Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Elf Studio Tone Correcting Powder in Cool review & swatches // comparison to Essence All About Matt

I recently ran out of my beloved Essence All About Matt powder, so I decided to play around and try something else this time around. I have heard great things on YouTube about the elf Studio Tone Correcting Powder in Cool, so I gave it a try. I paid $3.99 on the Target website.

Here's the long and the short of it: it is absolutely inferior to my favorite Essence All About Matt. It is also not the worst powder I have ever tried. 

I always keep a touch up powder compact in my commuting tote bag because I get shiny throughout the day. I'm always looking for powders that are pressed in a compact, don't look cakey on the skin, and keep my shine at bay for a few hours at a minimum. Unfortunately, the elf tone correcting powder broke immediately and doesn't keep my skin matte for more than 30 minutes. I'm not particularly rough on my travel bag (I have never broken an Essence All About Matt or L'Oreal True Blend traveling) and I don't have oily skin. The elf studio tone correcting powder didn't cake up on top of foundation, but it also didn't seamlessly melt into the skin the way hd silica powders do.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Haul & Review: Essence The Velvets 05 Taupe Secret / 01 Fluffy Clouds (bonus: Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Hot Chocolate)

I recently ran out of my all time favorite mattifying & touchup powder, Essence's all about matt, so I placed an order on Essence's website. For some reason, the Ulta website doesn't have the new The Velvets eyeshadow line and I was excited to try them out. I chose 01 fluffy clouds and 05 taupe secret.

A quick shoutout to for the Essence US website - a $15 free shipping minimum is great, they shipped quickly, and they threw in a free nail file! As always, I paid for everything myself and Essence has never heard of me.

As far as I can see, you can only buy the Essence The Velvets eyeshadow line on the Essence website in the US. I expected to be able to buy them on the Ulta website, but they aren't listed there.

Essence The Velvets packaging

  • The Velvets eyeshadows come in clear acrylic compacts that are thin and easy to store
  • I paid $2.49 each
  • Each eyeshadow has 2.8 grams of product
  • The main ingredients are talc, mica, and corn starch, followed by some other minerals like zinc, dimethicone, pigments, and the usual (and necessary) ingredients to keep everything sanitary and shelf stable
  • The Velvets have a matte appearance in the pan and in swatches, but if you look up close they are NOT 100% MATTE! I'm guessing that due to mica being the second ingredient, there is some subtle sheen that shows through in some lights. They look matte on first application, but after a full day of wear or in direct sunlight, you might see some sheen. 
  • They have a cute quilted pattern stamped on the top
Swatches of 01 Fluffy Clouds &  05 Taupe Secret

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sephora & Ulta - 2017 Free makeup birthday gifts with swatches

I do this post every year, and I'm so excited about the 2017 free makeup birthday gifts! I love getting makeup freebies, plus I have a February birthday so I'm happy to share swatches & my thoughts early in the year. It's snowing like crazy today in Boston, so no outside pics this year.

Sephora 2017
Sephora has three birthday gift choices for the year of 2017. I saw two available in store in the Boston area. The options are:
  1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty & Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit
  2. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum and Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet 
  3.  Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser and Clean Break Oil-Free Moisturizer. This one looks like its online only, but let us know if you see it in your local store!  

As always, I did no photo editing so you can see the most accurate color - I only edit to add watermarks and shade labels. The Paaarty blush (why couldn't they just name it Party?!? Tarte makes me feel like a grumbly old lady) is matte and is a peachy nude. A+ for choosing a matte shade, I rarely wear shimmery blushes because they look horrible with pores/skin texture.

For context, I swatched this shade next to some shades you may be familiar with. I threw in Bobbi Brown Pale Pink on the end so you could see it next to an actual cool toned shade for reference. Compared to Tarte Thankful, one of the most basic warm pinks ever, you can see Paaarty is more nude and peachy. NARS Douceur, my favorite nude blush, is more plummy and brown. In case you thought Paaarty was too tan, I swatched NARS Laguna at the other end for reference.

On my fair cool toned skin, Paaarty shows up and looks pretty, but it isn't my favorite. I personally prefer cooler toned pinks, but I could see this shade working well for most fair-light-medium skintones. If you have skin deeper than a medium tan, I doubt this would work at all.

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