Category: Beauty Reviews

Lancôme Mascara Primer Dupe

I am obsessed with mascara primer.  One of these magical tubes will make your eyelashes longer, more voluminous, keep your mascara from flaking and conditions your lashes.  It’s magical I tell you! I have long used both the Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL – Enhancing Mascara Base – $25.50 and the Dior Show Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer – 29.50, both I have equally loved. Although I have always found the cost offensive I just couldn’t give them up, until now.  I have discovered a dupe that is worthy of replacing both the Lancome and Dior versions…
Enter the L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara.  Like the Lancome and Dior versions, the L’Oreal formula is white which provides the perfect canvas to have any color mascara you use stand out.  All three versions have a good size mascara wand to evenly coat your lashes with, although the Dior primer has a silicone wand while the Lancome and L’Oreal brushes use the traditional wand. I am not picky when it comes to the type of wand, however if you are you might want to take this into consideration.
The other important thing to mention as I rave over the L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara that was released in June, 2016 is there are 890 reviews with a 4.6 rating on Ulta.com for this product.  The Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL – Enhancing Mascara Base has 169 reviews with a 4.6 rating and the Dior Show Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer has a 4.5 star rating as well with 125 reviews. People are using this new product and raving about it compared to two tried and true versions that have been around for years.
One last thing to note, using a primer for your mascara is quick!  This extra step will generally take me around 30-60 seconds in the morning.  I apply to both eyes and then sweep my mascara right over. Some people wait, however I prefer not to because not only is it faster, but it also keeps the formula damp which for me gives a smoother application that is not rigid or too stiff.
If you love lashes as much as I do then you need to give this product a try.  If you don’t, still give it a try, it just might change the way you do your eye makeup moving forward.

Beauty Blender Dupe

I have a love affair with my Beauty Blender.  I am always switching up my beauty products, however I rarely stray from my beloved Beauty Blender for long.  I have tried numerous imposters, but nothing has come close to this magical sponge, until now.  Beauty Blender Dupe, I have found you…

The dupe is the new H&M Precision Makeup Sponge that retails for $3.99.  The cost of a Beauty Blender is $20, making the H&M version 80% less, a HUGE savings!

The H&M Precision Makeup Sponge is identical in size to the Beauty Blender, however when dampened the H&M sponge is about 15% larger.  The actual dampened size doesn’t make a difference in the end makeup result, however I thought I would mention it.

In checking what each of the sponges was made of, the Beauty Blender states that it is made of non-latex foam while the H&M sponge is made of 100% polyurethane, which does not contain latex as well.

All in all, I would definitely give the H&M Precision Makeup Sponge a try.  Even if you hate it you are only out $4 (there is a $5.95 shipping fee, but shipping is free on H&M if you spend $50+).  I definitely think it is worth a try.  I would love to hear how you like it.

Beauty Empties

I am a bit of a YouTube junkie when it comes to beauty videos.  My absolute favorite type of beauty videos to watch are those called, “empties”.  These videos consist of products that someone has used completely and they share whether or not they would purchase the product again.   What I love about these videos is I feel that you can’t really gain a complete opinion of a product unless you have used the whole item.  I find that the tell tale sign of a really good product is after using it all actually repurchasing or trying something new.

Speaking of products I love, I actually want to start another series of products I tried and hated.  But for now, these are products that I have emptied out and my take on whether or not the item is worth repurchasing.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Refining Face Primer: Potential repurchase, but I plan on trying others first. This product has a tint to it and one of the beauty gurus I follow on Instagram had a picture of her skin using only this primer and not other makeup. She stated something to the effect of, “I can’t live without this stuff.” Her skin looked gorgeous so I thought I would try it. I thought it was pretty good, however my skin looked nothing like the gal on Instagram.  Maybe it was a filter, maybe I am just old but I would not be able to wear this primer solely alone if I wanted to have flawless looking skin.

Oribe Maximizing Thickening Spray: Not repurchasing.  I thought this worked OK, but not great.  At $32 a bottle I want spectacular and I felt something equally as good could be found for quite a bit less.

Redken Heat Styling Thermo ActifNot repurchasing. This product was just OK, however I wasn’t blown away at all and felt there was no noticeable difference in the condition of my hair.

Anastasia Brow WizRepurchase.  I adore this product!  It provides perfect precision, a wide range of colors and mine always lasts me a couple of months.  For perfect brows it is definitely worth $21 and I have already repurchased this item.

NYX Cosmetics Hi Definition Photo Wand ConcealerRepurchase. I love this concealer!  It is creamy, doesn’t crease and has excellent staying power.  With a price tag of only $4.99 this is my favorite drug store concealer.

MAC Prep & Prime in Light BoostNot repurchasing.  I liked this product enough to use it up, however at $26 I felt that I should have loved it.  I found the NYX concealer referenced above to be superior to the MAC Prep & Prime.

Dior Show Maximizing Lash Plumping SerumRepurchase. I already purchased another one.  Not only does this product maximize lashes no matter what brand of mascara I use, I never have a problem with having my mascara feather of bleed.  Even though this item costs $28.5o it does last me a couple of months and I personally feel the investment is worth it.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara: Repurchase! Of all the products listed this is my absolute favorite!  I love long lashes and this is the only mascara that never, ever transfers to my under eye area.  At $10 a tube I always have at least one tube on backup and can’t foresee not using this product in the years to come.

Do you have any items you adore and can’t live without?  If so, I would love to hear about them!

Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream Review

I am about to get real, real expensive.  Cle de Peau expensive.  If you aren’t familiar with Cle de Peau this haute couture cosmetics collection was founded in 1982 with the claim to fuse both technology with refined aesthetics. Products in this makeup/skincare line can retail for several hundred dollars, which is why I have always avoided this brand. I simply didn’t believe anything that they could offer would be worth paying that price tag, however I was given a sample of the Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream that changed my thinking.

I was at book club and one of my girlfriends received a bag full of Cle de Peau samples from the salesgirl at Neiman Marcus.  I was a lucky recipient of one of these samples which as you can imagine from the title of this post was the Cle de Peau Intensive Eye Contour Cream.  The sample I received was a tiny fraction of an ounce but I fell in love, ok I was hooked – a junkie.  Only an obsession like this would make me spend the offensive $250 on a jar of this cream.
Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.42.06 AM So, let’s breakdown what makes this cream so magical (as noted on the Nordstrom website, but all claims listed I completely agree with)…

Key benefits and ingredients of this cream include:

  • Supports the natural vitality of skin to counteract the appearance of wrinkles, lines, puffiness and loss of resilience.
  • Replenishes and maintains moisture levels to protect against dryness and ensure a smooth, supple texture over time.
  • Contains Illuminating Complex, a cocktail of powerful ingredients that creates optimal conditions for skin cells to promote exquisite radiance.
  • Formulated with exclusive Clé de Peau Beauté ingredient Cellular IC Normalizer, which enhances conditions for optimal functioning of the cellular ion channel system.

As mentioned in previous posts I just turned 40 which has made me more conscious than ever about skincare and overall health. After using this cream twice daily for only a week I saw increased firmness, decreased bags under my eyes and the skin under my eyes looked overall more radiant. Another factor I should include is that you only need the tiniest amount of product, seriously just a touch. The cream is so thick and luxurious the tiniest amount is all you need. I anticipate this cream lasting around 6 months which does (sort of) help me rationalize the cost.

Like all expensive department store favorites I will be in search of a dupe for this cream. Not only because it is so expensive but because I love a bargain. I plan on trying the Cerave Eye Repair Cream next.  I am crossing my fingers I like it.

Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 Review

I am getting older.  I just turned 40 this year and while I was OK with this milestone I am trying to preserve the skin and health I do have as I get older, older and older (I hope anyways!).   Living in Seattle we actually do get a decent amount of good weather and we have been especially lucky to be experiencing an amazing summer this year.  With this beautiful weather comes the need for sun protection which is why I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 which I wanted to review for those interested.

I found this product on Sephora and it retails for $28.  The details on Sephora describe this product as:
“An innovative three-in-one mist that sets makeup, helps control oil and shine, and refreshes your defense against photoaging UV rays with an uplifting scent of rosemary and mint.”  I was skeptical of a product so high in SPF that came with a claim that it was a makeup setting spray.  Well, I was right about that.  I found that this product when used as a makeup setting spray turned my makeup from fresh to splotchy in about an hour.  I also found this product not to control oil.  So, makeup setting spray this is not.

However, I did find an two very useful ways to use this product.  First, it is great to use when I am out in the sun, not wearing makeup.  This mist was a refreshing way to reapply sunscreen to my face and worked much better than having to rub lotion on my face and I found the scent to be very relaxing.  The second way I like to use this is on my décolleté.  Again, the mist is so easy to apply it is a perfect way to protect this part of your body as well.

So as an overall recommendation I would give this three stars because it does offer broad spectrum SPF 50 coverage and I have found a couple of very useful ways to utilize this product.  However I had to cut down  the stars since  doesn’t work as a makeup setting spray and I do think this product is quite pricey at $28.  If you have tried this product out, let me know what you think!