Thursday, April 26, 2018

REVIEW: Moon Mousse Makeup Repair Kit

I am not going to review this like my other reviews because this is to different. I recently decided to try the Moon Mousse Makeup Repair Kit. This boasts to be something that you can use to repair your broken eye shadows, blushes and powders. They had a semi-viral video that was cute (minus the bratty teenager with awful parents) which you can see below:

Basically the gist of this product is that it's a formula you can put on your broken makeup to help fuse the loos particles together to create a nice, smooth and back-to-normal performing item. But does it work?

First of all, when you buy it you can only get it in a kit. The kit is $15 and includes two double ended pressing tools. (a large and small circle, and a larger square and small rectangle) as well as a plastic spatula and the actual moon mousse itself. There is currently no option to get the Moon Mousse without the kit. I also feel that the round pressing tool is a serious miss. The circles on either end are tiny and massive. There is nothing in between, which is odd because the rectangular option is small and medium/small. Anyways, I have yet to find a pan that the large one fits in.

The mousse smells nice, but a little powdery and works easily. All you have to do is break up your product until it is pretty fine, and then put some of the foam on top. Leave it alone for approximately 8 hours and then use the pressing tools to press it down into shape. The mousse takes a while to dry so I usually wait another day before trying to actually use it.

So how was the performance? I thought my makeup was close in quality. It also did not pack i don very ell and I pressed hard. Most of my item re-broke soon after and some had a filmy layer on top. Using the alcohol method is easier and better. It just evaporates and packs your makeup down better and it also doesn't add any oils to the formula. Plus buying alcohol is WAY cheaper than this stuff and it dries faster. I don't recommend this product in the end.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

REVIEW: Pacifica Blush

Packaging - 3 (average)
Texture - 3 (average)
Wear - 4 (very good)
Pigmentation - 5 (excellent)

I have tried this blush in a single and duo and I feel the formulas were the same. The packaging for Pacifica Cosmetics is not my favorite. I actually love the white and the waves. But it's flimsy and I feel that the lids break off easily and the package doesn't protect my product very well. The texture is average. It's not particularly smooth or silky, but it's not super crumbly either. It does stay on a bit longer than you'd expect. I would say a solid 5 hours of wear which is great for a $12 blush. And the pigmentation is perfect! It is pigmented but not so heavily that it's to much. Overall I really like this product, especially for sensitive skin.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The BRAND BATTLE of the Blushes!

It's time for another Brand Battle! Blush has been around for ages. To me the perfect blush has a high color payout, but isn't to pigmented. You don't want to be a clown. However you also don't want a whisper of color. There are some days I'd like quieter blush than others, however it's easier to blend away some of the color than to pack on a million layers and pray to The Gods that it lasts through the workday. So today I will be judging these blushes based on Availability, Pigmentation, Value, Variety, Texture and Wear. We will be comparing Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush, Makeup Revolution's Blushes, NYX HD Blush, NARS Blush, Lorac's Color Source Buildable Blush and Benefit's Blush Boxes. Hopefully by the end of this we will know which blush is best. Let's get started!

All of these lines are readily available online. However Benefit's blush you can purchase at stand alone Benefit Cosmetic boutiques as well as at Sephora, Ulta, Macy's, Nordstrom, and some other boutiques. Nars you can find at Ulta and Sephora, as well as at several department stores, but Benefit got the edge by having stand alone stores as well as independent boutiques. NYX Has recently stepped up their game by being more accessible in Targets. You can also find them at Ulta and online as well as in independent boutiques. Tarte you can find at Ulta, Sephora and sparingly at department stores, and Lorac I could only find at Ulta and a few independent retailers (like Frends Beauty which only has one store front that I could find). Makeup Revolution I could only find at some Ulta locations and online.

To me the perfect amount of pigmentation is something that is visible when you put it on (I want more than a whisper of product) but isn't to dark or heavy (we aren't clowns after all). Lorac barely edged out Nars in this regard. I feel they have the exact perfect amount of pigment and I rarely ever feel the need to swipe on a second layer of blush, finding that one is perfect once I've lightly blended it in with my beauty blender. Nars is a VERY close second. If I am more liberal with how much product I put on my brush then one swipe is fine, but I often have to dip in for a second. I tied Makeup Revolution and Tarte for third place because both are good. I usually need 2-3 passes of blush, but it sets nicely. Benefit's blush is to pigmented for me. It makes me feel like a clown and requires a lot of blending to tone it down (which does vary from blush to blush in their line). NYX has to little pigment for me.
This is a DOUBLE POINT category! I have two categories, that to me, just matter more. So the points in this section are doubled. What I did to select this is I took the cost of each product and I divided it by the ounces of product to get a dollar amount for how much we are paying per ounce of blush. None of these have more than a quarter of an ounce of product. Makeup Revolution was a clear winner. The product is only $5 and equates to $27.77 per ounce. NYX is next costing $7 which puts us at $43.68 per ounce. This is where things get crazy. Tarte blush is $29 which makes it come out to $145 per ounce. Lorac slides in at $23 each and $164.28 per ounce. Nars rings in at $30 per blush while Benefit is a little less at $29, but they tied both coming out to $187.50 per ounce. WOW! I honestly did not realize how crazy blush is.
This includes how many shades there are, and I also wanted to go off of if there are Matte and shimmer shades available as well as the tonal value of the shades. What I mean by tonal value is that I wanted to be sure that the brand doesn't only carry paler pink shades and light shimmer shades, because most of those don't work for people of color. I specifically looked for deeper rose tones and nudes that are more commonly used on deeper skin tones. Nars was the clear winner. They had 33 shades and a wide variety including deeper tones, matte options and shimmer choices. Lorac steps in next at 14 and does also include depper tones and a shimmer modifier line (that I didn't include in the total because they just give a soft shimmer, and aren't color themselves). NYX HD blushes only have 12 shades, but they have 24 kinds of blushes total. However I didn't feel they had any deep enough choices that would typically be worn on women of color. Tarte and Makeup Revolution tie at 13 each, and I feel like both of them lack deep rose and nudes in their lines. Benefit is dead last with only 7 shades. And the only one that is deeper in color is the Dallad Dusty Rose Blush & Bronzer

 Texture refers to the formula itself and if it is smooth and creamy and silky, or if it is dry, crumbly and easier to break. Not only are dried formulas more fragile, but they also dry out the skin and tend to wear off quicker. Lorac easily takes the cake here. Loracs formulas feel silk-like when you put them on or run your finger over the pan. It's incredible. Nars is next. Theirs has that velvety feel but is just a little more powdery. Benefit's formula is super creamy but also very fragile. Makeup Revolution is where we move from soft silky formulas and twoards powdery options. However I felt their products doesn't dust up to much and tends to be just a little softer. Tartes is powdery, it's a very standard blush. However Nyx's is the most powdery, it create the most dust (which means the most waste) and is the most fragile. Their HD Matte Blushes are better than their baked blushes, but still not great.
This is out last category and the second DOUBLE POINT one. Wear is performance, and performance is everything right? Lorac's lasts all day, is easy to apply, has minimal dust and sits on your skin naturally and mimics your skins texture and it also lasts all days long. Nars creates a beautiful soft finish, with minimal applications and it is long lasting. Makeup Revolution and Tarte tie because they both create some dust and have medium of amount of staying power. If I apply it at 7 a.m. I have to reapply around 1, but 6 hours is nothing to scoff at. Benefit's is weird. There is a lot of fallout and I feel like it is gone within 5 hours. I also have to add that the brush it comes with is junk, and when I use it I get a lot of the bristles on my cheeks as well as streaky and unflattering results. Nyx  is last because it's all but disappeared within 2 hours and needs the most layers as well as creating the most dust or fallout.















Here are all the scores. I would like to note that I think all of these are great brands. Based on personal preference I do prefer them in the order you see them. I don't use NYX or Benefit much becuase they aren't my favorites, but I actually use Tarte and Makeup Revolution more than any others on here based solely on price point  and because I have received several Tarte blushes in subscription boxes and on sale. Do you agree with my line up? What's your favorite blush?

Friday, April 20, 2018

REVIEW: Trust Fund Beauty That Liquid Glo Tho highlighter

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Wear - 6 (incredible)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Texture - 4 (very good)
Highlight - 5 (excellent)

I was so taken by this product I couldn't wait to share it with you. I haven't used any other highlighter since I got it. Let me dive right in to the categories I scored. The packaging is SO CUTE and colorful and fun without looking cheap. I love the name of the product too, which is super fun and sassy, but once again without being cheap or juvenile.

Now for the actual product itself. This stuff stays on ALL.DAY.LONG. A little goes a super long was and you get a blindingly beautiful highlight when you use it. I sometimes mix it in with a moisturizer to calm it down, but I love that I can get that blinding mirror look from it too. The only downside is in the texture because when you first get it out of the tube it's slightly tacky, which makes it a tad hard to blend unless you are using a wet blending sponge. I had a hard time blending it out with a brush or my fingers (unless they were damp). Which goes along with it lasting all day so it just stays put. You guys I'm hooked. I hope they come out with more shades soon!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

REVIEW: Monat Rejuvabeads Split End Mender

Packaging - 3 (average)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Hydration - 2 (not very good)
Split End Prevention - 2 (not very good)
Longevity - 1 (awful)

You guys know I hate saying rude things about Direct Sales products and items, but I also have to be straight and this product is not one I am a fan of at all. Let me give you the run down. The packaging is GORGEOUS. I am actually super obsessed with Monat's packaging, I think it's high end and expensive looking. So why the 3 stars? Because it isn't practical. First of all, how many of you ACTUALLY keep track of the lids for your products? I don't. I super don't. Without the lid this thing doesn't stand a chance of sitting upright on your counter. Regardless of my lack of ability to keep track of a lid, I actually DID keep track of this lid and it is still a pretty top heavy product and very tall thin bottle so it just doesn't sit upright. On top of that the pump dispenses very little product so you have to spend a bit of time pumping it over and over again to get as much as you need.

Onto longevity a little does not go a long way, which is something I expect from a product as pricey as this one. I had to use A LOT just to get my ends. My hair felt waxy after using it. And don't tell me it's because I used to much. I used only three pumps up to ten pumps. and even at three my hair felt waxy, just intermittently waxy where the product was. Even if there is no wax in this it obviously had some sort of coating ingredient or agent. My hair felt drier when I used this product and not hydrated at all. I felt my split ends got WORSE not better and they have gotten much healthier since I stopped using this product.

The only real highlight is the scent which was extremely mild but pleasant, which is typical of Monat's brand of products. You can pick up yours and learn more about it here.

Monday, April 16, 2018

REVIEW: Not Your Mother's Blue Sea Kale & Pure Coconut Water Weightless Mousse Foam

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Volume - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 5 (excellent)
Texture - 5 (excellent)

You guys, I am SO IMPRESSED with this product! I am going to start testing more form this brand. You all know I am a hair care snob, but I read the ingredients on this and it passed the test. So I tried it and I am hooked! Let's break down each of my ratings. I gave it a five on packaging. The blue and the text aren't really as clean or expensive looking as I'd like, but it is pretty. However the main reason for the 5 is the functionality. The pump on top turns the liquid inside the container into a foam, which is so nice because that creates an aerated substance that adds body to your hair without using a pressurized aerosol system (like most mousse products) which isn't great for the environment and usually causes you to loose out on a quarter of the product because once the pressure is gone you can't get the product to dispense correctly from the container. This doesn't have that problem.

I kind of hit the nail on the head when I described the superior function just now but the volume is great! This product is light weight and the aerated water-foam is perfect for adding volume without weighting down the hair at all. There are no heavy oils in this, but I do not feel like it's drying at all. And to skip down to texture I also don't feel like it's stiff, sticky or hard. My hair feels soft and natural like there is nothing in it. It has a really pleasant tropical smell that isn't super strong but is still present. A little goes a long way. I have to use 2 pumps of product on my hair, sometimes three. But this is a big bottle. You get 8 fl oz of product and it's only $9 so the value is there! You can learn more about this product and pick it up here.

I did want to mention one thing I am not loving about this product or line. Not Your Mothers created a line they call "naturals" but I am not buying it. I researched every single ingredient in this product and there are man made surfactants and conditioners in it. But here's the thing, most man made surfactants are better for your hair than all natural ones. I have no problem with any of the ingredients, but I am not a fan of the marketing trend of throwing a coconut on something and calling the whole product natural, when it's not. There ARE botanically derived products and brands out there that don't use any chemicals like Juice Beauty and Phyto. As I stated, I have no problem with the ingredients, just the misleading marketing.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Why won't foundation stay on my skin?

Let's talk about this question. The main reason that people can't get their foundation to last is because they are using poor quality products that aren't designed for long wear in the first place, or because they aren't using the right foundation, primer and setting products for their skin type. If you have super oily skin and you are wearing a luminous liquid foundation, you're not doing yourself any favors. There are products that are made to work with your skin, and there is no such thing as a one size fits all foundation line. So here is a nifty little guide about products you may want to be using.

Acne Prone Skin
For acne prone skin I recommend a cream or mousse makeup. They will have a thicker consistency which will help to cover acne as well as create a smoother finish. A cream is better if you are a rare person with dry skin who still break out frequently. If you have oily skin a mousse tends to control the oils better. Try setting the look with a powder (like the Temptu Invisible Difference Finishing Powder) and not a spray, as well as priming with something that has an oil control or matte finishing feature (like the Becca EverMatte Poreless Primer). With acne prone skin your face is already sensitive. Because of this you need to be using the highest quality foundation options possible. Dermablend is my go-to for acne prone skin. The ingredients are high quality, it is full coverage and it works. You can see the DermaBlend Cover Creme Foundation here (which as I said creams are better for dry skin) and the DermaBlend Blurring Mousse Camo Foundation (which is better for oily skin and pictured on the left). Dermablend also offers an Acne Starter Set, which includes a lending sponge, the mousse foundation, a setting powder and anti-redness concealer. It's a steal of a deal.

Aging Skin
For aging skin I recommend you choose something super light weight and hydrating. You should truly focus on skin care for healthier skin. And be sure to choose a product that has SPF in it to prevent sun spots. You need to stay away from products that are heavy because they will settle into fine lines and wrinkles. You should choose an age reversing primer. Something Anti-Aging may help to prevent it, but ideally you'd like to heal your skin and increase firmness, not just maintain it. For primer the It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer is a great choice because the collagen helps to actually firm and tone your skin, not just cover up the problem. To set your look read the guidelines below for oily or dry skin. As for foundation I love the Philosophy Miracle Worker Anti-Aging Foundation (pictured on the right) because it is hydrating and very light weight and has decent build-able coverage. To cover up age spots and under eye bags I love the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Pot which is light weight and creamy. The other concealer in the tube form it Cosmetics is a little to heavy for aging skin in my opinion.

Oily Skin
If you have oily skin you likely have large pores as well, and have a very hard time getting your foundation to stay on all day long. You will want to start off with a primer that is pore filling and mattifying. I like the Benefit Professional which you can buy here and read more about here. Another good one is the Becca EverMatte Poreless Primer. For foundation I highly recommend using a powder instead of the ever do popular liquid options. For full coverage try the Intense Powder Camo Foundation from Dermablend, for medium/full coverage try the It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation, and for medium/light coverage pickup the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation (pictured on the left)set the look you should use a small spritz of a setting spray. I love the Pur Cosmetics Miracle Mist Spray for an affordable and effective option. If you HAVE to have a liquid foundation the Matte Tarte Tape Shape Foundation is a good option, but make sure you use a setting powder instead of a spray, like the Temptu Invisible Difference Finishing Powder.
. Now to

Dry Skin 
This is where I live, I understand my dry skinned peeps because I come form the coast but I live in a desert. My skin was not made for the humidity-void air in the state I currently live in. My skin dries and flakes and peels and it's just awful. We need to make sure we are using a moisture rich primer. The cream of the crop is definitely Sonia Roselli's Water Balm (pictured on the right). It is hydrating, sealing and priming. It is hands down the best option for dry skinned people. But another decent one is Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer + Moisturizer in 1. But please do not skip the moisturizer with the Smashbox one. For foundations you need something hydrating and dewy. For something with medium coverage that is buildable I highly recommend Fenty Beauty's Longwear Foundation. It has a matte finish but it's not drying and it's not your typical matte. It has a more natural finish in my opinion. For something more full coverage I like the Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation. Set your look with a good setting spray like the Cover FX Illuminating Setting Spray.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

REVIEW: Haley's Beauty ReFine Primer

Packaging - 3 (average)
Smoothing - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 3 (average)
Priming - 2 (not very good) 

I was not very impressed by this primer overall. The packaging is actually gorgeous and I love it. BUT it's not functional. It is a hard shell case with the clear part being a thicker more flexible plastic that you use to kind of massage the product out, and it is impossible to get the last of the product. With a tube I literally take scissors to it and cut it open and scrape out the remaining product. you can't do that with this. And because it doesn't store upside down the product doesn't go near the opening naturally so it is hard to actually use it up.

It does fill in fine lines, wrinkles and pores to give a soft finish. It also has a slight tint, so if you don't like foundation and just want the poreless look this would be a good option for you. But a little doesn't go a particularly long way. I used more than I expected to need to.Unfortunately the biggest let down was the actual priming, which is to say, does it work well with foundation over it. I couldn't find a single liquid foundation that worked well with it. I actually felt like my foundations lasted longer on their own than with this primer. I just wouldn't recommend it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

REVIEW: Kenra Root Lifting Spray

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Lasting Effect - 2 (not very good)
Volume - 3 (average)

This root lifting spray is just not cutting it for me. You spray it on the root and it is a spray mousse. Your work into the root and then blow dry your hair. It doesn't add a ton of volume, but it does add some, and the effect is gone within 3 hours. A little does go a long way and it smells pretty good too. However it also leaves your roots feeling stiff and sticky and just not good. You can't run your fingers through your hair with this one. I probably will not recommend this in the future.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

REVIEW: Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo and Conditioner

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Color Extension - 6 (unbelievable)
Longevity - 4 (very good)
Hydration - 5 (excellent) 
This product is incredible. It is hands down the best shampoo and conditioner I have ever used for hair color. It smells a little powdery for me, which is why I gave the scent a 4 instead of a 5. The color extension is so insane it deserved more than a 5. A little goes a fairly long way so it lasts a while. It hydrates hair amazingly! This is a must-have for anyone with dyed hair, especially with party/fashion colors (such as pink, blue, purple, ect). It is free of harsh sulfates and is a great product overall. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Best Drugstore Cosmetics

You will mostly see high end cosmetics on my blog. This is because high end cosmetics often use higher quality ingredients, with a more concentrated pigmentation. I have a hard time venturing into drugstore foundations because I always breakout, so for the sake of a blog post I have one week of skin repair to do. But I do try drug store items sometimes, I really do! And there are some I even like and own multiples of! So in this list I am going to hit you with some of my favorite drug store items!

Covergirl Outlast Illumina Lip Color

This product really took me by surprise. I heard it was a cheaper alternative to Lipsense, but I was definitely skeptical. I picked some up anyways and I now own 8 shades. This product includes a gel-like liquid color that you apply and then a moisturizing balm that you apply as a top coat. The color lasts a very long time, only wearing off with oils (like from food or makeup removers) and the balm is incredibly hydrating and smooth. I actually use the balm all the time on it's own.

You can read my full review of this product here.

Makeup Revolution Blush

Makeup revolution has some dynamite blushes. They are pigmented, silky and long wear. I own two of their blush palettes, a matte single, a baked blush single, a bronzer single and even a blush stick, and I love and use all of them. This brannd has my go-to blush, and for only $5 a shade, you just can't beat it!

You can learn more about it and pick it up here.

Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Another Lip Product that simply does what it says. This is a solid hydrating lip balm that isn't shiny. The tinted formula adds a nice pop of color (that is build-able for a bolder look) without making your lips appear greasy or shiny. It's just a good, standard, solid tinted balm that does what it says. There is some transfer, but I still like it. I have yet to find a tinted balm that has no transfer.

Learn more about this product and purchase it here.

NYX Color Correcting Palette 

Once again, this is just a solid product that does what it says it does. It has a decent amount of wear and the shades work. They are pigmented enough to do their jobs but not so pigmented that you have green or yellow splotches on your skin. If you are wanting to test the waters with correcting unwanted red tones, bags, or age spots, this is the perfect place to start.

Learn more about it and get it here.

Tony Moly I'm Real Sheet Masks

These are amazing. They are  fun to use, affordable and they consistently work. I use the Aloe Masks regularly myself because my skin usually resembles the Sahara Desert and these really help (as the Aloe ones are moisturizing).

I have also had good luck with the Charcoal Mask (for pore care) and the Rice Mask (for acne). With over twenty options  you are bound to find the right fit for you! They have multiple options with benefits such as radiance, brightening, purifying, soothing, vitality, clearing and more. And at only $3 a pop, you really can't go wrong.

Click here to learn more about these sheet masks and to pick up a set for yourself! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

REVIEW: Focallure Beauty Liquid Lipstick

Packaging - 5 (excellent)
Scent - 4 (very good)
Wear - 5 (very good)
Application - 3 (average)
Variety - 5 (excellent)

When I was scrolling through facebook I stumbled across an ad for Focallure Beauty that touted to have "discounted" authentic liquid lipstick form them. It had a video that showed people applying this lipstick and rubbing it all over to show how smudge proof it was. I haven't been able to find the video to post here, but I will say that I was immediately skeptical because the video had clips that I knew were from a gal who sells Lipsense, and she posts a lot of videos like that of her showing how long lasting Lipsense is.

Regardless I decided to give this a try. I did not buy it from the discounted site, instead I went straight to Focallure Beauty's website. When I did I noticed that it was actually less expensive there. The discounted site had expensive shipping, so even though the individual lipsticks were cheaper, when you added shipping on it was $4 more.

The shipping was really quick even though I got standard. I think I got my package 3 days later. They have a very wide variety of colors however I do feel that these swatches online are not super accurate. I got the shade rose gold, which looks like a really nice warm pinky nude. But when I got it in person it was a little bit more of a cool toned lavender-pink.

Applying it was fine, it is super liquidy, but was fine overall. However the formula is really really sticky. I definitely found that my lips an attacking you feel to them for the first hour or so of wear. After that it felt okay. Not hydrating at all but not excessively drying either. And it really did last all day. It didn't feather and I was impressed by it overall. For only $11, its a steal!

Monday, April 2, 2018

REVIEW: Redken Wax Blast 10

Packaging - 4 (very good)
Scent - 3 (average)
Lasting Effect - 5 (excellent)
Longevity - 5 (excellent)
Volume - 5 (excellent)

I am obsessed with this product right now! It is a spray wax that works great for taming and defining curls (both in permed and natural hair). You can also use it to add volume to your hair, or to amp up and hold your tease! It's amazing! The packaging is sleek and sophisticated, the scent is pretty average (smelling a little cloudy and like... well wax). However once you put the product in it lasts all day! If use it for volume your might fall a little, but if you run your hands through it, it will be revitalized instantly! A little goes a long way too which is always a nice plus!