Thursday, July 02, 2015

ELF Studio Foundation Palettes - Review & Swatches

This year ELF has released a new foundation concept, the Studio Foundation Palettes ($6.00), housed in their latest and greatest square palettes where each shade is free to be popped out and the whole palette can be rearranged. These square palettes are fantastic for customizing your own selection for the season, or the week, or for travel - plus the big mirror is a useful tool. There are three different palettes available, Fair/Light, Light/Medium, and Medium/Dark - the fairest of us all won't find a good match, and the darkest of us all might not either - but everyone in between will find at least one shade they can work with, or a couple shades they can mix for perfection.

When the palettes first arrived, I was hoping the formula would be the same as their Studio HD Mattifying Cream Foundation, a formula I LOVE and wear often. But the Studio Foundation Palettes are a very different blend. They are just as creamy and blendable, but the coverage and wear-ability is inconsistent. When applied with a blending sponge, the coverage is sheer/light, when applied with a dense synthetic blending brush, the coverage is light/medium, and when applied with a flat paddle foundation brush, the coverage is medium/full. The formula is buildable from sheer to medium, but any more than that it starts to look obvious on the skin. As for wear time, the fresh just-applied look was smooth, flawless, demi-matte aka natural aka satin in finish. But as the time went on (tested powdered and unpowdered), it looked to be separating and gathering in unflattering places. I took a photo of a day I was not dry, and four hours later it looked like my skin was drying out, flaky and patching. The areas I applied blush and bronzer all looked perfect, but everywhere else looked dry and sitting on top of my skin. It transferred constantly, anytime I touched my face, I had traces of foundation on my hand or clothes... it was a hot mess.

Since I own all three palettes, I actually attempted to do the extreme cream contouring trick we've seen floating around the internet. Initially these palettes performed fantastic for that style of application and blending, but with the unreliable wear-ability, it didn't last long on me, just about four hours again. Which was a real bummer because it really did look great at first.

Overall, I can't really recommend these palettes, nor am I sure which skin type can wear these because I have combination skin and they didn't hold up well all over my face. The concept is great, and if the formula was better, I would have loved to use these palettes to customize a travel palette for myself.

"This gorgeous foundation palette holds 4 complimentary shades to mix and match for custom-blended color year round. The creamy formula glides on effortless for adjustable natural looking coverage. Enriched with Shea, Vitamin A, C, & E and other nourishing ingredients to help skin feel soft, smooth, and revitalized."

INGREDIENTS: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Silica, Polyethylene, Bismuth Oxychloride, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Butryospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mica, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vc), Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Retinyl Palmitate (Va), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben. MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 78891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foreo Luna Cleansing & Anti-Aging Device - Review

[an iFabbo member product sample]

Remember a few months ago when I said farewell to my broken Clarisonic Mia 2? And remember when I was on the fence about investing in a new one? Well, the Foreo Luna popped up in the iFabbo shop - right place, right time. I hesitated at first to claim the product to try out, mainly because I'm always cautious of facial devices for my super sensitive skin. To my relief, and surprise, the Luna is the most gentle and stimulating facial cleansing device I have tried thus far! You'd think a plastic/rubbery item couldn't possibly be comfortable on the skin, I thought so too, but this little cutie breaks the mold.

The Luna device features 8-speed T-Sonic pulsations to cleanse the skin, without the feel of abrasion. There are up to 8,000 transdermal sonic pulsations through the Luna's touch-points per minute designed for a deep cleanse. The silicone brush is soft, smooth and gentle - incredibly relaxing to use. There are also smooth ridges on the back side for an anti-aging function. I found this device to be the gentlest way to remove dead skin cells, clear pores, and remove makeup. My skin had absolutely no negative reaction at all! That is a huge statement to make - I mean, even my Clarisonic would aggravate my skin if I used it too often. The Luna always leaves my skin smooth, rejuvenated feeling, and visibly more radiant.

Speaking of the brush head devices out on the market, the one fact that truly sold me on the Luna is the silicone brush. There is no need to replace brush heads, because there isn't a bristled brush.This saves so much money compared to buying new replacement heads for my Mia 2 every 3 months at about $27 a head (including the Husband's Clarisonic, it was about $175 a year). The Luna's "ultra-hygienic silicone design is also nonporous to resist bacteria buildup making it up to 35x more hygienic than bristled brushes".

Okay, now let's chat about how I have been using this fabulous Luna!
During my morning and night skincare routines, I use it on the lowest setting with a gentle cleanser. They recommend 15 seconds in each zone. I start with my chin, then along my jawline up to my ear, and then the whole cheek region - one side at a time and maintaining upward stroke motions. For the forehead, they suggest starting from the center and using outward strokes. Lastly, the nose, gently glide the Luna up and down the sides. I also like to do a couple outward strokes on the under-eye areas.

The anti-aging function is fun, I don't really need it yet, but it feels too good to not do it. Simply turn the Luna around, to the ridged side, and then for 12 seconds at a time, place and hold it between the brows, right temple, right 'smile line' (nasolabial fold), left 'smile line', and finally the left temple. It is remarkable how stimulated the skin feels without any massaging or abrasive rubbing on the skin. Even in this function, my skin had no negative reaction.

The Luna has a memory function for your preferred settings, fully waterproof and safe to use in the shower. and a rechargeable battery (that only takes about an hour to charge) that "lasts for up to 7 months for 450 full cleansing and anti-aging routines from a single charge". There is also a 2 year warranty and 10 year quality guarantee.

This light pink Luna is for sensitive/normal skin (works great for me!), there is also a blue Luna for combination skin, and a white Luna for ultra-sensitive skin. The Foreo Luna is $199, includes the charger and a soft pouch for storing or traveling.
There is also three other devices, the Luna Mini ($139), Luna for Men ($199), and the Luna Luxe ($6,500).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SinfulColors Swatch Spam - Summer 2015

I recently received a few new SinfulColors polishes from their newest collections this Summer, so I did a few fun combos to share with you all. SinfulColors can be found in Walgreens stores and mass retailers, just $1.99 each.

Color Tag, from the Graffiti Bomb collection, and Baila Baila, from the Pinata Blast Glitters collection - swatched two coats each over SinfulColors SinfulShine Most Sinful (a favorite blue of mine!).

Ruby Ruby (gorgeous, one coat!) with Star Blast Off - so perfect for upcoming Independence Day!

Snow Me White (two coats, pure white) with Green Ocean - surprisingly awesome combo! Like a stunning green mermaid tail ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ELF Essential Smudge Pots - 2 NEW shades!

Hands Down! The ELF Essential Smudge Pots are my favorite waterproof cream eye shadows ever (it also helps that they are only $3 each!), and when I spotted two new shades they added to the line, I was extremely happy and anxious to try them on. The shades are Wine Not, a shimmery purpley brown shade (my fave!!), and Coco Cutie, a creamy warm brown with a hint of shimmer.

I originally reviewed the Smudge Pots HERE, and these two new shades are the exact same amazing quality. Highly recommend them, especially this new Wine Not, it is so beautiful and I've gotten a lot of compliments when wearing it.

Coco Cutie

Wine Not

Coco Cutie, Wine Not

Coco Cutie, Wine Not

Coco Cutie

Wine Not

This post includes affiliate links.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

ELF Studio Gotta Glow Lip Tint - Review & Swatch

Today's ELF review is on the new and super fun Studio Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6). This little lipstick is designed similar to a mood lipstick, where it adjusts to your chemistry to create the perfect pretty pink pout. "The gel-based formula glides on smoothly and is infused with Shea Butter to moisturize and nourish", it definitely feels smooth on the lips, but if you apply too much it feels more slick and will probably bleed outside your lip line. I recommend being very stingy with application, personally, I only apply it to my upper lip and blend it down to the bottom lip, anymore than that and I'll end up with a pink outline around my lips lol! The moisturization doesn't last longer than a couple hours, so if you plan to wear this out-n-about, take it with you for reapplications throughout the day. 
One last thing to note, this is a scentless product, and honestly I feel like a lot of ELF's new makeup is scentless. I like it this way, and I kinda hope they'll continue to eliminate scent in more of their products, or at least keep everything vanilla - I'm kinda over fruity smells in my lip products.

Overall, I like this lipstick, but I honestly feel that it is not worth $6 - it's a little too thin in formula and it doesn't last long enough on the lips. For comparison sake, the following lip products from ELF are more moisturizing, last longer, provide a tint of color, and they are more affordable:

Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Isononyl Isononanoate, Polyethylene, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate, Triisodecyl Trimellitate, Diisostearylmalate, Stearyl Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelila) Wax, Synthetic Beeswax, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Ethylhexylglycerin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl, Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Propylparaben. MAY CONTAIN: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891),Red 6 Lake (CI 15850), Red 27 Lake (CI 45410), Red 21 Lake (CI 45380).