Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Tried It: L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur

One of my favorite things about subscribing to beauty magazines are the beauty product coupons and new product samples that come tucked inside.  When flipping thorugh a recent Allure issue, I came across a sample of a new product: L'Oreal Paris Miracle Blur.  What is it?  I had to look as I had no idea, but it sounded fun.  The postcard the sample was attached to claimed it was a "30 second miracle."  Here's what the L'Oreal site says:

What is Miracle Blue?  It's NOT a moisturizer, it's MORE than a primer; it's the first of-its-kind Instant Skin Smoother. 

What does it do?  Miracle Blur instantly erases the look of lines wrinkles, and pores.  Skin instantly looks and feels smooth, leaving a velvet soft matte finish.

When should I use it?  Apply daily after moisturizing as the final step in every woman's skincare routine.  Wear alone for a matte finish, or wear under makeup for smoother application and wear.

My review?  Their description is surprisingly accurate.  It's thick, really thick, silky and leaves a velvetly finish that sits on top of the skin (even more so than a primer.)  It's smooth and not at all greasy and was indeed matte.  Although it didn't help with my redness at all, it seems like it would be great for wrinkles.

My verdict?  The $20-$25 price tag seems a bit steep, but I like the product.  If I was looking for a new priming or line filling product, I would definitely pick this up.

Have you tried it?  What products do you use under your makeup?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Color Inspiration: Grey Makeup

Spring is right around the corner, but in Chicago we still have a few gloomy, cold days ahead of us.  Beauty blogs and magazines are all touting the new must have spring colors, bright pink, aqua, etc.  Anyone else think it's not quite time for those yet?   I think nothing goes better with a dreary March day than a sophisticated grey palette.  Here are some of my favorite ideas for going grey with your makeup.

  • Try grey liner as a fresh alternative to traditional colors.  It's less harsh than black, but more interesting than brown.  Pair it with a subtle nude on the rest of your eye for subtle polish.  Make sure to amp up mascara too.  Since grey is subtler than black, you can wing it out during the daytime.  Pair it with pale pink cheeks.
  • For a slightly more dramatic look, apply a cream grey color from lash line into your eye crease and line lids with a black pencil liner.  Want to amp it up even more?  Blend in a slightly darker grey or light black into your crease.
  • Try grey nail polish!  It's a professional hue that also looks a little fun, much better than boring beige.
  • Things to stay away from?  Grey lips and anything too sparkly or silvery.  Save the sparkles for nights out on the town or that bachelorette party.
Have you gone grey?  See the products shown above here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Healthy Hair Swap: Hairpins instead of bobbi-pins

If you've been following the blog this year, you know I've been undergoing a "hair repair challenge," in an attempt to get healthier, happier locks.  You can check out the rest of the healthy hair posts here.  The major rules were no wet updos and no more bobbi pins.  According to Patrick, bobbi pins smash hair follicles by clamping down on them which causes breakage.  Using them on wet hair amplifies the bad effects, which was the bad habit I was used to doing: Hi, I'm Kirsten and I'm a bobbi pin addict.

So what was this updo loving girl to do?  I made a healthier hair switch - to hair pins.  Those little "U" shaped open pins that are a wig and hat attaching necessity back stage work pretty well as a bobbi pin substitute.  It took some getting used to, but they do work and feel much better when sliding them into your hair.   For things like buns, they actually work better and give you more control while pinning up a curly, loose style is a snap.

Patrick gave me the all clear to use a bobbi pin or two, so on occasion I'll pop one in if I'm having trouble keeping things in place.  Mini bobbi pins work wonders too if you only need to tuck a small section, but hair pins have made me happy.

So next time you're at the store, grab a package and give hair pins a try if you're looking for a healthier alternative to bobbi pins.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Tried It: Covergirl BlastFlipStick Lipstick

A well known makeup artist trick is to apply more than one shade of lipstick, creating a custom blended color.  I do this a lot, so I was pleased to be invited to try the new CoverGirl Flipstick for free as a part of BzzAgent.  I received three different colors (Perky, Minx, and Stunner.  The last of which I gave to my coral loving mother in law).

Each tube comes with a color on each end, one matte-ish and one with a pearl-iscent shimmer.  It's awfully convenient, having to only flip the wand back and forth to mix colors.  Although I found the shimmery color too shimmery for my taste.  The best look I found with them was to apply the matte color on the whole of the lips and then the shimmer shade on the cupid's bow and very center of the bottom lip (it makes them look a bit more plump).  The quality is what you would expect from Covergirl: decently intense color, smooth application, although not overly long lasting.  And the taste (because let's be honest, we all end up eating our lip color accidentally) isn't offensive.

The verdict?  Not a do over for me as I prefer an uber matte look for lips (on tap for Spring 2013 trends), but if you like playing with colors try them out.  They'd also be perfect for travel or schlepping back and forth in your bag to save space.

Have you tried the flipstick?

Monday, March 11, 2013

I (won) Tried it: Laura Mercier Makeup

I won a Pinterest contest!!!  My first ever from Laura Mercier and Marie Claire.  I "Pinned it to win it" from their Project Runway Allstars Season 2 board and they gifted me with makeup from the winning look of the Project Runway Finale!

Not going to lie...I was pretty pumped, and it was really exciting to open that box full of makeup when it came in the mail. I've had limited experience with luxury makeup brands, save from the occasional Lancome and Elizabeth Arden, and  I've never tried Laura Mercier, so I was looking forward to giving it a go.

Here's what was in my winning package:
moisturizer with spf, primer, foundation, two types of concealer, powder, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, and a tube of lipstick.

My thoughts? It's great makeup!  The foundation is rich and creamy, the concealer colors are great and easy to apply, and the powder disappears perfectly.  I found myself using less powder eye shadow than I usually did, but I was most impressed with the primer.  I'd only tried a couple primers and didn't care for them, but Laura Mercier's primer went on like a dream.  It was creamy, but not overly so, didn't feel like I was smearing silicone on my face, and let my foundation slide on easily.  I can definitely see its appeal for long days and keeping makeup in place, although it does take a little getting used to as it's an extra layer I wasn't used to applying.

At left, my new stash!  The potted concealer and lip color are my favorite.  Their packaging is also extra lush, it has a nice weight and texture and almost all of the compacts come with mirrors.  It looks like the eye liner could be refillable too.  No doubt I'll be looking for upcycling ideas when all the makeup is gone, it'd be a waste to recycle such gorgeous packaging.

Check out the look I created with my Laura Mercier!  Not included for my daily makeup look was mascara and an eyebrow tint/wax, so I added those and the only other makeup I added to my look was prepping my eyes with a shimmery nude shadow.

I'd definitely recommend their makeup.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to spend $43 on foundation, but I am tempted to try out some of their other products.  If you're looking to start with their line, check out their awesome Flawless Face Finder, an interactive quiz to match you with their products.

A huge thank you to the ladies at Laura Mercier for all the makeup!  More looks sure to come.  Have you tried Laura Mercier?

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Tried It: Using Blush as Eye Shadow

I've read a couple of times that you can double blush as eye shadow in a pinch and was always skeptical, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I used my Heather Pink blush from Laura Mercier (that I got free in a Pinterest contest) and applied it with my normal eye shadow brush.  It worked...alright.  It took several layers of color.  The formula was a little crumblier than I was used to, so I had to sweep fallen blush out from under my eyes a couple times and rinse out my contacts that had gotten little pink flecks stuck on them.  But the end result looked good.

The verdict?  Not a fabulous idea, but works okay.  If you're in a pinch or desperately need a color it would work, but I'll stick to eye shadow from now on.

How'd I create this look?  I swept on a shimmery nudish-pink shadow on my brow bone from nose to outer corner, then applied a couple layers of the blush powder on each eye from lash line and into the crease.  Then I wet the brush and applied 2-3 more layers to get a really poppy pink color.  I lined my lids with a wet angled eye liner brush dipped in grey shadow and piled on mascara.

Have you ever tried blush on your eyes or multi-tasked a makeup product?  Leave a comment and let me know how it went for you!