Friday, August 31, 2012

bareMinerals 8.0: The September Issue - Review and Swatches

People have been raving about bareMinerals Ready eye shadows since they came out, and I finally added a palette of them to my collection.

I picked up this new, limited-edition palette at Sephora. The September Issue 8.0 palette retails for $40, has 8 colors, and contain .28 oz of product. For reference the 4.0 palettes retail for $30, have 4 colors, and contain .17 oz of product.

The exterior of the palette has a pretty mirrored finish, but it will show fingerprints like crazy. I personally don't care about that because I'm generally the only one looking at my makeup. I love that the palette itself is slim and compact. There is a small dual-sided brush included with the palette. I didn't think to take any close-up pictures of it. It isn't as atrocious as most brushes included with palettes, but it isn't something that I will be grabbing for on a regular basis.

Swatches and Color Descriptions

From left to right: Couture, Silhouette, Statement, Prêt-à-Porter

Please note: the descriptions in parentheses are taken from the listing on

Couture (glimmering clove) - Couture is a deep-medium brown with a slight green tinge to it, and it appears to have some fine gold glitter. This is a nice crease color, and I think it would also make a soft liner color.

Silhouette (antique white) - Silhouette is a nearly white shade with a slight sheen. It has a good amount of pigmentation and is very buildable. It can be built up to an opaque finish, but it also blends out nicely. This is too light for me to use as a primary highlight because I use my highlight shade to blend out the top of my crease color, but it is gorgeous for the inner color of the eye or for the browbone.

Statement (vibrant orchid) - Statement is a bright reddish-purple shade that has a matte base and fine glitter in the same reddish-purple hue. This is the color I was the most skeptical about when I purchased this palette. I didn't know if I could make it wearable. Upon swatching it, I would say that this is the poorest quality shadow in the palette. It applies patchy and doesn't build very well. I tried this color out today though, and I was pleasantly surprised. I used it on the outer half of the lid with Glitterati on the inner half, and I was pleased with the results. The two blended together really well, and since Statement is more sheer, it isn't over-the-top. I wouldn't wear it to work, but I think I would feel comfortable wearing it out shopping.

Prêt-à-Porter (sunbaked gold) - Prêt-à-Porter is a very yellow-toned gold shade. It is a shimmery shade that doesn't appear to have any glitter. Although the tones are very different, the texture and finish is nearly identical to Urban Decay's Twice Baked.

From left to right: Três Chic, Editor's Pick, Glitterati, Ensemble

Três Chic (apricot cream) - Três Chic is a peach shade that leans brown. While it isn't completely matte, it appears that way when applied. Most people will find this it be an easy, everyday lid shade. I like it for that purpose, but I also like using it as a very subtle crease shade. I think it will be a great crease shade to blend out a smokey eye as well.
Editor's Pick (metallic teal) - Editor's Pick is a gorgeous deep teal shade. It doesn't have a black base, so it remains teal even when blended out. I will primarily use this as a liner shade, and I love that it is deep enough that it is still a relatively subtle colorful liner.

Glitterati (shimmering pink) - Glitterati is a soft pink with a slight golden sheen. It's another easy, go-to lid color. Bended out, it could also double as a browbone highlight.
Ensemble (deepest eggplant) -Ensemble is another shadow that appears to be a matte base with very fine glitter. It swatches much better than Statement, and appears to be more buildable. Like Editor's Pick, this shade doesn't have a black base, so the color stays true when blended. This is another great liner shade, especially for people hesitant to wear colorful liners. From a distance, people aren't going to be able to tell that you are wearing purple, but it isn't as harsh as wearing black liner.

The palette came with a paper that included three looks. Since I often struggle to put together looks from palettes like this, I was really happy to see how BE pictured these shades being used. I won't use these specific looks very often, but they were a great jumping-off point for me.
Overall Thoughts

I am really happy with my first purchase from the bareMinerals Ready line. I agree with the raves I have read about the formula of these shadows. Most of the shadows in the palette have a wonderful, buttery texture and good pigmentation. Statement is the only one that really fails in that regard, but it is still wearable. I like the color selection. The bulk of the palette is neutral shades that are easy to wear, but it has some fun colors that are still quite wearable thrown in.

A slight negative is that it isn't an all-in-one palette for me. I would have to add at least a highlight/blending shade.  Other people will want to add a matte crease shade to the mix, and I know I will grab for a matte brown regularly to use with this palette.

What do you think? Will you be picking this palette up? What bareMinerals Ready palettes would you suggest I check out the next time I'm in Sephora or Ulta?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What's in My Travel Makeup Bag?

A few weeks ago, I made the 6 hour trek to visit my family and attend the annual family picnic. Being the person that I am, I over-packed. I think I had twice as many clothes as I actually needed. My fiance refers to me as a boy scout when it comes to packing because I will pack anything and everything I think I might need. I have a large duffel bag that I use to pack my clothes, and it is a rare trip when it isn't completely full. I figure that if I have the room, I might as well use it and give myself options.

The same can be said about my makeup bag. I will fill it as full as I can without straining the zippers. Here's what I took with me for this trip, which included a day of shopping and a day sitting outside with my extended family.

 This is the bag I typically use. I got it last year at Target. It is by Sonia Kashuk, and I think it cost around $20. You can maybe see in this picture that it has three zippered compartments. The reason I originally liked this bag is that the top one has an elastic pocket with a protective flap for brushes. In a dream world, I would prefer that the sides were made of something more solid so they stood up better. It would also be nice if they separated completely. Overall though, this is a great bag that works really well for my traveling needs.

The top section is the one designated for brushes. Some people might not like that it is just one big pocket for brushes, but I like it because I don't have to worry about whether or not a brush handle will fit into a designated slot. On the left, you can also see that there's a zippered pocket that is really nice for smaller, random items.

Here's what I had in the zippered pocket. I bring extra hair ties, just in case (remember: boy scout). I throw in Q-tips for blending, and I bring tweezers for any stray hairs that I need to take care of. I threw in three lip products: Revlon Kissable Balm Stains in Sweetheart and Smitten and the new Tarte LipSurgence pencil that is also named Smitten that I got in a recent QVC TSV. I threw in a couple of perfume roller balls in Pacifica Island Vanilla and Clean Shower Fresh.

Here's a better look at the brushes I took. I like to take enough eye brushes that I could use a new brush every day if I switch colors. Yes, I realize that's excessive, but there's room, so I go for it. From left to right they are: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush, Real Techniques Stippling Brush, ELF concealer brush, Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush, an Eco Tools shadow brush, Real Techniques Accent Brush, Everyday Minerals eye liner brushes (3), ELF Studio Contour brushes (3), and Everyday Minerals shadow brushes (3).

Here's a look at the second level of my makeup bag. I generally use this section for eye products. As you can see, it has quite a bit of room. For reference, my Naked palette fits quite nicely in there, and I can still throw in more products.

This is a closer look at the eye products that I took with me (clockwise starting on the far left): Laura Geller baked shadows in Sand and Sea, NYX matte shadow in Tryst, NYX shadow in Flamingo, Urban Decay Rollergirl Palette, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, Napoleon Perdis Mesmer-Eyes mascara, Silk Naturals Molten cream eye liner, Silk Naturals eye liner palette, and Wet n Wild Brulee eye shadow.

Finally, this is the bottom layer of my bag. I use this layer for face products. Again, it has plenty of room, allowing me to over-pack even more stuff.

Here are the face products I took (going clockwise starting in the top left corner): Tarte Maracuja Miracle Foundation in Fair, jumbo pencil sharpener, Skindinavia 10 Years Younger makeup finishing spray, Everyday Minerals kabuki brush, Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation in Translucent Light, Silk Naturals Sleep in a Jar Light Peach, Meow Sleek Siamese concealer, Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch concealer in Radiant, Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller, Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in CIA (old formula), Milani Minerals blush in Mai-Tai, and Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush in Rose.

I didn't even get close to using everything I took, but I wasn't wishing for anything either.

What is your packing style? Do you over-pack like me or do you pack the bare minimum?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Finished It!!! Volume 4

Yet again, time passed too quickly, and products accumulated into a larger pile than I intended. Here's what gets to go in the trash today:

Equate Sensitive Skin body wash - I bought this to mix with the I Love... body wash next to it. I wanted something that was fragrance free, and this served its purpose.

I Love... Raspberry & Blackberry body wash - The scent of this is AMAZING! I did a quick review of this body wash here. Basically, it didn't lather well, which is why I bought a body wash to mix with it. I won't buy this again, but I might eventually buy their lotions because the smell is that good.

Dove Deep Moisture body wash - I also bought this body was to mix with the I Love... one. It had too much of a scent to it though, so I just used it by itself.

Organix Macadamia Oil and Moroccan Argan Oil conditioners - These were nice conditioners. I finished them too long ago for me to remember which one I liked more (I think it was the Macadamia Oil one). I like my Nature's Gate conditioners more, but since I can't get those easily, these are on my list to repurchase if I'm in a pinch for more conditioner.

Silk Naturals Cocoa Butter Oatmeal scrub bars - These are a limited edition item that Silk Naturals has released twice, once for Valentine's Day and once for Christmas. The combination of the cocoa butter and the oatmeal left my skin feeling really soft. One bar (each pack came with two) lasted me 3-4 showers, so these are more of a treat item than an everyday thing. If they get released again, I might stock up.

CVS and Ponds Makeup Removing Wipes - I've mentioned before, I use these to remove makeup before a face mask or when I'm doing a swatching marathon. I don't use them in lieu of a face wash, so I'm not overly particular about them. I buy what is cheapest at the time.

The only one of these samples that I'm actually going to comment on is the Murad Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask. It is similar to the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Mask (Please note that I've only tried the sensitive version), but it is gentler. The smell is also more pleasant, so if you tried and didn't like the Juice Beauty mask because it was too harsh or the smell was too off-putting, you might want to give this one a try.

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment - This has been a staple in my skincare routine for a long time now. I haven't repurchased it though because I'm currently using the benzoyl peroxide cream instead.

 Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Hydrating Acne Treatment - This is another staple in my routine. I'm testing out a Yes to Tomatoes salicylic acid treatment as a possible alternative.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF 30 - I got this in Sephora's sun favorites kit from last summer. Even though it was oil-free, it seemed to make my skin slightly greasy, so I don't plan on repurchasing it. 

Napoleon Perdis Lavender hand cream - I received this last summer in a package from Meg's Makeup. If you are unfamiliar with Meg's Makeup, you can read about it (and my last package) here. I'm not currently seeing this hand cream on the Napoleon Perdis website. It was okay, but I didn't plan on repurchasing it because I believe it did retail for over $20.

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme - This had an interesting jelly-like consistency. It felt like a really good foot cream. It took a long time to sink in, so it worked best when I put socks on after applying it. I won't repurchase it any time soon, but I might eventually.

Nivea Creme - I got this free because of a coupon issued by CVS. It was nice, but it wasn't a miracle product. I don't plan on repurchasing it at this point.

Please note that I'm lazy, and I declare lip balms as finished when I have them turned up as far as they will go and my lips rub against the plastic rim of the container. That's why these balms appear to have product left.

Darling Girl Creme Brulee lip balm - I love the feeling of these lip balms, and the scent/taste is fantastic. The only downsides are that they don't have an SPF, and they don't seem to last very long on my lips. I'll be repurchasing more of these in the future.

Yankee Candle Vanilla Cupcake lip balm - I liked this balm. Unfortunately, the twist up mechanism on the bottom of this one broke off, so I had an interesting time finishing this up. These aren't easy for me to find, and I don't feel compelled to hunt them down, so I might repurchase eventually if I happen across them, but I won't be heart-broken if I don't.

Silk Naturals Summer Fruit lip balm - I think this is a discontinued formula of Silk Naturals balms back from when they were experimenting with them, but I'm not positive. I enjoy the current SN balm formula, and I will repurchase them at some point, although probably not in this scent because I prefer others.

Urban Decay Primer Potion mini - UDPP works really well for me. It would be on my repurchase list if I needed to repurchase it. However, I have an extra large of the old bottle, a mini squeeze tube from a palette, and a full-sized Too Faced Shadow Insurance to work through first.

I was going to add in some products that I'm throwing out (I almost typed throwing up...Oops!), but this post is so large, I think those need to wait.

What products have you finished lately?