Monday, October 5, 2015

Review: Frederic Fekkai Sheer Sculpt Gel

Girls with curly hair know this quest: the search for the magic hair gel that holds curls in a tame, orderly spiral while maintaining touchable softness. No one likes a crunchy head, but it often seems we must choose between crazy curls and crunchy curls.  I wish I could tell you that this Fekkai Sheer Sculpt Gel bridges that divide, but alas, it does not. This gel definitely falls into the crunchy curl category. I really like the look of my hair when I use it; very nice definition to the curls with very little effort. It does not flake or have an objectionable scent. However, my hair is far from touchable with this gel in it. My other complaint about it is that, for some reason, second day hair looks especially bedraggled when I use this gel. All that adds up to this not being a repurchase item for me. My question will continue.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Review: Bite BB for Lips in Tawny

Of course, no sooner do I get around to reviewing my Bite BB for Lips than I find out it's been discontinued. Oh well - it's no great loss to the world. This product is like the Fresh tinted balms, just not as good. The Bite is waxier, less moisturizing. You can see by the swatch that it's quite sheer. So sheer that you might as well not even bother, really. It lends my lips a nice sheen as any balm would, but no visible color. I'll finish the one I have - Tawny - but won't shed any tears over not being able to buy any more.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review: Emite Makeup Artist C Powder Blush in 108

When this arrived in my Glossybox last month, I wasn't super excited about it. The color is not what I'd usually choose for myself--a very deep, orange-tinged, brown-based pink. It almost looks like a bronzer to me. Then I set about swatching it and was blown away by the texture and pigmentation.  This is the silkiest powder I've ever encountered.  If it were a translucent finishing powder, I'd bathe in it.  If it were an eyeshadow, I'd never touch another brand.  The trouble is, it's a blush.  Exactly the product where heavy duty pigmentation can be troublesome.  Look at this swatch:

I barely touched it and look what it did!  It really is incredible the amount of pigment they've crammed into this product while maintaining the amazing texture. Unfortunately, it did prove difficult to apply.  I used my lightest, fluffiest brush but it still picked up far too much product with just one light pass. I had to pass the brush twice over my arm, and THEN apply to the cheeks. It did apply nicely at that point and the color actually worked well. It reminded me of how Lancome Miel Glace looks on me. So, I checked out the Emite website and their prices are pretty reasonable - $22 for a blush, and the blushes are HUGE. But I never reach for products this fussy, so realistically, I won't be ordering any other colors.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Review: Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil

I adore cleansing oil. A cleanser and makeup remover in one, gentle to the skin? Yes, please. I have tried many of them, however, and they are not all equally good. The Josie Maran Argan Oil one, for example, was sticky and hard to rinse off. Shu Uemura, on the other hand, is my gold standard: lightweight, gets everything off, and rinses clean easily. This Tatcha cleanser is much closer to the Shu than the Josie Maran, but the Shu is still slightly better.  The Tatcha is more substantial feeling than the Shu, thicker in consistency; I was concerned this might make it adhere too closely to the skin, but it does not. It feels lovely and rinses off very easily.  Perhaps a touch too easily; with the Shu oil cleanser, I rarely find a speck of eye makeup when I get out of the shower.  With this one, though, I usually find it necessary to use makeup remover to clean up the eyes a bit.  All in all, I wouldn't switch to this one permanently but will definitely use up the bottle I have.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Review: Stiks Cosmetics Lipstick in Mauve

I received this lipstick in my last Glossybox and was immediately curious to try it thanks to the unusual shape and packaging. I'd never heard of the brand, Stiks Cosmetics, but a quick look at their website revealed they have many other shades and charge $15 per lipstick - pretty good, as it makes them competitive with MAC. So, the test:

I think the name of this shade, "mauve", is a misnomer. Rather, it's a delightful berry pink - nice and deep for fall. Swatch done, I moved on to lip application.  This is where things went awry. They got a bit too clever with the shape of the lipstick. It is terribly difficult to apply a rectangular thing to the curves of the lips. Despite being quite careful, I had several places to clean up that went beyond my lip line.  So, that was annoying.  However, the formula itself is marvelous. The color applies nice and true, glides smoothly, sits lightly on the lips, and lasts incredibly well. I've drank 16 oz of water, a cocktail, and eaten a salad, it my lipstick looks freshly applied through it all.  I dearly, dearly wish this company would change the shape and go to a regular round tube - it's all that is keeping me from ordering several more colors.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: Lipstick Queen Vesuvius Liquid Lipstick in Blush

This came in my Barneys gift bag - it was one of two full sized items. I'm not usually a fan of liquid lipsticks but since it was a freebie, I figured it was a great time to try them again. Overall, I'm disappointed, mostly because of the packaging and formula of the product. The one thing I did like was the color. As you can see in the swatch, it's sheer, strawberry pink shade  that I found flattering. However, sheer is the operative word here. Between the thin, slippery consistency and the light pigmentation, this is much more like a gloss than a lipstick, so buyer beware if you hate gloss.  It also slides right off the lips at the first hint of eating or drinking. It does have a nice, minty taste and scent, though. Also, I absolutely loathe these twist up brush pen applicator things  that are so prevalent now. Let me tell you, that brush is stiff and difficult to work with--especially after you use the product once and it gets dried on there. Given that they are essentially marketing a gloss here, I'd have much preferred the traditional lip gloss packaging of a tube with doefoot applicator.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry

I have long, thick, curly hair that fiercely resists straightening.  I like it straight, though, so have gone through a number of products in my quest for something-anything-that makes it easier. This is the best I've found so far.  You apply it to hair when wet, then blow dry straight, adding a flat iron at the end if necessary. This stuff keeps my frizz to a minimum and definitely makes hair hold its straight edge much longer than other products. I find I can go 3 days between shampoos. On top of all that, it imparts a lovely shine to the hair and smells nice.