Friday, March 29, 2013

LORAC POREfection Baked Perfecting Powder Review

Lorac's POREfection Baked Perfecting Powder was featured during Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty promo this week, and as an oily/combination girl, I had to pick it up. I mean, it was 50% off! This product has salicylic acid in it and is supposed to minimize your pores and keep you matte, while keeping your skin clear and giving you moderate coverage. That's no small order!

The packaging is really substantial, the kind of product that you can toss in your bag and not worry about it breaking. Its very polished looking and the interior mirror is a nice size to have on the go.

So what's it look like on? First, a no (face) makeup shot for comparison:

Here's how it looks after one layer is applied. I used a powder puff (as recommended by the Ulta saleswoman) and kind of packed/placed it on. It is very powdery, so using it with a powder brush ends with a lot of product going all over the place. I saw this was a big complaint about it online, so I took my salesgirl's advice and bought a pack of velour puffs to apply. 

I definitely think you can see my skin tone is evened out from the one layer, including my blemishes around my jawline.

I applied to the right half of my face only for another comparison (yes I am aware I did more than half my forehead! I mean hey, I am not a professional here! :) ). Again, you can see there is some coverage going on but not a heavy look. Definitely light coverage.

Here it is after two layers, concealer and blush.

Final face:

Overall, this product gave me light to medium coverage that is definitely buildable. It did keep on pretty well throughout the day, but I had totouch up after lunchtime. The upside is that it is much more portable than the cream or liquid foundations that I am normally drawn too, and there is even enough space in the compact to keep my velour puff for on-the-go touch ups.

Since this contains salicyclic acid, you must must must moisturize before using if you have any dry areas or blemishes, otherwise it clings to those areas. The packaging say it isn't drying, but I'm not 100% sure I'd agree with that. If you are oily, this is awesome. I am oily/combo, and I think it works well for me.

The POREfection powder feels really light on the skin. If you are oily or acne prone and don't want or need a ton of coverage (or don't like the feel of makeup), I think this would be a great product for you. Even if you are used to moderate to full coverage, this is a great alternative for days that you want to let your skin breathe but still have some coverage and shine control. I haven't used this as a setting powder, but I am betting it would work well. I would even keep this in my bag for touch ups over my regular liquid foundations.

Have you tried this? What did you think?

Beauty Cents

Products Used:
LORAC POREfection Powder in PF2 Light
Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Concealer in Light
Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer in Light
NYX Brown Kit in Medium/Dark
Sephora Creme Eyeliner in Black
Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara
Rimmel Airy Fairy Lipstick
NYX Mauve blush

Thursday, March 21, 2013

RIP, My Beloved Chi

It is a sad, sad day in this wavy/curly haired girl's world. My beloved Chi 1-inch flat iron has bit the dust after 6 faithful years of service. This was the original Chi, not the Chi Air that I see around as of late. I am so sad to see this item go! I feel like my hair's life can be split into BC (Before Chi) and AC (After Chi). Before Chi, my wavy hair would usually go wavy and/or frizzy even when I flat ironed it, but After Chi, it would stay straight, shiny, and happy even in humid and rainy weather (also due to my little helper, Garnier Stay Sleek Anti Humidity Harispray).

I did not repurchase the original Chi today after seeing reviews by many people who said the Chi of today is not made the same as as the Chi of many years ago, such as my model. Instead, I decided to give the GVP Digital Ceramic 1" Flat Iron from Sally's Beauty Supply a try. I will definitely let you guys know what I think of it after I get to use.

I can't believe how sad I am to lay my Chi to rest! It will be missed but I am glad I was able to get 6 years out of it. What beauty tool would you miss most if it stopped working tomorrow?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Face Of The Day: Goldi-Bronze

Hello all!

I thought I'd share with you my Face of the Day. I am certainly not a makeup expert or artist, just a regular 20something trying to find looks that work best for me and my coloring. At the very least, I hope sharing this helps anyone considering a product see what it looks like on someone with my complexion.

I work in an industry where I can get away with a little creativity, so sometimes I take advantage of that with colored eyeliners and so on. I've named this look Goldi-Bronze because of the eyeshadows used.

 I used a gold shimmer shadow as the base and a copper-bronze in the crease. I topped it with a shimmer brow highlight.

I had a little fun by using a Stila smudgestick in Moray as my liner. Its a really gorgeous olive green. I will definitely swatch and do a review of this in a bit. Its dark enough to define the eye, but still gives you some glitz. I also used Rimmel's ScandalEyes in nude for my inner rim.

I completed the look with a light/medium pink lipstick and a soft blush. I feel like this one (NYX Mauve) is great for giving a little flush without overpowering anything.

Products Used:
Revlon Colorstay for Combination/Oily Skin in Buff
Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Concealer
Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer in Light
NYX Brow Kit
Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Wet/Dry Eyeshadow in Gold Rush
MAC Eyeshadow in Mythology
Stila Smudge Stick in Moray
Rimmel ScandalEyes in 005 Nude
Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara in Black
NYX Mauve blush
Rimmel Airy Fairy lipstick
ELF powder and eyeshadow brushes
Bare Escentuals blush brush
Not Pictured: Benefit Hoola bronzer

Hope this post helps you see how any of the products used looks on fair skin!

Beauty Cents

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector (Oily/Combination Version) Review

Hello again!

Everyone and their mother knows BB creams have taken the US by storm over the past year. Garnier was one of the first to put out their version, the Miracle Skin Perfector, and it has won multiple awards, including an Allure Best of Beauty. I tried to make it work for me for most of last summer, but as someone with Normal/Oily/Combination skin, I ended up feeling greasy after a few hours. I think it's a great product, just not for me. That's why I was soooo excited to see the oil-free mattifying version hit the shelves a little over a month ago! The Miracle Skin Perfector for Oily/Combination skin promises to control your oil while giving you coverage and a great finish.
garnier oil free miracle skin perfector bb cream
 I picked up the Light/Medium and Medium/Deep shades. There is also another dark shade available. First, I am going to talk about the packaging. I have been using both of these for about a month, and as you can very obviously see, they are a MESS! The formula is very thin, much runnier than the original version, which is a thicker cream. As a result, after a few weeks, you will find the product oozing out of the sides. It is really annoying and I do wash them after every use because I don't want the product getting all over my shelf! I have heard of this happening to other people, too, so please don't look at these photos and think I am just some gross individual with gnarly bottles.
The product itself, in my opinion, does exactly what it says it will. It leaves my face matte for at least 8 hours, even when I have been running around. I can't say how they will hold up in summer heat and humidity, but I would bet it will be pretty impressive.

I purchased both shades ecause sometimes the generic "light" is too light even for my fair skin. Here's a swatch when first applied to skin:

garnier oil free miracle skin perfector bb cream swatch review

And after setting/oxidizing for five minutes:

I think the swatch shows the matte finish really well. When applied with a flat top kabuki brush, I get great, streakless coverage. Color wise, my only issue is the Light/Medium shade looks rather peachy on me. It definitely has pink undertones, which makes it not a great match for my complexion. In some lights, I even found it to show up orangey. It's weird because it comes out looking really neutral! By contrast, the Medium/Deep shade does have yellow undertones but doesn't look orange, no matter what light I look at it in.

Overall, I think the Garnier Skin Perfector for Combination to Oily skin is a great product. It gives the matte finish of a higher end product at a really nice cost (I paid $12.99 at CVS). The coverage is light to medium and buildable, and it does last all day. Sometimes I find it even a little too mattifying and find if I don't put some moisturizer on before using, it can highlight my dry spots. Aside from that, I wish they would come out with more shades! Perhaps a yellow-toned light just to add to the mix (selfishly, of course!). I am hoping once the summer rolls around, the Medium/Deep shade matches me better.

Beauty Cents

Tarte Smoldereyes Liner Review

Hello all!

Tarte's Smoldereyes waterproof Amazonian clay liners are a product I've wanted to share my opinion about for a long time. I received their Holiday 2012 value set, which included five of the jumbos and one bonus skinny pencil.

The variety in colors for this set was what really sold me. I was picturing doing really quick and easy looks with the Gold, Gunmetal, and maybe even the Champagne shade. I thought Ash Violet and Rainforest Black would be great for making my hazel eyes pop. And the bonus skinny black liner? Woohoo! Who doesn't love a creamy black eyeliner? A total classic. Right?
Swatched, left to right: Rainforest Black, Ash Violet, Gunmetal, Gold, Champagne, and Skinny in Black

Rainforest Black is actually more of a deep emerald.
Ash Violet is a medium purple with grey undertones.
Gunmetal is a pretty true steel grey.
Gold is a dark, well, gold!
Champagne is a pale highlight shade with pink undertones.
Black is self explanatory. This is the Skinny Smoldereye.

Alas, my predicted love affair with Tarte Smoldereyes never came to pass. While they are highly pigmented and have solid staying power, I find them so incredibly hard to work with that they have been banished to Beauty No Man's Land, a.k.a., the back corner of my hall closet where underperforming products go when I feel too guilty to toss them.

Why so bad, you ask? They don't blend well, at all. They will smudge a little bit for a smoky liner look, but they dry too quickly to buff them out on the lid. You end up with a very strong one-color-on-the-lid look, which most of us are not going for. The second issue - creasing! They crease very easily. Not cute.

Ironically, the skinny black Smoldereye was the most disappointing of all. This one feels creamier than the others, but this backfires and makes it very difficult to draw a precise line. Without fail, every time I use the black liner, I regret it. You can even see from the swatch that it really is not much thinner than the jumbo liners.

I think if you have larger eyes that can carry off the thick liner look that these pencils can deliver, you may like these - only if you aren't also trying to wear other shadows. I tried for months to like these more...but to no avail. Sorry, Tarte!

XO, Beauty Cents

Hello, World!

Hello, beauty and makeup lovers and users of the world! I am hoping to be able to add something of use to the beauty blogosphere, which is no small task given how many talented bloggers are out there already. My focus will be sharing my unsolicited opinion (aka my two cents) on whatever products cross my path. I hope that by sharing my opinion and swatching things for you, it will help you find the product you are looking for -- without the hassle of trying out countless products yourself! Personally, I read countless blogs when I am looking for a new product, and it is always so satisfying to find the perfect shade of lipstick, read how the latest BB cream is performing, and see how that new eyeshadow palette looks on a girl with coloring similar to mine -- without leaving my house! If I am able to give anyone some insight into products the way countless bloggers have given their opinions to me... I will consider this a success!

Beauty Cents