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Aromaleigh Foundation Review — Dewdrop, Pashmina and Finishing Powder

You know what sucks?  When, seemingly overnight your skin totally changes and freaks out and everything you were using before makes you look like an extra from “The Walking Dead.”  Thanks, Rosacea!

For a long time my foundation of choice was Illamasqua Skin Base but I noticed about a year back that it just wasn’t working for me, as my skin had gotten drier, prone to flakes and more red (yes, thanks to Rosacea).  Out of desperation I dug up my Bare Minerals foundation and tried it — HORROR.  I looked like a glittery, powdered prune.  Because my skin was so dehydrated and dry, it clung to lines I didn’t even know were there.  Yeah, gonna pass on that.  A friend recommended Aromaleigh Cosmetics so I ordered some samples and liked those so much I got the full sizes.

Aromaleigh’s foundations come in 3 formulas but I tried two — Dewdrop, which is a medium coverage foundation and Pashmina which is full coverage.  Since I had ordered samples to get the right color (hard to do for a pale, neutral-toned person like me) I got both in the shade 2N.

foundation_aromaleigh1 Aromaleigh Foundations

Since I was placing an order I decided to try one of their finishing powders.  They have 8 kinds of finishing primers but since I wanted something that would add in some glow, I decided on the Luminesce Divine Powder which is described as “Luminesce Divine is a neutral and translucent, sheer, loose mineral cosmetic finishing powder that gives your skin more of a dewy glow.”  The color I chose is Cherub, which is a translucent shade.

One thing I noticed right away about Dewdrop and Pashmina is they are NOT glittery or sparkly like Bare Minerals can be.  They’re also not chalky or matte. I don’t have to “buff them in” which is nice because my dry skin cannot handle that much brush action.  Instead I can use a brush to pat them on — patting on a bit more where I need more coverage.  I’ve also used a damp Real Techniques sponge and that worked surprisingly well.  They give a good, natural looking finish that covers up the redness I have admirably.

The following pictures will show you how they performed on bare skin.  I have a tan colored freckle on my left hand so I wondered how they would work at covering it up.

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Bare hand with freckle

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Hand with Dewdrop foundation — applied heavily on the bottom and blended at the top. Covered my freckle almost completely.

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Pashmina Foundation — applied on bare skin heavily at the bottom, blended on top. Covered my freckle completely.

Not bad, right?  The Pashmina covered the freckle entirely.  Now, on to the Luminesce Divine.  It has a white iridescence with a hint of white gold.  Applied heavily in the photos below so it will show up on camera.

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Luminesce Divine in Cherub

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Luminesce Divine in Cherub

But what about ON MAH FACE???  Ok, since you asked…. these were applied on bare skin.  No primer or anything.

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Bare skin on the left, Dewdrop on the right

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Bare skin on the left, Pashmina on the right

foundation_aromaleighcherub1

Luminesce Divine on the cheekbones on top of Pashmina

Both foundations did a great job of evening my skin tone, disguising the redness and purple areas around my eyes.  Dewdrop has a much lighter coverage but I could pat on more where I needed to.  Pashmina did a better job of covering the redness in one layer — because it’s a full coverage foundation, of course.  But I felt I could go in with a small brush where I needed to, to cover any zits or Rosacea-papules without it looking heavy.  They didn’t cling to the dry flaky areas on my cheeks OR accentuate the fine lines on my cheekbones.  I find that I get the kind of coverage I prefer by using Dewdrop all over my face and then using Pashmina as a sort of concealer to cover up any redness, zits or discoloration I have.

The Luminesce Divine looked great and added a glow that has ZERO glitter or sparkle.  I applied it heavily here so it would show on camera.  For ‘real life’ I’d apply a bit less and it would still show up.  I found I could also mix a tiny bit into my foundation before I applied for an all-over glow.

I’ve been using these foundations for about 4 months so I could give them a really good review through different weather conditions and see how my skin reacted to them.  I found they wore really well even without a primer.  Usually I just use my Paula’s Choice Sunscreen and pat these on and get a good 6 hours of wear without needing to touch up.  After 6 hours they got a little patchy around my chin but I would just blot them with a tissue and that was fine.  With an actual primer (like the Hourglass mineral Veil primer) I didn’t have those issues. These wore well during the winter months as well as out humid and hot spring.  I think they’ll hold up during the summer too.  They felt light and never heavy or like they’d slide off of m face.

If you’re looking for a new mineral foundation, definitely give these a try.   Especially if you’re a pale person who has trouble finding a shade to match.  They have a pure white color that you can add in to any of their shades, as well as colored toners so you can mix up a perfect match.

Aromaleigh Foundations come in 3 sizes:

SAMPLE size which is 1/3 of a teaspoon in a baggie for $2.25

FULL size which is 10 grams and is $17.00

LARGE size which is 25 grams and $37.00

Luminesce Divine Finishing Powder also comes in 3 sizes:

SAMPLE size which is 1/2 teaspoon for $2.00

FULL size which is 10 grams for $14.00

LARGE size which is 25 grams and $30.00

Aromaleigh Cosmetics is cruelty free, of course and many of their products are vegan.

Disclaimer:  All products were purchased by me and all opinions are mine alone.

 

 

 

 

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Urban Decay ELECTRIC Pressed Pigment Palette Review & swatches!

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Urban Decay Electric Pressed Pigment Palette

Today I am (finally!) reviewing Urban Decay’s Electric Pressed Pigment Palette.  Before I just right into it we do have to talk about the name itself — “Pressed Pigment Palette” — not “eyeshadow palette.”  Why?  Well, pigments used in Slowburn, Savage, Jilted and Urban are not deemed safe to use on the eyes in the USA, Canada and Brazil.  But I’m a gal who likes to live dangerously.  While I certainly can’t tell you to use those particular shades on your eyes, I will say that I have with no problem at all — no itching or irritation etc. Ok, now that that’s out of the way…. LOOK AT IT:

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Urban Decay’s Electric Pressed Pigment Palette

It’s gorgeous, no?  Each color practically glows.  And it comes with a double-ended brush that is actually pretty darn good for applying the shadows.

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Top Row, from Left to Right:

REVOLT — a buttery-smooth burnished silver with some barely-there sparkles

GONZO — incredibly bright turquoise blue semi-satin

SLOWBURN — safety-orange, nearly matte with some barely-there shimmer

SAVAGE — day-glow pink, matte

FRINGE — deep, shimmery peacock-green

Bottom Row, from Left to right:

CHAOS — neon cobalt blue, nearly matte satin

JILTED — warm, pinky-purple, satin

URBAN — deeper, more blue-toned purple, nearly matte satin

FREAK — shimmery bright grassy green

THRASH — semi-matte, chartreuse

All of the colors are intensely pigmented and blend really well.  You barely have to touch your brush to them to pick up a ton of color.  You can use them on bare skin but using a normal eye shadow primer will make these colors really sing.  While I’d love if all the colors were matte, I think adding in some semi-matte and satins really helped the formula blend well.  The only problem I had was that I found the pinks and purples stained my eyelids a little — though not badly and not enough to put me off using them.

The only color I didn’t like that much was Revolt.  Not because it’s not a great eyeshadow — it is.  But in a palette of bright and bold colors, silver just seems so out of place and boring.  I have a ton of great silver shadows — I didn’t need this one taking up room in a palette like this.  I’d have rather have seen another green or a bright yellow.

I think this palette is surprisingly versatile.  Sure you can use only the colors in the palette to do a super bright and bold eye look — like the one below.  I used Slowburn in the inner corner, blending out to Savage on my lid.  I use Jilted across the crease and Urban to deepen the outer corner.  I used Chaos to line the upper lid and again used Jilted and Urban on the lower lid.

palette_urbandecay_electric_5a palette_urbandecay_electric_5b

But as you can see below, you can take some of the shades and use them with other palettes to create a more wearable look.  Below I’ve used Freak and Fringe alongside the Comfort Zone Palette by Wet N Wild to make something a little more subtle and work-friendly.

palette_urbandecay_electric_6a palette_urbandecay_electric_6b

And because I’m me, I did it them at the same time.

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I think if you’re drawn to bright colors, this palette is a great investment.  If you’ve always been curious about incorporating bright and bold colors into your look but have been hesitant — again, you can’t go far wrong here.  The pigments are all of the best quality — easy to use and blend.  And remember, you’re not limited to using ONLY the colors here.  Think about using them in unexpected ways, like using Gonzo as a liner in an otherwise neutral eye look.  Or a dab of Freak on the center of the lid to punch up some olive green shades.  Never be afraid of bright colors — it’s make up.  It washes off!

The Electric Pressed Pigment Palette can be found on the Urban Decay website and wherever Urban Decay products are sold.  Urban Decay is not only cruelty-free, but Leaping Bunny Certified.

Disclaimer: All products listed were purchased by me and my opinions are mine alone.

Review: Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove (and Romantic Rose)

When these blushes first came out in 2013 they were limited edition and were scarfed up by the masses.  Thankfully, now they’re a permanent part of the Milani line and have included a few new shades.  I have two of them — Romantic Rose which was part of that original LE collection and Coral Cove, one of the new shades.

And they are FABULOUS.

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

As you can see, Coral Cove is a gorgeous, pigmented Coral Shade.  It has enough pink in it that it’s not too warm/orange for my skin, but is definitely coral.  It’s incredibly pigmented and not powdery when applied.

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove and Romantic Rose

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove and Romantic Rose

Here we have Coral Cove on the Right and Romantic Rose on the left.  Romantic Rose is a mauve-tinged dusty pink.  It’s the shade that for me, goes with everything.  It’s definitely the blush I grab when I don’t want to think about what blush to wear — a total no-brainer of a color.

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove and Romantic Rose

Milani Rose Blush in Coral Cove and Romantic Rose

Both of these shades apply easily — they’re soft but not powdery — you won’t kick up a lot of dust in the pan when you pick up the color.  They blend out well and last a good 6-9 hours before fading slightly.  I think both are easily pigmented enough and rich enough to look great on a wide variety of skin tones and at the price of $7.99, they’re certainly cheap enough to grab a few! And while I hate to be a sucker for packaging, I’m very pleased when “low-end” lines take such care to make a beautiful looking item.  The deeply embossed rose pattern is just gorgeous and makes the product feel a lot more expensive than it is!

Here I am wearing Coral Cove.

If you’re looking for a new and easy blush, I don’t think you can go wrong with either of these shades.  They’re sold at Milani’s website and wherever Milani is sold.

Milani is not only cruelty free but Leaping Bunny certified!

These items were purchased by me and all opinions are mine alone.

Review: Wayne Goss THE COLLECTION makeup brush set

This is going to be a long one and full of a billion pictures!  Grab some tea and have a seat!

Confession time, first — these are my first high quality, luxury brushes.  Before I purchased them, my priciest brushes were from Real Techniques — so I can’t really compare them to any other luxury brands.  But I can compare them to bsimilar brushes that are less expensive and of course, judge them on how well they work.

Wayne Goss -- The Collection

Wayne Goss — The Collection

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I ordered the set from Beautylish and since this was my first order there, I got $10 off.  With a set this expensive, any bit counts, right?  They arrived in record time (literally less than 30 hours after I ordered) and were beautifully packaged.  The brushes come in a cardboard tube that one could easily use to store them.  And they also came with a card that had care instructions on it, which was much appreciated.

Overall, the brushes feel luxurious.  They’re all beautifully soft — like rubbing a kitten on your face.  The brushes are well weighted and balanced and feel substantial in the hand but are not heavy or awkward to use.  The handles are long enough for comfort but not so long that I bump them in the mirror when I apply my makeup.  The bristles are made of humanely obtained, cruelty free natural hair.  The brushes are hand made in Japan and the fine workmanship is clearly evident — the bristles are evenly cut and shaped with no loose or untidy bristles.

Wayne Goss - The Collection Brush 01

Wayne Goss – The Collection Brush 01

The 01 Brush is an angled stippling brush.  The bristles are soft but firm — not at all scratchy.  This brush would be grand for liquid and cream foundation but I found it doesn’t work as well for powdered or mineral foundations.  I like to use it for cream blush and under-eye concealer more than for foundation.  Since it’s on the smaller side, it’s very versatile.

Wayne Goss -- The Collection Brush 02

Wayne Goss — The Collection Brush 02

Brush 02 is made for any powder product — blush, setting powder, bronzer, conturing etc.  You name it, this brush can do it.  It is incredibly, insanely soft.  Like putting on your makeup with a kitten.  While I find it a little too tapered to use for blush, it is the perfect thing for applying powder highlighter/luminizer.  I also love to use it for setting or finishing powder — it’s so soft it will just not disturb your foundation.  Light as a feather and luxurious to use.  If you buy this brush you may not be able to stop rubbing it on your face.  You may start rubbing it on other people’s faces — and they won’t tell you to stop. It could get awkward. Fair warning!

Wayne Goss - The Collection Brush 03

Wayne Goss – The Collection Brush 03

The 03 Brush is the largest eye brush in the collection and my 2nd favorite in the entire set.  Again, it’s extremely soft and absolutely perfect for blending eyeshadow, putting in a large swathe of crease color or adding a soft highlight under the browbone.  If you have smaller eyes or a smaller lid area, this might be a little large for you — but never fear because you can also use it for precise conturing on the face, as well as to set your under-eye area.

 

Wayne Goss - The Collection Brush 04

Wayne Goss – The Collection Brush 04

The 04 brush is another tapered eyeshadow brush, though a bit smaller than the 03.  I love using this brush to add in a darker crease shade (then using the 03 to blend it).  Perfect for detail work, if you have smaller eyes, hooded or smaller lids, this one might be your best friend for your eyeshadow work.

Wayne Goss - The Collection Brush 05

Wayne Goss – The Collection Brush 05

Brush 05 is the smallest of the tapered crease brushes.  For very detailed crease work, this one is a wonder.  It’s also small enough and soft enough to use to smudge eyeliner on the upper and lower lids, add that bit of highlight to the inner eye corner or under the browbone.  I also like to use it to apply a wash of color on the lower eyelid.  It’s small enough to do so but soft enough to blend it out.

Wayne Goss -- The Collection Brush 06

Wayne Goss — The Collection Brush 06

Brush 06 — ok, here it is. My favorite brush in the entire collection.  This gorgeously tapered filbert brush is so damned versatile.  Use the flat side to apply eyeshadow the turn that sucker on it’s edge and blend it into the crease.  This brush is like the one-stop-shopping of eyeshadow brushes.  It can do anything and everything.  Large enough to lay down a wash of lid color but small enough to do some damned fine crease work and use under the eye. It’s a workhorse of a brush and if you only have the money to spend on ONE brush from this collection, this would be my pick.  I’ve reached for it every single time I’ve done my makeup since getting it.

Wayne Goss - The Collection Brush 07

Wayne Goss – The Collection Brush 07

The 07 brush is designed for lipstick but I am a lazy bastard who never uses a brush for lipstick so I’m happy to say it is perfect for apply eyeliner, smudging eyeliner, or a more precise application of eyeshadow under the eye.  It’s also good for spot application of concealer to very small areas, such as to conceal a pimple etc.

Wayne Goss - The Collection Brush 08

Wayne Goss – The Collection Brush 08

The 08 brush is the tiniest eyeliner brush I have ever seen.  Made specifically for tightlining (getting liner into the roots of the eyelashes), it works very well for that.  Even I can finally tightline now, which I’ve always struggled with!  It’s also amazing for extremely precise eyebrow powders/gels, though I use it mostly for tightlining.

Overall, these brushes are a huge investment.  Are they worth it?  For me, yes.  The only brush I don’t regularly use is the 01, because I’m stuck using mineral foundation (thanks, Rosacea!).  If I used liquid or cream foundation, I’d use the 01 to apply it.  The brush set costs $210 which is a lot of money to plunk down on brushes but if you can afford it and feel like you’d use them, I think it’s worth the investment.  Buying them all individually would cost $224, so buying the set saves you a few dollars.  But they are definitely a luxury — and they feel like it.  But I also believe they will last quite a long time.  I’ve washed them several times and have had no problems with bristles falling out or the brushes losing their shape.  With care, I expect them to last me many years.

The Wayne Goss Collection can be purchased by Beautylish — check out his page there, where they have videos of Wayne talking about and demonstrating each brush!  You can also find Wayne at his youtube channel for lovely and helpful makeup tips, reviews and tutorials!  I’ve been a fan of his for ages and I felt sure he would not put his name on an inferior product — I was right!

These brushes were purchased by me and my opinions are mine alone.

Review! Wet N Wild Megaslicks Balm Stain in Rico Mauve and Red-dy or Not

It’s no joke that I love the chubby lip pencils that have flooded the market in recent years.  When Revlon came out with them, I bought a ton of them… riiight before they started selling in China and went off the Cruelty-free list.  Since then I’ve been trying to find a low-end/drugstore alternative.  I especially wanted to find a dupe for “Honey” which for me was a great all-purpose “my lips but better” shade.

Well, I think I’ve found it.  Or close enough!

Wet N Wild has recently come out with their line of chubby lip pencils, called Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain and the two shades I have to show you are Rico Mauve (which I was hoping was a dupe for Revlon’s Honey) and Red-dy or Not which I’ll be comparing to Revlon’s Romantic.

Wet N Wild Megaslick Lip Balm Stain Top: Red-dy or Not, Bottom: Rico Mauve

Wet N Wild Megaslick Lip Balm Stain
Top: Red-dy or Not, Bottom: Rico Mauve

L: Red-dy ot Not, R: Rico Mauve

L: Red-dy or Not, R: Rico Mauve

There are no color descriptions given on Wet N Wild’s website but I’d describe Red-dy or Not as a cool-leaning true red and Rico Mauve as a cool-toned natural pink.  Both colors are opaque in two passes (that’s two passes in the swatch) and can be blotted down to soften the colors.  The consistency is close to a slippery lip balm like Carmex and is shiny but not overly glossy.  After a couple of hours, the shininess fades leaving a more satin finish on the lips.  I don’t find them particularly moisturizing, but neither are they drying.  They DO cling to any flakes or dry spots on the lips so exfoliate before applying! I find they fade evenly, without leaving the Dreaded Lip Ring of Doom. And do they stain? Oh, we’ll get to that…

Here’s how they stack up to their nearest Revlon counterparts:

Left pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Red-dy or Not Right pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Rico Mauve

Left pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Red-dy or Not
Right pair: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey, WnW Megaslicks Lip Balm Stain in Rico Mauve

The reds… not even close.  Romantic looks downright anemic compared to Red-dy or Not.  Romantic is much more sheer and warmer, whereas Red-dy or Not is a much cooler red and much more intense.

The naturals… closer but still not dupes.  Honey has a lot more brown and plum in it and Rico Mauve is more of a neutral pink in comparison.  But while they’re not dupes, they’re close enough for me.

But do they stain?  Oh yes.  They stain.

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This is after SCRUBBING with a wet-nap.  Like, hardcore scrubbing.  And what’s more, Red-dy or Not stained my hand FOR DAYS.  Literally 3 days later, many hand washings, 3 baths later and there was still a swatch of pink on my hand.  This bish means business.  In fact you can see above that both of the Wet N Wild colors stained more strongly than their Revlon buddies.

One more thing I’d like to mention is the packaging.  In most of the chubby style pencils I’ve tried, the caps just push on — they don’t snap or screw on.  However, the WnW ones do snap on, which makes their packaging superior, in my opinion.  The caps that just push on end up getting split because I tend to push them on too hard.  While I’d prefer to see a screw-on cap, the snap on feature makes them a lot safer in one’s purse or pocket.

Overall I think these are wonderful and I hope Wet N Wild make more colors and finishes because I think they have a top-notch product here.

The Wet N Wild Megaslicks Lip Balm Stains sell for $2.99 at Walgreens and can be found anywhere Wet N Wild products are sold.

All products featured were bought by me.  All opinions are mine. 

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette — review and swatches and OMG MARS CURIOSITY

I have been putting off writing this tonight because I’ve been obsessively watching NASA’s livestream of the Mars Curiosity Rover’s landing on Mars.  MARS, people. Frakking Mars!  It was hugely exciting and inspiring.

Science… It’s a beautiful thing.
Ok, ok, back on topic!  I recently picked up Urban Decay’s “Smoked” palette and let me tell you, it’s a winner.  I know their “Naked” palettes are hugely popular but I am just not really into earth tones.  But this? It’s… dare I say it….MARS TONES.  Ok, ok not really, I’m still just super excited. If it was based on Mars, it would be red, right?  But if I were to create a palette inspired by space, I think it would be pretty close to this one.

Pictures? I haz them:

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette.
top row: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout
bottom row: Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette, daylight:
top row: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout
bottom row: Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

Urban Decay “Smoked” palette, indoor with daylight bulb:
top row: Kinky, Freestyle, Mushroom, Backdoor, Blackout
bottom row: Barlust, Rockstar, Evidence, Loaded, Asphalt

The colors are gorgeous and richly pigmented. It’s also nice to see several matte shades included (Kinky, Freestyle, Backdoor and Blackout).  The real standouts for me are Mushroom (a taupe-tinged silver with slightly warm undertones) and Asphalt (a lush metallic pewter.)  The only shadow that didn’t wow me was Blackout, which was a little patchy.  Another nice thing is that the non-matte shades are more metallic/shimmery than glittery.

It’s a really well balanced palette that has both warm and cool tones, which I think makes it extremely versatile no matter what your skin tone or skin undertone.  These colors are fierce.  Not only that, but it comes with a full sized 24/7 Pencil in “Perversion” which is amazingly smooth and inky-black.  It’s like the Spinal Tap album of black eyeliners:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Perversion

It also comes with a travel-size tube of Urban Decay’s Primer Potion which seems to be the gold standard of eyeshadow primers, though if I’m honest, it’s one that has never worked that great for me. (I prefer Too Faced Shadow Insurance though even that one will not stop the creasing of my unusually oily eyelids.)

But wait, that’s not all!  It also comes with a little booklet!  The booklet is pretty nice as it not only includes a variety of 12 different smokey eye looks, but also has a glossary of terms and techniques and examples of brushes you can use to get the best smokey eye.

Urban Decay Smoked Lookbook

Urban Decay Smoked Lookbook

Pretty handy, right?  If you’re wanting to expand your Urban Decay eyeshadow collection, I don’t think you can go wrong here.  All the shadows are beautiful an great quality.  If you love a smokey eye, again, you can’t go far wrong here.  And if you love a smokey eye but have no idea how to do one, you might find this just the trick. (Pssstt… you can also buy the booklet separately!)

All in all, I’m going to give this 4.5/5 Kitty Skulls. (Um, my new rating system, ok?)  I took off one kitty eye because the Primer Potion is pretty meh for me.

The Smoked palette can be bought at Sephora, Urban Decay and wherever Urban Decay products are sold.

Bonus: Urban Decay is Cruelty Free!

 

PS: I keep changing my layout because I can’t settle on one!  I think this one will work for now though!  And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

The Balm – Mary-Lou Manizer review and swatches!

Until pretty recently I’ve never really understood the need/desire for a luminizing product. Maybe it’s because for most of my life I’ve had very oily skin — and the last thing I wanted was to add any shimmer or shine!  But as I’ve gotten older and my skin has become quite dry (thanks, Rosacea!) I’ve really started to steer clear of a too-matte look and begun to embrace finishes and textures that I otherwise had thought of as off-limits to me.

And that brings us to the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, which has to be the most ridonkulas name for a product, like ever.  I’d first heard about it on some beauty message boards as well as from Wayne Goss on youtube.  With such rave reviews I figured I couldn’t go far wrong and decided to give it a whirl.

Can we say ADORABLE PACKAGING??

Amazon.com describes this product thusly:

What it is:A silky smooth pressed powder that can be used as a highlighter, shimmer, and shadow.

What it does:This highlighter, shadow, and shimmer diffuses light so your skin looks softer and younger while adding a subtle glow. Layer this paraben- and talc-free formula on your lids for luxe-looking lashes, sweep it on your cheeks for a sexy sheen, or use it as an all-over finishing touch before hitting the town.

What else you need to know:It comes in a sleek mirrored compact for easy transport.

And I’d say they’re right on the money.  Before I bought this I worried that it might be too warm and gold for my neutral-to-cool skin tone but honestly? It’s perfect.  It’s more of a shimmering champagne than gold and close enough to neutral to work on anyone. I think this shade would work for a huge variety of skin tones from nosferatu-pale like me to much deeper tones.

Top, applied heavily
Bottom, sheered out

I wish pictures would do this magical stuff justice.  And it is magic!  I’ve used it across the tops of my cheekbones to highlight them and it adds the perfect amount of shimmer without looking disco-ball at all.  I’ve applied it on my cupid’s bow to accentuate my lips and it works fabulous there.  But where it really shines (har har) for me is using it on the inner corners of my eyes, around the tear duct area. AMAZEBALLS.  It instantly lights up the eye area, making me look refreshed and more awake — which, let’s face it, is quite a task.

But for all of that, it can be incredibly subtle and soft.  You’ll just look a bit better but there won’t be obvious streaks of glitter or shine alerting anyone to your secret. It’s one of those products that doesn’t seem exciting at all but once you use it, you’ll be in awe and wonder how you ever got along without it.

One of the best things about this is that you get a LOT of product for the price.  At about $25 for 8.5 grams of product, this stuff is a bargain because you’ll use only the tiniest bit of it at a time.  When I use a brush to apply this, I barely press the brush against the product — that is enough for my whole face.  It’s gonna last me forever, folks.  Talk about value.

Seriously, if you’ve ever thought about trying a lumanizing product, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.  Oddly enough I can’t find this product on the Sephora website, so I bought mine from Amazon.com.

Another great thing? the Balm’s products are cruelty-free and without:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Synthetic Fragrances
– Synthetic Dyes
– Petrochemicals
– Phthalates
– GMOs
– Triclosan