NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown (x2): I’ve already reviewed these in my previous makeup empties, and in my post about makeup essentials. Since those posts, I’ve tried out two other brow pencils that I really like, both are fine tipped like the Anastasia Brow Wiz. While this NYX one is wider, and great for generally filling in, I prefer the fine tipped ones for outlining/creating the shape of the brows, and defining the hairs in the very front. I still love these, use them every time I wear makeup, and have two back ups at the ready.
Jordana Baked Eyeshadow in Vanilla Bean: unfortunately, I didn’t get to use this up, I accidentally dropped this and it shattered. I quite liked this shadow, it’s a beautiful ivory, satin matte shade (check out all the swatches at the bottom), pretty pigmented, easy to blend and not chalky. I liked using this shadow to highlight the inner corners of my eyes, and the arches of my brows. Using shades like this is a great way to highlight in an understated way.
I could see myself repurchasing this in the future, but right now, I have similar shadows in my collection that I’d need to use up first, one being the wet n wild Color Icon Single Eye Shadow Single In Brulee. Although I like Brulee, it’s noticeably chalkier (possibly due to the fact that it’s a true matte), and harder to blend, despite it being very pigmented. The formula/texture of Vanilla Bean is superior.
Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Liner in Brown: this is favorite pencil liner, to put this is perspective, though, eyeliner isn’t often a part of my makeup routine. I have very sensitive eyes, and every time I go to line my waterline/tight line/lower lash line, I tear up and then end up looking like a panda. So far, I’m only comfortable with lining my upper lash line, and sometimes I’ll even attempt a wing (I’ll reserve writing about my struggles with liquid liner for another post).
So, anyway, this is a beautiful deep warm-toned brown liner with bronze/gold shimmer, it almost looks metallic, I think the shimmer gives what would otherwise be a basic brown liner a lot of complexity/nuance. I’m a big fan of this shade, mainly because I prefer brown eyeliner over black (unless I want a dramatic cat eye look), it’s more subtle (especially for the daytime), but can still be intense.
The way I like to use this liner: I line my upper lash line (sometimes i’ll add a wing), then i smudge the liner with a brush to create a simple, quick, daytime/work appropriate smoky eye. You have to work quickly with this liner because it sets quickly and doesn’t budge afterwards. To test the waterproof claim: I lined the back of my hand, let it set, then ran my hand under running water, I even tried rubbing it to get it to smudge, and it did not budge. I wish I could test this in my waterline because that’s an area that is constantly exposed to the moisture from the eyes, but due to my sensitive eye situation, I tear up before the liner even gets a chance to set. My one complaint: while this isn’t the driest, stiffest eyeliner I’ve tried, it isn’t as soft and buttery as I would prefer, but I suspect that the dryness contributes to staying power.
Covergirl Clump Crusher Lashblast in Very Black: already reviewed this, I still love it, and as I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t noticed a difference between this original formula and the Clump Crusher Extensions formula. Both are equally good for the lower lashes (no smudging, running, flaking), good for separating clumped mascara, and giving definition. I’m never without it.
M.A.C Face and Body Foundation in N9: I loved the finish and coverage of this foundation, it’s very dewy, and provides light coverage but can be built up to medium, right up my alley. I just wouldn’t repurchase for several reasons, for one, they don’t have a shade that matches me. N9 is the darkest shade in the range, and as you can see (I hope. Still working on my lighting) in the swatches below: it’s still not dark enough and the undertone is too red (an issue I have with a lot of the M.A.C liquid foundations). The shade lighter than this is too light and too yellow, quite a significant shade jump, and limited shade selection for M.A.C.
The other problem is that this foundation never sets on me, it’s a very watery foundation, so I get that it would be tacky at first, but it remains tacky all day, and transfers onto my hands, clothes even when I set it with powder. I don’t like that, and I don’t like feeling like I absolutely have to set a foundation with powder, and in the case of this foundation, powder didn’t help anyway. I can’t imagine actually applying this foundation to my body, I assume it would stain everything. I’ve read reviews by people who love this foundation, and they’ve said that it doesn’t transfer, or that you have to blend it in a ton before it sets, I’ve tried to make it work but to no avail. So maybe it’s just my skin.
I can say for sure that if you have really oily skin, and don’t like a dewy finish or you need a lot of coverage, then this is not the product for you. Although this is a water based foundation, it can look very oily on the skin due to the amount of silicone in the formula (gives the slippy feel for easy blending, contributes to a shiny finish). I have dry skin, and love a dewy look, but it was too much even for me, had to blot and re-powder frequently. The gag is that I bought this foundation when it was only sold in the 4fl.oz/120ml bottle (works out to be a great deal if you happen to love it), so the only way I was finally able to use it up was by mixing it with other foundations. I can’t say that I’ll never repurchase this product, if they ever expand the shade range, I’d probably try it again in the 1fl.oz/30 size they’ve released recently.
Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream in Brown Sugar: I love this bb cream, however, judging by the ingredients list, it’s a bb cream in namely only, I think it’s more of a tinted moisturizer. I don’t think this will provide the skincare benefits of a traditional bb cream, and while it has SPF 15, I wouldn’t rely on it alone for sun protection. I love the finish and coverage of this bb cream, gives a semi-matte finish, and while I prefer to leave the coverage light (and then correct/conceal problem areas), it can be built up to a solid medium coverage but still feels like you’re not wearing makeup. You don’t need to set this with a powder if you don’t want to, it completely dries down and never feels tacky, once set, it doesn’t move. In fact, this is the only base product that I can wear in the summer, everything else melts off as soon as I step outside.
I think this is a great bb cream for all skin types, it’s oil-free and semi-matte, so oily skinned people wouldn’t find it too dewy (you might if you have extremely oily skin), but despite this, it’s not drying/uncomfortable on my dry skin. Plus if you need added hydration, you could apply a hydrating primer/rich moisturizer underneath. While I didn’t need to set this with powder initially, after about 3-4 hours of wear, I did start to get slightly more dewy. It’s fine for me because I like that look, but if you don’t, you can always blot/powder as needed.
Overall, I’m very impressed with this bb cream, it’s rare to find bb creams/tinted moisturizers for deeper skins at the drugstore, sometimes even at the high end. I’m on my 3rd tube (love the tube packaging, perfect for travel), it performs very well and it’s only $5.99. I wish Black Radiance would expand the shade range (only 5 shades currently) to include even deeper shades. Brown Sugar is the darkest in the range, it has a neutral undertone and would be a good match for NW47-NW50 skins, due to the limited shade range, you would have to highlight/bronze your skin to make the shades match perfectly for you. It also sucks that this brand isn’t widely available, I believe I have only seen them in certain Walgreens. You can purchase from their website as well, but I assume trying to match yourself to a shade from online swatches would be difficult.
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream in Ebony: another product I never used up, I don’t like this concealer, but frankly, I didn’t do any research before purchasing it. I walked into a Sephora, and asked one of the salespeople to recommend me a concealer in my shade that was good for covering up blemishes and concealing under eye darkness. Now that I know more about makeup, I realize expecting one concealer to do both well was quite a tall order, but she never explained this to me, and then promptly recommended this concealer to me. Here’s the problem: it isn’t even a correct shade match (as I hope you can see from the swatches). For as long as I’ve been shopping at Sephora, I’ve never actually been correctly matched to a foundation/concealer, you would think that a novice could actually go to a Sephora and get adequate help (I’ll spare you my
rants thoughts about Sephora, but thank goodness for their great return policy).
This concealer is for covering things like scars, dark spots, tattoos (they claim, I wouldn’t know), etc. It’s too dry for under the eye (surprised it hasn’t dried up in the packaging already, have had it for a while), it’s matte, oil-free, waterproof (I tested), and definitely makes good on the full coverage promise. The big problem is that the shade you get isn’t even the shade you get. When first applied, it’s a deep brown with a golden undertone, and then it oxidizes to an even darker shade with an ashy neutral undertone that I could use as a contour. So imagine how strange I looked when I applied this over some spots, and checked back in the mirror hours later to find dark patches of concealer on my face. Needless to say, will not repurchase.
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Very Deep Bisque: this corrector actually makes good on its claim to neutralize and brighten dark areas, but I never enjoyed using it. It was so emollient that it never stayed where I applied it, had the same issue with the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick. It would slide around and crease in the under eye area and in my laugh lines (my upper lip is a little darker than the rest of my face). My laugh lines aren’t even deep, I somehow managed to look worse with this product on, even setting it with powder didn’t work. This corrector has a lot of great reviews, and a great selection of shades for all skin tones, but it just didn’t work for me.
To use it up, I started cleaning up my brows with it after filling them in, it was nice for that because it gave a natural looking highlight, and as it was so emollient, it didn’t set quickly, so I had a lot of time to blend it in. If you have really dry under eyes and don’t have issues with makeup creasing on you, then you would probably like this. I don’t think I’ll repurchase this corrector because I find that the M.A.C Prep + Prime Highlighter in Peach Lustre is a far better product.
M.A.C Powder Blush in Ambering Rose (Sheertone Shimmer): Ambering Rose is a beautiful orange-coral shade with gold shimmer, that would complement tan to deep skins. I never got to use up this blush because it fell and shattered. I tried pressing it back together with alcohol but it was never the same. People always say that pressing powders back together with alcohol doesn’t change the way it applies but I think that it did in this case. My theory is that the shimmer wasn’t evenly distributed throughout the blush when it got pressed back, so whenever I applied it, I always thought it looked like too much shimmer, not enough color.
Granted, at the time I bought this blush, I was really into shimmery blushes, now I tend to favor a matte finish. My other theory is that maybe I’m just not a fan of the sheertone shimmer finish blushes anymore because I have another one called Sweet As Cocoa which never broke, but I also don’t enjoy wearing it because of how chunky the shimmer looks on me, while Format (a frost finish blush, also shimmery) is one of my favorite blushes of all time.
NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Miami Babe: I had to get rid of this because I’ve had it for so long, and realized that more recently, I never reach for it. Not because it’s a bad gloss, I’m just not a gloss girl. I have very full lips, and gloss makes them look huge. Miami Babe is a creamy medium pink shade, it’s pretty pigmented on its own, definitely not as pigmented as the Anastasia glosses, but they are still good, and not super sticky either. I like the applicator on the mega shine glosses, also they smell like cherry candy canes, so if you don’t like fragranced lip products, you wouldn’t like them.