Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review

urban decay bb cream w724 Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review

I know I’m kind of late to the game reviewing Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm, but you know…better late than pregnant. Anywho, late or not, I have recently been wearing the UD BB after a suggestion from Bren of OMG Bren. My skin has been super dry lately, and she suggested I wear a good BB cream under my foundation. Since my foundation of choice is UD Naked Skin, this seemed a logical choice!

It claims to:

- hydrate instantly
- improve hydration over time
- make makeup go on nicely
- make makeup last longer
- protect with SPF 20 (broad spectrum)
- instantly even out skin tone
- instantly minimize pores, lines, wrinkles, and redness
- treats skin to firm, improve elasticity, and provide “measurable anti-aging benefits”

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm contains some new to me ingredients. Pepha®-Protect helps protect your skin cells against daily stress. Uh hi? I need that. Vitasource® and dGlyage® firm the skin, improve elasticity, and fight wrinkles. Not huge issues for me NOW, but hey better to prevent than to try and fix later!

At first I wasn’t all that excited about trying this because it only came in one shade. That shade has been renamed Naked Medium, and a lighter shade and darker shade (Naked Light and Naked Dark) have been added to the range. Hooray! Not surprisingly, I’m wearing Naked Light.

urbandecaybb Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm Review
Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is not what I expected, formula-wise. I was expecting something thicker. UD’s BB is pretty runny actually. It applies very smoothly and sort of glides over the skin. Unlike other BB creams I’ve tried, I actually don’t recommend applying this like you would any other skin care. If you rub it in circles or rub too much, I find it just balls up. If you just smooth it gently in one direction, it will blend and apply beautifully. That could be because of the skin care I use beforehand, but  if you’re having similar issues try that. Apply it almost like you would a face mask type product.

After applying I definitely feel the silicone-y primer-y feeling, but it’s not as much as when I just whack on a bit of primer. Flaws are definitely blurred. As far as coverage goes, it’s not so much covering problem areas as just making them less noticeable. Red areas look less red, spots are still spots but not as glaring. It’s like a soft focus effect more than a tinted moisturizer effect of providing light coverage – which is what a lot of other BB products provide. I find that I need way less foundation/concealer when wearing this. Whereas before I had foundation and loads of concealer, today I only put on a little concealer over the beauty balm and I was good to go.

If you aren’t looking for coverage, this beauty balm will appeal to you. If you need additional actual coverage, it does make a sublime canvas for applying additional foundation/concealer. Foundation and concealer apply so nicely over the beauty balm! If you don’t wear more base over this, blush and highlighter etc. still  applied really well.

I haven’t been using it long enough to know if the long term benefits are really coming through, but wearing less concealer and foundation couldn’t ever be a bad thing. I can definitely feel a difference in hydration overall. And also, sun screen! :) This sun screen doesn’t bother my skin at all. Many of them do.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with this and have incorporated it into my everyday beauty routine! Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm is available at Sephora, Ulta, UD’s site…you know the drill, for $34.

Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Creme Review

garniergel creme 1024x962 Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Creme Review

I was holding off on this review because I was expecting some other of the newer Garnier skin care products in the mail and was going to review them all together, but I don’t know what happened to them – they seem to have vanished! So perhaps I will review the scrub and the cleansing oil some other time. For now, I have a review of the Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Normal/Combo skin.

I don’t even know where to begin with my skin right now. Previously, “normal” for me was dry, but clear skin. Now it’s still normal-to-dry, but breaking out like crazy. It’s still not severe acne by any means, or probably not even moderate depending on who you ask, but going from not even really having clogged pores to having 3-4 deep under the skin zits and a handful of smaller surface pimples = PANIC at my disco. I know it was caused by a combination of hormones and a great deal of stress. This past weekend I moved house, which as you know is insanity no matter what. Anyway. Moisturizer.

I was intrigued by the idea of a “gel-creme”. It sounded like some new exotic thing. The reality is this is a gel. Not even a thick gel actually. It’s pretty darn liquidy in texture. I was kind of skeptical about it being able to moisturize well when I felt the texture. I was pleasantly surprised though. It does a decent job! A little bit goes a long way, because it’s so liquid (it spreads over your face quite easily). For me, it absorbs very quickly and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and refreshed, but not in any way greasy.

It does have a scent! The fragrance is floral-fruity and pleasant, typical of most Garnier products – if you’ve ever used any, you know this smell. I happen to love it. You may not. If you’re sensitive to fragrances, save your receipt! It dissipates though and I think it adds to the refreshment I feel when I use it.

There is also a dry skin formula that is allegedly a ‘dupe’ for Clinique Moisture Surge. I would like to try that sometime as I’ve tried samples of Clinique’s and I liked it. Also I do anticipate that once I get the hormones and the stress in check my skin will probably go back to being more dry as usual, so it’ll be good to know if I can make a switch. ;)

The price runs about $8.50 for a 1.7 oz jar, available at most drugstores. I believe I got mine from Target!

Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler

kevyn aucoin the eyelash curler Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler

This isn’t a new product by ANY means, but it is new to me. I’d heard amazing things about the Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler, but since I own several curlers I could never really be bothered to buy one, yanno? But recently their PR reached out to me and since it was on my “To-Try” list, I was REALLY excited to receive this in the mail!

Until receiving KA’s curler, I’ve been using the Extra Wide (34mm) curler by Koji. I picked it up in a local Korean grocery store for around $7. The extra wide curve appealed to me. It definitely fits my eye “pretty well”, but not perfect. I still occasionally pinched myself, and if you’ve ever done that with a curler you know– that shit HURTS. I also have one by ELF, and the cult-status curler by Shu Uemura. All of them were the same in that they fit my eye “pretty well”.

ka curler Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler

Kevyn Aucoin’s lash curler fits my eye “really well”. It’s a pretty wide curve, but slightly less flat than the Koji. I really like this curler. It does a great job of curling the lashes, and the red pad makes it a lot easier to see your lashes while you’re curling. You can make sure you’re getting every lash.

Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler is available for $21.00 from Nordstrom, and other stores where Kevyn Aucoin is sold. Check back soon for comparisons with other curlers!

Game Changer Beauty: My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Shake & Spray

My Amazing Shaken Spray 2x 237x1024 Game Changer Beauty: My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Shake & Spray

The Quick Dry Shake ‘n Spray by My Amazing Blow Dry Secret is one of those products where as soon as I tried it, I got really excited to tell you all about it. I was wandering around ISSE (seriously all you can REALLY do is wander – it’s so huge, lol) and saw a sign that said “cut your blow dry time in half!”

You have my attention.

I have hair down to my waist now. My natural waist, that is – not down on my hips where I actually wear my pants. Point being – REALLY long hair. And while it’s fine, I have a lot of it. Blow drying usually takes me 20 minutes or so with my HANA dryer, maybe slightly more with my T3. That’s a long time when you have to get up really early in the morning, or when you’re trying to get your hair dry before bed!

So I’m talking to the gal at the booth and she’s telling me about how this Shake ‘n Spray will cut my blow drying time in half. I was interested, but skeptical. I mean a lot of products claim to shorten blow dry time, but don’t really make a very noticeable difference. So she explained to me how it works. I’m about to blind you with science.

The magic ingredient in the Shake ‘n Spray is VCOH, or Virgin Coconut Oil Hydrosol. VCOH is natural fractionated cold-pressed coconut oil with super-fine molecules. These molecules are dispersed through the hair, which also disperses the water molecules on your hair. This dispersal makes the water evaporate faster. The coconut oil is left on your hair, which we all know is an excellent conditioner. What you’re left with is dried hair that is silky and shiny!

Oh one more thing – because of how this product works, it also makes your hair dry faster when you’re air drying it. Did I just blow your mind right now?

The reason it’s a Shake ‘n Spray is simple – you have to shake it. Similar to bi-phase eye makeup removers, the Quick Dry spray needs to be mixed in order to work. The clear half is the quick drying agent (VCOH etc.) and the pink part is all sorts of yummy-for-your-hair conditioners and UV protectants. When you shake it, the two halves combine into a sparkly lighter pink! It’s like magic.

Okay, so it seems legit. I received a couple little trial sizes of the spray, which the lady said would last a long time as a little bit goes a long way.

BUT HOW DOES IT WORK?

I towel-dried my hair as usual (just a little squeegee-ing), sprayed the My Amazing Blow Dry Secret Quick Dry Shake ‘n Spray about 4-6 times throughout my hair, and blow dried as usual. You know how long it took my hair to dry?

8. F*cking. Minutes.

So yes, it REALLY really works. It’s available for $25 for a 6.7 oz (200 mL) bottle from the My Amazing Blow Dry Secret website. They also have a shampoo and conditioner, but I haven’t tried those. I’d definitely want to try it after seeing how well this spray works even without the other products! I am impressed!!

An Eyeliner That Lasts On The Waterline – Really

liner2 An Eyeliner That Lasts On The Waterline   Really

When I first became an Avon representative, I knew one of the first products I had to try – Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner Pencil. I freely admit I was attracted to it because I always saw the Pixiwoo girls using it in their videos!

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September Favorites

obamacorn September Favorites

Following in my tradition of posting random awesome pictures on my monthly favorites posts, this month features Obama riding on a unicorn shooting rainbows out of his hands. Seemed pretty legit. Thanks, internet!

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Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara Review

maybellinebigeyes Maybelline Big Eyes Mascara Review

I go through phases when it comes to makeup. Certain times I’m really into one aspect of makeup moreso than all the rest. Right now I’m on a lash kick. I have tried quite a few Maybelline mascaras that I like, and I’ve been hearing a lot about a few newer ones. Maybelline was BOGO 1/2 off at CVS so I picked up a couple of them with my last prescription. ;)

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Ipsy Glam Bag Subscription Review

logo ipsy002 Ipsy Glam Bag Subscription Review

Having been an Ipsy member and Glam Bag subscriber for a few months now I feel like I can accurately review the service on a whole for you all now.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ipsy’s Glam Bag subscription service, first of all…hi, you must be new to the beauty world. Welcome. Anyway, it’s a monthly subscription where for $10/month you receive a makeup bag (purse size, roughly) with several beauty products in it. Some of the products are samples, some of them are full size. Each participating brand also provides some sort of deal for Ipsy subscribers. There is a lot of opportunity for brands to sponsor giveaways for additional prizes, so many times a participating brand will collaborate with the Ipsy stylists for some kind of challenge or contest, too.

I got my first Glam Bag in April, and I just received my August bag. I also got the bag from March (and I think one or 2 of the products in it) at the Generation Beauty event in June.

The Bags
The bags themselves are cute. Some of them are better than others. Each month’s bag has a theme, and the bag usually goes along with the theme somehow. They’re not super high quality bags by any means – basically the same quality as you’d receive with a Gift With Purchase. I don’t know who the manufacturer of the bags is, but I know they pay them less than $1 per bag (industry insider info there, y’all). They’re fine to just toss in a purse and use for a while, but I do not expect them to hold up over time. My favorite pattern is the one on the May Ipsy bag. Check out Pink Sith’s review for some great pics.

The Products
Duh this is what you all want to know about the most. The selection is vastly improved over the Glam Bags of old (when they used to be MyGlam). Here are some of the products I received in various bags:

  • Benefit Ben-a-Tint sample vial (the standard tiny sample)
  • NYX cream blush (full size)
  • Zoya nail polish (full size)
  • Starlooks lip liner (full size)
  • Michael Todd exfoliating scrub (deluxe sample size)
  • Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick (sample size – and can I just talk about how cute a MINI lipstick is?)
  • Pacifica BB Cream (sample)
  • Selena Gomez collection Nicole By OPI nail polish (full size)
  • Nailtini nail polish (full size)
  • Juice Beauty lip gloss (full size)
  • Sexy Hair Powder Play volumizing powder (sample)
  • Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray thingy (sample)
  • BH Cosmetics Eye Shadow (little mini sample trio – shadows are about the size of a nickel each)
  • J.Cat Beauty glitter cream palette (full size but totally useless stupid product)
  • J.Cat Beauty false lashes (full size obviously – can’t really sample an eyelash lol)
  • Urban Decay eye shadow (full size – this was a special perk for those who are active on the forums, not everyone got this)
  • Be A Bombshell blush (full size)
  • St. Tropez instant bronzing stuff (deluxe sample)
  • Mica Beauty shimmer powder (I got 2 of these in different bags – I think they’re full size)
  • Pixi Lash Booster mascara (sample)
  • Yaby cosmetics concealer pan (full size but Yaby products are teensy)

Some pretty awesome things there. Definitely a lot more actual color cosmetics than other subscriptions I’ve seen/tried. I was STOKED about the full size Zoya polish and UD shadow. To be honest, the items were more hit than miss for me. Yes there were some misses. St Tropez was a huge bomb for me – I never tan. The Yaby concealer was way too dark (they sent me the 2nd to lightest shade even though my style profile says Very Fair skin – ooookay). It turns out even if they’d gotten it right and sent me the lightest shade, it would have still been too dark…but oh well.

The worst product of all was the J.Cat Beauty glitter cream palette. I tossed it in the garbage where it belongs because I was MAD at it, so I can’t really do a review with pictures. But the product wasn’t eye safe. Yet it came packaged with eye shadow applicators. Wtf? The glitter cream itself was lousy because even if you wanted to use it somewhere besides your eyes (like where???), it never sets. It just says moist and creases up somethin’ fierce.

But remember, there was more good than bad. I was mostly pretty satisfied with Ipsy’s selections!

The Service
I never had any issues with my bags at all, so I never had to contact IpsyCare. They always sent me a shipping notification and I received my bags when it said I was going to. Never had any issues with products arriving damaged or anything of that nature. I know there have been shipping issues with other people’s bags, but my personal experience has been nothing but smooth sailing.

Value
You definitely get a good deal with Ipsy. The $10 gets you a cute bag and some usually mostly full size products. The bag with the Zoya polish for example, that polish is $8 alone. The rest of the items in that bag were definitely worth more than $2.

Overall
If you’re considering subscribing to Ipsy, or you’re currently on the wait list (when bags sell out everyone else gets wait listed), go for it. It’s worth subscribing to.

But I Still Canceled
I just canceled my subscription. It wasn’t due to any negative feelings or experiences with the service. Money is tight right now, and Ipsy doesn’t let you skip a month like my favorite subscription service Julep does, so saving the $10 a month is nice.

But more than that, I’m just kind of over it. I’m up to my eyeballs in makeup bags (hello I used to work for a company that makes them lol), and many of the brands that work with Ipsy are also brands I work with as a blogger, so I didn’t really feel I was being exposed to anything new. I’ve tried Pixi, I’ve tried NYX, I’ve tried UD, etc. That doesn’t make me love the products any less. I just felt like it wasn’t really necessary to have this subscription bag in my life anymore.

I’m looking in to taking the $10 I’m saving and putting it towards something else, which I will tell you about once all of the details are finalized.

 

Are any of you Ipsy subscribers? What was your experience like? Do you give Ipsy a thumbs up or thumbs down?

Quickie Review – Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Pink Flip

pinkflip3 Quickie Review   Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Pink Flip

I had the chance to meet one on one with Gorgeous Cosmetics at Cosmoprof, and they gave me a few of their products to try. The first of which is this lipstick in the shade Pink Flip. 

I really like the packaging. It’s a square, shiny black tube with the Gorgeous logo in beige. The tube has some weight to it without being clunky – it feels solid high quality, which is important because this is a higher price point lipstick. The lipstick retails for $25, so you want there to be nice packaging!

Pink Flip is a very classic, creamy neutral pink. This is the kind of color that pretty much anyone could wear. It’s bright without being overstated, and has a cream finish – not flat matte but not overly shiny either. No frost or shimmer – yeee! :)

pinkflip2 Quickie Review   Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Pink FlipGorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Pink Flip

Once applied, this lipstick feels great on my lips. It’s very creamy and comfortable, but doesn’t slip and slide around like the Color Whispers I tried yesterday. The pigmentation is really good too. I just put on a light coating of it in the photo above but I got very complete coverage.

pinkflip Quickie Review   Gorgeous Cosmetics Lipstick in Pink Flip

If pink is your thing, I highly recommend this color. I really like it a lot and it will go with a lot of looks. If pink isn’t your thing, they have a huge shade range with everything from bright purples and orange to neutral nudes.

Gorgeous Cosmetics are available from their website, www.gorgeouscosmetics.com, but also from Nordstrom which is SUPER cool because you’ll get free shipping and you can use ebates! ;) If you’re a MUA, you should totes check out their pro program too, which includes a nice discount. More info at the Gorgeous website.

Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & Review

whisperhero Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & Review

In a world where drugstore brands were all competing to bring us moisturizing, pigmented color… 

Okay so maybe that’s a little dramatic (you DID read it in the movie trailer voice, RIGHT?), but ok we got Revlon Lip Butters, L’Oreal Color Riche Balms, and Maybelline Color Whispers all one right after another. I LOVE Revlon Lip Butters. So I was really excited to try Maybelline Color Whispers too. So much so that when they went on sale at Ulta a while back, I got 6 of them. They were BOGO or BOGO 1/2 off or somethingorother. A lot of bloggers & youtubers seemed to really like these, so I was all excited.

You know what? They’re just okay. Revlon Lip Butters are way better, for me. One thing I do really like is the scent. They’re kind of a sugary lemony scent. Yum.

Here are swatches of the ones I have:

cherryontop Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & ReviewMaybelline Color Whisper in Cherry on Top

coralambition Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & ReviewMaybelline Color Whisper in Coral Ambition

gonude Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & ReviewMaybelline Color Whisper in Go Nude

mochamuse Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & ReviewMaybelline Color Whisper in Mocha Muse

orangeattitude Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & ReviewMaybelline Color Whisper in Orange Attitude

pinuppeach Maybelline Color Whisper Swatches & ReviewMaybelline Color Whisper in Pin Up Peach

I love that there are some brighter colors. However, due to the gel formula of these lipsticks, the bright colors remain pretty translucent, which means it’s hard to apply them completely evenly. My lips were slightly dry and irritated from all the swatching by the time I tried Orange Attitude and Cherry on Top, which you can see by the bit of unevenness visible on my upper lip.

The wear time on these is minimal since the formula has a ton of slip, which is another reason why some colors look slightly uneven — the product is moving around on your lips and settling.

The colors are pretty, but these aren’t a go-to or a must have product for me. I will keep and use the ones I have but I most likely won’t be purchasing any more of them, and I certainly gravitate more toward my Lip Butters than these. They retail for around $5-$6 each at drugstores and Ulta.

What do you think of these? They’ve been out for a while so I’m sure a lot of you have tried them! ;)

I’m going to go marinate my poor lips in some lip balm…