Thursday, 15 March 2012

Splurge a little, Save a lot

In life, there are certain instances when you pay more for the better deal. For example, you buy the name brand running shoes because they won’t hurt your feet or you shell out the extra bucks for the expensive mattress because you’ll get a better sleep. For this post, I’ll be doing a product spotlight on Lise Watier’s Metamorfix. Metamorfix retails for approximately $15, but don’t let the price scare you off; this product will save you plenty in the long run.

Lise Watier's Metamorfx
Retails for approx. $15
Metamorfix is a unique product that can only be described as liquid genius. Just one drop of Metamorfix transforms any eyeshadow into the perfect liner. You can see the results for yourself below.

Top: Lise Watier's Couleur Folie in 24 Carats without Metamorfix
Bottom: Lise Watier's Couleur Folie in 24 Carats with Metamorfix

This is where the value of this product really comes into play. Imagine this: say you own 10 eyeshadows (a frighteningly low number if you ask me); Metamorfix would turn every one of those eyeshadows into an eyeliner, for an average of $1.50 a piece. Considering that the average eyeliner costs approximately $8, that’s a pretty good deal. No, scratch that, that’s an AMAZING deal.

So, in short, if you wear eyeliner you need this product. It creates the perfect smudge-proof, budge-proof liner for a great value. The verdict: splurge/save.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pucker Power

Our lips do so much in a day; smiling, eating, drinking, and for those of you who aren’t in a single slump such as myself, maybe even some kissing. Long-lasting lipsticks promise to last throughout the day without smudging or fading away. The question is can you add some serious staying power to your pout without subtracting some serious cash from your bank account?

Maybelline’s Super Stay 24hr lip color is a two-step lip gloss/balm combination that promises up to 24 hours of continuous wear. Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Lipstick is a one-step application that guarantees up to 8 hours of wear.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in True Vintage
Retails for approx. $6.99
Maybelline Super Stay 24hr lip color in Cinnamon Stay
Retails for approx. $12.99

I wore each color for one day without reapplying; these are the results.

Maybelline before
Maybelline after 12 hours
Rimmel before
Rimmel after 6 hours
The Maybelline contender stayed put relatively well, the balm wore off at the same rate as any lip balm would, but the color had hardly faded after 12 hours. Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Lipstick on the other hand hardly lived up to its promised 8 hours of wear, most of the color had faded after 6 hours leaving only the edges of my lips outlined, not such a good look.

You may have to reapply the balm throughout the day, but even without it, Maybelline’s Super Stay 24hr lip color doesn’t dry out your lips, which is a big plus. I’m not sure if it could last the promised 24 hours, but it would definitely make it through date night. The verdict: splurge.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Keep it Clean

“Cleanliness is next to godliness.” – Francis Bacon

I’m sure when Mr. Bacon coined this phrase back in 1605 he wasn’t thinking about makeup, but nevertheless, the saying holds true for cosmetics and brushes alike. For this weeks post I’ll be doing something a little different, instead of a review I will be giving you some tips on how to ensure that your makeup, brushes and sponges stay as clean as possible in order to avoid infections and breakouts. Pay close attention, there will be a test.


Brushes that are used to apply powders (think eyeshadows, bronzers, powder foundations) should be cleaned once a month. However, brushes used to apply liquid cosmetics should be cleaned once a week.

To clean your brushes you can use a solution specifically designed for makeup brushes, or you could just use a baby shampoo, much less expensive and just as effective. Once you’ve finished cleaning your brushes, lay them flat to dry to ensure that the bristles don't lose their shape.


Your sponges can last a surprisingly long time if you take care of them properly. Ideally, you should wash your sponge after every use, but once a week will do if you’re short on time. To clean sponges, rinse them out with warm water and a little bit of baby shampoo (make sure there is no shampoo left in the sponge or it will irritate your skin.) To dry, simply place the sponges on a towel and let rest. Throw out sponges after one month of use.


All makeup has an expiration date, and as heartbreaking as it is, it might be time to trash that discontinued lipstick you’ve been holding on to. Here is a basic breakdown of how long your makeup will last before it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Mascara- 4 months (To get the longest life out of your mascara don’t pump the wand in and out of the tube. This forces air into the mascara, which allows bacteria to breed faster.)
Lipstick/gloss- 1 to 2 years

Liquid foundation- 1 to 1 ½ years

Powders (e.g. mineral foundation, blush, bronzer)- 2 years

Eyeshadow- 3 years

Eyeliner- 3 years with regular sharpening

Concealer- 1 year

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Blush: Lush or Less?

Blush is amongst the many things in life that can go very bad very quickly. Whether too bright, too dark or just too much, every woman (or man, why stop at guyliner?) is susceptible to the dangers of blush gone awry.

For years, I struggled to find the perfect blush. I tried plums, pinks, and corals and finally I found “the one,” Smashbox Blush Rush in Radiance. Unfortunately, this discovery came with a hefty price tag.

So, like every week, I will be comparing my blush of choice with a less expensive option to see if that “fresh from the cold” flush can be achieved without draining your wallet. The challenger this week, Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Pink Frosting. Maybelline’s contender is a cream blush, which differs from Smashbox’s powder formulation; however, it was the only drugstore option that I could find with a similar pigmentation. 

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Pink Frosting
Retails for approx. $9.99

Smashbox Blush Rush in Radiance
Retails for approx. $24
Top: Smashbox
Bottom: Maybelline
The deciding factor in this case was blendability. The silky texture of the Smashbox contender allowed for easy and even application whereas the Maybelline challenger was difficult to blend outwards which resulted in uneven distribution. Also, because the Smashbox option is so highly pigmented a little goes a long way. In other words, this blush will last you a long time; I purchased the one pictured above in September and there’s barely a dent in it. The verdict: splurge.

On an important side note: proper application is just as important as a great blush. For a natural look, apply your blush to the apples of your cheeks (the fleshy part of your cheek that pops up when you smile) and sweep towards the temple.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Creaming the Competition

Cream eyeshadows are a popular choice because they are easy to apply (who needs brushes when you’ve got fingers?) and blend very well, less so for their tendency to crease and fade. Given their reputation for disappearing on lids, basically every cream eyeshadow on the market claims to be fade-proof and creaseless, but let’s face it, they can’t all live up to their promises.

For this post I will be comparing two cream eyeshadows that claim to be immune to creasing, Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow and Maybelline’s Color Tattoo.

Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Audacious Asphalt
Retails for approx. $9.99

Benefit's Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Skinny Jeans
Retails for approx. $19

I tried to find two similar shades but they still weren't close enough to wear at the same time without looking like a crazy person, so I wore Maybelline the first day and Benefit the next.

Maybelline before:

And after:

Benefit before:

And after:

I have to say that the pictures do not do the results justice. Maybelline’s contender had barely budged after 10 hours; however, after only 6 hours, Benefit’s supposedly creaseless eyeshadow had almost completely migrated to, you guessed it, my crease.

The one downfall to Maybelline’s Color Tattoo is that it only comes in a few shades, most of which couldn’t be worn in daylight without turning a few heads. You can check them out for yourself here. You can also check out Benefit’s selection here.

I’m not sure if Maybelline’s Color Tattoo could last the promised 24 hours, and to be honest, I don’t know why you would ever need it to. But, considering that it far outlasted a product almost double its price, Maybelline’s Color Tattoo is the obvious winner. The verdict: save.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Primer: It's not just for your walls

Let’s talk primer… no, not the stuff you put on your walls before you paint, although truth be told its purpose is similar. Primer is meant to be applied before foundation and concealer. Basically, it evens out your skin’s texture, providing a smooth canvas and helping your makeup last longer.

Since I started using primers I’ve only had eyes for one in particular, Lise Watier’s Base Miracle. For this post, I will be comparing my tried and true choice with Revlon’s Photoready Color Correcting Primer to see if a cheaper choice can steal my heart.

Retails for approx. $29
Retails for approx. $19.99

The Prep:

To begin, I applied Lise Watier’s primer to the left side of my face and Revlon’s to the right. I then applied my makeup as usual. Here are the results.

  Revlon                    Lise Watier
And 8 hours later…

     Revlon                   Lise Watier
Both sides look pretty similar and aside from a little shine on the nose they both held up pretty well throughout the day. But, I have to say that the difference between the textures of the primers was hard to ignore. The thickness of Lise Watier’s primer made for a much easier makeup application, whereas Revlon’s primer left my skin much less smooth and my brushes almost seemed to tug on my skin. You can see the difference for yourself below.

Lise Watier Base Miracle
Revlon Photoready Color Correcting Primer

Given that the purpose of primer is to smooth out your skin, I’d have to say that Revlon missed the boat on this one. The verdict: splurge.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Concealers Revealed

We all know that we’re supposed to get 8 hours of sleep, but let’s face it, most nights we’re lucky to get 6. This is where undereye concealer comes into play. Whether they cost five or fifty dollars, all undereye concealers promise to erase any signs of fatigue in a single swipe.

So, since all undereye concealers are making the same claim, I decided to test them out to see if it’s necessary to splurge or, if I can look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on a budget.

The defender, Lancôme Effacernes waterproof undereye concealer, my tried and true choice for years. The contender, Rimmel Match Perfection.
Lancome Effacernes in Porcelaine

Retails for approx. $30
Rimmel Match Perfection in Ivory
Retails for approx. $8.99

After 4 days of waking up at 6:15, I took this before shot. Warning: this is not or the faint of heart.

I then applied Lancôme to my left eye and Rimmel to my right. And here are the results. *Tip: blend undereye concealers with your ring finger to avoid pulling too hard on the delicate skin around your eye.

Rimmel                                                     Lancome

The results are pretty equal; both concealers did a good job at covering up my dark circles and they both made it through the day without creasing or fading. But, because of its easy application, I’m a big fan of the brush tip, I have to give this one to Rimmel. Plus, if you go the cheaper route, you can afford your concealer and a cup of coffee. The verdict: save.

Bonus tip: to look even more alert, apply a shimmery white or nude eyeshadow to the inner corner of your eyes. This really opens up your eyes, so even if you don’t feel well-rested, you can look it.