Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

WHOA. IT’S TIME FOR A REVIEW!

Hey friends,

I know it’s been a while. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

Today’s victim: Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. I recently started using this concealer as a replacement for my MAC Pro-Longwear, since MAC recently started selling in China, which means animal testing, but we won’t get into that here. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling the love for MAC, despite Pro-Longwear being my favorite concealer of all time, so I had to look for something else.

The name is a freaking mouthful.

But since the name isn’t important, let’s start with the packaging:

Master_nakedconcealer_alt1

I. Hate. This. Packaging.

As a makeup artist, I hate doe-foot applicators. They’re not sanitary, they make contamination an almost guarantee, and honestly, they’re not that easy to work with anyway. I’d much prefer a push-down squeeze-top type thing (I know they have a name, but I don’t know what it is, and I know that you know what I mean). My MAC Pro-longwear had one, and though that particular packaging made it hard to dispense a small amount, I’m confident that either a squeeze-tube or pushy-top would more than suffice for this particular product. All that aside though, the packaging isn’t a total deal-breaker, its still possible to use it on clients if I’m careful, and it’s absolutely fine for someone to use on themselves.

The product boasts complete coverage, and I’d tend to agree– to an extent. For minimal redness, a small bump, or not-so-dark-circles, I’d say yeah, you’ve probably got a decent concealer here for you. However, if you’re like me, and your breakouts are occasionally hard to manage, you’re going to need more than one layer of this, which can make it look cakey as the day goes on. If your skin doesn’t have any sort of texture, and you’re just popping it on over dark circles, it’s probably fine, but if you’ve got some texture, you don’t really want to be putting multiple layers of this product on over it. It also boasts a ‘weightless’ feeling, and I’d have to agree. Even with multiple layers over my incredibly dark circles, it doesn’t feel like makeup, which is something I really loved about my Pro-Longwear.

The finish is considerably matte, which will work well for normal-oily skin. However, if you’re covering acne, you’ve probably got some dryness, and over time the product will start to flake on those dry spots, which is not something you want to happen mid-day. It’s not impossible to use, but I’d recommend using a good moisturizer prior to application, or even exfoliating regularly and getting rid of those dead skin particles.

As for longevity, I was surprised by this product. It has a decent amount of staying power. I’d say it lasts anywhere between 6-8 hours if you don’t touch your face or aren’t sweating too much. Less if you are. So, it’s got a good work day in it. Not too bad.

The price is $28, which to me seems like a lot to spend on concealer, but honestly, it’s around the same price as the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, and is $4 less than the Make Up Forever Full Cover Concealer, so you’re probably at a good mid-range price, and it lasts longer than anything you’ll find at the drugstore.

The Verdict:

This concealer isn’t bad. It is by far not my favorite, and if the packaging were different, I’d probably forgive all the other stuff, and go ahead and make it my go-to. The side effects for dryer skin types can honestly be combated to the best of your ability and you can make it work. It’s a decent mid-range price, and makeup artists or makeup students can get a discount from UD pro. All in all, this is a suitable substitute for my MAC Pro-Longwear for the time being.

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Hello all!

It’s been a while. I’ve been busy. I just started a new job (unrelated to my makeup work), and I work 3rd shift (overnight), so most of the time I’m pretty tired during the day. I wish I had more time to update here, but I don’t so I focus most of my energy on my facebook page, because it’s easier.

You can check it out here:

https://www.facebook.com/kaylacrepuscular

So, because I’m low on time, and haven’t had a chance to prepare a real review for you, I thought I’d share some of my favorite items with you.

First up on the list, is Buxom’s Mascara Bar line of mascaras. This shit is real, guys. I’m in love with it. I have searched high and low for the perfect mascara for a long time.

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I’ve only tried two of the applicators, Curl & Contour and Thick & Defined, but the formula for this mascara is TO DIE FOR. It’s great. It’s blacker than the blackest black, it’s lightweight, and it feels like NOTHING on your lashes, but has awesome staying power, is pretty water resistant without being drying, and is just all around freaking awesome. My favorite brush is the Thick & Defined one, by far.

You can pick it up at Sephora here:

http://www.sephora.com/buxom-mascara-bar-P387673?skuId=1664994

My next favorite item on the list is Too Faced’s Everything Nice palette. It’s their new holiday palette.

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I love the mix of neutrals and jewel tones in this palette. For the most part, the shadows are really pigmented (with a few exceptions, but still totally worth the money), and they blend really nicely. The face products are nice, a little on the shimmery side, if you’re not into that, but over all, it’s a great set, and I’m glad I picked it up. It’s become my staple for everyday and for going out. You can also pick it up at sephora here:

http://www.sephora.com/everything-nice-set-P389230?skuId=1640390

Next on my list is probably CeraVe’s moisturizer. I have the AM and PM moisturizers, and I’ve been taking medications to clear up some really terrible acne, which is really drying out my skin. CeraVe’s moisturizers are really helping out. One of my medications makes me very sensitive to the sun, so using the AM moisturizer that has SPF in it is really helping. The nighttime one helps combat my dry skin hardcore. I love these.

The last items on my list aren’t really beauty or skincare related at all, but I’m loving them anyway. They’re video games. I recently picked up Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Dragon Age Inquisition. I loved Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, so obviously I was going to pick up DAI. It’s a little hard to get used to compared to the other games in the series, but the story line is pretty cool and the graphics are kinda neat. I’ve barely started the game, so we’ll see how it goes from there. I picked up KoA because I read that lovers of the Dragon Age series would love it, and guess what? I do. Character creation is great, gameplay is really intuitive, and the graphics aren’t half bad either. The characters you meet in game are awesome, and the storyline is pretty neat too. It’s a little cheesy at times, but it’s got humor, and I love that. I’m really digging it.

So that concludes my favorites so far, what have you been liking? Leave me a comment below!

Remember to walk on the wild side,

-Kayla

Hello freaks and makeup geeks,

As promised, we are back to the makeup today. This product I’m reviewing today is by no means a ‘new’ product. I’ve been working on this review… practically all summer. I wanted this to be a true review, so I’ve been working with this product pretty regularly all summer long. I purchased it probably around April or May, and I’ve been using it relatively consistently all summer long. Today, I’m going to review Benefit’s Bigger than BB Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector. THAT is a long name. In truth, I’m not really sure which information on the packaging constitutes the actual name of the product. There’s a lot of information on there, and it’s hard to decipher. Here’s what we’re dealing with:

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The packaging is nice, but like I said, it’s hard to tell what the actual name of the product is. I assume that “Big Easy” is the primary name, because it’s in big letters. But there’s a lot of information on this product. It’s got an SPF of 35, it’s a liquid-to-powder formula, and it’s oil free. On the back of the packaging it says, “This multi-balancing complexion perfector melts into skin like a cream, yet finishes lightweight & smooth like a powder. One & done… BIG EASY saves the day!”

The formula is nice, it’s thick, and it’s creamy. I use the lightest shade, 01 Fair. As far as the color goes, I’ll say that it’s among my favorite BB creams. I tend to have the problem that a lot of BB creams look too yellow on me. This one seems to have a nice neutral tone. It isn’t yellow, but it also isn’t pink either. It doesn’t oxidize yellow either. It just seems to match my natural skin tone, which is really refreshing. It seems to have decent coverage, and the product claims to be buildable, which I’d say is accurate, to an extent. When I did the wear test, which I’ll get to in a moment, I didn’t use concealer, I just built up the coverage over problem areas. I’d say it’s about light to medium coverage with one layer, and can be built up to about medium coverage. You’re never going to get full coverage with this product, it is, after all, a BB cream. The product melts into the skin nicely, and even after building it up, it doesn’t feel heavy. However, I would say that if you have oily skin or if you have combination skill like me, you are going to need to powder it. It simply doesn’t last all day without a powder. I’d also say that as a general rule, since it is a BB cream and not a foundation, it tends to have less wear time that your normal foundation does. It melts into your skin relatively quickly, and if you’re not using concealer, you might get maybe 3 or 4 hours of wear time before problem spots start to become more visible again.

On their website, Benefit lists the following claims:

“BIG results!
97% said it balanced moisture & oil*
90% said it visibly smoothed & evened out skin texture*
93% said it visibly improved skin’s appearance*
100% said it had a lightweight finish*”

I think I’ll start by addressing these claims as far as my own experience goes. First, is that it balances moisture & oil. I have no idea how to address this. I don’t know what guidelines they’re using to measure this claim, but what I can tell you is that personally, my skin doesn’t feel any different after having used this product consistently for about 3 or 4 months. I still have oily skin and I still have dry skin too. I’ve had combination skin my whole life, and I honestly don’t think there’s a makeup out there that can truthfully claim to change that. However, after wearing this product, and I can tell you that it didn’t feel heavy or oily on my skin, and it didn’t make my skin feel anymore dry that it normally does. I won’t say that it left me feeling moisturized, but it didn’t leave me feeling dry, so I guess we’ll cal that a good thing. The second claim is that it visibly smoothed and evened out skin texture. I want to know how long these people were using the product. Because, as usual, I’m left feeling like my skin is the problem, and not the product. I mean, 90% is a big number. My skin still feels the same. I have bad acne, and I have dry skin. Visibly, my skin doesn’t look any different. So, for me, at least, I’m going to nip that one. The third claim is that it visibly improved skin’s appearance. I’m going to nip that one too. My skin is still the same. The last claim, I can go ahead and confirm for you. It does feel lightweight. It feels nice. It doesn’t feel like makeup.

So.. shall we get onto the wear test?

Here’s how the product looks when first applied. Like I said, I didn’t use any concealer for this. I applied it with my fingers all over the skin. I then added more over blemishes and spots, until I achieved what I call ‘maximum’ coverage for this product. I then went over it with a loose powder, because like I said before, on oily or combination skin, this simply isn’t going to last without a powder. It doesn’t completely camouflage major blemishes, but it calms them down, which in the summer time, is all I can really ask for when I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup. I also mixed it with an orange lipstick to cover up my dark circles. Another thing I love about the coverage is that in areas where you don’t want a lot of coverage, you can still see your skin through it. I have freckles on the bridge of my nose, and if you apply a light layer over the skin, you can still see them. Coverage wise, I’d give this one a thumbs up as far as BB creams go.

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I’ll apologize for the camera quality, all I have to work with right now is my iPhone and crappy lighting. As you can see, I have bad skin. I have a lot of blemishes, and they’re not completely covered up, but they’re camouflaged enough that I have no problem leaving the house like this. I then added blush and bronzer and whatnot, and proceeded to go about my day. About 2-3 hours later, I snapped another photo:

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As you can see, the coverage over my problem areas has started to wear down. It’s also almost completely worn off my undereye area at this point. So, I’d say that this product really isn’t great for around the eyes. It doesn’t seem to have any staying power in that particular area of my face. I’d recommend pairing it with a concealer for at least the undereye area. But in general, as far as the blemishes are concerned, I’m still not mad at it. It’s not looking flawless, but I’m not worried about it just yet. The last photo I took was at night, right before washing my face. I’d say I’d worn it pretty much all day at this point, at least 8-10 hours.

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As you can see, it now looks like I’m not wearing makeup anymore. So, I’d say this product is probably meant for those of you with nearly flawless skin. If you’re self-conscious about your skin, and your’re the type of person who can’t go out with a visible blemish, this product probably isn’t for you. Me, personally, I try to not wear a lot of makeup unless I’m working a job, so this is fine for me. But, as I said before, this product doesn’t seem to have great staying power, at least on my skin. If I didn’t have an oil problem, I think maybe it might have a little more staying power, but I can’t be sure.

Anyway, I guess my final opinion of this product is that it’s overall a good product. It gets the job done, and it’s pretty middle of the line as far as the BB creams I’ve tried in the past. I won’t say that some of the claims they make about the product are true, because after several months of working with it, I’d say my skin is no different now than it was before I purchased the product. What I will say is that it’s got nice coloring, and the formula feels great. It’s lightweight, and it’s got that ‘no makeup’ feel to it. So if that’s what you’re looking for, go out and grab it.

As always, kids, remember to take a walk on the dark side once in a while.

Hello freaks and makeup geeks!

I recently came into ownership of a large amount of makeup from Votre Vu. As a brief disclaimer, I’ll just say that I got all of the products mentioned in this post for free, as a result of doing an event where this was the only makeup we were permitted to use. If you want to know more about the event in question (46 Mommas Shave for the Brave), check out my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/kaylacrepuscular. I have a few posts about it there.

Anyway, shameless disclaimers aside, let’s get on with it.

The product in question is Votre Vu’s Love Me Deux Nourishing Moisture Tint & Concealer. Wow, that’s a mouthful. Anyway, from what I can tell about this product, it’s not so much a foundation as it is a tinted moisturizer? I could be wrong, but it feeeeels like a tinted moisturizer to me. Here’s a quick glimpse at the culprit:

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This product comes in seven shades, I believe, ranging from fair to deep skin tones. The packaging is cool, there’s a double cap, and the concealer is in the top portion of the cap. However, it can be a little inconvenient, as you have to maneuver the foundation out of the bottom cap a little strategically, it doesn’t open as far as I would like. However, that has very little bearing on the quality of the product, so let’s move on.

I use the lightest shade of this product, which is 00 Limoges Light Cream. First impressions of the pigmentation: it’s actually not bad coverage considering it’s not really a true foundation. It evens out skin tone nicely, and even does a small amount of blemish coverage. It’s not great at covering blemishes, if you’re someone like me, and cursed with horrible skin, but it would get the job done for minor spot coverage. The concealer is a cream concealer, and does an excellent job of covering blemishes. It has a slightly yellow tint, which is fantastic for canceling redness. It’s full coverage and works wonders on my acne-prone skin.

Here’s what the two products combined look like on my face: photo (56)

So, for those who don’t know, the acne situation on my skin is horrific. You can still vaguely see a few of the more heinous zits under my nose, but my jawline and chin is also covered in monster spots, so I’m really really pleased with how this looks after initial application. One thing I will say, since this is a moisturizer and not a true foundation, it does feel slightly tacky to the touch, even after powdering. But, that’s the nature of the product, and you live with it.

So, I decided to do a wear test, and took a photo around 2-3 hours later:

image (1)

As you can see, the concealer is breaking down a little in some spots, and some redness is starting to show through. However, it’s not bad yet, and I don’t feel the need to reapply. Also, for the nature of this wear test, I didn’t want to reapply anyway.

Here’s the last photo taken, I believe about 4 hours after the second photo, for a wear test time of around 7 hours (around the average work day):

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As you can see, the concealer still hasn’t broken down too much. Around my eyes has started to melt away, and my dark circles of vampireness are showing through in all their insomniac glory, but other than that, blemishes aren’t looking TOO bad. I’m not mad at it.

Sooooo, let’s wrap this up, because I’ve been typing for way too long and this whole blog thing is starting to feel really taxing. All in all, I’m not mad at this product. The coverage is decent, and it last’s a good chunk of time. I would add that it does oxidize rather quickly, and the lightest shade became too dark for me in a matter of minutes. This was easily fixed by blending the product onto my neck and adding some bronzer, but it is a bit disappointing.

Anywho, hope this was enlightening and not terribly boring, and as always, remember to take a walk on the dark side 🙂

Hey kids,

I was sent a sample of Urban Decay’s new Perversion mascara a while ago. I’ve only used it a handful of times, so I can’t really call this a true ‘review.’ Instead, we’ll call it a first impressions post.

In a nutshell, my first impression is that it’s a really nice mascara, and that it does all of the things that it claims to do. Their tagline for this new mascara is #biggerblackerbadder lashes. And from what I’ve seen, it accomplishes these three things.

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So, first of all, you have to know that I have naturally long eyelashes. They’re so long in fact, that they often get tangled together. It’s a blessing and a curse. So, that being said, it’s difficult for me to judge what this mascara would do for those of you who have shorter, or even almost non-existent eyelashes. However, it does seem to enhance the length of my natural lashes. It is also a very pigmented mascara, and it is indeed blacker than most of the mascaras I have ever owned. In fact, it almost reminds me of the Perversion eyeliner. The formula feels almost creamy, just like the eyeliner, and it goes on smooth, and without need of a second application, it’s super ultra black.

As far as badder goes, I don’t know. I guess having a super black lash is pretty badass. I like the formula, it kicks up my lashes, and it feels great, almost like I’m not wearing anything on my lashes at all. So yeah, I guess i’d call it bad. In the good way.

Now, with all that being said, I’m not 100% sold on this product. We’ll see if this changes with continued use. The formula is definitely NOT waterproof. In fact, it’s not even a little bit water resistant. This would be hard to use on my lower lashes, since my eyes are kind of oily. After a few hours, I noticed that I had the classic raccoon eyes going on, even without having touched my eye area.

So, all in all, I’d say this is a nice product. It’s super black, super comfy, and looks great. However, I hope they’ll revamp this formula in the near future and include a water resistant version.

That’s all for now, kids. Remember to take a walk on the dark side 😉