I feel like I’m always apologizing for my absence on the blog. I do want to post more frequently, and have drafts of a couple of posts running, but I can never seem to find the time to take pictures in daylight, upload them, and throw the post together. I do diligently keep track of my empties though, so here it is!
Benefit Porefessional This does an okay job of filling in some of my pores, but not all of them. It especially doesn’t do anything for the pores and blackheads on my nose, and it does nothing for oil control. I wouldn’t buy it again, and I’m glad that I only got a sample size.
Benefit License to Blot I got this as a deluxe sample from Ulta, and I found it to be really pointless. It’s meant to be used to blot away oil on the skin during the day, but that just doesn’t work – it would mess up your makeup, and even if you put it on your fingers and rub it on, it still messes up your makeup, and also gets your fingers dirty. Instead, I used it beneath foundation to mattify my face a little, but the effect was not long-lasting. I also didn’t like the texture of this – it felt greasy but dry.
Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer I got this as a deluxe sample from Sephora a year ago, and used it pretty consistently throughout the month of May once it got hotter and more humid outside. I have oily-combination skin and I found that this did a good job of mattifying my skin — although, to be fair, I haven’t been wearing liquid foundation, but rather powder foundation.
Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray – I got this in a 2-pack during the holiday season and used it pretty consistently for a few months. I think it does a pretty good job of setting and melding makeup together and keeping it from breaking apart during the day (or at least as much as it can in hot, incredibly humid weather).
Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Medium – amazingly, I had this for TWO years. I got it when I was first getting into makeup as a powder foundation for summer, but I find that it’s too cool-toned and doesn’t provide enough coverage. By the end, I was mixing it into a custom loose powder (white translucent + yellow + this powder) that I used to set my face. The packaging is pretty cool in that you only twist up as much as you need, but I don’t think the product is worth $49.
Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder in 155 Soft Honey – I’ve had this for years and years and years, from before I was ‘into’ makeup. I used it at the office to mattify my skin partway through the day once it got oily. It wasn’t actually a match for my skin at all, so I used it more as a translucent blotting powder.
Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide sample in Praline (medium with neutral undertones) – I got this as a sample from the Laura Mercier website last year. I’m very surprised that this color, which is described as “medium with neutral undertones” seems to match me when you first put it on my skin. However, when I blend it in, it looks far too dark because it seems too cool-toned, and it oxidizes even darker during the day. While I like the Laura Mercier brand, I find that the undertones of the base products I’ve tried of hers are all completely off for me.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Amdande – I used this for a good year before I realized it wasn’t light enough to conceal my undereyes, so then I started mixing it other lighter and more yellow concealers, and it still lasted me a good few months! It is expensive at first glance at $29, but it lasts quite a while. I already have another one o these.
sample of NARS Mat Velvet Skin Tint in Cuba (med-dark 3) – I got a sample because I was interested a matte, lightweight base for summer, but I wasn’t wowed by this. First, this would be my closest color match, but I don’t know if it’s good enough of a color match to actually spend the money on. And I also found myself still getting oily throughout the day. I’ve since decided to just keep it to concealer + powder this summer, and have temporarily given up the search for a mattifying base.
Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer – I got this as a sample a couple of months ago, and I found that it did a good job of curling my lashes prior to mascara, but since it was in a brown color rather than black (and I have very dark, black hair), I wouldn’t wear this as a mascara, although you could totally do that.
Guerlain Maxilash So Volume deluxe sample – seemed kind of dry, but not sure it’s that’s because I opened it 9 months after I got it. Regardless, it was just okay – added some definition to my lashes, but didn’t curl, volumize, or lengthen that much.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper deluxe sample – I got this in a sample bag a year ago! I used it more regularly over the past few months, and was impressed at how long it lasted. However, I prefer gel liner to liquid liner to begin with, and I didn’t like the glossy finish of this liner, so I will never buy it, but if you are into liquid liner, I would recommend.
Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner in Black – I got this as a sample a few months ago, and it was awful. EVERYTHING BAD YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS IS TRUE. It’s a cool concept, but the actual gel liner inside the tube was hard and difficult to get out smoothly, and came out in clumps. The idea is pretty cool, but product performance is awful. I’ve heard of some people keeping the packaging so that they can use the tip of the pen in their pot gel eyeliners, but I already have enough eyeliner brushes that work for me.
Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Poppy Paradise – This mini, which I got a year ago (and which has for some reason always been impossible to photograph in focus), lasted me a surprisingly long amount of time for such a tiny little thing! It’s a cool idea – a jello-like blush in a pot, pigmented and fairly blendable. It was a cool-toned red color on my skin, not the ‘poppy’ red I expected it to be, but in retrospect, I’m actually happy about that because I don’t like super bright blush colors. However, I did find application tricky – I needed to pat it into my skin, not rub it, because rubbing it would make it patchy and, if I had foundation on underneath, would mess up my foundation. Even with patting it, sometimes it was difficult to get a seamless flush of color rather than a streaky one. And, honestly, I can’t even tell you how long-lasting it was during the day because I found the effect *too* subtle to tell, especially if I wore powder blush on top. It’s a cool idea if you’re into non-powder blushes, but I will not buy again.
As you can see, I finished a whole bunch of lip balms! Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Calm with Kokum Butter was the balm I kept at work to hydrate my lips during the day. This wasn’t hydrating enough for me, which is in line with my spate of bad luck iwth this brand’s lip balms. And I somehow also finished THREE Jack Black lip balms in THREE months. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF25 in Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF25 in Mango & Mandarin, and Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF25 in Black Cherry & Pomegrante. I got them as part of a set during the holidays. I find that a thick layer of this really softens and hydrates the lips overnight, and I will buy again, but only on sale.
Bite Beauty mini Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Torte – I got this as part of the holiday 2015 set of 4 minis. I gave away Cafe, a peachy-nude color, since it was far too white-based and light for my skin, but I kept the red and purple ones that came with the set, and I quite like those. However, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Torte – the formula tended to settle in my lip lines and never dried down, so that if I smacked my lips together, it would not only get patchy and fade, it would also get clumpy. I also found the color a little too blueish-pink for my tastes – I expected it to be more of a rosy brown.
lipstick sample of Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Liar – For a sheer formula, this was surprisingly pigmented and flattering on me. That being said, I probably still wouldn’t buy because I really prefer opaque lipsticks.
lipstick sample of Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Envious – this is an amazing formula, although this type of red is a little too orange-toned for me. I will definitely look into this formula if I’m on the market for a lipstick again (assuming that I ever, ever “need” a lipstick again).
Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Rose Sugar sample – This was a lip gloss that just matched the color of my lips, but it’s a typical lip gloss formula.
Sephora oil infusion color and care in Bubbly Grenadine – this is a pretty sheer warm orangey-red lip oil, but I didn’t finish it because I didn’t LOVE the formula – it feels really wet on my lips, and it’s too sheer to really make a difference on my lips. This just reinforces my belief that sheer lip formulas of any kind are just not for me.
I’m also destashing a whole bunch of lip products. I realized that most lip gloss formulas basically just turn up as the same sheer sticky gloss on my lips, and I finally decided to act on the recognition that I shouldn’t be hanging on to samples of this type of formula “just in case.” So I’ve decided to give them all away: Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Bellini, NARS lip gloss in Orgasm, Ulta Brilliant Color Lip Gloss, and foil samples of Honest Beauty lip glosses.
I’m also giving away a foil sample of Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Bang, because while I love this formula, this color is too neon orange for my olive-toned skin. And another orange lipstick: Lotus Herbals Ecostay lipstick in Orange Rush. It also tends to be really patchy and clumpy on my lips due to my lip lines. Finally, I’m giving away Urban Decay Revolution lipstick mini in Jilted, which I got this as a deluxe sample, and which I love–so much so that I already have the full-size of this lipstick.