Review: Profusion Eyeshadow Palettes

It’s time for the holidays again, and if you are a fellow makeup hoarder, then you know that means dozens of cheap new holiday palettes are showing up at the drugstores! Sometimes, these holiday palettes are little more than stocking stuffers, but lost amidst the sea of sparkly lipgloss and glittery eyeshadows, there are a few hidden gems as well. Case in point: these two Profusion palettes, called Smoky and Bare. I found these hidden away on the top shelf at my local Walgreen’s, and because I’m on an eyeshadow palette kick, I just had to buy them. And I’m so glad I did, because these are amazing! So amazing that I actually went out and bought backups. They’re that good.

First, can we just appreciate the packaging? It’s so cute. The Smoky palette has a snakeskin design, while the Bare palette has leopard print. They cost five bucks each, and they come with an applicator, a pencil liner, and a mirror ( I love palettes with a mirror–so easy to touch up that way.)

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Here is a close-up of the Smoky palette–it is my favorite! It has some unique colors in it that are great for Fall.

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Look at these jewel tones!

And here are swatches of the Smoky palette:

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As you can see, the Smoky palette has a shimmering white shade, a cool-toned silver, a warmer toned, shimmery taupey silver, a shimmery champagne gold, a GORGEOUS smoky pink taupe, a warm-toned metallic red, a deep plum, a satin-finish olive green with gold shimmer, a navy blue with blue shimmer, and a very dark matte black.

Here’s the Bare palette. It has some beautiful rose gold and taupe shades!

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I love these rose-gold shadows!

The Bare palette contains a matte bone white, a cool toned satin gray, a metallic gold, a metallic bronze, a metallic silver-bronze with multicolor glitter, a matte ivory, a shimmery pale pink, a metallic rose gold, a matte dusty pink, and a satin chocolate brown.

Swatches:

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I really love the color selections in each palette. All of the shades work together beautifully, and it’s so easy to create a sophisticated eye look.They blend like butter and I rarely have to touch up.  Also, these colors are really pigmented for $5 shadows–I did not use primer for these swatches. These may look super-glittery in the pan, but in reality, they have this lustrous, shimmering finish that I think is really pretty. Sometimes, with shimmery, colorful eyeshadows, it’s a pain to take them off, and I end up scrubbing at my eyes for ten minutes. But not with these. Although they stay on and look great for hours, they’re amazingly easy to get off, which is a big thing for me. I have been using these nonstop since I got them, and would definitely recommend them! Well worth a try.

 

Review: Nyx Butter Lipsticks

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Nyx is one of those brands I can always count on to have colorful, unique products that don’t cost much at all. Case in point? Their new Butter Lipsticks are amazing. I got two of them recently, a bright orange called “Hot Tamale” and a stunning violet called “Hunk.” I really like orange and purple lipstick, and these did not disappoint. The name “Butter” fits them so well, because when you put them on, they glide on very smoothly and creamily, like butter. Seriously, they feel like lipbalm. And the colors are gorgeous. Hot Tamale is a vibrant, in-your-face orange, and Hunk is a moody shade of violet-purple. I did these swatches with just one swipe of product, so you can tell that they are pretty pigmented.

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They are really buildable, so I had to put on several coats to get full opacity. They just feel so luxurious going on. Of course, because they are so creamy, they don’t have the same longevity as Nyx’s Matte lipsticks, for example, but I was expecting that, and I’m fine with it. I really like these, and Nyx has many more colors available. I want to get Licorice and Big Cherry next!

This is what Hunk looks like on the lips.

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And this is Hot Tamale. It is more pigmented than Hunk.

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Also, I’m wearing The Nudes by Maybelline on my eyes. I know I said that the eyehadows were kinda sheer, but they have grown on me bigtime. Because they are buildable, I have more control over the eye look I want to create. Here I am using the shades from the neutral quad.

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And that’s it, folks!

 

Review: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream

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Today I have another great new Maybelline product to show you. As you all probably know, Maybelline released their first BB cream last year, the Dream Fresh one. And I absolutely hated it. Even the lightest shade was a muddy orange on me, and it was unspeakably greasy no matter how much powder I used. It just was not suited to my pale, oily skin at all, but this summer Maybelline released a new BB cream that is formulated specifically for oily, acne-prone skin. I stalked my local drugstores for months before I finally found it, and I’m so glad I did, because this product is a winner. Unlike the original Dream Fresh one, the Dream Pure BB cream actually contains skin-improving salicylic acid, an acne-fighting medication, and although the shade names are the same for both BB creams, this one is much lighter than its predecessor. It actually matches me!

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According to Maybelline, this BB cream fight blemishes with 2% salicylic acid, hydrates and soothes, reduces redness, shrinks pores, and feels lightweight. In my opinion, all those claims are true. To start off, I am in the shade Light (no surprises there) and I like that it is much paler and less pinky-peach than the original one. It looks orange against my skin at first, but it blends in like a dream ( see what I did there) and sheers out to match my skintone. I love that it moisturizes and fights blemishes and evens my skin all in one, so that I don’t have to layer multiple products. The coverage of this BB cream is also better than the previous one, and it is much longer-lasting.  The finish of the first one was extremely shiny, but this one dries to a satin-matte finish and controls shine all day. Look how natural and smooth and glowy-but-still-matte it makes my skin!

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It actually does what it claims to do instead of just being glorified tinted moisturizer–it does reduce the amount of acne I get and it definitely soothes my skin, and I’ve noticed that when I wear this, any blemishes I do have clear up much faster. I have used this under foundation and by itself with no problem, but my favorite way to use it is over my Too Faced Primed and Poreless Pure Primer for poreless, matte skin that lasts all day.  I even like this better than my Pond’s BB cream because the Dream Pure one is more suited to my skin type. Being able to find an acne-fighting BB cream at the drugstore is a huge plus for me, and I am so glad Maybelline is trying to address the skincare needs of all their customers. Love!

Review: Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

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Hey everyone! I was at Ulta yesterday and I saw the brand new The Nudes Palette from Maybelline, and because I am a makeup junkie, I couldn’t keep from buying it. It was $9.99, and I figured that was a reasonable price for twelve eyeshadows.  The palette contains three quads: a neutral quad, a bronze quad, and a smoky quad, although of course the eyeshadows can be worn in any combination you want. I liked the idea of a nude palette available at the drugstore, and the eyeshadows looked nice in the pan.  The fact that Maybelline named it The Nudes makes me think it’s supposed to be the drugstore equivalent of the famous Urban Decay Naked Palettes, and I was curious to see how the Maybelline one would measure up.

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However, I have mixed feelings about this. As you can see from the pictures, it looks great in the pan. The colors appear vibrant and pigmented, but once I swatched them, I was disappointed in their pigmentation. You can see for yourselves how sheer they look, and some of the colors are barely visible at all ( I went over the swatches six times to get the color you see below.) I do like that this contains both warm and cool toned shades, and I like that it contains different finishes, from matte to satin to shimmer. If only they had a touch more pigment!

This is the first quad, the neutral one. Great for daytime looks:

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And this one below is my favorite, the bronze quad. It’s the most smooth and pigmented:

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Lastly, this is the smoky quad. It’s more matte, and can get slightly chalky:

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Although the shadows don’t have the pigmentation I was expecting, they can be built up to achieve pretty eye-looks nonetheless. I did a smoky eye with the bronze quad and the white highlighter shade from the neutral quad, and I lined my eyes with the matte black shade from the smoky quad, and these were the results:

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The Nudes Palette is by no means a drugstore dupe for the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, and several of the shadows are definitely lacking in pigmentation, but this is still a good option for someone who doesn’t want to shell out more money for the admittedly overpriced Urban Decay Palettes. You do have to use a lot of the eyeshadow to get decent pigmentation on the lid, but the end results are worth it. I have been wearing this eyeshadow look for seven hours, and it still looks freshly applied, and I didn’t notice any fallout when I was putting it on. The shadows did blend well, and they can be used for a variety of looks.

I wouldn’t recommend this palette to someone who already has other nude eyeshadow collections, because none of the shades in this one seem special enough to warrant the purchase, BUT if you are new to makeup, or don’t own a nude palette yet, or are going to travel and don’t want to bring your expensive stuff, then this is definitely a viable option. I am so glad that we are starting to see more eye palettes at the drugstore, and although I do wish this one was more pigmented, I hope Maybelline releases more in the future.

 

Review: Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Foundation

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Look what I found at Wal-Mart! This is supposedly a foundation that’s part of Maybelline’s Fall collection, but it’s already popping up around here. I wasn’t even expecting to see it, but when I was doing my customary sweep of the makeup aisle I noticed the whole collection of these just sitting under one of the racks. They weren’t even in a display or anything! I grabbed up the lightest shade, Porcelain Ivory, and I must have gotten lucky, because it matches perfectly! This foundation is part of the new “skin finish” formulation craze that was started by the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation, a product that provides coverage but looks undetectable on the face.  I have never tried the Armani, but I’m loving the Maybelline! It comes in a small glass bottle and has a little dropper that you use to dispense the foundation.

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Here is a swatch of Porcelain Ivory, shade 10. I know it may look a bit orange, but once it’s on the face, it sheers out beautifully, as you can see in the second swatch picture. It blended right in.

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^Unblended

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^Blended

I haven’t seen any ads or press information about this foundation, so I don’t know what claims Maybelline makes about it, but I personally found it to be lightweight and breathable, very blendable and with the most natural finish I have seen in a foundation. I actually gasped when I put it on my face because it looked just like skin. Other foundations sometimes just sit on top of my skin, but this merged with my skin in a way that I haven’t experienced from a foundation before. Also, it matches my skin very well. Usually, Maybelline’s light shades are too pink/peachy for me to wear them, but that (thankfully) wasn’t the case with this. It is a buildable coverage; a light layer was enough to even my skin out, but I kept putting more on because I wanted to see if it would get cakey. It didn’t; no matter how much I built it up, it still looked fresh and natural. I wouldn’t say it is a full coverage foundation, but I did skip concealer. It dries to a satin matte finish, and I did set it with powder, because I’m an oily gal. However, I haven’t touched it up since, and it does still look good.

I’m pretty enchanted with this foundation, honestly. The biggest drawback is that it comes in a small bottle, and you don’t seem to get much product. It’s only .67 ounces! Most of the time drugstore foundations are at least one ounce, but this contains considerably less product. Oh well. Don’t let that sway you though, this is without a doubt a product that you all need to check out. It looks extremely natural, and it feels lovely on the skin. I’m wearing it in these pictures, and you can see how real it looks, and how well it matches my skin. This is one of the best drugstore foundations out there.

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Product Fail: Covergirl Tru Magic Skin Perfector

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Oh, Covergirl Tru Magic Skin Perfector. I wanted to like you so much…
As you may have seen, Covergirl came out with a line of three “skin perfectors” (basically primers) that come in a clear finish, a luminizing finish, and a bronzing finish. I spent weeks trying to find one of them to review, and I finally got the skin perfector in 100, the clear one. It sounded so great: a balm that could be used before or after makeup for touch-ups, with mattifying, pore-reducing, and skin-smoothing properties. But did it live up to these claims? In a word, no. Not at all. This is quite possibly the grossest beauty product I have ever used.

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At first, it looks normal enough. The product is packaged almost like a pressed powder, in a bulky little compact. It comes with a sponge, and that’s how you are supposed to apply. And that is where the problems started. The sponge could not pick up any of the skin perfector at all. I swiped it around multiple times and tried to dab it on my face, but to no avail. So I swiped my finger across it, and was immediately put off by the heavy, waxy texture. I shrugged and applied it to my face anyway, and…ew. It felt absolutely disgusting. It felt like I was smearing my face with glue, or wax. It wouldn’t settle onto my skin at all; it just sat on top and made my face look greasier than I’ve ever seen it look. But I kept trying. I blended it out, and thought that maybe the oily texture of it would help my foundation adhere. Wishful thinking. My foundation couldn’t even go on; it slid around and got all patchy and then started PEELING OFF. At that point I should have given up, but I tried it for the next couple of days, using varying amounts, just in case I had put on too much or not enough originally. However, it didn’t matter how much, or how little, I used. The results were the same. My face became ragingly oily and just downright nasty-looking. I kid you not, it looked like I had rubbed my face with Vaseline.

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Now, imagine trying to apply foundation over a coat of Vaseline and you have a pretty good idea of what this product is like. As far as using it after makeup, yeah right. It took it right off. And the feel it left on my hands after I applied it…it just felt dirty and tacky, almost like I had dust all over my fingers.
I always try to find something positive about a product, but with this, I honestly couldn’t. It could just have been my skintype, and I know products work differently for different people, but really, I don’t see how anyone could use this. The only thing magical about this Tru Magic skin perfector is how quickly it made me hate it.

Review: L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara

I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m really not a mascara fan. I only use it maybe twice a year, because I hate the way it feels on my lashes and the way it somehow migrates under my eyes. But I still wanted to try the new L’Oreal Miss Manga. Its promises of large, lush lashes drew me in!

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When I opened the mascara, I wasn’t initially too impressed. The wand was weirdly bendy, and looked like something my clumsy self would manage to break in a matter of days. And the mascara itself honestly looked kinda gross: thick and waxy. It looked like the sort of mascara that would clump up really, really badly. Once I started putting it on, it felt too wet and messy, and I almost gave up on it then. But I gave it the benefit of a doubt, and I ended up liking it. Once I got past the initial feel of it, I was surprised by how much longer and thicker my lashes looked with just one coat. It didn’t look clumpy at all. I put on three more coats, and while it made my lashes look fantastic, it did get steadily harder to work with. If you aren’t very careful and precise when putting it on, you WILL end up with clumpy lashes that are stuck together. This mascara is rather hard to work with, I won’t lie. But the end results, in my opinion, are worth the extra effort. It made my eyes look huge and doe-eyed, and my lashes were so long they looked like fake eyelashes. My whole face looked more alive and vibrant, and I kept staring at my reflection in any shiny surface all day, just to appreciate Miss Manga ( I know, what a narcissist.)

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You know that thick-lashed, siren look that Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were famous for? That’s what this mascara made me feel like, an old Hollywood bombshell, not a Manga character. If you’re going for that doe-eyed look, then this is for you.

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The one caveat was that it seemed to irritate my eyes the longer I wore it. Now, my eyes are naturally sensitive and they react really easily to new products, so I don’t know for sure if it was just my eyes being uber-sensitive or what. I think that probably most women wouldn’t have a problem with this mascara bothering their eyes, but if you are like me and your eyes get irritated easily, maybe bear that in mind.

Bottom line: Miss Manga is harder to work with than most other mascaras, and it did cause some irritation, BUT the gorgeous lashes it created were completely worth the minor problems. A little sacrifice is necessary in the pursuit of beauty, right?