Best of Brand – Urban Decay


Since Urban Decay’s Friends & Family sale ends at midnight tonight, I’m offering up my top picks from the brand! If you haven’t decided about hauling, perhaps something here will catch your eye. ;) Just as a reminder, the code is FFHOLIDAY13 for 20% off everything at Urban Decay!

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The Best Products For Prepping Your Lips

DILO Sep 07 - Lipstick
Auntie P / / CC BY-NC-SA

I see a lot of talk about the very best ways to prep your eyes or prep your face for makeup, but not a whole lot about prep for lips. So LET’S TALK ABOUT IT MKAY!  [Read more…]

Make Up For Ever Lip Line Perfector

Last week I asked if anyone wanted to see a review for this new product from MUFE, and I’m really glad I decided to review it because it’s actually really cool! For me, lip liner has never really been an essential part of my beauty routine (that doesn’t seem to stop me from having a bunch though, hmm…). When I first came across the info about this pencil from MUFE I kind of shrugged it off as just another clear lip liner. I already have Urban Decay’s lip liner in Ozone and a couple of others – I kind of figured nobody was reinventing the wheel here.
Wrong! Bad blogger. While I don’t really have issues with feathering or bleeding lipcolors, I do often have products that settle into all the lines on my lips. I have what my friend’s mom lovingly referred to as “lip cleavage”.
The particular lip I’m wearing in that photo doesn’t settle much (yay!), but many of them do. Especially in the line down the center of my lower lip. And if my lips are on the dry side? Forget it. Line city. I am reduced to wearing tinted lip balms only in those situations. By the way that’s NYX’s jumbo lip pencil in Hera, lightly applied. It’s a pink that flashes purpley blue. BeautyJoint has it for just $2.99!
Instead of using the MUFE lip line perfector as a traditional lip liner, I fill in the entire lip with it before applying a lipstick that I knew settled into lip lines. BAM! Huge difference. This pencil contains hyaluronic salt to help fill lines in your lips as well as waxes and silicone to for a smooth application (and smooth surface for your lipstick to glide right on!). Because of the wax, matte properties of the pencil, it can also double as a brow wax. I haven’t tried it for that yet, but I love products that do double duty!
The Make Up For Ever Lip Line Perfector is available at Sephora and retails for $18. I’d definitely recommend it as a lip primer if you’re looking for something to help your lip products go on smoothly. This pencil is great!
Sample provided for editorial consideration.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum

The Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum is the newest addition to the Smooth Operator family, and I love it. In addition to giving a gorgeous sheen to the skin (no glitter or sparkles, just a radiant glow), the amazonian clay in this serum acts like a skin-balancing primer. It reduces the look of pores and absorbs excess oil while also nourishing the skin, making it good for all skin types. I have combo skin and can be dry in some areas, but this wears beautifully.
The product itself is slightly tinted, but it kinda melds in with my skintone and just blurs all imperfections. Acne scars are less noticeable, but not invisible by any means. This does do a pretty good job of evening out any redness I sometimes get on my cheeks and near my nose. Pale girls don’t worry about it being too dark; it blends in.
I have worn this a couple of ways. I’ve worn it as a primer, after my moisturizer and under another foundation, and also as more of a tinted moisturizer on days when I just want to perk up my skin without piling on a ton of product. It’s great for smearing on before I have to get to class or out to do errands. A little bit goes a long way, so while at first I thought $32 was kind of steep for this product, now I think it might be okay because of how long you’ll be able to use it. 
My foundation does wear longer and for lack of a better term “better” when I wear this as a primer underneath. If you have a foundation that accentuates dry patches (for example, Make Up For Ever HD does this occasionally– I love you MUFE, but you do!), using this helps to minimalize that oh so lovely phenomenon.
Amazonian Clay seems to be Tarte’s new ingredient buzzword, but frankly I’m enjoying every product I try with the stuff in it. Maybe it really is the new super ingredient! Clay in cosmetics is nothing new. Most oil control or balancing masks contain some form of kaolin or benzonite, but I’ve never experienced a clay-based cosmetic product that both absorbs oil where I need it and nourishes/moisturizes skin where I need that at the same time. It’s very cool stuff, and I look forward to trying more of it. 
For now, Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum is exclusive to Sephora and retails for $32. 
Sample provided for editorial purposes.

New Stila on the Horizon

I’m getting little tidbits about upcoming products from Stila!

At the end of this month, they will expand their lip & cheek stain line to include an Acai flavor/shade.

Next spring, a new eye primer called Prime Pot debuts. It will be in multiple shades. I spied this included in the face chart from the Whitney Eve show at New York Fashion Week!

Are you excited about the new Stila goodies?

Bare Escentuals Prime Time Eyelid Primer

The entire name of this product is Bare Escentuals bareVitamins Prime Time Eyelid Primer. That is a huge mouthful. Turns out the name of this primer isn’t the only thing that is going to make me go WTF.

Anyway, what is it? According to Sephora it is “an oil-free, fragrance-free way to maximize the color and extend the wear” of your BE shadows. It’s supposedly formulated specifically to work with BE’s loose mineral eyeshadows. I have no idea if there’s anything earth-shattering in the formula, but here are the ingredients:

Isododecane, Barium Sulfate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Glyceryl Triethylhexanoate, Polyethylene, Trihydroxystearin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethicone, Beeswax (Cera Alba), PEG-40 Stearate, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163)

So as I copied and pasted that list of ingredients, something jumped out at me. Barium sulfate. Sephora makes a huge deal of this being free of sulfates, parabens, pthalates, dyes, and fragrance. But uh, the second ingredient…kinda says sulfate. So I am really confused. I did a little googling to research the ingredient because the only use I’d ever heard of barium sulfate is in a “barium milkshake”, which is an easy way of describing the radiocontrast material they make you drink when they are trying to x-ray your GI tract. Apparently it is also used in paint as a filler to modify consistency, so I’m going to guess the consistency is why it is in this primer. But regardless, I don’t see anything anywhere about “oh it’s called sulfate but it’s not really a sulfate” so I still ask Bare Escentuals– WTF? Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-sulfate. But I am very much anti-confusing product information. My brain can’t handle this crap, Sephora!

As you may have gathered this is available at Sephora. There it is .05 oz for $16. I would imagine this is also carried anywhere else BE products are sold (BE, Ulta, ??). When I compare that to $18 for .34 oz of Urban Decay Primer Potion or .35 oz of Too Faced Shadow Insurance, I can’t help but feel like BE is jipping us a little. Ironically, UDPP and Shadow Insurance are actually sulfate free but they don’t go around advertising it like BE does. Again, WTF?

Anyway, the primer itself is very similar to UDPP or TFSI– creamy, silky, a sheer nude shade. Much like the others it requires just a little drop applied in a sheer layer to the lid. BE claims this will not only extend the wear of your shadows, but it will maximize color payoff. That is where this product really does not live up to its claims. I noticed considerable fading of my eyeshadow colors after what can be considered very normal activities (just ran to the drugstore, hung around the house, etc.). In the spirit of full disclosure I did not actually test it with BE shadows, but I don’t own any. I wore shadows by TheBalm as they are very pigmented and I knew if I got poor color payoff it would not be because of them!

As far as creasing goes, I did have a slight amount after about 4 hours, but it’s not really all that noticeable unless you are staring at the eyelids looking for it. After 6-8 hours there was more pronounced creasing, but again not terrible at all. I have oily eyelids. If you have relatively dry eyelids you may not experience any creasing at all.

You can see the smallest hint of a crease beginning to form across my lid. By the way I wasn’t wearing any other makeup besides eyeshadow, which is why my brows are a hot mess lol. The shadow is Insane Jane by TheBalm from their Shady Lady Volume 2 palette.

However. I can’t really say I recommend this product. At least not at full price. If you’re going to shell out $16 for this primer I feel you should just chip in the extra $2 and spring for UDPP or TFSI. They’re much better products for much better value. However, if you can get this at a discount from a site like Rock The Catwalk, it’s not a bad deal and worth checking out.

Sample provided for review consideration.

Cover FX Primers – Say No To Unitaskers!

Are any of you Alton Brown fans? Mr. Menagerie and my stepdad both love him. As far as cooking shows go, Good Eats is pretty entertaining. Basically Alton Brown is the biggest cooking geek ever. He explains all the science behind what he cooks, which is pretty cool. One thing Alton Brown hates is unitaskers, or tools that only do one thing. He’s always saying to banish unitaskers from your kitchen.

In some scenarios, this is a great philosophy to apply to your skin care, too. Cosmetics technology leaped ahead with the invention of the foundation primer, but now brands are taking it a few steps further. There are many primers out there that also provide sun protection. However, that’s kind of…not that creative? Think outside the box here, people! First of all, many moisturizers and foundations also include SPF. The problem being that unfortunately more is not always better with sun protection. Depending on the ingredients in all of the various sun products you’re using, you might be doing more harm than good. Sometimes layering SPFs with different ingredients causes them to actually cancel each other out.

So what then? Cover FX has developed a line of primers that are also skin care. What? Well, it makes sense. Primers are applied directly to your skin after your moisturizer, so why not do some good while they’re there.

The first Cover FX primer I tried was their Skinprep FX. This primer not only hydrates and smooths your skin (which blurs imperfections and makes foundation glide on, blend easier, and wear longer), it is an anti-aging love fest of nutrition for your skin. It’s chock-full of antioxidants such as Coenzyme Q10, omega 3 fatty acids, and peptides that promote skin health. A little of this primer/serum goes a long way when applying it. It’s light, melds into the skin beautifully, and does everything it promises to do for my foundation-wearing experience. I do not experience any breakouts with it. There is a slight fragrance which to me smells like my childhood backyard honeysuckle flowers. Not a fake honeysuckle scent contrived in a lab somewhere, but like the actual scent of the hundreds of honeysuckles in my backyard. This primer can be used by any skin type but is especially good for normal to dry skin. I don’t find it makes me any more oily when I use it, though. I have combo skin.

After my very positive experience with Skinprep FX, I was delighted when Cover FX contacted me to see if I wanted to review their Clearprep FX primer/anti-acne serum. This primer can be used by anyone, even men. It’s an anti-shine serum that minimizes fine lines and pores as well as helps to prevent and heal blemishes. Clearprep FX is mattifying on contact with instantly noticeable results! Silica and naturally occurring beta and alpha hydroxy acids work together to promote healing of acne and prevention of new breakouts. I don’t feel tightness or dryness from using this, and it really helps keep my t-zone matte and my foundation last longer in oily circumstances such as hot weather. It really helps to dry out the little mini breakouts I occasionally have around my eyebrows after I pluck my brows, and to prevent new breakouts in my main problem area– my chin.

Even if you don’t wear makeup these products can be beneficial to you because of all of the great ingredients! There are 2 other products in Cover FX’s primer line that I haven’t tried, Briteprep FX (brightening primer with UV-inhibiting ingredients) and Mintglaze FX, a lip primer and balm. After trying and coming to love both of the primers I mentioned above, I really can’t wait to try the others sometime!

Check out Cover FX‘s website for more info and videos about their products.

Available: Cover FX | Sephora | Naimies

Sample of CoverFX Clearprep FX was provided for consideration by PR. Skinprep FX was purchased by me at Sephora.

ELF Mineral Eye Primer

 This little baby has been getting a lot of love on various forums, etc. from people claiming it’s better than Urban Decay Primer Potion.
Say what?

Yeah, I know. Crazy!

So I decided I had to see what this was all about. I applied it under some neutral mineral eyeshadows to test it the first time on Sunday. It performed beautifully! I must say, I am impressed for $3.

However, I wore it with a dark smoky eye yesterday and while it didn’t crease at all, it did fade really badly. Generally eyeshadows do not fade with Urban Decay’s primer on me. However, your mileage may vary. Personally I prefer the UD still.

I do appreciate that the packaging is plain and easy (sorry UD, I still do not like the genie bottle) and that ELF’s product is really cheap. But…will this be carried at Target? That would be a huge win over UD since that means it’s really accessible. UD will probably always be the best in this arena though. I just can’t think of anything better.


Isododecane, Cylopentasiloxane, Octyl Palmitate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Triacontanyl PVP, Propylene Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica (CI 77019), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).

Urban Decay Fall 09 – New Products

Wow! This launch is huge. There are over 30 new additions to the Urban Decay line! I will have reviews as soon as I can, but for now I will just give you some stuff to drool over! :) The launch includes both new products and new shades of products we already love. Here are the new products being launched.
Cream to powder foundation! The foundation comes with a brush, too! Nifty! Like the Pocket Rocket glosses I reviewed recently, this foundation contains hyaluronic spheres as well. Those help maintain the skin’s moisture balance. I really hope the shade Illusion is light enough for me because this sounds like such a neat product.

Inks For Eyes are cream liners with a new high-tech polymer called Nylon 12. Why should you care? Because this ingredient decreases ‘drag’; these clever inks won’t tug on your delicate eyelids and will give a smooth finish every time. I love the packaging; look at the gorgeous peacock design! And the fact that the brush is included is a nice touch. One end is a brush and the other end is a smudger for when you want a touch of drama. There are 6 shades Inks.

Now here’s where the fun really starts. New primers! Urban Decay is perhaps most well-known for their Primer Potion for eyeshadows. Now you can get the full primer potion treatment. The first one is the brightening complexion primer. This primer can be worn under makeup or alone and will help keep skin looking fresh, awake, moisturized, and diminish fine lines.

UD’s new lip primer is a soft, fade-free, feather-free primer that won’t dry out your lips. It gives your lips a silky finish while helping to keep your lipstick on longer. Bonus, it also has SPF 15. I don’t know if you’ve ever sunburned your lips, but it’s not cute.

The other complexion primer in the collection is the Pore Perfecting primer. This is a non-greasy primer designed to diminish the look of pores and fine lines for an airbrushed look. UD says this primer is ideal for oily skin but could be used by anyone either alone or under makeup. They also assure us that the formula is non greasy! That is good news, because who wants a greasy face? Yeah, I’m looking at you Smashbox.
I’m very excited to try the UD lash primer. It contains protein to enrich your lashes including silk and wheat protein, which if I recall correctly is the same ingredient Aveeno uses to make their fabulous shampoos and conditioners. If it’s good for my hair it must be great for my lashes! What you won’t find in this primer is any parabens. ;)
I also want to mention that whoever wrote the copy for this product on the UD site should pat themselves on the back. I have never read something so creative on a cosmetics site. They describe the primer as constructing “towers of Babel…reaching for heavenly lashes”. Bravo.

Stuff I Love

My current list of most-loved/used products in no particular order…


  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • Makeup Forever High Definition Foundation in shade 110
  • MaxFactor 2000 Calorie Extreme Lash Plumper in Extreme Black
  • Ulta Professional Lash Primer
  • MAC Warm Soul mineralized blush
  • MAC New Vegas mineralized skin finish
  • Chapstick Lip Butter
  • Avon Dew Kiss
  • Prestige pencil eyeliners in general (all of them are fantastic!)
  • Maybelline XXL Extensions mascara in whatever their blackity black black shade is
  • Shu Uemura hard brow pencil in Seal Brown
  • Anastasia of Beverly Hills brow gel (no, I did not go fork out full price for a fancy clear gel…and I wouldn’t, but I do admit this is pretty nice.)
  • PureLuxe Silica Powder (this stuff is a godsend to oily skin and/or large pores!)

Beauty Tools

  • Sonia Kashuk blending sponge (it’s magical, very similar to the BeautyBlender but blue!)
  • Sonia Kashuk highlighting brush (very comparable to the MAC 187, but it’s $12.99!)
  • EcoTools retractable kabuki brush
  • Stila #7 eye brush (short-handled)
  • Stila #9 eye brush (short-handled)
  • My super cheap cute brush set from Hong Kong via ebay (seller is henlisy) – quality is surprisingly nice. I love these so much.