Monday, September 30, 2013

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $7.99

THE SKINNY: The cooler weather of fall tempts me to trade in my gloss for real lipstick. This time, I'm trying Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick. It's a matte lipstick made with shea butter and aloe, so it's creamy and smooth.

The color (I tried the dark neutral Catwalk) lasts a few hours.

The matte finish is a nice change for fall and velvet enough to make my lips look healthy.

If you're looking for a quick change of color for fall, this lipstick is a good, affordable option.


CHECK IT OUT: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick comes in 20 colors, all the usual you expect from Revlon.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, September 27, 2013

NYX Single Eye Shadow

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $4.50

THE SKINNY: NYX products seem hit or miss. (The Loose Pearl Shadow was a bust, but the Roll-On Shimmer is fun.) But this eye shadow, which came in a recent Ipsy bag, is not worth the $4.50.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm spoiled by Tarte and Urban Decay shadows, which don't come cheap. But I like my shadow to have a little weight to it, so it goes on creamy.

The NYX shadow is chalky. When I tried to apply it, the shadow flew everywhere, even with primer. It didn't last long on my lids, either.

The color Ipsy sent, Lanikai, is a horrible powder blue that isn't right for my skin tone.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. Bad color. Bad product.

CHECK IT OUT: If you want to try it, NYX Single Eye Shadow comes in 51 colors. 

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Clinique High Impact Mascara

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $16

THE SKINNY: This may be my new favorite mascara. Clinique's High Impact is a pretty mascara that adds a little volume and a little length to my lashes. It's not too dramatic for work and, even better, it doesn't flake off.

After a few weeks of use, the small, sample-size tube I got in a recent Clinique bundle, hasn't clumped or dried out.

Clinique delivers on deep, saturated color, too. Overall, the mascara may be a little basic, but that's what I'm looking for in an everyday product. I don't need super long or super thick lashes to go to the grocery store or spend a day in the office.

If you need the drama, go with Clinique's High Impact Extreme Volume.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I love it.

CHECK IT OUT: Clinique High Impact Mascara comes in "black" and "black-brown."

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pixi Lash Booster Mascara

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $17

THE SKINNY: This is easily the worst mascara I've tried this year. The biggest problem seems to be with the thickness (or lack thereof) of the mascara itself.

For something called "lash booster," this is extremely thin mascara.

That leads to a whole bunch of issues.

  1. The mascara doesn't last more than an hour.
  2. The mascara smears easily.
  3. The mascara is gooey and makes the brush really gooey after just a few uses.
  4. The mascara drips places it shouldn't. (I got a blob on the rim of my upper eyelid. And it burned something fierce.
Pixi says this product is supposed to give your lashes a "push-up" effect. I'm not sure how.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. Gooey mascara isn't allowed.

CHECK IT OUT: Pixi Lash Booster Mascara comes in two colors: "blackest black" and  "blackest blue."

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

MensDept. Microtech

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars (when used by a girl)

COST: $17.99

THE SKINNY: The bad thing about up and chopping your hair into a pixie is you have to go through a whole bunch of styling products until you find one that does what you need.

My hair stylist swears by MensDept. Microtech, which provides medium-plus hold and adds texture and shine. And it looked great when she dabbed a little on my freshly shorn locks. It did add a little shine and a lot of texture.

But in my hands, this product has been a minor disaster. No matter if I use a little or a lot, my hair ends up looking heavy, greasy and sad. And it gets worse as the day goes on.

It's a good thing, really. This product smells like men's cologne, which is off-putting for a girl.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. I don't have the patience to keep playing with the sample.

CHECK IT OUT: Find styling tips on the MensDept. website.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vidal Sassoon Foaming Air Mousse

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $4.99

THE SKINNY: I'll bet if you have long, flowing hair, Foaming Air Mousse would be awesome. If you have a short pixie cut like me, it will leave you (and your hair) feeling a little flat.

This product adds a hint of volume without leaving your hair feeling sticky or heavy. The pump adds air to the product, so it feels lightweight right out of the bottle.

But my short hair need more volume and texture than this provides.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. It wasn't that expensive.

CHECK IT OUT: Vidal Sassoon Foaming Air Mousse is part of the Pro Series line of hair products.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, September 20, 2013

Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Masque

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $40

THE SKINNY: Brazilian Blowout Acai Deep Conditioning Masque was not special in any way. (Not what I've come to expect from Glossybox at all.)

It went on creamy and smooth. But from there I did not know what else to do. I left it on for five minutes and rinsed. The packaging did not contain any type of instructions for use.

After doing a little web research, I found the company recommends leaving it in hair 10 to 20 minutes or overnight. I am not sure how the overnight thing would work; the texture is not something I would like to put on dry hair.

It had an average scent and did not make my hair look or feel any different. It was simply average.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. But I won't be buying any more.

CHECK IT OUT: Brazilian Blowout is available in salons.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pandora's Makeup Box Nail Polish

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $9.50

THE SKINNY: I was super excited to see this full-size pale nude polish in my August Glossybox, but was disappointed in the product itself.

Pandora's Makeup Box Nail Polish (a Canada-based company) created this custom color for Glossybox customers and while it went on well, the color did not set nicely.

The finish was supposed to be opaque and glossy. It was just streaky.

Which is especially sad since the color is so pretty and the polish actually lasted quite well without chipping.

This brand claims to be perfect in two coats (which I used) and does not contain DPB, formaldehyde or resin, camphor or toulene.


CHECK IT OUT: Learn more about Pandora's Polish custom colors from Glossybox. You can learn more about the company and see the rest of the Pandora's nail polish line online.

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Philosophy Time in a Bottle

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $74 for 1.3 ounces

THE SKINNY: I like the concept and idea behind serums more than the reality. They take too long to see a noticable effect.

With Philosophy's Time in a Bottle ... I needed to see something, anything, pretty quick to invest a whopping $74 in the full size.

And I can;t say that I really did.

I like the serum. It goes on well. It felt nice.

But I don't know that my skin looked younger. (This product claims to work by "supporting skin's healthy, natural DNA function.")

Yes, I know this product only claims to show result after FOUR weeks. The sample only lasted two weeks; maybe if I had more test product.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I'm all for anti-aging ... just not the hefty price tag.

CHECK IT OUT: This product is in- and out-of-stock on the Philosophy website, but Sephora seems to have it regularly.

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Smashbox Eye Brightening Mascara

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $20

THE SKINNY: The new Smashbox Eye Brightening Mascara is supposed to highlight your eyes, making the whites seem whiter.

OK ... I'm not so sure about that.

What it does so though is thicken and lightly curl lashes. What I really like about this mascara is that it does not flake at all and is practically smudge free. (It did not even transfer to my face when I blinked before it was completely dry.)

The application is nice, although it is a tad gooey. The look is about average and is perfect for a day at the office or a nice night out.

Overall this mascara works well and looks fine but it's pretty average for a product at this price point. There are others I like better at $20 per tube.


CHECK IT OUT: Smashbox is available at retailers such as Sephora and Ulta and online.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, September 16, 2013

Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray

RATING (out of 5 stars): 1 stars

COST: $12 for 5 ounces

THE SKINNY: Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray falls into the category of cool idea, but why would I ever use it?

This can contains mineral water that you can spray on your face after a workout or when you are hot.

And you have to pay for it.

Why? Enough said.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I might use it after a workout if I can't hop immediately in the shower ... but I would never pay for it.

CHECK IT OUT: This product is available from Sephora in several sizes and surprisingly gets great reviews.

-- Tested by Carrie

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pida Exfoliating Gel (Review and Giveaway)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $40

THE SKINNY: Exfoliation is good for skin; you can't really argue that fact.

Pida Exfoliating Gel makes it a little easier to exfoliate with a product that is simple to use and is not rough or smell harsh (issues that sometimes arise with exfoliators).

The Pida gel is a scent-free, clear liquid that you rub on skin. It's not rough and is just a little thicker than water. As you rub it in, you can actually see skin sloughing off. (Which admittedly is both a little gross and awesome at the same time.)

I used the sample on my face and it felt fantastically smooth. And because of the texture of the gel, my face was not red or irritated after use. (A problem I can often have with harsher exfoliators because of my somewhat sensitive skin.) The formula contains aloe vera, antioxidants and Vitamin C, which are all great for skin.

Pida is advertised to help with rough patches, acne and dull skin.

The only thing that really scares me about this product is the price tag. If it were a little less pricey, I would seriously consider adding it to my skin care routine.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. It really does brighten skin.

CHECK IT OUT: Learn more about Pida online and buy from Beauty Army or Urban Outfitters.

-- Tested by Carrie 



Want to try Pida for yourself? We are giving one Beauty Test Dummies reader a full-size bottle ($54 value)! Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. Tweet daily plus "LIKE" this post on Facebook for extra entries. Good luck! We'll pick a winner on Sept. 30. 

DISCLOSURE: Pida provided a sample for review and the full size item for this giveaway. The opinions stated are those of Beauty Test Dummies alone.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 12, 2013

MicaBeauty Mineral Eye Shadow in Bronze

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $14.95

THE SKINNY: This is a gorgeous color that's just perfect for late summer and early fall. This loose eye shadow delivers long-lasting color that's metallic but not quite as glittery as you might expect. It pairs nicely with brown, black and steel gray eyeliner (I've tried all three combinations).

The color easily lasted eight hours with primer and didn't crease at all.

My only complaint is with the packaging. The plastic cover over the loose eye shadow only has three small holes. That makes it really difficult to get the product out. It's really difficult to pull the plastic piece out of the container.

This eye shadow comes in 20+ colors.


CHECK IT OUT: Reviewers on the Ipsy website (this came in a recent bag) used this product as a highlighter and bronzer, as well as an eye shadow.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ole Henriksen Perfect Truth CC Creme

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $26

THE SKINNY: Ole Henriksen Perfect Truth is the first CC cream I've tried that has an aroma. It smells like citrus, and it's a strange thing to put on makeup and smell it on your skin for the first five or 10 minutes.

That being said, this is a decent CC cream that provides good coverage for blemishes and stays in place all day. A little dusting of powder was all I needed to be ready for work.

It didn't irritate my skin or clog my pores.

Ole Henricksen says over time this CC cream will help fade dark sports, fight fine lines and reduce redness. My sample wasn't big enough to test any of that. But, as someone who has tried a lot of CC creams this summer, this is a decent one.

It's SPF 30, too.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I used up the sample and would like some more, please.

CHECK IT OUT: This CC cream contains a healthy does of Vitamin C from five sources, according to the Ole Henriksen website.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dr. Brandt BB Matte BB Cream with Shinerase

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $39 for 1 ounce

THE SKINNY: I judged this product by the package and let it sit on the counter for a long time before trying it.

What a mistake that was.

Dr. Brandt's BB Matte BB Cream with Shinerase is a great product. The BB cream goes on easy and the light/medium color was perfect. And the matte finish is perfect. Not a speck of shine ... all day long ... in the summer heat. Wow.

This BB cream also contains SPF 30 and is recommended for oily or acne-prone skin. 9If you have pretty good skin or dryness, this is probably not the product for you.)

Now the downside. Just a single ounce of this stuff is $39. It might not be a great year-round option, but is a must-have if you want to look great and plan to be out in the heat or have skin that tends to be a bit on the oily side.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep! Thank you Glossybox for this great find.

CHECK IT OUT: Dr. Brandt BB Matte BB Cream with Shinerase is available from Sephora, where buyers love it too.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, September 9, 2013

Living Proof No Fizz Nourishing Styling Cream

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $26 for 4 ounces

THE SKINNY: As one of my favorite shampoo/conditioner brands, I was excited to get this sample from Living Proof.

The No Fizz Nourishing Styling Cream claims to block humidity and frizz.

It went on thick and creamy, almost as you would expect. But be warned a small dab goes a long way.

My hair was shiny and smooth all day and laid nice and flat. And while I really liked it, this is probably designed for someone with more frizz or curls than me. The cream seemed a little too heavy for my hair and weighed it down some by the end of the day.


CHECK IT OUT: Living Proof is available online and through select retailers.

-- Tested by Carrie

Friday, September 6, 2013

What a Girl Needs Mystery Collection (Total Beauty Box)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $25

THE SKINNY: You know we are a little obsessed with beauty subscription boxes here at Beauty Test Dummies and jumped at the chance to try one of the new mystery boxes from Total Beauty.

This box almost made me squeal when I opened it -- seriously. Awesome products that were well over the $25 price tag, including a full-size Rapid Lash Eyebrow and Eyelash Serum. If you want to try one of these serums (which are pricey), this box is for you.

The What a Girl Needs Mystery Collection box contained a great mix of basic, drugstore products and more premium items as well. All of the signature items were full sizes too! I have to admit this is one box that I will probably use every product right away. (We'll review each product individually over the next few weeks.)

Here's what you'll find inside the box:
  • Rapid Lash Eyebrow and Eyelash Serum – $49.95
  • Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Rose Romance – $14
  • Dove Go Sleeveless Deodorant – $4.99
  • St. Ives Apricot Face Scrub – $3.99
  • Elan Veda Skin Renue Anti-Aging Serum – Sample
  • Eboost Daily Health Booster – $4.20
What's different about the Total Beauty Collection from other boxes is that you pick which boxes to buy and order them. It's not an actual subscription service. They offer a mix of mystery boxes, such as this one, and no-surprise boxes, where you can see every item before you can buy.

Overall, Total Beauty really impressed with this collection. We have previously tried and loved the Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon and the Dove deodorant line is a perennial favorite, even though I have not tried one of the Go Sleeveless ones yet.

CHECK IT OUT: This is a selection of products that any woman should have in her beauty arsenal. You can buy it online until supplies run out.

-- Tested by Carrie

DISCLOSURE: Total Beauty provided a sample box for review. The opinions stated are those of Beauty Test Dummies alone.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $8

THE SKINNY: The first thing I noticed when I pulled open the Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil pagage was the aroma -- fresh and fruity and sweet.

How could I not like this product?

The oil went on to fingertips easily and did a great job softening and moisturizing my cuticles and hands in general. It looks like the full size comes in a nail polish bottle with a brush so my guess it that will be a little less messy.

Because the package that I tore out of a magazine recently was messy. I got the oil everywhere. But it smelled so great I did not even really care.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. Long-term use is really needed to test this fully. But the preview was nice.

CHECK IT OUT: You can find Essie's cuticle oil at store such as Target and Ulta. Retail site reviewers seem to love it too!

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Julep Doublestep Friction Stick

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $22 ($17.60 Mavens)

THE SKINNY: As a runner, friction sticks are an important part of my "makeup" collection.

Julep's new Doublestep friction stick is just as good or equal to the others I have tried, such as Band-Aid's version

While the product itself is pretty nice -- I love the super moisturizing formula that protected and left my skin soft -- the packaging leaves something to be desired.

The tube is an odd shape and somewhat hard to manage. The applicator wheel is a little difficult to turn. And the stick wants to slide out of the tube.

Plus it is pricey, at $22 compared to about $7 for the Band-Aid brand.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. But when it's time for more, I'll likely go back to Band-Aid.

CHECK IT OUT: You can buy direct from Julep and Mavens get a discount. Join here!

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Michael Todd Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $34

THE SKINNY: This facial masque looks and smells like real pumpkin. Not a spicy pumpkin pie smell. Just the pumpkin. It's a little off-putting.

Michael Todd Organics adds glycolic acid to the pumpkin, which is supposed to dissolve dead skin cells and clogged pores and attack other imperfections. But because of that, the masque burned a little when it first went onto my skin. (Side effects can include mild irritation and sun sensitivity.)

It goes on thin and has about the same consistency as canned pumpkin.

This masque was a little hard to rinse off and left my face feeling sticky, even after I used cleanser to try to remove the last of the pumpkin goo. I've been a little itchy after using it, and my skin doesn't look any different.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. Weird smell + weird burning sensation = thumbs down.

CHECK IT OUT: Find more details on the Michael Todd website.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, September 2, 2013

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $22

THE SKINNY: A recent Ipsy bag came with a custom sample of Urban Decay's new Revolution Lipstick. Mine was in one of the most outrageous coral colors (called "96" in Urban Decay land) I've ever seen.

Honestly, this is not a color I would ever wear because there's no way to tone it down. Secondly, I'm not really a lipstick girl. I love glosses and balms. So I found Revolution Lipstick to be just OK.

This is real color lipstick, so I had a really hard time using it without a lip liner. It's really not that creamy going onto my lips, but it does moisturize once it's on. I found that really odd.

It also makes the lipstick really slippery. I feel like I left lipstick everywhere.

The color is vivid for about an hour, and the tint lasts a few hours more.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. Bad color, and I'm not that big of a fan of lipstick for this to be an option.

CHECK IT OUT: Find all the details on Urban Decay's webpage for this lipstick.

-- Tested by Shay