I love mid-and high-end makeup. I love the makeup counters, the testers, the packaging... and of course, the quality. But sometimes I need some makeup in a pinch (forgot something while traveling), or want to try a trend without breaking the bank.
I was shopping at Forever 21, buying some skinny jeans, and saw that their makeup collection has really expanded. I’d heard some good things and thought I’d see for myself.love & beauty blush in Pink
$1.80 for 0.16 oz
Made in Taiwan, cruelty free. The color is a classic, cool-toned medium pink. The texture is very smooth and fairly pigmented. The plastic compact is decent. There is a bit of fallout, and it does fade a little by the end of the workday.love & beauty gel eyeliner in Black
$1.50 for 0.07 oz/2.00 g
Made in China, cruelty free. I was all set to be disappointed by this, since cheap eyeliners of any formula tend to be craptastic. But this stuff really impressed me. It comes in a sturdy frosted glass container with a plastic lid. It's small, but per ounce it's still a good value. The texture of this gel liner was smooth and creamy and incredibly pigmented. Good length of wear, no smudging, no flaking, no irritation. The swatch did stain my arm a bit, even after I wiped it off with a makeup wipe.love & beauty eyeshadow in Dark Olive
$1.80 for 0.10 oz/2.83 g
Made in China, cruelty free. It's a cool toned dark olive shade that leans a bit brownish, with gold microglitter. Even with the glitter, the texture is smooth and fairly pigmented even without primer. There is a bit of fallout, both of the shadow and the glitter, but not enough to be a real issue. It had all day wear when used over primer. The plastic compact is cheap feeling, but it's still a decent product overall, and there's a pretty good amount of product. This has talc, petrolatum and mineral oil in it, which isn't a concern for me, but may be for some.
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Does it compare with a high end brand, like MAC? Not really. But are they still good products, and would I be willing to try more products? Heck yes! They’re less expensive than most drugstore products, and they have a decent product selection and range of colors. The fact that they're made in China is a drawback, but I haven't had any issues with them. I’m happy with what I bought, and don’t feel like I wasted money on any of them. If you’re on a tight budget, or are looking to try out a new trend without committing a lot of $$$, Forever 21's makeup is a good bet.
is a company I’m really excited about. They have foundation, primer, concealer, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip balm, and brushes that are vegan, cruelty-free, and free of irritants such as bismuth oxychloride
. They’re so convinced you’ll love their product that Alima has a guarantee that you’ll love any full sized product that you purchase, or you can return it within 30 days.
I’ve been wanting to try Alima products for awhile, since I’ve heard fabulous reviews about them on MakeupAlley, and they’ve been featured in Whole Living, Allure, Glamour, Nylon, Real Simple, Body+Soul, and other magazines. And when I found out that their company is in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, I was super stoked. I’ve got a lot of hometown pride. I was born and raised in the Pacifc Northwest (Portland/Vancouver) and it’s a pretty great place to live. Yeah, there is a lot of rain, a lot of hippies/protesters and a lot of all around weirdness. But it also has breweries, vinyards, shopping, scenery, outdoor activities, art, beaches, mountains and awesome indie companies, like Alice Cosmetics.
I was sent the Let Them Eat Cake collection. Unfortuantely, this particular limited edition collection is no longer available, but there are over 100 other eyeshadows to choose from, and they have new limited edition seasonal collections coming out all the time.
So let’s take a bite... I mean... a look.
This month, Laura Mercier is adding a lot
of new products to their permanent collection. They have two completely new products--their brand new Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Colours
(which comes in 18 shades) and their brand new Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Creme Compact SPF20
(which comes in12 shades).
In addition to these new items, they're adding more color options to their current permanent lineups of Laura Mercier Lip Liners
(7 new shades) and are also adding a new fragrance, Ambre Vanille
, to the Laura Mercier Bath & Body Collection.
I was excited to receive two products from this release to test out and review, the Creme Smooth Lip Colour in Rosewood, and the Lip Pencil in True Red.
offered to send me their TotalBeauty Collection for HSN
to review before it was even available for purchase, so of course I giddily accepted. (I totally felt like one of the cool kids on the block...)
I love exfoliating scrubs, but even a big tub of it doesn't seem to last long for me, so it gets a little spendy. I contemplated making a DIY scrub but was worried the oil would make the tub too slippery and that the scrub would clog the drain. So when I was at Ulta looking for an inexpensive alternative product, and I found these $3 loofah pads, I was pretty excited.
Earth Theraputics Loofah Bath Pad
$3.34 on Amazon.com (I found mine at Ulta, and I've seen similar items at my local grocery store in the Beauty/Cosmetics dept.)
This loofah is my new favorite shower item! I get pretty bad red bumps after shaving, and my skin can look a little dull, especially on my legs. I knew exfoliating would probably help, but just hadn't found the right product until now. This loofah pad is cheap and long-lasting, and it works wonders on my body! Rub soap on it and then rub wherever you need some exfoliation. Apply more or less pressure, or scrub for more or less time--it's simple but effective. And it really has helped with my shaving bumps. I like that when it gets icky or worn out I can just toss it (the idea of a wet loofah growing germs and getting gross in the shower kind of skeeved out out initially, but it seems to be doing just fine after a month or so in the shower). There are fancier options out there but this one works just fine. I love this product so much that I might even give them as Christmas gifts (with a little handmade soap included with it!). My only complaint is that it isn't as exfoliating now after a month of using it every day, so I threw it away. They're supposed to last a few months, using it a couple of times a week, but I was using mine daily. And it probably would have still been scratchy enough for some people, but it's only $3 for a fresh one. I'm definitely going to keep repurchasing these.
MAC Fluidline in Local Wares
$15.00 for 0.1 oz
Another great alternative to the usual black, brown or charcoal eyeliners. This subtle but gorgeous blackened olive has tons of teensy multi-colored microglitter (mostly gold). It's beautiful and would probably look good on all skin tones, and can easily go with simple workplace makeup, or a smoky eye. I love how this looks smudged out on my lower lashline. After Dark Diversion, I'd probably say it's one of my favorite eyeliner colors of all time
. As with all Fluidlines, I find the formula to be excellent--very smooth. It wears all day long without smudging or flaking. I can wear it to the gym or during a marathon without hesitation, and can even wear it in my waterline without any irritation. The substantial glass jar keeps it from drying out (I've had some shades for a really long time, but they're still good!) The price is also quite reasonable. Definitely go check this out before it's gone!Lipgloss+Spandex rating:
MAC Styleseeker eyeshadow duo in Marche Aux Puces and MAC Styleseeker Fluidline in Local Wares
I made a series of poor choices that led to me wasting eight bucks and getting breakouts. I ran out of my favorite face primer (MAC Prep+Prime Skin), but decided to go cheap instead of just repurchasing my old standby. I'd read some pretty positive reviews about Hard Candy's Sheer Envy primer, but when I went to my local (shady/gross) Walmart, there was only one tube left, and it had been tampered with. I figured the Sheer Envy Perfecting Primer was probably practically the same thing, and it was only eight bucks.
Whether it is or not, the product I bought is crap. Here's the rundown:
Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer
$8.00 for 1.3 oz
The product looks like a very thick silicone based primer (which it is). It doesn't really have a scent to it. I squeezed out a small amount and tried to spread it on my clean face using my fingers, but it wouldn't apply smoothly. There were clumps of it all over my face. SUPER GROSS LOOKING. I wiped off the clumps and decided to leave the remaining product on my skin, just for review purposes (and since I wasn't leaving the house again that day). What was left of it on my skin felt fairly light and smooth. It did seem to help my makeup apply a tiny bit easier, but not enough to make the mess and effort of application worthwhile. I also ended up with some breakouts. The Hard Candy Sheer Envy Skin Perfecting Primer really was pretty awful. There's not much redeeming about it besides the price, and the convenient squeeze bottle packaging. But you couldn't pay me to put this on my skin again.
Maybe I got a bad batch or something. It's possible. But I'm not about to waste another eight bucks (that's TWO STARBUCKS DRINKS!) to find out.
MAC Eyeshadow Duo in Marche Aux Puces
$27.50 for 1.0 oz
The first shade (Chessa) is a warm light orange with a beautiful golden sheen to it. It's sheer but buildable an good for layering over other shades. I don't think there's really any other shade that's just like it--Temptalia has some good matches--but I'd say it's pretty unique. The second shade (Indie Spirit) is a matte warm burnt sienna. The pigmentation on this one isn't great--it takes a little work to get it to really show up. Its not an amazing or terribly unique color, but I feel that the colors compliment each other well. The two colors are both quite warm toned. Two of the makeup artists at the MAC store were wearing it--a very fair cool toned gal, and an African American lady with dark brown skin and I thought it looked amazing on both of them, and found it also looked good on my medium NC37-40 skin tone. I like to add a little warm-toned deep plum shadow in the outer v to complete the look.
This duo is already sold out on MAC's website, but I'd try and pick it up at your local counter!Lipgloss+Spandex rating:
MAC Styleseeker eyeshadow duo in Marche Aux Puces with MAC Styleseeker Fluidline in Local Wares
MAC Styleseeker eyeshadow duo in Local Wares: Chessa, Indie Spirit
MAC Cluidline in Dark Diversion (Limited Edition)
$15.00 for 0.1 oz
Dark Diversion Fluidline is one of my favorite products of all time, and I'm very sad it's limited edition. I actually got this liner when it came out in an earlier collection, and am thrilled to see it repromoted. I would describe it as a warm brown-toned plum shade with the teensiest bit of shimmer. It's not 100% opaque on the first swipe, but I kind of like that it can be worn more sheerly an also be layered on for more intense color. The color is subtle enough for everyday wear--even to a conservative workplace--but bold and complex enough to be interesting. Its a great alternative to your regular black, brown and charcoal eyeliners. As with all Fluidlines, I find the formula to be very smooth. It wears all day long without smudging or flaking. I can even wear it to the gym or during a marathon without hesitation, and I can wear it in my waterline without irritation. The substantial glass jar keeps it from drying out (I've had some shades for a really long time, but they're still good!) The price is also quite reasonable. If you don't have this product already, BUY IT NOW!!! I'm probably going to buy a backup jar.Lipgloss+Spandex rating:
$20 for one value pack (5 preselected themed tattoos + 1 utatz.com tattoo + six alcohol prep wipes + application instructions)
Buy individually for $15 per spray can and $2.00 per tattoo (9.5cm by 5.5 cm)
Use the included alcohol wipes to clean the skin. Unfold the stencil and apply to skin.
Spray several coats of Utatz spray onto the stencil. Allow to dry.
Carefully peel off stencil and refold for re-use.
These are like an at-home version of the airbrush tattoos you see at fairs or carnivals. The tattoos are small and there are tons of designs, but the stars were my favorite. I was a little underwhelmed with some of their other tattoo designs--but there's something for everyone. They're very easy to use and not terribly messy. I can see these being great for kids (birthday parties!) or for adults (Halloween, fraternity and sorority parties, etc) or even just for fun. Doing several layers of color creates a more long lasting tattoo. It will survive the shower, even with a light soaping and some scrubbing. Spray on sunscreen slowly breaks it down, as I found out one day whole wakeboarding. The price seems a little high for a temporary tattoo, but these are fancier than your standard water tattoo from the Cracker Jack box, and one spray can lasts a long time. The stencils really can be reused many times too. While these aren't something I'd use in my day-to-day life, they're definitely fun, safe, and easy to do. I'd love to see them come out with more colors and stencils.