Friday, February 5, 2016

REVIEW: Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

I have waffled for a few weeks on whether or not I wanted to write this review. I openly admit that I am a very critical person--I don't believe in spending money on something you won't love and get a lot of use out of--but I worry that I'm coming off as a makeup hipster. "Oh, that's just BOGL," people will say, "that blog hates everything popular." I've even been told I expect too much from my base products. But then I realized: it's a good thing to have a variety of reviews, especially if the beauty community's response is leaning overwhelmingly positive or negative and you had a different experience. And frankly, I think I gave this foundation enough chances that my personal disappointment is warranted.

The Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation is a new product in the line. It is clearly designed for normal to dry skin, since it promises a glow, lacks drying alcohols, and contains some ingredients that can be beneficial for dry skin, like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalene. The foundation costs $44 for 1oz of product and is housed in a glass bottle with a dropper lid; the dropper is easy to control and the packaging is very elegant, but I always worry about glass bottles because I am the least graceful person on this planet.

From left to right: Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation in Fair, NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Siberia, Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation in 3.0, Buxom Show Some Skin in Tickle the Ivory.

The dropper bottle freaked me out a little, because I'm used to seeing that with serum foundations, and they never seem to work on my skin. However, this is not a serum foundation. It's a very thin, runny liquid with a soft feel to it. I found that this foundation applied quite streaky unless you buffed it in very well with a dense brush; the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush worked best for me. You can get light to medium coverage with this: a full pipette of product will give you more medium coverage (seen here in this review), while half a pipette gives you lighter coverage.

But beyond the slight streakiness problem, I immediately knew this product wasn't going to work for me with regards to shade, which broke my heart. The "Fair" shade is too dark for me and very, very pink--I'd guesstimate that it's about NW15-20 in MAC terms. Here's the proof:

My neck is in the N5-10 range, with cool yellow undertones. The difference between my jaw and my neck is very obvious.

Really, the shade range for this foundation is not that impressive overall. There are only 8 shades, and while Becca claims that most of them are "neutral," I think they look rather warm and golden.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

Here are swatches of several other shades in the range, obtained as a sample from Sephora. I don't see much variance between Fair and Light beyond the undertone, and the other two shades look very golden to me. Now, that makes sense for "Dark Golden," but Medium is marketed as a neutral shade. I am absolutely not a makeup artist or an expert, however, so please correct me if I'm seeing the undertones wrong.

Despite my issues with the shade range, I really wanted to test the product out and see how I felt about the formulation. (Do not let these slightly-more-flattering-than-real-life photos fool you, by the way: this stuff is definitely too orange for me.) Again, I found it a tad streaky when applied with a flat foundation brush or my fingers, but I got a smooth, even finish with the RT Expert Face Brush. The product does not feel heavy or dry on my skin. It settles in to fine lines very quickly, though, so I had to keep going in my smile lines with a q-tip. The foundation appears a tad dry at first, but softens up a bit over 15-20 minutes, as foundations are wont to do.

Here are some macro shots to show how the foundation sits on my skin when first applied (left) and after 20 minutes (right); again, don't be fooled by how light Fair seems here, because the first picture is washed out and I was 6 inches away from the flash in the second picture. I'm just trying to show texture.

And truly, as far as foundations for dry-skinned people go, this has a beautiful texture when it's first applied. It does not exaggerate dry patches, and it looks relatively skin-like while providing variable coverage. I did have to q-tip product out of my smile lines and the fine lines around my eyes, regardless of whether I used a few drops or a full pipette.

Freshly applied on left, 3 hours in the middle, six hours on the right.

So how does this wear? Well, that's a bit of a touchy subject. On the one hand, it doesn't get horribly dry or make my skin itch throughout the day. I did notice some patchiness on my more dehydrated spots (chin and between eyebrows) by the end of the day, but that's nothing compared to most foundations. It stays skin-like and glowy and soft throughout the day.

On the other hand, it gets incredibly shiny as the day progresses, and I'm saying that as somebody with dry and dehydrated skin who only gets oily on her nose and eyelids. But if you're not oily-skinned, it probably won't be much of an issue. The biggest problem is that this stuff transfers like crazy. It smeared off on the nosepads of my glasses all throughout the day (see the "blank" spots on the bridge of my nose in the second and third photos above?), and when I pressed my face to my phone or a t-shirt, foundation smeared all over it. This stunned me, because I'm so Sahara dry that most products just stick to my face. I did test this product out with a bit of powder on top, and while that helped a little with the transferring, it seemed to cake up a bit, ruining the glowy goodness.

Here is a macro shot taken after 6 hours. Again, the foundation maintains a nice glow throughout the day and looks skin-like, which should be commended. But it moves all around my face (I actually q-tipped out my smile lines again before taking this photo), and it fades off of more dehydrated patches. Take note of the sort of "chin strap" line here, where my bare skin is very obviously a different color from the foundation.

I know this post is going to get me a lot of flack, because a good number of people will have a shade match in the line and because the macro shots show that this is a decent texture when it's first applied. But I'm not really upset because the product isn't the right shade for me--I've rated plenty of foundations that are too dark for me as 4s or 5s. I'm disappointed because the shade range is limited overall, the product can apply streaky, and it transfers everywhere and slides on my face. Maybe I am too harsh on base products, but frankly, I only want to invest my money in, and recommend, the best of the best. When it comes to foundations for dry skin, I think Koh Gen Do Moisture and MAC Face & Body kick the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation's ass up and down the block.

RATING: 3 out of 5
The Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation is available at

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Time to Say Goodbye to Chanel Illusion d'Ombres

I'm not a big eyeshadow person, but when I fall for a little pot of pigment, I fall hard. The love I've felt for Chanel's Illusion d'Ombre shadows has been the stuff of romance novels, full of endless praises and poetic waxing. (Shit, look how purple my prose is now.) I've been loyal to these babies for four years, and in the ever-changing world of beauty blogging, that's saying something.

But there are two problems. The first is that I don't wear eyeshadow often, especially sparkly eyeshadow, so these only get worn on the weekend or when I'm going out to a club or a special event. The second is that these dry out quickly; I've replaced my favorite shades, Illusoire and Epatant, three times in the span of four years. If you aren't using even half of something up before it needs to be discarded...well, there's a problem. The return on investment isn't being realized. The love is unrequited.

Illusoire on left, Epatant on right

I was downright thrilled when I rolled "show something more love" for my current round of Beauty Roulette, because I figured it'd be the best excuse to rock my IdOs. And sure enough, I used both shades several times in several months, and my love for them was reignited. Just look at how beautiful they are! One shadow gives you a fantastic, multi-dimensional look in less than a minute! Photos do not do them justice, truly.

But I have to admit it: without Beauty Roulette, these aren't getting used. I really am too lazy to put on eyeshadow for work most mornings, so despite my best intentions, they are still only for weekends or nights on the town. And they deserve better than that.

I figure I'll sell or swap these off to a more loving home. Maybe somebody who has never tried them will finally get their chance. It'll be hard to say goodbye to something so pretty, something that's been like an old friend for years. But for now, at least, I think it's wise to leave these to the eyeshadow lovers and sparkle fanatics of the world.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Moderate Stash: Lipsticks and Glosses

Alright, it's time for me to start breathing heavily and sweating like crazy because I sometimes feel mildly embarrassed about this. I know having almost two dozen lip products is not the average person's idea of "moderate." But to be fair, this is not the mind-boggling 100+ collection I used to have, I'm finally at a place where I feel I love everything I own, and I hold firm in my belief that allowing yourself one "go crazy" area whilst you downsize is a good idea.

And I have a weakness for bold reds and bright pinks. I can't make excuses for that. :/

But before we get too engrossed, can we take a moment to appreciate how weirdly pretty these baby wipes looked after I removed some swatches?

The stupidest things excite me, I know. Moving right along!

For reference, I am not a gloss person, so there are only a few of those. Swatches are on the top of my hand, which is about NC10-15 on a MAC scale. For full reviews of some of these products, please check the product: lipstick, product: frankenlip, or product: gloss tags; for lip swatches and photos of me wearing these, try the FOTD and Lipstick Diaries tags. My ELF Gotta Glow Lip Tint is not pictured because my mother had it with her, but you can see it on my lips here.

plus my few glosses.

  • Lipstick Queen Jean Queen. A sheer, soft, glossy watermelon pink. Perfect for everyday wear and for work. Applicator is a brush tip. I often keep this in my briefcase.
  • Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Gloss. Completely clear, very glossy, and only a little sticky, with a minty smell and taste. This is my second tube. (Not swatched for obvious reasons!)
  • MAC Viva Glam Lady Gaga lipglass. A pastel pink with a creamy opaque formula. It's not as sticky as most MAC lipglasses. The sharpie line shows how far I am right now--I'm going to see how far I can get before I chuck this in to my Back 2 MAC pile in May.
  • MAC Faux. Midtone beige pink in a satin finish. It's a nice nude, but not my personal favorite; however, everybody seems to love it on me.
  • MAC Huggable Bare Hug. A shiny and supple gel formula that's very comfortable and smoothing on the lips. This shade looks bright coral in the tube, but it applies as a soft, slightly warm pink. 
  • Urban Decay Native. Super light and slightly pastel baby pink. This is one of my go-to shades if I'm wearing darker eye makeup.
  • Kismet Elope. A mid-tone beige with some hints of pink. This is a glossy liquid formula. It's probably not that flattering on me, but for some reason, I really like it.
 Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

these ones just aren't "nude."

  • Bite Beauty Velvet. The most perfect petal pink on the face of the planet, with a creamy finish. I think I've used about half of my current tube.
  • Bite Beauty Bouquet. Another "flowery" shade with a creamy finish and the perfect mix of pink and peach. One of the few "nudes" that I think looks really good on me, probably because it isn't really nude. Don't judge me.
  • Dior Kiss Me fluidstick. Funky gloss/lipstick hybrid with a cushiony texture, Kiss Me is a soft, cool-toned pink. I wasn't impressed with this formula the first time I tried it, but it's grown on me. Surprisingly good staying power for a glossy product!
  • NARS Audacious Anna. Looks like a cool, mid-tone pink on most people, but because I'm fairer skinned, it comes off quite mauve and plummy on me. Not 100% sure if it flatters me, but I do love it. Satin finish.
  • Hourglass Empress. Matte liquid lipstick that smells like paint and wears like it, too! I love this stuff, though. Empress is a perfect plum shade; I wear it a lot on nights out.
  • Kismet On Point. A great everyday shade with an equal balance of pink and plum; this is Kismet's shiny liquid formula.
Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

they are my weakness.

  • MAC Ruby Woo. The most traditional and chalky matte in the history of chalky mattes, Ruby Woo is a relatively neutral red (though some would say it leans a little blue). This is my second tube, so clearly it's been loved, but after I finish this one, I don't think I'll repurchase.
  • NARS Audacious Charlotte. Swatches weirdly purple on my hand, but in reality is the most perfect oxblood color with a satin finish. My current favorite red.
  • Stila Beso. A true red in a matte liquid formula. This stuff wears like a beast and I have next to no problems with smearing, so it's essentially replacing Ruby Woo in my collection.
  • MAC Scarlet Ibis. A warm red with a soft matte finish. Makes me feel very chic and grown-up when I wear it. Technically a limited-edition shade, but MAC re-releases it from time to time.
  • Bite Beauty Pomegranate. A blue-based red with a glossy finish. I purged a mini-pencil of this in the past because I had similar reds I preferred, but I got this one in a kit and I figure I'll try it out again.
  • Dior Pandore fluidstick. As mentioned, this is a frankenlip formula with a glossy finish. Though it swatches pinkish on my hands, it's a warm red on my lips. I like this shade, but I won't repurchase--I don't generally go for very shiny reds.
 Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

from fuchsia to purple to orange.

  • NARS Audacious Michiyo. A blue-based fuchsia with a satin finish. An excellent alternative to red if you want to try something a little different in your pin-up look.
  • MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus. A slightly warmer fuchsia with a bit of a glossy finish. This is a very comfortable and beautiful lipstick that seems to flatter me, but for some weird reason, I don't wear it a lot--I'll have to fix that!
  • Kismet Flamingo. A very glossy and bright orchid pink. My mother hates it, I love it, life goes on.
  • Bite Beauty Lingonberry. A creamy bright purple lipstick. I don't wear it often, but when I do, I adore it.
  • Bite Beauty Tangerine. Technically more of a coral, but close enough! Not my favorite color, to be honest, but it's half of the Lingonberry duo, and if you mix the two shades, you get a great bright pink.
  • Hourglass Riviera. As I mentioned, this stuff smells awful, feels thick, and wears for hours...and I love it. I think this is the only true orange I've found that I like on my skintone.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

Natural Light vs. Flash Comparisons

Friday, January 29, 2016

GIVEAWAY! Josie Maran Skincare

I've slowly but surely become a fan of the Josie Maran product range, and now I want to share the skincare goodies with you! The winner will receive all of the products shown above. The assortment includes:

 Please note that these products were originally packaged together in a box--because the box was quite bulky and awkward, I removed them from that container and put them in a bag. If you uncomfortable with receiving products that are not in their original cardboard packaging and therefore choose not to enter, I understand.

Entering is, as always, super-simple: comment on this blog post and tell me what's the most important part of your skincare routine and why. Make sure your name is on the comment, because that's how I'll announce the winner. (I don't recommend just typing up your e-mail; you're asking for spam.)

Please be aware that there are some rules for this contest:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and located in the US to enter.
  • You must be prepared to provide me with your full name and address if you win.
  • You may only enter once.
  • Entries will be finalized on March 4th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. I will use to pick a winner.
  • You do NOT have to be subscribed to this blog to enter, but I will announce the winner in a blog post, so it might help to bookmark BOGL for the next month if you've entered. If you do not respond to that blog post within a week, I will draw a new winner.

Also, I want to remind everyone that I pay for these giveaways out of my own pocket. That's not me trying to guilt you, that's just me saying that I have to have the money available to send the products out. Hence, it may take me a week or two to get the goodies sent to you after you win. But they will be sent! :)

Best of luck, and thank you for supporting Bad Outfit, Great Lipstick!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Swatches of the Missha Signature Complexion Coordinating BB Cream

I've recently begun admitting a few things about myself: there are more ingredients that break me out than I want to admit to, and most Korean BB creams and foundations are too heavily fragranced for me to tolerate them. This doesn't make them bad products; it just means that there are plenty I should stop trying to use. At the top of my list is the Missha Signature Complexion Coordinating BB cream: I bought it in such a flurry after seeing the shades that I completely neglected to read the ingredients. Now that I have read them, I know that this stuff will not work on my face.

That being said, I think I can still help a little by providing swatches of the product!

This BB cream comes in three shades: 1 White, 2 Beige, and 3 Honey Beige. I got sample packets of both the White and the Beige shades. The White seems like it's going to be a corrector, a la MAC Face & Body White or Yaby Daisy, but it's actually meant to be a face-brightening product that "adjusts to your skintone"--in other words, the true color is revealed when you rub it in to your skin. I'd say that the White blends out to about NW5-10 in MAC, and Beige is about NW15-20 in MAC. You can blend these two together, but weirdly enough, I find that I don't really get an "in-between shade"; it seems to stay in White's NW10 range.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

VIDEO: Winter 2015 Empties

Here's the stuff I used up (or, in a few cases, decided to toss) throughout winter 2015 and the first week or two of January 2016.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pack o' Korean Beauty Winner - REDRAWN AGAIN

(NOTE: While the giveaway post lists 24 comments, somebody entered twice and somebody had to post twice to clarify their name. Hence, there were 22 unique entries.)

Because the original winner and the redrawn winner never responded to the announcement, there has been a second redraw. The NEW winner of the Korean Beauty Pack is Elizabeth. Congrats! You have one week to email me at the address listed on the blog sidebar.

Thank you again to everyone who participated and/or continues to read BOGL. I am truly blessed to have you here! Keep me posted on what you'd love to see as a giveaway prize, and I'll try to remember it for future giveaways!

PS: If you didn't win this one, keep your eyes peeled for another giveaway later this month. ;)