9.22.2012

MOP Lemongrass Lift Volumizer Review

MOP Lemongrass Lift Volumizer
MOP Lemongrass Lift

Sick of hair products that promise volume but fail to deliver?  Try MOP Lemongrass Lift ($10.99), the most effective volumizer I've tried so far!

I didn't have high expectations for MOP Lemongrass Lift. My hair is extremely flat at the root, and most volumizing products only manage to provide temporary volume and LOTS of frizz. Why would this product be any different?

I sprayed MOP Lemongrass Lift at the root, flipped my head over, and roughed up the base of my hair with my fingers. When I flipped my head back over, my hair stood up vertically at the root. This is the first time I've had to deal with too much volume from a hair product! Luckily, it was easy to mess around with my hair to create the perfect amount of lift.

MOP (short for Modern Organic Products) Lemongrass Lift includes some great, all-natural ingredients. The lightweight mist contains organic apple cider vinegar, wheat proteins, lemongrass, ginkgo and grape seed extract. According to the product description, these ingredients work to create volume, luster, and heat protection, along with a yummy fresh scent.

Because MOP Lemongrass Lift is not an aerosol spray, I find that it leaves dampness behind if I use too much. You hardly need any to get great volume, so just be sure to use sparingly to get lots of lift that lasts for hours.

I got MOP Lemongrass Lift from an etailer called Beauty Stop Online. Beauty Stop Online is like a web version of a beauty supply store, so they have a fab selection of professional/wholesale salon beauty products. They even have Essie Nail Polishes for $5.99, which just about kills me!

Have you tried any MOP hair products?




Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.

9.20.2012

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach Review and Swatches

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach


Tangerine Tango and other orange shades were everywhere this past spring and summer. But is it possible to make this trend work for fall?

Turns out the answer's easy: all you need is a swipe of Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach ($23.95) to make a stylishly seamless transition from warm to cool weather.

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach Swatch
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach is much more muted than the screaming orange brights of summer (see MAC Hey, Sailor! Lipstick in Sail La Vie and Sephora + Pantone Color of the Year Creme Lipstick in Tangerine Tango). This glossy, moisture-rich lipstick is a bronzed pumpkin shade that fits right in with all of the beautiful autumn leave-inspired colors we see this time of year.

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach applies smoothly with nearly opaque coverage. It contains rose wax, argan oil, and jojoba oil to protect and nourish your lips with a dose of gorgeous shine. The rose wax adds a lovely, flowery scent too!

Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach

Because of the emollient finish, Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach is prone to transferring when you eat or drink. Luckily, the strong pigmentation leaves behind a fairly strong, even stain.

Bottom Line: If you prefer natural makeup products, Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum in 02 Copper Beach is a great lipstick option that's perfect for fall. The coppery spice shade is a subtle way to wear Tangerine Tango in cold weather. Pair it with pink-peach blush and a navy blue sweater for a gorgeous autumn look!

Dr. Hauschka products are available from the brand website, natural food stores like Whole Foods, and Beauty.com.

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Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.

9.19.2012

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer: The Metallic Collection in Bold Gold Review and Swatches

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer: The Metallic Collection in Bold Gold Review and Swatches
Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Bold Gold

I'm going to be blunt: this is some pretty terrible nail polish.

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer: The Metallic Collection in Bold Gold ($3.99) is impossibly fussy to apply. It has a thin consistency with poor coverage that is very difficult to layer. Whenever I tried to add more coats, the polish displaced to reveal bare patches of nail. I ended up having to blob on large amounts of polish to cover blotchy areas, and I couldn't even use the brush to smooth it without completely un-polishing sections of my nail.

Application aside, Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Bold Gold looks decent. I like the medium brassy gold shade but I wish it were shinier. I added a top coat after taking the above photograph to increase the glossiness and it still looks a little flat. I've received a few compliments on it though, so maybe it looks better from afar.

The wear time of Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Bold Gold is not great. You're looking at one to three days before it starts to chip.

I haven't tried any of the other Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquers, so I can't speak to their quality. It's possible that the issues I had with Bold Gold are unique to the Metallic Collection. Still, all I know is that this particular shade is absolutely Not. Worth. It.


9.18.2012

Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush Review

Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush
Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush

I may be makeup-obsessed, but I know surprising little about makeup brushes. Sure, I'm aware that they're super important for getting a flawless look, but I'm so lazy that I still ended up using the same 7 brushes for everything. The results have been mixed to say the least. For cream and liquid foundations, I was using sponges or the Bare Minerals Handy Buki Brush, which is designed for loose powders. Unsurprisingly, I spent a lot of time trying to blend out streaks!

Thanks to Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush ($24), my foundation application has significantly improved. The soft, densely-packed bristles pick up product well and distribute it so smoothly. Instead of streaks, Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush gives your face a flawless, airbrushed look with hardly any effort. The bristles rotate well from the base so it's easy to maneuver around your nose, eyes, and other hard to reach places. 

An addition to giving fabulous results, Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush is vegan too. The cruelty-free bristles are so soft, effective, and hygienic. With quality this good, I don't know why anyone would make a brush with real hair!

I am so happy with Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush. It applies my makeup perfectly for a look that's flawless yet natural. I definitely recommend this brush if you want to get the most out of your foundation!


9.17.2012

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette Review and Swatches

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette 

Designed to give you everything you need for a subtle neutral glow, Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look ($59) is a beautifully presented palette containing a lovely array of shades. Sadly, while the quality is good, I just don't think this product is stellar enough to justify the price.

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette

This limited-edition, Sephora exclusive product comes packaged in an ultra-luxe, padded case with a large mirror and two petite brushes.

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette includes one full-size bronzer, three small eyeshadows and two lip glosses. 

The bronzer is a medium honey brown with shimmer. The eyeshadows include a pearly ivory, a golden peach duochrome, and a cool dark brown satin. The lip glosses are an opalescent, shimmery pale pink and a shimmery pale peach.

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette Swatches
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette Swatches
L-R: Peach Gloss, Pink Gloss, Bronzer, Ivory Shadow, Peach Shadow, Brown Shadow

My favorite part of Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette is the eyeshadows. The colors are quite subtle but work fantastically for a gorgeous natural look. The golden peach shade is a particular standout. I love how the duochrome seamlessly brightens my lids! All of the eyeshadows are soft and well-pigmented, though I think other high-end brands have superior application and color payoff. These shadows last for six hours before they start to crease without primer. They last all day with primer.

For this look, I applied the golden peach duochrome from lashline to browbone. I added the dark brown to the outer third of my crease to contour. I used the ivory shimmer to highlight my browbone and the inner corner of my eye. This eye look strikes me as somewhat retro, but the shimmer keeps it modern. Cute!

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette - Eyeshadow

The bronzer in Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette looks orange when swatched, so I was surprised to discover that it blends out to give cheeks a lovely, subtle golden glow. This bronzer looks amazing when used with a peachy-pink blush. The color lasts about six hours on me before it starts to fade.

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette - Bronzer

I'm not a fan of palette lip glosses. They tend to be hard and dry, and the shades in Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette are no exception. I had to swipe my lip brush over and over to get enough gloss, and the shades are nothing to write home about. Neither the pink nor peach showed up very well on my lips. These glosses look and feel more like lip balms than lip glosses. I thought the pale shades might work well as layering glosses, but the hard texture makes it difficult to apply them over lipstick without making a mess.

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette - Pink Lipgloss

Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette
Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette - Peach Lipgloss

Bottom Line:  The price tag on Dior 'Au Natural' Nude Look Palette is very high and I personally don't think that the quality of the products inside are worth it. I don't like the lip glosses at all, and $60 is too much for me to pay for a bronzer and 3 eyeshadows that are good, but not fantastic, quality. However, if you are a Dior addict than I can imagine wanting to add this palette to your collection. The packaging is gorgeous and some of the shades are quite nice.


9.16.2012

Revitalash Volumizing Primer Review and Swatches

Revitalash Volumizing Primer
Revitalash Volumizing Primer

No, that's not 80s-tastic blue mascara, it's Revitalash Volumizing Primer!

In addition to their popular lash growth serum, Revitalash also makes color cosmetics. I tried Revitalash Volumizing Primer ($24), which is designed to boost lash length and volume under mascara. I'm always a little skeptical about the effectiveness of lash primers, but this one actually works pretty well.

With Revitalash Volumizing Primer, mascara application is a two step process: 1) swipe on the bright blue primer, and 2) follow with regular mascara. Sometimes I don't cover with mascara thoroughly enough and some blue peeks through, but I figure it's enhancing my eyes, right?

I was worried that my lashes would end up looking stiff or clumpy, but Revitalash Volumizing Primer actually gives them a very soft, lush appearance.

Here's Revitalash Volumizing Primer under my beloved Avon Sonic Boost Vibrating Mascara:

Revitalash Volumizing Primer
Revitalash Volumizing Primer

I adore the full and dramatic yet soft look that Revitalash Volumizing Primer gives my lashes. Unfortunately, this product doesn't help your mascara stay on or last longer. I notice increased flaking and smudging when I use Revitalash Volumizing Primer, which is a big drawback.

As a result, I'm on the fence overall about Revitalash Volumizing Primer. I love the way it makes my lashes look, but the increased smudging and flaking is a pain. I think I will continue experimenting with wearing it under different mascaras to identify the most effective combination.

What do you think about mascara primers? Is it worth the extra effort for lush lashes? 



Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.