Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chella Eyebrown Defining Gel

RATING (out of 5 stars): 1.5 stars

COST: $18

THE SKINNY: Chella's  Eyebrown Defining Gel does what it promises. It's a clear gel for styling your eyebrows and holding that style in place.

Do my eyebrows really need gel? I think not.

It feels like I put hair gel on my eyebrows -- kind of stiff and sticky. And, honestly, they don't look any different.

The Chella website says to use this product sparingly. I think I will not use it at all.


CHECK IT OUT: A complete list of ingredients is on the Chella website.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4.5 stars

COST: $10.99

THE SKINNY: Simple's replenishing moisturizer is creamy and cool, perfect for a little extra moisturizing during the cold months of fall and winter. It's definitely thicker, but it soaks in quickly. It feels great on my skin each morning, whether it's paired with a serum or not.

This moisturizer is made with Pro-Vitamin B5 to promote softness, as well as glycerin and other ingredients to nourish and calm redness.

My only complaint is that this product doesn't have a sunscreen built into it.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I really like how this lotion feels on my skin.

CHECK IT OUT: Simple also makes a lighter, hydrating moisturizer if you don't need that extra boost.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hydroxatone Advanced Under Eye Formula

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $79.95 for 0.5 ounce

THE SKINNY: Hydroxatone Advanced Under Eye Formula is an under-eye cream that helps brighten those dark circles and fights puffiness and fine lines.

It's OK as an eye cream. It was as you would expect, creamy and non-irritating to my eyes. It's made from yeast and botanical extracts.

It performed as advertised, but I wasn't blown away by the cream. If I'm going to pay $80 for an eye cream, I want it to be fantastic. And this was just OK.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. It's decent, so I'll enjoy the sample and move on to something less expensive.

CHECK IT OUT: Hydroxatone offers two related products: Hydroxatone Gentle Milky Cleanser and Hydroxatone Age-Defying Toner.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dolce & Gabbana The One

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $77 for 1.6 ounces

THE SKINNY: Dolce & Gabbana's The One is a surprisingly light perfume for something that's billed as a "warm, oriental floral" scent. It's subtle and doesn't last long at all.

You can smell the warm, but I had trouble picking out the notes of citrus, jasmine, plum, musk and other scents.

I prefer a scent that's more distinctive than this.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. I alternate between a lot of perfume samples that I love, and this isn't one of them.

CHECK IT OUT: This fragrance comes in both a women's and men's version.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, January 25, 2013

pop Face Magnet primer

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $26

THE SKINNY: Few primers I've tried as as creamy and lotion-like as Face Magnet. It makes it so much easier to smooth onto my skin and know that I haven't missed spots.

The lotion has just enough stickiness to it to grab hold of my foundation or powder and help it stay in place for the workday.

This primer is designed to help firm up your skin, too, fighting puffiness and redness. It definitely helped control oil and shine throughout the day.

My only complaint is the smell. The lotion has a plastic-y almost chemical scent to it that can be off-putting if you inhale too much of it.


CHECK IT OUT: This primer contains licorice root to control redness. For other ingredients, see the pop website.

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Coutrue Colour Pequi Oil Treatment

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $50 for 4 ounces

THE SKINNY: Pequi Oil Treatment is a oil treatment for your hair that comes from the pequi, a popular fruit in some areas of Brazil. It's good for moisturizing dry and color-treated hair and protects against UV damage.

Use a tiny bit of this oil on either damp or dry hair.

This is an OK product, a little heavier than the Orofluido Beauty Elixir. I think it's a good weekend product, when I don't need as much lasting volume out of my hair. After a day of work, my fine hair felt flat and blah.

I shared this sample with a friend who has long, fine, naturally curly blonde hair. She liked the effect and that the Pequi Oil Treatment didn't make her hair look greasy or flat.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. This is a good product for the weekends.

CHECK IT OUT: Who know Pequi Oil Treatment was flammable when mixed with high heat? Be careful if you use a straightening iron.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Julep One-Step Polish Remover Pads

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $9.99 for 10 ($7.99 for Mavens)

THE SKINNY: Nail polish remover pads are a great idea but so far every one I have tried has fallen a little short.

The Julep One-Step Polish Remover Pads fell a little short as well. The pads contain aloe and don't have that super-strong smell that many other polish removers have (a real bonus). Each pad only contains enough solution to remove the polish from one hand (or foot) before getting too dry to work effectively.

You have to rub fairly vigorously to get results.

But it would be a great fix on the go because they are small and mess-free.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. Stash them in your bag for emergency travel touch ups.

CHECK IT OUT: You can buy direct from Julep ... and check out the Julep Maven program while you are there. The monthly boxes are pretty awesome.

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Silk'n Flash & Go Hair Removal System

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $299

THE SKINNY: Flash & Go is a permanent hair removal tool. It uses a flash of light to remove hair.

I have to admit I was a little intimidated by this product when I pulled it out of the box. You plug it in and it turns on with a little whir. Then you hold it to skin, pull the trigger and a warm flash of light zaps hair. It has a warm, kind of odd sensation and makes a pop that scared me the first few times.

But it works! I've been using Flash & Go per the directions for about eight weeks and hair in the areas of use (I started with tough, but small spots like knees and underarms) is much lighter. The package says that complete removal can take upwards of a year because of hair growth cycles.

I really love this for my sensitive skin. No more razor burn! The product is also safe for use in more sensitive areas such as the bikini line and face, according to the company.

The only downside is that it is a little time-consuming. So set aside a while for the first few treatments ... or consider SensEpil (which is designed for larger areas, but is a bit pricier). These products also only works on lighter skin tones so make sure to check the information before you buy.

Overall, I really love it. It is an expensive tool, but if you are serious about permanent hair removal this is a great option. Anything to make hair removal easier and less frequent. I expect to see more complete result at the end of a year and will report back then!


CHECK IT OUT: You can buy Flash & Go from retailers such as Sephora, where most of the reviews are also positive, or directly from Silk'n. For the next week, Silk'n is offering all Beauty Test Dummies readers a 15% discount with code BEAUTYTEST.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolute

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4.5 stars (but only in winter)

COST: $195 for 6.7 fluid ounces (or get a $75 bottle through Birchbox)

THE SKINNY: I'm smitten with Atelier Cologne's Rose Anonyme Cologne Absolute. Rose scents normally aren't my thing, but this cologne mixes in spice, ginger and other woodsy scents.

From the first whiff, I was blown away.

This smells like Christmas. It's heavily spicy, almost masculine, and brings a whole new dimension to the scent of Bergamont rose. I smell patchouli and a winter fire. And I smile.

This is a heavy fragrance that works well in winter but would be too much for the warmer months.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. There's nothing else like this scent. If anyone ever wants to buy me a special present, this would be it.

CHECK IT OUT: Learn more about buying options at Atelier Cologne online.

-- Tested by Shay

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's a Giveaway

We haven't given anything away in a while, so ....

Now it's your time to share in the fun of beauty product samples. We have a great grab bag to give away that includes 20 beauty product samples, including 2 full-size Julep nail polishes and two bareMinerals eye colors (the polishes and eye colors are valued at $14 each!).

Entering is simple, just use the Rafflecopter below (and you can enter daily).

Thanks everyone for reading Beauty Test Dummies and remember to share this blog with your friends and join the conversation with us on Facebook and Pinterest (where we pin a lot of beauty tips as well).

Good luck!

Here's what's inside the grab bag (make sure to check out the reviews):


Friday, January 18, 2013

Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture and Volume Spray

RATING (out of 5 stars): 1 star

COST: $25

THE SKINNY: Pronto Texture and Volume spray is supposed to be a hairspray that adds texture to your hair. Unfortunately, the only things it did for me is make the bathroom smell funny and put a clear layer of grit on the counter.

I've sprayed and sprayed and sprayed this product and never seen any result.

It's made with a whole bunch of stuff I don't recognize: Natural volcanic mineral zeolite, copolymers, hydrolyzed wheat and keratin proteins and humectants and UV absorbers, according to the company website.

That list alone kind of scares me. I'm moving on.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. I'm tired of cleaning the bathroom counter.

CHECK IT OUT: Find directions on using this products on the Oscar Blandi website.

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $34.50 for a nine-color palette

THE SKINNY: A sample of Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow in Matt Batali (a dark grayish brown color) came with a recent beauty box. My first thought was, "What the heck is this color?" Carrie, being wise, guessed correctly that it actually is a pretty color once it's on.

The problem is, this shadow doesn't stay on. I tried it with and without primer. Every time, the shadow started to disappear by the time I got into work. And grayish brown eyeshadow looks like a dirt smudge when it fades away.

That's sad, because I would probably love all the colors in the palette. (And the packing is pretty cool.)

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. If you're going to invest in a palette, buy an eyeshadow that stays put for hours, not minutes.

CHECK IT OUT: The nine colors range from a light pink to slate blues and greens.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Say Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4.5 stars

COST: $5.99 for 30 wipes

THE SKINNY: When it comes to food, green stuff is good for you. When it comes to facial wipes, green stuff is also good for you.

Made from cucumber, green tea and, yes, broccoli and spinach, Say Yes to Cucumbers' Soothing Facial Towelettes and cool and refreshing to my skin. I've used a lot of different facial wipes to remove makeup, and these rank among my most favorite.

As you would expect from anything skin-related that uses cucumber, they are cooling and refreshing. They erased my makeup and mascara easily and left my skin feeling great.

And you can't beat the price.

These wipes are biodegradable wipes, oil-free and hypoallergenic.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I do like the way they make my skin feel.

CHECK IT OUT: These face wipes won an Allure Best of Beauty mention in 2011.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Starlet Cosmetics Intense Eyeliner

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $11

THE SKINNY: Starlet's eyeliner is just OK. It's a traditional eye pencil that goes on a little dry and lasted, for me, about half the work day.

I didn't find much "intense" in my chocolate eyeliner, which came in a recent Ipsy box. And I didn't care much for the brown color, either. It was a little too red for me.


KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. The color isn't flattering for me.

CHECK IT OUT: Starlet's eyeliners come in six colors.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $20

THE SKINNY: If you're looking to brighten up your face and mask the tired you feel, try highlighter such as Stila's All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer. You can add a little onto the tops of your cheekbones or under your eyes. Or for all-over brightening you can mix this product with your regular lotion or foundation.

Stila's luminizer is a lightweight liquid that's easy to dot lightly onto your skin and blend in with your regular makeup. It adds just a touch of subtle sparkle. I love this product on those mornings when I'm tired and moving slowly. It's a great camouflage.

Best, Stila's product doesn't settle into those fine lines around your eyes. It masks them, too.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I use this product almost daily.

CHECK IT OUT: Stila's All Over Shimmer comes in four colors: pink, bronze, rose and something called "kitten."

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, January 11, 2013

Clinique Cream Shaper For Eyes

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $15

THE SKINNY: This is one of the few creamy eyeliner pencils I've found that stays in place all day long.

Clinique's Cream Shaper for Eyes is a really good liner. It's soft, goes on smoothly, smudges and blends easily and then doesn't budge. My color "mink" is a special hue that was packaged in a Black Friday set. It's a chocolate brown that's quite pretty.

The pencil blends nicely with eyeshadow, too.

I love it.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. It's hard to beat this liner.

CHECK IT OUT: Clinique's Cream Shaper comes in six colors normally.

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kerastase Age Premium Masque Substantif

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $60

THE SKINNY: Kerastase continues to impress with its Age Premium Masque Substantif, a deep conditioning treatment designed to add new suppleness and shine to your hair.

This is one of the lightest conditioners I've tried in a while, and it rinses out easily. Like the Bain Substantif shampoo, this left my hair silky smooth, happy and bouncy.

Using it just once a week adds a lot of natural-looking volume and moisture to my fine hair without making it look greasy or dull.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I wish the product was less expensive so I could use it regularly.

CHECK IT OUT: Kerastase suggests leaving this masque on for five to 10 minutes before rinsing it out.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $35

THE SKINNY: Mirenesse's Lip Bomb, which came in my first Ipsy box is a mix of a gloss, stain and lacquer. The pigment is vivid and glossy and it looks wet on your lips.

The problem is, this product is wet on my lips, even though it is supposed to be non-smearing. I would highly recommend using lip liner with it. Mirenesse, in fact, says to apply this product in light layers, building up the color intensity gradually.

The color lasted a few hours, typical of a gloss on my lips, and didn't dry out or feel gritty.

This would be great for a short, special occasion. But it's too much trouble for every day use. I felt like I left smudges of this gloss everywhere I went.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. The color really is gorgeous.

CHECK IT OUT: Mirenesse Lip Bomb comes in a variety of colors, groups on the website in reds, pinks and nudes.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Smashbox Lip Tech (Sangria)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars


THE SKINNY: This is one of those odd products I almost did not review because you can't buy it anywhere. But it comes in many of Smashbox's makeup kits and is a frequent free product with purchase online.

Smashbox Lip Tech (I used Sangria) is a great gloss with deep, saturated color. It goes on smooth, feels great and lasts for hours. (Too bad Smashbox isn't selling this all the time.)

Lip Tech could be a great alternative to lipstick if you like the feel of gloss but want extra color. The formula is virtually weightless and the matte color is pretty great. It also comes in a mirrored case -- LOVE!

It took me a while to find it but there is a hidden applicator brush under the product. No more pink fingers!

If this product were widely available, it would have earned more than three stars.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. This is a nice freebie. Grab it if you can.

CHECK IT OUT: Smashbox often offers Lip Tech free with purchases (check your emails) or you can find it in a variety of sets. Check out some of the fun ones in the Last Call section for great deals!

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, January 7, 2013

Band-Aid Friction Block Stick

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $6.49

THE SKINNY: Band-Aid Friction Block Stick is not exactly a beauty product, but it is something women will love. 

This product, which looks like a mini stick of deodorant, smooths skin and prevents rubbing and chafing. It is colorless, odorless and provides a great layer on skin.

It is perfect to keep a shoe from rubbing your heels or even to prevent rubbing from clothes or skin on skin (think inside of the thighs on a hot day). I've never seen anything work so well.

And no one will ever know you are using it. 

It does not irritate skin (and my skin tends to be rather sensitive) and you don't need much to go a long way (so don't be too concerned about the small size of the stick).


CHECK IT OUT: You can find Band-Aid Friction Block Stick at drug and discount stores. Find it online at

-- Tested by Carrie 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Glytone Acne Treatment Back Spray

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2.5 stars

COST: $32 for 8 ounces

THE SKINNY: I was super excited to see a 2 percent salicylic acid spray in the Beauty Fix box product list. I had been looking for this type of product ever since Avon discontinued something similar years ago. 

Glytone Acne Treatment Back Spray does just what it claims, it is great to help clear blemishes that pop up away from your face. But this is strong stuff. The smell is quite chemically and strong and almost burns your nose. And if it touches broken skin, you will scream out in pain.

But it works. Quickly.

This is a great immediate fix for flare ups. It though is too strong for everyday use. It will dry your skin out quickly.

The other thing this product is great for? Poison ivy. Just a couple sprays will help dry it out in no time.

Although you won't use it every day, Glytone Acne Treatment Back Spray is a good thing to keep around. My hope is that other companies will release similar products because this one is pricey. Have you seen something similar you can recommend?

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. This product alone was worth the price of my Beauty Fix box.

CHECK IT OUT: You can buy Glytone Acne Treatment Back Spray at Dermstore.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Skin Beauty Balm

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $34

THE SKINNY: The long-awaited Urban Decay bb cream is finally here -- well, awaited for those of us who love this line of products.

The company sent out some samples around the holidays before you could even buy the new Naked Skin Beauty Balm. And my sample was great.

We've tried a lot of BB creams here at Beauty Test Dummies and have to admit that we are head over heels for them. This one works just as well, plus if boasts additional long-term benefits. It promises to actually improve skin after 8 weeks, adding firmness, radiance and reduction in fine lines. 

What I did notice was that it was non-drying and went on super smooth. My pores did seem smaller, it had a nice light-reflecting quality and the shade-free formula was not too dark for my skin. It blended beautifully. (This is one of my favorite features ... I hate buying something that has the wrong color.)

Urban Decay says you can wear this alone but I followed with my powder foundation for a pretty flawless look.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. BB creams are one of my new go-to items and this one is great and easy to buy since it adjusts to your skin tone.

CHECK IT OUT: Urban Decay Beauty Balm is available online and from retailers such as Sephora and Ulta. Each retailer seems to be rolling it out at different times. Make sure to look for free samples and deals (UD offers them frequently).

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Advanced Volume Shampoo

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $22 for 8 ounces

THE SKINNY: If you are like me, you form your very first impression of a shampoo from its smell. Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Advanced Volume Shampoo smells fantastic -- like fresh green apples.

And it cleanses well too. It make my hair feel nice and soft, although I don't think I got any added volume. The shampoo cleans and washes away all the gunk from your locks and is safe for those with color treatments. I did notice my hair felt cleaner after only one use.

I also like that the formula contains UV protectants -- your hair deserves a little sunscreen too!

The downside to this product is it comes in a small bottle -- only 8 ounces compared to 12 or more ounces for many other brands.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I liked it (the full-size sample came in my Beauty Fix box), but I doubt I will spend $22 on a full size.

CHECK IT OUT: Learn more about the Nick Chavez line and buy direct.

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Jane Iredale Eye Gloss (Brown Silk)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $15.50

THE SKINNY: I am quickly becoming a fan of cream eye shadows. Jane Iredale's Eye gloss is another pretty good option.

The cream shadow goes on smooth and my shade, Brown Silk, had a warm earthly color. I loved the initial look -- it had some sheen but was not too much for everyday wear.

The color though just did not hold up all day. By lunchtime, I felt the need to reapply. (Something I seldom do with other eye shadows thanks to primer.)

The Jane Iredale brand is known for being great for people with sensitive skin or who are looking for a "more natural" makeup alternative. It gets great reviews online and is backed by skin care professionals. It can be a great option for people who have trouble with other formulas or who just want a "cleaner" makeup.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. This provides a great base or quick color to throw on before running errands.

CHECK IT OUT: You can learn more about the Jane Iredale line and see all 10 shades available, plus buy online.

-- Tested by Carrie