Category Archives: Powder

Five E.L.F. Short Reviews & Swatches

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elf quick reviews swatches

I have a lot of ELF products I haven’t reviewed, mostly from my ELF purchase during a 50% off sale three months ago, and today I have short reviews of five different items.

ELF Lip Lock Pencil
This is a transparent lip primer. It works to prevent feathering, but doesn’t significantly extend the life of my lipstick. I’m actually working on a post comparing several clear lip liners & lip primers – this was the worst performing of all of them.

ELF lip lock pencil

ELF Lip Lock Pencil

ELF Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow – Toast
I LOVE THIS. It’s a sparkling mousse-textured shadow, and this shade is gorgeous – silver and gold sparkles of just the right size. It doesn’t crease on me. I want more shades!

ELF Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow - Toast

ELF Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow – Toast

ELF lustrous eyeshadow toast-2

The texture is interesting – sort of a spongy mousse. Different than anything else I’ve tried!

ELF toast lustrous eyeshadow swatch

I had trouble getting a clear photo, maybe because it’s so sparkly.

ELF Under-Eye Setting Powder
I know some people don’t mind some shimmer in their face products, but this has large pieces of pink glitter. I don’t get it.

ELF HD undereye setting powder

ELF High Definition Undereye Setting Powder

ELF HD undereye setting powder

GLITTER. Do not want.

ELF Essential Lip Balm Tint – Berry
This is great – it says it’s lip balm, but really it’s sheer berry gloss. It’s potted, which is not really my preference, but for something this sheer I don’t mind. It shows up beautifully, and has a nice texture – not sticky at all.  It has a sweet vanilla scent.  In fact, when I saw that my Walgreens had this in a few shades, I bought two more – Grapefruit and Nude. I’ll swatch them for you soon.

ELF Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint – Rose
It’s okay – texture is fine, it’s mildly moisturizing. It’s sheer, but does show up. The color is fine. It’s exactly what I think of as an acceptable but not exciting product.

ELF lip balm tint berry - moisturizing lip tint rose

Essential Lip Balm Tint in Berry // Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint in Rose

Essential Lip Balm Tint Berry - Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint Rose swatches

Essential Lip Balm Tint Berry // Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint Rose

ELF berry lip balm tint swatch-2

Lip Balm Tint – Berry

ELF rose moisturizing lip tint swatch

Moisturizing Lip Tint – Rose

Have you tried any of these? Do you have any recommendations for new E.L.F. products I should try?

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Wet n Wild Fergie Take The Day On Mattifying Powder in Pedestal: Review & Swatches

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Wet n Wild Fergie Mattifying Powder

Wet n Wild has released several new items for 2014, both under the Fergie sub-brand and the main brand. Thus far, I’ve reviewed the Fergie Vicious Varnish stains (love!), Wet n Wild Megaslicks Balm Stains (like), and Wet n Wild 5-pan eyeshadow palettes (dislike).  Today I have a review of the Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection Take on the Day Mattifying Powder in Pedestal (the only shade).

Although this is described as a mattifying powder, the extended description makes it clear that in addition to mattifying, it is supposed to have a luminous finish – it seems to be intended as a dupe of the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. From the Walgreens website product description,

Feel shiny within, not without! Revolutionary light-reflecting powder contains porous silica beads, which absorb oil and minimize shine. Lightweight powder feels weightless on the skin without adding color, and sets with a luminous, soft-focus finish.

In fact, in addition to the description, this powder seems to have a lot in common with the NARS (which I do not own).  Both are fairly hard-textured pressed powders with some sparkle that are intended to mattify with a soft-focus finish. Both go on – or at least are intended to go on – translucent, though I’ve read that others noticed a white cast with the Wet n Wild (I did not). Both powders come with a similar velvety feeling sponge. Continue reading

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder Review & Swatches

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Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder Compact

I recently learned that Guerlain has discontinued my very favorite powder – the Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Meteorites. I am on my third compact, and although I have a backup (thanks to the generosity of a friend!), I know I will need to find a replacement, so I was intrigued by Maybelline’s new Dream Wonder Powder, which is advertised as a “powderless powder” since it is talc-free.

The main purpose of a powder, for me, is to set my makeup / increase weartime and, depending on the foundation I use, give a matte finish. I don’t really get oily – maybe just a touch on my chin during the hottest part of summer. It’s important that the powder does not make my skin look or feel dry, and I prefer powders that improve the look of skin texture.

Unfortunately, the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder was a total fail for me. The color (40 Nude) is a decent match, but the texture doesn’t work for my dry skin at all. I’m generally not at all concerned about pore size, but this powder really emphasized the texture of my skin and made the pores on my cheeks very noticeable. In the below swatch, you can see the swatch (on the right side of the photo) blends in colorwise, but really emphasizes the fine lines on my wrist.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder - texture - swatch

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder – 40 Nude

This texture-emphasis is a total dealbreaker and makes the powder unwearable for me.  However, I don’t know how the powder would work on an oilier – or even just less dry – skin.

Another problem I had with the powder was the texture in the pan – it’s extremely powdery, and even the softest brush leads to powder everywhere. Below, I gently brushed a soft powder brush across the surface.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder - texture

This kind of powdery mess really bugs me, though it may not be a problem for others.

If you’ve tried this powder, I’d love to hear about it. Did you have the same problems, or did it work for you?

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

MUFE Pro Finish Powder Foundation Review, Swatches, Photos

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MUFE Pro Finish - 117

Make Up For Ever – one of my favorite brands – recently released a new foundation, the Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation, and I was very excited to get to try it out.  Pro-Finish foundation is can be used either wet (for less coverage) or dry (for more coverage).

An important note about using it wet: when I spoke to a MUFE artist (at The Makeup Show), she said that when using it wet, it’s important to get the entire surface of the compact wet & completely emulsify the product – if you just dampen your sponge, the product will not apply properly.   I was still nervous about getting the powder wet, but I can now confirm that it will dry back to the original consistency – getting it wet doesn’t harm it at all.

MUFE Pro Finish - Packaging - 117

I really like the packaging of the powder; as you can see, it’s all set up to use on the go and includes a mirror and a sponge.  The sponge has a separate compartment that has air holes so it will dry quickly.

Most of the year, my match in MUFE HD foundation is 120, though in the depths of winter I mix 117 and 120.  MUFE Pro Finish runs darker, so 117 is a perfect match for me.  Note that when applied wet, the color looks a bit darker, but it dries down to the original color.

MUFE Pro Finish 117 Swatch - Dry

MUFE Pro Finish 117 Swatch: applied dry (unblended / blended)

MUFE Pro Finish 117 Swatch - Wet

MUFE Pro Finish 117 Swatch: Applied wet, partially dried (unblended, sort-of-blended)

I found that dry, Pro Finish has a really lovely texture; smooth and silky. Wet, it has a tendency to streak a little bit, but the streaks can easily be buffed away once it’s dry.  The foundation looked great – very natural – on the majority of my face, but I noticed some flakiness and dry patches near the corners of my nose and on other dry patches; I think my skin is a little too dry at this time of year for this foundation (or any powder foundation) to work well on those areas.  I expect that this would work best on normal to oily skin, though I of course do not know how well it controls oil.

So, at this point in the review this foundation seems like a solid choice; best for me during summer, perhaps, but a really nice foundation.  And that’s what I thought midway through my testing.  But, then I put two and two together, and came up with a problem.  My eyes had been stinging and hurting for a couple nights in a row after I removed my makeup – I had assumed it was contact related, but after getting this foundation in my eye, I realized that it has an ingredient that irritates my eyes very badly.  When I was removing my makeup at night, I was getting foundation in my eyes & irritating them.  I normally apply all foundations right up to my lashline, because I usually don’t wear undereye concealer – just foundation. I’ve probably tested dozens of foundations, and never had a problem before. So, I took a look at the ingredients (& asked some friends who know more about cosmetic ingredients generally):

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Diethylhexyl Succinate, Silica, Nylon-12, Zinc Stearate, Polyethylene, CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), Hydrogenated Lecithin, Trimyristin, CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), Tocopherol, Aqua (Water), Stearic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate

I know it’s not anything that’s found in several other foundations I wear without irritation, I know it’s not anything in my daily sunscreen (this one by Josie Maran, which I wear in the eye area as it’s all physical), I know it’s not anything found in most eyeshadow — so we figured out that it’s almost certainly the Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, which is an unusual ingredient.

Let me be clear: There is nothing wrong with MUFE Pro Finish Foundation’s ingredients; I’ve read many reviews where other bloggers used it without problems. I just happen to (probably) have a sensitivity to this one ingredient.

I debated for a while whether to blog about this foundation at all; ultimately I decided that I tested out the foundation enough to write review it aside from the eye irritation issue. And, I wanted to blog about the eye irritation issue too, so if someone else experiences it, this pops up as a result if they search, and helps them figure out what the irritant is.

So, overall (and perhaps surprisingly), I would actually recommend this foundation to those with normal to oily skin – it looks very natural, is long lasting, and has a fantastic color range.   No, I won’t be using mine, but it is a really nice product.

*I was given the Pro Finish foundation courtesy of Make Up For Ever and The Makeup Show.   This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light: Review, Photos, Swatches

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Dim Light

If you read beauty blogs, I’m sure you know that Hourglass recently released six new Ambient Lighting powders, two of which I have previously reviewed (Diffused Light and Mood Light). The previous post has more details on the lineup of powders.

This review is for Dim Light, which is described by Hourglass as a “neutral peach beige powder that blurs imperfections and highlights a radiant complexion with the perfect balance of warm and cool tones.”

hourglass ambient lighting powder dim light

Dim Light is just a touch darker than my skintone, so it was difficult for me to get it to show up in a photograph.   The following photo has a heavy swatch on the left, and a blended swatch on the right – I know it’s difficult to see the powder, which I suppose is mostly a good thing, since it’s meant to be worn all over the face.

hourglass ambient lighting dim light swatch

I would describe the finish as a soft satin-matte; it’s really quite a gorgeous finish, not shimmery at all, but not quite matte.  If you recall, Diffused Light has visible flecks of shimmer in sunlight, while Mood Light has a luminous satin finish.  Dim Light has less sheen than Mood Light, but still has detectable sheen – it is not matte.  But, there are no visible flecks of shimmer.

Here is a before / after photo without and with Dim Light – the addition of the finishing powder is the only difference between the photos, and they were taken minutes apart.hourglass ambient lighting dim light before after

I can see a difference between the photos – do you see one? In the photo on the right, I think my skin looks more even, I look less red, and I look just a touch darker.  Dim Light also gives my skin a really lovely finish; my skin but better.

Overall, I’m really happy with this powder – I think it’s the best shade for me out of the six! Have you tried any of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders yet?

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Review, Swatches, Photos

hourglass ambient light powders - diffused light, mood light

Diffused Light, Mood Light

It’s not like me to buy high end makeup without waiting for reviews first, but the early murmurings I heard about Hourglass’s new Ambient Lighting Powders was all positive, so I decided to take the plunge! Please note that these powders just arrived in the mail today, so this post is swatches and first impressions – if my thoughts on the powders change significantly, I’ll either update this post or write up a new one.

Update! After swatching all the powders, I bought Dim Light, which is by far my favorite. Review of that one is here.

The Hourglass Ambient lighting powders come in six shades (photos from Sephora.com / text from Hourglasscosmetics.com / not quite symmetrical collage by yours truly):

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders

I couldn’t decide between Mood Light (lavender) & Diffused Light (yellow), so I purchased both. Hourglass also has a new brush specifically for the Ambient Lighting Powders, but since I have a variety of brushes of different materials, sizes, shapes, and densities, I decided to just go with what I have for now.

Hourglass Ambient Light Powders - Packaging

The Ambient Lighting powders are packaged in a very reflective plastic compact that does (unfortunately) hold fingerprints.   It’s a fairly solid feeling compact, and I like the aesthetics of it.

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Diffused Light

Diffused Light is, as described, a pale yellow.  Applied heavily, it’s a very pale yellow-white that is difficult to see on my skin – blending it out makes the color, though not the shimmer, virtually invisible on me. Diffused Light does have visible flecks of shimmer in sunlight. However, it was very difficult to photograph – you’ll have to look quite closely to see anything at all!

Hourglass Diffused Light Swatch

Diffused Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in natural light)

Hourglass Diffused Light Swatch

Diffused Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in full sun)

Hourglass Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Mood Light

Mood Light is described as a lavender-pink, but I see more of a pink-brown color; I don’t really see the lavender in the pan. I cannot see visible flecks of shimmer in Mood Light – just a sheen.  Well actually, if I get about an inch away in full sunlight, I can maybe detect little flecks of shimmer, but maybe not – but does anyone really examine your face that closely?

Mood Light is easier to see when applied heavily on my skin, and also visible when semi-blended (when fully blended out, it is not intended to have visible color; no one has a lavender face).

Hourglass Mood Light Swatch

Mood Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in natural light)

Hourglass Mood Light Swatch

Mood Light – heavy swatch, blended swatch (in full sun)

I also tried each powder on my face.  In the “before” photo, I’m wearing foundation and powder, as well as other makeup – but no face makeup with any hint of shimmer. In the “after” photo, I’ve applied the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder with a clean fluffy brush (I used the ELF Complexion brush, because I have two of them and both were clean). I did remove my makeup and reapply between the photos. I did no retouching of these photos at all.

Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Diffused Light

Before / After – Diffused Light

Wearing Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder - Mood Light

Before / After – Mood Light

I see a difference with each powder, but Mood Light seems to do a better job of softening imperfections and generally improving the look of my skin. Do you see a difference between no powder, Diffused Light, and Mood Light? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

Overall, I’m really excited about these powders, and I think I prefer Mood Light thus far – it seems to do a better job overall, and it doesn’t have the visible flecks of shimmer that Diffused Light has.  Once the Sephora stores near me have all the shades in stock, I’m definitely going to go swatch all of the shades!

If you’re interested in the other shades, reviews are starting to pop up:
The Beauty Sample has a review & swatches of Radient Light.
The Non-Blonde has a review & swatches of Radient Light.
Beauty Reflections has a review & swatches of Dim Light.
Makeup & Beauty Blog has a review & swatches of Dim Light, Luminous Light, & Radient Light.

And again, my review of Dim Light is here.

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