Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: Becca Lipgloss in Miami Vice

Other reviews on this blog will show that I am a big fan of this Becca lip gloss line - I tend to find the colors flattering, the formula moisturizing, and it's pretty darn longlasting for a lip gloss. This color, though, did not work for me. In the tube and in the swatch below, it is really pretty - a nice orange coral that seemed perfect for spring. The trouble comes when this color is actually layered on my natural lip color. It combines with my mauve lips to become this chalky-nude that was neither flattering or anything remotely like the swatch. Instead, it seemed to settle into my lip lines in lighter little streaks and just generally behaved in an awful fashion.  Back to Sephora it goes.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: MAC Delish Lipstick

Lately I've been finding myself kind of nostalgic for my older MAC lipsticks, so I went without my Le Rouges for a few days in favor of the old standby.  This one is Delish, a frost finish. I know most people hate them and I can't really pass judgment on the finish writ large because this is the only frost from MAC that I have. I really like it, though. Sure, it's not smooth like the cremesheens or amplifieds, but the color is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  It is kind of what I was hoping Burberry Copper Lip Mist would be, but this does so much more for my lips than the Burberry did. When layered over my natural lip color, the peach sparkle tone in Delish gives me a much warmer, enticing pout. The glitter is not over the top. This is the perfect pool party or outdoor bbq lipstick, as it practically screams summer. Longevity is not fantastic, I grant you - but it fades evenly and doesn't look garish when it does so.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: Surratt Duchesse and Aureole Blush

Technically, Surratt markets both of these as blush, even though one is very clearly a highlighter.  Meet Surratt Duchesse (top) and Aureole (bottom). The newest craze in blushes, these just came in stock at Sephora.  Unfortunately for me, I bought them when they were only at Barneys...and thus can't return. Let's start with the packaging: it is so annoying. The packaging they come in is very flimsy so you are basically forced to buy the compact.  But guess what?  It's not magnetized.  Oh no - you have to use little stickers on the back of the blushes to attach them to the compact.  And what does that mean?  It means you are stuck with that duo no matter what - can't swap anything out.  Use one up?  Deal with it until you use up its mate.  This drives me absolutely bonkers because it is SO unnecessary. Troy Surratt should know better.

On to the formula of the products themselves.  I found them mediocre.  I am pale but Duchesse had to be layered quite a bit to show up on my skin.  This is a color that should definitely be visible on me, but it was so faint. The swatch you see below was multiple finger swatches, blended out. Aureole did nothing for me whatsoever - I found my $4 Wet n Wild highlighter superior to this one.  Seriously, don't buy into the hype for this brand - it is mediocre at best, with much more than mediocre pricing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: Addiction Revenge Blush

This blush scared me when I opened it. I mean, that is one HOT PINK RED.  And I am a pale girl with a preference for subtle make up. Fortunately, the swatch was more reassuring - the pigmentation on this one is right where it needs to be. You don't want a super pigmented screaming red blush, trust me. This color, though, with this level of pigment, lends a very pretty flushed look to the cheeks. I use a fluffy brush so I don't pick up too much and layer it on the apples. It applies nice and even. My one complaint is that it doesn't seem to last very long, though. Invariably I find myself looking a little wilted at the end of the day when I wear this, which doesn't happen with my Chanel or Lancome blushes.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: Wayne Goss Eye Brush Number 18

This is the first and only Wayne Goss brush I will be purchasing.  Here's why: when you look at this brush, it looks like pine squirrel hair, right?  Not goat - goat hair brushes are typically white. But no - what Wayne Goss has done here, and in the rest of his brush line, is take goat hair and dye it to look like squirrel hair. They don't really advertise strongly that they're goat, either - it's very deceptive. It wasn't until I received the brush and noticed that it was not as soft as my other squirrel hair brushes that I investigated. That annoyed me from the start.  Its performance didn't help matters.

The size and shape of this brush makes it roughly competitive with the MAC 239. I'm not a huge fan of MAC brushes, but the 239 is a great workhorse for laying down color on the lid. It's a simple job and it does it well. This brush does it poorly. It's thinner than the 239, which I found made it apply color less evenly. It also gives it a sort of sharp, thin edge along the end and gave me a very clear line in the crease that had to be assiduously blended out. I don't have to do this with the 239. Unless you are into very editorial eye looks, I don't think you will want a dark, harsh line of eyeshadow in your crease, either. So ok, maybe its sharp edges will be good for eyeliner or smudging shadow along the lashline?  Nope, too big and too soft for that. Basically, I can't find anything that this brush does better than other brushes in my wardrobe - or even anything that it does well. Very disappointed.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Jo Malone Lily of the Valley and Ivy Cologne

Meet the member of the Jo Malone Rock the Ages collection that I ordered and kept: Lily of the Valley and Ivy Cologne.  I normally shy away from lily of the valley-centric fragrances because the aromachemical that most perfumers use to approximate that note reads as scratchy and awful to my nose. However, something told me I might like this one, and I was right. This is a soft white t-shirt of a scent - it's not fancy, but it's comfortable and flattering and goes with nearly everything.  A soapy green ivy with a bitter, sparkly grapefruit edge opens this fragrance. As it dries down, the grapefruit dissipates (as citrus notes are wont to do). The ivy stays, intertwined with a clean white musk. I also get a hint of beeswax, very mellow, in the drydown. I don't smell any lily of the valley, but I don't really know what to sniff for other than that awful scratchy note I've found in other fragrances (Diorissimo, I'm looking at you). Is lily of the valley green and dewy? If so, maybe I'm confusing it with the ivy. Regardless, I quite like this scent; if it interests you, run to Nordstrom now because the Jo Malone limited edition collections always sell out.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: Shu Uemura 10n brush

I think it's safe to say this Shu Uemura brush is a cult favorite - ask any makeup chat board about must-haves from this brand, and you will inevitably get people writing "10N!!!!!!". I fell for this crowd fervor myself and ordered one a few months back during a sale. The 10N is an eye brush made of sable. It's fairly stiff, and the bristles dome. People tout it as a do anything brush, but to me the bristle stiffness and shape suggest most utility as a laydown brush with perhaps some creasework thrown in.  But you know what? I don't really love it for any purpose at all. I've tried, but every single time I use it, something goes wrong. Even for simply laying down color, I get shadow where I don't want it or uneven patches. I think it's the size - the brush is simply too large for my lids, which I've never thought of as particularly small, but I guess I have child-sized lids. In any case, those who love this brush, more power to you - for me, it's a miss.