Video: Winky Lux Disco Lip Gloss

Hi friends!

Here’s a little update video for you today on the coolest-looking lip gloss I ever did see, the Disco Lip Gloss from Winky Lux. I hope you enjoy!

You can read my previous post on beauty mini’s where I discussed my initial thoughts on the Disco Lip Gloss here.

You can shop the Disco Lip Gloss here.

Winky Lux Disco Kitten Gloss in Groovy

Swatch of Winky Lux Disco Kitten Gloss in Groovy
Swatch of the Disco Lip Gloss. You can see the little flecks of glitter.
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Another look at the Disco Lip Gloss in Groovy. I posted this to Instagram recently and got lots of compliments on the lip color. Isn’t this bright pink color so fun??

What do you guys think about this product? Would you ever wear it? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Wanna hear my thoughts on the coolest-looking lip gloss you’ll ever see? Watch this!

Review: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

Hi friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve written exclusively about a base product on here but that’s simply because I wasn’t using anything new for quite a long time in my routine. Or I wasn’t using much base at all to be honest, besides concealer. However, I am always interested in finding the best, most affordable tinted moisturizer out there so a few weeks back I picked up the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue from Sephora. (Click here to read the post where I hauled this product.) I’ve been using it quite consistently since then so I’m ready to present you with my review!

Note: all text under the next two sections was sourced from the Bare Minerals website. There’s a wealth of info about on this product on there (I didn’t include everything here), so if you’re interested go check it out.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

  • $30.00 for 35 ml of product

Oil-free tinted face moisturizer boosts hydration, protects with non-chemical mineral-based broad spectrum SPF 30, and evens out your complexion with dewy, natural-looking coverage. It’s the multi-tasking makeup you need in your life!

Our hydrating gel cream blends effortlessly onto skin and allows you to build coverage from sheer to medium, with a naturally radiant finish.

PRODUCT BENEFITS

Titanium dioxide mineral sunscreen gives you safe and effective non-chemical protection from damaging UVA/UVB rays. Plant-derived squalane and energizing mineral electrolytes quench dry skin with all-day hydration that feels light and refreshing.

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Formulated without parabens, binders or fillers
  • None of our products are tested on animals (100% cruelty-free)

FREE OF:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Fragrance
  • Chemical sunscreens
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Mineral oil
  • Triclosan
  • Formaldehyde
  • Talc
  • Gluten
  • Animal-derived ingredients

WHO IS THIS PRODUCT FOR?

I think this product is for anyone who, like me, has dry skin and who does not gravitate towards fullcoverage base products on the day-to-day (i.e. someone who doesn’t want or need a lot of coverage or who wants to put on their base in one minute or less). However, it could also be useful to someone who likes layering their base products; so then this product would be the first layer underneath a more fuller coverage foundation perhaps. Lastly, those who are new to makeup or are young teenagers might also like this product.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue

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HOW I USE & APPLY THIS PRODUCT

I use this as my main base product with nothing layered on top (with the exception of a higher-coverage concealer in certain places). As the instructions on the back of the product recommend, I use my fingertips to dot and blend this into my skin. I gravitate between using a peasized amount or a more generous quartersized amount. Sometimes I use stippling motions to get the greatest coverage; sometimes I blend it in like I would a moisturizer. I found using a beauty sponge can take away whatever coverage this product offers since sponges tend to absorb product. I have not tried applying this with a brush.

MY THOUGHTS ON…

PackagingI absolutely love the packaging on this. It’s a squeezy tube which makes it really easy to control how much product comes out. It’s totally clean & hygenic as well.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

ApplicationThis blends right into my skin without very much effort. A few swipes of my finger and I’m set. Easy-peasy. Bare Minerals calls this a “gel cream” consistency but I’d say it’s just a cream consistency of average thickness. It feels quite moisturizing on application as well.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Coverage: Let’s face it, when you buy this product you know what you’re getting into. It’s a tinted moisturizer which is going to give you sheer coverage at the very best. While Bare Minerals says this can build from “sheer to medium” coverage, I’m not so sure about that. I’ve been able to build up a little coverage in the areas I need it, but not enough to say “medium coverage” in my opinion. Perhaps if you apply it with a brush you could build it up to medium, but I personally haven’t experienced that. That being said, I’m totally ok with sheer coverage cause that’s what I signed up for! I’d rather add coverage where I need it with concealer.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Finish: This product gives me a very natural, slightly glowy finish. However the glowiness subsides once the product settles into the skin. There is also no tackiness once it sets into the skin, so it doesn’t make my skin feel nearly as plumped or moisturized as the Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm does (full review here).

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in Opal, the lightest shade
Opal, the lightest shade available in the Complexion Rescue range.

Shade SelectionThere are 16 shades in differing undertones to choose from in this line, with most shades falling into the light to medium category. Typically brands don’t bring out as many shades in tinted moisturizer formulas since they’re largely sheer coverage products. However in this case since Bare Minerals claims this product can be built from “sheer to medium,” there really should be more tan-to-dark shades represented then. I don’t see why there can’t be like 20 – 25 shades in this line.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️

Longevity: Despite its lightweight nature, this lasts on me quite well throughout the day without any powdering. I don’t notice much, if any, fading at all. But do keep in mind two things: 1) I have dry skin, and 2) I’ve only been wearing this in the cooler fall weather when everything tends to stay put on me perfectly.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Price: You pay $30.00 for 35 ml of SPF 30hydration & sheer coverage with this productWhile I’d love for this to be a few dollars cheaper, I personally think that’s a fair price. Chances are if you think tinted moisturizers are unnecessary or overpriced, you’re not buying them at all. But let’s quickly compare the Complexion Rescue to other high-end tinted moisturizers. Both the NARS & Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers are $45.00 for about 50 ml of product, respectively; the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream is $38.00 for 32 ml of product. And let’s not forget the insanely overpriced (but oh so gorgeous) SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm from Bobbi Brown: $60.00 for 30 ml of product! Taking all this into consideration, I don’t think Bare Minerals is overcharging for the Complexion Rescue.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

FINAL THOUGHTS

All in all I think this is a very nice product for those that love or like tinted moisturizers. It’s extremely userfriendly and lowmaintenance to apply and wear. I just wish it made my skin look a bit dewier than it does (I’m still really hung up on my beloved Bobbi Brown product, I can’t help it!). If you’re not into tinted moisturizers, I’d say skip this altogether and spend your $30.00 elsewhere. I’d really love to find a great drugstore tinted moisturizer, so if you know one please pop it down in the comments below!

*Shop the Complexion Rescue range here.

Have you tried this product before? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Check out my in-depth review of the highly-rated Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue!

Review: Urban Decay Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

You could say that anytime Urban Decay launches a palette, it’s big news in the beauty world. If Urban Decay knows anything, they know palettes. The release of the original Naked Palette in 2010 was a watershed moment in the beauty community created in part by the burgeoning social media scene of the time when new platforms and influencers were gaining popularity. While we were all shocked by the recent news regarding this iconic product (UD decided to discontinue the palette), we can assuage our grief by diving into exciting newer releases.

The Born to Run Palette is just this kind of release. It recently launched this summer and had all those in the beauty community talking. I was really wowed by the color range when I first saw the press images: lots of bright tones alongside some neutral, everyday shades. The theme of the palette is travel and jet-setting; having all the necessary shades you need in one place plus some fun pops of color. UD’s shadows tend to be very high-performing, so I wasn’t surprised when nearly all the reviews were glowing. I hauled this palette a while back, which I’ll link to here, but it took two trips to Ulta to finally get my mitts on this (it was sold out in one location).

Let’s jump straight into the review.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION 

21 eyeshadow shades for $49.00 (0.42 oz total; 0.02 oz per shadow)

Cruelty-free formula 

Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette offers endless escapes in one travel-ready package. With 21 shades and a full-size mirror, it lets you choose your own adventure.

If you find yourself packing multiple kits for one look, our Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette is your globe-trotting go-to.

When it’s time to grab your carry-on and dash off to the next big adventure, you’ll want to pack light. Enter Born To Run, an all-in-one eyeshadow palette that has everything you need to create neutral looks, add in pops of color and play with brights, no matter where you’re going. With 21 of-the-moment shades—from jewel tones and modern neutrals to more colorful shadows—you’ve got every possible eye look covered in one sleek kit. Made from our mind-blowing formula that gives each shade its velvety texture, rich color and blendability, Born To Run’s Eyeshadow shades hold tightly onto pigment that stays put.

Got a conference in Dallas where you need to look like a boss? Create subtle definition with creamy, light neutrals like Breakaway and Weekender en route (using the palette’s full-size mirror, of course). Or, blend Baja, a burnt orange matte, into the lids and smudge Accelerate, a reddish copper metallic, into the crease for a sunset-hued smoky eye that mirrors the view on your road trip through the Mojave Desert. If you’re dancing until daybreak in Prague, put a twist on the traditional cat-eye look and smudge Guilt Trip, a smoky purple shimmer, into the lash line to create an imperfect wing.

Can’t decide which awe-inspiring shade to swipe on next? No matter which shades you try, we designed them all to be universally flattering for any skin tone and any lifestyle. Whether you’re a total road warrior, a weekend escapist or a staycationer—this one palette has everything you need when you’re Born To Run.

Source: urbandecay.com

SHADES & SWATCHES

  • BREAKAWAY (warm ivory shimmer)
  • STRANDED (pale rose gold with tonal micro-shimmer)
  • BLAZE (light metallic peach with pink shift)
  • WEEKENDER (light neutral beige matte)
  • STILL SHOT (bright peach matte)
  • RIFF (brown-nude matte with floating micro-sparkle)
  • GOOD AS GONE (deep brown satin with iridescent micro-shimmer)
  • HELL RIDE (deep fuchsia matte)
  • BAJA (burnt orange matte)
  • ACCELERATE (reddish copper metallic)
  • GUILT TRIP (smoky purple shimmer)
  • IGNITE (rose gold metallic)
  • SMOG (deep coppery bronze shimmer)
  • WANDERLUST (forest green with gold micro-shimmer)
  • WILDHEART (bright fuchsia satin)
  • PUNK (red-brown matte)
  • DOUBLE LIFE (metallic rust)
  • JET (black satin with deep shimmering purple shift)
  • DRIFT (charcoal satin with tonal micro-sparkle)
  • RADIO (deep emerald satin)
  • BIG SKY (frosted green shimmer with iridescent micro-sparkle)

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

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Top to bottom: Breakaway, Stranded, Blaze, Weekender, Still Shot, Riff, Good as Gone.
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From top to bottom: Hell Ride, Baja, Accelerate, Guilt Trip, Ignite, Smog, Wanderlust.
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Top to bottom: Wildheart, Punk, Double Life, Jet, Drift, Radio, Big Sky.

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Urban Decay Born to Run Palette

Packaging: As you can see from the photo above, the packaging design is a collage of travel snapshots from different locations around the world, which I think is super cool-looking. The palette itself is quite sturdy without being too bulky or overweight. There’s also a nice, generous mirror inside which you would expect for a travel palette. However just keep in mind it’s not the smallest palette around. Certainly the UD Naked Basics Palettes are much more compact and in my opinion more travel-friendly than Born to Run, at least from UD’s line. It really all depends what you want out of your travel palette. If you want neutrals in a small format, go with something like the Naked Basics. If you want variety both in color & finish, Born to Run is perfect. I didn’t buy this palette with the intent of traveling with it, so the format doesn’t matter to me either way.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Color range: This is what drove me to buy this palette in the first place. I love the color story here; the brights and metallics alongside the more neutral shades. You can go in a variety of different directions in terms of looks and I love that. The pitfall with some more neutral palettes is that you can end up creating the same look over and over again. This won’t happen here, so I applaud UD for that. There are 6 mattes, 6 shimmers, 3 metallics, and 6 satins. According to Blushy Darling’s review, the only shades that are not original to this palette are Smog and Punk. My favorite shades are Stranded (shimmer), Blaze (shimmer), Still Shot (matte), Riff (matte), Accelerate (metallic), Ignite (metallic), Wanderlust (shimmer), Radio (satin) and Big Sky (shimmer). Fun fact: Blaze is like a warmer version of MAC’s Patina shadow.

I still have one gripe though. While I love the colors in this palette, I do think it’s missing perhaps one more neutral, mid-tone matte shade. I found I kept having to go back to Riff for my crease shade. Weekender was too light and both Good As Gone and Punk were way too intense for that purpose. So in my opinion UD went a little too dark and provided a few too many liner shades for my liking.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Application: I used every shadow in this palette in some form throughout the last few weeks and I can say that almost every color applies smoothly and evenly on the eyes with the exception of a couple. I thought I’d break it down my texture below.

  • Shimmers & Metallics: they are extremely creamy to the touch and they apply and blend out the absolute best on the eyes.
  • Satins: they are semi-creamy to the touch and apply/blend quite smoothly and evenly.
  • Mattes: they take a bit more work applying and blending on the eyes to get an even finish. They are definitely more dry to the touch. The worst performing shade of the entire palette is Hell Ride, the beautiful deep plum-berry matte from the second row. I LOVE the color, but try putting it in your crease and you’ll be sorely disappointed. It’s choppy as all hell and grabs at certain places, doesn’t want to blend in others, and is generally quite difficult to work with. It’s best packed onto the lid with a flat brush. The second shade I had trouble with is Still Shot, one of my faves. It was a bit patchy so I had to use my finger to pack color onto my lid, but honestly it wasn’t nearly as problematic as Hell Ride and in the end I still got it to work.

Rating: 3.8/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: Without a doubt, the pigmentation on every shade in this palette is top-notch. I hope you can see that from the swatch photos above. The dark shades are dark from first swipe, the brights are bright from first swipe, etc. You don’t need to keep digging in again and again to get full color payoff, which is what we’ve come to expect from UD shadows.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: Overall these shadows perform very well and keep their pigmentation over time. I did notice two issues after about 10 hours of wear. First, a little creasing with the matte shades and second, some fading of any of the purple shades (Wildheart, Hell Ride, & Guilt Trip) but only if I applied them to the lower lash line. I wouldn’t consider either one of these a major problem though considering the length of wear time.

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️

Price: This palette is $49.00 for 21 shadows, or about $2.33/shadow. The total product weight is 0.42 oz. or 0.02 oz./shadow, which to be honest seems quite low. However when you compare it against the Naked 3 Palette where you get considerably less shades (12), but more product per shadow (0.05 oz.) for more money ($54.00), it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Or the Lorac Pro Palette where you pay less money ($44) but get less shades (16) for the same amount of product per shadow as Born to Run (0.02 oz.), again it doesn’t seem so unreasonable. You’re getting a lot of shades after all, the vast majority of which are perfectly workable, lovely textures that you can create beautiful looks with (with the exception of Hell Ride). Therefore I think the price is perfectly fine.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

SOME LOOKS I CREATED WITH THE PALETTE

urbandecayborntorunlook2
Look # 1: I used Guilt Trip on the top lid and into the crease, and smudged Hell Ride underneath my lower lash line. Super simple. Loved it!
urbandecayborntorunlook1
Look #2: I blended Stranded onto my top lid and into my crease, and smudged Big Sky underneath my lower lash line. Again, super simple. I particularly loved this look, but the photo doesn’t do the colors justice, especially Big Sky which is gorgeous.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall I think this is a beautiful palette that I would recommend to those who really love eyeshadow and who love experimenting with different looks. I think it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone who craves the same kind of look everyday (nothing wrong with that of course). The pigmentation and longevity are definitely there, but just keep in mind that application can be tricky with some of the mattes, and when I say that I’m referring predominantly to Hell Ride. If UD would replace that shade with one mid-tone crease color, the palette would be absolutely divine! But at the end of the day you’re getting a lot of good quality shades for a reasonable price point.

Have you tried the Born to Run Palette yet? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

Review: Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette

You may recall that I hauled the new and improved Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette a few weeks ago in this post. I spoke a bit about the backstory on the palette and my first impressions of a couple of the shadows in that post. I have since put the rest of the colors to the test so I’m here to present you with a more informed review of this product. I know that this isn’t a new launch by any means, but hopefully this will be helpful to those of you looking to buy an affordable drugstore palette, or to those that have never tried Wet n’ Wild shadows before. So let’s get into it!

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

10 eyeshadow shades for $4.99 (0.35 oz)

Cruelty-free & Vegan

Powerfully pigmented, buttery-soft, glides on like a dream. That’s what we dreamed up with our reformulated Color Icon eyeshadows. Our reformulated Color Icon hues come in a mix of coveted colors, from shimmery daytime hues to sultry shades for cocktail hours—including new matte transitional shades for impeccable blending.

Source: Wet n’ Wild official website

HOW I APPLY MY EYESHADOW

I’ve written extensively on how to apply eyeshadow in an earlier post, which includes tips and photos/information on the brushes I typically use. I always use a tacky eye primer (my favorite is MAC Paint Pot in either Painterly or Camel Coat) as a base first so the powders have something to grab onto. I recommend using a primer especially if you have oily eyelids, or if you don’t want your shadows to crease or fade throughout the day. I typically use generous, fluffy brushes (e.g. MAC 217) to apply my shadows since I prefer blown-out and softly defined looks on me. Smaller, detailed brushes (e.g. MAC 219) are specifically for upper/lower lash definition only. I usually don’t switch brushes when I use different finishes, like matte or shimmer, as others might.

SHADES & SWATCHES

A closer look at the full palette: 8 shimmer shades, plus 2 matte shades labeled TRANSITION. None of the shades have particular names, so the row starting with the light cream shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 1’ for the sake of this post, and the row starting with the green shimmery shade is ‘Shimmer row 2.’ Check the photo captions for shade descriptions.

*I photographed one of the looks I did using this palette, which is up on my IG now (@weareglamerus). If you’d like to see it please head over there and show it some love. (My IG roll is also on my blog on the right sidebar.)

A685DDBC-EF6D-4333-BCA5-288FD11ED838

E86785AB-B791-4308-840E-17C969D36C49
Shimmer row 1 top to bottom: light cream shimmer, light sandy-taupe shimmer, light to mid-tone peachy gold shimmer, black with golden shimmer.
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Shimmer row 2 top to bottom: light to mid-tone grassy-green shimmer, mid-tone golden bronze, mid-tone to dark warm brown with green-blue shimmer (duo-chrome), black with green shimmer.
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Matte Transition shades from top to bottom: mid-tone orange, mid-tone to dark warm reddish brown (wine).

MY THOUGHTS ON…

Shade range: As you can probably tell, this palette definitely leans warm although the pops of green cool it down a bit. I think each shade brings something interesting and unique to the palette. There aren’t too many shades that look similar to one another once applied to the eye, although that being said I could do without one of the two black-based shimmer shades. In its place perhaps Wet n’ Wild could have included a dark matte brown or just an entirely matte black for a slightly more well-rounded shade range.

My favorite shades are probably both matte transition colors, plus the grassy-green shimmer, the duo-chrome green-blue and the mid-tone golden bronze. They have the most impact.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Packaging: This might be a bit unfair, but as we all know extremely affordable brands such as Wet n’ Wild are usually not known for their quality packaging. In plain terms, the packaging here is cheap. The plastic can easily be dented or shattered if dropped. But I wouldn’t feel this review were complete without some discussion on the matter. However, I very much appreciate Wet n’ Wild’s attention to detail when it comes to safety packaging. The palette is taped shut on three sides and my goodness, that tape is hard to peel off (you can probably see the residue it left behind on the cover photo to this blog). But I think in the drugstore this is particularly important since there are virtually no testers available to us. So you never know if the product you pick up has been opened, touched or swatched by someone else unless you see broken safety packaging.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️ (kudos to that ironclad safety packaging)

Application: Overall I’m very impressed with the application on all these shades. For the most part they applied quite smoothly across the eye without much tugging or fussiness. I had a little trouble though with the warm reddish-brown (wine) matte transition shade when I went to put it all over my eyelid, as I wrote about back in my haul post. It got a little patchy when applied with a fluffy brush, but I rectified that by patting the color over top with my finger. Nothing horrible but just something to take note of. I did not notice any patchiness with the orange matte transition shade nor any of the shimmers.

Another thing to note is the softness of these shadows. While they feel extremely smooth to the touch, they also fall apart very easily when you swirl your brush in to pick up color. You must, must tap your brush out a few times before applying to your eyes. Most likely you’ll get some degree of fall-out on your cheeks after using these shadows. Therefore I recommend doing your eyes first before doing your base if you’re going to use this palette.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Pigmentation: The pigmentation is awesome on all these shadows. If I’m being super picky, the lightest cream shimmer shade can be a bit flakey but that really doesn’t bother me much; I’ve only used it as an inner-corner highlight anyway. For such an affordable price though, I was especially impressed with the brightness and punchiness of the matte transition shades. If you look at the swatch photo above, you’ll see what I mean. It can be really difficult to get well-pigmented matte shadows at a drugstore price, so Wet n’ Wild really killed it here. Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: I think the longevity of these shadows is quite good generally with one exception. I’ve worn every color now in a variety of looks and I noticed two instances of fading. In both instances I had layered one shimmer color over another. I layered the grassy-green shimmer over the peachy gold shimmer on the ball of my eye for a quasi-halo effect; by later that day the green color had all but disappeared. In a separate look, I layered the warm bronze over the grassy-green color on the outer corner of my eye but it also eventually disappeared. Contrarily, I noticed hardly any fading at all on any shadow, matte or shimmer, when simply applied over a primer. Perhaps if you wet your brush when layering the shadows it will make difference, but I never do that extra step.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Price: I’ll keep this short and snappy. This palette is only $4.99 for 10 shadows; $4.99 for 10 quality shadows. How can you beat that? Wet n’ Wild is probably one of if not the most affordable drugstore brand out there (at least here in the U.S.). The pigmentation and quality of the beautiful duo-chrome green-blue shade in this palette, for instance, rivals one of my favorite, more high-end duo-chrome shadows that’s $21.00 for a single (Peacock from Ardency Inn). I think this palette is an absolute steal.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

FINAL THOUGHTS

I would absolutely recommend this product to anyone, either if you are looking for a great drugstore palette or just looking for a great palette in general. Despite some minor issues with application and fading, I would still go as far as to say that this palette rivals some of my higher-end purchases. And historically I’ve had more pronounced issues with some high-end makeup than I’ve ever had with Wet n’ Wild. Just goes to show that you can absolutely get quality makeup at affordable prices.

Have you tried the Wet n’ Wild Comfort Zone Palette? If so, what did you think? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

 

The best tinted moisturizer for summer?

If you keep up with my blog you know that I’ve spoken about my dry skin several times here. If you are a newer or first-time reader, well hello! I’m Erica and I have dry and sometimes rough-textured skin. It’s a key factor that influences how I shop and buy face products like foundations and concealers. So it stands to reason that I have been searching for the best tinted moisturizer for years.

In the past I was a big fan of the well-loved IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream, which I know is much more than just a tinted moisturizer. I loved the coverage, the finish it gave my skin and the intense hydration it offered. Unfortunately though I had to stop using it. Quick story time. If you’ve never used the IT Cosmetics CC Cream before, normally it smells faintly of lemons. However, I bought one tube from Ulta that smelled horribly as soon as I opened it. I returned it quickly and got a second tube: same horrible smell. I thought to myself, perhaps there’s a bad batch at Ulta. I’ll wait for a bit, use something else up, and then repurchase it. I finally bought a mini tube some time later that was fine for a few weeks, but then I went to use it again and that horrible smell was back. No joke, it smelled like I was spreading a fart on my face. Not cool IT Cosmetics. (Has anyone else had this experience by the way?)

I’ve been wearing Estee Lauder tinted moisturizers and BB creams for years now. Most recently I’m at the end of my Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup, which provides a lovely finish and glow to my skin but sadly not enough moisture for my liking. It seemed like the perfect lightweight moisturizing base always eluded me. So when my mother told me that the Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm was hands-down the most hydrating face product she had ever used, I was enthralled. She had bought a pot years ago and absolutely loved what it offered her dry skin: hydration, nourishment, & natural glow.

It’s all I needed to hear. I picked up a tub at a Blue Mercury store, but it was a little hard to track down to be honest. At Lord & Taylor they told my mother that the Moisturizing Balm is being discontinued, yet all the shades are still available for purchase on Bobbi Brown’s official website. I tried finding some additional information online but I couldn’t find anything that said this product is being phased out. It’s still available for purchase on Amazon as well, but it seems the stock is low so just be aware.

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Here is the official description, claims and benefits from Bobbi Brown’s official website.

Product description$60.00 for 1 oz./30 ml. 

A lightweight foundation alternative for dry, dehydrated skin, this formula is ultra-rich and blends easily, giving skin a dewy look with light coverage.

Who is this product for?

Those with dry skin who want an incredibly emollient tinted moisturizer with sun protection too that’s great for layering over other skincare favorites.

Product benefits

Broad spectrum SPF 25 helps protect skin against damaging UVA/UVB rays. Argireline® peptide boosts skin’s natural collagen production and clary sage ferment strengthens skin’s protective moisture barrier. Water-in-oil emul­sion creates a uniquely rich and emollient balm texture that helps promote immediate and long term moisturization.

How to use the product

Apply as you would a moisturizer all over the face using your fingertips or the Foundation Brush (sold separately) for a more finished look.

How I use the product

I apply just as described above. Using my fingers, I swipe and blend in the product all over my face just like I would with a moisturizer.

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My thoughts on…

Packaging: I feel two ways about the packaging; a slightly weighty glass component that’s sleek-looking with a matte black cap. On one hand, I think it’s quite beautiful and chic. On the other hand, I think it’s totally inconvenient and cumbersome. I’ll never travel with it unless I decant some of it into another container, which I never, ever bother doing.

Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️

Application: It goes on like a dream and blends right into the skin with a few swipes or circular motions of my fingers. As the brand claims, it’s extremely emollient and feels much more like a moisturizer than it does a base product. I have not used this with a beauty sponge or makeup brush, so I cannot attest to how the product would apply then. I also should mention, this product has a pronounced scent when you first apply it which may or may not be a problem for some. My mother describes it as being reminiscent of Noxzema products, so think of camphor or eucalyptus. The smell definitely dissipates after you apply the product. I love the smell personally.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Coverage: This does not provide much coverage at all, but then again it doesn’t claim to do that. “Lightweight foundation alternative” and “light coverage” are right in the product description. It just subtly evens out your skin tone, so if you have problem areas or blemishes you will absolutely need a good quality concealer to pair with this. Personally, light coverage is not a negative for me. Overall my skin is usually well-behaved, so whatever base or foundation I’m using tends to be lighter coverage anyway. I reserve my medium-to-high coverage products for concealing.

Rating: 2/5 ⭐️

Finish: What this lacks in coverage it makes up for in the finish. After you apply it all over your face, you’re left with beautifully moisturized skin that radiates with this natural, healthy glow. There’s a subtle sheen that bounces off the product that’s just perfect in my opinion; unlike any other face product I’ve used before. The product definitely has some tackiness to it that doesn’t completely 100% dry down. That being said, if you blend it in really well it will feel the same as if you’ve applied a really nourishing moisturizer a few hours before. You can still feel the softness or slight tackiness but the majority of the product will have dried down.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

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Swatch of Alabaster Tint

Shade selection: There are 7 shades in this range: Alabaster Tint, Extra Light Tint, Light Tint, Light to Medium Tint, Medium Tint, Medium to Dark Tint, Dark Tint. When inclusivity in the makeup world is as important as it is now, this is not an ideal scenario. Brands, both high-end and affordable, are expected to produce fuller ranges of base products that cater to a wider spectrum of complexions. It would be preferable if Bobbi Brown would offer more colors in this range, however, remember again what kind of product this is. It wasn’t formulated to be a true foundation but a “foundation alternative.” It’s a very specific product that is not intended to perfectly match your complexion in order to provide coverage; its primary role is to offer hydration and some SPF to dry skin.

I will say though that the colors run quite dark and quite yellow. I first tried out the Light Tint in store, which if you had told me was the Medium Tint I would have easily believed you. I ended up going with the lightest shade, Alabaster Tint, which is still yellow but at least much lighter than the Light or Extra Light Tint. To be honest, the yellow undertone doesn’t show on my skin either in natural light or in photos, again proving the point that you don’t need a perfect match to use this product. I would recommend trying this in-store if you can, as the color swatches online are misleading.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Longevity: Surprisingly this has more longevity than you’d expect from such a lightweight product. I wore this out on a sunny, warm day for several hours and when I returned home and looked in the mirror, I still could see the effects of this product on my skin which was truly impressive. I’ve tried this both with and without a primer underneath; the base primer really boosts the longevity, as you would expect. So if you want this product to last the longest it can, use your favorite primer underneath.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

Price: This stuff is super expensive at $60.00 for 1 oz. or 30 ml. of product. There’s no way around that. While I truly love this product, I don’t quite understand why it is as expensive as it is. If you compare it to another higher-end tinted moisturizer, like the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for instance, you get 1.7 oz. or 50 ml. of product for $45.00. I have not used the Laura Mercier product so I cannot attest to its effects or quality, but you can’t deny that the difference in quantity & price between both products is significant.

Rating: 3/5 ⭐️

Final thoughts

I have to say my mother was right about this one. This is absolutely the most hydrating face product I have ever used. I love it so much because I feel like it was formulated just for me and my skin needs. I like lighter coverage products that offer moisture and glow to my skin, and this does it all. So is the Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm the best tinted moisturizer for summer? For me, definitely yes, and perhaps for others with dry or dehydrated skin who don’t mind splurging a bit. I just wish the packaging was a little less bulky and the price was lower. I will most likely continue to use this into the fall and winter since my skin will only become more dry as the weather becomes colder.

Would I repurchase this in the future (assuming this isn’t being discontinued)? Despite my love for it, I’m not sure at this point. I would like to try some more inexpensive tinted moisturizers to see if they could give me the same level of glow and hydration at a lower cost. If anyone has any affordable tinted moisturizer recommendations, please, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to know!

Have you tried the Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm? If so, would do you think of it?

xo, Erica

 

 

Review: Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer.

I’ve never been a bronzer girl, primarily because I have such pale, cool-toned skin. I’ve always been so frightened it would turn my complexion orange or yellow. But anyone who knows makeup knows that not every bronzer is created equal. Some are cool, some are warm, some are matte, while others are sparkling. In 2018 when there’s so much variation and choice in beauty, I had a feeling deep down that despite my fear of being a walking & talking Cheeto, I could find at least one bronzer that worked for my skin tone.

It’s not that I’ve never experimented with bronzer before. I remember my mother giving me her Tarte Park Ave Princess bronzer to try years and years ago, but to be honest I barely used it. I just didn’t know how to apply it properly. I’d been hearing the hype surrounding the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer for ages, but not really listening. Remember, I’m not a bronzer person by nature. But when I found myself in Ulta a few weeks ago (as you do), I passed the Physician’s Formula section and the Butter Bronzer was staring back at me. I remembered reading that it was particularly good for those with lighter skin, so in that moment I decided to snatch it and see if I could make it work.

So like with my other product reviews, let’s get into the product description and benefits. Unfortunately I don’t have any other powder bronzer to compare this to in my collection. But I have been trying out some cream bronzers this year, particularly the one that’s packaged in the duo called Bronzed Pink Beige from e.l.f. (I spoke about the blush in the duo in my top 5 cream blush post here), and the NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer.

(Source: all quoted text is from Physician’s Formula official website.)

Product description

Available in 4 shades; $14.95 for 0.38 oz. of product

Hypoallergenic; paraben-free; cruelty-free; oil-free; non-comedogenic; dermatologist-approved.

Ultra-luxurious bronzer, infused with Murumuru Butter, delivers a radiant Brazilian goddess glow! Incredibly creamy and soft texture combines the best features of a powder and cream bronzer, to deliver a lit-from-within tropical glow unlike any other.

Infused with a powerful blend of Murumuru Butter, Cupuacu Butter and Tucuma Butter, from the lush and nutrient-rich Amazon.

Product benefits

Packed with essential fatty acids and pro-vitamins that soften, condition and moisturize skin, leaving it silky soft. Ultra-rich bronzer formula instantly melts into skin, sealing-in moisture to deliver instant and lasting hydration. Features ultra-refined pearl and soft-focus pigments that smooth skin texture, brighten skin tone and deliver a gorgeous bronze finish.

How to officially use the product 

Mirror & applicator included. May be worn alone or over makeup. Using sponge applicator, glide over face and neck for a natural-looking tan glow. To accentuate and contour, apply more over cheekbones.

How I use the product

I use my MUA Pro Stippling 015 duo-fiber brush (which might have been discontinued?) to apply this across my cheekbones, around my hairline & chin, and a little across my nose; all the obvious places for bronzing. I also used this as a soft brown wash on my eyelids one day.

My thoughts on…

Packaging/scent: It’s pretty standard Physician’s Formula packaging in that the product acts as the first layer when you open the compact. You then click up the product layer to reveal the mirror and applicator underneath. The applicator is made out of a very strange foam or rubber-like material. It seems completely useless to be honest; I’d say just forget it altogether. The mirror could be useful for on-the-go application. There’s a definite vacation/holiday theme with this product. There are palm leaves on the outside of the packaging, plus it has this textured appearance that I assume is supposed to mimic sand on a beach. It also has this intoxicating scent that’s a cross between coconut & SPF. I absolutely love it. I wouldn’t call the scent particularly strong or offensive and you really can’t smell it once it’s on your face.

Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐️ (due to the applicator misfire)

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Colors/texture: As mentioned earlier in the post, there are 4 shades available in this bronzer collection. The shades are Light Bronzer, Bronzer, Sunkissed Bronzer & Deep Bronzer. I bought the Bronzer shade which I’d describe as definitely more cool-toned than the Sunkissed Bronzer shade, and much lighter in tone than Deep Bronzer. It doesn’t pull orange at all on my skin, so it’s really perfect for someone with my complexion. I didn’t see the Light Bronzer shade at Ulta, so perhaps they were out of stock. Considering the second shade up in the collection is quite light & natural on me, I can’t imagine the color range goes deep enough for darker-toned complexions.

The texture is very smooth to the touch just as Physician’s Formula claims. I’m not sure if it’s necessarily adding or sealing in any hydration on my skin though, but it’s certainly not a dry-feeling powder in the slightest. I can detect very fine bits of shimmer which must be “the ultra-refined pearl”, but you really can’t see them once the product is applied to the skin. You may be able to see the teeny flecks in the photo below.

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

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Application: When I swirl my brush into the product, it creates a lot of fall-out in the pan so just be careful to tap your brush out well before applying to your face. It definitely applies very smoothly and evenly. I didn’t notice any skipping or patchiness. Believe it or not, the first time I used it I actually went so light-handed that I could barely see it! So it definitely needs building, which I like since I need to be careful with bronzer.

Rating: 5/5 ⭐️

Longevity: When I look at my face at the end of the day after wearing the bronzer for several hours, I can barely detect much color left. So this is really a product that needs refreshing throughout the day to maintain that golden bronze look. I find cream bronzers stick around for much longer than this product. The NARS Laguna Liquid Bronzer (which you can see here) is probably the best I’ve tried so far in terms of longevity.

Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️

Price: For $14.95 this is not the most inexpensive bronzer at the drugstore. You can tell it’s a solid quality product for sure, but I just wish it was a few bucks cheaper for what it is. Perhaps if Physician’s Formula redid the packaging they could recover a little on the cost and pass the savings onto us. For example, dump the useless applicator and perhaps even the mirror; the product is light and goof-proof enough that you don’t really need a mirror to apply it. Just for perspective, the cream bronzer from e.l.f.’s Bronzed Pink Beige duo, which is effectively $3.00 since the duo is $6.00, goes on like a dream and keeps its color for longer at a much cheaper price than the Butter Bronzer. That all being said, the great thing about the drugstore is that makeup goes on offer quite frequently, so you may be able to get this for cheaper if your timing is right.

Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐️

Final thoughts 

I am very happy I finally found a powder bronzer that suits my very pale complexion so I applaud Physician’s Formula for that. I will definitely continue to use it as both a traditional bronzer and perhaps as an eyeshadow at times. I would recommend it to those like me who have very light to light complexions who are looking for a relatively affordable powder bronzer. I’m really not sure about those with tanned or deeper skin tones using this product. However, I do think I ultimately prefer my cream bronzers to the Butter Bronzer. I just tend to lean more towards creams over powders since I enjoy the finish on my skin much more. So I’m unsure right now if I’d repurchase it.

Are you a fan of the Butter Bronzer or do you think it’s overhyped? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Review: Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer

I was recently in the market for a new concealer as both my Tarte Shape Tape and Maybelline Fit Me had seen better days. I have a “1-in-1-out” policy with my makeup collection: if I add a new item I have to let another go. It’s how I prefer to control my makeup stash. So as it goes, letting go of older products means slots for newer ones open up. I’m always up for trying new base products, so I initially picked up the NARS Creamy Concealer (I’ll probably do a separate review later), which I’d been eyeing forever.

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Review: Pat McGrath Labs Limited Edition Bronze Ambition Palette

Pat McGrath Labs (referred to in this post as “PMGL”) is a relatively new makeup brand created by world-renowned makeup artist Pat McGrath. If you’re up on beauty news or are connected to any major influencers on IG or YouTube, you’ll know that this brand carries a lot of clout and prestige in the beauty world. You’ll also be aware that all of the products from Pat’s line are incredibly luxurious and expensive. Her 10-pan Mothership Eyeshadow Palettes, the most iconic products thus far from the line, retail for $125 alone just to give you a sense of the elevated price.

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