7.19.2012

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator Review

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

Although I love Clinique, I'm not a huge fan of their recently-released Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator ($37).

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator is a decent product, but it is not the type of heavy-duty moisturizer that the name suggests. Instead of a rich, luxurious texture, Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator has an oil-free, gel-creme formula that feels light on the skin. While the amount of moisture it provides is adequate for my oily complexion, I don't think this product would be effective for someone combating serious dryness.

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator contains some great ingredients such as antioxidants to keep your skin bright and healthy, linoleic acid to repair skin cells, and sodium hyaluronate to maintain the skin's function. Unfortunately, these wonderful ingredients are wasted.

No matter how great the ingredients are, Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator has one fatal flaw: jar packaging. Exposure to light and air degrades the efficacy of antioxidants and other valuable ingredients, so any benefits offered by this product will diminish over time. I personally take a long time to use up a moisturizer, so this thing would be nearly worthless by the time I finished with it! It is so frustrating when skin care companies put otherwise decent products in jar packaging. Clinique is usually pretty good about using pumps and squeeze tubes to effectively preserve ingredients (see Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel), so I don't know why they dropped the ball on this one.

If Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator were packaged in a pump, I would feel comfortable recommending it for people with slightly dry to slightly oily skin. But as it stands, you should consider saving your money for a moisturizer that won't lose its benefits over time.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Squalane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Bran) Extract, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Caffeine, Whey Protein\Lactis Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria), Cholesterol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Petrolatum, PEG-150, Sucrose, Pyridoxine Dipalmitate, Linoleic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Citric Acid, Polysilicone-11, Propylene Carbonate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, PEG-8, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol


7.17.2012

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro Review and Swatches

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro

I'm going to get straight to the point: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro ($22) is a gorgeous shade, provides great coverage, and is one of the most impressive long-wearing lip colors out there. However, this brand new product is not without its imperfections.  

I got a free, full-size sample of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro from a Sephora VIB promotion. I was so excited when the product arrived at my door that I immediately swiped it on my lips and started taking pictures.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro Lip Swatch
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro

When first applied, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro has a very light, creamy texture with a yummy frosting scent. The coverage is opaque in a single coat. I'm really happy with the shade I selected, Tesoro, which is a medium bright orange-red shade. The tomato-y pinup color is pretty, on trend, and flattering on warm or neutral skin tones. 

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro Swatch
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro Swatch

After a few moments, the initially creamy texture of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro sets to a matte finish. I found that the matte texture feels more and more dry over time, to the point that it accentuates lip lines and feels similar to a clay mask on your skin. Bleh. This lipstick definitely needs a balm or gloss on top for both appearance and comfort.

I can handle the dry finish though, because once this lip color sets, it doesn't budge. Unlike most other long-wear lipsticks, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro actually lasts through eating and drinking! I looked in the mirror after lunch and my lipstick looked almost freshly applied. 

As I continued with my day, I noticed that the lipstick left some smears on utensils and glasses. It still looked pretty good, but some areas began to fade to pink over time. After about 7 hours, I was left with an allover pink stain with a greater concentration of pigment around the edges of my lips. I like pink, but watch out for this color change if you want red and only red. 

Ultimately, I've decided to recommend Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro with a few warnings. You should be aware of the drying finish and expect the color to fade to pink by the end of the day. Additionally, do NOT apply two coats at once -- I did this and it caused the lip color to flake completely off. I got my best results with a single coat.

Problems aside, I am impressed overall with the wear time of Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro. I see this product as a step forward in the quest for the perfect long-wearing lipstick. Way to go, Stila!


7.16.2012

Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof in 06 Flashy Brown and 16 Flashy Ultra Brown Review and Swatches

I think it's a shame that the Sephora Collection, the in-house brand of everyone's favorite beauty store, doesn't receive more buzz. The Sephora Collection has many high-quality, affordable products and some of my favorite items are the fantastic eyeliners. I previously blogged about Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner (it's amazing and only costs five bucks!), but there's another standout to share: Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof($8).

Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof in 06 Flashy Brown and 16 Flashy Ultra Brown
Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof
Left: 16 Flashy Ultra Brown,  Right: 06 Flashy Brown

Available in 10 flattering shades, each Sephora Collection Flashy Liner features a metallic finish with plenty of sheen to brighten your eyes. I have 06 Flashy Brown, a bright metallic copper, and 16 Flashy Ultra Brown, a deep chocolate brown with gold shimmer. I love to use 16 Flashy Ultra Brown to tightline my upper lashes and 06 Flashy Brown to define my lower lashline.

The formula of Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof is pretty much fantastic. The pencils are extremely soft and glide gently on your delicate eye area. The pigmentation is fabulous and each pencil easily deposits bold, shimmering color right where you want it.

Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof in 06 Flashy Brown and 16 Flashy Ultra Brown Swatches
Sephora Collection Flashy Liner Waterproof Swatches
Top: 16 Flashy Ultra Brown,  Bottom: 06 Flashy Brown

Sephora Collection Flashy Liners are extremely long-lasting. The pencils truly are waterproof -- I ran these swatches under the faucet before photographing (find the water droplets!). These liners are perfect for lining your waterline for long-lasting definition.

The Sephora Collection has shown once again that you don't have to sacrifice quality for a low price. Check these Flashy Liners out if you're looking for smudge-proof eye pencils. 

On a personal note, I'm headed to Kansas for a wedding on Wednesday morning so my posts will be sporadic this week. I've written some in advance, but they are briefer than usual! Follow me on Twitter to stay in touch while I'm gone, or check out my FB page :)


7.15.2012

Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus Review and Swatches

Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus Swatch
Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus

I've been dying to try Zoya Nail Polish, which is a natural, vegan nail color line free of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP and camphor. Lucky for me, my friend Tammy at Make-Up Wishes ended up with a duplicate color so she sent her extra bottle my way.

Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus($8) is a dusty blue-purple with pink, red, and gold shimmer. The purple base is cool-toned while the shimmer is warm, and the resulting effect is very ethereal and lovely.

Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus has great coverage and applies evenly. I am wearing two coats with in the above photograph. The shimmer makes the finish of the polish a little grainy, so I should add a top coat to smooth it out.

I was poking around Zoya's website and discovered that they have over 300 nail colors available! I had no idea that the line was that extensive. They must have every shade imaginable.

How many Zoya Nail Polishes have you tried?