Testing, Testing

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It’s so easy to let products that you’ve purchased slip into the cracks because you’ve finished talking about them as an addition to your monstrous stash of beauty-related products but aren’t ready to devote an entire post in the product’s name and I wanted to remedy this somewhat — viola, these posts were born where I provide my thoughts on products that have likely been mentioned before but not discussed conclusively. Here are some products that I have been using (for either testing purposes or enjoyments sake) and an abridged account of my thoughts about them. I should warn you that there are a few affiliate links below, before your read on…

1. L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($9)

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Some of you may be aware that I gave the Miss Manga Mascara a miss in my previous ‘the verdict’ post and while I stand by my original assessment of the mascara — too wet and easily clumpy for my tastes –, it has grown on me as it’s dried out notably. I may or may not have accidentally left it without the cap on for a day or two and this may or may not have improved the formula in my view. It’s definitely a dramatic mascara that doesn’t require too much building to get to its effect and can look spidery if too much is applied or if you’re not careful but it’s definitely one that I’ve been liking when I’m just shoving on a brush or two on each set of lashes before running out the door. Like many other mascaras from L’Oreal, this can be a bit of a bother to remove and it does sit on the more wet side of things formula-wise but as it has begun to dry out I’ve been liking it for its ‘instant drama’ effect.

2. Revlon Highlighting Palette in Peach Glow ($11)

DSC_0530After hearing Amelia Liana and Lily Pebbles rave about the ‘Bronze Glow’ shade of this product, I had been keen on trying out this product and did so in June. In conclusion, it’s not a product that I am wowed by but it’s not a bad product by any standards. The highlighting palette serves as a very subtle highlighter and it does have less than stellar pigmentation – so those who are wary of obvious shimmer and glow-overload could very well find this ideal. The overall assortment of colours included in the compact strikes me as rather strange; on the one hand, there are two obviously deeper bronzy shades (top and middle), two paler peach-leaning champagne shades (second from the top and the bottom) and a very pale shade that is more yellow than neutral. Swatches would be appropriate here but there’s this issue where my battery of my camera is dead and the charger appears to have run off, so I hope you can let it slide. On the same note of my shortcomings, I didn’t actually attempt to use these as eyeshadows but I wouldn’t expect the lighter less pigmented shades to work well for this purpose…

 

 3. NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46)

DSC_0531If you’ve been keeping up with things around these parts in the last few weeks, you will likely be completely unsurprised by my glowing review of this contouring powder duo. The rosy-hued tan matte contouring powder is absolutely fantastic; with amazing pigmentation, blendability and longevity, this shade easily provides an instant natural-looking sculpted effect. I’ve found that it’s a tool that gives ‘instant cheekbones’ and I do thing it has surpassed my old love, the MAC Harmony Powder Blush for contouring. The lighter soft-matte highlighting shade isn’t as ideal for me as the darker shade as it doesn’t have any sort of sheen and I tend to love sheen in highlighter; however, it’s nice for brightening up the center of the face and setting the undereye area. Being the middle shade of the range, Paloma is an ideal shade for my skin and will suit neutral to warm complexions that range from moderately fair to maybe medium in depth. It’s natural-looking effortless sculpting at its finest.

 

 4.NARS ‘Radiant’ Cream Compact Foundation Refill ($45)

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Being a sample-sized pot from Sephora, this might not be the most attractive product to photograph but I have been using the generous amount frequently and have been on the fence of purchasing it for more than a little while — but I’ve decided I must have the luminous cream foundation. Fiji is ever-so-slightly pale for me at the moment but I’m convinced that it will be perfect as soon as I start to pale out and remain for the majority of the year – “the golden peachy undertones” actually seem to be working for me and my neutral-warm skin. It’s a medium coverage foundation that is kind to drier patches – although it doesn’t hide them by any means if they are extremely serious – and leaves the skin looking polished but still skinlike. The foundation is definitely luminous but it doesn’t venture into oily territory as hours wear on; in fact, it tends to remain looking the same until it is removed. Unlike heavier-coverage cream foundations that I’ve tried before, this looks like skin and adds some glow and doesn’t highlight every little patch of dryness on the face. It also is slightly moisturizing and feels like nothing. It should also be noted that the compact is purchased separately from the refill.

5. NARS ‘Pro Prime’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base ($29)

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Despite the hype this colourless eyeshadow primer receives around the blogosophere, I cannot report that it is either infallible or lifechanging, but I can say that it is the best primer I’ve tried on my weirdly crease-prone lids. Like other products of this kind, it’s performance depends on giving it the proper time to sink in before shadow application and applying the smallest amount and I find I can get some (mild) creasing with this, but the wear I get with this primer tops the wear that I get with the rest. Plus it doesn’t take much time to sink in and isn’t problematic to use in any other sense.

Note: The abundance of NARS products was completely accidental. Whoops.

6. Indeed Laboratories Facial Powdered Exfoliator ($30)

 

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This powder exfoliator, that turns into a foamy liquid when mixed with water, was an impulse purchase on my part, back in June when I spotted it for the first time ever around these parts, for ten dollars less than the typical price; I didn’t regret it and I still don’t. It’s definitely an effective and unique exfoliating product and not just because of its powdered format — It doesn’t have any sort of harsh microbeads and pairs the physical exfoliating action of the rice bran powder with those fruit acids that I love dearly. This is a product that I love and would recommend to anyone who would like to try out an acidic exfoliant (but doesn’t want to irritate their skin) and chemical-exfoliant lovers alike because there’s enough action for it to be effective in brightening, smoothing and refining the skin but there’s no painful sting or irritation after the fact – no stripping, redness, etc. However, because this is only going to remain on the skin for a small amount of time, it would not have the benefit of a lotion or gel that is not rinsed off, of course. ‘exfoliate’ is what I would call a revamped new-generation ‘scrub’ – without the negative effects of the scrubbiness. Did I mention that I like acids and hate that this brand refuses to capitalize the names of any of their products?

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Have you tried any of these? What have you been testing lately?
Maggie, x.

Beauty Thoughts: The Verdict

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Even for those of us in the blogging world that are neither sent the newest releases constantly nor are able to shell out recklessly for them, there are many beauty products that fall through the cracks after they are initially purchased — some will be granted reviews, some will be mentioned in passing but there are so many products left untalked about. I’m hoping to talk about some of the untalked about here without being incessantly wordy and detailed – hope being the key word here. By the way, these are exclusively products of the drugstore variety.

L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara ($9-11 CDN)

I’m usually such a L’Oreal mascara fan and I’ve heard such great things about their latest mascara offering from my most trusted of sources, but for me this mascara is far too wet and much too clumpy for my liking. Although I have only had this for a short amount of time, I can safely say that I dislike it; however, I fully expect that I will dislike it less as it dries out but I’m not expecting miracles. Also, in typical L’Oreal fashion, it is difficult to remove despite not being a waterproof formulation.

Revlon Age Defying Firming + Lifting Makeup ($18 CDN)

Now I certainly did not go for this foundation offering to combat wrinkles (I’m merely 20) but as a foundation, I’m not wholeheartedly impressed with this one and I wouldn’t expect anything miraculous if wrinkles are your concern here. The funny thing is that I can’t say anything particularly bad about this longwearing medium-buildable coverage foundation but it lacked the quality of blending seamlessly into the skin and making the skin look smoother, radiant and improved rather than merely covering the skin itself. It has a satin finish, as well, and it doesn’t cling to dry patches particularly but it doesn’t leave the skin looking radiant or brightened. The shame is that my colour match was pretty good — Bare Buff, the second lightest shade in the range suited my moderately fair skin with warm beige-yellow undertones nicely. Plus, it’s not the cheapest thing out there.

Revlon Matte Balm in 230 Complex ($9-10 CDN)

I’ve said before that I was actually rather disappointed in Revlon’s matte balm offering, finding it slightly drying on the lips with the potent mint sensation and less than flattering over dry patches, but after everyone has raved about them and I’ve seen the gorgeous colour selection, I had to pick up another shade … for testing purposes, obviously. Unfortunately, I wasn’t any more impressed with the formula when I picked up this lovely peachy nude shade which was rather disappointing as I love the warm-toned flattering darker nude hue. They do wear on the lips for a long time, though. I’m still curious if the darker shades are more flattering on the lips as both of the shades I’ve tried are on the lighter side of things and their bold range is amazing – any thoughts?

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Revlon Colorstay Concealer ($10-12 CDN)

Believe it or not, I am actually moving into the territory of products that I actually wholeheartedly like. Despite not being among the fairest of the fair, I have great difficulty finding concealers of the drugstore variety that are neither too pink, too orange, too yellow while not being too dark but the beige undertones of 02 Light suit my skin like a champ for concealing blemishes and redness on my face. I find the liquid concealer too dry for use underneath my eyes but it’s ideal to quickly cover blemishes and redness as it doesn’t budge or show/highlight dry patches.

Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Matte Lipstick in 111 Kiss of Life ($7-8 CDN)

From owning the bold berry-hued 107 that unfortunately doesn’t suit me, pulling rather fuchsia on me in an unflattering manner, I already knew that I loved the formula of this pigmented, semi-matte lipstick;it  manages to both last on my lips for about six hours and neither dry my lips out or cling to my dry lips unattractively. This shade is a bold scarlet hue with subtlest of an orange lean to its otherwise neutral base and has to be among my favourite bold lip shades ever — its formula merely boosts the appeal.

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Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts on them?
Maggie, x.