11.16.2012

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser Review

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser
Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser ($34) is a natural, botanically based skin care product intended to cleanse, hydrate, and revitalize skin. My luck with botanical products is pretty hit and miss, but I'm satisfied overall with this cleanser.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser:

Pros
-- Effective cleansing. Some cleansers, particularly natural ones, do a poor job of removing makeup. Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser effectively washes away liner and mascara without giving you raccoon eyes.
-- Increased radiance. I think that this cleanser makes my skin look bright, soft and healthy.
-- Yummy lemon-citrus scent.
-- No breakouts. I am sensitive to plant extracts and this cleanser contains a large variety of them. Luckily, none of the ingredients seem to be irritating my face.

Cons
-- Expensive. $34 is a LOT to pay for a cleanser, particularly when I am so happy with my old reliable Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin
-- Large variety of plant extracts that may irritate skin. While I seem to be fine, some people might be sensitive to the witch hazel or citrus ingredients in this cleanser.

And that's about it! I'm not in love with this product, but it's doing a fine job of cleaning my face. If you don't mind the price or the extensive list of plant extracts, feel free to give this one a try.



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.

11.14.2012

Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection Review and Swatches

Buxom Time to Shine Lipgloss Set Big and Healthy Lip Polish Review and Swatches
Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection

GIIAAAAANT picture alert! 

I am so excited by the plethora of lip glosses contained in Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection ($29) that I had to show them to you all up close and personal!

Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection includes a grand total of six mini versions of Buxom's famous Big and Healthy Lip Polishes and Lip Creams. The great thing is that, despite being referred to as "Minis" these glosses are in fact 46% as large as the full-size version. When you consider that the full-size glosses cost $19 a pop, the $29 price tag of the Time to Shine Lip Collection turns out to be pretty good deal!

This Sephora exclusive, limited edition collection includes four Big and Healthy Lip Polishes in Katie, Sugar, Gina and April, and two Big and Healthy Lip Creams in Berry Blast and White Russian. I'm pretty picky about my lip colors, but all six shades included in Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection turned out to be extremely wearable and flattering. Most of the glosses are fairly neutral so they can work on a wide variety of skin tones.

The glosses have a strong vanilla scent that reminds me of sugar cookies. Despite my love for vanilla, I think the scent of these glosses is too strong and could bother some people. Similarly, the Buxom Big and Healthy Lip products all contain a plumping ingredient that tingles a LOT. The first time I tried one of these glosses, I found the stinging really bothersome and painful. I seem to have built a tolerance now because, while still noticeable, the tingling doesn't bug me as much anymore. I only notice a little actual plumping though. On the bright side, the Buxom Big and Healthy Lipglosses all have a lovely, high-shine finish that gives the illusion of nice, full lips.

Buxom Big and Healthy Lipglosses are not sticky whatsoever, which is a huge plus. They stay in place and last well. Of course, they transfer when eating and drinking like all lipglosses do and leave behind a slight stain.

Now for the swatches:

Buxom Time to Shine Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches Katie, Berry Blast, Sugar
Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection Swatches
L-to-R:  Katie, Berry Blast, Sugar

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Katie is a sheer, shimmer peachy pink. Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream in Berry Blast is a bright fuchsia pink with no shimmer. Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar is a rosy almond shimmer.

Buxom Time to Shine Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches Gina, White Russian, April
Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection Swatches
L-to-R:  Gina, White Russian, April

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Gina is a hot pink with multicolored glitter. Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream in White Russian is a nude pink without shimmer. Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in April is a cool-toned pink with glitter.

Buxom Time to Shine Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Katie Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches
Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Katie

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Katie is a nice, everyday gloss. It provides a dose of super-subtle color that can be worn alone or layered on top of lipstick.

Buxom Time to Shine Big and Healthy Lip Cream in Berry Blast Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches
Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream in Berry Blast

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream in Berry Blast is the brightest gloss in the bunch. I love how it is bright yet somewhat sheer. It gives a color pop without as much intensity as a lipstick or full-coverage gloss. Plus, the shade is very flattering and trendy -- perfect for someone looking to experiment with bright pink-purple shades.

Buxom Time to Shine Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches
Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar

I didn't think I would like Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Sugar, but the rosy-brown shade won me over despite my reservations. Subtle yet great for enhancing your natural features.

Buxom Time to Shine Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Gina Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches
Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Gina

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Gina is probably my least favorite of the bunch. Too much glitter for me! Still, the color is nice enough.

Buxom Time to Shine Big and Healthy Lip Cream in White Russian Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches
Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream in White Russian

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Cream in White Russian is a great option for nude lip lovers. The sheer shade gives just enough oomph to your look and avoids the dreaded "concealer lips" look. The cream finish accentuates lip lines more than the other shades in Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection though.

Buxom Time to Shine Big and Healthy Lip Polish in April Lipgloss Set Review and Swatches
Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in April

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in April is an icy pink shade that will look great on cool-toned people. While it's quite glittery, I think the overall effect works better than Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish in Gina.

Overall, I think Buxom Time to Shine Lip Collection includes a great variety of glosses. Provided that the recipient enjoys shimmer and can handle a strong vanilla scent, this would be a fabulous gift for a friend or relative (or yourself!) who doesn't yet possess a large lipgloss arsenal. It's a perfectly bright and cheery idea for the holidays.


11.13.2012

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck Review and Swatches

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck
Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck

I can't believe I waited this long to try Kat Von D's makeup collection. The brand has many devoted fans and I've finally learned that it's popular for a reason -- Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck ($20) is simply incredible!

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck
Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck

The color selection in Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck is pretty unusual and may not be for everyone. However, after giving it a try, I've discovered that the colors are surprisingly wearable and the quality is undeniable.

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck includes Fallen, a honey bronze shimmer, Unrequited Love, a pearly yellow gold, Pagan Poetry, a deep bronze chocolate shimmer, and Hermit, which is a deep red pearl.  

Unrequited Love and Hermit are the most unusual shades. Yellow and red eye makeup, really? Turns out that these shades are more wearable than you might think. I found that Unrequited Love is the sheerest of all the shadows, so you can dab and blend to create a sunny, golden effect on your lids. Hermit can be toned down by blending a few swipes on top of either of the warm browns for a lovely Autumn eye. All of the shades are surprisingly flattering. Really, the main critique I have is that no pale, highlight shade is included.

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck Swatches
Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck Swatches
L-to-R:  Fallen, Unrequited Love, Pagan Poetry, Hermit

The four eyeshadows included in this petite palette are all extremely pigmented and exquisitely soft. I wore Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck without primer and got a pop of color that was more intense than many other shadows with primer! The wear time is good too -- about 5 hours before the shadow starts to creep into my crease without primer and all day wear with primer.

To me, the texture and pigmentation is extremely reminiscent of shadows from TheBalm, which have some of the best color payoff around. However, both Kat Von D and TheBalm shadows share one problem: the texture is so soft that you get some fallout when applying. Irritating, yes, but I think it's worth doing a little clean up for such intense pigmentation and soft texture.

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck
Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck

For this look, I blended a dab of Fallen up from the crease and along my lower lashline. I dabbed just a touch of Unrequited Love to my lids and applied Pagan Poetry to my crease. I finished off by adding a little Hermit to my crease as well and used Slink from the Illamasqua Complement Palette to highlight.

I think the overall effect was a bit more dramatic in person, but hopefully you get an idea of the striking looks you can craft with Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck. The colors are great for making blue eyes pop and/or creating eye looks that are reminiscent of a blazing Autumn sunset

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck Swatches
Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck

Though it's more expensive than drugstore eyeshadow, Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck is a little cheaper than other mid-to-high-end eyeshadow products. Instead of $20, I could see a similar palette going for $25-30 from Urban Decay or Too Faced.

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette in Starstruck is a limited edition, Sephora exclusive product. If you aren't interested in these particular shades, Kat Von D has two other mini True Romance Eyeshadow Palettes currently available at Sephora: Star-Crossed, which includes cool-toned, smokey colors, and Little Saint, which features two neutral browns and two smokey blues (and is on sale for $15!).

All in all, I consider my first foray into the world of Kat Von D a great success. I definitely recommend that you explore her eyeshadow offerings and try some shades that you think will work for you. I can practically guarantee that you will fall in love with the formula!