage you to give these Pocket Pros a whirl. Two color/shade options are available. The one I have is cooler, more taupe-colored with nearly purple undertones. The Pocket Pro 2 is warmer with golden and red undertones. So, there’s a color option for all skin tones. They’re both highly pigments with varying amounts of shimmer. I think you’ll be pleased on the return for your $18 investment.
Beauty Resource of the Day:
Do you love Naked Basics and completely disagree with my review? Hey that’s cool. Lots of people love it, including the adorable and fabulously authentic Serein Wu of Dress Yourself Happy. In the following video she provides individual reviews and recommendations for each of UD’s now 6 Nakeds palettes. If you are or have considered purchasing one of these phenomenally successful palettes but are unsure about which one to get (or which one to buy next – no judgement) please watch this video. Her recommendations are super helpful and could save you some money. She could have saved me some money if I’d watched this before purchasing the Basics palette, I’d have saved my money for a full-sized Naked Smokey palette. Oh well. Live and learn, and buy more makeup!
Wisdom for the Day:
“Without advice plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed.” ~Proverbs 15:22 (God’s Word Translation)
Read more here.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog and I do not receive monetary compensation for any of my product reviews. All reviews are based on my own opinion, personal use and results.
Hi I'm Karen.
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