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Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Review
Complexion, Reviews - Comments Off - April 28th, 2014

When I first heard that Maybelline’s Fit Me Shine Free Foundation was coming out, I was really hot and bothered to try it. It’s described as a “gel-stick” formula with an “anti-shine core.” I really had zero idea just what the heck it was going to be like based on the description, and it’s not often I come across something that seems all that new and different. The majority of stick foundations I’ve tried in the past have been very creamy – definitely not suited to an oily skin type. This new Maybelline one sound different, with its claims of being mattifying and having an “anti-shine” core. I bought it in mid-summer, and wore it through hot weather, and into fall. The verdict? Read on!

The product has a really fascinating texture. It’s not exactly gel-like, but it’s not greasy either. Smooth and blendable are the two best words for it. The coverage is light to medium coverage. I found it best for evening out my skin tone and giving a perfect “no makeup” look. The shade Classic Ivory 120 is EXACTLY PERFECT for my skin. I have to give Maybelline some serious props, because this is the third complexion product I’ve tried from them that blends with my skin tone perfectly. My preferred method of application is to put three stripes on each cheek, one stripe across my chin, one down the bridge and on each side of my nose, and two stripes on my forehead. Then I blend with my fingers.

First, the positives. Like I said, it blends out perfectly, giving a nice, even sheer coverage. Cream or gel blushes apply evenly on top (as if it were a liquid foundation). The finish is matte, although less matte than a powder. While my skin will get shiny as the day goes on, this foundation doesn’t make it worse. I personally thought it slowed the shine down better than a liquid foundation does, although not as well as a powder will. I really liked the natural finish. It wore very well through sweaty, humid weather, and didn’t fade or slide right of my face. It was a great option for a summer foundation. (I find powder foundations too heavy in summer.)

There are a few mild negatives. The product has no sunscreen, so a separate sunscreen is necessary if you want sun protection. If my moisturizer wasn’t totally dry, the foundation sometimes wanted to ball up a little bit on top. It’s not got heavy coverage, so a separate concealer is necessary for dark circles and blemishes.

Once summer was over I did go back to the Instant Age Rewind powder for work wear. I’ll use this when I want to wear a cream blush, since they play so nicely together. I also intend to take this with me for travel, since sticks travel better than powder foundation (which can break up in the compact if it gets dropped). Overall, this product got a LOT of wear from me this summer, and I definitely recommend checking it out!

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Maybelline Instant Age Rewind The Perfector Powder Review
Cheap Thrills, Complexion, Reviews - Comments (8) - February 11th, 2013

So, this was originally an EOTD post, but yeah. The eyeshadows have mostly been discontinued, so while it turned out super fabulous, it was going to be a terrible EOTD post from a blog perspective. Instead, you’re going to get a review on Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind The Perfector Powder. I’ve been meaning to review this for about a month now, but just haven’t gotten to it. So, here it is!

I love pressed powder foundation, but it’s been years since I tried a drugstore version. Way back in the day, like, seven or eight years way back, I wore Prestige’s Wet/Dry Foundation. It was actually pretty good, and I went through two compacts of it before switching to something else – mostly because it got hard to find. I haven’t used a drugstore powder foundation since then. I was doubtful about this new Maybelline one, but I really couldn’t resist.

The powder comes with a “primer” built in – it is, I presume, the white swirl in the powder. Once you open it and swipe it, it becomes apparent that the swirl IS something different from the pigmented part of the powder, as it has a slightly different texture. Swiping the included foam sponge across the surface will pick up an even amount of both, and it applies to the skin without any weirdness from the white part. The overall texture on my skin is lovely. I LOVE THIS POWDER. LOVE IT.

It has a medium coverage when applied with the included foam sponge. It evens out my skin tone, provides ample coverage for my taste (I like the medium coverage, I don’t need it to be bulletproof), and doesn’t settle into fine lines. This is a HUGE deal for me. I have a different (much more expensive) brand of compact powder foundation to review that does settle into lines, which is why this Maybelline one is now my go-to product. (Mr. Expensive Formula has become my carry-along-for-touchups product.) Even when applied with a concealer brush, the Maybelline formula really doesn’t offer as much coverage as I want for concealing, however. I use what’s left of the mineral foundation I was using (now discontinued, boo hiss, and the reason I needed a new foundation) to conceal, and get the coverage I want. Mr. Expensive Formula works nicely as concealer as well.

I kind of want to just summarize this product as “I LOVE IT GO BUY IT” but that doesn’t give you much info. Besides the not settling into lines thing, The Perfector Powder also wears quite well. It really doesn’t fade, and does provide an adequate level of oil control, what you’d expect from a powder. I’m using the second lightest shade, Light 02, which is a great match for my skin. It doesn’t oxidize orange-y. The texture is very silky and lovely. One caveat – the finish is on the sparkly side. It advertises that it “adds a touch of radiance for a younger looking skin instantly,” and that means some sparkles. Some people are not going to like the bit of disco-ball effect it gives the skin. I personally am all about the sparkles, so it’s cool. But it’s something to keep in mind before purchasing.

Like I said, it comes with a foam sponge, which works just fine for applying a medium coverage layer. It also looks nice if you use a chubby brush like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply it – which I like to do around the nose and chin. The compact has a secret compartment for the sponge, as well as a mirror tucked in there.

So, the pluses – relatively inexpensive (under ten bucks), looks great, wears well, love the sparkles, love the sponge applicator, love the texture. The minuses – it sparkles. I’m in love, and giving it two thumbs up.

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Murad Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator Review
Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care, Splurge Worthy - Comments Off - October 8th, 2012

Murad is increasingly becoming my go-to skincare line. I’m just about out of the Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 20, which is still my favorite moisturizer with sunscreen. Since I am less concerned with sunscreen in the winter (I have it in my foundation), I wanted to try out the new Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator to see how it compares. I really love that Murad offers anti-aging products for people who are still dealing with breakouts!

The Pore & Line Minimizing Hydrator is a lightweight lotion. Murad says it refines pores, plumps skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and provides essential hydration to soothe and help repair skin breakouts. It contains their Kombucha Collagen Defense to stimulate collagen production and inhibit its breakdown to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has lentil seed extract and witch hazel to tighten pores and help control excess oil, and cinnamon extract to restore skin surface by reducing inflammation and optimizing oil production.

I REALLY like this moisturizer. It leaves my skin soft and smooth, with less visible oiliness, and fewer blemishes. If I do get a blemish, it heals faster and with less lingering redness. The moisturizer plays nicely under makeup as well. At $49.50 it’s a bit of a splurge, but I think it’s worth it considering how well it works for me. Overall, I give it two thumbs up!

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Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer Review
Complexion, Skin Care, Sun Care - Comments (88) - April 9th, 2012

I recently got the opportunity to try out a new product from Olay®. It’s the Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer. It’s supposed to fight seven signs of aging, all in one product! Olay has a long history in the skincare market. It started in the 1950′s with Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid. Today, Olay offers quite an array of skincare products, especially products aimed at anti-aging. For the Total Effects line Olay’s website says:

“Total Effects combines 7 anti-aging skin care therapies into 1 formula for visibly younger-looking skin. With an exclusive VitaNiacin formula,Total Effects out-moisturizes several leading department store products and is also proven effective in fighting 7 signs of aging — the look of fine lines and wrinkles, rough texture, uneven skin tone, surface dullness, appearance of prominent pores noticeability of age spots and dryness.”

Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer is supposed to moisturize, treat the signs of aging and provide a sheer tint to the skin as well. To me, it’s basically a tinted moisturizer, slightly more sheer than some I’ve used — so more on the skincare, less on the make-up side of the spectrum. The bottle is 1.7 oz and retails for around $22 ($21.99 at, $23.89 at Target, under $20 at Ulta — shop around for the best price).

Let’s talk about ingredients. Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer contains niacinamide. What is niacinamide? Also known as Vitamin B3, niacinamide is a great anti-aging ingredient that will improve the skin’s moisture barrier when applied topically. It also increases the rate of skin surface renewal, which helps to reverse the appearance of discoloration and large pores. Niacinamide is the third ingredient in the ingredient list. You always want to see the active ingredients high up on an ingredient list, as this means there’s more than just a sprinkling of it in the product for show. The moisturizer also contains both UVA and UVB sunscreens, providing broad spectrum protection.

I like the bottle. It’s an airless pump, which means that no product is wasted and that it  isn’t exposed to the air, which can break down active ingredients.

There are several things I like about the product. First, with regular use, you will probably notice improvements in your skin because of the active ingredients. I haven’t been using it long enough to really speak to long-term improvements, but I did notice right away the exfoliating effect (I had a lot of blackheads come to the surface and go away) and my skin feels smoother. I really like the all-in-one nature of the product. I tend to be a product junkie and have no issue with using multiple skincare products on my face (serums AND a moisturizer) but if that’s too much for you, getting a lot of bang for your buck (and time) out of your moisturizer is the way to go. I like that it contains sunscreen and I don’t have to use a separate sunscreen. It’s only SPF 15 so if you’re going to be out in the sunshine for a long time, you’ll still want something stronger. But for my regular day-to-day activities that are mostly indoor, SPF 15 is fine for me.

The tint is on the sheer side. If you wear foundation, it’s probably not going to replace that. If you wear tinted moisturizer, it might. To me, it’s similar in coverage to Stila’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer and slightly less coverage than Stila’s Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer. It’s perfect for no-makeup days when you just want to put something on your face and go. Most days, I brush a little bit of mineral powder foundation on top and the resulting coverage is perfect. I use less foundation with this product, which is nice.

There are just two drawbacks to the product, for me. The first is the lightest shade is almost-but-not-quite too dark for me. It’s probably going to be too dark for the fairest of the fair complexions, which is too bad. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to oxidize darker, so the fair-to-light shade works fine for me all day long. The other is the texture. It leaves an almost tacky feel to the skin after you apply — that takes a few minutes to go away. I’m not crazy about it. It’s problematic because I can’t apply my powder foundation on top unless I let it really dry first or it won’t apply evenly. It’s mostly not a problem, because I do my eye makeup before I do foundation and it dries sufficiently in the time I use for eye makeup. This texture thing also means some of my serums don’t like to play nicely with it — it sort of balls up a bit on top of certain serums. Through trial and error, I’ve moved the problem products to nighttime and avoid the issue.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with Total Effects Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer. It’s a quality product at a great price for anti-aging skincare. It’s aimed at women who want a single product to do a lot of things, and I feel like it fits that need very well. I give it two thumbs up.

How do you save time on your skin-care routine? Tell me in the comments below for a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card.


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

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d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by email. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/9 – 5/16

Be sure to visit the Olay TE page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! While we’re on the subject of looking good, you might want to check out the “Looking Your Best” posts in the Life Well Lived section of There are some great tips and expert posts!

I was compensated and provided free product for this post.  The opinions expressed herein are my own.

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Detrivore Pallor Mortis + Pumpkin & Poppy Foundation = Happy!
Best Of, Complexion - Comments (2) - January 14th, 2012

I ordered Detrivore Cosmetics’ Pallor Mortis Dehydrating Powder recently, as well as a full size of Pumpkin & Poppy’s Peach mineral foundation. The two combined make for a very happy complexion!

Pallor Mortis Dehydrating Powder is designed to be an oil control product that also gives a transparent white cast to the skin. It’s not meant to be full coverage, and it doesn’t really make your skin all dried out. What it does do is provide some excellent oil control, beating back even the shiniest of shinies, and doing it with a lovely texture and feel to boot. I think you’d have to apply it pretty heavily to get a significant white cast to the skin – but then I’m on the tan side so it’s possible I’m just too dark to get a good whitening effect. It does whiten things up a bit, but if you are darker like me, it’s not going to be dramatic. Pallor Mortis makes an excellent primer for mineral foundation, in my opinion.

Pumpkin & Poppy’s Full Coverage Mineral Foundation comes in a container with a closeable sifter – NICE! I prefer these SO MUCH since they are so nice if you have to take your foundation on the road. I’ve already reviewed the formula, so I won’t go into it in detail again.

Together, the worst of my skin imperfections are minimized. My skin is freaking out right now (yay hormones!) and is all rough and bumpy and I have some large blemishes to boot. The two products smooth everything out so nicely, absorb the excess oil so I don’t get shiny within an hour or two, and just generally make my skin look a lot nicer than it really is. This combination is my current recipe for complexion perfection.

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Pumpkin & Poppy Cosmetics: Foundation Review
Complexion, Etsy, Reviews - Comments (1) - November 25th, 2011

I am in need of a new foundation, so I decided to try a new company (new to me and new in general): Pumpkin & Poppy Cosmetics. The color range is small, but looking at the shades I figured I’d get a match from at least one of them. Result? Success!

The shop offers a sample set for foundation with your choice of three shades for $2.75. Each sample contains a teaspoon of product, which is more than enough for several applications. I chose Rice Paper, Creamy Peach, and Cashew. Rice Paper is too light for sure, but Creamy Peach and Cashew are both about the right tone. Creamy Peach is the best match out of the three and I’ll be getting a full size of this one.

I really like the formula. The one I have been using has silica in it, so I was looking for a replacement that contained silica as well. This one does! It has a really nice silky texture, buffs on evenly, and is definitely full coverage. It doesn’t cake into my wrinkles though, yay! It wears well, no fading or weird unevenness.

My order shipped very quickly, and arrived well packaged in a padded mailer. The samples were labeled with ingredients, and my order included an invoice. The presentation is well done.

Overall, I’m looking forward to switching to this foundation and also trying other products from the shop.

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5 Things Indie Love Edition
5 Things, Best Of - Comments (5) - August 11th, 2011

Seems like some people have developed quite the anti-independent cosmetics company attitude recently. Since I love my Indie Cosmetics, I decided to do a 5 Things post devoted to 5 indie cosmetics products I can’t live without.

In no particular order…

1. OHWTO Black Magic Soap. One Hand Washes The Other makes this amazing soap that will do miracles for your skin. (Well, it’ll at least make it clean and beautimous, I promise!)

2. Eyeshadow. Where to begin? I have basically ditched all corporate eyeshadow in favor of my amazingly awesome indie eyeshadows that are so much more versatile and creative. I’m devoted to such brands as My Pretty Zombie, Black Rose Minerals, Detrivore Cosmetics, Meow Cosmetics… I could go on. Instead, check out the I Shop Here page.

3. Blush. I love my Indie blushes. My current favorites are from Detrivore, but Meow does some amazing stuff too, and I’m waiting on an order of samples from Evil Shades.

4. Foundation. I almost exclusively wear Bokeh Face or Meow foundation. (I only wear the Lush stuff on days when I’m outdoors more than indoors.) I’m on my second jar of Bokeh Face!

5. Morgana Cryptoria Lip Balms are my new addiction. MUST HAZ MOAR!

Edited to add: Queen Cicada has done a series of posts featuring her favorite indie shops. Go check it out!

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Lush Colour Supplement Review
Complexion, Reviews - Comments (3) - July 13th, 2011

I’m pretty picky about my face makeup, so I’ve been a bit skeptical about Lush’s Colour Supplements. I finally decided to head to my local store to check them out, because I’ve been wanting a tinted moisturizer for summer and I liked the idea of being able to mix something into my regular moisturizer. Read on for my thoughts!

The Colour Supplements are pots of foundation makeup that you can apply directly to the skin for heavier coverage, or mix with a moisturizer for a tinted moisturizer effect. You can also use them to spot-conceal blemishes. They’re made with red rose petal infusion to calm redness and glycerin for moisturizing. The texture is very smooth and strikes me as almost whipped. It’s quite light for a concentrated product, not thick like a traditional concealer.

The product works great. I find it a bit heavier than I’d like if I use it straight as foundation, but then I don’t often feel like I want or need super-full coverage. Mixed with a moisturizer, I get a lovely even complexion that looks fresh all day. It’s not perfect – I get shiny faster than I do with mineral makeup (which makes sense, since a powder absorbs a lot more oil before the shine breaks through) but I can offset this by using a translucent powder on top. Detrivore Cosmetics’ Translucent Powder For Oily Skin is great. It’s not great on dark circles, but I could probably fix this by using a teensy bit of an illuminator under my eyes. Blemish coverage is pretty good. It wears well, no fading or weird unevenness. I’m wearing it in the picture, with a dusting of translucent powder on top.

Overall, I’m happy with this product. It’s a good value for the price, and the simple formula means it’s friendly for sensitive skin. It does what I wanted, namely giving my skin an even complexion. It’s easy to use. If you want a good multi-use product, check out Lush Colour Supplements. There are five shades, it’s likely one of them will work for you.

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