11.01.2012

Must-Have Natural Beauty Products

10.31.2012

Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart Review and Swatches

Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart Review and Swatches
Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart

The more I explore Bite Beauty's products, the bigger fan of the brand I become! Though the color doesn't quite work from me, I'm very impressed with the pigmentation, texture, and staying power of Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart ($24).

Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart is described as a "soft cherry red" but I actually think it's pretty bright. I love bright colors, but something about this particular pinky-red combo just isn't flattering to my face. This product is available in 18 attractive-looking shades so I think I could easily find something that works better. The pigmentation is absolutely fantastic as well. Great coverage with a single layer!

Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart Swatch
Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart Swatch

Don't be fooled by the name though, because this product has a satin finish despite being called a "matte" pencil. Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart applies with a creamy texture that manages to stay put with quite a bit of precision. No worries about smudge-y lips here!

Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart Swatch
Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart Swatch

Compared to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil in Tart has equally impressive staying power (I can drink an entire can of Fresca and still have perfect lips!). The texture of NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil has a lighter feel and a higher degree of slip. Additionally, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil has a true matte finish while Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil has a satin finish. The two products are both $24 and I think that your finish preference will be the biggest factor if you're trying to decide between them. Ultimately, I think that they're comparable enough that I like to think that we have 35 incredible lip pencils to choose from (18 satins from Bite Beauty and 17 mattes from NARS)!

Have you tried Bite Beauty High Pigment Matte Pencil? How do you think it compares to NARS?


10.30.2012

Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W Review and Swatches

Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation 120W Review
Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W

Why, why, why do you have to break me out, Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation? I feel like I am having the worst luck with pretty-looking foundations that just don't work out for one reason or another lately (see Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff)!

Launched in 2009, Sunday Riley is a high-end makeup and skin care brand that just recently became available at Sephora. The products have a luxe appearance and a range of colors that's reminiscent of Laura Mercier -- rich, flattering, and high-priced shades that are never too daring or dramatic.

I ordered Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W ($52) for my first foray into the world of Sunday Riley. The packaging is gorgeous and I was excited to try it right away. When I first pumped out some product, I was worried it might be too dark for me:

Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation 120W Review Swatch
Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W Swatch

Luckily, even though I'm pretty pale, this color blends beautifully with my skin. Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W is a light-medium shade with a good dose of warmth. I feel like my skin is often a sort of an "in-between" shade that's hard to match, so I was really excited to see how well 120W meshes with my complexion.

Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation 120W Review Swatch
Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W Swatch

Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W is advertised as a medium-coverage foundation, but I find it to be pretty sheer. Luckily, it's buildable and I get my desired coverage with about 2.5 pumps. Still, that means that this bottle of pricey foundation won't stay full as long as you might hope.

Once you're done blending, Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W sets to a lovely matte finish that feels extremely light on your face. Definitely a "naked skin" instead of "makeup mask" feeling.

So far, I've been listing all the good points of Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W. Now, it's time for the bad:  this foundation breaks me out HORRIBLY! I love how it looks and feels, but by the end of the day my cheek was spotted in blemishes. I hoped that it was just a fluke, but no, I get more zits every time I wear this. And they're the painful, underground kind!

So: unless you have perfect, zit-resistant skin, I recommend that you avoid Sunday Riley Liquid Light Breathable Protecting Foundation in 120W. Otherwise, go nuts you lucky lady because this is a gorgeous-looking foundation.


10.29.2012

SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum Review

SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum
SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum

SkinFive.5 is a luxury skin care brand from Singapore that just launched in North America. This cruelty-free brand offers a selection of three high-quality serums intended to moisturize, replenish, revitalize and protect skin. As a die-hard serum lover, it sounds like a dream come true!

I tried SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum ($160), which is designed to hydrate skin and restore your complexion's natural moisture. The formula's two main powerhouse ingredients are hyaluronate acid, which is a natural component of skin tissue that effectively restores moisture, and licorice, which is an anti-inflammatory that soothes skin. 

SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum moisturizes quite effectively and leaves my skin looking extremely supple, soft, and toned. I have oily skin, but this is one of a special breed of products that moisturizes without heavily weighing my skin down and making it look greasy. It's such a relief when "Hydrating" doesn't end up being a bad word!

SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum has a thin consistency that coats your face evenly. The translucent formula has a delicious citrus-floral scent that definitely enhances my nighttime skin care ritual. Plus, I love applying this serum both morning and night because its lightweight, non-greasy finish keeps my makeup looking nice throughout the day.

Unfortunately, I think that SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum has made me break out slightly more than usual. No major, painful blemishes, but just a splotch here and there. I have a feeling that I am having a bad reaction to one of the plant extracts on the ingredients list. I find myself to be extremely sensitive to certain plant extracts and not others. Some people have no trouble with that, so just keep your own skin type in mind when deciding whether to purchase this product.

Despite the blemish issue, I do plan to continue using SkinFive.5 Rejuvenate Hydrating Serum. I love the way it makes my skin look and feel, so I'm crossing my fingers that the breakouts are a coincidence. I'm also excited to try out SkinFive.5 Flawless Renewal Serum and SkinFive.5 Radiance Brightening Serum, which I received in sample size. 

I think it's so exciting when new brands enter the market, and I hope you get a chance to check out SkinFive.5!



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.