Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Favorites and Fails: Product Reviews November 2015


Fails from Paula's Choice, Kiehls, and Pixi

(sorry about the weird formatting on this post. Blogger is being crazy).
Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Ripe Raspberry : $8
I expected more moisture from this since it has shea butter in it, but it felt dry on my lips. Also, this color was very "candy" pink and bright, and it looked too juvenile and bright on my face, and it did not melt into my lips, but kind of sat them in a dry way. I will use this up, but will mix it with other colors and a lip balm to make it behave nicely. I will not purchase this again. 

Paula's Choice Earth Sourced Purely Natural Toner : $20
I was so onboard with wanting Paula's Choice products to work for me, but so far, I have not had success with anything of theirs that I have tried. This toner left my skin feeling tight and itchy around the eyes. Paula's Choice products never have a fragrance in them, so sometimes the yucky smell of the ingredients come through. This had a milky texture, which some people may like. I prefer a watery texture, plusI didn't notice that it did anything positive for my skin. I did not finish this because I have so many other products I actually enjoy using as a toner.

Kiehl's Calendula-Rosemary Foot Repair Cream (might be discontinued because it wasn't on their website)
This has a very balmy texture that was soothing, but it didn't particularly help my feet any more than any other lotion would: i.e. no lasting change; just temporary moisturizing. It claims to help prevent cracks and calluses, but it did not do that. And the smell: I didn't like it. The rosemary scent is very strong, and not really pleasant, in my opinion. It's medicinal and reminded me of hospitals. I found myself dreading using it.

Favorites from Clarins, Nyx, and The Leakey Collection


Nyx The Skinny Mascara : $7
I really enjoyed using this mascara. The brush was skinny (hence the name) and easy to use because you could really reach close to the lash line without poking yourself in the eye. The mascara went on nice and wet, without clumping up, and it delicately lengthened and darkened my lashes. I used this beneath another mascara that added more fullness. This mascara is best for an everyday, natural look. I will probably purchase this again once I've gone through all the other mascaras in my stash.

Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Ecran Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Oil-free Sunscreen : $42
I received this sample size with a purchase from Sephora, and I just loved it!!!! I will definitely purchase this next time I need sunscreen. There was no bad smell. The lotion spread easily on my skin without dragging, even in the delicate under-eye area. Almost no white cast, and what little there was, quickly disappated after a few minutes, and the lotion felt great on my skin. This is a hybrid chemical/physical sunscreen, with titanium dioxide, homosalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. It did not irritate my eyes, or cause breakouts. Loved it!

Marula - The Leakey Collection Pure Marula Oil : $78
Although you can get marula oil for a lot less money, I really love this version. The scent is very soothing to me. I really enjoy using it. However, if fragrance annoys you or you are sensitive to using it on your skin, than this is not for you. I have tried the less expensive, unscented marula oil that you can get from Whole Foods, but this version feels silkier and more emollient to me. Apparently, it is very high in antioxidants and omega acids, as well being very moisturizing. I also love the attractive packaging, and the pipette. Although this is pricey, it will last you a very long time. You only need to use a tiny drop at a time, either alone, or mixed with your other face products. I like to apply it before I go out at night because it moisturizes my under eye area and smooths those fine lines so they are less noticeable. I think it makes me look more youthful!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sephora Friends and Family Sale Haul: Too Faced Le Grand Palais and Le Grande Chateau Mini Reviews

Le Grand Chateau and Le Grand Palais
Because it was so adorable, I couldn't help myself, and I purchased BOTH Christmas in Paris palettes available from Sephora: Le Grande Chateau and Le Grande Palais. My picture above shows the three mini palettes that came in the Grand Chateau box. They have gift tags printed on the backs, so you could give them to different people as stocking stuffers, if you wanted to. Cute idea! Le Grand Palais also comes with lipgloss, mascara and Shadow Insurance and sells for $58. Le Grand Chateau comes with mascara and is $49.

On the right in my picture above is the palette that came in Le Grand Palais. The reason I photographed them in this way is because there are tons of photos online showing them in their cute packaging, but I wanted to break it down to just the palettes so you can see the shadows and blushes you get with each set. To see the sets complete, here are the Sephora shop links.
Le Grand Palais
Le Grand Chateau
Unfortunately, I think Too Faced spent a little too much money on the design of the packaging, and too little on the quality of the eyeshadows. The biggest disappointment is with the sparkly shadows: they are severely under-pigmented and have a ton of fall-out.

Here above are swatches on my hand of two shadows from Le Grande Palais. The one on the right is "Midnight in Paris", the sparkling blue, and on the left side is "Eiffel", a gorgeous sparkling moss green (which looks black in this photo, but is really green). One the bottom is the color swatched on my hand, dry, straight from the palette. On the top is the same shadow mixed with either the Shadow Insurance that came with the palette or MAC Fix+ that I happened to have on hand. As you can see, mixing the shadow with some kind of primer is basically the only way these shades are usable. But even so, there is still a ton of fall-out, and I guarantee you will have glitter and shadow all over your cheeks, if not everywhere on your face, within an hour of application.

The colors from Le Grand Chateau seem to be a little more everyday-wearable, and there are some nice ones, especially "Oui", a gold-flecked, dark brown, "Parfait", a pastel pink shimmer, and "Moi", a rose gold shimmer. I love my shimmers and glitters!

So, to sum it all up: the quality of these shadows are not great. The blushes are nice, but they don't last on your skin either. The packaging is amazing! The colors are gorgeous. You will be able to create many, many looks from all the colors in the two palettes, because of the extreme fall-out from the eye shadows, you will have that "partied too hard and still wearing last night's make-up, but now it's under my eyes" look within an hour of application.
Here are my eyes one hour after application, in natural daylight. Lots of fading and lots of fallout under my eyes.
Would I buy these palettes again? Truthfully, even though I am disappointed in the quality, I WOULD buy them again. The palettes are just sooo pretty! They are like that hot boyfriend who's kinda a jerk, causes lots of drama, but you just can't bear to leave him, and you don't regret a single moment!