Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen

This was a product that I was introduced to when I first got hired at bareMinerals.  I was quite confused when I first picked it up, but it soon became one of my top recommendations once summer hit, as many clients were looking for sunscreen in the boutique.  The Natural Sunscreen ($28 USD) is a powder sunscreen that contains an SPF of 30 as well as a sheer tint.

See the snow?!  Massachusetts got five inches in one night!  
This review makes me want summer again!

I despise cream sunscreens.  I hate the smell, the stickiness, the white cast that stays on my face, all of it.  Even when I was little, I tried to keep it off of me as much as possible (and with a mom as white as you are, that ain't happening...)  I ended up purchasing this before my trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina in August since I knew that I couldn't avoid using sunscreen for the whole trip.  This is actually quite a nice product.  It comes in three shades, Light, Medium and Tan.  I picked up the Light shade, but I honestly don't think it makes a difference. I saw absolutely no color when I brushed it on my makeup-less face before I went to run errands through town with my grandma, but this proved positive since I could brush the colorless powder on my shoulders to save them from frying in the North Carolina sun.  I found I was less burnt and more tan after wearing this, so it definitely helped to prevent sunburn, which I was honestly skeptical about.  It also twists down and comes with a cap so you can cover the bristles up and pop it in your purse!

My only gripe is that it is obviously made from powder so it is not beach friendly unless you want to avoid the water.  The water will wash the sunscreen off, leaving you open to burning, which I learned the hard way my first day on the beach (man, I was TAN).  I would also recommend a higher SPF if you wanted to completely avoid burning, as SPF 30 is pretty minimal, yet protects just enough for running errands.

The Verdict?  If you're a regular sunscreen user and want to ditch the goopy stuff, this is perfect for you!  I wouldn't hope for too much of a tint though, as there was very little.

Review: MAC Fever blush - For Neither the Faint of Heart Nor the Fair-Skinned

This happened to be the first MAC blush I ever purchased.  I had seen a review of it on and decided I would hunt it down and give it a try myself!

Described as an "intense reddish-burgundy", Fever ($20 USD) is a dark red raspberry with CRAZY pigmentation.  I'm not kidding you, if someone of my skintone (about NW110-115) wanted to use this, you have to just barely tap the top of the product with the brush and make sure you buff it out well!  A stippling brush like MAC's 188 is recommended for use in order to get just a light dusting of product.  The result is a GORGEOUS natural flush, the combination of the red and pink in the color blends out to mimic a healthy flush in the skin when used lightly (which is an understatement, but you get the picture).  

Right: swatched lightly then blended out. Left: swatched heavily

This is definitely one of those "don't wanna overdo it" blushes.  I accidentally put too much on the brush once and ended up looking like a sunburned clown.  I would only recommend going heavy-handed if you have significantly darker skin than I do.

The Verdict?  If you're looking for a blush that naturally mimics pinched cheeks, then hunt it down!  Luckily it won't be hard to find, as Fever is a part of the permanent blush collection.

Review: Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation

I am slowly gaining my footing into the world of liquid and cream foundations.  I have used bareMinerals foundation only for about seven months (which also happened to be the first foundation I ever really used), and I used it because I was working there.  I absolutely loved it, but I'm in that time now where I have so many options to pick from and I just want to try all of them!  I decided I would start with a budget pick and go with Maybelline's Fit Me! foundation.

You all don't understand how paranoid I was about picking the shade.  I originally picked up 110, the lightest shade, thinking that if it was too light then I can darken it up with bronzer, but a friend I was with convinced me that the darker shade would look fine, so I went for it.  At the register I think I looked at the bottle about ten times contemplating if it was a close enough match to my skin.  I went home and lightly applied it on my chin and SUCCESS!  It's perfect!  Not too dark, not too light.  

For the price (I got mine at Target for $6, but I've seen it at CVS for $8.50), this is a relatively good foundation.  The consistency is a typical liquid, not runny but very thin.  I applied it by dispensing a small amount onto the back of my hand, using a foundation brush to apply it to my face then using fingers to blend it in.  Since consistency is so thin, I had to really blend to avoid any streakiness.  I found it did need some TLC in order to cover the little nooks and crannies around my nose and under my eyes and such.  Dry down time took FOREVER.  I sat at my desk waiting for it to dry for a good while before I got impatient and set it with powder.  Once set with powder, the finish is semi-matte.  Glowy enough to look like skin but not too glowy to look oily.  What I love it how light it feels on my skin.  It feels very skin-like and I sometimes forget that I am actually wearing foundation.  Coverage-wise, I find it is sheer-to-medium, I only wore it sheerly but it definitely is buildable.  

As for wear time, I found it wore well throughout the day.  My skin is plain weird; Dry on my forehead, normal on my cheeks and chin and oily on my nose.  My forehead was a bit drier than usual so the foundation accentuated some of the dryness, and after about five hours my nose was shiny, which is expected.  I would recommend those with oily skin use an oil control primer prior to using the foundation and definitely set with a setting powder, and those with dry skin should exfoliate well to get rid of any flakies on your skin so the foundation doesn't catch on them.  

Now the packaging is the thing that irritates me.  I definitely would've preferred a pump on the bottle as I tend to by clumsy with things like this.  I believe the International version of this foundation includes a pump on the bottle, but the US version does not.  Because of the thin consistency of the foundation, I would definitely advise care when dispensing out of the open jar as it runs very quickly.

Foundation: Fit Me! in 115 Cheeks: MAC Stereo Rose 
Eyes: Benefit They're Real Mascara
Lips: Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Trixie

The Verdict?  For those with normal skin and minor skin imperfections such as small amounts of redness and small acne scars, I'd say go for it.  If you have oily skin, the upkeep may be a little finicky, same with very dry skin.  Those who are looking for a thick foundation that offers full coverage should look elsewhere.

Review: bareMinerals Correcting Concealer SPF 20 - Light 2

Ahh bareMinerals.  How I love you.  I have never found a product made by you that I didn't like quality-wise.  I actually have no need for concealer as I was thankfully blessed with pretty decent skin, but when I worked for bareMinerals in the past, I found myself using this product on clients almost all the time.  Behold: the Correcting Concealer ($20 USD).

      Compared to bareMinerals' other concealer called Bisque, which is a powder, the Correcting Concealer is a cream concealer.  Described as a "creamy concealer with SPF 20 protection that hides imperfections and diminishes the appearance of dark spots and discolorations", it is a thicker feeling formula than what I am used to.  One of the main ingredients in this concealer is lemon peel extract, which helps to brighten and reduce the appearance of dark spots and discolorations over time.  While using this at the boutique, I found that it concealed dark spots beautifully and heavy undereye darkness very well.  However is applies very heavily with the fingers so I would recommend a fluffy concealer blending brush to apply and build from there.
                                   Applied heavily, then heavily over my freckle.  It is very snowy here in Mass. so excuse the lighting!

The shade range is extensive, ranging from Light 1 to Deep 2 (1 shades are cool toned/pink and 2 shades are warm toned/yellow).  I was given Light 2 as gratis to use on my own.  Admittedly, I rarely do use it, as I really only conceal under my eyes and I found this was to creamy to stay put for more than two hours under my eyes given that I have small lines from my allergies (don't rub your eyes kids!).  On my face, I applied it after primer and before foundation over some small acne scars and I found it concealed very nicely and wore all day with no hiccups.  As for the lemon peel extract, I cannot voice whether or not it works as I don't wear the concealer every day.

The Verdict?  If you have dark spots/acne scars/acne to conceal, I would try it.  If you wanted to conceal dark circles, I would leave this for people who have younger, smooth undereyes.  Those with lines under their eyes should try a thinner formula.

Review: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

I know.  Lip balm as my first review may seem boring, but I promise!  These little guys are worth it!

Please excuse the picture quality!
  Jack Black Intense Therapy lip balms ($7.50) are probably my favorite lip balm on Earth in the Universe.  And I've used many, yet I keep coming back to this one.  These are described as "a conditioning lip balm that protects lips from sun and wind, with soothing effects."  They come in five flavors: Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Lemon & Chamomile, Grapefruit & Ginger, Black Tea & Blackberry and Vanilla & Lavender. 
      I seem to have a Pokemon complex with these, I just gotta catch them all!  I have all flavors except the Mint (I don't care much for minty flavors).  With how chronically dry my lips are, these are a godsend.  I used the EOS Smooth Spheres for a long time and was always wondering why my lips were still dry.  Even when I worked up to the Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm, my lips would still peel like they were sunburned!  I had used Jack Black in the past and figured I would give it a try again.  BEHOLD!  My lips were back to normal after one use and I don't think I will ever switch to another brand.  To the Budget Queen (like me!) these may seem a tiny bit pricey at $7.50 a pop, but they are seriously worth every penny.  I found mine at Sephora, but not at Sephora Inside JC Penney.  You can also order them off of the Jack Black Website.

The verdict?  Yes.  Absolutely.  They are moisturizing, smell amazing and pretty affordable.  Anyone who has a problem with dry lips should definitely try them!


Hello all who may see!

I found myself looking at makeup blogs all day that I decided it was about time I create one myself!  The point of this blog is to review products that I may come across for you all to see.  These reviews may be about makeup, hair products, skincare, body care, and heck, maybe even jewelry, things that I think should be shown to the world!
   Just a quick bio about me:
I am a college student from Western Massachusetts (South Hadley to be exact), a self-taught makeup artist, waitress/hostess at Red Robin, and a Health Science major.  I'm in love with all things makeup, skincare and beauty and can usually be seen stalking the aisles at my local Walgreens, Target, and Sephora.