Posts Tagged Hourglass
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.
So it’s been a week since I’ve been returned from my New Zealand adventure, and I’m slowly (verrrrrry slowly) getting back into the swing of things. It’s quite an adjustment to go from an action-packed-always-on-the-go-surrounded-by-people-partying-every-night atmosphere, to being…back to work, home alone, same-old same-old. I’m not knocking my life by any means – I’ve got a warm, cozy condo; a good (though perhaps boring) job; and great friends – but it’s still quite a change to get re-established into. And I’m someone who really likes to have things to look forward to (which is why I’m planning my next adventure!).
ANYWAY. Enough whining, and on with the show, right? Right. Tonight, I opted get a bunch of ‘To Do’s’ done and make bread (because what’s more comforting than baking bread!?), but I want to show you what you can expect to see on the blog in the next week or two. I happily came home to a few surprise packages that had been sent my way, so despite the fact that I haven’t been buying much in the way of exciting cosmetics in the past couple months (though…I did pick up an eyeshadow this weekend ~guilty face~), I do have several holiday sets – four to be exact – to fill you in on!
Illamasqua Lip Twin Set*
Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection*
Make Up For Ever All Eyes On You Set*
(Clockwise from left): HD High Definition Powder, Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in #16 (Pink Beige), Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara, Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils in 21L (dark grey) and 0L (mat black)
Benefit High Flyin’ Glosses Lip Gloss Set
I think that’s a pretty good start to the holidays, don’t you? I will tell you now, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum – it makes my skin look amazing on it’s own, improves it’s texture, doesn’t cause ANY breakouts or irritation (even on my normal-to-oily skin), and my makeup wears better and smoother with it on (though I will say, it doesn’t make it last all day long). I’m definitely buying a full-size when money isn’t so tight!
So – keep your eyes peeled! I spent the morning Sunday taking photos of everything, though I have to redo my lipgloss swatches as I had a bit of unnoticed flaking going on – yikes! I don’t want to scare you away just when I’ve gotten back! :) Also…..one (or even two!) of these sets just *might* be part of a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you – just sayin’.
What’s on everyone’s wish list for the holiday season, cosmetics-wise? Anything you’ve already picked up and are loving?
*Products marked with an * were provided to me for consideration of review by the PR company/brand.
It’s been a long while since I’ve had to buy a foundation – as a haphazard user, I tend to have a bottle for well over a year (I just finished my NARS Sheer Glow, which I purchased back in January 2011). Buying foundation usually isn’t exciting for me, but once you get down to the dregs of anything, the thought of getting something new is a thrill. When I was in Sephora a couple weeks ago returning the Boscia cream I’d picked up (quick boo-hiss on that – it made my skin burn!!), I saw that the new ‘Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation’ by Hourglass (which I had drooled over after seeing it on several model’s faces from previous runway shows) had been released. First, I have to comment – it’s sort of an oxy-moron, isn’t it – ‘liquid powder’?? Now owning the product, I know what they mean, but I suspect that might be a bit confusing to consumers. Anyway, so I saw this gleaming at the store and I just had to swatch it and check it out. I rarely try anything via swatch and want it instantly, but this was an exception. It smoothed onto my skin leaving the most natural veil of color and a subtle luminosity that was kind of entrancing. Designed for combination/oily skin, with anti-aging properties, and free of pretty much all baddie ingredients (see box below for the exhaustive list), it just seemed too good to be true. I was in the market for a new foundation, but when I looked at the price – $64CAD!! – I balked and gently put it back in it’s place and slunk away. As I tend to do in Sephora, I wandered around some more just admiring the pretty things, when I happened to glance at my hand again. The foundation had settled and had turned into a subtle, velvety finish. I was so surprized at the change, and at how lovely it made my skin look, that I huffed it back to the kiosk and picked up a bottle in Warm Beige – the darkest shade there (unfortunately). Before I could exert any sense, I bought it.I think pictures will show you more than I can describe. Behold:
You can notice two things in the photos: that the foundation is a touch light and beige for my skintone, and that it makes my skin look FLAWLESS. While I’m disappointed about the shade – which will be even more disheartening once I’ve gone down South and have got a major tan going on – I really love the coverage and I love the matte yet luminous look it gives. I can warm it up a bit as you can see with bronzer so the shade blends better, so for now it works. The formulation is lovely – quite thin so it doesn’t feel heavy in the least, but gives great, even coverage quickly. There are so many things to love about the foundation that I still wanted to review it, even though I’m not getting the best out of it due to the shade restrictions. I highly recommend trying it out (or at least getting a sample) if you’re able. The technology is superb and it seems like a perfect foundation to wear going into the warmer months.
Aside from the shade, what are your thoughts on ‘Immaculate’? Do you think you’ll give it a look? What kind of finish do you prefer on a foundation?
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?
Well, the day has almost arrived. As promised, Sephora is opening in Halifax, and right on time – this Friday, August 12th, at 9:30am! I cannot wait!! Caroline, the Sephora Rep that contacted me earlier this year about the lunch event they had back in May, got in touch with me a few weeks ago to remind me about the opening and extend the invite to attend the official event. Myself, along with the several other Halifax bloggers, will be among the first people to enter the store, and are able to tweet/blog/take photos of the whole shebang that day. Oooohweeee! Its sort of a strange feeling that we’re finally going to have our own store. I’m excited but it’s almost delayed excitement, or suspended….like when you’re going on a trip abroad and you know its going to be amazing, but you don’t get those OMG-jitters of happy anticipation until you’re packing, or about to board the plane. Same deal here. That sounds infinitely lame when I write that – how obsessed can a person be? – but that’s just how it is, folks :P
In honor of the Grand opening, I have, of course, made a list of a few items I will be picking up on Friday. I can’t possibly leave the store without buying anything on it’s first day open! Sacrilege. So, here I share with you what I’ve got on my mind:
Swatches of this online showed this ‘delicate moss’ liquid-like shadow (which doubles as a primer) to have a dual-nature, flashing a green-plum duochrome which looked super interesting. I don’t have any shades like it, which is what I try to stick to now when I buy new products, and the fact that it wears all day without creasing is a big bonus, especially during these warmer months. Plus, I’ve never tried BE’s eyeshadows before and I always try to round out my stash, brand-wise.
I have this already in the Plum shade, and I really like the subtle hint of color it gives my lips – often I’ll wear it instead of wearing gloss or lipstick, as I often do more dramatic eyes than lips. However, I really need the more nude/golden counterpart, as the Plum is quite a berry hue. Plus, I dig the smell of these and the feel of them are quite nice. I’m not loving the high price tag, but I’ve sort of informally decided to stop (or significantly decrease) buying lipgloss and especially lipstick, as I just don’t like the look it gives lately – so I feel more comfortable spending more on these. I am casually keeping an eye out for a nice natural long-wearing lipstick, but for now I’m just into the way a balm looks, with some color and a touch of shine.
I’ve heard great things about this primer, and while I do currently have one in my stash (Hard Candy’s Sheer Envy Primer), I’m not bowled over by its efficacy. For $18, I’ll definitely give this a go. If it helps my blush wear better throughout the day – which is the challenge I’m facing lately – then I’m all for it. My face has no natural flush whatsoever, so blush is an absolute must. I’ve been layering powder and cream blushes which has improved the staying powder quite a bit, but by the end of the day I’m still looking pretty pale and wan. Additionally, this primer is supposed to help minimize shine, and it has an SPF, so in the cooler months when I’m not using my Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15, this will be really helpful.
I’m sure I could come up with a ton of other product I’d love to try, but since I’m still holding out / anxiously awaiting the Chanel Fall 2011 release, I’m going to keep myself in check (speaking of which, I had to make an emergency visit to Mills yesterday to remind them to call me when this collection is released – we’re leaving Friday for Gros Morne and I have a bad feeling it’ll come out while I’m gone and I’ll miss it all, and that cannot happen. I plan on buying a few items site unseen over the phone because I know they’ll be sold out when I get back!!).
If there are any ladies reading this in or around Halifax, are you dying for Sephora to open or what?? Do you have any items in particularly you’re waiting to buy? And for those ladies who’ve had Sephora for a while, are there any products/lines that absolutely should not be missed? What are your suggestions?
Happy Tuesday everyone! Tomorrow’s Hump Day, almost halfway there!
I’m fairly certain that when I walked into Sephora yesterday afternoon that I looked like a complete and utter madwoman. I was grabbing products left, right and centre and tossing them into my basket carelessly, already on the hunt for the next product to pounce on. Another $180 later (that seems to be the magic number with me and Sephora), and I am the proud owner of the following products:
1) Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment
2) Lavanilla The Healthy Fragrance Rollerball in Vanilla Grapefruit
3) Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in #10
4) Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete
5) Phyto Phytolactum + Intelligent Shampoo
6) Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15
7) Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (Travel Size)
You’ll notice I have only one color cosmetic purchase…it was a tough call, and there were a few things I would have liked to try, but I have so much of that stuff already I have to limit it to only one per shopping trip. I *sort of* need a new lip gloss so that was my justification. I’ve never used LM products either and the gloss feels really nice so I thought I’d give it a shot.
My list isn’t really that long I guess, but I didn’t really rein myself in, in any way. I picked up what I wanted to buy and bought it without second thought or consideration for price. So, I saved absolutely NO money giving up buying cosmetics for Lent, but I did learn a valuable lesson…………..NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!!! Sheesh. Terrible idea. Of course you know when you can’t have something you want it even more? Yea. Totally brutal. Although I’ll say again that the absence of reading blogs was a far more difficult challenge really. I can avoid shopping malls etc but I can’t avoid going on the internet. So that was a bummer. BUT I plan to spend like, 5 hours catching up tonight so what a wonderful evening it will be :D
Anyway, back to the products. I’m pretty wiped, having just sat in a car for about 10 hours straight, and I’m a little loopy so forgive me for not making complete sense.
Unfortunately, Illamasqua was not carried at the store in Portland (ME) so I didn’t get to check that line out at all, which is a real disappointment. I also wanted to look at the Hourglass line firsthand but that wasn’t available either – but I’ll get my chance in a couple months when I’m in Toronto for Canada Day, so it’s not so bad. As for Illamasqua, one day I might get really crazy and just order something from their direct website and pay an arm and a leg for shipping. It could happen.
I haven’t had an opportunity to get a true idea about each product’s performance etc. just yet, but I will post my reviews as I am able. My initial thoughts are that the shampoo is terrific and well-suited to my hair needs; the fragrance is lovely and I wish I had bought the body wash I picked up last month (the Vanilla Coconut scent) in the Vanilla Grapefruit instead – I far prefer it; and the concealer is just ‘OK’ and may be a hair too light, although I didn’t exactly get exceptional rest while away (we saw West-Coast musician Dan Mangan in Fredericton on Thursday night – ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SHOW – and then the band CAKE in Portland Saturday night), so I might just have some extra-serious dark circles to contend with at the moment.
On that note, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday / Easter weekend, and be fair-warned that I will be trolling some of your own blogs with ardent fervor and zeal :D I’ve missed you terribly!!!
I just remembered today that I hadn’t yet reviewed this shadow – and it so rightly deserves attention. I do not own ANY shadows that have a lovelier texture than this. Wowza. I personally find UD’s shadows quite smooth and soft, and these easily trump those. Similar to UD, the pigmentation is also excellent; I find more and more I really appreciate when color payoff is exactly or very close to what you see in the pan…it can be a rare thing. It was tricky getting a photo that captured the pretty eggplant shade and the depth of color – the first photo is a tad blurry but it seemed to get the plumminess across the best.
I found the wear of the eyeshadow exceptional too – I put it on before a night out (sans primer) and it was still relatively in place by the evening’s end. All in all, while this shadow is expensive at $44CDN, you get two shadows (sizes: 3g / .10 US oz each) – to give you a reference point, a single MAC eyeshadow is 1.5g / .05 US oz, for $17.50CDN , and a NARS eyeshadow duo retails for $38 CDN and is a total of 4g / .14 US oz (so, 2 x 2g / .07 US oz). Doing the math, thats:
$220 / oz for Hourglass
$350 / oz for MAC
$271 / oz for NARS
Which is kind of crazy when you think about it. MAC’s price point is the ‘lowest’ yet you’re paying considerably more per oz than more high-end brands. Go figure!
Ultimately, aside from a handful of MAC and NARS shades (which even then aren’t completely on par), the smooth-creaminess of the Hourglass shadows highlights its considerably higher quality and justifies the price regardless of anything else. I’m totally sold! I just wish they had more/different shades – there are only 6 duos to choose from, and the shade range is relatively demure: a bronze duo, a plum (like mine), two blue based, an olive, and basic neutral duo. If they threw a couple fun shades in there, with that texture and that pigmentation…ooohh ~shivers~ Who am I kidding, I’d go broke if that happened! Guess it’s better as is :P
Have you tried this brand yet? Any other standout products? It’s certainly making me take a second look, if the quality remains along these lines!
And a lovely Monday to you! As predicted, my blogging efforts were reduced to nil the past few weeks, due to the Canada Games (in which I watched NO GAMES but attended five free concerts, all kick-ass – Joel Plaskett, Hey Rosetta!, Hawksley Workman, Buck 65, and City & Color), and then one week to recover :) In that recovery week, I made a HUGE decision – I am giving up cosmetics cold turkey for Lent. Now, I’m not religious in the least. But every year, my Grandmother and I used to give something up for Lent as a tradition – typically I choose food-based things (cheese *so hard!!*, ketchup *my one true love*), although last year I gave up making lists, which is a complusion of mine. So, generally I choose things that make my life less pleasurable; I don’t know if this is the real goal of Lent but it suits my purposes of creating a challenge for myself and building character (I hope).
So, this year, I decided to do the ultimate challenge. I am giving up buying any cosmetics, no exceptions, as well as giving up reading beauty blogs (which is sort of a cheat because if I don’t read them, my obsession with buying them is significantly reduced), for the duration of Lent – including Sundays, which some people don’t count. This is going to be one hell of a task!!
In order to prepare myself for this insanity, I just bought $180 worth of product off of Sephora, I’m going to stock up on a couple staple items like deodorant and cotton pads, and I plan on going on another mini shopping spree today….LOL that’s also sort of cheating but seriously? This is going to be HARD. I’ve also started planning things to do in order to fill the void that will be left when I can’t read all my beloved blogs. I’m thinking voice lessons, pottery classes, running clinics…I’ll be so productive I won’t know what to do with myself! *Or so I hope!*
One thing I am allowing is to continue this blog. I think it will be interesting to track my progress (re: breakdown) as the days slowly tick by one-by-one. I have a ton of nail polish I still need to post photos of (just received 6 polishes from a swap last week!), so that’ll keep me busy as well. And my new products from Sephora :) (Lavanila Vanilla Coconut The Healthy Body Wash, Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo in Exhibition, Pangea Organics Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Gogi Berry Facial Mask, Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15, and Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel).
So, please wish me luck! The ordeal starts this Wednesday…lets hope I don’t fill the void with something unconstructive like food LOL!!