Monday, September 27, 2010

Used up/gave up

Used up: Sample decant of Tarte Natural Beauty cheek stain (the red wax and oil-based one). I liked this enough to order a full size back during Tarte's Friends and Family sale, but figured I should probably use up the sample instead of throwing it out. Tarte's cheek stains are amazing. I have 5 minis and 3 full sizes. If anyone out there has minis of Tickled and Dollface they'd be willing to swap, please let me know!

Gave up: Sephora Plumping mascara (the black one that came in the birthday gift)
This stuff was ok. I was pleasantly surprised. Then it got harder to get color on my lashes, so I pulled out the stopper. That worked for a few days, but then it started flaking on me big time. Also, I don't think I like it any better than Lash Blast.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Used it! Pixie Sprinkles and some other stuff

Used up some more stuff!

1. Sassy Minerals Pixie Sprinkles eye shadow sample. It was a nice peachy white girl nude with rainbow sparkles. It wasn't too dark to bring up to the brow. It plus any funky liner equaled an easy and awesome look. I will be buying this in full size (well, after I use up some more stuff...)

2. Korres Quercetin and Oak antiaging primer. I'm not sure this did much as a primer, but it makes a pretty decent moisturizer. If it had SPF (pref. zinc oxide) in it, I would buy it again and wear it on no-foundation days. But it doesn't, and skin-cancer-survivor me doesn't want to risk it.

Also, I wanted to let everybody know that I have a blogger review kit from Hi-Fi cosmetics that I'll be swatching and reviewing soon (after I use up a few more samples from other companies). And my Pink Quartz Minerals order finally came - the owner sent me out a new package priority mail as soon as I let her know about the mishap, and she also sent me a free tinted lip balm to make it up for me! So I'll want to talk about that, too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

used it! soap and cleanser

Used a couple more things up.

1. Dr. Bronner's citrus soap. I like the mint and almond better. Not getting this again.

2. Origins foamy facial cleanser sample. This stuff had the odd effect of making my face feel grimy and stripped at once. Product fail.

3. Aveeno ultra-calming spf 30 facial moisturizer. This is almost gone. There's a use or two worth of product stuck to the bottom of the container that I can't quite get out. This makes me angry. I am giving up because I don't want to risk injury cutting it open. I would buy this again if I were in dire need of facial sunblock, but it is not my favorite product.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Used up some more stuff

1. Cozy Moments olive oil and goat's milk soap samples. Better than their sugar scrub cube. Not great, though.

2. DHC acerola lotion sample packet. More of a toner than a lotion. Ok, not great.

3. DHC silver nanocolloid cream. Moisturizing, nothing special.

4. Lucy Minerals Oil Control Calcium Carbonate finishing powder. Pretty good, just not my favorite ever.

5. Morgana Minerals vegan lipstick sample - Coraline's Kiss. It took me daily use over two weeks to use this up. Good stuff, I bought a full size and then figured I should use the sample packet up first.

I also gave up on some stuff.

1. Urban Decay lipstick sample - Gash. This stuff tasted so bad that I had to wipe it off immediately.

2. Garden of Wisdom cucuminoid serum sample. I can't put into words why I didn't like this. I just didn't.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Used it! eye treatment, foundation sample, concealer mix

I used three more things!

1. Dr. Dennis Gross eye treatment sample packet. Aside from a somewhat burny feeling upon application, I'm not sure this did anything. Will not buy full size.

2. Lucy Minerals original foundation sample. See review below.

3. 50/50 mix of EDM Aussie and Abbott's concealers - sort of brightens up the undereye area. I'm kind of glad it's gone now, though.

Lucy Minerals foundation review (regular kind)

Lucy Minerals is an independent company specializing in mineral makeup with added antioxidants. The color range isn't as great as some other companies, and if your skin is on the darker end of the spectrum, you're out of luck. If I ever make and sell mineral makeup, I'll either not do foundation at all, or try to have something for darker skintones.

They offer a few different formulas, an antioxidant-free one, an antioxidant-rich one, and two kinds of oil control - one with silica and one with calcium carbonate.

How'd it work?

A. Color matching.
4. Close, but not quite. I tried both Light and Cream. Light is closer, but still somewhat more yellow than I'd like.

B. Coverage.
4. Significantly reduces contrast between normal skin and blemishes/scar. This stuff is pretty high-coverage.

C. Adhesion/durability.
3. Gets me through an eight-hour day. If I go for a walk or sweat at all, it will start smearing off and creasing. It also has a somewhat chalky finish.

D. Combination skin friendliness factor.
3. Does ok until lunch. I've tried both the regular (which I'm reviewing now) and the calcium carbonate. Neither is perfect.

E. Irritancy.
3. No problems at all.

F. Presentation
2. Functional packaging

G. Value
2. Costs about what you'd expect. $14 for a 30g jar. You can get combo kits that lower the price somewhat, but not a lot. Shipping is free, though.

H. Company is nice to work with, good customer service. 1 point. I have heard nothing but good things.

Total: 24/30. This is pretty good stuff. It's a slightly heavier finish than I like, so I probably won't buy this again (especially since awG makes a really good color match for me). I used this for about two weeks straight, and I'm not sure the antioxidants have done anything for my skin. I think you really need to eat your fruits and veggies, not put them on your face.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some changes to the mineral foundation unit prices

A while back, I posted about price-per-gram of mineral foundations. Some things have changed, namely - Aromaleigh's products are no longer available. :( And Everyday Minerals appears to have kiboshed the 45% discount on stuff, therefore killing their spot as least-expensive mineral makeup. Way to go, EDM! Also, I added a rough estimate for Sassy Minerals, which wasn't around when I first made the list.

Remember, different brands have different densities even if they fill the same size jar, and different brands can require different amounts of product for equivalent coverage.

Keep in mind that most MMU companies pack by volume, not by weight, so the weights are approximate.

If I missed a company - and you know how much their foundation costs and how much (in grams) you get, let me know and I'll add it.

Unit prices on foundation

adorned with Grace
$13.49 for roughly 8 grams – $1.67/gr

Bare Escentuals/Minerals Original
$25 for 9 grams – $2.78/g

$12 for 5.5 grams – $2.18/g
$9 (with four other items) - $1.63/g

Lucy Minerals
$14 for 10 grams - $1.40/g

Meow Purrfect Puss
$10.95 for 6-8 grams – $1.82-1.37/g
$21.95 for 22-30 grams - $0.98-0.73/g

Meow Pampered Puss
$12.95 for 6-8 grams – $2.16 - 1.61/gr
$23.95 for 22-30 grams – $1.08 - 0.80/gr

Meow Flawless Feline
$14.95 for 6-8 grams – $2.49-1.87/g
$26.95 for 22-30 grams – $1.22-0.90/g

Sassy Minerals
$14 for 6-8 grams (est) - $1.75-$2.33/g

Silk Naturals
Note: Silk Naturals sells unmixed foundation by volume, not by weight, and a tablespoon of their foundation would fit into a 25g jar, which is a pretty standard size. You buy a bag of plain white foundation and mix the appropriate amounts of darker base colors into them, so you get an exact match. Both the white base and the colors you add to it are available in tablespoon bags and half teaspoon sample baggies.

They also use different ingredients that aren't as dense as other companies (silk powder, for example), so a tablespoon ranges from 4-5.8 grams depending on formula, with the lighter coverage being less dense than the heavier ones. The cost per gram is different between formulas, but the cost per volume is the same. For purposes of comparison with other brands, it's more useful to think in terms of volume:

As sold by the tablespoon in plastic baggies, the unit price works out to:
$1.37/g for original formula
$1.10/g for the vegan and medium formulas
$0.95/g for the heavy formula.

Since they come in baggies, you'll have to order your own jar (if you don't do the starter kit), and that'll add up to $1.50 to the cost. Or you could clean an old one out and use that - you're paying for product, not for packaging.

If you get the starter kit, which includes tablespoons of your base color, Ivory, a jar, and a scoop to measure:
Original formula: $1.50/g
Medium and vegan formulas: $1.20/g
Heavy formula: $1.03/g

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Used it! dry shampoo, blush, cream

I used three more things!

1. Tresemme dry shampoo. Full size. Buying this was a mistake. I used it up out of stubbornness. I keep wanting a way to freshen up my hair between washes (I wash it about every three to four days - no, I am not dirty, I shower every day), and the answer keeps being scalp wash, which is harder than dry shampoo. For reference, my hair is about hip length. I have a lot of it. The roots always get dirty before the length does, and my bangs get stringy. The one good thing about this stuff is that it brings the life back to my bangs. But so does baby powder, which is cheaper and doesn't smell like rotting oranges crossed with bathroom air freshener. Is Batiste any good, or should I just give up already?

2. Sample packet of DHC acerola cream. I'm not sure if this did anything special. I have no impression of this product, really, which is not a good sign.

3. Sassy Minerals Signature blush. I did like this; it is a very natural color even on my pale skin. It's probably impossible to overdo this one. It's a pale, dusky pink. Usually my blush style is something a little more showy, though. I would not buy this again, but only because it isn't my style.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Makeup crafts! Journal into palette

I wanted a palette so I could consolidate a bunch of makeup into one thing. I did not want to pay the kind of money that could get me a high-end item I really want on packaging. So I was wandering around CVS and I saw this:

Bingo! I took it home, and proceeded to cut the middle out of all the pages. You want to keep a piece of cardboard under the pages as you do this, or else you will gouge out the back cover.

Then, I used a piece of my cardboard (Trader Joe's Oyster Crackers - Yum!) to make a shallow "dish" that fit in the hole where the insides of the pages were. Then, I glued the pages together.

After that, I used the front inside cover page (the purple page) of the journal to cover the cardboard.

Then, I covered the bottom of the palette in promotional magnets.

Here is the result:

I'm pretty happy with it. It took an entire evening, but I was in the sort of foul mood that can only be resolved by a crafts project. It worked.


So, I had two makeup-related shipping mishaps in the same day, and I'm not pleased.

First, I swapped for a Korres green eyeliner pencil on Makeup Alley, and it arrived packaged in a paper envelope that had been torn. The pencil itself arrived in three pieces. So now I have a pencil I can't really use - and I swapped for an intact one.

Second, I made a small order from Pink Quartz Minerals on etsy, and somehow the address got changed (I discovered this upon closer inspection of the shipping notification email - the correct address I'd provided morphed into one that was incorrect. I spent an hour on hold with the post office only to be told it had been returned to sender earlier today. Really, makeup sellers, is it THAT HARD to cross-check that Paypal printed out the same address that you typed into it?

Argh. I was looking forward to playing with a new eye pencil and some new shadows today.

Used it! spray conditioner, SN moisturizer, Hourglass primer sample

I used up a full-size product and two more samples!

A while ago, I bought Garnier Triple Nutrition leave-in spray because I liked the conditioner in the line. I wanted to see if there was something else that could replace my Organix coconut milk serum. I used all of this up, and it was ok, but I still like the Organix better. This is a good choice if you have fine hair that tangles easily and prefer a spray.

I also found a sample packet of Hourglass mineral primer, which I liked a lot better than the Smashbox, but am still not convinced actually does anything. It's a white cream that rubs in clear, and it has some SPF.

Then, I also used up a sample of Silk Naturals jojoba moisturizer. I like this better than the firming one, but it still smells odd to me.

Out of all of these, no clear winners.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Used it! Primer and soap

I used two more things!

1. Smashbox Photo Finish primer sample. I really don't understand what the big deal is with this. I'm not sure it made my foundation (I was using it under Lucy Light foundation) look any different - just added an extra step to my routine.

2. Cozy Moments sugar scrub cube sample. Maybe this would work better in cube form than in sample sliver form, but I couldn't get it to lather on a bath poof or a washcloth, so the only way to use it was to hold it to my body with my hands - and it kept falling out. Actually, I didn't so much use this up as lose the last shards to the shower drain. Which begs the question - how are you supposed to finish the cube?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Used it! Soap and shadow

Used up two more things!

1. Kiss My Face Sudz pink soap bar trial size. I used this trial size every day for a month. You would get a lot of bang for your soap buck with this. It foams up on the poof nicely, smells great, but is a little bit drying. I tend to be lazy with lotion, so drying soaps are not good for me.

2. Morgana Minerals eyeshadow sample - Bubblegum Frosting. It's a bright, sparkly pink. I think it's a little too red for me, so I probably won't buy again, but it is really pretty. It also brought out the blue in my eyes, which was nice, but from a distance it looked like I'd somehow burned my eyelids. So probably not getting this again, but it was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Even the dudes want in on the fun!

Ladies and gents, hide the concealer from your mister!

Introducing Project Use It!

Many of you have probably heard of things like Project 10 pan, where a makeup-a-holic attempts to hit pan on 10 things before buying anything else.

I am also trying to use stuff up. I have way more of everything than I need, so I'm going through all my tiny samples and some of my full-size items systematically. At the moment, I'm going through small sizes of foundation, powder, blush, sample eyeshadow baggies, and moisturizers. I am also currently unemployed as I struggle to finish my damn master's thesis, so buying new stuff is probably unwise. (Though I am going to make an exception for Silk Naturals, I think.)

As I finish things, I'll post about it here and tell you what I thought of the item I finished. I'll keep a log of things I liked enough to maybe buy again someday.

So far, I've used up this stuff:

VO5 Extra Body conditioner. For a cheapie, this actually did a pretty good job of conditioning my long, wavy, thick but fine hair. It also works well as a conditioner-only washing conditioner, but only if followed by an acidic rinse. I might buy this again sometime - I mostly used it because DBF bought it to try and didn't like it.

Aubrey Organics Calaguala Fern Treatment shampoo. I bought this bottle a year ago when I was struggling with some flakies (probably caused by the really hard water at the old apartment). This stuff does not smell pretty. At all. It's also brown, which looks pretty gross. It doesn't bother my scalp, but it also seems to overstrip my hair and cause it to get greasy sooner rather than later. I will probably not buy this again.

Sample size Sassy Minerals Warm Light foundation. I'm pretty sure I reviewed this before when I had another sample size. After using it for several days in a row, I determined that it is ok, but not HG material.

Sample size adorned with Grace Heavenly rice powder. This, I liked. The only reason I wouldn't buy it again is because I have a huge ziploc baggie of rice powder, so I could make my own similar product fairly easily.

Sample size adorned with Grace Merciful apricot concealer. Meh. I keep hoping for something that will erase undereye circles, but I have not yet found it. This is not it, either.

Sample size of Silk Naturals extra light peach cream concealer. Meh. I like the texture, but think I might need the darker color.

Sample packed of Korres Fig body milk. Like the texture a lot. Do not like the scent. My skin is soft but kind of yucky smelling.

Sample size Silk Naturals firming moisturizer. I did not like the way this smelled, and didn't notice any firming, either - unless that's what that tight feeling was.

Newer updates should be shorter as I use up even more stuff.