Friday, January 30, 2015

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil

RATING (out of 5 stars): 1 star

COST: $32 for 6 ounces

THE SKINNY: I was skeptical of a face cleansing oil, and I was right. While I wanted to like the new Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil, my face did not at all.

It led to a pretty massive breakout.

Maybe because my skin tends to be somewhat sensitive and on the oily side already?

Regardless, it was not a good fit.

But that's OK because the texture did not feel clean -- it was pretty runny -- and the smell is rather offensive. (It smells kind of like a bad orange.)


CHECK IT OUT: Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil is a Sephora exclusive right now as the product launches.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, January 29, 2015

fresh Black Tea Age-Defy Eye Concentrate

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $85

THE SKINNY: Black Tea Age-Defy Eye Concentrate is a nice moisturizer for that tender around-the-eye area, but it doesn't do much else.

That makes the $85 price tag a little hard for me to swallow.

The moisturizer from fresh uses black tea, blackberry leaf extract and lychee seed to create a rich moisturizer that didn't irritate my eyes. It seems to work just fine.

But I want more from an eye cream, especially one with a hefty price tag. I'm like millions of other working adults who don't get enough sleep. My fight is less the fine lines and wrinkles and more the tired eyes with dark circles. If I'm going to pay $85 for a moisturizer, I need it to help me look brighter and awake.

fresh says this moisturizer is "cooling" and will do that, but my sample failed in that area.

On the plus side, a little bit of this moisturizer goes a long way, so the little pot of lotion will last forever.


CHECK IT OUT: fresh says to use Black Tea Age-Defy Eye Concentrate after cleansing day and night. Use with Black Tea Age-Delay Serum and Cream.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NYX Butter Lip Balm

RATING (out of 5 stars): 1.5 stars

COST: $4

THE SKINNY: NYX Butter Lip Balm went from my Ipsy bag straight into the trash. When it comes to moisturizing, especially in winter weather, not much beats Carmex. Definitely not this product, which is a little gritty and didn't last for more than 10 minutes on my lips.

The second problem was the color. Ipsy sent me a neutral brown called "marshmallow." It went on almost white and made me look like death.

There are a lot of Carmex-like products on the market that deliver moisture, lip protection and color. This is one of the worst ones I've tried.


CHECK IT OUT: NYX Butter Lip Balm comes in eight colors. Avoid marshmallow.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wei Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $42 for 8 pods

THE SKINNY: Oh how I love a good mask. And mud masks are my absolute favorite!

The new Wei Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask is no exception. This mask was pretty amazing.

The mud mask comes in eight little pods (which actually contain enough product for two applications if you could find a way to store it) that brush on (the brush is included).

The mask goes on smooth and cool. The brush is super-soft and the product applies with ease. It felt great on skin -- cool with a little tingle as it dried. I left it on for about 15 minutes, but the package says you can allow the mask to stay on overnight to fight blemishes or other problem areas.

It both moisturized and helped my face feel fresh and clear.

Make sure to clean the brush well after each use. It washed clear with water right after use with ease, but I would not dare letting it sit for any lengthy periods of time.

This product is a little on the pricey side, but it works nicely and breaks down to less than $3 per mask if you can get 16 uses out of it. (Store it in small plastic containers and it won't dry out.)


CHECK IT OUT: You can find the Wei mask at Sephora.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dove Dry Spray

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $6.49

THE SKINNY: I have never liked spray antiperspirants. They just had a "yuck" feeling to them. Why spray on something wet to keep you dry?

Dove's new Dry Spray fixes that problem. It sprays on with a dry feeling, has a fresh smell and works as well as anything else out there.

I am especially happy about how it feels (as well as works). It did not dry out skin or make it flaky. It did not itch or burn (even after shaving).

And it did the job. The scent -- I had "Nourished" -- was fresh and clean but did not hang around too long. (There are five other varieties available.)

Another bonus of the spray product? No white marks when I pulled a black sweater over my head. Win!


CHECK IT OUT: You can find the new Dove line almost anywhere. I got my sample through the Bzzagent program. You can learn more about it here.

-- Tested by Carrie

Friday, January 23, 2015

Caudalie Divine Oil

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $32 for 1.7 ounces

THE SKINNY: I will try anything to beat winter weather dry skin. Caudalie Divine Oil is a "dry oil" that can be used on the body, face or hair.

I stuck to using it as a body oil because it was well ... pretty oily.

Which is not always a bad thing. It was super moisturizing and great on my winter skin. It went on smooth, had a woodsy fragrance and lasted for hours.

That's really all you need to keep winter dryness at bay, right?


CHECK IT OUT: You can find Caudalie Divine Oil at Sephora. Let me know if you use it on your hair and how that works.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush (Fearless)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $26

THE SKINNY: A lot of people love Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush, but I was not a fan.

The color -- Fearless -- was too pink. And the powder formula was too hard to keep light. (I tried with a brush and with my fingertips and it just seemed to apply heavy.)

But the caveat to all of this is that I don't particularly like blush. My skin already has a pinkish tone and blush always puts me over the line.

The good elements of the product are that is does stick on skin for a while and it kept my face from getting as oily as normal during the course of the day. Both major bonuses.

If you a re a blush wearer, this product might be a good option. Let us know in the comments if you like it.


CHECK IT OUT: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush is listed as a bestselling item and comes in 16 shades.

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3.5 stars

COST: $26 for 4 ounces

THE SKINNY: Every time I use a Living Proof product, I expect my hair to look like Jennifer Aniston's. Every time I end up disappointed.

But that's not to say I wasn't pretty happy with Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Styling Treatment. It actually works pretty well on my shoulder-length+ hair. Used just on the ends, it smoothed and eliminated a lot of fly-aways.

This stuff does seem a little thick to use anywhere else and I'm not sure how it would feel on short hair.

You use a little (a very little) on damp hair before styling. I still had to use a finishing product to get rid of winter static and get some final hold.


CHECK IT OUT: The Living Proof PHD line also includes shampoo and conditioner.

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Julep Luxe Lip (Sheer Coral)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2.5 stars

COST: $24 ($19.20 for Mavens)

THE SKINNY: Julep's new Luxe Lip treatment is more than just a lip conditioner, it contains a nice gloss color as well. The lip glosses were introduced in a recent monthly box and online.

I liked the color a lot (Sheer Coral). It was not sticky and lasted as long as you would expect from a gloss.

But the metal tip applicator was a little odd. First, it was cold. (Not something I want in mid-January.) Second, the color was super sheer. I liked that, but if you are looking for color, this is not the product for you. (It's also something buyers have complained about on the Julep website.)

After a few days, I am not sure about the "treatment" part either. It works fine, it feels fine, but my lips are not any smoother or less dry.


CHECK IT OUT: Julep's new Luxe Lip line comes in four colors.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $45

THE SKINNY: Ole Henriksen's Invigorating Night Treatment is a gel that you slather onto your face in the evenings and is supposed to do a lot of good stuff while you sleep.

The gel is cold and slimy, and I wasn't convinced that it did much of anything.

According to Ole Henriksen, the product "resurfaces" your skin, smooths fine lines and minimizes pore. It's made with purified algae and Vitamin E.

After a few weeks, I didn't see much difference. Plus, I really didn't like the texture.


CHECK IT OUT: Find a complete list of ingredients online at Ole Henriksen.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ralph Lauren Romance Fragrance

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $50 for 1 ounce

THE SKINNY: When you see the pale pink packaging and hear the name "Romance," you assume this is going to be girly. This Ralph Lauren fragrance fits that bill for sure, but in a way that I did not mind at all.

From Ralph Lauren: "Romance is the women's fragrance that evokes the timeless essence of falling in love -- discover the sensual essence of velvety woods, extravagant florals and seductive musk."

I don't know if smell is enough to make you fall in love, but this is a nice everyday scent that is feminine but not too overwhelming.


CHECK IT OUT: You can buy the fragrance, gift sets or other Romance items at department stores or direct from Ralph Lauren.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $28 for 8 ounces

THE SKINNY: Admittedly, I'm bad about reading the directions. But the first few times I tried Bumble and Bumble's Thickening Hairspray, it seemed one of the worst products on the market.

Then I read about the product and realized it wasn't a hairspray in the sense that it holds a finished style. It's a hair product that gets sprayed onto damp hair to help style it.


But I'm happy to report that this spray does a great job (when used properly).

It adds volume and texture to my fine hair without weighing it down. And the effect lasts a full workday and into the evening.

The smell of this product is kind of awesome, too. It's kind of peppermint-y and fun.

I'm ready to try the whole line now.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. The nice thing about short hair is samples last longer!

CHECK IT OUT: Bumble and Bumble's thickening line includes shampoo, conditioner and a serum.

-- Tested by Shay

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $40 for 1.7 ounces

THE SKINNY: Sheer Transformation is an oil-free cream moisturizer from Ole Henriksen that helps fade dark spots and other discolorations.

I like it because it's lightweight and glides onto the skin without feeling sticky or heavy. It's soothing and cooling, too, which is nice now that we're dealing with blasts of winter cold wind.

Being so light, this moisturizer will last as a little dab goes a long way.

It feels really simple, yet there's a lot of good stuff packed into it, including a little Vitamin C, licorice and chamomile.

Basically, it's healthy for your skin and does a great job as a moisturizer.


CHECK IT OUT: Ole Henriksen recommends using Sheer Transformation in combination with Truth Serum during the day and Invigorating Night Gel in the evening.

-- Tested by Shay

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $24

THE SKINNY: Bye Bye Under Eye is one of those products that I love but find incredibly frustrating.

The good: This is an amazing concealer that's meant to perform well on that sensitive skin under your eye. It cover and brightens and makes my skin look radiant. It's everything you would hope for in a full-coverage and waterproof concealer.

The bad: It's hard to put on, mostly because it's so thick and a tiny bit goes a long way. I have a lot of trouble, even with a tiny brush, getting the right amount of product.

Put a drop on your finger and it's way too much. I looked spackled. Really.

I get too little on a makeup brush, and then it dries fast and is difficult to blend.

Basically, this product takes some practice. The results are worth the work.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. I'm getting better at using it, and some mornings I really need to use it.

CHECK IT OUT: Bye Bye Under Eye comes in four shades.

-- Tested by Shay

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rogue Underground Make-Up Sealant

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2 stars

COST: $28.99

THE SKINNY: I'll be honest: I've never quite understood the real purpose of makeup setting spray but I don't mind the idea of helping my makeup stay on a little longer.

Rogue Underground's Make-Up Sealant didn't do anything for me, other than to make my face feel wet. I never noticed any difference in the lifespan of any makeup -- eye shadow, foundation or powder.

This one is supposed to be waterproof, sweat-proof and non-transferable. But after a few sprays, I could still pull makeup off with a tissue.


CHECK IT OUT: Who knew? You can find this product at Target.

-- Tested by Shay

Friday, January 9, 2015

Absolute Nail Polish Remover Pads (Lemon)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 1.5 stars

COST: $2.99 for 32

THE SKINNY: What seems like a great idea in the Absolute Nail Polish Remover Pads falls incredibly short of expectations.

The pads are super thin and small -- about half the size of a coaster -- and shredded when rubbed fervently. Yes, I will admit to trying to remove glitter polish.

The most unusual thing about this polish remover is that it was oily. Really oily. My fingers were covered in oil during use. This seems like a good idea as far as protecting and moisturizing, but it really just felt gross.

The remover pads did not make easy work of removing polish either. But oddly enough almost all of the polish on my right hand disappeared as I was working to remove the polish on the left. Nowhere did the instructions say to let the stuff sit on polish for removed, but that did seem to work much better.

The pads also claim that one is enough to remove the color from all 10 nails. NO WAY! It will take a minimum of one remover pad per finger.

It's also worth noting that while these are supposed to be lemon-scented, there was really no fragrance to speak of. But at $2.99, it might be worth a try.

KEEP OR TOSS: I'll pop them in a travel bag for just in case, but that's about it.

CHECK IT OUT: Absolute Nail Polish Remover Pads are available in four scents -- peach, lavender, spring fresh and lemon -- from Nicka K.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Kneipp Herbal Bath (Lavender)

RATING (out of 5 stars): 2.5 stars

COST: $20 for 3.38 ounces

THE SKINNY: The first things I will tell you about Kneipp Herbal Bath (Lavender) is that the bottle is not made of blue glass. It's actually clear and the coloring is from the bath product.

It is so blue in fact that it turns your bathwater blue. And it has a warning not to pour it right against the tub because it might stain.

But the aroma was wonderful. The bathroom was filled with a clean, lavender scent that was relaxing. The bath gel or oil -- I'm not quite sure what to call it really -- has no bubbling or foam action. It did not feel quite as luxurious as I really wanted the bath to be.

KEEP OR TOSS: Keep. (The bottle is only enough for two baths.)

CHECK IT OUT: You can find Kneipp Herbal Bath from a variety of retailers and buy a sample size direct from the company.

-- Tested by Carrie

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ole Henriksen Nurture Me Makeup Removing Wipes

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $15 for 30 cloths

THE SKINNY: I am fairly certain the people at Ole Henriksen can do no wrong. While I have used plenty of their wipes, the Nurture Me Makeup Removing variety might be my favorite.

These wipes seem to be a little more gentle than some of the others, while still working magic on makeup. (I also like to use these to get grime off my face after a good run.)

They are tough enough to take out waterproof mascara -- unlike many other wipe-style removers -- and are packed with good oils to help moisturize while cleaning.


CHECK IT OUT: You can find these and other Ole Henriksen wipes at retailers such as Sephora. (I especially love the mini packs for your bag or to keep at the office.)

-- Tested by Carrie

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

L'Occitane Precious Cream

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $62 for 1.7 ounces

THE SKINNY: L'Occitane's Precious Cream is just wonderful.

That's it really.

Wonderful-feeling on skin.
Wonderful when you consider that it's made organically.
Wonderfully expensive.

This face cream is thick, but not too thick, and is designed to help fight those pesky little lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration. It made my face feel smooth and young -- precious, you might say.

I was pretty disappointed when my sample ran out. Other reviewers seem to love it as well and it is one of L'Occitane's bestselling products.


CHECK IT OUT: You can find the full line from L'Occitane online. It might feel like a splurge, but everything I have tried in this line has been worth it.

-- Tested by Carrie

Monday, January 5, 2015

Uberliss Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner

RATING (out of 5 stars): 3 stars

COST: $24 each

THE SKINNY: With a name like Uberliss, I just new this shampoo and conditioner due would be awesome when it arrived in a beauty box.

It was only average.

Neither product really did anything for my hair. They worked fine, they lathered and cleaned well, but generally did not do anything that made this product stand out from anything else.

And if you are going to get me to pay $24 for a bottle of shampoo, I need to really like it.

Sadly, my favorite thing was the design of the bottle. (That skinny little text on the purple container is uber cool.)


CHECK IT OUT: I had never heard of this brand. You can learn more from the Uberliss website if it's new to you as well.

-- Tested by Carrie

Friday, January 2, 2015

bareMinerals Correcting Concealer

RATING (out of 5 stars): 4 stars

COST: $20

THE SKINNY: I use a lot of concealer. It's just the way when you are fair-skinned and deal with sensitivity issues.

The new bareMinerals Correcting Concealer went on great -- it's nice and thick -- and provided excellent coverage. (It even fought against some of my sporadic redness.)

Plus this stuff contains plenty of SPF and is pretty affordable. My color, Light 2, is good for pretty fair skin and is actually lighter than the normal foundation I buy from bareMinerals (medium). Because of this, you might go and test it before buying.


CHECK IT OUT: bareMinerals Correcting Concealer comes in eight shades to match almost every skin tone.

-- Tested by Carrie

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015 from Beauty Test Dummies

We wish you all the best in the new year and hope you have some great concealer if you welcomed the year in with a bang last night. (If not, we have a review of the new bareMinerals Correcting Concealer coming tomorrow.)