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.