When it comes to lip products, traditional lipsticks have never worked well for me. Even moisturizing formulas tend to dry out my lips and they never last more than an hour or two. For everyday, tinted lip balms are my lip product of choice (and usually, it’s Burt’s Bees Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil). So, when I heard about NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams - and their promise of long-lasting silky matte color – I knew they might be for me. I tried one, loved it, and by now I’ve managed to end up with five shades: Stockholm, London, Tokyo, San Paulo, and Antwerp. CONTINUE READING…
When it comes to shampoo, I’m not too picky. I just want it to clean my hair without totally stripping it of moisture. And, of course, I don’t want animals harmed in its production. Two products that fit (well, actually – exceed) the bill are Nature’s Gate Biotin Shampoo and Kirk’s Original Coco Castile Shampoo.
LAURA MERCIER AND ANIMAL TESTING:
Update 5/7/13: Laura Mercier is no longer cruelty-free.
Laura Mercier states they are cruelty-free and I have no information to indicate otherwise. Gingerrama has a great post showing Laura Mercier’s responses to animal testing inquiries (she calls their reply “exemplary” and I have to agree!) However, they are currently not on PETA or the Leaping Bunny’s lists, so I don’t have confirmation of their animal testing stance from an independent party. I will update if/when I learn any additional information. Laura Mercier is manufactured by a Stafford, TX-based company called Gurwitch Products.
I’m really excited to write this post, because Laura Mercier is one of my favorite brands, and Laura Mercier Mineral Powder is one of my all-time favorite products. This powder has been a staple in my makeup routine since I first tried it, about two years ago. I’ve gone through probably 3 or 4 of these by now… it’s such a versatile, multi-use product. I’ve used is as a powder, as a foundation, cheek highlight, eyeshadow, under eye brightener, and concealer.
OK, back to the review… I have three shades of this powder which I tend to mix: Real Sand, Natural Beige, and Rich Vanilla. CONTINUE READING…
I’ve heard many raves about NYX pigments. I don’t know what their official name is – they’re called Loose Pearl Eye Shadow on NYX’s site, but I’ve also seen them listed as Powder Pigments and the packaging says Ultra Pearl Mania. Regardless, they’re essentially pigments, and have been called dupes for MAC’s. So I decided to see if I could mix up a dupe for MAC Melon.
I used NYX Ultra Pearl Mania Loose Pearl Eyeshadows in Nude, Mink, and Oro. Here they are swatched individually with MAC Melon.
L-R: NYX Nude, NYX Oro, Mac Melon, NYX Mink
Amazing Makeup That’s Still Cruelty-Free: Inglot Eyeshadow
These are my two Inglot Freedom System palettes.
I’ll have a review and swatches up soon. Update: My review, swatches, and more photos are now posted.
L-R: 107R, Matte 337, Matte 328, 101R, Matte 318
L-R: D.S. 436, Pearl 407, Matte 330, 106R
I have long wavy hair. As most of us with curly or wavy hair can attest… dryness is the enemy. When curls and waves get dry, they usually also get frizzy. I personally like my hair to have texture and body – I prefer to work with its natural texture rather than against it. What I look for in hair products is mostly conditioning – something that can provide moisture and definition, without weighing my hair down or making it feel crunchy or “product-y.”
Olive oil and coconut oil are both amazing for hair, especially coconut oil. I use it as a deep conditioning treatment every week or so. I’m also a big fan of Palmer’s products and have used them as long as I can remember. So, while I was a little confused by the name (“hair milk”…?), I was interested to try these out.
The best way I can describe these is like a leave-in conditioner, but more hydrating. They’re not thick like hair masques – the consistency is actually relatively thin and lightweight. Yet they give your hair SO much moisture. If my hair looks dry or frizzy, I take the tiniest bit of this (think pea-sized amount) and run it through the ends and last few inches of my hair. This stuff really does tame frizz and leaves my hair feeling super soft, not greasy.
In terms of differences between the formulas, here are the ingredients lists for comparison:
Olive Oil Formula
Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Shea Butter), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Cetearamidopropyldimonium Chloride, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil (Olive), Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Extract, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopheryl Acetate, Keratin Amino Acids, Sodium Chloride, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropyl Butylcarbamate, Yellow 5 (CI19140), Red 4 (CI14700), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090) (CI142090)
Coconut Oil Formula
Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl Cetearamidopropyldimonium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 20, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hair Keratin Amino Acids, Keratin Amino Acids, Sodium Chloride, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
So, as you can see, the oils are the 7th or 8th ingredients on the lists (meaning the formula contains less of them). The #2 ingredient in both formulas is shea butter, so I think that’s probably the products’ main conditioning source. Not a bad thing, as shea butter is extremely moisturizing, but it is surprising given how the products are marketed.
Overall, the two formulas are very similar. One difference I did notice is that the Olive Oil formula contains fragrance and colorants, which I don’t see in the Coconut Oil formula. I’m guessing the fragrance is because Olive Oil doesn’t really have a scent, while coconut oil does – which is what the Coconut Oil formula smells like. The Olive Oil formula is a light green color (because, you know, olive oil is green?) while the Coconut Oil is just white – so that would explain the colorants.
I love the smell of coconut oil, so I definitely prefer that scent. I’m not sure how to describe the Olive Oil formula’s scent, maybe slightly like baby powder? Regardless, it isn’t bad and I don’t mind it. I don’t really notice a difference aside from scent and color, they seem to perform the same. Between the two, I’d definitely go for the Coconut Oil formula, because I like the smell and that it’s colorant-free. Plus, because coconut oil penetrates into the hair cuticle and cortex, its arguably the best oil for hair.
Have you ever tried a “hair milk”? Any other favorite conditioning products?
L-R: Madrague, Portobello
I haven’t seen much online about NARS Duo Eyeshadows in Portobello and Madrague, which is surprising because they’re great basics. NARS describes Portobello as portobello matte ecru and soft matte mushroom and Madrague as matte caramel and matte cream.
While the lighter shades of the duos appear very similar in photos, in Portobello it’s definitely a deeper, yellower brown-tan-beige. In Madrague, it’s more an ivory-beige, along the lines of Mac Brule or Wet n Wild Brule – although not as light or pigmented. The darker shade in Madrague is more of a typical warm mid-tone brown. In Portobello, the darker shade is cooler and leans more towards a grey-tone. It can read almost taupe-y, but still has warmth.
Photos & Swatches:
Another Inglot Nail Enamel! This one is from the Azure Collection, which features 11 nail enamels. Looking at the nail enamels in numerical order, they progress from grey to green to blue. Each polish has tones from the color before it and after it. The finish is very glossy – you can definitely see the difference compared to the matte collection polishes. Like the matte collection, the formula is non-streaky and applies smoothly.
983: dark teal-green with grey undertones
I saw on the Inglot USA site they’ve just released a new collection (it doesn’t have any other name listed) that looks really interesting. It’s five metallic shades – two silver tones, two gold tones, and one copper rose gold tone. Of course, it’s hard to tell from the site exactly what the colors look like, so I’ll have to wait to see real swatches.
Have you tried any Inglot Nail Enamels? What do you think of their Azure and “new” collections?