Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Tipsy

Coral and orange tones are very spot on trend for Spring/Summer 2011. I've noticed a growing love for them in lipstick, lipgloss and blush form in many magazines and blogs. A great blush that suits this trend is Tarte's new Amazonian clay blush in the colour, Tipsy. I got a sample of this blush at Sephora a few weeks ago. I was actually looking for NARS Gina, which my Sephora did not have, and the girl recommended Tipsy as a good matte peach blush. She was raving about it, I just took the sample and went on my way, I am upset that Gina wasn't there (I purchased Gina online since then). I knew nothing about Tarte at the time, since then I have seen many youtube gurus rave about it all of a sudden, marketing in it's best I think. So I have pulled out my sample of this to show to you all here today.

A little background on these blushes from the Sephora website "Infused with natural clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River and naturally baked by the sun, this nutrient-rich blush benefits all skin types for a fade-free flawless finish for an amazing 12 hours. Inspired by Tarte's best-selling shades of cheek stains and lip tints, the colors range from soft to vivid to suit a wide variety of skintones. For oily skin types, Amazonian clay minimizes oil in and around pores to balance skin and keep product in place. Those with dry skin will benefit from the clay's nourishing and hydrating properties, which naturally restore skin's moisture. Combination skin types can rely on its ability to zero in on skin concerns and deliver benefits to restore complexion harmony. The result? Blush that wears better, longer, and truer!" The blush is free of parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances. The clay used in it is meant to reduce dryness and flakiness, improves skin clarity, removes oil from the skin's surface. It's a gorgeous blush, packed full of goodness for your skin too, and did I mention it's supposed to last 12 hours?

This is a sample only, I don't have the full product, but I intend on buying it soon. I didn't know you could get samples of blush, but apparently you can. The Sephora girl shaved some off for me in a small container here. I got a lot, as you only need a bit for great colour payoff with this product. Mine is in loose powder form here, when you buy it in the compact it's pressed, so it won't be crumbly like my swatch here. It's a bright orangey coral, but more orange to me than coral, but once you swatch it, you see the coral come through. This is said to be an almost exact dupe for MAC's Ripe Peach, click out Bloomin' Beauty's swatches and review here. I don't own Ripe Peach, so this really excites me. Check out WillWorkForMakeup's review too, it looks great on her. 

The packaging is really nice too, it has a picture of the Amazon river embossed on it, which is cool. The compacts are close to the colour of the blush itself, so you don't have to look at the back to see what blush you're grabbing in your collection. It has a nice mirror on the inside, and the pan pops out easily, so you can depot it and put it in your MAC palette if you like. I highly recommend this blush. If you're looking for a more peach blush, try out Blissful, Tipsy is an intense peach coral.

Have you tried Tipsy? or any other Tarte Amazonian blushes?

Sigma Makeup $50 Gift Card Winner

Whenever I make these winner posts I always spend a lot of time trying to find a cute picture to include and fall short with lame ones like this lol. Thank you to everyone that entered my latest Sigma Makeup $50 giveaway. I enjoy spreading the word about these brushes and giving you guys a chance to try them out too.

The winner of this giveaway is... Marilou

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Clinique All About Eyes

Eye creams are a bit of a mystery to me, I haven't used many so I don't know what I like just yet. However, being in my late 20's now, I think it's crucial that I start using one. On the recommendation of a couple of people, I purchased the Clinique All About Eyes eye cream recently. This retails for $37CAD for 15ml (0.5oz). I think this is the most I have ever paid for something so small, but as with any eye cream, it will last you forever since you only need a tiny amount everyday. I had a $10 off $50 coupon for The Bay, click here for that, so I used that, and purchased the new Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer as well (loving that and will review soon!).

Clinique's website describes this as "Diminishes the appearance of eye puffs, darkness, fine lines. Lightweight, non-creep, cream/gel formula actually helps hold eye makeup in place. For use morning and night, under eyes and on the lids." I think this product is good as a starter eye cream, if you are still young and not worried about wrinkles yet. The thicker version, All About Eyes Rich mentions diminishing the appearance of fine lines, but when I swatched that one it seems much thicker to me, so I passed on it.

For myself, I was looking for something to hydrate and moisturize my eyes, since they get dry and tired looking. Also, every eye cream seems to irritate my eyes, makes them water and makes me break out. So I wanted something very light, and this eye cream is definitely that. The packaging I am not a fan of, I prefer something with a pump or squeeze tube, I have a couple of eye creams from Garnier and The Body Shop that I prefer over this.

The texture is like a gel, similar to the Moisture Surge but more opaque. It feels very light and absorbs quickly into my skin. It makes for a good base for under-eye concealer, I know you aren't supposed to use face cream under your eyes. Of all the times I've bought stuff from Clinique, this product was never included in a gift with purchase, if it were I would of probably passed on buying the full size. I think this is just okay, nothing spectacular and just average for what it does, I think you could find something comparable for a lot less money in the drugstore.

Have you tried Clinique's All About Eyes? What's your favourite eye cream?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MAC Cosmetics: Quite Cute Collection Promo Pics April/May 2011

I am sure everyone has heard of the MAC Quite Cute collection, it hits April 7, 2011. And it is just that, so darn cute. The promotional pics for this and the styling are just a bubblegum cute explosion, I am going to have a hard time containing myself at the counter when this goes live. But as you know, I will probably buy some things online ahead of time (I recommend that) if you really have your heart set on something. Here is an overview of all the products included in this launch.

MINERALIZE BLUSH Suggested Retail Price $23.00 U.S./$27.50 CDN
Giggly Light pink with pearly plum heart
Sakura Lavender with pearly magenta heart
Miss Behave Light beige with pearly mint green heart

PLUSHGLASS Suggested Retail Price $18.50 U.S./$22.00 CDN
Girl ♥ Boy Bright light blue pink
I ♥ U Creamy mid-tone purple
Fashion Fanatic Creamy pale pink
Bubble Tea Creamy pale nude

LIPSTICK Suggested Retail Price $14.50 U.S./$17.50 CDN
Playing Koi Creamy white peach pink (satin)
Quite Cute Creamy bright whitened lavender (cremesheen)
Saint Germain Clean pastel pink (amplified)
Candy Yum-Yum Matte neon pink (matte)
Play Time Creamy intense violet (cremesheen)

NAIL LACQUER Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$17.00 CDN
Little Girl Type Creamy pale lavender
Mischievous Mint Creamy pale blue mint
Ice Cream Cake Creamy blue pink

CUTiE EYE SHADOW X4 Suggested Retail Price $36.00 U.S./$43.00 CDN
Goody Goody Gum Drop Light white pink (satin)
Boycrazy Pale lavender with silver pearl (lustre)
Moshi Moshi! Pale white green gold (frost)
Azuki Bean Mid-tone dirty violet (frost)

ZOOM LASH MASCARA Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$17.00 CDN
Zoom Black Rich black
LOUD LASH MASCARA Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$17.00 CDN
Noisy Black Black
PENULTI MATE EYE LINER Suggested Retail Price $17.50 U.S./$21.00 CDN
Rapidblack True black
LIP PENCIL Suggested Retail Price $13.00 U.S./$15.50 CDN
Naked Liner Light neutral
In Synch Bright yellow pink
Boldly Bare Dirty red brown

LASH Suggested Retail Price $14.00 U.S./$17.00 CDN
#7 Lash

My thoughts about this collection, the blushes were what attracted me first, but upon seeing some swatches from Temptalia, they look really sheer, so personally they are a pass for me. I like the nail polishes, I missed Peppermint Patti when it was released, so I might pick up a couple of these, pastel tones are great for summer. Some of the lipsticks intrigue me, I have Saint Germain and although I never wear it, it's nice to have. The plushglasses are cute, and would be nice to layer over some of the lipsticks in this line.

Are you getting anything from "Quite Cute"?

Essie French Affair Spring 2011 Swatches and Review

Essie's latest collection is "French Affair", it came with 6 new polishes. These polishes are soft, pastel-like, delicate colours, with the exception of "Coat Azure" which is a blue with shimmers. If you like pastel colours this may be the collection for you, definitely spring-like.

Monday, March 28, 2011

OPI Texas Collection Swatches and Review

OPI Texas Spring/Summer 2011 collection had some really nice advertising promotional pictures,  I had a hard time choosing just one to put here, so I put several. I love the concept of this line.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 Haul

I have a treasure of a website to share with you today, it's This is a website that I recently learned of, first time ordering from them too. I placed my order on March 15 and received it on March 25. Their packages are shipped from Hong Kong, if I am not mistaken. There is a note on their website that if you get charged customs, send them your invoice and they will reimburse you, however I was charged nothing more. I was very impressed with the shipping time, it's always nice to get your packages before the weekend so you have time to play around with the stuff. What I like most about this company is their wide assortment of high-end products and free shipping worldwide. I am often bothered that companies do not ship to Canada (and other places of the world) and even their sales and discounts are US only, it's really irritating and turns me right off. takes Paypal too, which I like a lot, it saves me racking up my credit card bills. They also offer a loyalty bonus, the more orders you place with them the larger % off you receive.

I ordered two things, the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and Estee Lauder Double Wear Light, I am super excited about both products. I saved a bit of money on the Laura Mercier, I actually bought a discounted package, it's expiring in July. I did some research and apparently, product expirations are just guidelines and in this case it's probably just the SPF in the product that is expiring, and since I always wear SPF under my makeup anyway, I wasn't too phased. This product is normally $42US, not sure how much in Canada, but I know around $60 and that's just BONKERS for a tinted moisturizer in my opinion. And... Laura Mercier at Sephora online is restricted to Canada so I can't even look up how much it is for you all.  Anyway, I got it in the colour "Porcelain" the lightest shade.

Next, the most exciting part of my package was the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in Intensity 0.5. Now you're probably wondering, Intensity 0.5? there is no such shade.. but there is! Check it out here. When I saw that, it was like the heavens opened up, my prayers have been answered! I've been meaning to try this foundation for a long time, but Intensity 1.0 seemed too dark to me, and I have read many people complaining that their colour range sucks, so I didn't even bother. But 0.5 is like MY SKIN colour, totally, it's perfect. I am not sure if this is a Hong Kong exclusive or what, maybe an Estee Lauder employee can contact me and let me know because I need more of this shade and I think many other pastey girls do too!

Here is a comparison pic, Laura Mercier TM in Porcelain on the left, and Estee Lauder Double Wear 0.5 Intensity on the right, they look very close, so if you wear that colour in the Laura Mercier, 0.5 is your shade.

And blended in a bit here, you can tell the Estee Lauder, I want to say has more of a neutral undertone perhaps (my lighting is way too orange here). Also note the coverage difference, the Estee Lauder is definitely more opaque and covers much more, the TM settles into my skin more. I will do full reviews on both products soon. But I am thrilled at the colour selection on the Estee Lauder, it's like my discovery of the month!

The Stila eyeshadow in the first picture is a free gift that came with my order, it's in the shade "Ray". With every order, there is an option for a free gift, this gifts varies depending on stock, but you get a choice of several items. I just looked now and they've got GOSH lipsticks and eyeshadows. Please tell me your experiences with below.

Have you tried

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Sigma E45 Small Tapered Blending Brush

Thanks everyone for entering my Sigma giveaway, the contest is now closed. A brush that I really enjoy from Sigma that doesn't get much hype is the E45, the Small Tapered Blending Brush. It's great for putting colour in the crease and blending it. This brush is very similar to the MAC 226 brush, which was a limited edition brush from the Blond Brunette Redhead collection. If you missed that collection and are craving a brush like that, this is a great one to pick up, it's only $9. 

This brush is like a shorter, more tapered version of the E40, and not as precise as the E30 pencil brush. When I first bought it, the tapered part was more defined, after washing and using it, the find the bristles have fluffed out a bit more. The pictures above are after washing, it was pretty dirty and I didn't want to show a dirty brush in pictures here, that's just gross. Mine did not bleed dye or shed upon washing or use, I do occasionally pull out stray hairs though. I'd recommend this brush for those of you with small eyes since the brush head itself is quite small.

I bought this brush back in the summer, here is the original post and also notice how the shape has significantly changed over time. The second picture was taken when I received it and the top is now. Although I don't mind the change, I wish it had stayed pointy like that. I think if you keep your brushes in a brush guard, tightly condensed, you can keep that shape, otherwise they do tend to fluff out naturally.

Here are the eye brushes that I use on a regular basis for applying lid and crease colours. I don't like using the E40 for my eyes since it gets all over the place, it's far too large for that, I use it for blending my concealer. But the E45 is my favourite for applying crease colour since it's tapered enough and it's soft on the eyes. For a more precise crease application, I use a pencil brush.

What's your favourite eye brush? Do you use the E45?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wet N Wild: Walking on Eggshells Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette

I love Wet N Wild's "Walking on Eggshells" palette, these colours are the tones that I reach for most often from my MAC, Urban Decay, and Too Faced palettes except for a fraction of the cost. I don't know how Wet N Wild is able to offer these exceptional quality shadows for so cheap, it's been said before, but it's like a disgruntled MAC employee started working for them and created shadows just as good.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Wet N Wild Silent Treatment Icon Eyeshadow

Silent Treatment is one of the newest 3 shadow palettes from Wet N Wild. We don't have the 8 pans in Canada yet. We did get all the 3 pans, I haven't had much luck finding them, but Silent Treatment was the only one that I really "had" to have. If you haven't tried Wet N Wild shadows you really should, once you do, you will totally be impressed with their quality and awesome pigmentation. They are very affordable, I get them at Walmart for about $7 Canadian.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Review: Hard Candy Smooth Talker Blush vs Benefit Sugarbomb

Today I am comparing Hard Candy's Smooth Talker to Benefit's Sugarbomb. There has been a lot of hype about the Hardy Candy Fox in a Box blushes because they look so similar. When I picked up Smooth Talker (on left) I definitely thought it looked like Sugarbomb, no question about it. Both blushes have very similar colours in the mosaic pan, the HC has squares and the Benefit as triangles. I was excited to test it out today and see if they really are dupes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Giveaway: Sigma $50 Gift Card

I am giving away a $50 gift card for Sigma makeup brushes! I received this when I was chosen as Sigma's Classy Affiliate for February earlier this month. I have a ton of Sigma brushes, they are some of my favourite makeup brushes, and I want my readers to try them out too, so I am passing on this gift to you. I will be choosing one winner for the gift card, you can use it online to make a purchase with Sigma, they ship worldwide.

The rules of the giveaway
* Must be a follower of this blog
* Please leave a comment below if you'd like to enter.
* For an added entry, please tweet about this giveaway and make sure you @productrater so that I can see it.
* For another entry please "like" my Facebook group.
* For another entry please blog about this on your blog or sidebar and link to this entry.
* Let me know in the comments which of the entries you complete.
* Giveaway starts today (March 21) and ends March 25, 2011.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Walmart Haul: Hard Candy and Wet N Wild

This weekend I did some shopping, it's been my mission for the past short while to get the Hard Candy Glamoflague concealer and Skinny Dipping boxed blush. I've been to about 5 Walmarts now and still haven't been able to get it. I really wish Hard Candy was sold in other stores, or that Walmart would be more efficient in re-stocking their items, because this is getting really annoying. I've found Glamoflague but it was only in the tan darkest shade. I did manage to get some other things to make myself feel better though. I am excited to try all these products out and will review them soon.

For the Hard Candy items first, I picked up two primers, one in the "skin illuminating" purple one, and the other in the "skin perfecting". I probably didn't need both (I don't need a new primer at all) but I wanted to try these out.

Also got the Undercover Agent concealer (on far right) which ones with a undereye brightener and concealer duo. So far I am disappointed in the concealer since the concealer part is very small and only like a stick ball consistency.

The blush I picked up is Smooth Talker which has some peach, purple and pink squares in it. I wanted Skinny Dipping, which is one side bronzer and the other orange, that one looks really good. These blushes are getting a lot of attention because they resemble the Benefit boxed blushes but are only $5.

As for Wet N Wild, they did have all the 3 colour palettes I believe, most of them are too colourful for me and a complete pass, but I did get Walking on Eggshells (not new) and Silent Treatment. We currently don't have the 8 pan palettes in Canada, or else I would be all over those, they look much better. I hope we get them soon. It sucks about living in Canada, we get cosmetics a lot later than they do in the US.

I also picked up the new Rimmel Clean Finish foundation in 120 Ivory, which I only really got because it has a spatula applicator, that looks really cool. The sign said this product is a Walmart exclusive, so you may only be able to find it there in Canada that is

Have you managed to pick up any new Wet N Wild or Hard Candy items yet?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Laura Mercier Moisturizing Foundation

I am always on the hunt for foundations that will work for my dry skin. I came across Laura Mercier's Moisturizing foundation recently. The word "moisturizing" in the name had me sold, a moisturizing foundation? Yes, please! This foundation is formulated for drier and mature skin, hydrates the skin with added moisture and has Vitamins A, C and E that act as antioxidants to protect the skin from harmful effects in the environment. This retails for about $42US at Sephora or the Laura Mercier website, I bought it for $30 on Laura Mercier's products are quite pricey so I am easing into them slowly.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Sigma Makeup Naughty in Black Travel Kit

Today's review is the Sigma Makeup "Naughty in Black" Travel Kit. This one comes with 7 travel sized brushes with short handles, plus you get one free brush, if you buy the black kit you get the F50 (pictured above) and if you buy the pink "Nice in Pink" set you get a free foundation brush, so you get 8 brushes altogether. This brush set retails for $49 on Sigma's website. Currently you ca get it for 10% off with the code "STYLE2011" (this code works on any item). Also with purchases over $30, you'll also get the free E25 travel sized brush. So it works out to about $5-6 a brush here, plus shipping.

The kit comes in a black clutch that holds all your brushes, it has a hidden magnetic piece on the top that keeps it closed. There is also a small zippered compartment on the inside where you can place extra brushes. I wish the pouch was a bit roomier, as I don't keep my brushes in here anymore since I find the hairs get squished, but it's nice for travel.

Here are the brushes that you get, 4 face brushes: F30 (SS150), F40 (SS168), F60 (SS190),  F70 (SS194) and then 3 eye brushes: E55 (SS239), E40 (SS224), E30 (SS219). Together with the F50 (SS187) it's pretty much all the brushes that you need for a complete everyday look. I think this set is quite well organized. I have included the old numbering here because I thought it would be easier, I still have a hard time remembering the F and E numbers. Often times I wonder if the travel sized versions are as good as the full size, so I will compare that here.

The F30 powder brush in this set is much smaller than the original F30. I would say it's more comparable to their blush/powder brush the F10 (in middle of top picture), but a bit fuller and fluffier. This one has the most shedding and bleeding issues when washed, since it is so large and black.

The F40 contour brush is pretty comparable to the original, a bit thinner and less fluffy. This works well for contouring or blush application.

The foundation brush, F60 is pretty much identical as well. I prefer to use this short handled one for my liquid foundation (if I use this, prefer my flat top brush however). I hope in the future Sigma makes a flat-top F80 short handled version, that would be awesome since so many people love that brush.

The E40 is nicer than the full size one, it's more tapered and less fluffed out, but that could just be because it's new and hasn't enlarged yet. I use these brushes for under-eye concealer.

E70 concealer brush is slightly longer here too (bottom brush), which is better in my opinion.

E55, eyeshadow brush is basically the same too. I like that the handle on this one is fatter than the original, it's easier to grip.

E30, concealer brush is better in this set too, it's longer, more tapered and thinner.

F50, duo fibre brush in this set is much different too, as you can tell compared to the full size F50 and the F55, it's basically in between in terms of size. I find it a lot floppier than the F50 too. I wouldn't suggest the one in this kit for foundation application, but it could work for blush.

I like this and prefer it to the Premium Travel Kit because I find the brushes more basic, ones that I would reach for more. All in all, the brushes are definitely different then the original full sized ones, some for the better. If you can't afford the full sized ones, or prefer the ease of the short handles, I would definitely check this kit out.

Disclaimer: This set was provided by Sigma for review consideration.

Do you have this set from Sigma?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Essie Summer 2010 Collection Swatches and Review

This set is old, but I picked it up recently so I thought I would review it here. I love Essie mini sets, I have a couple of them now and they are much cuter than buying the full size bottles, Essie is too expensive. I get most of my nail polish from Nailetc on Amazon, they are affordable and have a pretty good selection. I ordered the French Affair collection a few days ago too, so look out for that. Essie Summer 2010 collection came out last year, in the summer of 2010.. duh, and it had 4 fun and bright colours, I love the colours in this collection, and I am glad that Miss Matched wasn't included in this set, cause based on swatches I've seen, it's not the greatest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: NARS Gina, My First NARS Blush

I got my first NARS blush ever, and it's Gina! The only other NARS product that I have at the moment is NARS Sheer Glow foundation (which I love). I find their products are quite expensive, so I limit myself to what I can get. I have heard raves about their blushes for years and finally got one. I looked for this at Sephora, but they don't carry out, I am not sure if it's discontinued or what, they also don't have Taj Mahal which I also lust over. I bought this from which is a beauty etailer, they ship for FREE to Canada and the US and take Paypal, which is fantastic, and they carry lots of NARS, Laura Mercier, Smashbox and other brands. I am in no way affiliated with them, it was my first time shopping with them and I got my package in like a week, which was great. I will definitely buy more NARS stuff off them. This blush was $26US.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2

MAC recently came out with a new Viva Glam Gaga lipstick, this one is an amplified creme and very different than the last baby pink one. I bought this lipstick completely blindly, I did not swatch it in the store, but based on the swatches and descriptions that I saw online, I thought it would be a shade that I would enjoy. Plus, 100% of sales of VIVA Glam products go towards the MAC Aids fund so either way, it goes to a good cause.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Clinique Redness Solutions Foundation

When Clininque's Redness Solutions foundation came out, I was all over it. I get redness in my face, I flush easily and sometimes it can feel so hot that it's bothersome. I don't like it, and it's a major reason why I opt for foundations that provide high coverage. I try to cover it with concealer, but I prefer to have an all over colour to even it all out. I haven't been diagnosed with rosacea however. When I went to a counter to try this out, the sales girl took all my makeup off to see how red my skin got, also to see how my skin reacted to this. There is also a complete Redness Solutions line with cleansers, moisturizers and other items to help with redness, including a yellow powder (not a fan of that though). Clinique's Redness Solution foundation is supposed to "visible reduce redness on contact  for an overall even tone. Probiotic technology helps replenish skin's moisture barrier." This formulation is oil-free and should instantly colour-correct flushing and blushing, with calming ingredients to help minimize flare-ups. For more information, check out Clinique's website.