Thursday, 31 January 2013

YSL Arty Stone Collection Heralds the Return of Color

The Makeup Talk forums are abuzz with the new collection from Yves Saint Laurent, named for -- and inspired by -- their line of very popular statement rings.

What excited me about the line, however, is the promise that we might finally escape the doldrums of the endless neutral trend. Much as I love neutrals -- they do look beautiful and natural and "your face but better" -- I really miss bright purples and and greens and more daring, fun colors.

While pretty colors are to spring makeup what florals are to spring fashion (ie. everywhere on the runway, nowhere on the street), I do think that this last holdout of '80s/'90s revival might finally start penetrating the public consciousness and we can take a quick step back from our Urban Decay Naked 9 (or whatever number we're on) palettes and add a touch of lime green for a change.

What do you think? Are you ready for a change, or would you still rather stick to browns and taupes?

GH Review: Almay Wake Up Under Eye Concealer

 While I may have sworn off foundations, I can't seem to quit concealers -- particularly the ones intended for my under-eye area as my dark circles have always been a problem from the time I was a kid.

As I've said before, I've accepted the fact that my dark circles are the result of pale skin and not anything I can fix with a cream or a gel or a peel or any other skin treatment. So my only real solution is concealer.

This, however, is not the miracle product I've been looking for.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

GH Review: Dr. Wu Extreme Hydrate Bleming Balm (BB) Cream

I'm going to sound like a broken record soon, but believe me when I say that if you want a BB cream, always stick with the asian ones.  Luckily most western BB creams offer testers at local drug stores, which has kept me from buying any by mistake. 

A BB Cream is not a tinted moisturizer and it's not a foundation -- it's somewhere between the two, but it's also meant to serve a third purpose. Whether or not BB Creams actually clear up skin, I don't know. I've never tried one on a breakout or a pimple. But I will say that they are amazing at giving good coverage while at the same time feeling light and looking dew-y.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

GH Review: Physicians Formula Mineral Blush in Rosy Glow

      While I've certainly owned more expensive blushes, I don't think I've ever liked one as much as I love the Physician's Formula mineral blush in "Rosy Glow." For a long time, my all-time favorite was Lancome's Shimmer Pink Pool which retails for about $40, though it did last me about four years. It was a beautiful bright pink color shot with silver glitter and I loved it. But glittery blushes get harder to wear once you've left school, even though I could probably justify the price given the longevity of the product.

But on a whim, I picked up the entire "Fair" mineral collection from Physician's Formula, which included a powder foundation, blush and mineral veil. The blush was the stand-out of the three.

Monday, 28 January 2013

GH Review: EOS Honeysuckle Honeydew Lip Balm


I wouldn't say that I dislike most lip balms, but I will admit that a good one is hard to find. I don't like the super-medicated ones or the ones with lots of tingly mint or the ones that feel waxy or the ones that are too creamy.

While I'm not quite ready to declare the EOS Honeysuckle Honeydew lip balm my all-time favorite, I will say that it pretty much nailed everything I wanted it to do. First, the packaging is very cute. Given that lip balms have either been in a pot or a tube for decades now, introducing a third option does make this seem like a bit of a novelty purchase. The egg shape is great in that you can kind of move your lips around on the product, instead of vice-versa, but that you also aren't sticking your fingers into a tub and then spreading them on your mouth, which bothers germaphobes.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

MAC's "Archie's Girls" Line is Stuck in the Past

I'm concerned that MAC's pop culture lines are getting a little... stale. I loved the Barbie line, because it made sense. I loved the Venemous Villains line because it was a very cool idea to focus on the baddies instead of the Princesses for a change -- and the colors were amazing. I loved so many of the lines that they've put out, but... Archie?

I read Archie comics as a kid and, admittedly, loved them, but this does seem to be coming a little out of left field.

More to the point, it's preying off that very stale blonde vs. brunette catfight ideal that literally has not changed in the 65 years that they've been making these comics.

Betty is sweet and cute, Veronica is bitchy and hot. They essentially split a normal woman into two halves and made both halves charicatures -- all for the benefit of some ginger dork.

But archaic sexism aside, the line itself is just a little boring. If they had even gone for a blondes vs. brunettes theme, at least there might be some fun items for someone to pick out to match their own coloring, but instead they've gone for the slut vs. angel concept, and the result is some uninspiring products and colors.

You can see the whole range at Temptalia, but unlike the Oz the Great and Powerful pallette from Urban Decay, I'm not tempted in the least.

Friday, 25 January 2013

GH Review: Redken All Soft Conditioner

Make-up Alley has been my go-to resource for product reviews for over five years now. I find the ratings are usually pretty dead-on and the search database for narrowing down age and skin or hair characteristics is great. But one mistake I've made a few times now is just to type in something like "Conditioner" and see what the product with the highest number of reviews and ratings is, expecting it to be my instant HG product.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Struggling with a Makeup-Buying Freeze

I'd like to be able to check in a couple of months later and report my great success with the makeup buying freeze that I announced in November, but unfortunately I've failed rather spectacularly. .

As I suspected, the many many caveats I put in place for myself turned into sneaky loopholes that got easier and easier to abuse.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Lord is Testing Me -- Urban Decay "Oz the Great and Powerful" Pallettes

I saw this today on Musings of a Muse and felt instantly in lust.

I love when movies do tie-in makeup campaigns (as evinced by my Briar Rose blush purchase), but often it feels like colors in the brand's existing line are either re-labelled or just put together to "create" a look, rather than products being made specifically for the limited edition palette.

On first glance, it looks like Urban Decay's Oz palettes may be the ever-elusive latter.

According to Muse:

The palettes are centered around the two main characters of the movie, Glinda the Good Witch and Theodora. People’s Style Watch says that each palette will be $49 and comes with eight new, exclusive eye shadow shades (two of which are duos), a travel-size 24/7 Glide-On Pencil, an exclusive full-size Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color and a detailed get-the-look card.
 I like this a lot better than the NYX Dark Shadows Crimson Amulet palette from last year, which seemed like it would be a pain to lug around and looked like you'd be at risk for a lot of accidental mixing between the cream and powder products.

Either way, I'll try to stay strong.

Both palettes will come on the market this spring for $49.00 apiece.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

GH Review: Batiste Original Dry Shampoo

I’ve put my hair through a lot of hell in the past few years. It’s been bleached, dyed and straightened past the point of reason. So in an effort to get my hair back to its old, full, curly health, I’ve tried using some slightly more natural products, particularly when it comes to shampoo, and I’ve tried to limit the number of times I wash it per week. But my hair is that particularly frustrating combination of dry on the bottom and oily on the top, which means that it’s hard to go several days without washing unless I want to have the worst kind of dingy triangle hair.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

GH Review: Boots Expert Sensitive Hydrating Serum

I just finished this serum up this morning and realized, after tossing the bottle, that I'd never reviewed it. Hopefully the stock photography isn't too boring.

In any event, I picked up the Boots serum about a year ago at Target. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not sure why serums exist. There are deeper-treating or more nutrient-infused moisturizers on the market, if that's what you're looking for, and frankly I still suspect that serums are mostly a way for skincare companies to convince you that you need another product in your growing three-ring circus of a routine.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Bioderma on Sale at Shoppers Drug Mart

Quick update for Canadians: Shoppers Drug Mart has priced all of its Bioderma products at 25% off right now. A lot of the Vichy Normaderm and other higher-end drug store skin care products are on promotion as well, but since Bioderma is particularly hard to track down at a good price in North America, I thought I'd mention it.

The one near my work has already sold out of the Crealine H20 completely (normally $22.00, on sale for $16.50), but the skin creams and oily-skin cleansers are still available.

I was sorely tempted, but I still have two makeup removal products to get through, so I thought I'd pass the news along to any Canadian Bioderma fans out there.

Happy shopping!

Monday, 7 January 2013

GH Review: Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired By Carmindy Airbrush Spray Makeup

I’m a little torn on whether or not I want to review all of the Sally Hansen “Inspired by Carmindy” products that I’ve bought, given that I’m still not 100% sure whether the line has been discontinued or not. If you’d rather I only review products that are still definitely available, please let me know.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

GH Review: Soap and Glory's Great Shakes Hydrating Hand Cream

I bought Soap and Glory’s Great Shakes right before my year of No Buy started, and I’ve been using it pretty regularly at work since.

The package, as with all Soap and Glory products, is a nice bright pink color. It’s a standard flip-top, squeeze-tube bottle that sits lid-down, leading to a bit of unfortunate gunk-spillage into the cap. Otherwise, the packaging is serviceable and not unattractive.