Friday, May 7, 2010

Sample Project: 4/5/10 - 5/5/10


I'm going to start a project for myself so I go through some of the samples that I have.
I have a large drawer full of samples from all these different purchases so I've decided to start using them up!
I'll use between 5-10 samples every month and see how they apply, work throughout the day etc.
They'll just be used instead of the products I use everyday, and after I use them, zeh blogue will be updated with my review and suggestions.

This month's samples were:
- Sephora primer
- Benefit Stay Don't Stray
- Urban Decay De-Slick in a Tube
- Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara
- Coastal Scents Gold Mica
- Terax Latte Shampoo
- Terax Crema Conditioner
- Laura Mercier Face Polish

So, here we go!

• Sephora Smoothing primer
I want to say it's silicone based but I actually don't know. I say that because it feels sort of.... sandy? NOT in a bad way though. In a tropical beach, extremely smooth sand way. It's definitely very very smooth. It's a gel and not a cream, so I feel like it makes my face feel more dry and ready for makeup than my normal primer would (which is a cream [not the Laura Mercier one, but one from Bare Minerals]... or just not a gel. Not thick and absorbing in other words). It dries and is super soft and feels like it has an oily residue but it's not oil because it doesn't rub off like an oil would. It was a little unsettling at first as a finish but I used it again and I actually liked it.
The Sephora website says "A mattifying and smoothing primer to even out the skin while reducing shine... Improves foundation application while minimizing skin imperfections." It's apparently ideal for combination-oily skin types, which is what I have.
I found that at the end of the day, without doing any touch-ups, my foundation looked about the same as it would with my normal primer, which isn't necessarily for my skin type, and it doesn't mattify either. I did enjoy it though and have since used it a couple more times.
My favorite thing about it is truly how smooth my skin (and hands) feel after applying it. It's not scented so you don't have to be worried about any scents or perfumes having an effect on your skin. It also does feel very light on the skin.
The third time around, I let it sit on my skin for 5 minutes... it didn't help with the application as far as I could tell, but I feel like it soothed my skin feeling-wise.
It spread extremely well so only a small pea sized amount is needed. I think that's the best part actually (I know how I said that I loved how smooth it made my skin...) because it's definitely a bonus when you can apply less.
I don't have anything negative to say about it so it's on my "maybe purchase again" list - there aren't enough pro's for me to put it on a "yes! re-purchase!" list.
Full size is 0.05 oz for $18 and can be bought here at Sephora's website, or in Sephora stores.

• Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer
So if you watched my March Favorite's Video, or saw the post on it, this is the sample I was referring to when I was talking about putting primer underneath my concealer. For somebody with oily skin and knowing how annoying it is that concealer doesn't stay put and such, it was sort of an epiphany-like moment when I saw this and realized I could put primer underneath my concealer to make it stick in place all day. For that reason, I was excited to use this to see how well it really worked... that and Benefit is my favorite brand (as all of you know) I mean, I love my Urban Decay Primer Potion, and it always works wonderfully for me. It makes my shadows stay on all day, no matter how hot, how much I move around all day, or what product I use. It also makes my concealer stay on all day. Nonetheless, I was excited to use this because I wanted to see how other primers compared to my UDPP.
The amount that was available underneath that flap was enough for a think coat for both lids up to the brow and underneath the eye as well. I only used it on one eye though so I could use my UDPP on the other eye and see how they compare.
The consistency of the Stay Put was a little more liquid than the UDPP. As seen in the picture, it comes with a pump, which I would think makes it more difficult to control the amount of product that comes out, as compared to UDPP which comes with a lipgloss like slanted doe-foot applicator. The consistency might also have to do with the fact that it had sat in my samples drawer for a while and it may have started to separate in the aluminum packet it came in. I did mix it with my finger first so it wasn't really separated. I don't know though... maybe it is always like that?
It applied well, and blended quickly. It also looked like a neutral beige color, but the color blended out and it ended up just completely transparent.
It is also Paraben free.
The day that I did this happened to be a rather warm day, and my friends and I went to the city and went shopping (lots of walking, going in and out of air conditioned rooms to heat). So, given the temperature and the activities we were doing I think it did fairly well. The photos I took of my eyes were at the end of the day, at around 6:30 pm. You can see that in the corner, the side with the Stay Put did start to crease a little and slip, and when I looked in the mirror, my concealer was also starting to slip. This is JUST starting, not like... badly. My UDPP side was still perfect and not creasing, so the staying power of the Stay Put is just below UDPP. Not a big deal, I feel like, especially for those with non-oily skin.
Full size is 0.33 oz for $24 (which I think is expensive, considering UDPP is $18 for 0.34 oz, which means this doesn't make my "yes! re-purchase!" list) can be purchased online at Sephora, in Sephora stores, as well as online at Benefit's website, and all Benefit stores.

(Left: Stay Don't Stray. Right: Urban Decay Primer Potion)

• Urban Decay De-Slick in a Tube
I was excited when I was offered this as a deluxe sample on Sephora because again, I have oily skin, and am always looking for something that will combat that.
When this came, it was at the top of my list of things I wanted to use first for this project. Given that it just says "mattifying gel" on the bottle, I assumed it was a primer. Assuming that, I used it like a primer, took a ball of it in my hands, and rubbed it on my face. That happened to be the most unpleasant decision I had made in a long time. It was drying, tightening and looked weird, streaky and chalky on my face. I tried to put lotion on top to help that, and that was an even bigger mistake because it just made it clumpy and AWFUL and impossible to put makeup over. So, disappointed, I took it all off, and put it back in the drawer. Very sad.
3 days later, Temptalia posted about it. I was curious what she had to say about it because I hated it and I was looking for answers. She pretty much liked it, but found that it was drying like I did. BUT she gave me answers! She recommended putting it just in the T-zone and working in small areas. This made sense because the way I applied it made it impossible to work with and it was over a large area.
The next day, with lots of hope, I opened the drawer again and did what she said. I used extremely small amounts and worked in small areas, just on my T-zone. I did this OVER my other primer which I used all over my face. It worked much nicer this time. I did notice that over my nose it still looked a little chalky but after putting foundation over it, it wasn't visible at all.
By the end of the day my foundation stayed on much better in my T-zone, which is the only place I have trouble keeping everything in place, but it wasn't flawless. I know I'm really overestimating cosmetics, but I'm really looking for the primer that keeps my makeup flawless all day without any touchups. I was kind of hoping this was it, but it wasn't. It does better than my primer alone, but not perfect. I do see myself using this continuously though because it delivers better results when I use it.
It is paraben as well as sulfate free. Also a little goes A LONG way with this so really, this tiny sample size will last me a long time. The amount seen in the photo is enough for my nose as well as my chin.
Full size is 0.67 oz for $28 and can be found online at Sephora, as well as in Sephora stores and online at Urban Decay.

• Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara
Another mascara?? Yes please! I love mascara. It's a miracle product. It's a god send. It appeared out of the sky in a ray of golden sunlight, like that scene in the new Clash of the Titans when Perseus gets the sword (which I saw... it was a decent action movie, no thinking involved). To me, that is what mascara is.
So when I get the option of mini mascaras to try, I'm there without a doubt.
This particular one actually came in a gift from Nordstrom so that made it even more exciting. Then to make it EVEN MORE exciting (lots of excitement, eh?) it's Bare Minerals, so I know it's formulated without a bunch of things that other mascaras are formulated with. Here is the complete list:
Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrance, Synthetic Dyes, Phthalates (awkward to type, let alone say...), GMOs, Tricolsan.
It also claims "the seriously tapered wand lengthens, darkens, and lifes for all-around beautiful lashes. Infused with 100% pure bareMinerals, antioxidants, and natural extracts, the smudge-free, paraben-free mascara conditions, fortifies, and protects lashes all day long."
My biggest thing about mascaras is that I hate clumping. Some people like it because they like thick lashes. I... really don't. Not even a little. I really like separating and lengthening mascaras, not volumizing ones ("Luscious" I think is a popular term for it). When I opened this for the first time and saw the brush, I was again excited because it had a thin brush with short rubber bristles which just say "I don't clump!" to me. Some of those longer bristled, fat brushes just scream "CLUMPY" to me. The ONLY mascara that I have found that doesn't do that (and it might be because I don't use it everyday) is the Maybelline Collagen Filler mascara (the yellow one). That was given to me as a gift, so otherwise I would have never bought it because it says "100% Volume" on it.
I used this and it was like magic. It didn't clump at all (as all new mascaras do) and lengthened like none of my other mascaras do. It builds very nicely. I can see this continuing to work very nicely though as time passes because the formula doesn't really have a rubbery finish to it, which I have found is key to how fast a mascara deteriorates. The ones that have a more smooth/liquid consistency last longer. A dupe for this would probably be Rimmel London's Glam Eyes mascara, which is also a lengthening mascara, and has a similar brush (it just doesn't taper in at the end).
This mascara didn't run at all during the day and didn't smudge either. It is definitely one of the only non-drugstore mascaras that I have considered re-purchasing, making my total to 3 (of the about 20 non-drugstore mascaras that I have tried in my lifetime). Comparing that to the 5 of the 13 drugstore mascaras I have tried, it takes a lot to get onto my non-drugstore re-purchase list. It also comes with a waterproof version, which makes me again, excited.
The non-waterproof version comes in Brown and Black, and the waterproof version only comes in black. Full size is 0.33 oz for $18 and can be bought online at Sephora, in Sephora stores, online at Bare Escentuals and in Bare Escentuals stores.

• Coastal Scents Pearlescent Sparkling Pure Gold Mica
This was a sample I got from Coastal Scents a loooooooooong time ago. I didn't really know what to do with it, let alone want to open it because it's just... gold powder in a plastic bag and I was scared it was going to explode onto my hands.
And I was right.
I opened it the first time and in a poof of air, there was suddenly gold dust everywhere. They're very fine particles so that poof of gold didn't even make a dent into the amount that's in the bag. The picture of my finger below is what happened after opening. That? EVERYWHERE.
I used it the first time in the corner of my eyes as a little jolt of color. It was very pretty but did fall out quite a bit. There was enough there though that it lasted all day. It didn't get in my eyes an irritate them at all, so that was good.
It's just annoying to work with because it's in a plastic bag. If they gave it to me in a tiny jar that would have been nicer. That isn't to say that this product is annoying, because if packaged correctly, it'd be like any glitter. This is a very fine milled glitter but isn't pigmented or thick enough to be a pigment. Putting your finger in it clearly gets a good gold color, but with one rub, 90% of it is gone and you get a gold shimmer.
• Terax Latte Clarifying Shampoo and Crema Ultra Moisturizing Daily Conditioner
I've been in the search for a new shampoo so when my beauty supply store lady offered me some shampoo samples I decided to take them. She had been raving about them and told me that I'd like them so I was excited to use them.
True to what she had been saying, the products were wonderful.
The shampoo made my hair feel super clean but without the drying effects that some shampoos have. It was gentle on my hair, which was still suffering through swim season but strong enough to get all the gross chlorine feel out of my hair. I really did enjoy this shampoo.
The conditioner was even better. Only a tiny pea sized drop was enough for my hair, and you've all seen how long my hair is. That was the best part. It was very strong, smelled nice and detangled my hair in the shower instantly.
I have a feeling that these aren't cheap shampoos, and I haven't seen them sold anywhere besides the supply store I go to. So when I do find them I'll post about it. If any of you find it, please comment below!

• Laura Mercier Face Polish
So maybe like 3 or 4 weeks ago, both Allthatglitters21 and Juicystar07 had been raving about Laura Mercier's cosmetics and skin care line. Besides my original "well where have you guys been" feel to it I was glad to hear that somebody was starting to talk about it. I had tried the Laura Mercier setting powder and liked it as well as her ever popular tinted moisturizer. I had been wanting to try the skincare stuff though, and specifically one of the exfoliators both girls had been talking about, which had crushed up pearls in it.
I want to say this is it because I can't find any other exfoliator on her site or on Sephora. So, when I got this sample, I knew it was one of the samples I'd try first because I had been dying to try more of the LM products.
My first reaction was that it was overly abrasive. I felt like if I were going to use this as an everyday product, like Juicystar07 had been talking about, it would just rip off layers of skin. I was surprised she said this because she and her sister had both talked about disliking Buffy by Lush and preferring Porridge soap, which is MUCH less abrasive than Buffy. To me, this face polish was overly abrasive for my face.
It's definitely not something I would recommend using everyday, and not even multiple times in the week. I feel like the crushed up bits in the polish are too jagged and are at some point damaging the surface of my face.
It smelled nice, which is a plus. I would also use it if I really felt like I needed to clean my face, like after a really long, hot day where I was outside all day, or a couple of days after a sunburn when I needed to get all the flakey-ness off.
The full size is $30 and can be purchased at Sephora or at Laura Mercier's website and counters.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Non-Drugstore Nail Polish Collection Swatches

EDIT: Updated Nail Polish Collection as of 12/12/2010 HERE!!!


Here are photos of my non-drugstore nail polishes.
Like all my nail polish swatches, the swatches are 1 coat closest to the wheel, 2 in the middle and 3 on the tips of the swatches:

Each of the wheels come with a flash photo and a natural light photo (which is labelled). Numbers and names start with the swatch with the green "1" next to it and then proceed clockwise (to the right/going down).
If you have any questions, comment below :D


Reds
1. Nidhi – Zoya
2. Blank
3. Blank
4. Red Nouveau – Essie
5. Blank
6. Ruby Pumps – China Glaze
7. Blank
8. Blank
9. Glove You So Much – OPI
10. Smitten With Mittens – OPI
11. St. Petersburgundy – OPI
12. Malaga Wine – OPI
13. Manicurist of Seville – OPI
14. Dutch Tulips – OPI
15. Blank
16. Isla – Zoya
17. Blair – Zoya
18. Alix – Zoya
Oranges/Yellows/Golds
1. Lemon Fizz – China Glaze
2. Blank
3. Blank
4. Cleopatra – China Glaze
5. Cowardly Lyin’ – China Glaze
6. Blank
7. Luxe – Orly
8. Blank
9. Blank
10. Blank
11. Blank
12. Melon of Try – OPI
13. Peachy keen – China Glaze
14. In My Back Pocket – OPI
15. Coral – Barry M
16. Blank
17. Blank
18. Blank
Greens
1. Mint Candy Apple – Essie
2. Blank
3. Blank
4. Gargantuan Green Grape – OPI
5. Jade is the New Black – OPI
6. Here today, Aragon Tomorrow – OPI
7. Blank
8. Rebel Debutante – Color Club
9. Emerald Green – Barry M
10. Wandering Vine – Orly
11. Ivanka – Zoya
12. Midori – Zoya
13. Emerald Sparkle – China Glaze
14. Atlantis – China Glaze
15. Flyin’ High – China Glaze
16. Re-Fresh Mint – China Glaze
17. Four Leaf Clover – China Glaze
18. Blank
Blues
1. For Audrey – China Glaze
2. Luna – China Glaze
3. 2 Nite- China Glaze
4. Blue Hawaiian – China Glaze
5. DV8 – China Glaze
6. Dorothy Who? – China Glaze
7. Meteor Shower – China Glaze
8. Frostbite – China Glaze
9. Breathe Life – OPI
10. Teal the Cows Come Home – OPI
11. No Room for the Blues – OPI
12. Dating a Royal – OPI
13. Suzi Says Feng Shui – OPI
14. Gossip Column – OPI
15. Sag Harbor – Essie
16. Charla – Zoya
17. Kotori – Zoya
18. Blank

Purples
1. Meet Me On The Starferry – OPI
2. Adina – Zoya
3. Mimi- Zoya
4. Fantasea – Orly
5. C-C-Courage – China Glaze
6. IDK – China Glaze
7. Agent Lavender – China Glaze
8. Light As Air – China Glaze
9. Uptown Girl – Color Club
10. Puerto Vallarta Violeta – OPI
11. Parlez-Vous OPI? – OPI
12. Do You Lilac It? – OPI
13. Pamplona Purple – OPI
14. Lincoln Park After Dark – OPI
15. Merry Midnight – OPI
16. Sapphire in the Snow – OPI
17. OPI Ink – OPI
18. Ms. Socialite – Color Club
Pinks/Mauves 1
1. Mother Road Rose – OPI
2. Maine-iac Mauve – OPI
3. Angora Cardi – Essie
4. Panda-monium Pink – OPI
5. Blank
6. BFF – China Glaze
7. QT – China Glaze
8. Something Sweet – China Glaze
9. Who Needs A Prince? – OPI
10. Hopelessly In Love – OPI
11. Bubble Bath – OPI
12. Make Love… - OPI
13. Princesses Rule! – OPI
14. Pink of Hearts 2 – OPI
15. Strawberry Margherita – OPI
16. I’m Indi-a Mood For Love – OPI
17. Ate Berries In The Canaries – OPI
18. All That Razz-Berry – OPI
Pinks/Mauves 2
(only one photo because this is pretty true to color)
(Top to Bottom)
1. Gilda – Zoya
2. Alegra – Zoya
3. Nova – Zoya
Browns/Nudes/Wines
1. Who Are You Wearing? – Color Club
2. High Society – Color Club
3. Best Dressed List – Color Club
4. Charity Ball – Color Club
5. Blank
6. Rage – Orly
7. Blank
8. Blank
9. Blank
10. Blank
11. All A-Bordeaux the Sled! – OPI
12. We’ll Always Have Paris – OPI
13. Crêpes Suzi-ette – OPI
14. Baguette Me Not
15. Kreme de la Kremlin – OPI
16. Tick My France-y – OPI
17. Sand In My Suit – OPI
18. At First Sight – OPI
Black/White/Silver
1. Shine – Orly
2. Mad As A Hatter – OPI
3. Happy Anniversary – OPI
4. Shot Around The Clock – Nicole
5. Gaia – Zoya
6. Blank
7. Blank
8. Blank
9. Blank
10. Matte Vinyl – Orly
11. Black Onyx – OPI
12. Goth – Orly
13. Razzle Dazzle – Nicole
14. Freja – Zoya
15. Blank
16. Blank
17. Blank
18. Blank

Sunday, May 2, 2010

April Favorites

Joe Pavelski

Here are my favorites for the month of April!
This month went by faster than March and it's sort of scary...!
I'm super excited for summer though (I'm so over school) so I'm sort of welcoming the speed in which this first 1/3 of the month went by.
First, some pics, then the list is just underneath:

- Mac Utterly Discrete Tinted Lipglass, Raven Kohl Power Eye Pencil (center swatch)

- Zoya Charla (teal) & Alegra (pink) from the 2010 Summer Sparkle Collection



- Bare Escentuals BareVitamins I.D. Skin Rever Upper
- Mac Cremeblend Blush, Joie-De-Vivre
- Dior Lip Glow
- Mac Tinted Lipglass, Utterly Discrete
- Mac Kohl Power Eye Pencil, Raven
- Glass Nail File
- Zoya Charla & Alegra
- Kenzo Eau De Soie Silk Perfume
- Lush "So White" Perfume
- Candles By Victoria "Pearberry Delicious" Candle
- Joe Pavelski
- Playoff Beards

Sidney Crosby's Sad Playoff Beard:
I love the guy, but his "beard", which is just a sad greasy mustache and... stuff going on around the chin, just aren't cute. Or manly. Hopefully his career will be long enough for him to be able to truly grow an awesome beard. Until then, though, let's just admire those who have beards, like Max Talbot (also from the Pittsburgh Penguins) and Joe Thornton.