Category Archives: MAKEUP

UPDATED! MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 Review, Photos

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MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50

Not the Primer it Once Was!

It is almost heart-breaking for me to have to update this review.  About a week, or so, ago I repurchased my favorite foundation primer, noticing some labeling changes on the packaging.  I expected there would be changes to the labeling to comply with new FDA regulations regarding products with sunscreen.  It was not until yesterday that I noticed the formula has been drastically altered.  What was once a Holy Grail product for me, is now a good moisturizer with SPF 50.

MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($30 USD for 1 oz./30 ml.) is supposed to be  “a skin-protecting cream with SPF 50. Applies under makeup to prime the skin for the sun. Featherweight, fast-absorbing, oil-free, invisible. Will not affect the look, texture or long-wear integrity of your makeup. Specially formulated with oil-absorbing powder, helps prevent oil breakthrough. Provides high-level broad spectrum sun protection. Worn daily helps guard the skin against discolouration, premature aging, dryness and other effects of sun exposure. Suitable for all skins.”

What really hurts the rating of this product is the brand’s claims.  It no longer contains the ingredients that curb oil breakthrough, prolonging the longevity of your foundation.  This cream is not oil free, no longer has Zinc Oxide (a beneficial ingredient for those with sensitive skin and/or prone to breakouts.), and will not leave your skin with a matte finish.  Instead, this leaves a slick (but not really greasy) look.  I would not recommend this product for individuals who have very oily skin.

I re-tested this product with a foundation that dries down to a matte finish, but my skin did not look as matte as it did with the previous  Prep + Prime Face Protect formula.  After four hours, my nose became slightly oily, and was noticeably oily after 6.5 hours.  Also, my foundation did not apply as smoothly as it once had, and when I blotted my nose and chin, a good amount of product transferred to the tissue.  Again, I did not experience these problems with the previous formula.  With the exception of the areas where I blotted, at the end of the day, my foundation was still intact and looked nice.

Luckily, the addition of active ingredients such as Avobenzone (and others) gives your skin broad-spectrum protection (protection against UVB and UVA rays), which does ebb against signs of aging, discoloration, and dryness.  This also contains a fair amount of antioxidants, which also prevent signs of aging.  Lastly, it is still a lightweight formula that does absorb quickly.  MAC does receive points for those claims, and for their anti-aging and sun protection declarations.

Personally, I’ll save this product for days when my skin is feeling dry.  With the warmer months quickly approaching, and my skin starting to become oilier, I will be on a the prowl for a mattifying foundation primer.

This is a prime example of false advertising, something MANY cosmetic companies are guilty of (particularly with skin care products).  MAC either needs to change their inflated description of this product, or re-market this as a sun-protective moisturizer for normal, dry, or very dry skin.  If the company did so, it would be rated much higher.

To see my previous review of this product, please click HERE.


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The Final LAB Report for MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50


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DUO Clear Eyelash Adhesive Review, Photos


DUO Clear Eyelash Adhesive

Stuck on You!

I am often asked, “What is the best glue to use to apply false lashes?”  My first recommendation is always DUO Clear Eyelash Adhesive (≈ $8.00 for 0.5 oz./14 g.), which is described as “the world’s best selling lash adhesive and has been a favorite of professional makeup artists for decades. This latex-based formula was created for all-day wear with strip lashes and can also be used to apply individual lashes, lasting several hours.”  The one I have dispenses a thick, white, waterproof cream that turns clear when it is dried.  The brand also sells a latex-based dark adhesive that dries black, a latex-free individual lash adhesive, as well as a latex-free brush on adhesive (comes in a tube with a brush applicator).  This lash adhesive can also be used on other parts of the body to apply prosthetics or temporary body art.

There are several ways to apply this lash glue without creating a mess.  First, you can dab some onto a toothpick and swipe it across the lash band, or you can apply some to the end of the handle of a small makeup brush (eyeliner brush works best) and then smooth is on the band.  You can also use a disposable brush.  Lastly, you can hold the tube upright so the nozzle is facing up, gently squeeze a tiny amount of the product out, and gently run the band of your false lashes over the nozzle.  DO NOT attempt to apply this directly to you eyelids.  Also, make sure to wait until the glue becomes tacky (about 20-30 seconds) before placing lashes on your lid.

Not only is DUO easy to apply, it is also effortless to remove.  You can use an eye makeup remover (one that removes waterproof products) to loosen the glue, or place a very warm wash cloth over your closed eye, hold it for about 15 seconds, and then gently remove faux lashes.  You can then immediately remove any glue remaining on the lash band to prepare them for future use.

What I DO NOT recommend, but have seen many women do, is to just pull the lashes off the lids.  This causes too much pulling on the delicate eyelid, runs the risk of pulling out  natural lashes, and can ruin the false lashes.  Only use the “pull off” method if you have made a placement error during application.

As stated above, this product does contain latex!  So, if you have an allergy to latex, you should opt for one of the latex-free formulas.

I purchased mine at MAC, but you can find it at Sephora, drugstores, beauty supply stores; really, anywhere you can purchase false lashes.



The Final LAB Report for DUO Clear Eyelash Adhesive


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Maybelline Too Cool (#05) Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches


Maybelline Too Cool (#05) Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow

Not Too Cool for Some Improvements!

A white eyeshadow base is considered a staple to most makeup artists, and even consumers, because it is quite versatile.  Maybelline Too Cool (#05) Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow (≈ $6.99 for 0.14 oz./4 g.) is a decent option.  It is a highly frosted white with white micro-shimmer and silver micro-glitter.

Unfortunately, this has a very dry texture and was a little flaky when applied.  Upon application, Too Cool  set immediately, which led to it being slightly difficult to blend.  If you are using more than one color with this, I suggest applying Too Cool first, and then using any other shades-that will help with blending.

Furthermore, this shade has sheer pigmentation, compared to most of the other Color Tattoos.  If you desire full opacity, I suggest using a stiffer, synthetic brush (like MAC’s 242) and layering the color a few times.  If sheer color is what you are looking for, use a fluffier brush, or load the color on your finger, and lightly pat the shade over your lid.

Once set, Color Tattoos do not budge, and this shade is no different!  I did not test this for 24 hours (it’s never a good idea to wear makeup that long), but it was still going strong after 14 hours of wear-no fading or creasing (no eyeshadow primer), however,  I did notice a few sparkles under my eyes after several hours of wear.  I found this eyeshadow to be waterproof and was best removed with eye makeup remover.

At this price point, you might expect Color Tattoos to come in plastic containers.  However, they are housed in hefty, glass jars with plastic lids.  The only downside to their packaging is the sticker with the shade name is on the lid and not on the jar itself.  It is not a big issue unless you are using multiple shades, in which you will want to keep track of which lid goes with which shade.

This is a decent, long-wearing eyeshadow that is nice to use as a shimmery base to intensify lighter eyeshadows.  It can also be used to add a wash of color across your lid, or in the inner corner to brighten your look.

BEAUTIFUL ON A BUDGET TIP: Be sure to check your Sunday paper for coupons and store ads to receive a better deal than the MSRP.  When it comes to drugstore brands, there is never a reason to pay full price!  ;)



The Final LAB Report for Maybelline Too Cool (#05) Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow


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Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer Review, Photos, Swatches


Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer

Insurance that is Worth the Investment!

I have fairly oily eyelids, which makes eyeshadows prone to creasing and fading, and I own a number of colored eyeshadow bases, but I have always been interested in owning a general base which can be used on all skin tones.  Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer ($20 USD for 0.35 oz./ 11 g.) is a flesh-toned cream (almost liquid) that blends to a matte, translucent finish.  It is supposed to be “your full coverage insurance policy against all fading, creasing and smudging. Our skin-soothing formula evens out skin tone and smoothes fine lines to create a perfect canvas for shadows. Color is intensified and locked down until you take it off.”

I was disappointed the first time I used this primer, as I watched my eyeshadows slowly settle into the crevices of my eyelids.  It turns out the problem was user error; I was eager to try this product and immediately patted on eyeshadow after applying Shadow Insurance.  This primer needs about 30 seconds to set (I keep my eyes closed to ensure it sets properly) and then you are good to go.  You can determine when it has fully set by its texture.  When first applied, it is smooth and creamy, and as it starts to set, it becomes very tacky.  Once it dries down, it will feel only slightly tacky.

The texture really helps eyeshadows adhere to the lid, resulting in an increase in vibrancy,  staying power, and less fallout.  Shadows that generally crease or fade on me, lasted well over 14 hours and appeared just as fresh as when initially applied.  Because eyeshadows cling to this product, I noticed a little extra effort was needed to blend them, but I did not find that to be tiresome.

A little goes a long way with this product, and the small nozzle guarantees it will dispense the perfect amount. You can apply this with a brush, or use your fingertip to gently disperse the product.

Two points were deducted from the “meets claims” category of the LAB Report because this product does not even out skin tone on the lids (I wish it did, but it is too transparent), nor does it smooth fine lines.



The Final LAB Report for Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer


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Chanel Emerveille (#82) Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches


Chanel Emerveille (#82) Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow

Is It a Cream?  Is It a Gel?  Is It a Sponge?  What Is It?

However you decide to describe the texture, one thing is for sure: Chanel Emerveille (#82) Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow ($36 for 0.14 oz./4 g.) is full of glorious shimmer and micro glitter!  It is a light peach with light, gold sparkle and multi-colored, micro shimmer.

Chanel describes this eyeshadow as an ” intensely shimmering long-wear eyeshadow [that] offers true versatility. An innovative gel texture that is both soft and cushiony allows it to be worn as eyeshadow or eyeliner. Includes a specially designed shadow/liner brush, developed specifically for this unique formula.”

The texture is mind-boggling to me, as is not your typical gel or cream eyeshadow, but looks more like a pretty putty-quite malleable.  If it had a lower price point, I would most likely scoop it out and roll it into a ball, or some type of figurine.  Emerveille is smooth and creamy feeling, but a little finicky when it comes to application.  It did not adhere well to a synthetic brush (I tried MAC’s 242) and when I scooped some of the product out with a small spatula, it did not adhere well either, and simply flaked off.  It is best applied using your fingers-the warmth helps transform the shadow into a cream-like texture.  If you want to use a brush, which will yield sheerer pigmentation, I suggest using a natural bristled brush (l used MAC’s 239).  When using as an eyeliner, I suggest a small angled brush and layering on the color, making sure not to grab too much product at a time or the it will start to flake off.

This had really nice pigmentation and I did not experience any fallout when I applied this with my fingers.  Some of the sparkles did migrate under my eye after several hours of wear.

As Chanel states, this is a long-wearing eyeshadow that was still going strong after 12 hours of wear.  I did not experience any fading or creasing (no base).

Although this product performed well, and I love the color, I am not certain if I would repurchase it.  The makeup artist within me does not like sticking fingers into jars in order to apply products; it’s too unsanitary.  I am curious to see how other shades in this line behave (they may be a little creamier), so I might try one or two more to determine if this is a product I personally like.



The Final LAB Report for Chanel Emerveille (#82) Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow


Keep reading for more photos and swatches!  Read the rest of this entry

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