Monday, August 29, 2016

Urban Decay Creates Foundation For Us Acne Prone Gals!: Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation Review

Urban Decay is the brand that sparked my love of makeup. Though I was a late bloomer, my very first purchase was a big one--the original Naked Palette. Since then, I have acquired so many of their other eyeshadows, palettes, and face products, but sadly I have been unable to wear their foundations due to ingredients in them that would worsen my acne. When I found out that they were creating a foundation as an extension of the All Nighter Setting Spray, I jumped online and did my research. I mean imagine my excitement at seeing a foundation that was full coverage and long-wearing and then imagine my excitement again when I found out there were no comedogenic ingredients to be found. FINALLY, Urban Decay, finally.

What is the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation?
The Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation is a liquid foundation and is Urban Decay's first full coverage foundation. This foundation is available in 24 shades that are categorized very systematically (shades ending in .0 are yellow-based, .5=pink-based, and .25/.75=neutral). It can be purchased at Sephora, Ulta, and other department stores for $40.

What are the claims made on this foundation?
Here are the claims made on this foundation straight from Urban Decay's website: "All Nighter Liquid Foundation provides full coverage with a modern matte finish that never looks overdone. Get serious long-lasting wear and a blown-out effect you never thought was possible. Perfect for all-night affairs and other scandalous activities, our revolutionary formula is also comfortable enough to wear every day. While Naked Skin complexion products are demi-matte, All Nighter Liquid Foundation is completely matte—but never flat (and it’s oil-free!). We loaded this formula with an insane amount of pigment (about three times as much as Naked Skin Liquid Makeup), so a little goes a long way. There’s no need to build coverage or apply multiple layers. This waterproof, paraben-free formula diffuses light to blur flaws for beautifully perfected skin as it mattifies and absorbs oil to reduce the appearance of shine. With a wide range of meticulously calibrated shades that align with our existing Naked Skin Liquid Makeup shades, it’s easy to find your perfect match. All Nighter Liquid Foundation comes in a sleek, edgy bottle that has a luxurious, highly metallized gunmetal effect with asymmetric cutouts. As cool as it looks, it’s also practical; the shade is clearly visible, but the bottle never looks messy. It’s also equipped with an airless pump—so it’s easy to get out every last bit of product."

How do you apply this foundation?
My favorite way to apply the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation is with a dampened sponge. Because the formula is designed to be high coverage and matte, I find using a brush can lead to a higher risk of cake face. While the sponge does sheer out the coverage just a tad bit, it is still definitely full coverage. And, better yet, the dampened sponge also gives you more time to play with a formula that some have complained dries down too quickly and keeps you from looking like the kind of matte that is dehydrated and aging. Also, as a sidenote, this foundation does play well with other liquid or cream products so long as it hasn't fully set. I noticed that once the foundation is completely set into its mattified state, applying a liquid hightlight, for instance, will definitely end up a bit patchy and hard to blend out.

How does the foundation wear?
This foundation wears beautifully. When applied in light layers, I did not experience any creasing or gunking up around the nose even on the most humid of days. Immediately after the foundation was first applied and had set, it felt very lightweight on the skin and had a natural matte finish. As the day progresses, you will begin to notice that the foundation becomes dewier as your natural oils come about, but they never break down the foundation or leave you looking like a grease ball. It was only by hour 10 of a 12-hour day that I started to feel the foundation on my face, but even so, it looked pretty darn good.

What are my final thoughts on this product?
The Urban Decay Foundation has been so hyped up across social media lately that I can see why it would be easy to think that it is all just hype. However, rest assured that the hype is 100% real! Lately, I have been using this every day that I wear makeup and have even went so far as to buy a few more shades for use in my kit. On the other hand, if full coverage isn't for you, I would still recommend this foundation. By simply mixing a small amount in with your moisturizer or primer, you can customize it to your needs. In fact, a bottle of this will actually last you even longer than the rest of us! The only concern I have, as with other foundation lines, is the shade range. While some shades have a range for yellow, pink, and neutral, others don't even have the option of other undertones, forcing some consumers to pick an undertone unsuitable for them. If Urban Decay sorts this out, the All Nighter Foundation would be absolutely perfect for that many more consumers.

Makeup Deets
Brows - Milani Brow Fix Kit in Light
Eyeshadow - Inglot Eyeshadows in #368, #102R, & #313 & Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in M-698 & M-846
Glitter - Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art Duo in Topaz Twinkle
Eyeliner - Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Eyeliner
Foundation - Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in shade 4.0
Concealer - LA Girl Pro Concealer in Porcelain
Bronzer - Pur Glow Together Gradient Matte-Shimmer Bronzer
Lips - Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Loved & Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 02


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick & Vanish Foundation Brush

Hourglass products have been a staple in my collection for a long time. While I haven't been the biggest fan of their foundations (their Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation looked too dry and powdery on my skin), their Ambient Lighting Powders and Veil Mineral Primer make for great accomplices to an airbrush finish. So when I was given the opportunity by both Influenster and Hourglass to try out their latest and greatest from the line, I jumped at the chance.

What is the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick?
The Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick is a creamy consistency foundation in stick form. It is currently available at Sephora in 26 shades for $46 and was created to be used in conjunction with the Vanish Foundation Brush (sold separately for $46), which is similar to a dense, round-top kabuki brush.

What are the claims made on this product?
Here are the claims made about this product straight from the Hourglass website: "A revolutionary foundation stick with the coverage of a concealer, the fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder in a longwearing waterproof formula for undetectable full coverage. The unprecedented concentration of pigment in this foundation provides maximum coverage with minimum product, concealing all discoloration and imperfections for flawless skin with a seamless finish."

How do you apply this foundation?
As mentioned before, a foundation brush was created with this foundation's formula in mind. Also, the information card sent with the products specified that prepping the face with the Mineral Veil Primer would be optimal, so both the use of the brush and the priming of my skin with this specific primer were the basis of my application. Unfortunately, my foundation in the shade Sand was broken in transit, so applying the foundation stick straight to my face as I normally would was out of the question. Instead, I scooped a small amount out with my stainless steel makeup spatula and striped it onto my face with my finger. I believe the warmth of my hand in this initial application helped to soften this very thick formula enough so that when I used the Vanish Foundation Brush to buff it out, it blended out seamlessly. You could apply it using your beauty blender, but the thick consistency might create a patchy situation and sheer out the full coverage.

How does this foundation wear?
Once applied, the foundation had a full coverage, natural satin finish to it, which I thought was absolutely beautiful. If you're familiar with my reviews, then you probably already know that I tend to wear my makeup for long periods of time that works out when testing the true longevity of foundations, especially ones that boast to be long-wearing and waterproof. In this case, I wore the Hourglass Seamless Foundation for over 12 hours and felt that it held up pretty well. It did not break down or get cakey by any means, but gave a healthy, dewy glow to my skin despite using the Mineral Veil Primer (an oil-controlling primer) and putting it to the test on a relatively cool day. 

What are my overall thoughts on this product?
On all accounts, I'm still an eyeshadow junkie, but I can definitely say that this year has been the year for testing out face products for me. And while I have found some bases that were disappointing and even more that I liked, rarely have I found one that I am absolutely head over heels for. Despite getting dewy after a few hours, the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation remained beautiful throughout--never fading, getting patchy, or cakey. It was very radiant and skin-like. However, while I find the glow to be beautiful, I understand that this may raise some alarms for those of you that are very oily, so I recommend prepping your skin well with a gel-based moisturizer and mattifying primer as well as setting the entire face well with a powder. Otherwise, this foundation will be wonderful for those with dry, normal, and even combination skin. To point out one more negative, I was slightly disappointed in the shade range. My shade, Sand, was 12th in the line-up of 26 and by no means should I be considered anywhere near the median; if anything I fall into the light category. The line does in fact reach deeper complexions, but whether the undertones are actually suitable for those in that category is left up to debate. Overall, if you're in the market for a highend full coverage foundation, this one should definitely be on your list of ones to try.

Makeup Deets
Brows - Milani Brow Fix Kit in Light
Eyeshadow - Lorac Unzipped Gold Palette
Eyeliner - Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Eyeliner
Foundation - Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick in Sand
Concealer - LA Girl Pro Conceal
Highlight - Nars Illuminator in Copacabana topped with Lorac Illuminating Highlighter in Twilight
Bronzer - L'Oreal Glam Bronze Bronzer in Medium
Lips - Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Addiction & Sephora Cream Lip Stain in # 2


*The products in this post were sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

BEST Eyeliner For Sensitive, Watery Eyes: Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner Review

Contact lens wearers know the struggle. Over time your eyes become more sensitive and prone to allergic reactions and never-ending watery eyes. There have been so many instances where my makeup has smudged and wiped off because it wasn't waterproof enough. Cult favorites, such as Rimmel ScandalEyes and Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils did not last one bit. This phenomenon is so frustrating that I resigned myself to the idea of not being able to wear anything on my lower lash line...that is, until I found the Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencils one day while strolling through Sephora.

What are the Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencils?
The MUFE Aqua XL Eye Pencils are waterproof eyeliners that are very creamy and pigmented. They come in 20 different shades, ranging from jet black and brown to blue and yellow, and also come in the same finishes as their Artist Shadows  (matte, satin, metallic, diamond & iridescent). You can find these eyeliners at Make Up For Ever Boutiques and Sephora for $21 a pop.

What are the claims made on this product?
Here are the claims made on this product that I was able to find on Sephora's website: "A pro artist favorite, Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Liner's superior, long-lasting formula will not smudge, crease, or fade until you remove it. Its innovative formula blends intense, rich color with a super-gliding texture. This versatile liner’s smooth texture effortlessly glides onto lids without skipping or tugging while delivering intense, one-swipe color that lasts all day. Perfect for creating a tight line or smudging for a shadow effect, it features shades that range from everyday neutrals to bright pastel pops."

How are these products used?
As with many of MUFE's products, you can use these pencils in a multitude of ways: as eyeliner on the lash line or waterline, as a base underneath shadows, and some shades could even double as brow or lip liners if you're in a pinch.

How do these pencils wear?
I personally have only had the opportunity to try out the shades M-10 (jet black) and M-16 (white) and they wear absolutely fabulously. I find that M-10 is intensely opaque and doesn't go anywhere once it dries down or is set with a powder. M-16, on the other hand, has a medium opacity, but is buildable to a full coverage. It should be noted that once these liners set, they are not going anywhere, so if you plan on smudging them out or using them as a base, work in sections. Despite the fast drying time, they do go on smoothly without any tugging. This will be good news for those of us with sensitive, watery eyes as these liners will give us color payoff that won't budge. Upon removal, I find that it is helpful to soak a cotton round in eye makeup remover and hold it on the eye for a few seconds so that it can breakdown the product thoroughly.

What are my final thoughts on this product?
In the past year or two, I have not been big on putting eyeliner or eyeshadow on my lower lash line as my eyes have developed such a sensitivity. The MUFE Aqua XL Eye Pencils have restored so many eye makeup possibilities for me and, for this reason, I absolutely LOVE them. So, if you couldn't tell, they come highly recommended by me and I wouldn't mind picking up more, especially a navy blue and dark brown for everyday use. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is a line I hope MUFE will continue expanding in the future.

Makeup Deets
Eyeshadow - Smashbox Full Exposure Palette
Eyeliner - Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-10
Lashes - Eylure x Vegas Nay Lashes in Grand Glamour