Rimmel Scandal’eyes Shadow Stick

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Stick

I really love the idea of non-powder eye shadows, but I can’t ever seem to find one that sticks, not even the internet-coveted Maybelline Color Tattoo. My eyes are very sensitive to powder, so I would love to find a gel-type product that will stick around on my lids. Unfortunately, this product was not the solution to my dilemma.

This is a super cheap buy at $4-5 at most drugstores. I picked up the taupe color that is in the picture, and “bulletproof beige”. It’s a gel-pencil — instead of using powder, you can apply this directly to your eyelids. Because my eyelids tend to, ahem, “sweat”, I applied primer before application to help give this product some more staying power.

Even as I was applying this, both colors, I could BARELY see the pigment, and I felt like no product was even leaving the pencil to begin with. Alright, go over it one more time. Still nothing. Alright, one more time… nope. I could hardly see any color. What little color did appear quickly… disappeared, during my thirty minute commute to work. I used these pencils for about a week to see if maybe I just needed to break through that “new” layer of product to get to the stuff that actually worked. Nope. Still no coloration.

Now, given that it’s a gel-pencil, the same concept as many eyeliners on the market today, I imagine that the darker colors would probably have much better staying power.

To add insult to injury, sharpening this is a nightmare! It’s really difficult to create a new tip, after you’ve worn it down the first time. I’m bummed that this didn’t work. I generally like Rimmel — I’ve been happy with their other Scandal’eyes products, but this product just didn’t work at all. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 1/5

 

Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter

Maybelline Master Chrome

Happy New Year, everyone!

The packaging really drew me in, with this product: It just looked so cool and modern…

This comes in four different colored powders: molten gold, molten rose gold, molten peach, molten topaz. I picked up the first two. The coloration on the molten gold was fairly good — gold, as advertised, although it was relatively subtle. The molten rose gold … not so much color. It seemed more like a “bright”/white gold, and I couldn’t really see that there were any tinges of pink.

As I mentioned before, this is a pretty subtle highlighter initially, so you may have to try a couple heavy-handed brush swipes if you want to amp up the brightness. Once the level you want is achieved, it does look quite nice! The powder is pretty consistent throughout the entire package, so you won’t swipe your brush in “too much” glitter at any one point, which I’ve noticed to be a problem with a few products. This consistency gives way to a smooth application, and you shouldn’t need to blend too much of it out.

The longevity was great on this; I’m still glowy by the end of an 8-hour day! For an $8 price point and plenty of product in the dish, this is a good buy. My only gripe with it is the coloration, but I think that’s mostly personal. I don’t think (any) gold really looks good on my skin tone, and I also didn’t feel that the rose gold was pigmented enough. Still, this is a solid buy for anyone looking to add to their daily look, without blinding anyone!  ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Skindinavia Primer Spray – Oil Control

Skndinivia Oil Control

I’m sad to say that this product was a go-to of mine for a few years. Had I known about irritating alcohols back in the day, or even turned the product around to read the ingredients (actually, I still forget to do that… hmm), I would probably have seen the “alcohol denat” as the second ingredient, and never bought it in the first place. Compared to some of the other setting sprays I’ve used, this is not a stand out product to begin with.

As with any other primer spray, you spritz this on your face with the sprayer on the top after moisturizing, and before putting makeup on. There is a tad bit of fragrance in the product, nothing overpowering at all, it’s relatively pleasant (and somewhat non-descript, since I can’t think of another word to describe the scent). After it’s dried onto your face a bit, you can go ahead and apply your foundation without any issue.

This has a 16 hour holding time apparently, and as the product name suggests, is supposed to control oil. I feel like my foundation, irregardless of brand, consistently broke down after hour 5-6 even when this was on — and, a long with the breakdown came the oil, as well.

This is an extremely pricy buy at $22-24, although there is quite a bit of product that will last you awhile. But I just don’t think it’s really doing it’s thing for that price point — and with alcohol denat as the second ingredient, it’s probably better off just to stay away. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5

Longevity: 2/5

How much I actually like this product: 2/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No

Maybelline Volum’express The Falsies Mascara

Maybelline Falsies.JPG

For as long as I’ve been interested in makeup, I’ve been impulse buying Maybelline mascara based on the cute packaging and the occasionally deceptive makeup buzzwords that make me think this mascara is going to change my life. The Falsies is no exception, although it does appear that it delivers on it’s product names’ promise!

This comes in a really cute purple tube and retails anywhere between $4 and $13 (low end was Target on a sale day, high end was Ulta, who almost always overprices all of their product anyway). The wand is fairly long and has quite a few bristles to pick up more of the product. Apparently this also comes in four different colors including brown and blue, but I’ve only ever seen “Very Black” in stores.

Application is fairly good, since there are a lot of bristles you will get a lot of color and product on the first swipe or two. But, also by nature of having a lot of bristles on the wand, I would also advise you go light-handed because having all of that product = potential to clump! Although this mascara is admittedly pretty easy to separate lashes once the clumping occurs.

The overall effect of this is actually pretty good. This probably provides some of the longest length I’ve ever seen in a mascara, and the volume is pretty good as well. You don’t really need more than two or three coats to get the true false eyelash effect.

Now, the longevity… meh. This stuff has some pretty bad fallout from start to finish. Most of the mascara’s effect will remain with you throughout an 8 hour period stretch, but over that period I’ve ended up flicking away quite a bit of black dust from my cheek. And that stuff sticks — it’s not like the tiny particles you can just shake off, some of it will end up absorbing into your skin and you’ll have to apply water to get it out. Weirdly, all this said, I didn’t feel like I had any issues with this stuff getting into my eyes, and if it did, it didn’t cause any over-the-top irritation.

So for overall effect, I really like this. I was extremely impressed by the length and the non-spider legs volume approach it took to get there. But if you’re going to wear it, make sure you’re close to a mirror with a sink — it’s not a good “wear it to the office” mascara!

Merry Christmas! I hope all of my readers have had a wonderful holiday season! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 3/5

How much I actually like this product: 3.5/5

Mario Badescu Facial Spray – Aloe, Cucumber, Green Tea

Mario Badescu Cucumber

I loved the rosewater version of this facial spray. Not that I particularly feel that it’s doing anything, but I love the smell of it, and I love how refreshing it feels. On the off chance it was doing something good for me, I wanted to check out the other offshoots of Mario Badescu’s facial spray.

This aloe, cucumber and green tea one was sort of risky for me to try out, since I am sensitive to green tea products. Not only is the sting of the green tea a little too much for me to take, but it subsequently irritates my skin and breaks me out.

Happy to say this product did not break me out, and it’s still good for the quick skin “refresh” after hopping out of the shower or after washing makeup off my face. But the smell just wasn’t nearly as present as the rosewater (well duh, I guess it’s hard to compete with rosewater). The green tea notes are the most present for the first few seconds, before disappearing.

On the days that I used this, I do honestly feel that my skin was a little drier than it would be if I had used the rosewater, despite layering other moisturizers over it. Again, I would attribute this to the drying characteristics of green tea, and my known irritation to it. But, I wonder if it would be good for people with very oily skin!

So this won’t be a re-buy of mine, but it is a good $5 purchase for someone with a different skin type than me. ~A

This product didn’t work out for my skin, but if you’re more tolerant to Green Tea, check it out here: https://amzn.to/2Fea4l8

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: n/a (I stand by my “fancy water” clause!)

How much I actually like this product: 2/5

L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Makeup

Loreal True Match

Not bad for $5! I wasn’t expecting much from this for the price point, but L’oreal’s True Match ended up surprising me.

The product itself is pretty small, but the makeup is very watery, and you don’t need very much of it to get coverage. Application is easy: despite being watery, the product spreads evenly without too much effort — you won’t have many creases or areas where the product simply stops. A brush can negate any of the issues you might have with the spread. It dries quickly, and plays well with other moisturizers and makeup.

There’s a ton of shades for this product. Now, what’s weird was that I had N1 — it went on a tad too “bright” with pink undertones, and I was concerned that I was going to look too pale for the rest of the day, but within 10 minutes the product had oxidized yellow just enough to actually match my skin color exactly. So that might be something to keep in mind while choosing your shade: what you see on your skin initially might not be your end result.

Given that it was watery, my assumption was that the coverage would be light, but it was a lot more medium than I expected. I didn’t find that this had any particular type of finish — it was just flat, normal makeup, not skewing either dewy or matte. Works for me! And, to the same end that I thought this coverage would be light, I also thought the longevity would be short as well, but it’s actually held up a lot longer than some of my super-stay 24/25 hour makeups. Heck it’s gone to the gym on my face, and still stuck around afterwards without oil breakthroughs or clinging to dry patches.

No break outs for me with this product. Also it’s got SPF, so that’s… cool. Side note, I think it’s funny how they always add in random amounts of SPF, like 17, 18. I am pretty sure I read somewhere that anything under 30 is more or less ineffective, so I don’t really… get it… I suppose it’s a nice placebo effect for the consumer.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with this foundation. It’s not going to change your life by any means in terms of finish, but it’s extremely effective for such a tiny, cheap product. ~A

For this small and simplistic foundation, click here: https://amzn.to/2REUUvU

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 4.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.5/5

 

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting

Wanted to see what the hype was all about, since this is one of the more popular lines of moisturizers on the market. Picked this up online for $13 (Ulta is selling for $28, but Walmart says $10 for the same amount of product, huh? Not sure if it’s a newer formulation or what, but, anyway…). Love the packaging, heavy glass-like bottle and there’s a good amount of product inside.

The product is a really smooth feeling, white cream with very light fragrance. The texture of it is cashmere-ish, as much as a moisturizer can be. I like that about it. It initially looks like it absorbs into the skin pretty well.

Until the next morning, that is. Nice, white patches of “dry” skin start showing up (although it’s actually just dried product). This isn’t an issue if you’re going to hop in the shower and wash the remnants off anyway, but it is ill-advised to wear this out during the day, even though the jar instructs you to use it morning and night. I made this mistake and used this prior to putting makeup on, and then I went to work. Not only did my foundation pill when put over this moisturizer, but it started to pill and dry up on it’s own through the day, causing more little white, “dry” spots on my skin. UGH.

My skin definitely feels softer after using it — likely from the paraffin? — and it looks smoother overall, but these effects are just temporary and disappears once the product is washed off. I’m not convinced that it’s doing anything long-term. I also feel like this would be a problematic product for people with mature or wrinkled skin.  On the plus side, it hasn’t broken me out! It also has niacinamide in it, which is neat, although I’m not sure if it’s enough to make a difference.

This probably will not be a re-buy of mine, but it does feel nice, and isn’t the worst thing on the market as far as night creams go. Just as long as you’re only using it as a night cream… ~A

A note from future A: I forgot to mention that this has benzyl alcohol in the ingredient listing. Not cool!

Perceived efficacy: 3/5

Longevity: 5/5 (although, if used as a day cream, this longevity is actually problematic!)

How much I actually like this product: 3/5

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

This product was one of my very first moisturizers and retinol products. I don’t know how I feel about that, to be honest — I probably could have started with something a little bit more low-key, without the retinol, but I must have figured 20 or 21 was a good as time as any to hop on the anti-wrinkle train.

I definitely did not know what I  was doing with anything retinol related at the time, so there is a possibility I used this way too much — every morning/night, or at least, every day. I probably wasn’t wearing any sunscreen with it, either. Bad. But I can say with confidence that it never broke me out (any more than I already was at the time, anyway — this was before my cystic acne, so I suspect at the time those breakouts were more due to my poor eating/sleep/stress habits), and the packaging does specify that it’s oil-free.

It is a white cream, that quickly sinks into your skin without having to vigorous rub in. It’s can be a little bit pilly if you don’t let it set or you put too much in one area, etc., but as long as it goes on smoothly from the onset, it should be relatively lightweight. There’s no fragrance.

As it is a retinol cream, this should be worn at night, not during the day, or if you’re going to wear it during the day, put some sunscreen over it. So you probably shouldn’t need to put makeup on over it, but if you do, that should go on fine as well, again as long as you’ve allowed the product time to set. I haven’t used this in awhile, so it’s possible that reformulations have occurred in the time that’s lapsed thus changing the structure of the product, but I don’t notice any substantial ingredient changes.

While this product does boast retinol, they don’t disclose the percentage, and I read somewhere on Reddit once that the percentage is actually relatively low, or that it merely contains it’s lesser form, retinyl palmitate. But regardless of the amount of retinol, my word of caution is still to read up on retinol and how to use it properly before applying (especially if you’re acne prone, cause the retinol purging period can be real!)

But if you like to live a more carefree lifestyle (like me, at age 20) and do absolutely zero research before using a product, this is certainly the product to do it with. It’s probably not a miracle worker, but it won’t kill your skin, and there’s just enough good stuff in it to convince yourself that it’s actually doing something. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Maybe

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon

Marc Jacobs Highliner

What the… why does this get such good reviews? Did I get a faulty product, or something? Oh man.

This is a gel crayon, so I would expect that the color gets applied relatively easily, without having to push down too hard. Not so with this eyeliner. With a surprising amount of force, the color does come out okay, I guess, but not as thick and rich as other gel crayons usually do on the first go. Alright, fine, I guess I’ll just have to go over it a few … more… times. Nothing new to report here, just a normal eyeliner with slightly shinier packaging at a super high price point ($20-$25!!!!), with normal black coloration and harder-than-usual force required to apply it.

I wore this eyeliner over three days. Two with my Lash Paradise mascara (which doesn’t irritate my eyes or flake very often), and one day without anything (I know, I know, eyeliner without mascara is apparently a makeup sin). Every single one of those days, my eyes burned and subsequently started to tear up after fifteen minutes. This is never a good situation to be in when you’ve just hopped into your car for a forty minute commute. This eyeliner is not for people with sensitive eyes! I cannot stress that enough. Either that, or I really did buy a defective product. But I’ve applied so many other eyeliners onto my eyelids — heck, I’ve even used them on my waterline — without tearing the way I did with Highliner, so I know it’s not me being sensitive to eyeliners in general.

When I was stuck to carry out the sentence of having this on my eyes for a little bit longer than usual sitting at work, I noticed that it started to transfer onto my upper lid after two hours of wear, even with finishing spray and primer/concealer having been applied underneath, so the longevity was trash, as well.

There are better eyeliners out there for people with sensitive eyes. There are better, easier to apply and smooth eyeliners, period. This product is absolutely not worth the price — or any price, at all. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 0/5.

Timeless Vitamin C 20% + Ferulic Acid

Timeless Vit C 20

My perfect Vitamin C quest has thus far been short lived, which is unfortunate since Vit C is touted to undo sun damage, which I undoubtedly have.

Prior to buying this product by Timeless (which, by the way, is pretty cheap on Amazon for $10-13), I had used some… unknown… concoction of Matrixyl and Vit C 10% that I purchased on Ebay for $5. As in, there was literally no branded name on the label. Probably not safe. Do as I say, not as I do. I didn’t really think that particular 10% product was doing anything, so I thought I’d up the ante to 20%, and use a product that was actually somewhat “heard of”, at least in the Reddit space.

I actually did patch test this one, since I’m a little leery of exfoliants — but nothing notable happened. So I went on with a full face of it at night. I did this every three nights, for about four nights total. It was slightly irritating each time I applied it, but nothing I haven’t experienced more profoundly with other exfoliants, and only for a few seconds. This liquid comes out clear, and very runny (if it’s orange or yellow, that means it’s going bad) — you don’t need very much of it for your full face. It actually smells like a really bitter/sour orange (“this is under-ripe” sour, not “spoiled” sour)

Ultimately, this was bad idea for me. Every morning I woke up with tiny whiteheads, which is usually indicative of me being sensitive to the product. I’m going to guess it was the 20% strength that did me in, not necessarily the product formulation itself — although, I have had issues with other Timeless products in the past, so who knows. It did make the still intact skin feel softer, but other than that, I didn’t notice any visible difference. In fairness, though, I didn’t try it out for very long. The end result of fresh break-outs really put me off of this.

All in all, this is definitely not a product for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. If you want to try out Vitamin C, I would recommend trying out 10% first. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1.8/5

Longevity: n/a

How much I actually like this product: 1/5