Friday, February 28, 2014

Maybelline Face Studio Master Glaze

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $9.99

THE SKINNY: Master Glaze is the new cream blush stick from Maybelline, and it’s a fun little product. This cream is made with shea butter, and it glides onto my cheekbones and blends like a champ.

What I like most about this blush is it has a hint of a pearl finish, like a blush-highlighter combination. It’s not tween sparkly, either. It’s a good balance that creates that “dewy” look those of us over 40 gravitate toward.

I grabbed a tube of Master Glaze in a light pink called Just-Pinched Pink. It adds a subtle glow, and it’s my new go-to product on the weekends when I don’t need makeup. This blush plus a little mascara and I’m ready for a trip to the grocery store or other errand.


CHECK IT OUT: Master Glaze comes in six shades.

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, February 27, 2014

City Color Be Matte Blush

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $2.99

THE SKINNY: If you're looking to play with the color of you cheeks this spring, City Color offers an inexpensive and fun option.

This matte-finish blush came to me via Ipsy in a color called Fresh Melon. It's a little more orange than I would ever pick, the results are a pleasant surprise. It's a great color for adding warmth to my cheeks (as long as I remember to avoid any other makeup with pink tones).

City Color's blush is really dusty, but because of that, it's easy to apply and blend as long as you don't overload your brush. (Too much, and you'll wind up with some really orange cheeks.)


CHECK IT OUT: Be Matte Blush comes in eight colors.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $20

THE SKINNY: I was way too excited to try Urban Decay's Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss.

Seriously. Way too excited.

There's nothing in the Naked line that I have not liked so far. This lip gloss was no exception.

The color was perfect. Simple. Natural, but with shine. 

And while it went on like a gloss and looks like a gloss, it felt like a balm. Hours after application, the moisture was still there. Albeit some of the sheen was gone.

The applicator was a small want and angled brush (what you would expect) and was easy to apply without making a mess. (I hate glosses that I have to apply with my fingertips.)

This lipgloss comes in nine shades -- something to match most skin tones -- or you could opt for a little more color.

This will be a go-to product from here on out. The only downside is the cost. It's a little pricey, but not horrible when you compare it to other products in the line.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. Look for samples in other colors.

CHECK IT OUT: Urban Decay is available online and through beauty retailers such as Sephora and Ulta.

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $23.99 for .7 ounces

THE SKINNY: Argan oil seems to be everywhere these days. But somehow I had yet to actually try a serum with the stuff.

Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum is a nice option. Made with argan oil plus a few others, this oil serum goes on smooth and does not leave your face looking shiny. The formula is virtually fragrance-free and can be used alone (most likely at night) or under moisturizer or makeup.

I like the idea of using a more natural product without so many unpronounceable ingredients. As a matter of fact, I can easy name each of the seven ingredients in this vegan product. 

And it make my skin look pretty good too. It added nice moisture. I am beginning to really be sold on oils in general.


CHECK IT OUT: You can find this product and others from Nourish Organic.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, February 24, 2014

Julep Eye Sheen (Pale Nude Shimmer)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $18 ($14.40 for Mavens)

THE SKINNY: Julep has slowly been expanding its line to include a variety of makeup products and the new Eye Sheen is absolutely fantastic.

I got one of the tiny pots in a recent Julep Maven box (highly recommended) and have been using it almost daily ever since. The creamy eye shadow is almost a liquid and glides on with the sweep of a finger.

The color is subtle (I am using Pale Nude Shimmer) and has a nice touch of sheen without looking like Kesha. I am pairing it with a colored liner right now for a simple look. The product comes in four colors and actually does last all day. (That is a definite bonus of cream shadows.)

The only downside -- also common with cream shadows -- is if you apply it a little too thick you can feel it on your lids for a while. So be careful.

I hope this is something that becomes a staple in Julep's ever-expanding line.


CHECK IT OUT: Check out all the color available and order from Julep.

-- Tested by Carrie

Friday, February 21, 2014

GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $19 for 0.5 ounces, $69 for 1.7 ounces

THE SKINNY: GlamGlow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment is fun to use, despite its very gritty pieces.

This is a dark gray mud with a lot of gritty pieces that almost felt sharp against my skin. But the 10-minute facial left my skin feeling smooth and healthy for days afterward.

What you do is rub the mud into your skin and let it sit for 10 minutes. A few minutes into the treatment, the mud starts to tingle and feel cool, like it contains peppermint. Like any mask product, it tightens as it dries.

After 10 minutes, you rinse it off with water. You're supposed to massage your now-wet face in a circular motion to exfoliate the skin.

The gritty pieces scared me a little because I always worry I'm going to be sloppy and get it in my eyes. But the product and the grit washes away easily.

KEEP OR TOSS:  I would definitely try this product again.

CHECK IT OUT: GlamGlow Youthmud contains clay, pumice rock and a special, time-release green tea leaf compound. Find a complete list of ingredients online.

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, February 20, 2014

L.I.L.Y. by Stella McCartney

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $80 for 1.7 ounce eau de parfum spray

THE SKINNY: L.I.L.Y. by Stella McCartney is a light floral fragrance that has a lot of (for lack of a better word) texture.

There are a couple of nice aromas in there that aren't too overpowering. It does though have a hint of something that smelled a little grandmother-ish to me. Not a lot of it, but it was there.

But the overall smell was nice. It did not hang around long though, which is why I am really docking it a star or so. A fragrance at this price point needs to last.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I might try it one more time.

CHECK IT OUT: This is a relatively new fragrance and Sephora has it in a lot of sizes. You can even try a small spray for $25. (That's my favorite way to buy fragrances ... does anyone ever use a whole bottle?)

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $34

THE SKINNY: This funny-looking little stick from Tarte packs a punch. This stick is a primer that contains extra pigments to help smooth away your skin's flaws.

Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer is a new addition to one of my favorite lines and this primer is no exception. I used it a little differently, though. Rather than an all over face primer, I have been using the stick for targeted areas that need a little extra help -- for dark circles under the eyes, to hide redness, etc.

And the results are great. The formula is creamy -- not what you might expect from the word clay -- and does a great job hiding those little imperfections.

I have pretty light skin and went with light for good coverage. Some other reviews on the Tarte website say other shades run a little dark. So you might want to go try this one out in person before buying.


CHECK IT OUT: Tarte Colored Clay CC Primer comes in five shades. Sign up for the Tarte mailing list for a discount, too.

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Burt's Bees Lip Shine Gloss

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $7

THE SKINNY: After a break from Burt's Bees, I have rediscovered the line in recent weeks. Burt's Bees Lip Shine Gloss (I used blush) is a neat little lip gloss that feels great and has super shine.

Maybe too much shine for everyday wear, but perfect for a date night.

What's great about this gloss though is that it is not sticky and actually feels and lasts like a balm. That's a double win in my book. I think I would like this even more in a more nude color, and then the shine might be more day appropriate. Because it is pretty inexpensive -- and available at the grocery store -- I will be trying a lighter shade soon.


CHECK IT OUT: Lip Shine comes in six colors, and you can find Burt's Bees products at retailers everywhere.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, February 17, 2014

Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $20

THE SKINNY: It's been a long time since I've tried a mascara and actually said "wow." Urban Decay's Big Fatty Mascara delivers a lot of volume and makes my lashes look really thick.

This is a decent, dark mascara with a lot of volume. It's a fun way to switch up my makeup, although it might be a little much for all-the-time wear. It also took about a month to start getting a little clumpy.

The mascara lasts about half a workday before it wears off, but it doesn't flake.


CHECK IT OUT: Big Fatty Mascara comes in only one color, black.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil

RATING (out of 5 stars): 5 stars

COST: $45 for 1 ounce

THE SKINNY: For Valentine's Day, it is only appropriate to review something I absolutely LOVE. I am not sure how I ever lived without Ole Henriksen's Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil. It is hands-down the best product I have tried in years.

This citrus-based oil is thin and light and is used on the face and neck to really improve the overall quality of skin.

A while back, a Sephora clerk poured a little sample for me and it lasted 6 months. So just a drop will do it. It recently hit shelves -- hopefully to stay -- and I was first in line to buy it. 

And you don't really have to change your routine to get the benefits of this powerful product. You can use Pure Truth in addition to your regular moisturizer (that's how I do it) in the morning or night. I like to use it as a little wake me up in the morning because of the great orange scent.

This is what the vitamin -packed oil includes:
  • 100% Organic Rose Hips Seed Oil: Pure, unfiltered, unprocessed and cold pressed for the highest potency, is a natural source of active
  • Vitamin A (retinol): Activates cell renewal to improve, texture, tone and clarity of skin
  • Vitamin C: Boosts collagen to strengthen and firm skin, brighten and restore radiance 
  • Omega 3•6 (essential fatty acids) and 9: Nourishes, cushions and hydrates 
  • Vitamin E: Soothes and heals, improving scars, burns and wrinkles
This stuff really does heal anything that ails your skin. It's so great I did not even blink at the $45 price tag


CHECK IT OUT: You can buy Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil directly or at Sephora.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, February 13, 2014

EOS Everyday Hand Lotion

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $1.99 (travel size)

THE SKINNY: One of my favorite things about EOS products are the fun shapes of the containers. (Seriously!) The rounded shapes are easy to find when they get buried deep in your bag.

EOS Everyday Hand Lotion (I used fresh flowers) has a light, almost linen-type scent that makes the think of fresh laundry blowing in the wind. (Or maybe I am just tired of winter.) Either way, the scent is just enough to be nice and not overpowering.

And the formula is creamy without being greasy and has really helped with the winter scaliness that comes with too many days of forgotten gloves.

Plus this little lotion is a steal. You can often find it in the bins at the Ulta checkout ... or add it to your cart if you need a couple more buck to reach a free shipping deal. This one will become a staple in my handbag for sure.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. And think about trying the lip balm too; we tried that one a while back.

CHECK IT OUT: This lotion by EOS comes in three scents (original, cucumber and berry blossom) and is available from a variety of retailers, including Ulta.

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

J. Cat Beauty Big Lip Pencil

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2.5 stars

COST: $3.99

THE SKINNY: This was a really disappointing product until I saw the price. Then I was a little less disappointed as I would have been had this been a high-end product with a big price tag.

J. Cat bills its Big Lip Pencil as "hydrating and vibrant." I found it a little dry on my lips and found that the color easily strayed off my lips.

Plus, the color I got in a recent Ipsy bag wasn't good for my skin tone. Rose Red was actually a little too orange for me. It was vibrant and matte, but a bad color.

I think I might like a lighter, less "vibrant" color. And for $3.99 I might try it if I came across a display in an actual store.


CHECK IT OUT: The Big Lip Pencil comes in 12 colors.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, February 10, 2014

Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $24

THE SKINNY: I doubted, it's true. I wasn't sure anti-aging eyeshadow primer would really make any kind of difference.

I was wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

This is a great product that combines Urban Decay's stellar eye shadow primer with something a little heavier that smooths those fine lines on my 40+-year-old eyelids (and can masks dark circles, too). It is heavier than the regular primer, but not by much. I can see a difference when I use it.

It does the job keeping eye shadow in place without creasing, too.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I may have to switch to this full-time.

CHECK IT OUT: Urban Decay says it took eight weeks for participants in a clinical study to see fine lines disappear.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, February 7, 2014

(MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2.5 stars

COST: $12

THE SKINNY: Color and paraben free, Mojito Lip Balm is hydrating lip gel that smells faintly like the mixed drink. It's clear. It's thin, which means it really doesn't last very long on my lips. It's just OK.

My biggest complaint is with the packaging. There's really no way to apply this product directly to your lips. Because it's thin, I always squirt out a little too much onto my finger, so I end up throwing a lot of it away.

KEEP OR TOSS: Toss. It's too much work for too little gain.

CHECK IT OUT: (MALIN+GOETZ) is a new brand to me that has a lot of interesting products. (Thanks, Ipsy.)

-- Tested by Shay

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissues

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $7.99 for 33

THE SKINNY: Absolute!'s Makeup Cleansing Tissues came in the mail twice: Once in a Glossybox and again in an Ipsy box.

They're one of the few truly refreshing makeup wipes I've found. They remove makeup just fine and leave my skin feeling refreshed but not sticky or slimy with extra product.

These are water-based cloths infused with natural extracts and botanicals, such as lemon and ginseng.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I like to use them before/after a workout to remove makeup and then sweat.

CHECK IT OUT: Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissues can be purchased at a lot of online-only beauty supply stores, including Amazon.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes (redux)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $19

THE SKINNY: In 2012, a broken Aqua Eyes shadow stick came in the mail. Sephora's return policy is great, and I mailed it back and got an immediate refund.

When 2013's Black Friday deals came around, I decided to try again with a pair of Aqua Eyes shadows. These arrived in perfect shape, so here's a new review.

These aren't bad. They cover the lid and aren't too hard to blend. The Black Friday deal contained two beige colors (20E and 28E) that are about three shades apart. The color is more of a glaze, but the pigment lasts throughout the day without primer.

The pencils have survived multiple sharpenings without major issue.

My only complaint is the product is a little on the dry side (maybe why it stays in place so well). I've found that I prefer the creaminess of Clinique's Chubby Stick Eyeshadow.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. It's a good option when you're in a hurry.

CHECK IT OUT: Sephora has Aqua Eyes in 26 colors.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Urban Decay Naked 24/7 Doubled Ended Eye Pencil

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4.5 stars

COST: $16

THE SKINNY: Urban Decay makes some of the best eye pencils around. They go on creamy, blend easily and stay in place for hours. The new addition to the line is the Naked 24/7 Doubled Ended Eye Pencil (which I honestly only bought to hit the free shipping price point).

Venus + Crave is a shimmery white paired with a matte black-brown, and it's my new favorite.

The addition of Crave, the highlighter, is fabulous. This pencil brightens my eyes, something I really need now that we're in the for-real part of winter. This really brightens tired eyes, and it's a nice pop for going out.

Plus the white will blend with whatever other color you're wearing so you can make the lines look less heavy if needed.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I use it almost daily.

CHECK IT OUT: Double Ended Eye Pencils come in four color combinations.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, February 3, 2014

Yaby Liquid Foundation

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $13.55

THE SKINNY: Yaby's Liquid Foundation is designed to give a natural look. Because of that, it's an extremely lightweight foundation that provides light coverage. The color I got in a recent Ipsy box is buff, which is a simple nude.

The foundation goes on and blends in easily, like a thin moisturizer. It's oil-free, and it didn't irritate my skin or clog my pores. It didn't break down or wear off during a workday.

But if I'm going to go through the trouble of foundation, I find myself wanting more coverage than I can get from a BB cream. Otherwise why go the extra step and layer on another product? It didn't do much to control oil in my T-zone.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. This tube of foundation lives in my makeup bag for when I need touchups during the day.

CHECK IT OUT: Yabe offers its Liquid Foundation in 12 shades plus another six colors for correcting problem skintone.

-- Tested by Shay