Saturday, July 23, 2016

How do we feel about this ring light?


I was recently gifted a ring light by the world's loveliest partner (you can meet him here, by the way, if you haven't yet). I had a chance to test it out while my sister was in labor this week, and I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the results. However, I want to get some opinions from my readers before I start using the light for photos.

These pictures I took of my brother-in-law show three different light settings. From left to right, we have no flash (artificial light from the room), traditional/pop-up flash, and the ring light. I usually use both no flash in natural light and the traditional flash to take swatch photos. That being said, you can see that the flash-free photo isn't quite as bright or clear (and I live in a very cloudy part of the US, which can make angling around windows tricky), and the traditional flash photo is a bit washed out. This is why I usually sit far away from the camera and zoom in to take my full-face and wear time photos for reviews. The ring light, however, allows me to get closer to the subject without washing them out, and it gives a more even, natural light.

That said, things might get a little weird as I adjust to using the ring light instead of doing the same thing I've done for the last three-ish years. I also know some people feel like these modified lighting set-ups are a cheat that gives skin an unnaturally smooth, glowly look.

So what do we think: yay or nay on the ring light for blog posts?

Oh, and did I mention that my sister was in labor? Cause I'm an aunt now! :D


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Revisiting the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer


The Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer (I hate writing that damn name) was a long-time love of mine when I was in graduate school, slash, immediately outta there. Obviously, it was a huge bonus that it was fair enough for me out of the tube, plus slightly yellow in undertone and easy to apply with fingers. But my main attraction to the product was the lightweight feel and the all-physical SPF30. When I got rid of my half-full tube, it was only because the sunscreen had expired.

And then I forgot to repurchase it. Whoops.

Three years later, a lot of new foundations are due to come out and my skin is dryer than it was several years ago. I figured this would be a great time to re-test an old favorite. I didn't treat this like a formal review when testing or photographing, so I won't be giving this product an official score, but I hope you'll still find this post helpful!


Let's talk about this BB cream at a base level (ahahahaha!) first. For $36, you get a full ounce of product that's available in four shades, ranging from very light to slightly dark. I'd love a darker shade in this line, especially since it's hard to find a decent physical sunscreen if you're ebony skinned, but I'm overall okay with the price and the base shade range.

What does make me tilt my head is the claim that this is some kind of "treatment." Above are the ingredients plugged in to Cosdna; you can see the two sunscreens at the top and everything else below them, all fitting on one screen. On the one hand, it's great that you can see a full ingredients list on one page. It's short, and there's not a massive amount of irritants here, so if you're sensitive skinned (and not allergic to silicones), this might be a great option for you. That said, there isn't anything on this list that actually treats the skin. Tarte claims that people who used this product felt like their skin was smoother and softer, but that's probably due to the massive amounts of silicone that give this primer its slip, not any actual treatment.

You'll also notice the diamond powder listed on this. In a few of the photos where I'm wearing this product, you can see tiny white flecks on my face: this is most likely the diamond powder shining through. Annoyingly, it's often visible in HD photos, but in standard definition and selfies, it's invisible and adds a soft glow to the skin. Just something to note if you plan on being photographed wearing this.


The coverage on this product is quite sheer, but that makes sense, since it's technically meant to be worn under another product. If you have a powder foundation, for instance, and you want to add some slip and SPF to your skin before applying it, this is your product. That said, I have always worn this product on its own without any major issues. I find that this provides enough coverage to make my face almost match my much paler neck.

As mentioned, the Tarte BB primer has a very silicone-heavy texture, and you can tell when you touch it. It has a powdery sort of feel and it smooths over the skin easily. I find the feeling of silicone-y bases very weird when I'm rubbing them in, but to be honest, it makes this product completely weightless. Wearing this makes me feel like I'm wearing nothing at all, so it's a prime summer option in that respect.


Unfortunately, this product clings a bit to my dry patches, making my skin look extra-flaky. It's not as bad as some foundations, and it's only visible if you're within a foot of my face, slash, photographing me in HD. That said, this BB cream will probably look much worse when it's not so warm and humid out. Also, I have certainly found foundations that don't emphasize my dry skin--there's no real need to cling to this one.


I will note that plenty of Cinema Secrets Moisture Spray softens this product up a good bit, though again, I don't think that will be enough when winter rolls around. And if you are not very dry skinned or very oily, I think you might like this product. In fact, I'd recommend it to people with more balanced skin who are looking for a sheer, light SPF product. It's just not a good fit for my skin these days.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

Before I return this tube to Sephora, here are some comparison swatches! All of these products are roughly the same depth, but have different undertones. NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia has strong yellow undertones, while MAC Full Coverage in NW10 has strong pink undertones. Buxom Show Some Skin in Tickle the Ivory and the Tarte BB in Fair are very similar, but I'd say that the Tarte is a hair more neutral and the Buxom is a little more yellow.

PS: By this time tomorrow, I should  be hanging out with not only my partner, but also my new niece. Again, posts may become sporadic for a while. Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

My Partner's Favorite Fragrances



 

My partner, Kirby, sometimes gives my hair a mighty sniff and tells me I "smell nice," but with the possible exception of Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser, he's never found a perfume he can name or call a true love. So I thought it'd be fun to have him huff some of my 'fumes in a perfume showdown!

FRAGRANCES MENTIONED:
Byredo Black Saffron
PK Perfumes Gold Leather
House of Matriarch Black No. 1 (formerly Blackbird)
Amouage Fate Woman
Thierry Mugler Alien Essence Absolue
Imaginary Authors Memoirs of a Trespasser
Jo Malone Orange Blossom
Dame Perfumery Desert Rose

Psssst: Kirby writes film reviews! Check 'em out here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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



I never thought I'd have enough products to do a brand new Anti-Haul before the summer was out, but somehow, I've managed to find quite a few things that are getting raved about. 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!

1. Jeffree Star Skin Frosts, $29 -- Let's just pretend that all of Jeffree Star's racism, misogyny, and bad behavior are not a factor in this "I'm not gonna buy it" decision. We'll focus on the product itself, which I can do because I borrowed a friend's Ice Cold Skin Frost for comparison. First, I hate this packaging. I get that uber-pink is Jeffree's thing, but these huge plastic compacts just look and feel like Barbie compacts with no heft. The look on the skin isn't my favorite, either, since there's some very obvious glitter that seems to flake all around your face throughout the day. If that's your thing, more power to you, but I like my shimmer to be decently refined and to stay where I put it. Lastly, how likely is it that you'll ever finish this powder?! It's 15 grams of product, which is equivalent to a standard powder foundation. You won't go through this or even hit pan unless you practically bathe in the stuff. Now, I might be okay with "a lot for your money" if this was something a person might buy as their only highlighter, or one of two.  But we know that's not the consumer base for Jeffree Star products--most of the people buying these Skin Frosts already have a few other highlighters.

2. Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint, $42 -- I admit that I've been very critical of Milk and their gimmicks, but I've still given quite a few of their products the ol' college try. With that said, I'm getting pretty tired of the roller ball applicators. They're not very sanitary, and my experience with the Coverage Duo shows that they don't always work properly. The price is also too high for what you get: $42 for 0.7oz of product in a plastic rollerball tube. Really? Really? Most foundations and tinted moisturizers are a full ounce at that price range! As a final note, this is yet another Milk base product that appears to have a very pink-leaning shade range and a lot of oils in the ingredients, so fair warning to anybody who is neutral or yellow and/or sensitive to stuff like coconut and jojoba oil.

3. Overpriced Skin Mists Packed With Potential Irritants -- This particular "I'm not gonna buy it" moment is brought to you by my own skincare philosophies and the fact that I'm kind of cheap, so I totally understand if you disagree with me here. But really, what is with some of these face mists?! The Son and Park offering, for example, is mega-cheap for what you get (that bottle is HUGE), but the ingredients list is the stuff of my nightmares. And there's very little in the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist to warrant the $48 price tag. My biggest disappointment, I think, is that so many supposedly hydrating mists are listing drying alcohols and added fragrance in their ingredients. I think I'll stick with my under-$20-a-bottle, short ingredient list, alcohol-free options.

4. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream, $60 -- I'm totally going to buy this product, actually, but a few things are going to have to happen. Number one, I'm going to have to work up the courage to spend $60 on a skincare product that will likely need repurchased 3 or 4 times a year. $240 a year for moisturizer would be numbing unless the shit makes an angel choir sing on the dewiest, most plump and healthy skin I've ever had. Number two, Drunk Elephant needs to update the packaging. Yes, I  know, my current moisturizer is in a jar, but it's cheap as shit (I never pay more than $5 a tub) and doesn't really contain any "special" ingredients. Drunk Elephant has done such a good job formulating and packaging their other products that the jar packaging for this one is a bit of a disappointment. They're supposedly re-releasing this product with more hygienic packaging, and I won't be dropping $60 until that happens.

5. Sweat Cosmetics -- Okay, so I don't really wear powder and I dislike loose/mineral makeup. This line was doomed from the start. But what really gets me here is this awful brand name. Sweat?! How is that a cool or attractive name for beauty products?! I get that this is a range designed to appeal to athletes, but there are so many more interesting aspects to athleticism that could have inspired this besides sweating. What about vigor, strenuosity, fleet, endurance? What about mythological characters and historical occurrences that are closely tied to athleticism, like Hermes and the Olympics, or modern female athletes like Serena Williams and Tianna Bartoletta? Cripes, even a silly name like "Discus" sounds better than "Sweat."

What do you think--do you agree or disagree with me? What are some products you're not going to buy?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

No Foundation Redux #2: It's Freaking Hot


So it's summer, and I'm getting more and more resistant to wearing makeup. There are times when this is totally fine, like when my partner and I decide to run around in the woods or take long, sweaty walks through the park. But sometimes I miss wearing makeup, slash, I want to look a bit more presentable than usual without feeling like my face is melting off. Hence, makeup without foundation!

Actually, this look features zero base products. I didn't want to wear concealer and my skin was behaving decently (the flush you see here is because I'd taken a half hour walk about 10 minutes prior to photography). I'm wearing a layer of sunscreen all over, that's it. And, I mean...I don't totally hate it. But looking at it in photographs, a bit of concealer or powder on my undereyes and nose would have improved the whole thing.


Beautiful background we've got here, right? Right!

I decided I would actually try a little with the eye makeup to feel less "undone," and the little eyeliner flick really did boost my mood! Priming with Too Faced Shadow Insurance made my liner and mascara damn near sweatproof, though I did smudge a tiny bit at the very end of the day. No shame, though; I'd been out in the heat and humidity for a few hours at that point. Brow pencil is non-negotiable.

I also patted on some Glossier Haloscope in Quartz and Generation G lipstick in Like. I'm torn on Haloscope in this heat: on the one hand, it looks loooooovely. On the other hand, it never completely dries down, so if I scratch my face or accidentally bump it, it just adds to the sticky feeling. Like could've been replaced by a tinted balm, but eh, this was still an eye-centric sort of day.

I calculated how much my look would've cost me last time, so! This one would be about $117, assuming the Milk mascara was a full-size product instead of the sample seen here, and assuming I didn't pay for this Marc Jacobs liner (which, of course, I didn't). Staying around $100 for a look? Not bad!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Moderate Stash: Summer 2016 Inventory


We're having back-to-back Moderate Stash posts, thanks to the season: I worked from home this summer and therefore stared at my makeup for a good 8+ hours a day. It's also the middle of the year, which makes it a great time to review my collection and figure out where I want to be. Because several readers have expressed interest in the Beauty Roulette and Moderate Stash series, I thought this might be an interesting addition!

Also, pardon the towel. No matter how much you vacuum, you're going to want a drop cloth of sorts if you're dealing with a cute little asshole who shakes litter off of her feet and on to your dark carpet. See this specimen for reference:


What a jerk. She's lucky she's cute.

ANYWAY.


I really do recommend spreading all of your products out on a clean towel or blanket as you organize, clean, purge, whatever. It really gives you a perspective on your collection. Spreading all of this stuff out made me realize...holy crap, I don't actually have as much as I thought I did. Here I am, beating myself up, and I've reduced so much over the years!

But I'm still a hair off from my "ideal" stash size. Hence, I decided to do an inventory. :) Here is how much stuff I currently own in each category, plus my projected goals for 2017. I'm actually transcribing this from my notebook, since I generally prefer to keep my panning and purging goals on paper.

To be clear, my goal is not to become a "minimalist" or to continuously hit narrower goals as the months go by. It's to get good use out of the products I love, to think carefully about what I spend on beauty products, and to make sure I don't take up too much room when I eventually move in with my partner. Also, the pile of seemingly unorganized "junk" in the top right corner is separate because I keep that stuff handy, but I don't consider it part of the inventory. It's mostly skincare staples, like hand cream and sunscreen, that I want to be able to grab quickly.

BASE PRODUCTS

PRODUCT CURRENT GOAL
Concealer 2 2
Foundation 5 3
Powder 2 1
Spray/Mist 2 1

I'm fine with having two concealers, especially since I really love the ones I have right now (NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen). Five foundations is a bit much, though, so I'm hoping I can finish at least one (preferably two!) up within the next year. While I like both of my powders (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light and Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation in 50 Ivory) and sprays (Cinema Secrets Moisture Spray and Glossier Soothing Face Mist), I think one of each will more than suit my needs in the long run. Don't be fooled by that mini bottle of MAC Fix+, by the way; I just depotted some of the Cinema Secrets product in to it because it gives such a nice, fine mist.

CHEEK PRODUCTS

PRODUCT CURRENT GOAL
Blushes 10 8
Highlighters 5 3

This was one of the categories that stunned me--I could've sworn I had far more blushes! I really have done a good job of purging over the years. :) Still, ten cream blushes is a lot, especially since I have an entire palette full of cream blushes as well (but that was put in another category). I've also gathered a few too many highlighters and would like to get the number down to three.

EYE PRODUCTS

PRODUCT CURRENT GOAL
Brow Pencil 3 2
Brow Gel 2 1
Mascara 4 2
Single Eyeshadows 8 5
Liquid Eyeshadow 6 5
Liner 3 2
Primer 2 2

I don't think I'll have too many issues reducing my products in this section, but as we all know, I'm not majorly in to eye makeup. The primers section is staying as-is because...well, it's just two basic products: my regular eyeshadow primer (Too Faced Shadow Insurance) and a sticky base for glitter (LIT's glitter adhesive). I figure I'll use up my Colourpop or Milk brow pencil by the end of the year, as well as either the Milani Liquid Eyes liner or the Marc Jacobs Highliner. Several of my eyeshadow singles will most likely be purged and given to my cousin, who is waaaaay more in to them.

The mascaras are the one section where I see a potential problem. All of my current mascaras are sample sized, and I've admitted that I'm addicted to collecting and trying new mascara samples. I dislike one of my currently open tubes, however, and another tube is actually a lash primer that's half empty, so it shouldn't be too difficult to finish what I have now. The issue will be keeping that number down.

LIP PRODUCTS

PRODUCT CURRENT GOAL
Traditional Lipsticks 19 15
Liquid Lipsticks 8 8
Lip Pencils 10 8
Gloss 3 1

Ahhh, my weakness! Honestly, I'd be happy just to see this category stay the same, slash, keep in balance. That being said, I do think I'll be able to finish up a few lipsticks this year if I put my mind to it. I'd really like to move at least one sample lip product out of my collection, as well as make a dent in my Bite lip pencils; as a few people have recently pointed out, Bite's ingredients are all food grade, which often translates to a lower shelf life.

MISCELLANEOUS

PRODUCT CURRENT GOAL
Palettes 2 2
Pigments/Glitters 2 1
Brushes 18 10

The one portion that appalled me here was the brushes: for somebody who generally applies her make up with her fingers, I have a freaking lot of them. This is the one category I'd like to drastically reduce, and in fact, after I finished this inventory, I went through my stash and dropped at least three of said brushes in to my purge box. As for the other categories: I've fine with having my one eyeshadow palette (Urban Decay Book of Shadows II) and my one blush palette (Stila Field of Florals). And while I like having a single "going out" glitter, I do want to break my emotional attachment to the MAC pigment my father bought me years ago and send it off to a more loving home.




When I finished my inventory, I rearranged my products and was stunned when I realized...95% of them fit in to my organizer and my makeup tray (my version of a "weekly makeup basket," aka, products I want to use frequently). I still keep samples and back-ups in a jewelry organizer that hangs on my closet door, but except for a few brushes and a palette, all of my stuff now fits on my desk. Every day, I get closer and closer to my goals! :D

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Three Prize Glossier GIVEAWAY!


This giveaway is open to both the US and Canada.

The winners from my last Glossier giveaway are still waiting for their prizes thanks to the restocking issues. So this time, I decided to learn from my mistakes and just buy the products ahead of time. I really wanted to give away Glossier's newest product, Haloscope...but one shade does not fit all. So I decided to buy both. Then I remembered that Haloscope contains a few oils that some readers cannot use on their skin, so I decided to get an additional prize: two tubes of the newer Balm Dot Com flavors.

So here's the giveaway prizes! You can enter to win one of three prizes:

1. Glossier Haloscope in Quartz
2. Glossier Haloscope in Topaz
3. Glossier Balm Dot Com in Cherry and Rose

Entering is, as always, super-simple: tell me about your go-to summer makeup look. 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.) At the end of your comment, please add a line that says, "I'm entering for ______" so I know which of the three prizes you're trying to win. You must pick one of the three options.

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


  • You must be at least 18 years old and located in the US or Canada 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 August 5th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. I will use Random.com 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 two months 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. This is especially true if you end up being a Canadian winner, because customs = not fun. But they will be sent! :)

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