Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Product Mini Reviews

Hey hey, it's time for another post of mini-reviews! I got to try a lot of products during my New York visit, thanks to L's impressive collection, and will remark on them in a succincter-than-usual fashion. I've decided to post this rather than a monthly favorites/empties (or Skincare Saturday, for that matter, though there are several skincare products here), mostly because I'm sick and don't have the energy to write a new post. Here they are, in no particular order:

Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
$25 for 8 oz, available from Sephora
This is a very nice, gentle exfoliator. I only used it the one time, since I spent 4 out of 6 of my nights at Z's, but I found it to do its job without unnecessary irritation. I'm not sure I'd want to spend that much myself, especially since I have my Clarisonic which takes care of my physical exfoliation needs, but if you don't have a Clarisonic and want something mild to exfoliate, Microdelivery is definitely worth checking out!
Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel
$68 for 4 oz, available from Sephora
I also only used this once, at the end of my trip (the wash I used my first night). It's freakin' weird, but very cool. There's a yellowy paste that you're supposed to apply to clean, dry skin, rubbing gently to exfoliate. It seems a bit grainy when you scoop it onto your fingers, but it quickly becomes very grainy once you start rubbing it. After doing that for 60 seconds (I only did it for ~40, since I didn't want to overexfoliate my persnickety skin), you add the activator gel, which is clear and starts to foam upon contact with the exfoliating beads. I found it works best to apply both with fingertips, one part of the face at a time, since otherwise (I learned this the hard way) you end up with a lot of exfoliating product on the palms of your hands. Leave the bead-gel combo on for 2-3 minutes (I did maybe 90 seconds, since again, I wanted to avoid irritation, and I was bored), then rinse off with warm water. It left my skin feeling very smooth, though a little tender, and I definitely recommend applying moisturizer in abundance afterwards. If your skin is really sensitive, I would probably steer clear of this, at least in the days before sometime when you don't want your skin to be red, but I don't think it should be used more than once a week by anyone (I would probably only use it once every two weeks). I broke out on my chin the day after using this, but that could have also been due to flying, and overall my complexion does look clearer and happier.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
$29 for 4 oz, available from Sephora
I was so psyched that L had this since I've heard lots about it and have been dying to try it. The instructions say to spray 2-4 times after putting on all your makeup, which is what I did the first time I wore it (4 sprays). I found my skin was shiny after a couple of hours (boooo), but after reapplying my Kryolan finishing powder, it lasted most of the day after that with no problem. The second time I used it, I tweaked my process a little; I applied my makeup as usual, including finishing powder, then sprayed All Nighter twice, let it dry, applied more finishing powder, sprayed All Nighter twice again, and finished off with even more finishing powder. On the downside, you could definitely tell I was wearing makeup (I hate that look). On the upside, this faded after an hour or so into a nice, natural look, and managed to withstand a bit of rain, quite a lot of sweat (JFK airport needs to air condition, jesus), and the general destruction wreaked by airplane air; I needed to blot after my first (5 hour) flight, but my foundation was still almost entirely intact, and considering how my makeup tends to slide right off with any kind of heat, that's not too bad! The spray kept the finishing powder from looking too powdery, which it tends to do when I apply more than one layer on its own, and the finishing powder layers kept the spray from being shiny. Quite a success! This is on my to-buy list now, alas.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Frisky
$25 for 0.2 oz, available from Sephora (stock photo is not of Frisky)
Another product I've been wanting to try! If only L weren't across the country, we could raid each others' collections more regularly. This is a lovely shimmery pink-peach, pinker and more pigmented than, say, NARS Orgasm. L had warned me that it's crazy pigmented, so I made sure to only barely tap my Real Techniques blush brush, which is very fluffy, on the surface; doing that a couple of times for each cheek resulted in a very nice, natural, pretty flush. I'm pretty sure the pan would last through a couple of generations, though, since such little product is needed! It also wore really well, though I'm not sure how much of that was due to the All Nighter setting spray (damn you, confounding variables!). I have lots of blush already, so I won't be picking one up anytime too soon, though with summer's approach, I may have to find a nice bright tangerine blush (I'm running out of colors I don't have already! Oh noes!).

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Naked Plum
$23 for 0.24 oz, available from Sephora (stock image is not of Naked Plum)
Christine (Temptalia) raves about this stuff, so when L told me she'd gotten it, I made note to give it a try when I visited. Naked Plum is exactly what it sounds like, a brown-toned plum, a little too warm and nude for my personal taste, but very pretty nonetheless. The shimmer is beautiful, and would be doubly so in sunlight, though I only tried it under artificial lighting. Unfortunately, it's too sticky for me. Yeah. I know. It's a problem. If you like shimmery gloss, though, Bobbi Brown's is a great place to look!

Urban Decay Naked Palette
$50 for 0.60 oz, available from Sephora
I had a little swatchfest with L a few months ago, where she brought over her Naked palette and Hourglass Gypsy duo and I played with them and compared them to my Too Faced Natural Eye palette. I never posted about it because I wasn't thrilled with the pictures that I got, but someday I will re-take them and do an actual post. After wearing some of the Naked shades, my longing for the palette is reinspired, though the $50 price tag and fact that I already have so many neutrals will keep me from purchasing it for the time being. Maybe I'll do a swap with L while she's home, Naked in exchange for TF Natural Eye…

Urban Decay Primer Potion
$20 for 0.37 oz, available from Sephora
UDPP is probably the most popular eyeshadow primer out there, and I was super psyched to compare it to TFSI (which, holy crap, I still haven't reviewed?! *scurries off to add to to-do list*). I wore UDPP on my right eye and TFSI on my left eye, both under Urban Decay shadows (Virgin, Sin, and Hustle), and checked to see how they fared after a full 12-hour day. TFSI had some minor creasing, but UDPP looked good as new. I don't know if that's because I was using UD shadows, though that really shouldn't make a difference. Neither fared well with flying; I wore each under LMdB Corinthian shadow, and both eyes were creased terribly by the time I got home (15 hours after I left, and flying is always terrible on my eye makeup, which is why I don't usually wear any). UDPP is thicker and drier than TFSI, so it's not quite as easy to spread on the lid, but it's not particularly difficult, either. I'd need to do more rigorous testing to really be able to assess their relative merits, since one day is not nearly enough, but I thought I should share my very limited experience anyways!

Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara
$24 for 0.28 oz, available from Sephora
This mascara worked really well at separating and lengthening my lashes, and gave me a near-falsies look. The brush is really frickin' weird; it's curved and wavy, which made it really hard for me to maneuver (can't see while I'm applying eye makeup, plus I have a tremor, so...I was glad it only got on my lids a little!). If you are more adept than me, it's definitely worth a look-see, especially since the brush design should, in theory, help curl lashes. I didn't experience any smudging or flaking over the course of wearing it.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy
$12 for 0.50 oz, available from Sephora
Those of you who read regularly know of my deep and rabid love of Jack Black lip balm (particularly, in Grapefruit and Ginger), which usually means that balms I review range from "terrible" to "okay, but no Jack Black". This is the exception. FAB lip therapy is great. I only used it a couple times, so I can't speak to its long-term moisturizing power, but it's quite similar to Jack Black in texture, perhaps a little creamier (and the FAB is slightly opaque, where JB is clear). It has just a hint of mint, but it's very mild so it shouldn't irritate lips, and it lasts a long time. It's also huge. Half an ounce of lip balm would last, like, 6 months, minimum. It's cheaper than JB by the ounce ($24 vs. $30), but it's less convenient to carry around, since it's twice the size. I'm planning on picking up a tube for myself with the Sephora F&F sale (for non-VIB members, March 30-April 5 with code CHICBI; VIBs, March 29-April 6 with code CHICVIB).

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
~7.50 for 0.09 oz, available from drugstores
This is a lovely pinky-peach with gold shimmer. It's a little too glittery for my preferences, but I did appreciate how there was no grittiness from the shimmer. It wore about an hour, but the glitter stuck around after, which is something to be aware of. For warmer toned pretties who don't mind shimmer, it's a good contender for MLBB status.

Here's my FOTD using many of the products discussed above; full details below:

MAC Matchmaster 1
theBalm TimeBalm Concealer in Lighter than Light
Kryolan Anti-Shine powder
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Frisky

Urban Decay Shadow in Sin (on the lid), Virgin (as highlight/blending), Hustle (in crease)
Fairydrops Scandal Queen mascara (1 coat)
Prestige Brow Gel (on brows)

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait

Do you enjoy getting to travel and try other peoples' products? Have you discovered anything particularly wonderful that way?
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