Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Product review Make up for ever Face & body foundation

This is my absolute HG light to medium coverage foundation. I've been using this foundation consistently for 10 years and I've never been out of it since I've discovered it. I own it in two shades, both of which are pink toned 2  and 38 which is the palest shade. I actually realized lately that number 2 is too dark for me. When I started buying it number 2 was one of the only pale shades available and I kept on purchasing it out of habit. What I do now is mixing the two shades depending on my skin tone. next time I will purchase number 20 which is more neutral toned.

Here's a swatch on the shades (38 right and 2 left)

What's really nice about this foundation is the texture it's a gel-like texture that contains absolutely no fillers. You can build it up without being caky and it's absolutely transfer proof it's great to cover veins on legs as well. It also really looks like skin and gives a nice natural finish.

Before foundation

After one layer of foundation
As you can see it does even outs the skin without looking like I'm wearing make up. I can also build it up to a medium coverage if I add more layers. I usually just put a bit of concealer on my redness and circles and it's enough.


  • Lightweight and never caky
  • Natural finish
  • feels good on dry skin
  • Doesn't change color
  • Long lasting and transfer free
  • Contains a flowery fragrance
  • Complicated color numbers (38 being paler than 2, but both in the light range?)
  • Doesn't cover everything
Overall I'm very please with this foundation, it contains a generous amount of 50 ml for around 35 euros. You can purchase this at sephora.fr or at the make up forever store in Brussels.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

product review: clinique all about shadow duo in strawberry fudge

Now that I'm back to work, my time in the morning is significantly reduced to get ready. I recently discovered an old favorite, clinique duo in strawberry fudge.

Lately clinique as been investing a lot of time and marketing effort in the rebranding of their eyeshadow formulations and they came up with new single quads and duos. One of the thing that they kept untouched is their semi-famous duo in strawberry fudge. On makeupalley.com that duo is by far the most reviewed eyeshadow of clinique and I can understand why.

The duo contains 2.2g of products and costs 27 euros in Belgium (25CAN$ and 20US$) which is quite expensive for this amount of product, it's more or less the same price per gram as a MAC eyeshadow. I would say this compact it's still worth it if your really into both of the colors.

The first 2/3 of the compact contains a light pink gold duochrome shade and the last third a plumy brown gold shade. Those colors are meant two be sheer with a pretty gold reflection. The pink shade looks more gold or more pink depending on the lighting.

Here's a swatch of the color

This is the kind of shades that also looks really good on a color base. Because they both contain a gold duochrome you barely need to do any blending. They are easy to apply alone with a flat lay-down brush (like the mac 239).

Here's how the colors look on my eyes on top of concealer without any mascara or eyeliner

As you can see on some part the light eyeshadow looks more gold and on other parts more pink.

Here's the finish look

Overall this is really one of my favorite for work. It's sheer and creamy so it's easy to apply on the go and the staying power is good. I sometimes wear it on top of a bronze or rose gold cream eyeshadow for a more dramatic look. Those are also colors that are flattering on all eye colors.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ten tricks to make some tricky beauty products work

1. If a lipstick is a bit too brown for your skin coloring use it as a blush

2. If a pencil eyeliner is too dry or too creamy apply it with an eyeliner brush

3. If you don't like your conditioner you can use it as a shaving cream

4. For a bad shampoo use it as an hand wash

5. For too shimmery and frosty lipstick, you can use them as an highlighter for travel

6. Too waxy lipbalms make good eyebrow wax
8. Very powdery light eyeshadows are good to blend dark colors on the crease.

9. Splotchy dark eyeshadows are often good as an eyeliner or only in the outer corner of the eye with another crease color. 

10. If loose eyeshadows do not stay on your lids try mixing them with water to use as an eyeliner if it's dark or mixed in your foundation to use as an highlighter if it's a pale color. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Five products I will finish but not repurchase

Like most beauty enthusiasts I own a bit too much make up. In order to be "allowed" to do more serious purchases I have to finish some. They are all products that I can finish pretty quickly and that are flawed but not enough to put in the garbage. I will use all of those products five days a week till they are finish. I'm also starting a new job on Monday so I will use those products as my work look.

1. Maybelline FIT ME liquid foundation in 115.
I actually quite like this foundation, moisturizing, good coverage, non irritating on me. But it's just so PINK. Like seriously pink. It also doesn't stay all day and it can apply a bit streaky with fingers. I'm also limiting myself to three foundations now: one tinted moisturizer, one everyday light to medium foundation and one for special occasions and nights out.

2. The Body shop loose powder in 02
I had this for a while. It's not bad but not great. I just need to commit to one powder for now and finish it. Since FIT ME needs to be set it's a good occasion for me to finally get rid of it.

3. Maybelline color whisper in rose of attraction
I did a long review on this. It's not so good and since it's balmy and week in pigmentation it's quite easy to finish.

4. Rimmel exxagerate eyeliner in black
This is not a bad eyeliner, but I just prefer cream or powder eyeliner. I also have several black eyeliner and this one doesn't contain much product and it should be easy to finish. It's a cheap eyeliner but it doesn't stay all day and if I calculate the price per gram this is the most expensive eyeliner I own (per gram of course).

5. Covergirl simply ageless cream blush in royal plum
This is probably the product that I'm forcing myself to finish that I have the most fun finishing. I just had it for a while and Covergirl is phasing out this product. Because cream blushes expire you can't keep them for more then two years and I need to finish some of mine in order to try something else, like the new Bourjois one that just looks glorious!

I have other products on the rotation to finish, mainly lip products and face products - the easiest thing to finish - but because they have been discontinued for so long, I don't think it's interesting for you to see them. I usually use my own pictures, but with the moving and getting ready for the new job in French, German and English I ran out of time!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Five High end products that aren't worth the money

1. MAC luster and veluxe eyeshadows.
I've tried all of the mac eyeshadow finishes except the two mattes ones (I use make up for ever and inglot for mattes) and luster and veluxe are by far the worst finishes ever. That's a complete waste of money. The luster finish is just a very dry glittery finish and veluxe is a smoother to the touch matte finish, but with very little pigmentation. The shade picture is brown down. You can get much better matte eyeshadows out there. If you want to buy mac I think veluxe pearl and frost are the most consistent finishes.

2. Bobbi brown gel liner in violet ink
Why is it so hard to get a good purple liner? I'm really about to give up. This one is very bad, poor pigmentation, poor wear and looks like a soft black on the eye. Save your money on that shade. I'm going to try it some more for a week or two, but this will probably end in in the garbage can. What a shame.

3. Make up for ever aqua liner in 11 diamond burgundy
Unlike the awesome diamond burgundy eyeshadow this is poor in quality. I will finish it but I won't repurchase. It's extremely hard to apply with my thick naturally curled eyelashes without ruining my eyelashes, you need to shake it like crazy to get even color and if you touch it once dry it flakes off! I heard the other colors are better, but this one isn't good.

4. Mac dazzleglass lip glosses.
This is actually a very nice product, but nothing is worth that much money. It comes in a VERY deceptive packaging. The regular glosses from MAC (lipglass) are 4.8 grams for 18 bucks, this is costs around 23 dollars or euros for only 1.92g. It's smaller than some sample sizes! The color featured is smile.

5. Make up for ever lab shine lipgloss.
Like mac it's a nice product, but it has such a small quantity in it. 2.2 g for a pretty high price. I highly recommend instead the super lipgloss from MUFE which is around the same price or less for 10ml. When it comes to lipglosses read the packaging and avoid anything under 4g. A lot of companies make a very thick plastic tube that gives the illusion of more product that it actually contains.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Benefit highlighter review and comparison: Highbeam, girl meets pearl and watt's up!

Benefit is known mostly for two things their highlighters and box powders. I received three sample of benefit highlighters and I wanted to do a review and comparison. I had those since march, but I've use them a lot lately in order to give a balanced review. I will not show them on my face because it's too hard to capture with my cheap camera.

Here's a swatch of the products

From top to bottom  girl meets pearl, highbeam and watt's up!

Here's a swatch lightly blended

Girl meets pearl

This is a liquid champagne highlighter. The texture is creamier than the liquid highlighter from Benefit that comes in a "nail polish" bottle. It's also really easy to apply. You just need to tap the product in with your ring finger. Because it is a liquid you can also mix a little bit with your foundation for extra glow, or with you moisturizer to use as a brightening primer. Out of the three shades I tried this is the one I think would look best on the biggest variety of skin tones. On my skin tone it just shows up as a glow it doesn't brighten. This one costs 31 euro for 12 ml.


This is one of the original product of the brand and one of the most famous highlighter in the make up world. I love this one! It looks so good on fair skin, it really gives a nice girl look. It as a pearly finish and it's light pink with a silver shimmer. It's really one of those product that I don't think is over-hyped. You can apply it and mix it the same way as girl meets pearl. I did the mistake of buying once moonbeam instead of this one and I regretted it. If this type of shade looks ashy on your skin they have two other shade a beige pink (moonbeam) and a more apricot color (sunbeam). This costs 27 euro for 13ml.

Watt's up!

This is also a very nice highlighter despite it's very corny name. This is the darkest shade of the three. It's a peachy-beige shade. It's darker than my skin so it isn't the best match for me. The texture is very creamy and easy to blend. I think this would look lovely on medium skin or darker. It's also the most expensive shade of the three 32 euros for 9.4g. I think it's nice but if I had darker skin I would buy sunbeam instead.

The bottom line
Benefit really knows good highlighters. None of those products are glittery and they all look very natural on the skin, they are a dream to blend and they have good staying power. I would personally recommend their liquid version in the glass bottle. The two other options can be good if you travel a lot because the packaging is less fragile. I need to finish another liquid highlighter, but I soon as I do I will definitely purchase highbeam in a full size.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Excel spreadsheet to organize your make up

I'm at this point in my make up life where my makeup stash is really becoming a bit overwhelming. I'm planing on buying more storage and depoting most of my eyeshadows and blushes. The thing is, physically organizing the stash is the easy part, sorting out everything is much trickier.

Anyway, these last few days I started doing some excel spread sheet to organize everything.

Here's an overview of my single eyeshadow tab

I tried, as concise as possible, to note all the features on every eyeshadow I own.

  • Description
  • finish
  • brand
  • cost and cost per gram
  • performance
  • color category...
What really helps also is that you can of course sort everything. Here's as an example my collection of single purple eyeshadow 

What I really like also is that I can really see the value. In the example above, I think my best purchase is Make up for ever diamond shadow. It's the only eyeshadow that perfoms perfectly in the blendability, longevity and overall pigmentation. The eyeshadow also costs less per gram than MAC. 

For more simple categories, like eyeliners, I've used far less tabs.

I also used this tool to track down the date of purchase of fragile products like foundation and mascara. I also included a tab wishlist. With a detailed description of everything I own I can focus on buying things that I have less of.

In a nutshell here's the advantage of cataloging your stash
  • Avoid buying repeats and products that under perform
  • Focus on getting colors and finishes that you don't already own
  • Avoid keeping expired products
  • Buying products that are a good value for the size
  • Planing make up looks in advance
  • Using all your stash
  • knowing how much you spend.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Maybelline eye studio lasting drama gel liner review

When it comes to eye liner, my technique really evolved in the last 10 years. I started with pencil eye liners, then I went to liquid and just using dark eyeshadows as powder eye liners. Last year I really got addicted to gel and cream eye liners and I never looked back.

The Maybelline eye studio gel eye liners come in 4 shades in Canada and US and one in Belgium. I tried all four shades and 3 of them are great and one of them (eggplant) was plain awful. It went in the Garbage. So please if you listen to my rave review, avoid the purple color at any cost.

The four colors available are :

  • eggplant a purple shade with virtually no pigmentation
  • brown a nice slightly cool toned matte coco brown
  • graphite a metallic dark gray 
  • blackest black a matte black (that's the only shade available in Belgium)
The eyeliner also comes with a small brush which I don't use with the eyeliner but I use it to cover pimples. The three shades I still own are really pigmented, they do not transfer and they are really flattering. The brown one is the one I use mostly for everyday.

My preferred method of application is with a bent eyeliner brush. It's really fool proof and easy to control.

Here's a picture of me wearing the brown color.

Here's a swatch with flash of the three "good" colors.

Brown, graphite and blackest black