There’s no denying that glowy skin is trending right now, and with good reason. It gives such a healthy, youthful appearance that it’s hard to resist adding some luminosity to the skin. The market is booming with products to help you achieve that glow, from highlighters to primers to luminous foundations, but how do you know which one is right for you? Today, I’m bringing you a review of the Erborian Glow Creme, an iridescent makeup priming lotion that might be just what you’re looking for, along with a comparison to some other popular options.
It’s been a few months since my last favorites post, but they’re some of my favorite posts to write. I’ve got some great products to share with you today that I’ve really been loving (including some non-beauty favorites!). Hopefully you’ll love them too!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
C’mon, we all saw this one coming, right? I’ve said several times that the Anastasia shadows are my favorite formula, and if you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that I’m completely addicted to orange/red/bronze tones. This is a perfect everyday palette for me, I haven’t even touched anything else since I got this (with the exception of dipping into my MAC single in Blanc Type, which is what I pretty much always use on my brow bone). I foresee this being a favorite for a very long time.
The reason I love it, beyond the versatility of the color selection (don’t be intimidated by the orange and red tones, you can work them in in a way that still keeps a mostly neutral look, if that’s your jam), is because the eyeshadows are so freaking pigmented, yet blendable and buildable. I know a lot of people complain that the formula kicks up too much, and it does kick up a lot, so be careful not to use too much pressure when you dip your brush in and to lightly tap off the excess. Personally, I don’t mind the kick up because in my experience shadows that do that tend to blend better, and because I don’t get much fallout from most Anastasia shadows. They probably wouldn’t be the best shadows for a beginner because they do take a little bit of skill to work with. For a beginner, I would recommend something like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette because the shadows practically blend themselves out (they actually blend too much for my liking, to the point where I feel like they’re not intense enough, but that’s personal preference, and not a problem that most beginners are likely to have).
Verb Ghost Oil
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Enigma
Cosmo Monster Aqua Gel Sunscreen
Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Magic Wand Makeup Remover Swabs
Stok Cold Brewed Coffee Shots
These little pods of joy are a life saver. Not literally. Well, maybe a little bit literal if you’ve ever seen me after I’ve been drinking crappy hotel coffee for a few days. Have you ever wished you could amp up the amount of caffeine in your coffee? If you have, you’ll probably fall in love with these. Housed in little pods like the creamer you get at a diner, Stok is a pod of cold-brewed, highly caffeinated black coffee. I found them at my local Smith’s (Kroger in some parts of the country) about a month ago, and since finals were coming up, I threw them into my cart without a second thought. Not only were these great for adding caffeine to my coffee and keeping me sane during finals, they also prevented disaster yesterday morning when the only coffee left in the house was decaf. Decaf coffee, man. Not only is it caffeine-free, it just doesn’t taste right. Thankfully, we were well stocked with Stok, so no one had to go caffeine-free! I’ve also been experimenting with other uses for these. So far I’ve tried adding them to hot cocoa and oatmeal, by subbing a little bit of the water for a pod of Stok. Works great! Adds a tiny bit of coffee flavor (plus caffeine!) without overpowering the other flavors. In the future, I want to try adding them to brownies (if you’ve never tried adding a bit of coffee to your brownies you’re missing out!), protein shakes, and maybe even homemade protein bars. There’s a lot of applications for these beyond adding them to a cup of coffee. I can’t wait to play around with them some more!
Better Oats Oat Revolution Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
This is my favorite oatmeal ever. I’ve actually been eating it for years, but just recently went back to it after awhile without it because I was sick of eating bars for breakfast every day. I hate making breakfast in the morning, if I can’t find something quick and simple, I’m just getting by on coffee until lunch. For this reason, it’s not uncommon for me to reach for something unhealthy for breakfast, but this oatmeal gives me a healthy option that doesn’t require much brain power or effort. I love the way this oatmeal tastes, I love that it has added flax seeds for omega-3s, but most of all I love the measuring cup pouch. After you dump the oatmeal into a bowl, you fill the pouch up to the line with water and dump it into the bowl, no need for a separate measuring cup! Simple enough for my mornings, but so good I eat it for dinner sometimes!
L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Transparent Brow Gel
I hate this brow gel, plain and simple. It’s a total disappointment. Like when your parents tell you they’re getting you a puppy for Christmas, but they come home with some animatronic thing from Toys R’ Us. Yeah, that bad. Sure, it’s clear and it doesn’t flake off in weird white patches that look like dandruff, so it’s got that going for it. But ya know what else it doesn’t have? Hold. Staying power. Things a good brow gel really needs to have. The brush on this is nice and small, but the brow gel itself doesn’t hold my brow hairs in place at all, it just has some weird waxy feel that makes it seem like I put Vaseline on my eyebrows. Not cool, man, not cool. I wasn’t expecting this to be as good as Anastasia brow gel, but c’mon. Even my Essence Make Me Brow (a Benefit Gimme Brow dupe) has better hold than this, and that’s meant more so for adding color and volume to the brows, the hold it just an added bonus. This L’Oreal brow gel isn’t even worth the $6 I paid for it. Pass.
That’s it for this month! What are some of your recent favorites?
I’m so excited to share this look with you today! I know it’s going to be something you either love or hate, but I had so much fun creating this look, and I love the way it came out. My day-to-day style is more on the glam side, but I love and appreciate all styles of makeup. I’ve got a definite soft spot for messy grunge looks like this one. Something about it just felt right. I may have to start wearing messier, smokier looks more often! Details on how I created it are down below.
The key to this look is layering. That’s how you’ll be able to get that really smoked-out look, rather than looking like you just got punched in the face. Also, concealer. I have super dark under-eye circles, so to make a look like this work, I have to do a whole lot of color correcting and concealing.
Because I knew I was going to be smoking things out under the eyes and keeping things messy, I opted to do my foundation and concealer first. There’s nothing special about the skin here, it’s just a layer of Rimmel Lasting Finish all over. I’ve used this a couple of times now, and so far I’m really enjoying it. I have to mix two colors, but I like the formula enough to go through the trouble of doing it, which is saying something. The concealer under the eyes was a bit tricky. I ended up layering the Urban Decay Naked concealer with the Maybelline Fit Me concealer over the darkest parts of my under-eye circles because it has more of a pink/peach undertone that works to cancel out the blue/purple. I normally use the Benefit Erase Paste, but the texture of that is quite sticky, which would have made it difficult to blend shadow underneath the eyes. I also put on some L’Oreal True Match powder over the Fit Me concealer to make it even more opaque and color correct a bit more since the shade I used it a little bit peachy. I used the contour shade from the Lancome Blush Subtil palette to give my face just a touch of warmth, and then concentrated Urban Decay Naked2 in the hollows of my cheeks. That’s a fantastic contour for pale skin, by the way. For the brows, I wanted to keep them quite undone, so I ran a bit of Benefit Gimme Brow through them, and only used the Anastasia brow powder where I needed to fill in larger spaces.
The eyes are actually absurdly simple, just time consuming due to the amount of layering and blending. I packed MakeupGeek Cherry Cola all over the lid, blended it, and started to create the basic shape. I initially went all the way into the inner corner, but wiped some of that away with a Q-tip because it was looking a little too round for my liking. I continued to layer on Cherry Cola, bringing it out just a little bit farther each time until it was almost as far out as I wanted it. At that point, I switched to Cocoa Bear to add in a warm brown hue, then went over the edge of everything with Creme Brulee to create a gradient effect. I re-intensified the lid with more of Cherry Cola, then lined the lash line and the waterline top and bottom with Anastasia Creme Color in Jet, setting it and smoking it out with a bit of Noir from the World Traveler palette. To create a more seamless transition between the black and burgundy, I softly blended in a bit of Fudge between the edges of the two colors. Layer on some mascara, and that’s it for the eyes!
Lips are the ColourPop Lippie Stick and Lippie Pencil created by the lovely KathleenLights as part of her second collab with ColourPop, Where The Night Is. I absolutely love this color! I do think that the formula of the ColourPop Lippie Pencils could be better, though. They’re too creamy for my liking. I had the hardest time getting a sharp line. I still love this color though, just thought that was worth mentioning in case you were thinking of buying any of the ColourPop Lippie Pencils. My favorite lip liners are (were?) from Essence, but I just discovered that they changed the formula! I haven’t used them yet, so I can’t say whether or not I like them. Just know that if it has a silver cap, it’s the old formula and if the cap is the same color as the rest of the packaging, then it’s the new formula.
Julep Blank Canvas Mattifying Eye Primer
Makeup Geek Creme Brulee, Cocoa Bear, and Cherry Cola
Anastasia Beverly Hills Fudge, Noir, Waterproof Creme Color in Jet
Essence Get Big Lashes Triple Black Mascara
Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Primer
Garnier BB Cream for Eyes
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 Fair
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Warm
Rimmel Lasting Finish With Comfort Serum 091 Light Ivory and 100 Ivory (mixed)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder in Medium Brown
Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
Laura Mercier Translucent Finishing Powder
L’Oreal True Match Powder N1 Soft Ivory
Lancome Blush Subtil Palette 385 Plum Elegance (contour shade only)
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette- Naked2 (as contour)
ColourPop Lippie Stick & Lippie Pencil in Taurus
Whether or not grunge is your thing, I highly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. One of the best things about makeup is how easily you can change your look with just a few products or techniques. Have fun with it!
I’m not going to beat around the bush, this product is odd and disappointing. The color is beautiful, but the formula is perplexing, to say the least.
|Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick in 10 Nude Flush|
From Ulta.com: “Maybelline’s Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color has a creamy liquid base for a soft, cushiony feel.
- Vivid, matte finish
- Infused with pure pigments for high-impact color
- Glides on smooth and hydrates
- Medium Coverage”
|Applicator for the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick.|
I think that Maybelline would have been much better off marketing this as a whipped lip gloss, but trying to pass this off as matte is just ridiculous. On top of that, the longevity is crap and the taste is very unpleasant, to say the least. Such a disappointing product. The only way I can see this being an enjoyable product for anyone is if A) The taste doesn’t bother you B) You purchase it expecting a lip gloss, otherwise I’d say steer clear of these.
Oh, and Maybelline, here’s the definition of matte from Merriam-Webster since it looks like y’all forgot:
Simple Definition of matte
: having a surface that is not shiny
- Full Definition of matte
: lacking or deprived of luster or glossa : having a usually smooth even surface free from shine or highlights
Hope that cleared things up for you 😉
Disclaimer: we all have different taste in products and different needs. As such, the products that I don’t like might be favorites of yours. This post isn’t meant to offend anyone, by all means, if it works for you, great! These are all products that I just didn’t get along with, they’re not necessarily bad products.
Kicking it off with this Physician’s Formula City Glow Daily Defense bronzer in New York, my problem with this is the color more than anything. I use and love the Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster in light/medium, but this bronzer is just straight-up orange on me. In the pan it doesn’t look like it should be so orange, and I’ve tried it several different ways—colors mixed, separate, different brushes—and no matter what I do it always comes up orange on me. Such a bummer because it’s an otherwise great formula.
Next up is the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Primer, which I reviewed here. Not only did this primer give me cystic acne spots, it’s just an all-around blasé product. It doesn’t make foundation last longer, it doesn’t make it look better, and it doesn’t give a glow to the skin. Even if this hadn’t broken me out, it still would have made it on this list because it just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Laaaame.
I purchased two Hurraw lip balms after hearing Shaaanxo talk about them, but this one really came down to personal preference. If you like thin, light, slick balms, you’ll probably love this, but I like a nice thick balm like the Tokyomilk Dark balm. I’ve heard several other people sing the praises of Hurraw lip balm, but it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. It may work well for keeping lips hydrated, but I really wouldn’t know because I could never keep it on for very long since it came off every time I took a sip of water.
Ahh, Julep Queen Anne, you fickle minx.
This shade is a freaking gorgeous multi-dimensional glitter with some holographic glitter thrown in for extra sparkle. So, so beautiful, yet so elusive. It chips in under 24 hours, and not little chips either, entire nails just peel right off. I tried it with several different top coats and it happened every single time. It’s not just me, either, the review page for this polish on Julep’s website is filled with other people with the same complaint. Some of the more recent reviews have been more positive, so maybe they’ve improved the formula since I purchased it, but for me, Queen Anne is definitely a dud.
I talked about Duo lash glue in a “products I wouldn’t repurchase” post I did earlier this year, and I still have the same issue with it: it irritates the crap outta my eyes. Oddly, it feels fine while I’m wearing it, but even if I scrub every trace of lash glue off before I go to bed, I still wake up with super red, irritated eyes the next morning. I don’t have this problem with any other lash glues that I’ve tried so far (I recommend Japonesque or House of Lashes), so clearly it’s something specific to this formula. I wanted to mention it again because I see so many people recommending it, but if you have sensitive eyes, proceed with caution.
The YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils was sent to me by Influenster, and when I got the email saying I was receiving it I was so excited. It was my first luxury mascara (though not my first high-end mascara) and I had understandably high hopes for it. If you’re gonna charge $32 for a mascara, it had better out-perform my drugstore mascaras. Sadly, this one didn’t (or maybe not-so-sadly for the sake of my bank account). You can see here, especially in the bottom picture, that it weighed my lashes down. My lashes stick straight out naturally, so I need mascara to give them some lift and hold my curl, but this made them heavy instead. It also made my lashes stick together more than most mascaras do, making it look like I have fewer lashes than I really do. I loved the way it smelled, how soft it made my lashes feel, and how dark it made my lashes, but overall, it was a let-down for me.
I mentioned the Vasanti blush in Himalayas in my favorites of 2015, and after loving that blush so much, I decided to try one of their liquid eye liners. I purchased the color Calm, which is an insanely gorgeous, unique lavender. I wanted this product to work so badly, and I wonder if maybe I just got a bad batch because right from the get-go it was thick, chunky, and difficult to apply. It’s intended to be a matte finish and it definitely is, I would actually compare the formula to that of a liquid lipstick, but kind of like the crusty bits you get around the edges of the tube from wiping off excess product. It just doesn’t glide on the way a liquid liner should, especially since the brush is a bit thicker than I would like it to be. I’ve tried to wear it on my eyes several times, but always ended up taking it off and switching to another product because I was unhappy with the results.
Makeup Geek Sorbet was another product that I had high hopes for based on previous experiences with the brand. I picked this one up when the new set of matte shadows launched, having already owned two, and having since expanded to around 25 shadows from MUG. Of those, the only one I’ve been disappointed by is Sorbet. It’s seriously lacking in the pigmentation department, even on my pale skin. It’s really not even pigmented enough to use as a transition shade, so the way I’ve been using it is to buff out the edges of a darker shadow or all over the lid to help other shadows blend. Swatched heavily, it will show up, but as far as realistic use of an eye shadow goes, it’s a definite disappointment.
Ahh, and now for the grand finale, the product I expect to appear on many “worst of 2015” lists, and the only product on this list to go beyond disappointing. This product pissed me off. A lot. By the time I got this sample, I’d already heard a lot of mixed reviews, so I was wary going into it, but wow, was this product infuriating. I mean, props to Benefit for being innovative, the shape of the tip and the overall concept is great, but that’s the end of the nice things I have to say about this product. Trying to get product out of the tip was difficult as it was hard to control the amount of product coming out and it balled up almost immediately as it made contact with my eyelid. Then, before I could even finish my line, it started to flake off. And if you wanted to go back over a line? Dream. On. (dream on, dream on, ahhhhhh…. *clears throat* hey, who says blog posts can’t have solos?) This is just a hot mess of a product that I consider to be beyond redemption, and that’s why it’s without a doubt, the worst product of 2015 as far as I’m concerned.
Hope you enjoyed, and like I said, everyone looks for different things in their beauty products, these were just the ones that didn’t work out for me.
The next time you hear from me will probably be in 2016, so have fun, be safe, and happy New Year!
Most of these year-end favorites posts begin with a look back on the year, but to be honest I really don’t care, and you probably don’t either, so let’s just get to the good stuff.