Archive for category Primer
While some people are able to go away on vacation and continue to communicate with the outside world, I was pretty much MIA the entire time I was in New Zealand (there I go again!). Any time I wanted to access the internet, I had to pay for wireless or for computer time, and I was just not having it. In this day and age, it’s like paying for water (which also annoys me), so I pretty much forgot the whole idea except to periodically let my family and friends know I was alive.
However, when I got an email from Sephora’s PR giving me the opportunity to chose one of the sets from the holiday collections, I happily paid a few bucks in order to respond and select my set. Of all the offerings, the cream of the crop was most definitely Hourglass’ Best of Hourglass collection ($68CAD), which came with a travel size of their popular Veil Mineral Primer, a full size Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara in Onyx, a full size Extreme Sheen lipgloss in Ignite, and a deluxe sample of the new No. 28 Primer Serum. Hel-lo! How could I pass up on on these goodies!!?
As I had tried the Veil Mineral Primer before, in the travel size, and finished it, I was happy to have another small bottle to replace it (for a glowing, more thorough review on this product, see Liz’s post at Beauty Reductionista). The other three products were entirely new to me, and as anything I have tried from the brand has pretty much knocked my socks off, I was totally eager to get my grabby hands on them and play. First, let’s discuss the Film Noir Full Spectrum mascara:
To be clear, there is another Film Noir mascara that Hourglass makes, but it is the one that you paint on lash by lash. This is your regular bristle-brush mascara, and in reality the brush itself IS pretty regular. It doesn’t have any bells or whistles and looks pretty…normal, compared to every gimmicky brush that’s come out in the last few years. Don’t let that fool you, however! Though my pictures below don’t truly do it justice, this mascara is LOVELY. It separates my lashes perfectly while giving them some serious length as well as volume. It’s one of the few mascaras I’ve tried that I’ve actually gotten compliments on from people who aren’t bloggers (you guys count…but not in this instance because this is our BIZNESS, yo).
It’s a drier formula than I usually like, but I think it’s actually the *perfect* consistency – not really dry at all but not so wet that its glopping on and causing clumps. The brush really combs through the lashes each time, leaving them entirely clump-free. I didn’t have to separate my lashes in the photos above with a comb afterward at all, which is uncommon I find. It’s a total win. I would actually spend the $33CAD and buy this again! Note: There ARE parabens in the mascara.
Next, we have the Extreme Sheen gloss in Ignite, described as a ‘rose beige shimmer.’ I’d say this is more of a sheer shimmering gloss with a touch of beige more than anything, but it’s still pretty. To buy this separately would cost $33CAD so with that plus the mascara you’re almost have the price of the set alone – not too shabby! The gloss does have fragrance but it’s the last ingredient listed and it’s faint. I haven’t noticed any issues yet so hopefully it remains that way!
As you can see, the gloss is essentially colorless with a hint of shimmer. I typically like my glosses fairly opaque, but this somehow makes my lips look quite nice in the absence of pigment. It’s a nice way to punch up clear gloss, and it adds a subtle something extra layered over other lip colors. Surprisingly, the staying power is pretty decent even with its translucency, and it feels good on the lips – smooth and not sticky at all. I’d love to try this formula out in a few other shades.
Lastly, but far from least, is the No. 28 Primer Serum. I know it’s a cheap cop-out to put this marketing image versus the real thing, but to be honest – I don’t want to waste a drop of it’s precious contents. IT’S SO GOOD! And as much as I love you, I just can’t swatch this for no good reason. I’m hoarding it like crazy! At $75CAD for 1oz, you can probably understand why (though – I just saw that you can also get this in a travel size like the Veil primer – 0.33oz for $26CAD – sign me up!!).
Essentially the product combines the effects of a primer (reducing the look of pores, refining and smoothing the skin’s surface, and luminizing) with the treatment of a serum (strengthening skin’s moisture barrier, shielding against environmental aggressors, and hydrating). All this action means that the skin looks younger and dewier and AMAZING. It contains essential oils, lipid-rich plant oils, and vitamins to nuture the skin, while being free of parabens and fragrance.
DUDES. Not only does it sound amazing and make a whole lotta fabulous claims, but it delivers. I actually wore it for about 5 days straight (before remembering I can’t afford to buy the full size right now and hence it must be conserved), and my skin looked awesome. Not just while wearing makeup, but overall it was improving the look of my skin! It’s all sorts of YES PLEASE and believe you me I will be shelling out for this when the sample vial is finished. I love that it helps my makeup wear better. I love that it doesn’t make me greasy and in fact helps to control oil while still giving me a fresh, healthy look. I love that it doesn’t irritate my fussy skin one iota. The only thing I don’t love is the price, but I can get over that. When you think about it like a two-in-one product, primer + treatment, the cost doesn’t seem so outrageous. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
So, basically, the moral of the story is, you need to buy this kit. Or if not the set itself, you need to try each and every one of these products at some point, especially the Primer Serum. I can’t imagine anyone NOT being happy with the collection, and it just reinforces my belief that Hourglass might just be the best makeup brand EVER. Just sayin’.
What do you think of Hourglass? Would you be willing to shell out for a product that produces results, or do you have a $$ limit? What makeup brand do you think is worth the hype?
*Product was sent for my unbiased consideration.
Hi-ho everyone!!! Tomorrow is the big day – we get our keys to the condo!! I have to admit that as easy as the whole process has been, it’s hard to fully focus on much else! All I want to do is move in and get settled and make the place look like home. On that note, this will be a relatively brief (which just means, less chatty!) post – a reprieve which I’m sure some of you will wholeheartedly appreciate
I confess that I am by no means an eyelid primer connoisseur – most days I tend to skip it as I don’t really mind if my makeup has faded throughout the day (which actually sounds kinda weird…I don’t know what that’s all about). Actually, maybe I’m not that twisted – I think its more that most shadows/liners tend to adhere to my lids fairly well, and I only think about wearing primer either when I know I’m wearing a less-than-stellar product (wear-wise), or if I’m going to, shall we say, glisten more than usual (running on my lunch break, going dancing, wearing makeup on a particularly humid day). My past experiences have not taken me very far; I’ve tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion ($24CAD for 0.37oz), which seemed to be the be-all-end-all since it was my first shot at lid primers, and then NARS’ Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($29CAD for 0.28oz), which is in my current rotation. After trying NARS, I realized I far preferred it to UD’s lid primer, which gave my lids a slight whitish cast (NARS’ blends to be translucent), was more difficult to blend (though by no means seriously problematic), and made my shadows much harder to blend. It did intensify my shadows more than NARS’; but this quality falls flat on me as I don’t quite appreciate that aspect.
Make Up For Ever, which by now seems to be synonymous with long-wear, waterproof makeup, has now come out with their very own eyelid primer, called Eye Prime ($25CAD for 0.18oz), which the brand states ‘reinforces eye shadow hold and intensifies its color.’ It’s enriched with waxes and mineral powders, and claims to have a ‘lightweight, non-drying texture’ that ‘blends seamlessly into the skin allowing a true-to-color eye shadow result that will not crease or fade.’ That sounds like it follows the pretty standard goal of all eyelid primers – so how did it pan out?
The delivery of Eye Prime is quite similar to NARS, with the same doe-foot applicator, though it’s a bit smaller which I find somewhat easier to use. The texture of the two are more alike than different, but NARS’ is more sheer and cream-like, while MUFE’s has more opacity and is somewhat drier. While Eye Prime does blend out to be almost undetectable on the eye, it still has some color, as it’s considered a ‘nude shade,’ while NARS’ truly blends out to completely invisible. I didn’t have any issues with the shade of Eye Prime showing up on my lids, but someone darker than I might be able to see it more. However, overall the color will suit the majority of skin tones.
I tried Eye Prime with one of my notoriously smudgy liners, Black Violet by Laura Mercier – a creamy near-black pencil liner with a lovely violet tone, but that smears within hours every single time. I applied Eye Prime around my eye area before using Black Violet, and wore the two for approximately 12 hours with the color still going strong and only the very slightest dull shadow of a smudge under the corner of my left eye. I would say that while wearing this primer with any other typical eye product (that doesn’t have extreme smudging issues), one would get 12 hours of wear and potentially more without experiencing any problems whatsoever.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with Make Up For Ever’s foray into eyelid primers, and feel it’s a compliment to the line, and upholding their high standards in terms of long-wearing products. Though I must admit, from my experience, all of my MUFE products are designed to be long-wearing, and none of them have failed me in that regard, so the design of this product is sort of a moot point, no? At least, it’s really not required with any of the MUFE eye products I own, unless I felt I needed that extra insurance I guess. Nonetheless, for all my other, less tenacious eye makeup, this has been a great product to add to my slowly growing eyelid primer experience!
*Product provided by the brand/PR company for my unbiased consideration.
A couple weeks ago I received Make Up For Ever’s HD Complexion Starter Kit ($89CAD), and I have been giving it the good ol’ college try over the Holidays to see how it performed. Each product in the kit is designed to create a ‘soft focus’ effect, so that imperfections are concealed and blurred so they’re less visible. You may remember that I reviewed the Wild and Chic Best Of Make Up For Ever set back in November, which included the HD Microfinish Powder and the HD Microperfecting Primer – both are in the Complexion Starter kit, along with a great Kabuki brush, and your matching HD Invisible Cover Foundation shade, which you choose yourself. As I have never tried the HD foundation, I was unsure which shade to choose. I sent a photo of myself to the MUFE color experts, and they chose my shade, #155 (a medium beige), based on that. Happily, the shade matches (that’s what I call impressive!). Excitingly, they’ve also launched an interactive shade finder tool so that you can find your perfect shade in a similar fashion: www.hd.makeupforeverusa.com/shadefinder. This was created due to the fact that so many women are afraid to buy foundation online for the first time because they don’t know what shade they are – been there, SO done that! I’ve read conflicting reviews online about the HD Foundation, so I was a bit apprehensive initially. While some people swear by it, others seemed to swear…at it, truth be told. Being the good little beauty addict that I am, I made sure to read all about how to use it before moving ahead, as I find sometimes *but not always!* poor reviews can be due to incorrect use of a product (“It said to leave it on for 10 minutes, so I left it on for 30 and it burnt my face! This product SUX!!”). The recommended process is to start with a dime-size dollop of primer, smoothing it gently all over your face with your fingers or a sponge in a downward motion. Once it sets (in a few minutes), apply the HD foundation, again with fingers or a brush – only a small amount is needed to cover the entire face. Lastly, apply a small amount of the HD powder all-over with the kabuki brush. Of course, you can use any of these products separately but obviously will get the best effect with all three. I tried very hard to take photos of my face wearing this foundation, but unfortunately once again, my photography skills (and my camera’s abilities) fell short and it just wouldn’t showcase the foundation and the coverage properly. Also, as my skin is relatively clear of blemishes or other marks that needs coverage, it’s hard to display it’s effectiveness well.
Barring these shortcomings, here are my thoughts: After reading several reviews in which people complained it made their skin look oily, I thought the culprit could be using too much product – as it’s clearly specified that only a small amount is necessary. I personally found that it did NOT make my skin oily at all, and in fact made the two dry patches I have on my forehead a touch dry, if anything. Additionally, using the HD primer, which nourishes and moisturizes, helped to balance my skin so that the foundation wore better – which helped smooth over rough patches and create a better canvas for foundation. The difference maker of the three products though, is still the HD powder (and now the kabuki brush – oh my goodness this brush is AWESOME!) – instantly my skin looks flawless – poreless and smooth. I know some people are nervous about this product, but I still find it’s very effective and has become a staple in my every day routine. And I haven’t had ANY mishaps with visible whiteness showing up in photos!Ultimately, I feel that these products can yield wonderful results – if you’re willing to take the time to use them properly. Not that it takes more time, necessarily, but just learning how to use them and then adhering to the process makes for an infinitely better experience. Of course, if you don’t want to have to fuss and just want to throw on a foundation and go, then this might not be the system for you – and that’s perfectly legitimate. But if you’re looking for a flawless finish, I definitely recommend at least trying this regime out – I think it’s worth a chance!
Have you tried any of the MUFE HD products? What are your own feelings on them – love ‘em or hate ‘em? Are you willing to spend a bit of time in order to look your best?
*The products in this post were provided to me by the PR company/brand.
I had a hard time coming up with the title for this post, as to state I have a NARS collection sounds like I should have a HUGE stash, and in fact I don’t – but out of all the cosmetic brands I own, I have more NARS makeup than any other, so that constitutes as a collection, right? Anyway, don’t say I didn’t warn you!Modest, to some I’m sure. In any case, I definitely feel that NARS is the brand that gets most of my money on a consistent basis. I’m pretty much a devotee and I’m certain my relatively small assemblage will continue to grow until it is no longer ‘modest.’ I’m OK with that!
Earlier in the week, several of my fave blogs wrote on one of their own collections – of blushes. As I am becoming something of a blush enthusiast myself, I read these posts eagerly with a mixture of interest and envy. While their numbers were all near the 30 range, a quick look in my train case revealed that I have a measly 8 blushes – a fair number if one is to be realistic, but clearly I am nowhere near a true aficionado yet! Anyway, to the point: half of my blush collection is made up of NARS shades (plus 3 of my 4 highlighters). While there is something like, 31 shades of NARS blush, I have had an idea percolating in my head that I want to start a collection of just NARS blushes – I know having 4 hardly makes a dent, but it’s something to work towards right?
Anyway, again, getting back on track – here are my NARS blushes, or 1/2 of my blush stash:Starting with the most exciting, as well as my first NARS blush if you can believe it – WOW, take a look at Taj Mahal! When I was first breaking into higher-end cosmetics, I wanted to buy really interesting, one of a kind products you couldn’t replicate at the drugstore. Case In Point: Taj Mahal is a fiery orange with high shimmer. It looks terrifying, not only to the shade but the formulation, but it’s actually quite beautiful on the right skintone. I limit this to the Summer months as it just feels that way to me, though the shimmer probably would do wonders for Winter-pallid skin. It can show up rather noticeably in sunshine so a light hand and some major buffing is necessary, but the resulting look is well worth it.My next blush purchase from NARS was the lovely Torrid, which the SA noted would be my version of the award-winning ‘Orgasm,’ which was too light for my skin. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of this blush, especially in Spring and Summer. It’s a lovely peachy-pink shade that really goes with just about anything, but I like to switch it up (but of course). Very flattering and girly on, and the shimmer really doesn’t even factor into it when all’s said and done. Another winner.I snagged Turkish Red, a discontinued NARS cream blush, through a swap, and at first I was not impressed. I wanted a red blush to give me that ‘cold weather flush,’ but I found it just looked silly once on. However, I gave it another shot and made sure to keep a light hand (I use my MAC #130, which is why you see pock-marks in the blush), and now I find myself reaching for this shade again and again – it almost gives me a two-in-one look where I look like I got some sun, as well as was out in the cold. Really pretty effect.After reading the infamous ‘blush posts,’ I confess I pretty much ran out to Sephora and picked up Sin, in order to make myself feel better. Also, I had just finished a blush (which is kind of amazing) and figured I was allowed to buy a replacement of sorts. I’ve owned this blush now for a total of 26 hours, and already I can say with certainty that this is my favorite of all my blushes (all 8), hands down. Wowza, this blush was made for my brown-olive skintone! An MUA-er noted that this shade works well for olive skin as it “swallows up the purple” – sound strange, but considering some reviews I’ve heard find it produces a bruise-like effect, it seems accurate, as on my skin it looks absolutely wonderful. It turns out to be more of a neutral pink-mauve and is ridiculously flattering and perfect for Winter. I haven’t been this excited about a makeup item in a really long time – I woke up this morning and was so happy just to know that I’ll get to wear it again! So, so sad, but ultimately true.
NARS blush retails for $29CAD.
Next, we have almost my entire collection of highlighters, courtesy of NARS. First, my fun Summer purchase, one of the coveted illuminators in Laguna (reviewed here). I didn’t get as much use out of this as I’d hoped, mostly because I’m lazy and an extra step wasn’t always in the cards. Still a great product though and I’m hoping I’ll start pulling it out more this coming year.I received this from the Sephora rep after the luncheon I attended back in May. It’s a lovely bronzed shade of highlight, that could be used in place of bronzer for fairer skins – for me it’s really just a highlight with a touch of bronzed effect. I can use this year-round, which I like, and the texture is so smooth and not at all greasy. This is my first full-sized Multiple and it has me considering buying another down the road (they retail for $46 CAD).I hounded people on MUA to get this product, one of The Multiples in South Beach. I wanted it so bad and no one wanted to swap for it with me – until finally someone approached me for a swap and had this deluxe sample in her swap list. Shortly thereafter I received the Laguna Multiple from my Sephora luncheon, and didn’t have as much need for this. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a sample, but the texture on this is so smooshy, it’s quite irritating. I can’t apply this directly to the face, but have to use my fingers because otherwise it’ll deposit way too much product and ball up on my skin. So, needless to say I’m glad this is just a small portion of product – though the shade and look of it is quite lovely. Sort of like warm rose-gold.
Moving right along…NARS eye shadows!I bought this Habanera Eyeshadow Duo without first trying it on or even really swatching it, which was a mistake. I was going by the awesome photos on MUA, but sadly, on me this duo falls flat. The metallic ice blue shade is far too much on my darker skin, and the pretty plummy shimmer has poor color payoff that makes me sad. I have this up for swap now, which hurts my heart a bit as it was my first NARS eyeshadow purchase – and I hate to part with a NARS product, regardless – but it’s gotta go. I never used it, and it could be receiving some mad love elsewhere, so…Ohhh, how badly I wanted this Rajasthan duo from last year’s Fall collection!! As soon as it landed on counters I scooped it up, and I’m still very pleased with the purchase. The golden metallic shade is very subtle but really, really gorgeous; the dark blackened-teal shade is mysterious and adds depth to any look. Its texture is a bit more stiff than the gold shade, but it isn’t usually a problem. Overall, a solid combo which you can make work a variety of ways.The lovely Grand Palais duo from this past Spring collection. Previously reviewed here. I don’t use this as much as I’d like, but I still get great pleasure from it, especially the taupe side, and I think this adds two new shades to my eyeshadow collection, that I might not have purchased otherwise. Soft and lovely!
NARS eyeshadow duos retail for $38CAD.
My one lipgloss from the brand:I posted a swatch of Wonder back in the Summer after I received it also at the Sephora luncheon. Great shade of tomato red-orange. My first and only NARS gloss ever, and I really love everything about it – the texture, the opacity, the shade. Eventually I’ll pick up another from the line (they retail for $28CAD), but at this point I have too many to entertain buying any more at the moment!
And the basics:I totally forgot to include the Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base in the group shot, oops! Too late now (literally – it’s almost midnight)! I discussed the awesomeness of the base in my Best Of post – really stellar product that works wonders for keeping your eye makeup in place. Go check it out!I also just extolled the virtues of the Sheer Glow foundation in my last post – this shade in Syracuse is an insane match for my skin, it blows my mind a little bit. Definitely get to your nearest NARS counter and at least try this formula out, it’s worth a look!As much as I love loose powder for it’s long-lasting ability – as in, you don’t have to buy it very often because it lasts forever! – I also hate it for the same reason. I thrive on change, and MAN do I ever want to change to a different powder than this one! This is the shade Mountain, and that’s another thing I’m totally over – powders with shades, rather than just an overall translucent one. I won’t make that mistake again. In the meantime, I swear I’ve only used a third of this product, and I’ve had it for probably two years!! It really just needs to get be finished already. Absolutely nothing wrong with the product, it sets makeup well and looks natural, but I’m just done with it now. I want something new, damnit!! (The loose powders retail for $42CAD)
So that’s my collection – nothing too crazy but I like just about all of it and I feel that it was all money very well spent. I’d like to try some of the new Longwear Eyeliners, and the Larger than Life mascaras, as well as continue to pick up a new blush every so often. NARS to me is like the upscale, less gimmicky version of MAC, which suits me to a tee.
What do you think of my collection? And of NARS in general?
Wild & Chic Best Of Make Up For Ever Kit, Part One: HD Microperfecting Primer and Microfinish Powder
For the past couple weeks, the number one post on my blog has been the launch info and overview of MUFE’s new ‘Wild & Chic Best Of’ kit. Alright already, I get the hint!! To date, I feel I’ve sufficiently tested at least two of the products enough that I feel good about giving a full review for each. I thought it made sense to begin at the beginning; meaning, with the two products you’ll likely apply first – the enormously popular HD Microfinish Powder, and the HD Microperfecting Primer.
From what I can recall, the whole ‘HD’ – or ‘High Definition’ – craze started with Make Up For Ever. I can remember when their HD foundation, and this powder, came out, the blogosphere (and magazines, too!), nearly went into a tailspin. HD products were initially designed for on-screen celebs who feared that High Def. resolution would reveal their imperfections to the world. Quickly, it shifted into the ‘real world,’ because who doesn’t want to look airbrushed and perfect all the time?
How it works, is it helps create a ‘soft focus’ effect on the skin, so that it looks its best, particularly on camera and film. Make Up For Ever seems to have really cornered the market in this arena, as along with the powder and primer, they also have an HD foundation and concealer to really make the skin look flawless. I have yet to try these products, but the foundation is another product that seems to be a must-try.
So, first, the primer. We need more primers on the market like we need holes in our heads – there are SO many out there now!! And, worse, so many that just don’t deliver on their promises. MUFE actually has seven different HD primers, each for a specific concern; the one in the ‘Wild & Chic’ kit is simply 0 Neutral – the basic, translucent version. The first thing I noticed about this primer is the texture – it’s not silicone-y feelings like many primers I’ve tried, and it doesn’t feel thick or like it’s smothering the skin, like some others. It feels just like a thin fluid, that absorbs on the skin within a minute, and leaves absolutely no residue feeling, no whitish cast…almost like it was never there at all. Hands down, I like this aspect of the primer best – I don’t feel like I have to wait ages for it to set before I continue on with my makeup application. I don’t know how they managed this, as the second ingredient is dimethicone, but manage they do!
In terms of it’s efficacy, it works quite well. My makeup stayed put throughout the day, notably my blush, which is a feat as that’s usually the first thing to disappear. I’m not sure how it would hold up against heavier makeup application, as I generally only wear a dab of foundation, if at all. The texture being as it is, I question whether it’s enough for a full-face of makeup – but for someone like me who wears less, it’s absolutely perfect. It’s not drying, and neither does it cause any breakouts (it’s oil-free). It’s just all kinds of awesome.The Microfinish Powder, as I mentioned, gets some major attention in the beauty world. 100% mineral silica, this powder softens the look of imperfections, sets makeup, and slightly mattifies the skin for a satin look. I’ve always had an issue with the way powders tend to make the face look flat and dull – I always opt for cream blushes if I can help it, and I usually only use powders under my eyes to set my concealer, and through my t-zone. With this powder, its unnecessary to be so careful – I can use it all over my face to set my makeup, yet it still allows me to have a glow to the skin without looking dusty. And it really does mattify – I can wear this all day and only need to blot *maybe* if it’s been a warmer day, or if I’ve gone out for a run. However, there is a trick to using this product. Using a normal powder brush doesn’t really work – the powder is too finely milled and light that it merely flies around without really getting picked up on the brush. I’ve been using my dense bronzer brush to apply it, and this works much better to actually pick up the product, as well as deposit it securely on my face. I press it into the skin and this keeps my skin shine-free for nearly the whole day. Talc-free, I find this powder does not dry out my skin at all.
Another thing to be cautious of is applying too much. We’ve all seen those pictures of Nicole Kidman and the like who wore too much powder and it showed up in a major way on camera. All you need for this product is a light hand, and you get perfect results.
So….I guess you know my verdict on these two items – win, and win!! I have been having a hard time committing to a routine in which primer is used on the regular, because I just felt like it was clogging my skin and more of a detriment than anything else – I always saw primer as a ‘special use’ product, and not something I’d consider for my every day process. Well, my mind has been changed. This primer is just so ridiculously lightweight, I can’t imagine it ever causing and issue. Same goes for the powder – its so light and applies so sheerly, it doesn’t feel like putting anything at all on my skin. The two of these combined make for a very powerful duo, and one I’m willing to commit to. My poor ol’ NARS loose powder is feeling very lonely these days :S
If you’re considering either of these products, I definitely recommend trying them out – grab a sample of each from your local Sephora, or better yet, invest in the ‘Best Of’ kit and get deluxe sample sizes of both, plus some other goodies! I think they’re both worth a good look!
*These products were sent to me for consideration by the company/PR*
Oh yeah baby. My very own empties post. *insert wild applause here*
My friend Liz at Beauty Reductionista has been rocking these out on a regular basis lately and really giving her readers something to aspire to and admire. It’s not easy to reduce the load of products we often accumulate over time – typically, the load increases more and more, and if you’re like me, it only serves to weigh us down with guilt and anxiety; how are we ever going to use it all up?! So, when we do begin to pare down our stash and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel – or, more realistically, see an opportunity for us to buy more stuff without feeling so guilty – we gotta celebrate that, right??
Not only have I been trying to lessen the load to make way for new product, but I’ve also been trying to streamline my regime to some degree. This month, my kickoff month, I decided that I was only allow to purchase a new product after getting rid of 10 others. The official term for this is called ‘Project Ten Pan,’ an idea originated by lollipop26, a makeup guru on Youtube. I first heard about this through Liz as well, and instantly had to read up on it. The gist is that you have to use up 10 beauty products before you buy anything else. While it’s not reasonable for me to try to do this every time for the rest of my life – c’mon, be serious here! – I figured I could do it for a month at least, and so far have been exceptionally successful. I’ve only purchased one, yes ONE!, beauty product this month (NARS Grand Palais duo – to be reviewed soon!), and below is the reason for this celebration – 10 products finished! Hoorah, hooray!
Without further ado, let’s get to it:First up, Aveeno’s Active Naturals Eczema Care Cream. This is actually my second tube and I’m just about to buy a third. It doesn’t last long – maybe a month, unfortunately – but it kicks some MAJOR butt on my eczema and makes my skin super-ridiculously soft. It’s totally worth the $8.49 every month for that alone! No scent, absorbs quickly, too easy!Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. I received this in a gratis from Clinique a while back. I generally always have some of this on hand, it’s great for my sensitive skin as it’s oil-free and aloe based. Doesn’t do much but make the skin feel hydrated and soothed. It doesn’t repair the moisture barrier so it’s really more of a treat than a treatment. Nonetheless, if my skin is feeling parched, its one of the first things I reach for. This size jar (75mL) is $57CDN. No scent.TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner. I’ve reviewed this before here. Still my fave conditioner, but it lasted forever because it’s a monster tube and I just got bored. I think I’ll go back to it though, the new stuff I’m using by Dove is flaring my eczema up I think. I never had an issue with this. Around $6CDN for this HUGE container of it, and it just plain works awesome. And no ‘cones!First, Clinique Turnaround Concentrate ($47CDN). I reviewed the Turnaround Body Smoothing Cream here. Same premise, it exfoliates to uncover newer, brighter, smoother skin. Really terrific. Its very gentle (easy on my sensitive skin) but works wonders. It keeps breakouts at bay, my skin soft and smooth, and my skintone even. Perfect!
Second, Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer in Combination Oily ($46CDN). Oil-free, no-fuss hydrating moisturizer that repairs skin cell damage through the antioxidants (which are time-released) to prevent and slow aging. It also repairs the moisture barrier of skin so it’s stays hydrated and is better protected against external aggressors on the skin (pollution, sunlight, extreme weather). Of course, I can’t say if it’s preventing aging really – I don’t have a whole lot of signs of aging yet – but it’s good to my skin and keeps it hydrated and supple. I’m on the hunt for a new moisturizer though, I get bored! And, excuse the cut packaging, I forgot to take a photo before I used the tube entirely – gotta get out every last drop! Urban Decay Primer Potion, on the left ($23CDN). This was THE eyelid primer to get back a few years ago, until every other line started making them too and there was much more competition. I still think this is one of the front runners – it is extremely effective at keeping your makeup in place – but I find it intensifies my shadows so much, and not necessarily in a good way (shimmer becomes SUPER gaudy shimmer). And it has a slight color, which isn’t a huge deal, but my current primer – NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base - has no color and keeps my shadows true to pan. There’s a place for both primers I suppose, but for now I’ll stick with the NARS version which is equally effective.
Next, the ubiquitous Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($44CDN). Another HG for many in the past, but again has been somewhat unsurped by newer formulations recently. I never loved this primer, and perhaps you can see I didn’t entirely finish the bottle – I didn’t like the way it sometimes would pill and ball up on the skin, and it is soo silicone-y!! I feel like used on a regular basis, this would majorly break people out. It’s effective but not my cup of tea. One of my fave products ever, Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 in Lemon Chamomile. Also reviewed here. Smells SOO good and feels great on the lips. Has quite a bit of slip, and you only need a dab, but it keeps my lips hydrated and smooth without fail. For around $10CDN its a tad steep but it lasts ages to I’ll continue to buy these regularly.
Hiding underneath is an old MAC liquid liner in Black. A friend gave this to me because she just couldn’t master the liquid liner technique, so I’m not sure how much is cost – and in any case, it’s been long discontinued. This lasted forEVER and was really easy to use. It didn’t have the best staying power, so if I did a ‘flick’ at the end of my lash line, it often ran or smudged throughout the day, but it still was a standby for a quick eye look. If you’re looking for something similar, I’d recommend Make Up For Ever’s liquid liners which are about $26CDN and AMAZING with superlong wear.Last but not least, my beloved container of Jojoba Oil. I’ve been using this for everything, it’s such an amazing multi-tasker! On body & face, as a hair treatment, cuticle treatment….love. It’s pretty pricey, for this small one it was about $20CDN – the large size is like $45?? But sort of worth it. I really like that it’s JUST jojoba oil, no additives or other ingredients, so you know what you’re getting. You just feel good using it!
So, there you have it. I managed to lighten my load and it feels great!! It’s really spurred me on to keep up the good work, I already have several other products used up and ready for another showing I’d love it if my shopping addiction turned to a reduction addiction……uhhh, yeah, right.
Is anyone else having a challenge with product overload? What are you doing to improve the situation? Or are you rolling in abundance with relish? Have you ever tried Project 10 Pan?
Thanks for stopping by, I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!
Due to rave reviews by the illustrious Beauty Reductionista (Liz), I picked up the travel size of this primer last month to check it out (which still retailed for $20CDN for 0.33oz – ouch!). The “mineral-based, water-resistant primer” claims to “neutralize the skin, minimize shine, and create a smooth, uniform canvas for flawless makeup application.” I have to confess, I didn’t read a lick about it, I just trusted Liz’s recommendation and grabbed it when I was at the checkout at Sephora – a primer’s a primer’s a primer, right??
In the past, I haven’t been very concerned about getting my makeup to last throughout the day, for whatever reason – I shied away from wearing too much product and adding an extra step in my already somewhat laborious routine. However, as the years pass I become more and more aware, and something that always drives me crazy in the warmer months is how shiny throughout the day I become. While Murad’s Oil Control Mattifier SPF15 helped quite a bit this year with that problem, my makeup is still nowhere to be seen by the time I get home from work, and I’ve started to feel like my morning creative outlet (aka: my face) is going to waste. What’s a gal to do? Oh yeah, USE A PRIMER, dummy. Awesome.
Initially, the way I was using this product was to smooth it on my face after the mattifier, wait a bit, then apply foundation where needed and the contouring method of choice (blush/highlight/bronzer). This worked well at minimizing the look of imperfections in the skin, and helped my makeup last longer – but I still wasn’t bowled over. However, I read a great tip from Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book, in which she mixed the primer with her foundation. When I tried this, using about a 2:1 ratio (foundation to primer), my skin looked truly flawless and my makeup lasted ALL day without an issue. The texture of the primer is fairly thin and liquid-y, more like a sheer lotion (it’s white, not colorless) than any other primers I’ve tried, which are usually full of slip and of thicker consistency. Due to this fact, this trick does sheer the foundation out somewhat, but I’m sure that could be remedied by playing with the proportions. I like a sheerer look so this worked great for me.Overall, I’m quite impressed with the efficacy of this product, though I was much more swayed with it when I used the second technique – I may not have repurchased otherwise as it’s quite expensive for the amount you get (alternatively you can buy it for $60CDN for 1oz). I really liked that it didn’t have that silicone feel of the usual primer, and that it didn’t feel like it was smothering my face, which is the main reason I don’t wear a primer regularly. I didn’t experience any breakouts with this product, and have used it for a week straight without issue.
I’d certainly recommend trying it out in the travel size if you’re in the market for a new primer – it’s pricier, yes, but a little goes a long way, and if you’re only using it sporadically, it should last a fair while.
What are your thoughts on primers? Are they a must have in your arsenal, or just an extra unnecessary step? What are your tricks for getting your makeup to last throughout the day?