REVIEW: Urban Decay Brow Tamer Flexible Hold Tinted Brow Gel

I’ve been eager to try a new eyebrow gel, and just had to give the new Urban Decay Brow Tamer Flexible Hold Tinted Brow Gel a try after Claire Marshall raved about it. She recently featured this product in her video “Monthly Beauty Review.” I’ve tried it out for the last few days and I’m totally thrilled that I love it so much. The Urban Decay Brow Tamer Flexible Hold Tinted Brow Gel is a “lightweight, water-resistant brow gel that provides flexible, comfortable hold and eight-hour wear.” Before this, I was using the Benefit Gimme Brow for months now. I was itching to try something new and I’m so glad I stumbled across the Urban Decay one. While I loved Gimme Brow, the product got goopy really quick. It was great for the first week or so and then product would start to collect around the opening. Eventually, it would make it difficult to close and twist the top/applicator properly because of the goop that would collect. Then, its itty bitty brush would get goopy and I would just throw it away to purchase something new.

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The Brow Tamer Flexible Hold Tinted Brow Gel is said to “tame even the unruliest of brows,” as it promises to “groom, define, and set brow [to look]…fuller, more polished.” I like how this brow gel is really lightweight, so it doesn’t feel cakey or sticky. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when brow gels make my brows stick together. I like for the hairs to be separated and look full. The great thing about The Brow Tamer is that “its water-resistant formula offers flexible, comfortable hold that lasts all day. The universally-wearable tints create natural-looking definition with a clear or tinted shades. The easy-to-use spiral microfiber brush, is designed to give you precise control for individual hairs and sculpt the perfect brows. It dries down quickly without getting stiff or sticky, leaving brows feeling soft and never crunchy.”

In addition, the brush is really nice too. Other brow brushes have been either really chunky and difficult to maneuver, or they’ve been too small or too skinny. While Gimme Brow was a long time favorite of mine, the brush only worked great (because of its size) until the product began to goop. Once that happened, the product would also collect in between the bristles, making it difficult to smoothly apply the product. However, with The Brow Tamer, the brow is still small, but much more slender in length. It’s pretty skinny, which makes it easy to use in a small space –like in the brow area. However, it’s substantial enough to deposit a good amount of product thinly into the brow hairs.

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I’m using the Warm Brown shade, which is a great match for my dark brown hair. I thought about getting the matching eyebrow pencil too, but I decided to wait until I used up what I’m currently using. I found that the Dark Brown was very, very dark (almost blackish) so I decided to choose the warmer, lighter shade. It all worked out in the end because it looks very natural on my brows, and doesn’t add too much of the light color onto my hairs. Overall, I’m quite happy with The Brow Tamer and I recommend it. I think that it’s the best of both worlds right now, but I think what I miss about the Gimme Brow is the texturing and volumizing formula. The Brow Tamer does all those things, but I have to put a little bit more effort to get the result I want. I don’t mind because I really like Urban Decay’s The Brow Tamer, and I think it’s worth checking out especially if you’re in need of a new brow gel!

Made in Italy.
Retails for $20.00 USD.

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Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation

I’m picky about power foundations, and this comes as no surprise since I prefer natural, dewy finishes. Currently, my favorites are Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation, NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation, and the Shiseido Sheer and Perfect Powder Foundation. A close runner-up would be the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder, and that’s just because it really depends on my mood since there are just some days I get annoyed with this powder foundation.

The Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation recently got my attention and I just had to check it out. UD’s new power foundation promises to be an “ultra-creamy, buildable, wet or dry powder foundation that leaves a weightless feel and demi-matte, Naked Skin finish.” In my opinion, it’s important for powder foundations to be light and weightless on the skin to avoid powdery-ness and cakey-ness. In addition, depending on what your skin type is, it’s also important to find a power formula that adjusts to your skin so that it looks natural.

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This power foundation is considered to be demi-matte and full-coverage. And, by that, it claims to promise to last all day with its “advanced, velvety formula [that] delivers weightless, buildable coverage—that can be applied wet or dry.” The sponge that comes with the product is nice and cushiony — making it ideal to use dry and wet if you wanted additional coverage. The final result is “a radiant, no makeup look that doesn’t leave the skin looking dusty or cakey.”

I’m using the shade Fair Cool, which is the lightest shade available in its range of colors. It leans cool-pink and is for fair skintones. The color match could be better, but as far as tone goes, it matches my undertone pretty good so I can live with it. The texture of the power foundation is super finely milled, so it gets dusty when I dab my powder brush in it to apply to my face. “Formulated with coated, micro-milled powders, this foundation diffuses light to blur the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while Highlighter Performing Pigments Technology offers rich color and the perfect balance of coverage to even out your skintone.” I think for these reasons, the color settles well into my skin and seems to adjust. It looks natural and light on the skin, and is surprisingly creamy for being a powder foundation. While concealing pores and covering up lines and major pigmentation falls short with this product, it’s good at not settling into weird places on the skin and doesn’t catch heavily onto dry patches of skin.

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For a powder foundation, this is pretty high coverage and COULD risk becoming cakey if you use a heavy hand. I dust it on with a fluffy powder brush, and it provides coverage and decent oil-control. If you wanted to up the level of coverage, you could always apply this over your regular foundation/BB/CC cream to achieve that; but, it won’t be entirely super high coverage/opaque on its own. I think it’s reasonably priced for what it is, but keep in mind you’re getting less than half an ounce of this stuff for nearly $40 with tax. There some pro’s regarding this product, but for me, the con’s outweigh the good. I don’t like how my skin looks dull with this product. Even with the lightest shade, I feel like my skin doesn’t look bright and healthy. The packaging is kind of plastic-y, but I like the wide mirror it includes. The floral pouch is just okay, but I understand why UD included it since the case is reflective and could get scratched and dirty easily. Overall, I’m already content with the previously mentioned powder foundations so this one was just MEH. I would recommend Laura Mercier and Chantecaille over this one for a bit more money.

Retails for $36.00 USD.
Item contains 0.31 oz.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder in “Naked Light”

Accompanying the release of the Urban Decay NAKED Ultra Nourishing Lipglosses, the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powders were released. As a “loose powder with a luminous, demi-matte Naked finish,” this product is designed to give you the ultimate smooth, luminous, and natural finish to your makeup.

Before we begin, let’s make a mental note about the packaging, albeit bulky, is cute and would look nice displayed on one’s vanity. Also, notice that the sifter portion of the jar strategically has just a few holes and not a million. This is great so that you don’t get a whole bunch of powder everywhere; and, it makes it somewhat travel-friendly.

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The Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder is used to “blur flaws, set makeup, and cut shine with [a] weightless formula that feels amazingly silky on the skin.” As a “virtually invisible” naked powder, Urban Decay’s “high-tech, light-reflecting formula fools the eye with optical blurring, seemingly airbrushing away imperfections and creating a soft-focus effect that looks professionally retouched.” While the product is a powder, this “creamy, buildable, jet-milled formula applies beautifully, never look[ing] chalky or cakey.

It’s best to apply this powder with a plush, fluffy brush. A little goes a long ways with the powder, so I prefer to dust off the excess before applying it to my face. It’s a great way to transition your makeup from looking “too done” to looking like your skin just looks this way!

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I got the shade “Naked Light” and I’m happy with it. While there’s a heavy yellow-neutral tone to it, it blends seamlessly and flawlessly — setting makeup and plugging in pores. It really does give a soft-focus effect without looking fake. I like this powder much better than the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder that I purchased and then returned.

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The Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder is not really that unique since all the powders released nowadays pretty much promise the same things. I’d say that I prefer the Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pressed Powder over anything else because it does everything that the UD powder promises — but it has much better oil control. I feel like nothing will beat the Giorgio Armani Micro-fil Loose Powder, which is still my all-time favorite.

I recommend the Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder, but only if you don’t already own a soft-focus/blurring powder that does magical things for you skin, lol! I’d have to say though — even though the product claims to be buildable, this isn’t a powder foundation but a setting powder. So, don’t expect it to provide coverage or anything. For setting makeup and helping you look luminous — check. For blurring pores, lines, and uneven texture — check. For oil-control and pigmentation coverage — no check.

Retails for $34.00 USD.
Made in USA.
Item contains 0.28 oz.

REVIEW: Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara

It’s very rare that I try non-Japanese mascaras — and, it’s simply because I need a hardcore mascara that will hold my curl way, way up. Pretty much all American mascaras won’t hold my lash-curl the way I like, and nothing annoys me more than droopy (yet heavily-mascara’ed) lashes that smudge. I decided to try the Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara after seeing it featured in From Head To Toe’s YouTube video called “Mascara 101: Tips for Short, Straight Lashes.” I’m sorry, but American waterproof formulas are not as crazy as the Japanese ones, so I was wary when I purchased the Cannonball mascara.

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Now, even though this is an Urban Decay mascara and it can be assumed that this is standard American waterproof mascara, the Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara is made in Japan. So, maybe I’m cheating a bit. LOL. It is described as a “lightweight, waterproof, gel-formula mascara,” and claims to have been “rigorously field-tested in the ocean as well as the sweat-drenched gym.” Like standard Japanese mascaras, Sephora’s website states that this “exclusive Japanese formula refuses to budge,” and that the “special microcrystalline wax works with the dense, fuzzy brush to increase seductive length and volume, without ever flaking off and compromising your lashes’ natural feathery texture.”

On that note, I’d agree that the mascara’s formula is lighteweight and decently waterproof (although not as hardcore as the Kiss Me Heroine Volume and Curl Mascara, the Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister Mascara, or the Fasio Hyper-Stay Mascara Magne-Plus Curl Long). The formula of Cannonball is gel-like and is a little gloopy upon the first application. But a little gloop never hurt because it helps sparse lashes look beefed up with some volume. This mascara is indeed long-lasting, smudge-proof, and does hold my lash curl to my liking. So, in this sense, the Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara does pass my initial test to a certain extent.

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However, the formula does dry out my lashes — and when you don’t have a lot of lashes to begin with, every piece of it counts. I’d suggest wearing a base underneath this mascara, just to help your lashes out a bit. Also, even though my lashes were held up by this mascara, it didn’t stay up as curled as I would like. I supplemented the mascara with the Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Bone Black Fiber mascara base to help the performance and longevity.

So, yes, while the Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara does perform better than most Western waterproof mascaras, Japanese mascaras are still number one in my book. And, while the Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara did pass initial tests, it still needed the help of a hardcore base like the Shiseido’s Majolica Majorca Lash Bone Black Fiber mascara base. In the end, I feel that it’s great for everyone, simply because this mascara worked on my sparse, thin, Asian lashes, LOL.

Made in Japan.
Filled in China.
Retails for $20.00 USD.
Color: Black only

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in “Native”

Lip colors don’t tend to tug at my heartstrings, unless it’s the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshines. In terms of favorite lip products as of late, I’ve been really enjoying the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in “86 Instinct” and Benefit’s Hydra-Smooth Lip Color in “Air Kiss.” While the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks have been out for a few months now, I admit I’m just now gaining some interest in this lipstick range.

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The new Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks have caused quite a buzz around the blogosphere and YouTube, so you bet I had to give one of these babies a try. On Sephora’s website, they are described as “luxury lipstick[s] that delivers intense color payoff plus creamy shine.” The Revolution Lipsticks are rich in texture and pigment, and are very buttery in terms of consistency and how they feel on the lips. These lipsticks appear to “glide on without dragging or skipping and hugs every curve” of your lips. And really, just one swipe will do because they’re so creamy.

Also, “Urban Decay’s Pigment Dispersion System™ gives Revolution Lipstick its super creamy texture, intense pigmentation, superior color dispersion, and extended wear. Maxi-Lip™ defines and hydrates lips while making them look plumper and fuller. And a nourishing blend of jojoba oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and shea butter keeps lips super moisturized and cushiony soft.”

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“Native” is a pale pink, my-lips-but-better color that is soft and pretty on the lips. The range of Revolution Lipsticks is quite vast, with 20 colors available — from nudes and bright pinks to deep and berry tones and reds as well. “Native” seemed like a good, general shade to start with. The pigmentation is crazy and I find that swiping the product onto my lips is too much. I just dab it a little bit onto my top and bottom lips, and that’s really enough for me. The formula is smooth and creamy so it’s easy to work with and easy to apply. Also, it’s very hydrating as well, so even after the color has worn off, my lips are slightly stained and not feeling dry.

I’d like to get “Obsessed” next, which is a bright baby pink. Originally, I wanted to get a nude shade, but found that they were too brownish and wouldn’t look right with my fair skin tone. The range is definitely worth checking out, but in terms of concept, the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks aren’t a new idea. So many brands are coming out with richly pigmented lipsticks that are glossy and hydrating. For me, my favorite will remain the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines.

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I like the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks and I recommend you swatch colors in person. While the formula and texture feels nice, the finish is not as glossy as I would like. They’re more like standard lipsticks with beefed up pigmentation. I prefer glossy finishes personally, simply because a really matte lip look tends to look a bit mature for my taste. If you’re into bold colors and need your lip colors to be crazy pigmented, I’d recommend this range of lipsticks. However, if you’re like me, and you enjoy a more sheer and subtle look that’s glossy (but not wet-looking), you could probably pass these up and not lose sleep.

Made in USA.
Retails for $22.00 USD.
0.09 oz.

REVIEW: Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder in “Naked Light”

I may be the only person who’s been able to show some display of resistance towards the Urban Decay Naked range, but the Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder recently caught my attention. I say “resistance” loosely because I do have the Naked Basics Palette and the original Naked palette as well. However, everything else in the line never caught my attention.

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Described as “a weightless finishing powder with a luminous, demi-matte Naked finish,” it claims to “blend flawlessly to set makeup and cut shine.” Also, Urban Decay states that “this oil-free powder is virtually invisible on skin and has a silky texture that feels amazing.” It contains “optical blurring pigments [that] instantly minimize imperfections, diminish shine, and create a stunning soft-focus effect that looks professionally retouched. Unlike powders that leave skin looking chalky or cakey, this powder imparts a radiant complexion and natural-looking coverage.”

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I chose the shade “Naked Light” and I feel like there should be one called Naked Extra Light. While “Naked Light” is decent enough — color-wise — I feel that it’s a tad bit dark. However, since it’s a powder and it blends out, it’s really not that noticeable on the skin. You can really tell when you compare other setting powders I have in my collection. The compact itself is cute and comes with a pouch. I like this concept for highly reflective cases so it won’t get scratched up in your makeup bag. The enclosed sponge is useless and I find that using a brush gives a better, more light appearance. The finish is luminous and light in texture — like the product insert states — even after the application of this powder, your skin looks and feels like skin.

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Overall, I like the powder because it reminds me of how the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder looks, and I’d recommend it to those who are looking for a semi-matte, oil-controlling powder. Also, since MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural clogs my pores, it’s nice to know that I have a similar alternative since I loved the MSF Natural so much awhile back. However, I find that $34.00 USD to be a little ridiculous for the amount of product you get. While I like the powder and it feels nice, it still doesn’t beat the Giorgio Armani Micro-fil Loose Powder in 00 or the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour in N10. Also, it doesn’t look pretty when worn alone, like the two powders I mentioned. I think this is a good standard powder, but I wish it was more multi-functional.

Made in USA.
Retails for $34.00 USD.
0.26 oz.

REVIEW: Urban Decay NAKED Basics Palette

So, as an avid neutral shadows collector, I’ve sworn to stay away from Urban Decay’s NAKED palettes – all for good reason! However, I was convinced to get the Urban Decay NAKED Basics Palette because I’m weak – and, I caved! :)

If you’re like me and you need to justify a purchase like this, use my excuse: ‘Well…technically…I don’t have any matte shadows, so I should get this palette to expand my matte shadows collection…’ HEHE

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A few things to cover before we take a gander at the swatches:
1. Packaging – AWESOME. It’s small and compact with a wide-long mirror. I like that there’s no random lipgloss or eyeshadow applicator/brush because they’re useless anyway. The slightly rubberized texture of the palette is nice, but it’s not sticky-rubbery like the NARS packaging.

2. Urban Decay describes this palette as their first matte palette “featuring six gorgeously Naked neutrals to build on or wear alone—including four never-before-seen shades.” Naked Basics is “more than just the long-awaited, multipurpose MATTE companion to Naked. It’s the palette EVERY woman needs in her beauty arsenal.”

3. Is it worth it? Only if you’re into the natural, naked, minimal effort look. If not, this probably isn’t going to do much for you or be special enough to purchase. I’m not sure how it would look on darker skin tones because the shades could appear ashy.

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Recommended use:
“Use these shadows to contour, line and highlight to create the right amount of definition for any occasion. Or for the days when you’re craving more color, pair them with your fiercest, boldest shadows. Richer than other mattes, the color goes on with a smooth, luxe finish (never chalky or powdery). There’s even one demi-matte shade, Venus, which has the tiniest touch of satin—perfect for highlighting and adding dimension.”

Formula:
The shadows are “velvety, [with] suede-like smoothness and blendability.” It’s soft to the touch and applies easily onto the lids. LOVE. I’ve always been impressed UD shadows because of the buttery-smooth formula. There’s no fallout, no oxidation, and best of all, the shadows are not chalky – like most matte shades are. I like to use this palette to do the natural look without actually going bare. However, if you look at the swatches, most of the shades are literally naked and barely noticeable. Even so, don’t neglect this palette.

Shades:
Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (cream bisque matte), Walk of Shame (very light nude matte), Naked2 (taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte) and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).

Final thoughts:
I recommend this palette because it more versatile than it looks in the pan, I promise. I’ve enjoyed it everyday since purchasing it; but, I can understand those who’d want to pass it up. In my opinion, it’s not the most spectacular item and it’s not a substitute for either of the Naked palettes. Because it’s a matte palette, it’s in an entirely different category of palettes – it just depends on what your daily “look” is.

Overall, I’d recommend it. :)

Fill Weight: 6 x 1.3g e 6 x 0.05 US oz.
Retails for $27.00 USD.

Made in USA.

NEW: Urban Decay Eyeshadow – “Stray Dog”

So, it appears that in the land of makeup, the newly formulated Urban Decay eyeshadows has got everyone scrambling and freaking out. I approached this new line with caution, because really, if you own any of the Naked palettes you’re pretty much good to go.

Cleverly, I picked the shade “Stray Dog” simply because it was a shade that wasn’t included in any of the Naked palettes and seemed unique – though it is a neutral, taupe color. See? I don’t stray far from my go-to colors. :)

Compared to the old formulation, the new shadows are:
1.) richly pigmented
2.) velvety smooth
3.) and encased in a pot that can easily be depotted

It applies smoothly without any fallout IF you tap the excess off your brush before applying. I did notice that by doing this, the eyeshadow “crumbles” are left in its pan. In my OCD-mind, I find that wasteful since so much product gets tapped off. I suspect it crumbles easily because it’s so buttery soft. The color translates beautifully onto the eyelid whether you use a primer or not.

According to Urban Decay, the “even softer [and] amazingly velvety texture” provides a “richer, more dense and decadent color” that is smoother than the old formulation. The “uniform pigment distribution” promises superb “blendability [and] longer-lasting, crease-free” color.

This time around, Urban Decay has released an empty palette so you can pick and choose which colors you’d like to house in your customizable palette. The colors easily pop out of the pot and you snap it into the palette. For me, the palette didn’t interest me because it’s quite bulky.

“Stray Dog” was the only color that caught my eye. It’s acutally not that glittery, but it has a sheen that is reflective and almost wet looking. It’s a great all-over color and adds great dimension to your lids when you use a lighter and brighter shade in the inner corners of your eye.

I like the new formulation and find them fun to play with. Many of the single shadow colors already come in the Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes, so if you already have those, this may not be anything exciting to you. Perhaps in the very near future, they will release new shades to add to the permanent line.

Have you tried Urban Decay’s new shadows? What do you think?

Retails for $18.00.
1.5 g / 0.05 oz.
Cruelty free.

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