Tuesday, September 27, 2016

VIDEO: Summer 2016 Empties

(NOTE: To watch full-screen, start playing, then click the YouTube button at the bottom right.)

Description Box Info:
THE BLOG: http://badoutfitgreatlipstick.blogspot.com

INSTAGRAM (aka cat pictures): ReneesAnatomy

TWITTER (aka constant bitching): ReneesAnatomy

SNAPCHAT (aka stupid faces): ReneesAnatomy

I have a Glossier affiliate link that will you give you 20% off of your first order. (It would give me $10 in store credit, but I'm maxed on referrals for the year--you should still get your 20% off.) If you'd like to use that, here's the link: http://bff.glossier.com/c6zdp

Also, I apparently get a Paula's Choice referral code. I can't believe I didn't notice until now. If you use this link, you'll get $10 off of your first order and I'll get $10 off of my next order. Again, no pressure; only use it if you want to use it: http://goo.gl/FszuUm

Friday, September 23, 2016

REVIEW: Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation

Everybody has a brand that makes them weak in the knees. Even if most of their products are subpar or they commit a major faux pas, we forgive them and drool over each upcoming release. It's easy to scoff at brand loyalty, but at the end of the day, I think we're all prone to it. I know that's how I am with the Kevyn Aucoin makeup range: they announced a new "glowy," "moisturizing" foundation and I checked Sephora's website every morning until it launched.

The Kevyn Aucoin Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation is $58 for 0.95 ounces of product. (The Sephora website states that this is a full ounce, the box says otherwise, eh, it's not too far off.) It comes in sturdy plastic packaging with an airless pump that is easy to control. I know a lot of people dislike plastic packaging, but I prefer it because I'm clumsy, and I think this bottle still manages to look quite nice.

Flash on top, natural light on the bottom. From left to right: Kevyn Aucoin Etherealist in Light EF01, Buxom Show Some Skin in Tickle the Ivory, NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia, MAC Full Coverage in NW10.

 I purchased the lightest shade, Light EF01 (or just "1" on the Sephora website). It's reasonably fair, but has some strong peachy undertones. I find that they're more obvious in swatches, though, than when the foundation is blended across the face. There are currently 16 shades in the range, running from quite light to reasonably dark. The inclusive shade ranges are part of what has made me so unerringly devoted to the Kevyn Aucoin brand.

One pump was enough to cover my entire face and the top of my neck. I will note that this product dries quickly, so you'll want to work in sections. I didn't detect any fragrance.

The description for this foundation states that it will give you "medium coverage with a semi-satin finish," slash, "an airbrushed opinion," slash, "a radiant glow." That's kind of a lot and it's all a little different, but I interpreted it as "this is a medium coverage product that won't be matte." One layer of this product buffed in to my skin with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush does, in fact, give me a medium coverage, and the foundation does have a bit of a glow to it. It also spread very easily without streaking.

But...wait. Something's not quite right here. It has a bit of shine to it, yes, but it looks...kinda dry?

Oooooh yes, yes indeed, it clung to every dry part of my face and emphasized dry patches I didn't even realize existed. Immediately after applying this foundation, I noticed that the tip of my nose looked a bit patchy, the space between my brows was hideous, and my cheeks and jawline were looking rather dry. The above macro shot demonstrates the texture perfectly.

I'd actually used my 10% AHA the night before I tested and photographed this foundation, by the way, so my skin was about as smooth as it ever is. This was a little shocking.

Yet this foundation has some tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it was not only easy to The Etherealist across my skin, it was also a breeze to blend other products on top, like a Becca Beach Tint for blush. And if you stood a few feet away from me or looked at me through a camera lens, you'd see nothing but airbrushed glory--I took a screengrab of how I looked on my phone, with beauty mode clearly turned off, to demonstrate. How the Hell was this possible?

I'm going to have to guess that it's the silicones. While the brand claims that the Etherealist "boosts hydration" with hyaluronic acid, the biggest ingredient in this foundation is silicone. It shows up in many forms: dimethicone, phenyl trimethicone, vinyl dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane...and that's just in the top 10 ingredients. Now, I'm not one of those people who thinks silicones are the devil incarnate (though they can aggravate some acne-prone and sensitive skins), but I do know that silicone doesn't have much in the way of skincare benefits. It basically provides slip and can create a "diffused" look, making products seem more emollient than they really are. The Etherealist is no different.

After 3 hours on the left, after 5 hours on the right.

I tried to give this foundation a fair shake and photographed it throughout the day. It wasn't always comfortable, though: at several points throughout the day, I found that the apples of my cheeks, my jawline, and my temples itched. This is probably because the foundation made my face slightly drier throughout the day.

My mother actually asked me, "What are all of those bumps on your forehead?" Now, I am human, and I do have some texture to my skin; namely, my forehead is prone to clogging. But any decent foundation will not make the fine lines and clogged pores on my forehead more obvious. This one did. By the end of the day, it was so, so, so dry.

Oh, except for my nose! It wore completely off of my nose after 4 or 5 hours.

This product isn't totally transfer-proof, either. It wore off under the nose pads of my glasses, which is normal, but it always came off on my finger and on clothing if I put any pressure on my face. This kind of perplexes me, given how quickly it seems to dry on the skin during application.

Honestly, I try to wear foundations for 6 to 8 hours to give them a real test, but I couldn't bear to wear this any longer after 5. When I removed it, I noticed a small amount of red irritation where I'd itched throughout the day. It had faded by the time I woke up the next morning. I gave The Etherealist a second chance, applying it with a Beauty Blender and topping it with plenty of moisture spray, but I got nearly the same results.

I'm giving this foundation a 2 out of 5 because I think it might be nice for normal to slightly oil skin in photographs, the packaging is great, and the shade range is inclusive. Yet even that might be my brand loyalty rearing its ugly head. At the end of the day, this is a foundation that left me more disappointed than almost any other base product I've tried.

RATING: 2 out of 5

Monday, September 19, 2016

I Got Some New Stuff

I used to do hauls several times a month when I was on YouTube. Part of that was because hauls are so popular (which makes sense--window shopping without the spending!), and part of it was because I was buying new stuff at an insane rate. I slowed down on full-fledged hauls when I moved to a mostly text-and-photo blog, and when I made the decision to maintain a more moderate collection, I just stopped doing them. My last haul post is over a year old. That's fine.

But I noticed that I managed to obtain a lot of new stuff over the past few weeks. A good bit of it came in the form of samples, gifts, or point perks, but yeah, I definitely purchased more than usual in September. So I figured, heeeey! Let's do a haul!

First up, the samples! I've been enjoying my Sephora Play! subscription (they should be accepting new members right now, by the way), and this month, I got some great stuff. Namely, I got another tube of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel (holy grail!), a Living Proof styling cream, and a mini Sephora lipstick. I also got a Kat Von D liquid liner in both my September Play! box and in a sample bag.

Next, I've been testing out the Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation for the past week or so. I was so damn excited for this launch that maybe I got a little too hyped up--thus far, the product hasn't lived up to its claims or my expectations. I'm going to fiddle with it a bit more and should have a full review available in a week or so.

Glossier announced that they were releasing serums and I started getting emails. Not a ton, mind you, but far more than I usually get when a product is about to be launched. So even though I wasn't bowled over by the ingredients list, I decided to get two full sets: one for my dry, dehydrated, and reactive skin and one for my friend with super-tough combination skin. I've asked him to take notes as he tests so I can complete a comparative review. Thank you again to everyone who has used my Glossier affiliate link; your support gave me the store credit that'll make this dual review possible.

Just a quick recommendation for anybody else who will be using these serums, because this wasn't mentioned on the Glossier website when I bought them: do not use Super Glow and Super Pure at the same time. Niacinamide and Vitamin C can cause some wonky reactions if they collide.

There are also two new NARS Audacious lipsticks in my collection! I bought Apoline, a rosy pink, from the fall collection as soon as it went live, and I finally caved and bought the lightest peachy nude in the range, Raquel, at a local Sephora just yesterday.

Last, but not least, there are some new-to-me drugstore products I'm testing out! I decided to try the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous concealer when I saw how fair the lightest shade was. I'm trying to document the product, but frankly, I always find concealer reviews a little tough. I've also been using the L'oreal mascara primer and hope to eventually compare it to the DiorShow primer in another post.

That should be me about done for the time being. The aforementioned Sephora trip did reawaken my desire for the CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial, but I can hold off on those until the fall VIB sale. Beyond that, I think I'm tapped out!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Anti-Haul (aka, "What I'm Not Going To Buy"), Third Edition

Fall is fast approaching, and with it are a slew of supposedly sweater-worthy product launches. I admit that all four of these products made it to my Sephora cart. I'm human! But when I did some research and thought about them for a few days, I realized they were a great big pile of "nope." And frankly, I don't think the average consumer will need them in the long run.

As always, these posts are not meant to make you feel bad for liking a product or spending your money; I'm just trying to think carefully about my own consumerism and maybe encourage you to think carefully about yours. Once again, mad props to Kimberly Clark for popularizing and promoting the Anti-Haul movement!

Oh, and I stole the Bite Beauty and Urban Decay pictures from Temptalia. Nobody does product photos like her, I swear.

1. Pat McGrath Labs Lust 004 Lipstick Kit, $60 -- Pat McGrath is here again, and I feel a little guilty about it because I admire her work as a makeup artist so much. But just like the highlighter kits, I'm smacking a giant "DO NOT WANT" label on these sequin-stuffed bags. Each kit has two lipsticks (0.05oz each), a gloss (0.46oz), and a pigment and a glitter (0.07oz each). Frankly, most people can find a clear gloss they like for $5 or less at the drugstore, so I'm not including the gloss in the value of this kit. That leaves us with 0.24oz or 6.8g of product for $60. Is it worth it? Not really. The lipsticks come in pretty but popular shades of nude and red. I'm going to guess that you probably already own a red and/or nude lipstick you love. Go ahead and check. I'll wait. Now, do you own a lip-safe pigment? If you own tons of makeup, it's likely; if you don't, you can do what drag queens and showgirls have done for ages and just pat a metallic powder eyeshadow on top of your lipstick. This leaves us with the glitter. Plenty of brands sell lip-safe glitters in far more colors at affordable prices; Lit Cosmetics comes to mind. Even if you would wear glittery lips every damn day of your life, you don't need to pay $60 to do it.

2. Urban Decay Junkie Vice Lipstick Palette, $35 -- Unlike most palettes, which use shade variety as an excuse to rip you off in terms of actual product purchased, this lipstick palette is an equal value: it contains 0.24oz of product for $35, and a full-size Vice lipstick is $17 for 0.11oz. But overall, the color range is not impressive. Don't you buy a lip palette for variety? So why are there two shades with intense white bases that likely won't work on deeper skintones (Safe Word and Vanity Kills)? 714, Firebird, and Wrath all have differences, but they're in the same reddish-fuschia family--why not replace one of those with a bright orange? Does Studded look flattering on anybody? And while I applaud anybody who marches to the beat of their own drum, the majority of consumers are not going to get much use of a saturated lavender like Vanity Kills or a sparkly forest green like Junkie. You'll also need to use a lip brush to apply these, which begs the question: are you willing to not only use a lip brush regularly to apply your product, but are you also willing to clean it constantly so you don't contaminate the colors? It's a perfectly nice palette, yes, but you're better off just buying two full-sized tubes of the shades that strike your fancy. PS: Why do they have a complete sentence on the packaging without any punctuation or capitalization?!


3. Bite Beauty Multisticks, $24 -- Out of every product in this anti-haul, this is the one that's tempted me the most. Yet when I feel myself being sucked in by the fantastic shade range and my overall love for the Bite brand, logic reels me back in. First, this is a product that can be used on the lips, cheeks, and eyes. It sounds amazing, right? Well, think about it: how many cream-based or liquid lip, cheek, and eye products have worked for you on all three counts? I've tried many and have always found that they failed in one of the three areas. Based on reviews I've seen, most people don't care for these on the eyes, meaning they're primarily a lip and cheek stick. You know what else is a lip and cheek product? REGULAR LIPSTICKS! Seriously, if you have a decently creamy lipstick that you love and the ingredients won't eat your skin, you can dab a little on your cheeks and blend it out. I've done it off and on for years. If you don't believe me, take a look at the ingredients for this product. You'll see that it's similar to plenty of lipsticks and cream blushes that are already on the  market. Getting one or two shades might be a good idea for somebody who is just starting out and/or has a tiny collection, but for most of us, they're simply not necessary.

4. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light Palette, $80 -- Hourglass is so damn good at packaging, it's no wonder I wanted a pile o'powders even though I use creams and liquids almost exclusively. It's not worth it, though. For starters, this is not a palette that is going to flatter anybody who is darker than, say, NC30, and based on the swatches I've seen, that's me being generous. If you want to produce a palette that works well for a certain skintone range, fine, but why not produce more than one variation so everybody can enjoy your products? Furthermore, you're not getting anything particularly special for your money here. You're paying about $8.33 per gram of product, and while that's on par with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers ($8.94 per gram) and Strobe Lighting Powders ($8.37 per gram), the Ambient Lighting Powders ($4.60 per gram) and Ambient Lighting Blushes ($4.55 per gram) are much better value. The Strobe Powders suck, in my opinion, because they're too sparkly for a finishing powder and too sheer for a highlight. These shades aren't especially unique, either. Yes, "Surreal ______" isn't available in a stand-alone pan, but the blushes are a "cool pink rose" and a "soft warm peach." They've already got similar shades that are just as pretty: Ethereal Glow and Dim Infusion, respectively. If you want to try the Hourglass Ambient line, I think you're better off getting a powder or blush from the permanent range.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Finish 13 by Halloween + Paper Bag Challenge Midpoint Update

Hullo, all! I'm about halfway through the Finish 13 by Halloween challenge, so I figured this would be a great time for an update. I'm also realizing that I picked a bunch of products with containers that make it difficult to photograph progression. Sorry, I suck. :/

Let's talk about what I've managed to finish first! The Bare Minerals Sheer Sun liquid bronzer ended up being one of my least favorite products ever because it stayed sticky on my skin for quite a while; also, I thought the color was a little orange and unflattering on me. I managed to finish it, though, by mixing it in to my foundation to make my neck and face match. The tube of St. Ives Apricot Scrub was empty as of this past weekend. I think I went through it so quickly because I'm wearing skirts and dresses to work right now, and I like my bare legs to be exfoliated and smooth. I have to repurchase this stuff ASAP. And after a number of spritzes, my 4ml Tom Ford Tuscan Leather decant is now totally empty!

There are a few products I've made pretty good dents in, but photographing said dents is almost impossible. The Milk Makeup Ubame mascara and Isehan Sunkiller Perfect Strong Moisture sunscreen are down to at least 50%--I was able to shine a flashlight through the Milk tube, but the Isehan one is totally opaque, so I'm going by feel. I'm thinking both will be empty by the end of this project. The same goes for the Anastasia Brow Gel; it still contains some product, but I'm really scraping the sides of the tube. There are definite dips forming in the Nuxe Reve de Miel balm and the YSL Creme de Blush, but none of the progress photos accurately demonstrate the change, and I know I won't finish them entirely.

We used my black Sharpie to label boxes for my brother's big move and now I can't find it, so I hope this picture of the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen will suffice! Still making slow but steady progress with this old faithful. I think I'll click this bad boy up to the fading "E" at the most, and then it has to go in the trash.

I don't think I'll finish the Milk Makeup Gel Brow pencil, either, but I've already used up about an inch of the product (a big deal for me), and I'm sure I can use up another inch before fall kicks in to high gear. The Marc Jacobs Highliner pencil is a different story and will definitely be finished by the end of this project.

I openly admit that Glossier Jam hasn't been touched more than twice over the past month. For whatever reason, I've been skipping over my sheerer lipsticks and liquid formulas for my traditional, full-coverage bullets. I've especially been enjoying my creamy pinks these past few months. Jam is another product I don't expect to finish, but would like to make some progress on, so I'll just have to remind myself to give it its due during the week!

As for my PK Perfumes Gold Leather: I focused more on Tuscan Leather, slash, the Paper Bag Challenge, so I'm not as far as I'd like to be. I promise, though, that I've put a little bit of a dent in to my purse spray!

Speaking of the Paper Bag Challenge, here's my spreadsheet thus far:

I'm stunned by how much progress I've made. Actually, I'm going through a lot of my fragrance vials before they're even "scheduled" to be tested; I might pull another three for this coming week. I have been pulling some tough scents, though, for this exceptionally hot and sticky September, so I'll likely get back on schedule soon.

It's amazing how easy it is to make decisions on fragrances when you force yourself to wear them, then ask, "Do I truly love this and will I wear it often?" In many cases, I've liked the smell,  but not enough to wear it frequently, or I wouldn't purchase a full bottle, or it just isn't right on me. Dame Perfumery Black Flower Mexican Flower is a perfect example: it's a fantastic vanilla scent, and I love it in the air and on other people, but on me, it goes a bit rubbery and sour. Wishful thinking isn't going to make it smell better on me, y'know?

So that's the update! How are your project pans, beauty roulettes, and product challenges going?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Recent Disappointing Products

My beauty life tends to go in phases: either I'm trying a bunch of new products and I really like almost every one of them, or I'm trying a bunch of products and they're all utter crap. August was unfortunately another month full of not-so-good stuff, and to be honest, most of it was so "meh" to me that I didn't even have the patience to write full, exhaustive reviews for every one of them. Instead, I thought I'd do another disappointing products post! These are all products that would rank at 2 out of 5 or less in a full review.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo -- I normally use drugstore dry shampoos, but I heard so many good things about the Living Proof option that I decided to give it a shot. Although the travel size is almost double what I usually pay for dry shampoo ($12 for 1.8oz), I got at least 10 good uses out of this bottle. And this dry shampoo does something pretty impressive: instead of just making your hair less oily and more textured, it actually makes your hair feel cleaner to the touch. My praise stops there, though, because it certainly doesn't make my hair look cleaner. I've used a lot of dry shampoos, but none of them has left this much white residue in my hair. And it's resilient residue, too: I've restyled my hair two or three times in a row after using the PhD Dry Shampoo, brushing it all the way through every time, and I'll still find massive white flakes all through my hair. I'm glad to be done with this junk.

Lit Cosmetics Clearly Liquid Glitter Base -- As a glitter primer, this stuff is hard to beat. Unlike other options on the market, it's completely weightless and not sticky in the slightest--it feels like water going on your lids. Yet it holds your glitter on all  night and is easy to remove when you get home. My beef with this product is that it seems to go bad so damn quickly. I'm on my second bottle in two years, and it's already taken on a weird, jaundiced yellow color and a rank smell. I thought I was having some bad luck, but a few of my friends who wear glitter far more often have mentioned that their bottles also start to go off after 6 months or so. It's still the best glitter primer on the market, in my opinion, but I wish it lasted longer.

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Cream -- I'm rarely impressed by eye creams, but I still think they're fun to try, so I was excited to see this pop up in my Sephora Play! box. After using it for about 2 weeks, however, I had to give this Caudalie cream the axe. I began noticing clogged pores around the outer portion of my eye, where I pretty much never break out; as soon as I stopped using this eye cream, they began to fade. It's not like this did much for my eyes when I was using it, honestly--it has a lightweight texture and is soothing and moisturizing, but so are a lot of other eye creams. Save your $62.

Namaste freshly applied (top) and after 4 hours (bottom). The lipliner is NYX Nude Pink.

Tarte Tarteist Cream Matte Lip Paint in Namaste -- I got this deluxe sample with a Sephora coupon code much earlier this summer, but because I'm always trying to space out my new products, I didn't try it until the fall semester rolled around. I understand why these are so popular, to be honest: they contain massive amounts of silicone, which makes the formula weightless and very smooth. It almost feels weird to spread this on my lips because it reminds me so much of a face primer. The color is gorgeous, too, especially with a bit of lipliner around the edges to add depth and warmth. Unfortunately, this formula emphasized dry patches and, to a lesser extent, fine lines. It dried out my mouth within an hour and began to smear and fade after three or four hours. There are much, much better matte liquid lipsticks available at this price point.

MAC Satin Lipstick in Twig -- This lipstick shade is apparently all the rage right now, probably because it's the sort of mauve shade one of the Kardashians is wearing. (Kylie? Kendall? I'm having trouble "keeping up" with them.) I love MAC lipsticks and usually have zero problems with the Satins, but this one was really dry on me and totally parched my lips. I also found that the shade was completely unflattering on me. It turned damn near gray on my mouth and made me look dull and washed out. The shade issue is certainly dependent on skintone, but again, the formula left something to be desired as well.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

This Is Why I Don't Do Tutorials - The Sequel

Another delightful video of me slapping on my makeup while I ramble about CRISPR and rude bus passengers.

BeautyBlender sponge
Buxom Show Some Skin foundation in Tickle the Ivory
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly
Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Radiant
Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner
Milk Makeup Ubame mascara
Stila Convertible Color in Lilium
Glossier Haloscope in Quartz
MAC lipstick in Faux
Kevyn Aucoin Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Minimal