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Avon Outspoken Perfume
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (1) - September 24th, 2010

Last time Avon came out with a celebrity perfume that I reviewed, it was Reese Witherspoon’s In Bloom, a fragrance I quite liked. Their newest celebrity perfume is Outspoken by Fergie. Is it another win?

Fergie, if you don’t know, is a singer with The Black Eyed Peas. When I was a kid, she was the cute blond kid on a TV show called Kids Incorporated. Avon seems to be trying really hard in recent years to reach out to a younger audience, so Fergie fits perfectly for that goal.

The bottle is really pretty. It’s dark blue glass with a clear crystal-looking cap. The name is printed on the bottle, which I don’t prefer, but it’s a pretty font so I’ll get over it.

The fragrance notes are frozen black currant, starfruit, wild saffron, tuberose, jasmine, passionflower, ebony, leather, and vetiver. I get the black currant, the tuberose and jasmine, and some musky base notes, but I wouldn’t call them leather or vetiver (especially not when compared to the vetiver in Tuca Tuca). However, this is not to say that I don’t like Outspoken. It reminds me of Ananya, a perfume oil I wore my senior year of high school. The fruit isn’t too overwhelmingly sweet, and the whole thing is lots of fun. I think this will appeal to women in their 20′s for sure, but isn’t too “young” for a mature woman either.

I think Avon is definitely doing some excellent work with their perfumes lately, creating accessible and wearable fragrances, and Outspoken fits right in. I recommend it.

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Avon Anew Reversalist Skin Renewing System
Skin Care, Sun Care - Comments Off - July 9th, 2010

Avon continues to impress me with their anti-aging skincare. I gave the Anew Reversalist Day Renewal Cream SPF 25, Night Renewal Cream, and Illuminating Eye System a test drive and I’m pleased to report that I think they’re great!

The  Anew Reversalist Day Renewal Cream SPF 25 contains ingredients to lighten discolorations, firm the skin, and make it look smoother. It also has SPF 25 to protect your skin from further sun damage. The texture is light and not heavy or greasy at all, and works nicely under makeup. After several weeks of use, my skin definitely feels smoother!

The Night Renewal Cream is probably my favorite of the three. It contains ingredient that work with your skin’s natural repair processes to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It also has glycolic acid in it, which exfoliates surface cells for smoother, softer skin. I love this stuff! With regular use I’ve noticed a reduction in blackheads and whiteheads (a near constant problem for me) and the wrinkle between my eyes is noticeably diminished.

The Illuminating Eye System consists of an eye cream and an sheer veil. The eye cream contains ingredients to reduce wrinkles and dark circles, and the sheer veil contains light-reflecting pigments that instantly brighten the eye area. I’m not sure my dark circles changed (nothing has worked, so far, they are genetic), but in general my eyes look younger and brighter when I use this. I love the sheer veil, it makes my concealer go on smoother.

Overall, I can confidently recommend Anew Reversalist products. I think with regular use (you have to be dedicated or you probably won’t see results, as with any skincare system) anyone will notice an improvement in their skin with these products. Good Job, Avon!

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Avon Ultra Color Rich Mega Impact Lipstick
Hot Lips - Comments Off - February 24th, 2010

cb-megaimpactI love lipstick, especially highly pigmented lipstick that doesn’t make my lips feel dry after an hour or two. With that in mind, say Hello to Avon’s newest lipstick Ultra Color Rich Mega Impact!

Here’s what Avon says:

Color goes brighter, bolder, more brilliant than ever before. Lips look fuller and come alive in vivid color and hi-def drama! Mega sexy lips…day or night.

Hmm. Mega sexy is a pretty big claim, is it true?? I put it to the test.

First, I really like the smooth texture of the lipstick. It’s not gritty like some can be, but is super-smooth. I really like the chiseled shape, it makes it much easier to apply and stay within the lip line. It’ll wear down, of course, but while it lasts I will enjoy it.

cb-avonmegaimpactI have the color Magnified Mauve, which really seems a little too red to be mauve to me, but setting that aside, is still a great color. The formula has good wear. My test is applying lipstick at the start of my shift, and seeing if there’s anything left by lunchtime, four hours later – with a lot of chatting with customers in between. It’s not the longest-lasting formula I’ve tried, but there was still color left on my lips by lunchtime. Win! Plus, they weren’t dried out or crusty like some lipsticks leave them. Extra bonus!

What I like the best about it is the color is nicely pigmented, with a bit of some cool reflective pigments that Avon calls “Chromapixel technology” to enhance shine and color. It works!

Do my lips look mega sexy? Well… I like to think so.  If I was going to select other colors, I think I’d get Charged Cherry or Pink Pop. I give Ultra Color Rich Mega Impact lipstick two thumbs up!

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Avon Anew Reversalist Serum
Complexion, Skin Care - Comments (2) - December 1st, 2009

cb-reverseserumI love serums. They usually pack a lot of bang for your buck, and do good things for your skin. Avon Anew Reversalist Serum is no exception to this. I try out a lot of skincare items, and this one has definitely floated to the top of my “wow” pile!

The Reversalist line is based around Avon’s “Activinol Technology,” which in a nutshell seems to be a way of stimulating your skin to repair itself. As a result, skin should look and feel younger. It also has a pretty decent glycolic acid content, which is a potent skin exfoliator, and will definitely result in smoother skin. My skin is definitely less rough since I’ve been using it, and the fine lines around my mouth have definitely softened. It’s been over a month now, that I’ve been using the serum daily.

What has me really knocked out though, is the total lack of breakouts since I started using this every morning. I’ve been pretty bad about washing my face at night lately, relying heavily on makeup removing wipes instead. Usually, this is a recipe for breakout disaster after a few days. Since I’ve been using the serum, I’ve had nary a blemish. Whoa! I wonder if it’s the skin healing thing that inhibits blemishes? Blemishes are an injury to the skin, after all. Makes a girl wonder, anyway.

It’s a “dry” formula, which means it won’t leave your skin feeling sticky or greasy. Every moisturizer I’ve tried glides on smoothly on top, no problem there. One pump seems to be enough – it’s about a pea-sized amount.

Now for the fly in my ointment: I really hate the packaging. It’s a giant hunk of futuristic-looking plastic. First, it took me FOREVER to prime the pump, so to speak. I was seriously about ready to give it up as defective when it FINALLY started pumping out product. Anyone with arthritis in their hands would have given up much sooner – my younger hands were getting pretty painful with all that pumping. You can’t tell how much you have left, either. I do appreciate that it is very likely an airless pump (keeps ingredients fresh) but that’s the only thing I like. I really hate the packaging and I genuinely hope Avon will change it. The product is AWESOME and deserves better. Plus, all that plastic is so wasteful!

I don’t think the packaging defects are enough to stop me from recommending the product. It really rocks, and as long as your skin isn’t too sensitive (the glycolic could be problematic for really sensitive skins) you will probably love it if you want smoother, softer skin. One and a half thumbs up!

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In Bloom by Reese Witherspoon Perfume
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (5) - November 10th, 2009

cb-inbloomIn Bloom is the new perfume developed by Avon with the actress Reese Witherspoon. It is inspired by Ms. Witherspoon’s childhood memories of gardenia and magnolia trees in her yard. I was interested in reviewing it, since I’ve been on the hunt for a white floral perfume that I really liked.

The perfume includes notes of peach tea leaves and crisp greens, magnolia, gardena, jasmine, cashmere woods and amber woods. It has a wonderful freshness that is often missing from other white florals, and never gets too heavy or cloying. I love the peachy top note. The drydown is subtle, and mostly just gets softer and warmer, due to the amber.

I’m very pleased with In Bloom! I love the bottle too, even if the shape is strongly reminiscent of Guerlain’s Insolence. The lid is very pretty, shaped like a gardenia flower. I think it’s one of the prettiest bottles I’ve seen in a while.

This would be an ideal gift for a woman, especially if she likes feminine floral scents. I especially like that it is a more mature fragrance, and seems intended for an adult instead of a teenager like so many mainstream perfumes today. It’s a very romantic perfume. If this perfume were a woman, she’d love wearing cashmere sweaters and delicate jewelry, and would be sweet and kind.

I give In Bloom two thumbs up!

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Avon Smooth Minerals Collection
Eyeshadow, Hot Lips, Makeup Fun - Comments Off - October 19th, 2009

cb-avonmineralsI already wrote about the foundation, but I also had the opportunity to try some of the other products in the Avon Smooth Minerals line. Here’s my take on Avon’s mineral makeup!

The Smooth Minerals lipstick is okay. It contains shea butter and other conditioning oils, and is dye and preservative-free. I have the color pinkberry, which is a nice pink shade that’s not too bright, and plum crazy, a nice plummy wine color. I really like the sheer color and slightly glossy finish. My only complaint is the lipstick seems really soft and the stick on the pinkberry shade actually broke the second time I tried to apply it. A glance at the reviews on Avon’s site reveals that I’m not the only one who had this experience, so I’m not sure I’d recommend the lipstick until/unless they stiffen up the formula. It’s a total shame though, I like it a lot otherwise. In the meantime, I use a lip brush to apply it.

I really like the Smooth Minerals Eyeshadow. I’m using the shade Bronzestone, which is a great highlight under the browbone or as an all-over base color. Pigmentation is good with this shadow, and I like the way the sifter has the hole in the middle, which minimizes dumping a bunch of powder out at once. It brushes on smoothly and wears well over a primer (I always use a primer). If you want a pretty taupe-y color in a mineral shadow, check out Bronzestone!

The Smooth Minerals Eyeliner pencils get my seal of approval also. The colors are pretty (I have onyx and navy), it goes on smoothly without tugging, and wears well. There’s not a lot more to say about eyeliner than that, right?

Overall, I think Avon has done a pretty nice job with their mineral makeup offerings. It’s affordable, and it seems like they are always running some promo or other where you can get additional savings. Overall, Avon is a brand I like a lot!

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5 Things: Lipstick I’m Loving
5 Things, Hot Lips - Comments Off - October 4th, 2009

03138680102.jpgI’ve been really into lipstick lately, instead of my usual lipgloss obsession. It must be that fall is closing in, because I’m really drawn to the creamy textures and richer colors of lipstick right now. Luckily, I already have several tubes of lipstick to choose from, so here is a round-up of my favorites! (In no particular order…)

1. MAC Lipstick in Lollipop Loving is the only MAC lipstick I own (so far) and is definitely a favorite. I love the melon color with green sheen (it’s much prettier than it sounds) and the creamy texture is great. This is usually my lipstick of choice if I’m wearing green eyeshadow.

2. Avon Ultra Color Rich Extra Plump Lipstick has a nice texture and a pretty selection of colors. The color Pink Sunset is the one I own, and the shade I reach for when I want something subtle. It’s a good everyday color that goes with everything.

3.L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick with Anti-Aging Serum is a new favorite of mine. The Colour Riche formula is great, very pigmented and smooth, and the addition of the “serum” makes it a little extra moisturizing without affecting wearability. The shade Robust Raisin is my go-to color when I want a darker lipstick, since it’s a purpley-brown color.

4. Max Factor Vivid Impact lipstick is another great drugstore option. I’m sad that Max Factor is closing up shop come January, but in the meantime, stock up on this great lipstick while you can. It’s smooth, pigmented and has great staying power.

5. For a more splurge-priced lipstick, try Lancome L’Absolu Rouge. The pigmentation is excellent and the range of colors is beautiful. I love how smooth and silky it is.

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Avon Smooth Minerals Foundation
Complexion, Makeup Fun, Reviews - Comments (1) - September 17th, 2009

cb-smoothavonI’ve been using Avon’s Smooth Minerals Foundation for a few days now, and it compares well with other foundations I’ve tried. The foundation has its pros and cons, but overall it’s a fine product.

It’s important to note that I’m not particularly a fan of mineral powder foundations. Talc doesn’t bother me, and I prefer the silkier feel of talc-based powders. I’ve tried more than a few mineral foundations, by a variety of companies, and I haven’t found one yet that I was willing to trade for a good liquid foundation. With that said, there have been a few that I’d be willing to use if someone took away my liquids and left me with a mineral powder foundation instead. This Avon product is one of them.

It comes in a wide-mouth jar, with a powder sifter. The brush is sold separately. I’m using a Tarte kabuki brush to apply, but Avon does sell their own kabuki brush as well. Available in 10 shades, I imagine most skin tones will find one to suit them. I find powder foundations are usually a little more forgiving with skin tone, and this Avon formula is no exception. The shade I’m using, Sand Beige, is a bit on the dark side for my complexion, but blends so easily that it still looks okay.

The foundation features a 100% naturally derived formula containing a mineral blend (zinc, calcium, copper) with nutrients and enriched with vitamins. The makeup is supposed to help nourish and comfort your skin, so it looks better after you’ve been using for a while – even when you aren’t wearing makeup.

You apply using the same “swirl, tap, buff” method popularized by other mineral makeup companies. How does it compare? Other products give a funky shiny finish I dislike, make my pores look larger, look chalky, feel chalky, and generally just displease me. Some products will look and feel fine, and I still won’t be pleased because application is more time-consuming than my “squirt on fingers, spread on skin” method for applying tinted moisturizer. This is where Avon Smooth Minerals Foundation loses me. That’s the con I find with all mineral powder foundations – you can’t rush the application process. You have to take the time to buff it on and really blend it, or it just won’t look good. That smooth natural finish can only be achieved when proper care is taken in application. I just prefer the slap-it-on-and-go products, probably because I’m always in a hurry to get ready in the morning. This is definitely an issue with me, and not because the product isn’t quality.

The foundation feels fine on the skin, not too chalky or dry-feeling, no annoying shiny finish, no chalky texture. The coverage falls into a medium to full category, depending on how many layers you want to buff on. I prefer the medium coverage, and find I can achieve that pretty easily. It blends nicely, even if it is a smidge dark for me, because I can take it down past my jawline and it looks natural. It wears all day, and because it’s a powder, does help control oil and shine. That is probably what I like best about mineral powder foundations – if you’re oily, they do help keep the oil in check. Powder blushes, loose and pressed, blend nicely on top of the foundation, for an even, natural look.

I’ll keep using my jar, and see if I can’t figure out some tips to speed up the application process. If I do, I’ll definitely share with you!

The price is right – and right now it’s on sale at In you are a fan of mineral foundations, I recommend you take a look at Avon Smooth Minerals Foundation.

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