Let’s Get Naked Honey

If there is one eyeshadow that I can’t resist it is a good bronze. And I’ll admit golden tones are right there with the bronze. Slightly below it, but still in the mix of shadows I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love other shades, but the bronze tones really draw me in.

When This Naked Honey palette from Urban Decay came out I had immediate cravings. They might as well have just sent me a note saying ‘we made this just for you’ because that is what it felt like. I did put off buying it immediately though. basically I talked myself out of it because I had an overflowing eyeshadow drawer at the time. Also Urban Decay has a habit of rotating their Naked palettes through sales so I thought I’d wait until I had decluttered some of my palettes and the palette went on sale. Also I didn’t know if I wanted the full palette or if the mini version would suit me.

I know that sounds a little strange, but sometimes I find the Naked Mini palettes suit me better than the full sized. I actually really like the Naked Heat Mini palette, but somehow the full sized one did not appeal to me. Incidentally Urban Decay just released four new mini-palettes if you are interested. In general I tend to gravitate towards smaller palettes. with larger palettes I almost have too many options and can occasionally be overwhelmed by it.

While I like the brushes with these palettes I tend to only use them when traveling

The full sized Naked Palettes are my ideal size for a palette though. (I also like the size of the older ABH Palettes like Modern Renaissance). I generally find there is enough variation with this number of shadows without being overwhelming. And when I did look at the mini version I still found myself drawn to the full one. For me the mini version seemed to have something missing, unlike some of the other mini palettes. So I planned to pick this up and told myself I had to clear out some space as well as wait for a sale. I figured both conditions would help me out. It has been on sale many times but i always somehow missed the sale. This time i caught it and ordered the palette.

Swatches go letf to right starting with Flyby (white) and ending with Sting (dark brown)

If you like brows, golds and bronzes, this is an amazing palette. If you don’t then this palette is not for you. It really is that simple. while I would happily use the dark brown of Stung, topped with the bronze of Queen with a little Flyby in the inner corners, There is a lot of variation in the palette. It still had the bronze/gold/brown theme but there are enough shades that i found this palette interesting to play with and am actually kind of sad to shift to other palettes. For me this is an everyday palette that can be glammed up for going out or toned down for office work. Sadly these days it is more office work than going out, but i like the flexibility.

I love that the shimmers are smooth and don’t have any glitter bits in them. while I do occasionally like glitter, I want that to be my option. Plus I apply glitters differently than other shadows.

In the past there have been some Urban Decay shadows that turned muddy when blended. I did not have this problem with this palette. Each color was distinguishable. I found that I only needed one dip in the pan to get the shadow on the brush. with tapping the brush off I had no fall out as I applied it. The shadows are highly pigmented. I found that I needed to apply the shadow (especially the dark brown of Sting) with one brush and then use a clean shadow brush to blend it out. while it required having more brushes on hand I can’t say I minded as I used less product.

Sometimes when you wait for something for a while you end up building it up in your mind to a level it can’t actually achieve. I planned to purchase this palette for so long I was worried that would happen with the Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette. It didn’t. This palette was just as good as I hoped it would be and I am thrilled it is now part of my collection. I would order this again in a heart beat, even when it was not on sale. I love the browns and golds so this one does speak to me, but I am also happy with the quality and ease of application and use. I think that this is a palette I will get a lot of use out of for a long time to come.

Let’s Talk Blinc

I do not really do false lashes. I like the way they look on other people. We’ll sometimes I like the way they look on other people. Some people they look great on. Me, not so much. On occasion I have had someone else apply them and they looked okay (mostly when the individual lashes were applied rather than the full set). I have also had someone who knew what they were doing apply them and I still hated the way they looked on me.

For me they look too heavy. They also feel too heavy (even if they are light weight) and I have the tendency to either let my eyes droop to half closed or to open them wide to compensate so that I look liked I’ve just been tapped by a cattle prod. There are also several lash glues that I am allergic to which was not a fun experience.

But I do love long thick full lashes so I am always down to try out new mascaras. This particular mascara is the Blinc Ultra Volume Tubing mascara. Tubing mascaras are interesting. I find something about them absolutely fascinating. They basically wrap product around your lashes and build off the ends, creating a tube of product at the end of your lashes to lengthen them.

Admittedly they explain it better in the description so…

Blinc’s UltraVolume Tubing Mascara gives you an ultra-longwearing, buildable, false lash effect with a semi-matte finish. This tubing mascara formula is both clean & vegan. 

UltraVolume’s brush has dynamic spacing and supersoft fibers. The bristles are made of thermoplastic elastomer—meaning they’re gentler than plastic, yet still hold their combing power. It’s the ultimate control brush that lengthens lashes and achieves dramatic volume.

Our original pioneering tubing technology forms tiny water-resistant “tubes” around each individual lash. Unlike conventional mascaras, you won’t need to apply and wear the formula like a greasy paint. The tubing formula sets once it’s applied, creating tubes that bind to your lashes. Once it dries, it’s smudge proof. It can’t run, clump, or flake—even if you sweat, cry, rub your eyes, or have oily skin. 

Clinically tested to be non-irritating, UltraVolume is ideal for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers, and active people. It’s the answer to anyone searching for a mascara whose look, hold, and ease of removal is without compromise.

The UltraVolume tubing formula has a better hold than waterproof mascaras, yet is easier to remove. You can set down the makeup remover—it won’t do the job. Simply combining lots of warm water and gentle pressure will slide the tiny tubes effortlessly off your lashes.

It’s healthier for your eyes and lashes: there’s no tint or residue left behind. No need to scrub the delicate skin around the eyes. No irritating makeup remover products needed.

Blinc

Now I have the pictures here, both with my eyes closed and open. It is pretty easy to see that it does lengthen and it does create volume. And I can say that both last all day. It is really easy to wear this mascara. And once it is in place it is smudge proof. I have actually tried it on my walks and when walking in 90 degree heat seating my skin off, I still didn’t end up with raccoon eyes. The mascara stayed in place.

no mascara left, mascara right

Removal is interesting. Regular makeup remover will still leave the Blink Ultra Volume Tubing Mascara in place. So they are right, it is pointless to reach for it. Waterproof mascara will take it off easily. I use the ultra gentle Klorane Cornflower waterproof mascara remover and it works well. You can remove it with warm water. But splashing water on your face won’t get the mascara to come off. It has to be arm water and I found it is best to soak a wash cloth in warm water and then press it gently onto your closed eyelids. Much of the product will end up on your cheeks, some will end up on your washcloth. But once warmed with water it will sort of slide off of your lashes. What I have found best is the warm water approach and then use a clean damp spoolie or eyelash comb to comb through to get the last of the mascara off of your lids.

no mascara left, mascara on the right

Remembering not to just use makeup remover is the hardest part, it is really easy to remove.

The only issue that I had with this mascara, you can actually see on the wand. Lots of product accumulates on the wand. Now this mascara is reaching the end of it’s life so it looks a little clumpier on the wand than it did when it was fresh. It still applies well but I have had it open about five months now. So it has served it’s time. It is a very good mascara and I will miss it when it is gone. I will also be picking up another tube of the Blinc Ultravolume tubing mascara soon.

Blinc Eyebrow pencils and mousse

Using the Rodial Glass Primer

If you’ve read my posts for any length of time you know that I am a huge fan of primers. Perhaps it is a hold over from my art days but I like the thought of prepping the canvas before applying the paint. Or my face before the makeup.

In general I go for pore filling primers. The older I get the more I find that the blurring and pore filling primers not only blur and fill pores, but they conceal the fine lines that my skin care is currently battling to defend against.

I also find that primers can do a lot more. an illuminating primer can give you a lit from within glow or it can add depth and dimension to a matte foundation, making it look less mask like and more like real skin. Some primers have skincare benefits to them now so I like to think of it as an extra layer of protection between the skin and potentially pore clogging makeup.

This is the Glass Primer from Rodial

Discover a radiant glow with Rodial’s Glass Primer, a sheer formula that promotes a flawless, glass-skin effect. Boasting ultra-hydrating ingredients, the primer utilises light-scattering technology, packed with microscopic glow spheres to help illuminate the complexion.

The lightweight formula is enriched with crambe abyssinica seed oil, seeking to leave the complexion feeling supple and soft. A multi-tasking hero, the nourishing primer can be worn beneath makeup or alone for a healthy-looking glow.

Rodial

First off for those wondering crambe abyssinica seed oil …

is both hydrating and protective, with a velvety, non-greasy texture. An active lubricant and emollient, it is a natural alternative to mineral oils and silicones, promoting soft skin and a protective barrier to prevent skin dryness. For hair – it restores shine and gloss, conditions hair and reduces breakages.

Botani Website

I’m okay with skin softening benefits. I’m not entirely certain what the light scattering technology is but I know how it looks on the skin. We’ll get to that in a second.

When dispensed the primer is a light tan. The tan fades so it can be worn by all skin tones. what is more prevalent than it’s color is the scent. It is a very menthol scented primer. There is no getting around it. It smells like menthol. It is strong when you first apply it and even though it fades a little as you wear it, all day you will turn around and catch a faint scent of menthol. It is with you as long as this product is with you.

The right side of the picture has the primer on it but the left side does not (I put primer on half my face – a little more than half on my nose) The light source is directly in front of me it is much more visible on my cheeks than it is anywhere else if you are looking to zoom in.

On the skin it gives you a bit of a rainbow hue. I am guessing this is the light scattering technology at work. It feels nourishing. It is brightening and there is some pore blurring. It is mostly brightening.

While it claims it can be worn alone, I would at least put some powder over it. When worn under a foundation it just gives a soft glow to the skin. Without foundation, it has an odd rainbow look to it that I just can’t get past.

I do like this but when I wear it, I generally avoid highlighters as they are relatively pointless. The primer keeps light focused on the high points of the face. There is no need to add a highlighter if you are after a subtle glow-y look. If you want a brighter section it is easier to add just a tiny drop of this primer over the foundation in the high points of your face instead of reaching for a separate highlighter. However I may feel that way because I don’t have a highlighter that has the same tones as this primer, so I felt that not only was the highlighter excessive, but is sort of clashed with the primers highlighting tones. If you have a highlighter that is in the blue/purple range, it might work out better for you. The straight up silvery highlights as well as the more gold toned ones just looked wrong with this primer.

So in my opinion it would be better to just use a smidge of this primer in lieu of highlighter if you need a highlight. I personally thought that the primer was enough. It caught the light where I wanted it to in just the right ways.

In general I really did enjoy this Rodial Glass Skin Primer and will continue using it. My one issue is the scent. The menthol is strong and it lasts as long as the product lasts. Since this primer lasts all day (and was really good at extending the length of time my makeup could be worn) that means a full day of menthol. I never really got used to that during my trial. While it is a good product, I will have to see how often I reach for it now that the trial is through and how often I decide not to use it just because of the scent before I can decide if i would repurchase. If you are looking for an illuminating primer that does not look greasy and lasts all day, this would be a good one to try out. Just be aware of the menthol scent.



Reviewing the Iconic London Sunset to Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette

I know what you are thinking. Don’t you usually review makeup items on Thursdays? Why yes, yes I do. However two things happened. First of all, I did not wear a perfume this week, so I skipped the perfume review and second, I reached my end with this Iconic London Sunset to Sunrise eyeshadow palette.

The box is covering a full sized mirror

This was a strange one to review actually. I have tried several Iconic products in the past. I love their setting spray and I really enjoy their liquid highlighters. But I had never tried their eyeshadow. And I was very much looking forward to it.

row 1 L to R

When I went on the website I had a hard time finding this exact palette. I found it on several other sites (Amazon and Walmart most notably, so it is still available) but it wasn’t listed on the Iconic London’s Website page for their eyeshadow palettes. I don’t know if this particular palette was discontinued or if it is just temporarily sold out. I know some brands simply remove items from the page when they are currently out of stock and not simply because they were discontinued. I know both Viseart and Ciate London both have the tendency to do this. Since I couldn’t find any information, I’m guessing it was just sold out due to it being in a subscription box.

Second row L to R ( adore the bronze of Summer Glow)

I very much enjoyed the formula of these shadows. The mattes look a little powdery on the brush but if you tap the brush off once before applying then there is no fall out from the application. I personally like this because it means that I can apply my eyeshadow after I put on the rest of my face. I know a lot of folks start with the eyes and then do the rest. I have done this and I don’t mind it, but it is habit for me to apply my face and then do the eyeshadow.

The reason I do this is because I like to think about what eyeshadow palette I want to use while I am applying my other makeup. Sometimes I’ll sit down and start a low makeup look and decide halfway through that today is a glitter shadow day. Sometimes I will reach for a neutral lip but be unable to resist a bright red or deep berry and need to adjust. If I am not testing a palette out, I like to think about what palette or single shadow i want to use before I get to the eyes. It is almost always the last makeup choice I make.

third row L to R

Plus sometimes I’ll run out of time and adjust shadow to what is easiest to use in a hurry.

And this palette was easy to use. The mattes were pigmented and buildable and they blended like a dream. The shimmers were stunning and offered a wide array of looks. The issue was that a lot of the mattes aren’t ones I’d use or that I like. of the 20 shadows, seven are matte. The lighter pink of Summer Lovin’ and white of Aloha worked well on the inner corners of my eyes.

Sunkissed disappeared on my lids, Tan lines mostly disappeared, Tequila sunrise looked really orange with my skin tone and the yellow of Mimosa made me look jaundiced. I am however in love with Afterparty and All Nighter. Those two shades I would use repeatedly. I would then use one of the lighter shades in the inner corner and any of the shimmer shades.

row 4 L to R

The shimmer shades were fantastic and I would use all of them.

The thing is, with only two real matte shades that I enjoyed wearing, I became really bored with this palette really quickly. I would circle back to this palette to use those two shades (and any and all of the shimmer shades) but it is not a palette i am going to dip into to play around with often. I am going to think ‘I want a purple tones look, let me go to the Iconic palette today’ not ‘oh lets play around with this palette this week.

row 5 L to r

If I had Afterparty in a single shadow it would probably be my go to one and done eyeshadow that i would keep on hand and always add to my travel bag.

And this did sort of bother me as well as give me hope. In the end I really liked the Iconic London shadow formula, I just didn’t like the mix of shades in this palette.

blends really well

Which is not, over all a bad thing to know. I had not tried Iconic’s eyeshadow formula before and now I know that I really like it. The mattes, if the brush is tapped off first, don’t have a lot of fall out and blend fantastically well and easily. The shimmers are excellent and apply lighter with a dry brush, stronger with a damp brush or a fingertip and both last all day long. For me this palette is only let down by the shade choice. In the end most of them simply weren’t to my taste. I will however be looking into other Iconic palettes and hoping that I will like other palette configurations better.

Let’s talke about the Lorac Light Source 3-in-1 primer

Recently I have been trying out the Lorac Light Source 3-in-1 Illuminating Primer. For me, this was a little out of my comfort zone. For any of you who have read my posts for any length of time may realize, the dewy, glowy look is not really for me.

I like the depth a good illuminating primer can give to a matte foundation and I do like a little bit of glow to my skin. But there will always come a point for me where the dewy look goes too far and glow just looks like grease.

However I am always willing to try new things and on occasion I do like the lift that an illuminating primer can give to the skin. Plus I realized that while I love the eyeshadow formula from Lorac and I really enjoy their lipsticks, I had never tried any of their face products. since I have liked what I have tried, I thought it time to branch out with the brand.

I don’t know if anyone else does that but I have this tendency to mentally pair brands with products so I’ll think of one brand as ‘the lipstick company’ or another as the company whose face masks I like and not think to look at their other products. In my head Lorac is ‘the eyeshadow company’. I had one of their pro palettes that I used down to pan. it was quite disreputable (and expired) when I finally let it go.

So, to the Lorac Primer. It is a 3 in 1 product. It is a Face Primer, an illuminating additive and a highlighter. I did get the shade Dusk rather than the translucent. I simply thought the golden tones would play better with my skin. And I was right, they worked really well. The gold suited my skin and provided me with a good glowy look. Even before I added foundation and other products on to it, the glow wasn’t too much. I looked brighter but i didn’t look greasy or wet.

for all over under the foundation, dot on the skin, then blend

It is however a slightly wet formula and after applying you need to let it sit a moment and settle into position on your skin before applying your foundation, otherwise it will just mix in with your foundation. While there is nothing wrong with it mixing, and I actually did add a drop to my foundation instead of using it as a primer a few times. It is just a different look. I tried it as a highlighter over the foundation and it wasn’t bad, but I have far better liquid highlighters. This is an under the foundation subtle glow rather than a true liquid highlighter.

just the Lorac Light Source on the skin

while i liked it mixed in for an over all glow, I tended to use it on the high points of my face. It turned out like a subtle under the foundation highlighter. which to be honest I really enjoyed. It was more subtle than a dramatic highlighter and looked more natural, as though my skin was just looking good and had good lighting.

I was actually quite impressed with the glow.

While this primer did have blurring elements, I tend to prefer a more pore filling primer. This was not pore filling. The blurring was nice, but not really enough. I think that in the future I will end up using this more like an under the foundation highlighter, applying little drops over a pore filling primer and using it in small amounts on my cheekbones and nose as a subtle highlight. i find this especially nice as it worked equally well under full coverage foundations and tinted moisturizers. Which means I can get use out of this primer year round, just more as an illuminator and less as a primer.

Shop Lorac, Today!

Using the Tresluce La Flor De Mexico Eyeshadow Palette

Okay before we get into the palette and its performance, just take a look at that cover. Is it not beautiful? And this palette has one of my favorite additions. The Mirror is held into the palette via magnets. It’s back is the same pattern as the front of the package. I think this is just a fantastic addition to the palette.

the mirror held in with magnets

For one, it gives you a large mirror to use when using the palette, and since sometimes it can be awkward to use the mirror in the palette while applying the shadow, letting you take the mirror out is actually quite helpful. Finally it helps with recycling. The mirror can be pulled out and continually used even after the palette has gone to the recycling bin. And with a cardboard palette it can.

So I am a big fan of the palette design.

I also like the color choice. There are enough neutral tones that it can lend itself to a neutral look and there are enough bright colors to keep it interesting.

But this palette does get interesting in its performance. There are three rows of shadows, each containing six pans for a total of eighteen shades. Ten are mattes and eight are shimmers. Over all I think that is a good variety.

with the mattes I found that they do apply deeper than they swatched. In the swatches all but the bottom row tended to swatch very lightly. While those shades are deeper, the other shadows did apply more pigmented when a brush was used on the lids.

It is a case where the swatch just doesn’t give you an accurate feel for the shadow.

Top row

While the mattes were a bit powdery on the brush, a quick tap before applying meant there was little fall out during the application. Here is the thing, each individual matte worked well. It went onto the lid and blended out beautifully on it’s own. It just didn’t like working with the other mattes. Whether I used an eyelid primer or not, if more than one matte shade was used, it didn’t blend well. It either remained two separate shadows or it became a somewhat muddy mix. Occasionally a darker shade could be layered over a lighter one and the lighter shade was just obliterated.

the mattes just didn’t want to play with each other.

middle row

When adding a shimmer over the matte, I generally found I had to blend out the matte shade to where I wanted it and then add the shimmer on top. I tried blurring the lines between the shimmer and mattes. Some of the shimmers would let you, others wouldn’t. Usually you could still see the line where shimmer stopped and matte started.

bottom row

However the shimmers were absolutely stunning. They applied well and stayed in place all day with little fall out. And the colors were amazing. I absolutely fell in love with the stunning green shimmer of Nopal. And even though it is probably mu favorite because I don’t really have that shimmery green, all of the shimmers were beautiful.

As with the mattes, the upper two rows were lighter and more delicate shimmers while the third row was the deeply pigmented shimmers. Even though there were some blending issues I really enjoyed this palette. It is a palette that I will reach for to use the shimmers and it is also a palette I will use when I want to use one of the mattes as a stand alone one and done look, or perhaps paired with the shimmers. I couldn’t get the mattes to blend all that well, but I like this palette enough to hope that it is my technique that is lacking and keep trying. For now, single mattes and shimmers. But I have my fingers crossed that someday I will find the magical blending technique.

LovelySkin

Testing out The Balm and The Beautiful Episode 1 Eyeshadow Palette

For the past two weeks or so I have been using The Balm and the Beautiful Episode 1 Eyeshadow Palette from The Balm. The Balm is a make up brand I have used for years. Their Bahama Mama Bronzer was my go to for a long time and I like the formulas for their eyeshadow. It is an interesting formula actually. But we’ll get to that in a minute. For me the trick with The Balm is getting the right palette. I have one palette that is all mattes. I have a face palette that includes a few eyeshadows.

For me, this was the right mix of mattes and shimmers and all in a new Clean and Green package. There is no mirror and the packaging can be completely recycled. Inside there are eight shadows, Four are mattes and four are shimmers. Over all it is a neutral palette, but there is quite a bit of interest about it.

(Top row: L to R: Cut, Green Screen, Autograph, Makeup Artist)

The first row has a matte shade on either end and two shimmers in the middle. Even though the rows are mixed I am going to talk about the mattes first and then the shimmers. The two mattes in this row are Cut and Makeup Artist. On my skin Makeup artist matches my skin well enough that it goes away completely. It can be used as a blending shade but not alone. On the other hand Cut is a shade I could easily wear on it’s own. Over all the mattes are well chosen. There is a white and and a much darker brown in the lower row (Chick Flick, and Cliff Hangar)Together the four mattes alone are a good mix of tones for creating several different neutral looks.

Second row L to R: Roll Credits, Red Carpet, Chick flick, Cliff hangar)

When you dip in, the mattes feel a bit powdery but if you tap off your brush before application there is no problem with fall out. While the top row is lighter and the second row darker, all of the shades apply lighter than you would think. They are buildable however. Personally i like this as it gives me more control. I am not a huge fan of high pigment right out of the gate. I really prefer to be able to choose how deep i want my colors. These shades blend really well also. I tended to apply the mattes and then reach for a clean brush to blend. then if I wanted to apply the shimmers I did so after blending the mattes.

In the second for the two shimmers are on the left and the mattes on the right. With the shimmers, they swatched really well. They applied tolerably well with a dry brush, better with a wet brush (sprayed with a little setting spray) and fabulously well with a finger tip. One in place they stayed in place with no glittery cheek dusting. If I tried blending them with the mattes then the shimmer got lost in the mattes. So what I ended up doing was applying the mattes, blending to where I wanted them, applied the shimmer and then with a separate clean brush blended them around the edges. I found this worked best for me. To be honest that was the only ‘difficult’ part of this palette.

I really enjoyed using it and suspect I will reach for it often. It has a good mix of shades in both mattes and shimmers. While it is neutral it is not a boring neutral. It has enough difference between the shades for it to be interesting to use over a longer period of time. It has shades I like wearing as a one and done and each shadow blends well with the others.

I know this is a rarity for me, but I honestly have nothing bad i can say about this palette. I thoroughly enjoyed using it, will enjoy using it again and love that the packaging is fully recyclable. With The balm and the Beautiful, The Balm has a hit.

Using the Yensa Super Serum Silk Foundation

I have to say, this Yensa Super Serum Silk Foundation had a lot to live up to. I recently tried out the Yensa BC Full Coverage Foundation and absolutely adored it. It was easy to see why it is a long term best seller. This Yensa Foundation is a bit newer on the market.

In general I like serum style foundations. I generally find I have good luck with them. According to Yensa…

the  serum foundation that is supercharged with skin-loving peptides and an age defying complex of Vitamin C, E, Ferulic and Bakuchiol Oil. Helps brighten, firm and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Provides full, flawless coverage. 8 BENEFITS: Full coverage foundation, Vitamin C brightens skin, Graceful aging moisturizer, Ferulic Acid reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles & dark circles, Provides brighter and even skin tone, Helps minimize the appearance of pores, Nourishes skin with 8 SuperBlacks Essence, and Bakuchiol improves skin elasticity

Yensa
dotted on to face

I love the fact that when you open this foundation it smells like skincare. It has a very skincare like scent and I have to say my skin has looked fantastic during my trial. I have had no break outs and if I am going to wear a product on my skin for eight hours at a stretch adding in skincare seems like a really smart idea.

Two weeks isn’t enough to see if there were improvements in my fine lines, but over time my skin usually reacts well to Bakuchoil so I am pleased with it. I am also pleased they went with a skin care ingredient that doesn’t make me sun sensitive. For those who aren’t aware, bakuchoil functions like a retinol but doesn’t have the sun sensitivity that a retinol can give you. Which is great in a product you are going to be wearing all day long.

blended in just the foundation

I generally found that i needed one pump of product to cover my entire face. This gave me a coverage that was on the lighter side of full. I’m sure if I went in with more product i could get a fuller coverage, but personally I didn’t se the need. One pump worked well for me. Sometimes I used concealer and sometimes I didn’t. As my skin was looking really good while I used this, i didn’t have all that much to cover, just around my eyes and a few dark spots. There were days i forgot the concealer and didn’t mind it. With one pump I would still recommend using a concealer, if you go two pumps you really won’t need it.

I was a little concerned about the shade of the product at first. When it pumped out it had a slightly yellow cast to it. My shade is Light Medium. When blended it worked out well though.

There is a slight shine to the foundation. If you are a fan of dewy skin it might not be enough for you and in that case I would use a dewy primer underneath. I am not a huge dewy skin fan and found that I could wear any primer I wanted underneath but if I went for a moisturizing or dewy primer then I would most definitely need my setting powder.

Over all this was a good foundation. Towards the end of the day I did notice there was some slight settling around the fine lines of my mouth but it was really towards eight plus hours that I noticed it and it was minor. When i used a pore filling primer it wasn’t an issue. This was in general a good foundation.

My only real problem with it was that I tried it right after the BC Full Coverage foundation. It is a skin on skin formula that i just like a little better. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a great foundation, it just means I prefer the other one from the brand. There is a lot to love with this foundation though and I am certain I will use the entire bottle. And if the skincare benefits prove excellent long term it may rise in my estimation.

Will I repurchase? Honestly I would probably go for the BC full coverage foundation first when shopping from the brand, however I would happily use this Super Serum Silk Foundation again or pick it up it the BC foundation was unavailable. It is a very close second, but it is still second.

Going Backstage with the Dior Concealer

Concealer isn’t a product I tend to talk about much. The reason is that I have found it hard to find one that doesn’t end up creasing on me or that will blend in well with my skin. I really hate when you can tell a spot is lighter because there is concealer on it and I really don’t like when it settles into lines and makes them more prominent. Time will eventually make them impossible to conceal, I don’t need a concealer attempting to spot light them.

This Dior Backstage Face and Body Flash Perfector concealer came to me through Influenster. As always though, my opinions are my own and let me tell you, my opinions of this concealer are high.

The shade I have is 2CR. It is a little lighter than my skin tone but blends in beautifully. It also lasts all day without creasing. I tend to use it around my eyes and on a few slightly darker spots on my face. I apply it and then blend it in with a makeup sponge. and yes, i apply my concealer before I apply my foundation. I have always done this and I find it gives me more of a blended finish with the concealer not standing out on it’s own that way.

dot don’t swipe, then blend a little goes a long way

This concealer has a slightly floral scent to it which was a pleasant surprise. it isn’t a heavy scent, but it is certainly not a concealer scent. Which honestly made it more pleasant to use. I am not a huge fan of the scent of most concealers.

brush

The applicator is a small brush rather than a doe foot and I really liked using it. The trick with this concealer though is to remember that a little goes a long way. Dot this concealer on your skin, don’t use massive swipes. A dot will cover far more than you expect.

blended full face

This is one of the best concealers I have used in a while and I will be reaching for it often and using every last drop. I’m hoping the tone can be flexible during the summer months so I can continue to use it even as my skin tans. If not, this is one of those products I would consider having multiple shades of in my makeup drawer.

It is something I will be monitoring. But right now, this Back Stage Concealer is a two thumbs way up product. Way to go Dior. And thanks Influenster.

Challans de Paris

Eyeshadow Palette Review: The Mirage by Sandbar

I have to say I was thrilled when this Mirage Palette from Sandbar Beauty palette came in a recent IPSY box. It looks like it would be a good neutral palette. It looks like it is a palette that can easily be picked up and used with little thought. I know that it not the most exciting description of a palette, but let’s face it, some mornings, that is what you need.

While I do like sitting down and taking some time with my eyeshadows, playing around with color and trying new things, weekday mornings, I generally go for simple and easy. Having a palette that I can reliably pickup and use quickly before I run out the door is often key to my morning getting ready process.

The image is a little off kilter because I was trying to play with the light so the names were visible in the photo. They are really hard to see in real life.

So let’s see how this palette performed. First the swatches. I started with the upper left (Mahogany Rose) and then worked my way around clockwise.

L to %R: Mahogany Rose, Marron, Shell, Clove, White Gold and Veil)

This was an interesting palette to swatch actually. I used the palette before swatching, not wanting to be influenced by the way things swatched. On the eyes the two brown mattes, Marron (the reddish brown) and Clove were intensely pigmented. They were powdery on the brush but when tapped off and applied to the eye they were highly pigmented with little fall out. You just have to remember to tap the brush first.

It was very easy to go over board with these two. I found I had to do a double brush application. One brush to apply and a second clean brush to blend out and tone down before applying a second shadow. If you don’t tone them down, no other shadow will appear. I found it was very easy to go over board with the shimmers too actually. I applied what I thought was a little with a brush and then blended with my finger and the shimmer took over. Restraint is the byword when applying these shadows.

They blended well together and while there was a little shimmer fall out from White Gold, everything else stayed in place all day. there was a little fading around the end of the day, but by the time I was ready to remove my makeup, it was still in place.

The swatches being so pale was surprising. it actually applies much darker on the lids than in a swatch. The thing is Marron and Clove swatch as very different shadows but on the lid they look virtually identical. While the pink tones of veil were a nice contrast for the inner corner, those are the only mattes. While there is some variety with the shimmers, there was really very little visual interest. All of the looks came out more or less the same.

Which is not a bad thing if you need a neutral look for your work day it is a great little palette to have around. It does get a little boring. With the shades so similar I would not have minded if they changed out one for a pop of color. Or even added on pop of color in the center where the gold sun icon is located.

While I will use this palette, I probably wouldn’t purchase this palette again. I would however look into single shadows and other palettes from the brand. As this is my first use of any product from Sandbar Beauty, for me that is good to know. I like their formula and wouldn’t mind trying out more from them. It is a good little palette that introduced me to the brand and let me know that the shadow formulas are ones I like and that aren’t too difficult to work with. While the palette is not a bad one to have around it isn’t all that thrilling. It is reliably decent though. Just remember it has a high pigmentation on the mattes and it is a good set of office neutrals.