NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 Sunscreen / PA +++

I’ve been dabbling in primers lately and I’ve been testing out generous samples here and there. I didn’t want to fully commit to buying a product without thoroughly being sure about it since I don’t tend to try primers often. Although I’m a HUGE foundation/makeup base fan, I never really thought about primers because it was another layer that I didn’t want to add onto my face.

I decided to purchase the NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer because it was my favorite out of all the ones I tried. I don’t like Smashbox products because many years ago, I broke out severely from their products (foundation and primer) and never returned. Laura Mercier’s primers were nice but didn’t do anything for my foundation or my skin. And, while Chanel and Dior’s bases were luxurious, they both felt tacky on top of my skin and made me oily too soon.

The NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer is nice because it has sun protection built into it, it felt nice and smooth on my skin, and most of all, it didn’t interfere with makeup application. Also, I DID notice that my dewier foundations lasted longer and looked better on my skin.

Bonus points for being able to wear this alone on lazy-days! It evens out my skin by itself so when I’m not doing anything speical, this primer and some concealer is all I need.

According to the product’s insert, this primer is multitasking and has “anti-oxidants, anti-irritants, and anti-pollution skincare benefits to protect and soothe the skin to create an immaculate canvas.” The primer is designed to protect against “UVA & UVB rays that cause photo aging and protects skin against urban pollutants that can lead to dryness and irritation.”

Important ingredients include:
Gentiana Urnula, a flower that withstands harsh summers in the Himalayas and rpovides anti-oxidant protection, helping ward off free-radical damage.

Indian Frankincense balances reactive skin because of its soothing and calming properties.

The texture of this primer feels ultra-light yet creamy. It looks slightly transparent – almost like gel. A little bit goes a long way and the product blends easily. Upon application, there’s a slight slippery yet hydrated feeling on the skin but the product absorbs instantly. Foundation applies like a dream and everything looks vibrant and healthy (even though there’s no shimmers or glimmers in the product).

This is good at hydrating AND absorbing oil – weird, but true. Mineral powders within the product blur lines and wrinkles, and pores are nicely “filled in” as well. I’m thoroughly impressed after a long trial and being disappointed with many of the hyped up primers.

How do you guys feel about primers? I recommend this product – but only if you’re in the market for a primer. If you already have pretty good skin and you’re looking to cheat without using foundation, this is great for smoothing and evening out your skin. :)

1 oz.
Retails for $32.00.
Made in USA.

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Jo Malone | “Nectarine Blossom & Honey” Cologne

In the past, I rarely paid attention to fragrances. Probably because I get bored easily and couldn’t ever stay committed long enough to a particular fragrance. It’s also because I’m so picky with scents since I’m sensitive to it, so it was rare that I could find a scent to even purchase.

I’m in love with Jo Malone scents and I’m afraid I’ve awakened another bad habit. LOL. :)

“A youthful and fruity fragrance, Nectarine Blossom & Honey is inspired by the delicious scent of just-ripening nectarines and a taste of refreshing peach sorbet. Mouthwatering nectarine and peach with hints of plum, blackcurrant and vetiver are combined with the sweet warmth of acacia honey in this truly seductive combination.”

“Fragrance is a personal statement. Imagine creating one of your own. Ask a Stylist to introduce you to Fragrance Combiningā„¢. Jo Maloneā„¢ scents can be worn solo or layered for truly individual effects. Freshen a rich floral with a citrus zing. Add spice for a warm allure. Create something unexpected. A long-time signature.”

I chose “Nectarine Blossom & Honey” because of its fruity base. It’s light and airy without being suffocating; it’s also not overpowering in any way. It’s a great combination of sweetness without smelling like candy, and it’s sophisticated, girly, and fun at the same time. I feel like this would be an excellent “every day” scent.

Because you can layer Jo Malone scents, I love the brand even more. I feel like scent is such a signature thing and triggers your brain’s memories as well. To me, smelling like everyone else wearing Chanel or D & G, is annoying and feels generic to me. I like that you can layer scents to create whatever you’re in the mood for; and, also, it’s another way to express yourself and your individuality.

What about you? What are your scent combinations and how do you like Jo Malone products?

30ml retails for $60.00
100ml retails for $110.00

DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup 010 “Ivory”

In a random magazine article, I once read that Natalie Portman’s favorite foundation was the DiorSkin Nude Skin-Glowing foundation. Of course, she is the face of the brand, but I was intrigued and wanted to see for myself – despite the fact that I have enough foundations to last me a lifetime. :)

The concept of the nude skin-glowing foundation is to mimic skin’s texture and feel. It claims to be “enriched with naturally derived skincare ingredients for a complexion that is even more ‘nude’ and sublime in all types of lighting.” This “hydrating fluid foundation delivers just the right amount of coverage to create a naturally flawless, bare-skin effect.”

Though it promises to “improve radiance and beauty of the skin day after day,” I would say that that’s a far-reaching claim. However, I do think that the ‘good-for-your-skin’ foundations nowadays help skin look good under the makeup, therefore helping it feel better once the makeup has been removed.

The product’s insert says that the “art of the Nude skin look is to create the illusion of beautiful and radiant bare skin that looks completely natural.” I would agree that the watery formula is very lightweight and thin – BUT it doesn’t compromise coverage. The texture of the foundation feels cooling and nice on the skin and blends very easily – blurring imperfections and pores along the way.

Again, according to the insert, the Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup was “inspired by skin,” so the idea behind the formulation is to “offer every skin the ideal complexion.” Apparently, the foundation’s pigments are the same color as the skin’s melanin pimgents; and light-perfecting pigments allow it to adjust in various lightings (outdoor and indoor). The “unique combination of Mineralized Water and Floral Water” contribute to helping the skin become more beautiful and radiant.

I chose the shade 010 which is “Ivory.” It is the first and lightest shade in the range and I’m quite happy with it. It’s quite close to NARS “Mont Blanc” shade and Chantecaille’s Just Skin foundation in “Alabaster.” The product has a lot of fancy claims, but what I like about the product is that it’s so natural looking on the skin. In my opinion, the texture of this foundation is deceptive – it looks lightweight and gelish when dispensed from the bottle. However, I’ve had difficulties with getting it to blend quickly and streak-free. I find that I have to buff and buff and buff to get the results I want.

010 “Ivory” is not entirely yellow-based and leans towards neutral. It’s slightly pinky toned much like “Mont Blanc” but not so much that it makes me look pink. The coverage is medium and buildable, but pore coverage isn’t as good as some of my other foundation. I like to apply it more sheerly since I don’t require a lot of coverage, but I love how it’s an INSTANT pick-me-up for the skin. It’s instantly brightening and glowy and the finish is semi-matte/dewy.

If you’re looking for a foundation that isn’t too matte and isn’t too dewy, this is great because it’s the best of both worlds. The ‘glow’ that it adds to the skin is natural and very healthy looking; and, I personally like that it’s infused with skincare ingredients. I can’t say for sure that all the fancy ingredients are doing a whole lot, but I can say that it isn’t making anything worse. I like the final finish of the product and how my skin looks throughout the day; however, the application is not my favorite – whether I use a buffing brush or the beauty blender. I’m considering using my fingers for awhile to see if that makes a difference.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.sephora.com, the product’s box, and the product’s insert.

1 fl. oz.
Retails for $48.00 USD
Made in France

Drugstore Goodies Continuation: Wet ‘n Wild Trio “Walking on Eggshells” & “Comfort Zone” Palette

Behold – more Wet ‘n Wild products. I’m telling you – whether you’re on a budget, trying to find high end dupes, or just in the mood for finding other options – this is a great brand to explore. I can’t believe it took me this long to do this, but I’m truly happy with the performance of these products; and, that’s saying alot since I mostly indulge in high end/department store brands.

Today’s post is featuring the “Walking on Eggshells” trio and “Comfort Zone” palette. AHHH! I’m on a huge Wet ‘n Wild kick and somebody needs to stop me. Not joking. They offer tons of color combinations in the various trios and palettes, but seeing as how I’m into looks that are wearable, I had to go with the most neutral colors.

Firstly, here’s the “Walking on Eggshells” trio. Out of makeup items I’ve purchased in the last few months, I am most happy and excited about this trio. The colors are perfect and it’s just outstanding overall. Much like the “Silent Treatment” trio I previously reviewed, there’s no fall out, high pigmentation, excellent blendability, and long lasting stay power (without primer).

Swatches of the “Walking on Eggshells” trio here. The colors are great and work well together. Most of the time, I like to mix it around and I don’t tend to follow the suggested marking (brow bone, crease, eyelid). When I’m dabbing the brush onto the color it does tend to get powdery, but it’s no big deal for me since even my Chanel eyeshadows do that.

Finally, the “Comfort Zone” palette – the most requested, recommended, and out of stock item at my local Walgreens. I had to actually drive around to find this one (as embarrassing as it sounds); and, you guys are right: there’s some MAC dupes in here, for sure.

This palette in general is a great deal – it’s just a few bucks and you get 8 shadows that can create all kinds of looks – from subtle and natural to dramatic and smokey. No wonder this is everyone’s favorite pick.

This is an unaltered shot of the 1st half (right side) of the “Comfort Zone” palette.

Swatches of the 1st half (right side) of the “Comfort Zone” palette. Again, excellent pigmentation. I see close dupes for MAC’s “Amber Lights” and/or “Soba” or “Woodwinked.”

This is an unaltered shot of the 2nd half of the “Comfort Zone” palette. Great variations in this palette. Seriously.

Swatches of the 2nd half of the “Comfort Zone” palette. Again, excellent pigmentation. The first shade in this shot is basically an exact dupe of MAC’s “Club” eyeshadow. Honestly, I don’t know how often I will be using it since it’s muddy and reddish; but as a duo-chrome eyeshadow – excellent deal.

Swatches of the entire “Comfort Zone” palette. This is very versatile and if you had to get ONE Wet ‘n Wild item, this would be it. I promise you won’t be disappointed and a few bucks for 8 shadows is the best concept ever.

Let me know what you think about Wet ‘n Wild! Have you been using their products before the hype; or, are late like me? These shadows in general are great alternatives or travel-friendly options. Another point for Team Drugstore. They’re definitely stepping up their game.

Drugstore Glories: Wet ‘n Wild Trio “Silent Treatment” & “Bare It All” Lipstick

I’m late on the Wet ‘n Wild band wagon, but I’m absolutely loving the brand right now. In fact, I’m eager for day time to arrive so that I can go to a nearby Walgreens to hoard more eyeshadow trios. Seriously.

For my Wet ‘n Wild experiment, I chose 2 products: eyeshadow trio in “Silent Treatment” & “Bare It All” lipstick. I was also looking for “Walking on Eggshells,” but Target was all sold out – no surprise there. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about Wet ‘n Wild products and it’s got me all curious.

Though, currently, I am personally not looking for dupes or in need of any more eyeshadows, this is a great brand to try out whether you’re like me or not. With the upgraded drugstore product quality, the high end department stores may have some major competition arising.

The packaging is nothing to complain about since I paid less than $3 for this trio. The many stickers you have to peel off before getting to the product are annoying, but it’s nice to know that your product hasn’t been tampered with. The applicators included are meaningless and won’t do much, but the colors are to die for.

As you can see, the swatches of the 3 shades are quite pigmented, smooth, and so pretty. They translate beautifully onto the lid and I love that it’s easy to blend. The color application is smooth and not chalky, like I had previously anticipated. I didn’t experience any fallout; however, the shadows are quite powdery. When I’m swiping my brush onto the color before applying to my eyelid, I get lots of loose concentration of powder in the pan.

It’s no biggie because a lot of my shadows tend to do that – so, it’s nothing new. You can really play up these colors – great for light makeup days and nights out.

“Bare It All” is not a typical nude color lipstick I go for. However, I picked it up out of curiosity. Though it turned out to not really be my cup of tea, the formula is great and lasting power was impressive. It’s tempting me to look into other colors.

Again, I can’t complain about the packaging since it was, like, $2. But, I do like the clear top so you can see the color of the lipstick. The swivel mechanism is weak, but I’m not complaining. The formula is rich and moisturizing; it’s very pigmented and applies smoothly onto the lips without skipping or peeling off dead skin cells.

It’s formulas like this that make me ask myself why I feel compelled to spend so much on lip color. The lasting power is outstanding, and the creamy texture feels comfortable without feeling dry.

The color itself wasn’t the best for me. I’m sure it’s because I’m far too fair for a nude color that is more brown-beige toned. I imagine on olive and medium-dark skintones, this would be an absolute gem. I’ll definitely be checking out other colors from Wet ‘n Wild and expand into trying their other products as well.

Another score for team drugstore! I’m amazed and so very impressed with the eyeshadow trio and I highly recommend it.

Maybelline 24 HR Color Tattoo – “Bad to the Bronze”

Famously known to be MAC’s paint pot “dupes,” Maybelline’s 24 HR Color Tattoo cream shadows have been a hit for quite a few months now. As they’ve circulated around YouTube and the blogging world, I delayed purchasing these because I had paint pots and GA’s Eyes to Kill to get through.

However, it’s quite impossible to actually finish any of it and I was getting impatient, lol. Technically, I suppose there’s no reason for me add onto my ever growing collection, but I was curious and just had to try.

My color of choice is “Bad to the Bronze” which is a taupey-bronze color that’s great all around. I justified this purchase by telling myself that I currently don’t own a bronzey shade that’s in cream form, so here we go. Much like the paint pots, it comes housed in a glass pot with a screw-on type lid. I haven’t noticed any drying out quite yet. My MAC ones did dry out quite quickly which was a bit annoying.

The texture is very smooth and creamy. I like to apply this with my fingers; mainly, because I like to swirl my finger in the product to warm it up. I apply it directly onto my lids and blend using another clean finger. It may not be the most hygienic or time-saving way, but it works for me. I find that trying to use a brush takes more time because the formula is hard and the transfer is difficult.

Lasting power is amazing with this product. I have layered is as a base and worn it totally on its own. And, every time nothing has budged or smudged in any way. The formula is still soft enough to move around on my lid; I find that some of the MAC paint pots dry fast after application and I can’t get it to look the way I want fast enough.

I like that the product is buildable. On lazy days, I just use this and then some eyeliner before adding mascara to my lashes. It’s quick and easy and I don’t have to really think much about it. Then, on nights out, or when I’m feeling up for it, I’ll pack it on and make it more dramatic and darker.

Though the concept of the cream eyeshadows is not new, it’s refreshing to see them at the drugstore for less than $10.00. I feel like with products like this, it’s always nicer to have drugstore options since I don’t feel like “investing” in a product that I don’t use as often as foundation or something. Plus, it gives us more options since it’s more affordable.

A heavy swatch of the color shows the intense pigmentation and smoothness. At this rate, there’s really no need to shell out $20-$30 for highend cream shadows – for that money, you could be investing in good skin care or foundation! So far, I’ve read rave reviews about these and I plan on getting a few more here and there. And, more than ever, it’s nice to see that drugstore products are getting some major credit.

Here’s “Bad to the Bronze” lightly applied with my fingers. No other shadows were added except for MAC “Coffee” eyeliner on my lower lashline and mascara. What do you think about these? Will you be jumping on the band wagon?