Review & Swatches: Bare Escentuals BUXOM Big & Healthy Lip Cream


I vividly remember my first experience with a lip plumping gloss. I had no idea that the one I purchased would turn my lips an unflattering shade of very irritated red within a minute—I couldn’t get it off my lips fast enough! Only when I wiped it off, I ended up getting it outside of my lip line, which inevitably led to a red blotchy mess around my lips. I was one hot mess. Not long after, Bare Escentuals released their BUXOM lineup of lip plumping glosses, the Big & Healthy Lip Polish. It had more of a cool, minty tingle that still stimulated my lips, but it kept my lips moist and comfortable. At the time, Big & Healthy redeemed the entire lip plumping category for me, because it gave a similar effect—only it was a kinder, gentler lip plumper.

Fast forward to 2012. Now BUXOM has expanded the line of shades to include Big & Healthy Lip Creams; the same great formula, only it lacks shimmer and offers a more creamy finish. You almost can’t lose! I tried out three of the shades—Creamsicle, Mudslide, and Cherry Flip. And like the original Lip Polishes, the Lip Creams are a win.

You’ll be able to tell Lip Creams and Lip Polishes apart due to a frosted finish on the Lip Cream tube component. These have a standard doe foot applicator on the wand, and glide across the lips with ease. My lips feel very moist when I wear the them, thanks to moisture binding hyaluronic acid. (In certain grades, hyaluronic acid is said to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.)

More photos, swatches, and details…  [Read more...]

Sneak Peek: OPI SoftShades New York City Ballet Collection for Spring 2012


This April, OPI will add six new shades to the existing SoftShades collection, inspired by the New York City Ballet. With five sheer shades and one glittery top coat, New York City Ballet by OPI brings a chic and feminine look to the nails. Similar to the existing colors in the SoftShades collection, these are sheer, muted polishes that leave your nails looking clean and perfectly polished. If you like shades like Bubble Bath and So Many Clowns, So Little Time—you shouldn’t have a problem picking a favorite from the New York City Ballet Collection.

OPI is so excited to work with the New York City Ballet,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “NYCB is rich with artistic history and has a renowned reputation that brings people from around the world to see NYCB performances. The dancers, choreography and costumes provided a wealth of inspiration for a range of soft, feminine hues. The beige, pink, and white lacquers bring to mind classic ballet slippers, tutus and leotards, while the sheer lilac and gray add muted color to ballet’s traditional pink.”

You Callin’ Me a Lyre?, Barre My Soul, Don’t Touch My Tutu!

Care to Danse?, My Pointe Exactly, Pirouette My Soul

More photos and swatches…  [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker pH Powdered Blush & Bronzer


Whew! So many new products lately from Physicians Formula, that I’ve struggled with where to begin! Earlier this week, you had a look at the new Bronze Booster Season-to-Season bronzer, and it fared pretty well. Also in their complexion category, you’ll find the new pH Matchmaker pH Powdered Blushes and Bronzers. I tried them out this week and wanted to share them because they’re kind of unique.

pH Matchmaker is a collection of products (there are also lipglosses, review forthcoming) that have a fluorescein-based dye in the pigments. This is supposed to sense the pH level of your skin and self-adjust the pigments to reveal a flattering color that suits your skin tone within 60 seconds. While I’m not entirely sold on this concept, I am starting to see it more and more in blushes. (Last year, Stila launched a similar product.) [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Shades From the China Glaze Capitol Colours/The Hunger Games Collection


I have a feeling that I’m on a short list of people who haven’t read any of The Hunger Games books yet. The more commercials I see for the movie, the more I’m convinced it was a mistake on my part! As I describe this collection, please be easy on me—as I don’t really have any points of reference with which these shades correspond.

I’ve read several blogs trying to get as caught up as I can on this phenomena, and it’s my understanding that these shade names are supposed to represent the districts. Right now it doesn’t entirely make sense to me (and it’s my own fault for not reading yet), but I am really impressed with the shades I’ve tried from the Capitol Colours Collection. I would have purchased these based on looks alone, without even knowing anything about the concept. So kudos to China Glaze for accomplishing the task of creating shades that even a non-fan can appreciate!

And with that, I bring you six of the 12 shades from the Capitol Colours Collection…

(The second swatch photo for each polish shade is shown with the Luxe and Lush flakie top coat.)

Riveting really brings the WOW factor into play, doesn’t it? It’s probably one of the most spectacular orange nail polishes I’ve ever seen. This shimmering orange with yellow undertones delivers on gorgeous twinkle and shine!  [Read more...]

What’s New: Benefit Cabana Glama Palette


It’s been ages since I last had a proper ‘vacation’, all those road trips we take don’t count. I’m not even going to try to convince myself that 15 hours of driving is the start of a relaxing vacay! Over the years, my vacays have been more like stay-cays, and I’m over it! I yearn for some sunny and tropical location with crystal clear blue waters. I want to nap in a breezy hut, while the scent of white flowers fills the air. I’ll have to keep dreaming for a bit longer, but lucky me! Benefit recently delivered their fake-ation in a box to me, right here at home, in the form of their new Cabana Glama palette.

More photos, swatches, and details…   [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Bare Escentuals BUXOM Pen & Ink Long-Last Eyeliners in Ciao & P.S.


BUXOM Pen & Ink Long-Last Eyeliners from Bare Escentuals are slender pens with chiseled felt tips that you can apply either on the thin or thick side, depending on what angle you hold the tip. While these are pretty sturdy, you’ll want to use light pressure during application, otherwise you may damage the tip.

I found that these are water-resistant and long-wearing, but if I rub my finger over them, they will slightly transfer which may make it or break it for some. The chiseled tip does make application a breeze, I’m able to get quite precise with them, which is something I’m often not able to achieve with tips that are slightly larger.

More photos and details…   [Read more...]

What’s New: Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Season-To-Season Bronzer


I love bronzer, but I really prefer to reserve it for summertime use. Since I’m so fair, I think it can look pretty silly on me sometimes. The shades have to be just right too—no orange, please! Physicians Formula has created an affordable bronzer for people like me (and you too!), that you can customize—so you’ll get the right shade of bronze all year round.

Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Season-to-Season Bronzer is a new, multi-colored bronzer that features a shade for all seasons. You can combine them any way you want to adjust the tones for a healthy-looking, sun-kissed glow. Season-to-Season is available in two options; light-to-medium, and medium-to-dark.

More photos, swatches, and details…  [Read more...]

Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm Face-Off


I’m pretty crazy about my BB Creams. If you open up my complexion drawer right now, you’ll find no less than five BB Creams/Beauty Balms at any given time. I’ve been preferring the lighter complexion coverage that they provide since last summer, and I’m still not over it yet! Too Faced gave me the opportunity to have their new Tinted Beauty Balm face-off against my two favorite complexion products. So let’s check it out together and see how it did!

Too Faced Beauty Balm is a new product for spring, and it promises to be a fab multi-tasker. It lightly tints, primes, protects (SPF 20), nourishes, and hydrates the skin in just one step. As an NW20, I convert to Too Faced shade Vanilla Glow, the lightest of the four available. As it comes out of the tube, I notice it’s about the same consistency of my other BB Creams, with the exception of my Dr. Jart+ (which is a little bit thinner in consistency).

In terms of coverage, it’s perfect for me, as I don’t like to cover my freckles all that much—I really just want to neutralize redness and even out my tone a little bit. Tinted Beauty Balm does an awesome job in that department, but I notice the shade does warm my skin tone up. I’ve tried two of the four shades available (I also checked out Cream Glow but it was too dark), and I noticed that they can pull a little bit on the warm side. Neutral and warmer skin tones shouldn’t experience an issue with this, but those with cooler tones may not care for that.   [Read more...]