Showing posts with label face. Show all posts
Showing posts with label face. Show all posts

1.26.2013

L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift Review and Swatches

L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift Review and Swatches
L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift

As part of the brand's new "Visible Lift" line, L'Oreal has released L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift ($12.95). While L'Oreal's Visible Lift products are ostensibly "age-reversing," you won't find any anti-aging ingredients here. Instead, this is simply a silky, lightweight blush infused with subtle shimmer to contour and illuminate your cheekbones.

L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift has a very interesting texture. It's a powder, but it feels very creamy and almost springy to the touch. In fact, the texture reminds me very much of L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadows, except without the fallout problems I encountered with those products. 

L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift Review and Swatches
L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift Swatch

L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift is quite a lovely shade. It's a rosy pink with subtle gold shimmer that will flatter a wide variety of people. I see some peachy undertones in this blush, though far less than you find in blushes such as NARS Blush in Orgasm. Additionally, I think the shimmer in this blush is more refined than the gold glimmer of NARS Orgasm. It's not obvious at all once applied.

However, L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift is not very pigmented. Unlike the strong pigmentation of the L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadows, this blush is decidedly sheer. That's fine if you don't mind building up layers (and it certainly prevents over-application errors), but I sometimes get tired of having to return to the pan over and over to get enough color.

L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift Review and Swatches
L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift

The sheerness of this blush also affects its lasting power. Because it's so subtle, I noticed it fading away after 5-6 hours. Of course, that's not horrible wear time, but it could be better.

Honestly, all told I think that L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift is overpriced for what you get. I think you can find better blushes for a similar price at the drugstore. For example, I am far more impressed by Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Flushed (though the comparison is slightly off because it's a cream blush and L'Oreal's is a powder). On the other hand, L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift might work well for you if you are looking for a sheer, subtle shade. 

What do you think of L'Oreal Visible Lift Colorful Lift Blush in Rose Gold Lift? Is it going on your wish list?


1.18.2013

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer Review

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer Review
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer 

The claims for what Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer ($7.99-9.99) will do are pretty high:
  "Skin looks instantly transformed into a perfectly smooth canvas for ideal makeup application,"
  "Wrinkles, pores and imperfections appear to instantly vanish in just one step,"
  "Subtle pink tint for youthful glow."

Given these lofty expectations, how does this new drugstore face primer stack up?

After using it for about a week, I've come to the conclusion that Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer is not terrible, but nothing to write home about.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer is almost all dimethicone, which is a type of silicone. This means that this primer has a very slippery, smooth texture that fills in pores and imperfections somewhat. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer also includes stearyl heptanoate and pentaerythrityl tetraoctanoate, which are moisturizing ingredients, and silica silyate, which is another type of silicone. And that's pretty much it.

Given this short ingredient list, applying Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer is pretty similar to using pure silicone on your face. The texture is slippery smooth but also feels greasy. The consistency reminds me of Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hr Perfecting Primer, except Maybelline's does not have the same balling issue as Tarte's. My pores and imperfections look reduced but definitely not "vanished." I also can't seem to detect the "pink tint for youthful glow" promised by the packaging.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer helps my foundation go on smoothly, evenly, and last for a long time, so those are pluses. However, because this primer lacks any absorbent ingredients, my skin gets oily pretty quickly when I wear it.

I certainly love silicone-based primers for their ability to smooth skin and provide a great base for makeup. Nevertheless, I still like my primers to include other ingredients to improve performance. For example, my favorite primers all include absorbent ingredients to keep shine at bay. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer just doesn't impress me that much.

On the other hand, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer is very similar to some high-end primers with basic ingredients, like Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. If you like Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer might be a good way to get a similar product for much less money.

Although if you want to go really dirt-cheap, consider trying Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel ($5.99) as a foundation primer. I'm serious! The ingredients list is remarkably similar to both Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer Skin Transformer and Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. It sounds like a weird substance to put on your face, but it's basically silicone and Vitamin E, which is great for your skin. I haven't tried it yet, but I hear lots of buzz about its utility as a foundation primer in the makeup world. If you can get over the weirdness, it could be a good primer option if you're searching for a silicone-smooth makeup canvas.


12.29.2012

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches
Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom ($24) is a bright, loose powder blush dispensed from a built-in grinder. It's an innovative idea, but I have trouble making it work. Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is a very bright shade so it's difficult to dispense an appropriate amount of product.

On Sephora.com, In Bloom is described simply as "pink." I was hoping for a true hot pink shade, but In Bloom is really more of a coral pink. No problem for me since I love corals, but I think the shade description should be more accurate so that customers can make informed purchases. 

And boy, is it bright! Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is an extremely pigmented, matte bright coral pink. Very little product was used to create the swatch below. If you're scared of bright blushes, consider using a more muted color along your cheekbones and only dabbing In Bloom onto the apples for a pop of color.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches
Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Swatch

While I think Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is a lovely and luminous shade, I'm having trouble with application. Even when I twist the grinder just a liiiiitttle bit, it seems like too much product comes up. Sure, I swirl and tap my brush to get rid of as much excess as possible, but it's still difficult and messy. For best results, dab a very small amount on cheeks and blend, blend, blend.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches
Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom

Once applied, I find that Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom looks quite pretty and wears well. I find that it starts to fade after 7 hours but remains present for about 12. This would be a great blush to last you through the work day.

I'm hesitant to recommend Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom because of my problems with the grinder. However, if you can manage this packaging issue, the product inside is nice.

Additionally, I think some of the other shades are more sheer (I'm looking at Warm Glow and Peachy Dream) and would thus be easier to manage in larger doses. I'm not a huge fan of loose powder blushes in general, but I could imagine Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush working well for someone else. The pigmentation, appearance, and wear time are all very good!


12.10.2012

Merry Mario Badescu Giveaway!

MARIO BADESCU SKIN CARE glycolic foaming cleanser enzyme cleansing gel cucumber cleansing lotion oil free moisturizer strawberry tonic mask ceramide eye gel
Mario Badescu Skin Care Products

The friendly folks at Mario Badescu are offering one Nicole Reviews Beauty reader the fantastic opportunity to receive their own customized skin care regimen! The winner will work with an expert at Mario Badescu to design a set of products including a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, mask, eye cream and exfoliant.

Previously, I shared my skin concerns with a specialist at Mario Badescu and received a set of 6 products to address my individual complexion needs. It was a fun and interesting experience, and I am so excited to now offer that opportunity to one of my lovely readers!

Here's some background on the brand:

"Mario Badescu Skin Care is dedicated to providing personalized service and customized skin care for all of our clients, including regular folks and major celebrities. With a tradition that began in Romania over 40 years ago, our skin care products use soothing botanicals, fruit extracts, seaweed, high quality vitamin oils, aloe, chamomile, and caviar to provide the highest quality skin care products available. Let Mario Badescu Skin Care help you discover your own personal skin care regimen for glowing skin!"

Additionally, Mario Badescu is currently giving away a $500 Nordstrom Gift Card on their Facebook page! The contest runs through Saturday, December 15th. Check it out here:

http://www.facebook.com/MarioBadescu?sk=app_143103275748075&app_data=dlt-1

Here's how to enter my giveaway for a customized product regimen. Best of luck! This contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run until midnight on Friday, December 15th:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

11.20.2012

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Review and Swatches

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream ($48) is one of my favorite beauty balms so far. While it's not quite perfect, this product offers great coverage, beneficial antioxidants, moisturizing ingredients, and a truly self-adjusting shade. Plus, it's vegan and gluten free!

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Swatch
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Swatch

As a vegan myself, I tend to give cruelty-free products an extra thumbs up, particularly when they are as good as this one. Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream is available in 6 shades and I tried BB5, which is a light-to-medium shade. When first applied, Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 has an extremely yellow cast. After I got over my initial shock, I discovered that the shade adjusts after a few moments to nearly match my skin tone. No idea how it works, but I am happy with the outcome.

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Swatch
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream has a glowing, satin matte finish with great medium coverage. This product also does a fabulous job of filling in pores for a smooth canvas even without primer. It feels pretty light (though not completely weightless!) on skin and lasts well throughout an active day. On top of that, this product has SPF 25 and doesn't irritate my skin or break me out. In fact, I think that my skin looks a little more clear when I take it off at night.

However, Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream has a few problems. The cream is very thick and difficult to spread across your skin. As a result, I think I end up applying more product than I would otherwise. Additionally, Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream is not very blendable. The instructions say to apply it with your fingers, and that really is the best strategy. I tried applying it with Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush and ended up with streaks. Fingers worked much better!

Despite these issues, I'm still happy with Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5. I love having a vegan BB option and I really like the finish and non-irritating formula of this product. I would prefer if the consistency had more slip and fluidity, but at least the current texture is workable.

What do you think? Are you interested in trying this BB cream from Jane Iredale?



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.

11.16.2012

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.

11.06.2012

Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm Review and Swatches

Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm Review and Swatches
Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm

I am so, so disappointed with this product. Even though Dr. Jart is considered one of the best brands for BB creams, Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm ($36) left me feeling anything but beautiful.

Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm is creamy to the touch but applies very heavily and is difficult to blend. I felt like I was spreading putty on my face! The lack of blendability means that quite a bit of product is needed to cover your entire face, and I ultimately felt like I was wearing a mask. The mask-like feeling intensifies as Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm sets to an uncomfortable, overly matte finish.

Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm Review and Swatches
Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm Swatch

This product is only available in one shade that supposedly works for all skin tones. Wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm has a pale, grey-tinged shade that DOES NOT adapt to your skin tone. I hate how ashy and unattractive this BB cream makes my complexion look. I think that Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm will only work for people who happen to have this particular shade of very pale skin.

Despite its heavy texture, Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm does not provide amazing coverage. It covers some blemishes but seems to accentuate pores and uneven surfaces of the skin. If I'm going to look like a ghost, I'd rather look like a smooth, glowing ghost, please.

Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm Review and Swatches
Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm

For fairness' sake, I will admit that Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm has a few good points. First, it provides SPF 30 in the form of gentle minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and includes skin-healthy Vitamins A, B, C and E. Additionally, Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm effectively keeps oily skin at bay and has good lasting power.

However, good lasting power is more of a curse than a blessing when you hate how a product looks and feels! I can't wait to get Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm OFF my face whenever I wear it. If that's not enough of a testament of my intense dislike for this product, I don't know what is.

Bottom Line: Dr. Jart V7 Beaty Balm is one of the worst skincare/makeup products I've tried on my face. I haven't tested Dr. Jart's other products, so perhaps the other BB creams from this line are better. All I can say is that you can skip V7 for sure!


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.

10.18.2012

Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry Review and Swatches

Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry
Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry

After my giveaway, several readers said that they would like to know more about Laura Geller. Some of Laura Geller's most popular items are her Blush-n-Brighten blushes ($31), which consist of silky, marbleized pigments swirled with sheen for a glowing finish.

Not everyone likes sheen though, so Laura Geller developed a "Sugar Free" version -- that is, the famous Blush-n-Brighten blushes sans shimmer.

Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry Swatch
Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten in Raspberry Swatch

It turns out that sugar free things can be addictive too, and I'm currently in love with Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry ($36). This matte, baked blush includes swirls of peach-pink, plum, tan and ruby that combine for an overall berry effect that's mostly neutral but has touches of warmth. 

Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry Swatch
Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry

Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry is such a lovely mid-tone shade. I may have a penchant for bright blushes, but I love the balance that this product strikes between brightness and subtlety: you get a strong dose of color while still looking perfectly natural.

You can purchase Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brightens alone for $31 or with a retractable brush. I have the blush/brush combo, which costs $36, and I must say that the brush is very high quality. The synthetic bristles are super soft and pick up product easily. I also love that the brush is retractable. Inside the cap, there is a plastic tube that slides up and down the brush to make sure that the bristles don't get tweaked. Perfect!

Laura Geller Sugar Free Blush-n-Brighten with Brush in Raspberry has been getting plenty of play in my makeup routine. I love dusting some on top of a bright cream blush for extra depth and staying power, or wearing it alone for a great everyday look.  Laura Geller is known as a blush expert for a reason!



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.

10.16.2012

Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff Review and Swatches

almay wake-up liquid makeup
Image via Almay.com

If I didn't have an oily complexion, Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff ($12.99) would be my new favorite foundation.

But seeing as I'm stuck with the skin I've got, I'm going to have to regretfully leave this fabulous product to those with normal-to-dry skin. Those lucky ladies better listen up!

Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff provides extremely natural-looking medium coverage with a gorgeous, dewy finish. I was SO excited when I first applied it -- I don't think I've found a more luminous looking drugstore foundation before. It masks pores well and includes SPF 20 for great daily sun protection.

Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff Swatch
Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff Swatch

The shade "Buff" is a light, warm-toned beige that looks very yellow when swatched. I thought it would be too warm for me, but it actually blends out well and meshes with my nearly neutral, slightly golden light skin perfectly.

While it looks good at first and the coverage doesn't fade, my face gets overwhelmingly shiny within 2-3 hours. Blotting and powder are no match for my oily pores. Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup is designed to be a hydrating foundation (it's water-based) and, sadly, the moisture is just too much for me.

Bottom Line: Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup in Buff is a high-quality, affordable foundation that just doesn't work with my oily skin type. If you don't have oily skin, I definitely recommend that you check this one out and flaunt the glowing, healthy-looking skin that this product provides!

What's your favorite drugstore foundation?


10.15.2012

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner Review

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner
Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner ($89.95) is an extremely unique product. Designed to be applied nightly in a 28 day cycle that moves in tandem with the skin cell renewal process, Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner is a holistic blend of ingredients that balance moisture, tone, and revitalize skin.

Sounds great, but I have discriminating taste when it comes to holistic products. I typically prefer clinically-tested ingredients over holistic remedies, so I was pretty skeptical of Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner.

HOWEVER. This product actually works. Despite my doubts, Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner has made my skin more vibrant, soft, and less oily. This product has fortified and toned my complexion so much that it actually feels stronger to the touch. I have naturally thin skin, so having a smooth, resilient cheek is a big change!

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner Ampules
Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner Ampules

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner is packaged in individual ampules for easy application. Though they look small, the ampules include a very generous quantity of product. I typically squeeze out about a third to coat my face, splash another third on my shoulders and decollete, and squeeze out the final amount to add another coat to my face. My skin gets thoroughly covered each night! Plus, while it's designed as a 28 day regimen, the package includes a total of 30 ampules as an added bonus.

Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner includes rose oil, aloe, sunflower extract, witch hazel, and royal jelly to soothe and renew skin. The ingredients are diluted with water so I don't think they pose much of a risk for sensitive skin. The formula is still potent though; I've noticed that Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner consistently zaps burgeoning zits before they get a chance to surface.

I've been so busy, stressed and destabilized lately. I truly feel that Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner has been key in preventing my skin from flaring up in response to the hectic conditions in my life. While it's certainly on the pricier side, Dr. Hauschka recommends that you only do a 28 day Rhythmic Night Conditioner cycle two to three times a year to keep your skin in tip-top shape. If you are willing to shell out for skin care, I suggest you try Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner for a product that will balance and rejuvenate your skin tone.

Related Posts:


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.

10.11.2012

Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium Review and Swatches

Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium
Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium

Do you ever use products that are simply "good enough?" For me, that's the case with Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium ($10.99). I needed a new concealer and this one does its job fine, but I know I could find something better if I could muster the energy to try.

Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium Swatch
Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium Swatch

Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium has a super smooth, creamy texture. The consistency is pretty thin, which allows for a very natural look but also makes it difficult to spot cover blemishes. Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium is much better suited to covering dark circles than zits.

Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium Swatch
Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium

Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer in Light Medium is a light beige shade that works well for neutral, light-but-not-super-light complexions. It offers medium coverage that reduces dark circles but does not make them invisible. Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer sets to a satin finish with some luminosity that helps to deflect attention from imperfections and brighten up the eye area. This product lasts about 6 hours before it starts to settle into undereye creases.

Overall, Revlon Age Defying with DNA Advantage Concealer falters due to its thin consistency and less than stellar coverage. While this is a workable product, I'm sure that there are better concealers out there.

Do you have a favorite concealer? What should I try next?


10.09.2012

Laura Geller Sale and Giveaway!


Laura Geller is having an awesome 24 hour Semi-Annual Sale, and I'm holding a giveaway to kick it off!

Starting Wednesday, October 10th at midnight EDT (aka 40 minutes ago), you can save 30% on ALL products and get free shipping over $50 from LauraGeller.com. Discount is applied at checkout. Plus, if you happen to live in NYC you can pop into Laura Geller's NYC Makeup Studio and save 30% on most products.

Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Liner in Black
Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Liner

To celebrate, Nicole Reviews Beauty readers will have a chance to win 3 Laura Geller products:
  1. Laura Geller Inkwell Gel Liner ($16.50), which I previously reviewed here
  2. Laura Geller Italian Marble Lipstick ($18), a creamy swirl of light and dark lipstick
  3. Laura Geller Baked Highlighter with Applicator ($28.50), a smooth, glimmering highlighter
Laura Geller is known for flattering shades in high-quality formulas, so I'm sure the giveaway winner has lots of fun makeup times to look forward to.

You can enter to win these three Laura Geller products until Wednesday, October 17th at 12:01 EST. I'm sorry but only U.S. residents may enter. Good luck!

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All products generously provided by Laura Geller

OWN Products Giveaway!

Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate
Own Renewing Anti-Aging Products

Wow, I'm very happy to announce that it's time for another giveaway!

One lucky reader will win the ENTIRE Renewing product line from natural skin care brand Own Products. I've previously discussed how much I love this brand, and now you have a chance to win all five of Own's anti-aging products. This set of restorative, scientifically-proven skin care wonders includes:
  1. Own Renewing Rejuvenating Cleanser ($12)
  2. Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate ($24.99), which I previously reviewed here
  3. Own Renewing Dual Protecting Day Lotion SPF 30 ($23)
  4. Own Renewing Lifting Eye Cream ($24)
  5. Own Renewing Refining Moisture Night Cream ($24)
That's a $107.99 value!

To enter, simply share your favorite skin care or skin health tip in the comments below. You can gain more entries by following on FB, Twitter, etc. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will last until 12:01 am EST on October 17th, 2012.

I'll start it off:  My favorite skin care tip is to never ever put alcohol on your face. This ingredient is incredibly drying and damaging, yet it is so often included in skin care products. Read those labels and make sure to avoid cleansers, toners and moisturizers with alcohol at all costs!

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Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Own.

10.02.2012

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous Review

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel
Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel

I've been crazy busy lately. With barely a waking moment that isn't filled with homework, class, and more homework, sometimes I don't have time for my full makeup routine. That's why I'm so glad I have Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous ($57.50), a multitasking skin perfector that evens skin tone, reduces redness, fills in pores, and mattifies to help get me out of the house in a flash.

Dispensed from a hygienic pump, Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel has a delightfully smooth and creamy mousse texture. The product description emphasizes that you should pat and smooth this product onto your face instead of rubbing in order to get the best coverage. This may seem odd, but I have found that I do get better coverage when I lightly spread the gel across my face rather than rubbing it in. After it sets, Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel feels positively weightless on skin.

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel is available in four shades for light to dark complexions as well as a translucent formula. I use Luminous, which is a light beige shade that works great for my skin tone.

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel Swatch
Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel

When I wear Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel, my pores are blurred and my skin tone looks much more even. The coverage is closer to a tinted moisturizer and doesn't compare to a medium-coverage foundation. However, most of my friends don't wear makeup so I reach for Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel when I want a subtly enhanced look that fits right in :)

On days that I do want more coverage, I've discovered that Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel makes a great primer. It allows for smoother, more flawless foundation application and keeps my skin oil-free longer. 

If that wasn't enough, I'm incredibly impressed by the ingredients found in Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel. With a grand total of nine well-selected ingredients, the list is much shorter than what we typically see in cosmetics. This product is primarily comprised of isododecane and two silicones to enhance spreadability and provide a weightless feel. The next ingredients are retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) and tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), which are both fabulous antioxidant and anti-aging ingredients. Next up is montmorillonite for oil absorption and thioctic acid, which is an ALA antioxidant. Finally, the ingredients lists includes iron oxides for color and titanium dioxide, which is a sun-protecting ingredient. Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel is not advertised as containing SPF, but the presence of this ingredient says otherwise. I wonder why Per-Fekt doesn't mention this as a selling point! 

While I really love Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel, I think I would be remiss not to discuss the price. At $57.50, this product is quite expensive. I only use a small amount daily so I imagine it will last a long time. Still, I would encourage you to think about how often you go for a light coverage makeup look before purchasing this product, as well as your sensitivity to cosmetic ingredients. If you have sensitive skin or prefer light coverage (or both!), I bet you will love this product for its lovely finish and smart ingredient choices.

For my part, I know Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel is going on my face no matter what these days. Whether I want a light, skin-improving veil or a medium/full coverage look, this product has my back no matter how strapped I am for time.

Per-Fekt Beauty products are available on the brand's website and Sephora. Check 'em out!


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.

10.01.2012

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Review

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Perfume
Prada Candy Eau de Parfum

In theory, I love the idea of "food-scented" or gourmand perfumes with yummy-sounding notes like vanilla and cinnamon. In reality, many of them smell sickly or heavy and end up rubbing me the wrong way. Prada Candy Eau de Parfum ($62) falls between these two extremes -- I love some of the notes, but there are a few things that drive me crazy about this perfume.

First of all, I really dislike the top notes of this perfume. The product description says that Prada Candy smells like caramel, musk, vanilla, and benjoin, but the head notes give off more of a sharp, soapy odor with hints of musk, vanilla and powder. I wasn't expecting a harsh feel from a confectionery perfume and my first impressions of Prada Candy Eau de Parfum were negative.

After those first moments pass, Prada Candy settles into a sweet, powdery center. I don't mind these middle notes but smelling like baby powder isn't particularly exciting to me. I already wear baby powder scented deodorant, so hit me with something else, Prada!

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum is redeemed by its base notes. After about 15-30 minutes, it settles into a soft accord of caramel and vanilla that I just adore. Instead of being cloyingly sweet, Prada Candy has a rich, almost smokey quality that keeps it sophisticated. The lasting power of Prada Candy Eau de Parfum is pretty decent as well. On me, it lasts about 5 hours. 

Though it takes awhile to get there, I find that Prada Candy Eau de Parfum arrives somewhere good in the end. The top and middle notes aren't my cup of tea but the base notes are delicious, and base notes are what the perfume smells like most of the time. I plan to continue suffering through the top and middle notes and wear Prada Candy for its delightful finale.

P.S. -- This is my first perfume review. I've avoided fragrance reviews because you guys can't smell anything through the computer (yet?), and I know that perfumes can smell very different on different people. Do you like reading perfume reviews anyway? Are you interested in more of my clumsy scent descriptions?


9.25.2012

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige Review and Swatches

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige
Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige

Including their popular loose powder mineral foundation, cruelty-free brand Youngblood has a total of FIVE foundation formulations to meet every woman's preferences. I tried Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation ($56), a 2-in-1 creme foundation with a luminous powder finish.

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige applies with a supremely smooth, creamy texture. It practically melts into your skin's surface, allowing for easy blending and a natural finish. Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation offers medium coverage, and the creamy texture makes it very easy to build up over problem areas. This foundation applies beautifully with Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blending Brush, another cruelty-free fave!

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige Swatch
Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige Swatch

I love the look of Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige, which sets to a long-lasting, soft matte finish with plenty of luminosity to give your face a gorgeous glow. However, I notice that this foundation can accentuate flakiness and other irregularities of skin texture, particularly around the mouth. Not too noticeable, but it's still something to look out for. I mitigate this by making sure that my skin is well-moisturized and primed.

Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige Swatch
Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige

Available in a total of 8 shades, Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige is a fair color for people with slightly warm undertones. While it's a close match, Barely Beige is a little light for my skin at the moment. I think it will be a better match as we move into the colder weather :)

Bottom Line: Youngblood Mineral Radiance Creme Powder Foundation in Barely Beige is a great foundation option for people with normal to oily skin. The cream texture allows for wonderful blendability and a natural look, while the powder finish keeps oiliness at bay. One drawback is that this foundation can accentuate flakiness and other skin irregularities, so take that into account if you are considering a purchase.




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.

9.23.2012

Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate Review

Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate
Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate

I can't remember a time that a skin care company has gotten me more excited than Own. With a focus on clinically proven, effective ingredients AND natural, non-toxic formulas, San Francisco-based Own is a cruelty-free, forward thinking company that's well-attuned to what women want for their skin. After trying Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate ($24.99), I believe Own has what it takes to become a serious player in the skin care game.

The keystone ingredient in many of Own's products is conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. CLA is a fatty acid found in safflower oil that has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. It also helps to regulate skin cell structure, which prevents and reduces signs of aging. 

Along with conjugated linoleic acid, Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate only contains three other ingredients: capric triglyceride, which is a moisturizing extract from coconut, coco-caprylate, an esterized version of coconut oil, and tocopherol (Vitamin E), an antioxidant that reduces signs of aging. That's it. No water, no fragrance, no parabens. The result? A supremely elegant, simple-yet-effective serum.

Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate has a silky smooth texture that sinks into your skin beautifully. No uncomfortable filmy finish here! Your skin is left looking plump and radiant the moment you put it on, and the results get even better the following day.

With Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate, my skin looks more clear, super soft, and glowing. I don't have any wrinkles yet so it's hard to evaluate this product's anti-aging properties, but I feel confident using Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate as a preventative measure thanks to its scientifically proven set of age-fighting ingredients. 

The only drawback I can identify with Own Renewing Firming Silk Concentrate is the packaging. While I love the dropper bottle format, the dropper is a little leaky so I have to be super careful not to drip product on the counter. This serum is too good to waste!

If you're interested in trying Own, the products are available for purchase on Own's website, Drugstore.com, and Amazon

P.S. -- Own also has an iPhone app that photographs and analyzes your skin. The app allows you to track progress of wrinkles, acne, age spots, etc. and see what's working for your skin and what isn't. How cool is that? 



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.