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January ‘13 HITS and MISSES

So far 2013 is treating me nicely!  Tons of great beauty products and collections are being released, and most of them have been really pleasing.  

This time I’ll focus more on reviewing the products I mention, instead of just saying what they are/why I love or hate them.  Hopefully this wont get too lengthy!  

Here are my (on time, gasp!) Monthly hits and misses - for the first time this year! Click through to see what I think about products like Maybelline’s The Rocket mascara, and the Urban Decay Naked Flushed palette!

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Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipsticks

These are a new collection by Maybelline subletting off of the original ColorSensational lipstick line.   These truly are vivid - bright, opaque color that really pops!  They are a bit softer than the regular CS lippies - they require almost no pressure when applied and still give great color payoff.  The finish is creamy with a slight gloss.  However because they are so soft, they do have a tendency to feather and smudge (which can be corrected by blotting slightly between layers and applying a lip liner before hand).  The colors themselves are very bright and contain a great varied selection, from pale pinks to plums to bright red.  The only real thing that bothers me about these is that they have the typical Maybelline lipstick scent… it’s not pretty, and smells almost like clay.  It is unfortunate that they aren’t just unscented, because then they would be quite marvelous.  The packaging is also a negative for me, because all of the tubes are the same color - bright coral - which makes it difficult to quickly find the color you’re looking for.

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(Left - Brazen Berry; Right - Hot Plum)

Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids Lipstick can be found wherever Maybelline is sold - BUY NOW HERE

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CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Liquid Foundation

No, hell isn’t freezing over… there really is a Covergirl foundation I like!! If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know my deep hatred for Covergirl face products… after using them for most of my teenage years, I’d realized how terrible they were on my skin (and how terrible they looked!)  But this is a game-changer.  Outlast is a longwear foundation that claims to be a 3-in-1 Primer, Sunscreen and Foundation.  Although I wouldn’t say it suffices as a primer (it doesn’t smooth pores or fine lines), it really has pleasantly surprised me.  I’m really impressed.

Outlast Stay Fabulous has medium to full coverage, and dries to a satin matte finish (not completely flat, but still shine-free).  It covers moderate imperfections, but still requires a bit of TLC or concealer to cover major blemishes.  It can be sheered out to give a more natural looking finish as well.   There are 14 shades (that’s a lot for a drugstore foundation) and it is easily applied - very smooth and easily blended.  Unlike most other Covergirl foundations, it doesn’t sit on top of the skin or transfer easily onto clothing (although it doesn’t quite set in as well as Revlon Colorstay).

I haven’t used it enough yet to say whether it breaks me out or not, but of course this is a factor that differs from person to person.  The packaging is great.. a PUMP! which makes it very convenient.  It is more expensive than the other CG foundations, at around $10 a pop, but is still quite affordable.

Covergirl Outlast foundation is available wherever CG products are sold - BUY NOW HERE

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Physician’s Formula Super BB Cream

Finally, a drugstore/Western BB cream that passes the test!  This BB cream is actually very close to a REAL BB cream.. it has good coverage, is thick and moisturizing, and has a creamy yet longwearing finish.  Because it’s from Physician’s Formula, I actually somewhat believe it’s claims of being good for your skin, because it is hypoallergenic, fragrance free, oil free, and paraben free.  Although I don’t think it’s quite a “miracle cream” as the website claims, but it does cover up moderate imperfections and only requires a bit of powder to set for the majority of the day (about 5 hours).  

Unfortunately there are only two shades available (PF never has a good shade selection, unfortunately)… there is Light/Medium and Medium/Dark.  So if you’re somewhere in the middle, this could certainly work for you.. but if you are very light or very dark, you might be out of luck.  I’d say that it is a good choice for most skin types, and since it has SPF 30, it’s going to be one of my summer staples for sure!

Physician’s Formula Super BB Cream can be found at Walmart, Kmart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Ulta - BUY NOW HERE

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Ipsy.com Monthly Beauty Subscription

After just a couple of months of being subscribe to Ipsy (formerly MyGlam), I have to say that I am in love.  There are so many beauty subscription services out there, but for me, this one takes the cake - for their variety, quality, and value.  SERIOUS value!  Every month, for $10, you are sent a cute cosmetic bag filled with five beauty products, chosen for you based off of your personal Ipsy profile.  These aren’t just dinky little perfume samples or tiny pots of a skincare product you’d never use… most of the products Ipsy sends out are full-sized!

In the last two months (December & January) I have gotten a NYX Ultra Pearl Mania eyeshadow pigment, Be A Bombshell Lip Gloss, Mai Couture Highlight Sheets, Mirabella Face & Eye Primer, Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Liner*, Josie Maran Argan Oil*, Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Hairspray*, Nailtini nail polish, Pacifica Body Butter, and a SOHO Crease Brush!!! That’s a lot of stuff for only $20 spent, and it’s a wonderful surprise every month.  I always look forward to it!  

Items mentioned with a * were sample sized, but good sized samples!

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I highly recommend signing yourself up for Ipsy - it’s easy, inexpensive, and a fun way to try new beauty products every month.  You can register for February’s bag on http://Ipsy.com 

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Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation

Lots of foundations on the hit list this month!  This is another one that I wasn’t expecting to like nearly as much as I did.  Of course I love Revlon foundations, but since this one was a “naked” foundation, I assumed it would be very sheer, and an item I planned on trying for review purposes and then returning.  

Yes, this is a light foundation.  The coverage it gives is light to medium, and is actually pretty buildable.  It covers minor redness and blemishes, and provides a really natural, your-skin-but-better look.   The finish is not shiny or greasy, but a very light satin… matte while adding just a bit of sheen that makes you look fresh.  The staying power isn’t something to write home about, but it lasts much longer than most comparable foundations, and keeps skin looking shine-free when set with a powder.

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This foundation provides SPF 20 and is suitable for most skin types, excluding those with extreme dry patches (it doesn’t hydrate quite enough).  There are a whopping 16 available shades as well!

You can find Revlon Nearly Naked makeup wherever Revlon is sold - BUY NOW HERE

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Maybelline The Rocket Mascara

Yes, there is ANOTHER mascara from Maybelline on the market right now.  This one promises 8x bigger, smoother, even, clump-free lashes and… it doesn’t!  I tried really hard to love this mascara, but I just couldn’t.  Some people love it, but I just can’t enjoy it at all.  Here’s why.

Like most Maybelline mascaras, when you first use it, the formula is very wet.  But this one is VERY wet, to the point that it’s almost impossible to apply evenly.  I thought that as soon as it started to dry out a bit, it would work much better - but it didn’t.  In fact, I don’t think it lived up to any of those afore-mentioned claims at all.

The brush is really quite cool - it’s on the fatter side, which I don’t normally like, but the bristles are very fine and short, which you would think would be great for anti-clumping.  The packaging is Maybelline’s typical tacky tube, with hot pink letters on a navy background.  An issue that I really have with this packaging is that a lot of excess product is left on the brush… the plastic bristles are so short and fine that the wiper does not do a good job of doing away with the extra product.

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When you apply this, you actually get a lot more length than volume.  The formula is very pigmented and sticks to your lashes like tar, but it does not separate and define lashes to create the volume that I expected.  I found that because the formula was so wet (and after weeks, still has not dried out a whole lot), your lashes end up sticking together, giving you the spider-lash look.  Some people are into that, but I, for one, am not. And when I said that the formula is like tar, I meant it… once your lashes are stuck together, no amount of TLC or combing will separate them.  Also, even the washable version is VERY difficult to remove (about as hard as with Covergirl LB 24 Hours).

Overall, I would only recommend this to people who are going for a certain look.  I can’t stand it for me - not for everyday, for going out, or even just to blend my natural lashes with fake ones… it just does not pass the test.  (If you haven’t seen it yet, look up the Post of Shame about this mascara!)

Maybelline The Rocket is available wherever Maybelline products are sold - BUY NOW HERE

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Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette

Urban Decay REALLY wants us to get naked, which is why recently they’ve come out with so many new products in the Naked line!  When I heard that there was going to be a cheek palette launch, I was so excited - until I saw the pictures and swatches!

There are three shades in this palette - the largest is a medium-toned bronzer, the smallest a pink toned highlight, and the middle shade is a very pretty, (pretty standard), rosy pink blush.  I was just blown away by how… boring it was!  The texture of all three shades was actually a lot drier than I anticipated (considering their shadows are so soft), and each color had it’s own issues.  The bronzer has a slightly satin sheen to it, and although it applies nicely, it is very orange toned… not suitable for cool skin tones, and the color won’t build up enough to be noticeable on darker skin.  The blush is the driest of all three, and is actually a bit stiff and difficult to apply evenly.  Although the color is very pretty and flattering, it can look a little ruddy due to it’s patchy application.  The highlight is my favorite, but quickly becomes too much - you should only use the tiniest amount.

The whole palette is pretty small, and although it might be nice for travel, I don’t think it warrants the high price tag ($30).  I also don’t agree with Urban Decay’s claims that this palette will work for every skin tone, and I find it to be for a very specific complexion.  Although they do look nice, I don’t think they’re worth it!

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette is available at Sephora, Ulta, and Urban Decay - BUY NOW HERE

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OPI Liquid Sand Nail Polishes

These are part of a new Mariah Carey inspired collection by OPI - they are unique because they are a textured matte glitter that can be worn with or without a top coat to create different looks!  Initially this whole idea sounded very cool to me, but the effect ended up being pretty disappointing.

They are actually very sheer, and require about three coats to gain full opacity.  Although they don’t apply too patchy, as you might think, they still look very messy.  The glitter is difficult to see through the sandy, bumpy finish, and they really look as if you glued sand to your nails and painted over it.  When you apply a clear top coat over top, the matte finish goes away and everything looks smooth, but the glitter is still muted and difficult to see clearly.

I also found that these nail polishes chipped severely.. no just small chips but great big spots.  I guess they’re just not my thing!

OPI Mariah Carey polishes can be found wherever most OPI products are sold or used.  BUY HERE NOW

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Tarte BB Tinted 12 Hour Primer

I’m a lover of Tarte, and a skeptic of BB Creams… but this product just confused me in every sense.  I know many people like to use their bb creams as primers for foundation, but this doesn’t even qualify as a bb cream or primer.  I think that the marketing of this is very poor, and it is confusing to many consumers, who either think they’re getting a BB cream or a regular foundation primer.

This is a very sheer tinted product that has a very noticeable silicone skip to it when applied.  That being said, you only need a small amount to cover your whole face.  It is not buildable at all (even though it is supposed to be), but it does seem to cover enlarged pores quite nicely.  When I added a foundation over top, it made my face look nice, but I couldn’t tell any difference between this “tinted bb primer” and any other silicone-based primer.  This didn’t help control oil much, and so my makeup did not end up lasting 12 hours, as this product claims.  It was a tad emolient, but it would not replace a moisturizer in my opinion.  It does have SPF 30, and claims to have anti-aging benefits, but I returned it before I could attest to or against this.  This product costs a whopping $34, which is $4 more than my favorite “Clean Slate” primer, which does a better job.

For me, this product was just a miss, but I’m sure that for some of you it could work well.  

Tarte products can be found at Sephora, Ulta, Tarte’s website or on QVC - BUY HERE NOW

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Goody QuikStyle Paddle Hairbrush

I recieved this brush through Influenster’s Holiday VoxBox program, and was very excited by the concept.  it is a brush that you use on wet hair, which helps absorb excess water to dry while you style!  Great idea right?

The secret is that inbetween the regular knobbed bristles, there are microfiber cloth pieces that act like a towel as you brush your hair.  They are said to be antimicrobial, to keep them from getting icky, and they actually dry pretty fast so you aren’t left with a sopping wet brush for days.  Does it work?  Yes, I’d have to say that it does make a difference. Although it doesn’t dry your hair completely, it does help your hair dry a bit faster.

So why is it in my monthly misses? Because it HURTS!  It has nothing to do with the concept, and the microfiber stuff doesn’t affect me, but the brush itself is SO HARD, it is actually painful to use.  The bristles have no give, and the design is not comfortable on your head.  It doesn’t necessarily hurt when untangling snarls or anything, but it isn’t a really nice brush that I look forward to using.  For this reason I never use it on my hair unless it’s wet, which makes this a very unnecessary item.

This brush costs $11 and can be found at most drugstores and beauty supply stores that carry Goody.  

If you haven’t already, you should consider signing up for Influenster - as long as you have an audience to which you can review products for, you can get VoxBoxes filled with different goodies for free!  Sign up on Influenster.com

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