Revlon Photo Ready Skinlights Face Illuminator in “200 Pink Light”

Awhile back, the Revlon Photo Ready Skinlights Face Illuminators were a big hit and were considered to be “dupes” for all high-end liquid highlighters back in the day. Then, they disappeared and were never to be found again! I was browsing at Ulta for nonsense as usual, and came across the 2013 version of the Photo Ready Skinlights Face Illuminators. When I googled the product to see reviews, there were very few. In fact, even on the Ulta website, the products seemed to be non-existent. I’ve seen them on UK websites, however.

I snagged one anyway just to give it a try. Quite honestly, I don’t know what the hype was a few years back; and, I don’t find anything special about them now.

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There’s a variety of shades available, but I chose “200 Pink Light” — no surprise there. I don’t like the packaging, and would’ve preferred the pump like the previous design. Also, while the color seems pretty initially, there’s just so much glitter in this thing it’s impossible to use it naturally. I’ve tried to apply it separately after my base makeup along my cheekbones, and I’ve also tried to mix it in with my base makeup for an all-over glowy effect. Unfortunately, it was too glittery for me and wasn’t glowy at all. It looked like nothing until I got out to my car and looked in the mirror — I had glitter all over my face! Also, I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure that this caused me some unfortunate breakouts. I’m for the most part blaming this product because nothing in my routine had changed. AND, I don’t really have issues with random breakouts.

I’ve been nursing my skin back to health the last week or so, but I haven’t touched the Revlon Photo Ready Skinlights Face Illuminator in “200 Pink Light” since. If I don’t give it away to someone, I’ll be returning it for sure. Once they’re more readily available, I assume there will be reviews available (with swatches). I wasn’t happy with the product at all, so I won’t be recommending it. I just find that there’s other liquid highlighters out there with better reputations, and even for the cheap price, it’s just not worth the mess it’s caused for my skin. Has anyone had better luck with this?

Made in USA.
Retails for $12.99 USD.

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REVIEW: Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in “105 Demure”

Newly introduced in the drugstore makeup world are the Revlon ColorBurst Lacquer Balms. Since then, various bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, etc. have reviewed them. I wasn’t all that interested at first to be quite honest, but soon, my curiosity got the best of me. I chose the color “105 Demure” and it’s just okay for me.

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This line of ColorBursts is marketed as “lacquer balms” that “offers high shine with balm-like moisture.” Much like the Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, the concept of a chubby crayon that’s retractable remains the same. For awhile, these were considered to be “dupes” for the original Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms. I can’t really compare since I don’t own any of the Clinique Chubby Sticks, but for half the price, Revlon’s Lacquer Balms could be a better deal.

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The Lacquer Balms are said to be “infused with a Triple Butter Complex of Shea, Mango and Coconut Butter,” so it’s supposed to be highly moisturizing. For me, it felt okay on my lips — but, in no way comfortable. And, while the pencil-like tip is great for precision and control when applying, it wasn’t very long-lasting, faded horribly due to chunky glitter, and looked alright but not great on my lips. The color “105 Demure” is a soft pinky color that matches my natural lip color somewhat. However, I was NOT a fan of the glitter particles in the product. Even after the color itself fades, you’re left with patchy glitter on your lips that also transfer to various areas of the face.

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I think if you’re looking for a dupe for the Clinique chubby Sticks, I can see why so many other bloggers and vloggers would recommend this. However, for me, I’m happy with other favorites. I think if these came without the glitter, it would have been more tolerable as a product you could just throw on and be out the door. The glitter was a deal-breaker for me and I wouldn’t recommend this. There are other more promising lip products out there that are more pigmented, hydrating, and long-lasting (without the glitter).

Made in USA.
Retails for $8.99 USD.

Drugstore Beauties

Writing about drugstore gems can be tricky because it seems that so many people have such high expectations of finding dupes and replacement products for high-end items. For me, my drugstore beauties are consistent products that I choose to re-purchase over and over again — despite the fact that I can find them at high-end department stores. This is simply because they perform just as good or even better and I find no reason to spend the extra money.

Here, I’m showing you my drugstore favorites; and, besides some of the newly released items, I’ve been purchasing the rest for years and years.

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1. Cetaphil is my favorite morning cleanser because it’s so gentle for my sensitive skin. Whether you’ve been out in the sun or you’re going through a hormonal breakout phase, this is the best and most gentle cleanser you can use on your skin.

2. I stock up on the Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover whenever I can. This is my most favorite of all drugstore products in the world. This is because it truly removes all traces of your eye makeup, even waterproof mascara. Another reason why I’m so loyal to this particular remover is because it removes Japanese mascaras, which are seriously hard-core.

3. The L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara has been a staple of mine for at least 10 years. I use it as a layering mascara, after I’ve applied an initial layer of whatever Japanese mascara I’m using that week. This builds volume and is really, really black.

4. While I do treasure my high-end lip balms, I still equally rely on my drugstore lip balms like the EOS lip balms and the Nivea Lip Butters. They are both hydrating, easily portable, and wear well under lipstick and lip gloss.

5. Man, remember when the Revlon Lip Butters were released and everyone was flocking to them like they were going out of style? I do. I think the Lip Butters really set the bar high for the drugstore lip product department and I’m glad for that. These are great for on-the-go and are perfect options for when you’re strapped for time. They’re hydrating and my lips feel comfortable — while looking pretty in whichever shade I choose that day.

6. The Real Techniques Blush Brush (used for powder) and the Expert Face Brush (for foundation and cream blushes) are true drugstore gems. They are great value and are excellent quality. More often than not, I reach for RT brushes over many of my more expensive brushes. Because they’re affordable, I tend to buy multiples of my favorites and hoard, lol.

Remember that the drugstore has many reliable options, and they’re getting better and better as time goes on. It’s great that we can find great products that are affordable and easily accessible. However, there are some products in the high-end market that are worth investing in, and I will be writing a post on that as well soon. After all, expensive isn’t always better! :)

As always, thanks for reading.

REVIEW: Revlon ColorStay 16-hour Eye Shadow “555 Moonlit Clair de lune”

I’ve been experimenting with various drugstore options for awhile and avoided the shadows until now. My expectations for shadows are high because of my experiences with high-end products. However, this is not to say that there are no drugstore alternatives available.

Revlon is my favorite drugstore brand and I’ve been impressed with their ColorStay range for quite some time. Recently, at Ulta, there was a promotion going on – buy 2 get 1 free – and, of course, I jumped on it before it was too late!

I chose the Revlon ColorStay 16-hour Eye Shadow in “555 Moonlit Clair de lune.” Again, it’s a rather safe quad considering I’m a fan of neutrals. For me, I wasn’t too concerned about the color choice; I was looking for quality of texture and formulation. Claiming to last up to 16 hours is quite steep, but I was also curious about its true lasting power as well.

On a everyday basis, I skip eye primer and move onto the eyeshadow. I don’t particularly have oily lids and I haven’t really experienced any of my shadows wearing off halfway through the day. Creasing has never been an issue for me; I’ve personally always had issues with EYELINERS smudging more than anything else.

The Revlon ColorStay 16-hour Eye Shadow in “555 Moonlit Clair de lune” is a safe option, but comes with easy-to-work-with shades that can suit anyone for any occasion. The 4 colors vary in texture (semi-matte, frosty, etc.) and the level of pigment intensity varies as well.

As far as I know, I did not experience any fallout with this quad; it is easy to use and carry around; and, if in a pinch or traveling, this is a handy quad to pack without risking your more valuable products.

The back of the packaging resembles many Japanese drugstore eyeshadows. The picture example on the back is helpful but shouldn’t limit your creativity. The consistency of the product is not soft, nor do they feel finely milled. It blends okay only if you have a trusty blending brush on standby.

Pigmentation is just okay. It takes many swipes to get the appropriate amount of color deposited onto your lids. The lighter colors don’t show up that great, but the dark brown shade performs well. Up close, the colors are pretty and they do work well together.

The white, frosty shade is nice for the inner corner of your eyes. It really does brighten up your look and helps you look more awake. Personally, I wouldn’t use this as a brow highlight because it’s quite glittery and frosty. The medium brown-taupe shade is nice as an all over shade. It’s hard to get this color to pack on with a brush, so I just use the sponge-tipped applicator.

The pale champagne color is my least favorite color since it doesn’t really show up on my lids. It looks like something in the pan, but once swatched, it’s quite disappointing. You can detect a faint hint of shimmer but the color itself is nearly non-existent and pale. I like it for all over the lid when I’m not feeling motivated or inspired to apply eye makeup. It looks nice paired with eyeliner. The dark brown color has excellent pigmentation and is great for crease work or lining along your lashes. It’s a bit difficult to blend, but like I said, a trusty blending brush – like a MAC 217 – will get the job done, so no worries.

Here is the quad applied lightly onto my lids. I skipped the frosty white color since I was heading to a meeting and didn’t want to attract unwanted attention, lol. As you can see, everything is subtle but the colors are definitely buildable. As for lasting power, I can’t say that it lasted exactly 16 hours since I remove my makeup (all of it) before the 16-hour mark. However, without primer and in the heat and humidity, it didn’t run, smudge, or fade on me.

I would give this quad a C+ overall. I have plenty of other colors that I would reach for over this quad, but I like the quad for its convenience and portability. Perhaps it would be something good to have in your makeup bag in your desk drawer for touch ups as well.

What are your thoughts?

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss – #042 “Bellini”

My newest drugstore treasure is a lipgloss that took me by surprise. Revlon is my number one go-to drugstore brand because it’s reliable, performs well, and I’ve rarely been disappointed. Although this is my first Colorburst lipgloss by Revlon, I’m happy to note that I will be looking into other colors. If I were to rank my three lipgloss brands, it would be Laura Mercier, Revlon, and Chanel.

As many of you already know, I’m rather picky about lipgloss and the formula and consistency. Various shades will look pretty in the tube, but we’re paying for the color inside, and I’m happy to report that the Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in the shade “Bellini” is a must-have right away.

The packaging is sleek and thin, much like Chanel’s. I like that it’s not stubby and bulky and I appreciate its matte and textured black handle. The wand is a bit different; although it’s sponge-tipped, it’s thin and curved inwards so it fits perfectly on the lips. I like that you can glide it along your lips as the color spreads evenly. You’d be surprised how many sponge-tipped applicators dump gloopy color onto your lips.

The color is not that unique – a pinky, peachy tone that every brand out there makes. I just found it to be very pretty while perusing through the drugstore and didn’t expect much. However, the formula is perfect – it’s not sticky, but not too thin that it wears off quickly. It doesn’t collect in the corners of my mouth and the color translates very well onto my lips.

On my medium-pigmented lips, it’s slightly nudey colored but still remains pinky-peach so it pairs nicely with any eye look you’ve got going on, whether it’s dramatic or natural. I would definitely recommend this over any lipgloss, but I do have to say that my beloved Laura Mercier glosses will always be number one for me.

You can find this at your local drugstore and prices do vary. I think it’s a great deal, great color, and great formula – so, it’s a win-win for everyone. What are some of your favorite drugstore glosses? If you’ve already tried the Colorburst range from Revlon, how do you like it?

Drugstore Goodies: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

The newly released Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains has caused quite a frenzy since their availabilty in the U.S. As a more affordable option compared to the Clinique Chubby Sticks, this is another star product from Team Drugstore.

These lip colors come in a retractable, plastic tube that does not need to be sharpened. The color of the tubes reflect the color of the product, which is nice since it can easily be identified. Twist the silver-tipped end to reveal more product. I think the design concept is cute and delicate; and best of all, I like that you don’t have to sharpen it.

The name Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain describes the product perfectly. The balmy texture is a creamy formula that is kind of gel-like as well. Its application is smooth and doesn’t drag against the lips. The “just bitten” part of the title is essentially what the product stands for – the perfect amount of stained color that allows you lips to look bitten. Once applied, the color doesn’t transfer as much as a lipstick because it isn’t as slick. At the same time, it’s not drying on the lips either.

Revlon’s website describes the product as “a lightweight lipstain + moisturizing balm,” stating that “100% of women who tried it felt their lips were instantly moisturized with a soft stain of color.”

I woudln’t say that this product is so moisturizing that you can throw away your chapstick, but it does its job and that’s what counts. I especially like that this can be an alternative to the Chubby Sticks by Clinique – and, dare I say I prefer this over YSL’s Glossy Stains…

I photographed swatches in 2 different angles and lighting situations to show you the shine and glisten from the product. The color blends well into your lips; and, even though it’s sheer, it delivers the perfect amount of color without being too opqaue – because then, that just looks like paint.

Colors shown here are “Cherish,” “Charm,” and “Rendenzvous.” Out of the three, “Charm” is my favorite since it’s a soft muted peachy color that’s not quite nude. The satin finishes of these products are beautiful because it’s not too glossy and it’s not matte like most traditional stains. The lasting power is pretty decent – I would 3 + hours with drinking. If I apply this after lunch, the remaining color lingers nearly up until I go home after work.

All have minty scents, which I personally found to be kind of disappointing. I don’t mind the scent, but I was expecting a tropical, fruity scent – like jolly ranchers. Perhaps it’s the packaging and the summer colors that gave me that impression, lol.

And, finally, I’ll close this post by saying that there’s 12 colors to choose from and they’re quite difficult to find. Because they’re a hot commodity, all the good colors go quickly and I was lucky to have tracked down the colors I wanted. Currently, I don’t see them at Walgreens or CVS but that may change pretty soon. I find Just Bitten products at Target. Check it out.

Retails between $7-9 each.

*Quotes extracted from http://www.revlon.com.
*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

And the Hauling Continues…

I present to you yet another modest haul. I wish I could say that I accumulated these items over time to make it seem more practical, but I didn’t, lol. What can I say? YouTube made me do it.

1. MAC – Duo Fibre Blending/Tapered Brush 286
2. Revlon – Colorburst Lipstick 006 “Pink Sugar”
3. Josie Maran – Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+ (not full size)
4. Kat Von D – Painted Love Lipstick in “Agatha”
5. Bare Minerals – Matte Mineral Foundation in “Golden Fair”
6. MAC – Mineralize Concealer in NW 15
7. Fresh – Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment (white tube)

All items purchased were based on stellar reviews online either via YouTube, blogs, and various review sites. None were items that I needed – as all hauls seem to be this way, haha. However, I was curious about everything I got apart from the Bare Minerals matte foundation.

Side note –> I have a love-hate relationship with Bare Minerals. When I was much younger, and before the time of using liquid foundations, I only used mineral ones. At that time, BM was the option that every one was raving about simply because nothing else was available yet (in my opinion). When the matte formula was first released, the shade “Golden Fair” wasn’t available, so I used “Fairly Light” which was too neutral-toned for me. Because of the unsuccessful color match, I gave up and moved onto bigger and better things – only to forget about BM for years. Recently, I got re-interested in BM’s matte foundation because of the shade “Golden Fair.” Just by looking at the loose powder particles I could tell this would be more of a suitable match for me.

I’ve decided to give BM another try because:
1. The shade “Golden Fair”;
2. the “click, lock, go” thing that makes everything less messy;
3. the introduction of the matte formula;
4. and, because Houston’s nearly year long heat wave is rapidly approaching, and I know liquid foundation will begin to slip and slide all over my face.

Having said all these things, I hope to report back to you soon.

What are you hauling? Anything you would recommend?

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)

Everyday Beauty Essentials for Spring

Spring is just around the corner and I was reminded of this when we suddenly hit 80 degrees yesterday. I suppose it’s about time – after all, I admit I was in need of a little pick-me-up. My winter fashion has been leggings, Ugg boots, and oversized sweaters (pretty much like every one else). As for makeup, I did dabble in experimenting with foundations and cooler toned colors; I was enjoying the hydration my skin needed rather than fighting the oil; and, I’ve been itching to paint my nails something hideously bright and obnoxious. :)

I was playing with polyvore.com and created a collage of the upcoming Spring essentials. Other than bright colors and pastel tones, I like to keep things quite minimal in the beauty department since my clothes tend to be brighter in the Spring months. Also, since we’re heading into summer months, I tend to avoid wearing liquid foundations as it gets hotter because it’s going to melt and run down my face any way.

Are you thinking about Spring, too? What changes do you plan to make?

Every day Beauty Essentials for Spring

Dior Addict Lip Glow
$30 – lordandtaylor.com

Revlon Vernis à Ongles Couleur N°004 Sheer Nude
€11 – placedestendances.com

CHANEL Small Eyeshadow Brush 15
€24 – pret-a-beaute.com

Current Favorite Products

So, it isn’t a surprise that I’ve accumulated some products recently. But what is surprising is that everything I’m currently enjoying right now are products I wouldn’t normally be enjoying. Why? Well, because most of the products featured in today’s post aren’t normally products I tend to gravitate towards. However, I’m thoroughly impressed by the products and will continue to enjoy them until I get bored. I don’t see myself going back to the store and buying multiples of any of the items mentioned below. I’m trying to cut down on my “hoarding” issue with makeup products, haha.

Featured/pictured items:
Maybelline Baby Lips – “Quenched”
MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow – “Snow Season”
NARS Multiple – “Luxor”
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter – “Creamsicle”
Skin Transformer SPF 20 – Translucent

Before I begin, let me start with the Skin Transformer – which is translucent by the way – so I didn’t photograph it separately. It claims to “hydrate, enhance, and protect” by using an “active natural complex.” It’s supposed to “instantly transform your skin in one application” as it acts as a “antioxidant-rich hydrating base” that is lightweight and provides “luminous coverage with UVA/UVB SPF 20 protection.” It feels slick at first – not oily – but siliconey, which normally, I would absolutely detest. But once it dries and settles into your skin, you’re left with a smooth and poreless canvas. It’s perfect for no makeup days (with concealer and some powder, of course); or if you want to double up on sun protection and primer – this is a good all in one to apply under your foundation.

This is my second tube of Maybelline Baby Lips, but this time, it’s the flavor “Quenched.” The other tubes available are colored, but I like to stick with lip balms that are clear – that way I’m not committing to a color for the long run. These are fancier than your regular ol’ chapstick, but it’s not completely necessary to have. But, it’s like $7 – so what the heck, right? The packaging is cute and I like the color of the tube. Oh, and the swivel mechanism is neat too. The scent is light and clean and not fruity because I tend to not like those scents. Baby Lips is moisturizing and great for layering under your choice of lip color for the day. Normally, I wouldn’t be so attached to a lip balm. But this stuff really works.

Revlon recently released their new line of Colorburst Lip Butters and everyone is going crazy over them. I was lucky enough to hit up Ulta early enough to snag this one for myself. “Creamsicle” is a light, peachy tone that can be layered. In some cases, with heavy layering, you can actually end up with a very nude lip. So be careful unless that’s the look you’re going for. It’s like if the Maybelline Baby Lips and a moisturizing lipstick had a baby. This product has the benefits of lip balm, with some color to jazz it up a bit. Unfortunately, the color does wear off quickly but the moisturizing benefits do linger. Normally, lip products don’t really impress me because I’m a huge fan of Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine colors. But Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butters perform very closely to Chanel’s, and is certainly a great alternative if you don’t want to shell out the money for Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine colors.

Next, MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadow in “Snow Season” has been one of my favorite colors lately. At first, I was disappointed that MAC’s holiday collection was released with no regular eyeshadows (except for the palettes). Normally, I’m not a fan of the mineralize eyeshadows, because in the past, I’ve always been disappointed by their lack of pigmentation. I also found that past mineralize eyeshadows flaked off my eyes and would spread glitter all over my face – which was not a look I was going for. “Snow Season,” as you can see, is a mixture of colorful swirls: beigey brown, pinky-peachy tones, with some sparkley purples, along with silver and gold shimmers.

Swatched, it is the perfect icy shimmery color that works perfectly as an inner-corner highlight. The color brightens up the eyes beautifully. Though “Snow Season” comes from MAC holiday 2011 collection “Glitter & Ice,” I won’t be purchasing any other products from the line because they all kind look the same to me!

I’ve been a huge fan of NARS for years, but it’s taken me a long time to warm up to their Multiples. I don’t know, I’ve just never been interested in such a product for highlighting, mainly because I’ve always preferred powder forms. This is interesting, because it’s in a twist-up form but it glides on easily onto the skin. For application, I prefer to use my finger since I don’t want to be rubbing the entire stick onto my cheekbones

“Luxor” is a pearlescent, shimmery highlighter that has hints of pinkish and white tones that perfect for faking “the glow.” It’s not too shimmery that it looks like you’re going to your high school prom, but it provides a healthy sheen when blended in to fake that look of natural health. This is perfect for your cheekbones, under your brow bones, and down your nose. “Luxor” lights up the face perfectly – as if you’re being lit from within by candlelight. I find it very romantic. :)

I hope you’ll try some of these products out, and if you do, I’d love to hear your reactions/thoughts.

*Pictures taken using CANON POWERSHOT SD1300 IS DIGITAL ELPH (12.1 Megapixels)
*Click on images to enlarge.