When Bad Packaging happens to good products – Revlon Brow Fantasy

I’ve bought the Revlon Brow Fantasy over and over again, but I’ve decided to put an end to the madness.

The product itself is pretty great. The range carries a dark brown with grey undertones (no red undertones, hallelujah!)  that is perfect for my dark brown brows.

The pencil is a dryer formula so it doesn’t make your brows shiny and waxy which is also another plus.

The tinted brow gel on the other end of the product is also pretty decent, although not as fab as the pencil.

It is perfect to just groom your brows into place with just the lightest bit of colour for a natural brow. It does have a tendency to apply a bit too much product sometimes, but nothing too crazy.

1648084But.. the packaging is a mess.

The cap on the pencil side of this product never stays on! As a result, the tip of my pencil always breaks off inside my makeup drawers or bag when the products are shuffled around.

In the end I spend more time looking for the cap and bemoaning the loss of sharpness to the pencil than I do actually using the product. Which is a shame.

Will I repurchase: I’ve decided to let this one go. Their are other better alternatives that won’t give me so much hassle.

See you on the next post.

P.S What are you using on your brows these days? Right now I’m using a combination of gel products and powders on my brows.

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Posted in Make Up

Fundamentals of Skin Care – Serums.

So we’re back. Finally. I know, it’s been a minute since we visited this series so feel free to get up to speed on the previous posts.

So far we have covered:

The Principles

Cleansers

Moisturisers

Toners

Serums have been some of my biggest game changers in my skin care regime. They deliver results quickly, primarily due to the high concentration of active ingredients.

In terms of texture, think thicker than  liquid toners but much lighter than moisturizers. For that reason they are the step that sits between the toners and the moisturisers. If you put your serum over your moisturiser it will have a difficult time penetrating your skin.

The beauty of the serum is that the active ingredients tend to be super concentrated! Since they are super concentrated, very little of the serum is needed to see results on the skin. Literally 2 – 3 drops is the general prescription when using serums.

The concentration of the active ingredients in the serums also means that they are generally more expensive as well. I suspect this is why there aren’t many serums at the drugstore. supermarket price range. Isn’t that just how life is though? 😦

However if you have any one particularly problematic area I definitely recommend making a serum a staple in your skin care routine.

As with all of the other skin care steps that I have mentioned, serums can address all types of specific concerns such as, hyper pigmentation, dry skin, textured skin, acne , anti aging and all variations in between and beyond. 1869_med_34171

When looking for a serum to address your skin concerns consider the following ingredients – All products recommended are available in Barbados.

Textured/ Acne Prone Skin – Serums high in Alpha Hydroxy Acids

My recommendation: Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate available at PureSource Barbados (Surprise Surprise check out the review here!

Anti aging / Wrinkles – Serums with Retinol and Retinol derivatives

My Recommendation – Ren Bio Retinoid Anti Aging Concentrate.images-5

Sallow skin/ Hyperpigmentation – Serums high in Vitamin C

My Recommendations MAC Prep and Prime Brightening Serum and Ren Radiance Perfecting Serum

Dry Skin – Serums high in Hyaluronic Acid –

_8074193My Recommendation – Estee Lauder Night Repair Recovery complex II (available in Cave Shepherd)

Many of these recommendations and serums in general are multipurpose and can give you multiple benefits in one formulation. I say choose one serum based on your biggest concern and stick with that one for the duration. Especially when you consider how pricey this skin care can get.

See you on the next post.

P.S What serums are you using? I’m interested in your recommendations. Let me know your recommendations down below.

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Posted in Skin Care

Olay Dew Over Hydrating Gel Moisturiser – Definite Dew Over

wpid-img_20150404_200638081_1.jpgWhen I bought the Olay DewOver Hydrating Gel, I really dismissed it as just another light weight moisturiser to use on my oily skin. Then over the months I found myself reaching for this product over and over again. By and large it became my moisturiser of choice over any others in my considerable stash. I had somehow just integrated it into my preferred morning routine with out any conscious thought. It was only when I started to see the bottom of the container that I started to ponder why I was reaching for this product over and over again. Olay says :images-2

Formulated with a powder, it absorbs quickly and makes skin look less Oily. And it’s infused with the essence of honeysuckle and white tea, leaving you feeling invigorated and energized.Add it to your skin care routine for long-lasting hydration.

Well  I gotta admit it’s refreshing to use a product that delivers on its promises. The Hydrating gel delivers a cooling sensation to the skin that I not only enjoy but revel in!

When you live in humid climates like I do, products that provide a a cooling burst are welcome!

In addition it is a light weight formula that I enjoy layering with my sunscreen for that extra something- something on my skin.

While I wouldnt say It mattifies my skin, the formula is just light enough to play well with my oily skin with out adding to the oil product.

I’m adding this to  my favourite moisturisers list. Olay isn’t the cheapest of the Supermarket brands available to us but, the price point definitely beats having to deal with department store prices.

This is a definite repurchase (Once I work my way through some of the rest of this stash)

See you on the next post.

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Posted in Skin Care

Philosophy Resurface the Dual phase Micro Delivery Peel

Since I’ve been turned on to at home peel treatments by Ren , I’ve been trying to broaden my perspective and check out a number of other at home treatments.

I picked up the Philosophy Resurface Dual Phase Micro Delivery Peel from Cave Shepherd when they were having one of their sales last year.

images-4The first phase comprises of a fruity smelling vitamin C/ peptide crystals, which you massage into your face initially. You then add the step 2 which is the lactic  and salycylic acid activating gel.

Essentially what you have then is the effect of manual exfoliation (aka scrubbing) combined with the benefits of the acid peels on your skin.

Philosophy indicates that once the activating gel is added to the crystals on your face you should feel a warming sensation and see some foam. Oddly enough I start to feel the warming sensation immediately after I put the vitamin C formula on to my face and I experience very little foam. I don’t have sensitive skin so it isn’t particularly unpleasant however if you skin is sensitive, keep it in mind.

None of these deviations from their descriptions seem to hamper the efficacy of this product though. My skin was definitely smoother and my pores were more clear.

Personally I find the two step process a bit much when I can get the same results from other products like my Ren Glycolactic peel.

Although I compare it to my Ren Glycolactic Peel, (because they should provide similar results), they are quite different in formulation. Ren GLycolactic Peel also includes enzymes to the process where Philosophy has included a (harsher) scrub component to their formulation.

Would I repurchase? Probably not. I get the same or better results from other one step chemical exfoliators and the price point of this product is comparable to similar products (read: not cheap) which means that I won’t be swayed by the price either.

Who would I recommend it for: Those persons who love a good scrub and still want the efficacy of a chemical scrub.

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Posted in Skin Care

When Bad Packaging happens to good Products – Milani Antifeathering Lip liner

The formula on the Milani Antifeathering Lip liner is awesome.

It’s formula is neither moisturizing nor drying, and provides you with the slightly tacky finish which grips lip colours and gives you an easier application for your dryer lipsticks. I’m looking at you mattes)

It primes my lips, and extends the life of my lipstick color.

It helps prevent the ‘traveling’ feathering of my lip color outside of my lip line.

It’s transparent, so it’s suitable for every skin tone.

The price is right at approximately $10 -15 BBD across the island. (which is fantastic when you consider the only other comparable product that is easily accessible on island is MAC lip primer, at around 45 BBD).

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BUT and this is a big but.. the packaging is pretty sucky!

Milani decided to package this in a pencil format, which means you have to sharpen it to get to the product and this is where things go awry.

Because the primer is a soft creamy consistency, once you sharpen the product to a point and begin to apply to the lips, it breaks off before you can cover the lip… each and every single time!

So much so I just break it off myself, and go ahead and rub it in with my finger rather than waiting for it to break on it’s own.

In summary: Great product, but I wish Milani would change the packaging.

Would I repurchase? Probably, the price point is pretty unbeatable at this stage. (I’ll probably continue to complain though)

See you next post!

Posted in Random

How to get the most out of your manicure. – Reader’s question

Dear BajanBeautyBlogger

How do you get your your nail colour and manicure to last? My nail polish doesn’t last more than a day!

Regards Nearly Nailed

Dear Nearly Nailed

How long your manicure lasts depends a lot on how often and how you use your nails,, but I do think there are some fairly solid tips that can help you get the most out of your manicure.

1- Clean your nails.Chip Skip

One of the most basic reasons for fast chipping of nail polishes, is that nails still have oils from skin or hand products when you begin your manicure. You can also rub alcohol over the nail, or acetone The easiest thing to do is to wash and dry your hands with your general every day hand soap before you polish your nails.You can also rub alcohol over the nail, or pure acetone to remove any excess residue from the nails. OPI also makes a product called CHIP SKIP (available at Bio Beauty, Cave Shepherd and Mosaic) . It is NOT a base coat, just a formula to dehydrate the surface of the nails so that any excess oils are moisture are discarded.  Just in case you want to be fancy. Butter London Foundation

2. All about that base! (no trouble??

You need a base coat. And to be frank you don’t need just any kind of base coat, you need a matte, rubberized or sticky base coat. Orly Bonder The ‘glossy’ base coats don’t grip your nail colours and can sometimes make the colours a little more streaky. Matte or sticky base coats grip your polish and help them stay for much longer. I’ve tried a number of them. Including the Orly Rubberized base coat (available at IMarts across BarbaCND Stickeydos ) which I reviewed here . Some others that are worth checking out are the CND Sticky Base Coat (available at Bio Beauty, Coconut Walk), Butter London Foundation Base Coat (Available at Urban Corner, Lanterns), and Nail Tek Foundation ii (also available at Bio Beauty). imagesI’ve tried and I like all of these. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do full reviews of each but they are all good and I rotate them for slightly different reasons.

3. Thinner is better! when it comes to nail lacquer

Apply your nail polish in thin coats to your nail. I find that when you apply thicker layers to the nail they don’t dry thoroughly right down to the base. So you are better off layering thinly onto the nail polish with a few minutes drying time between the 2-3 layers to allow for full drying and full opacity of the colours. I’m not a big fan of polishes that need a million coats to be opaque, unless the colour is specifically marketed to be sheer. So how long this particular step takes may depend significantly on the quality of your polish. I don’t have a lot of nail polish reviews on my blog but you can find the ones I do have here.

4. Dry it quickly.

I no longer use anything besides quick drying top coats. I need my nails to be ready as soon as possible in order for me to get down to the business of normal life. Seche ViteMy absolute favourite quick drying top coat is the Seche Vite Nail Lacquer. Check out my double take review here . Once you read the review you will see that Seche Vite isn’t for everyone so while it is the fast drying, glossiest top coat I have ever tried, here are some other options that I have had pretty decent experiences with: Out the Door top coat (available from Bio Beauty ) Orly In a Snap (available from IMart).  Of the 3 (three) Orly In a Snap had the slowest drying time but still much faster than your normal nail polish top coat, ORLY in a SNAP My nail laOut The Door Top Coatcquer normally lasts between 4-5 days with some chip wear when I follow these steps and sometimes more.

Below you can see my current nail polish which is currently 4 days old, that included hiking, washing dishes, preparing meals and other general day-to-day stuff like baths and hand washing etc. You can see some tip wear (index finger), but in general they are decent enough shape to go another 2 or three days. image

Thanks  for joining me on my day 2 of recompense.

Check out yesterday’s post on my recent empties, including video! here.

See you tomorrow 🙂

PS. Tomorrows post is on my current favorite moisturizer that snuck its way into my heart and onto my oily skin.

Posted in Random

March 2015 – Empties Video and 10 days of recompense

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, with out a dope beat to step to.. – Timbaland

It’s been a month of Fridays since I last blogged. I kept revisiting my posts and feeling dissatisfied.

However I’ve revamped a number of blogposts and I’m prepared to extend an olive branch, in the hopes that my readers will not forsake me forever and ever. Relationships are about understanding right?

So I offer you…  10 days of content, back to back, to back to back to back, to back….. you get the idea.

So here is the first. I’m reviving the YouTube Channel. Check it out. Comment. Rate Subscribe and all that good stuff.

Our first Empties video where I talk about the beauty products that are going to go in my trash!

See you tomorrow!

P.S. Tomorrow’s post is how to make your manicure and nail colour, last more than a minute.

Posted in Random

How do you apply your foundation/ base? Fingers, brush or sponge.

Everyone has a theory on the best way to apply your foundation to get the perfect ‘flawless’ base. I love the tools I use to apply my makeup almost as much as I like the makeup itself. Or maybe more, my love for makeup brushes may be unparallelled. Every method has its advantages and disadvantages and I rotate between each method based on my mood and circumstances.

  • Fingers

Fingers are probably my least favourite method and therefore my least used. However it has to be one of the easiest and most convenient ways of applying your foundation. It is super easy to blend liquid and cream foundations with your fingers and pat the base into those hard to reach areas like the crease of the nose and the under eye area. My personal issue with using my fingers is I don’t like getting my fingers ‘ dirty’ and having to wash my hands before and after I apply my foundation. I also feel like my natural sweat  changes the texture of my foundation just a little. Still, You can’t beat fingers for cost effectiveness and ease of use though.

  • Sponges

wpid-20150219_145437_1.jpgThere has been a relatively recent upsurge in interests in sponges with the entrance of the beauty blender to the market.  I also use the traditional style disposable wedges every so often. What I love about the disposable wedge, that it fits very easily into the little contours of the face and I can toss it at the end. No washing of the sponge necessary. I find they do soak up quite a lot of your foundation though and you end up using quite a bit of foundation if you aren’t very careful.  (disposable wedge pictured in white).

Beauty Blender sponges and their related dupes have been a really hard sell for me. These sponges are designed to be used wet.  I find that though they don’t soak as much foundation as my disposable wedges, they do definitely do soak up more foundation than my better brushes. I also tend to get a very full coverage with these sponges, as well, which depending on the person could be a good thng, but I sometimes prefer a lighter coverage. The beauty blender is also advertised as being ideal for powders as well. I haven’t found this to be the case, I’ve tried it with a number of setting powders and I found that it gives me an uneven coverage when used wet (like it is designed to be used). The main difference I have found between the beauty blender sponges (pink and black ) and the studio basics dupe that I own is that  the dupe is definitely much more firm and doesn’t expand as large as the beauty blenders. There is one negative to the soft texture of the beauty blender though, both of my beauty blenders have torn very easily while the studio basics dupe remains in tact… One of the best thing about the beauty blender type sponges is that their shape, with the round portions and pointed tip help to blend and apply foundation to hard to reach places easily. They aren’t disposable though and need to be cleaned periodically. Original beauty blenders are quite expensive as well.

  • Brushes

Brushes are easily my preferred method for applying foundations but all brushes aren’t created equal.wpid-20150219_145528_1.jpg

Traditional Foundation brushes are created something like a paint brush allowing you to literally pain foundation on to your face. This technique leads to streaks for many people. What I do to minimize streaks is to turn my brush on to the flat side and pat out the streaks as I apply the product. Pictured are the Revlon foundation brush, the MAC 191 and the real techniques angled foundation brush. I prefer both the MAC 191 and the real techniques brushes for the more liquid foundations since they are thinner than your average foundation brush and soak up less product. The real techniques brush’s angle is great for getting into the smaller creases of my face as well.wpid-img_20150219_155408257_1.jpg

Another type of foundation brush is the flat top brush. Pictured are the MAC 130,  the black up flat top brush, the MAC 187 and the ELF powder brush (from left to right). The Mac 130, the elf brush and the black up are perfect for buffing in your foundation and getting a very evenly blended look very quickly. These type of brushes do soak up more foundation that the traditional flat foundation brushes but also are more able combining the blending your foundation.

I did a review of the ELF studio line Powder brush here on the blog. It’s named a powder brush but even ELF notes that you can use this for all types of foundation.

The MAC 187 is pictured here but I actually use it in a very different manner. Instead of applying and buffing I use it to stipple my foundation on to my face. The kind of bouncing motion with the flat head of the brush gives you great coverage that also looks very natural.

Powder Brushes- Traditional and Kabuki Brushes

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Revlon Powder Brush

Macmini181kabuki

MAC 180 – Kabuki brush

While these brushes are definitely designed for use with powder foundation, occasionally I have used them with liquids or creams with good effect. It isn’t something I recommend doing frequently because many times using a liquid or cream will result in these brushes shedding like a beast!

If you want to get the most out of your powder foundations though, like the MAC Mineralized Skinfinish powder, Kabuki brushes like the MAC 180 are the brushes for you. They give you the fullest coverage that is possible from powders.

So what’s your choice? Fingers, Sponge or Brush?

Let me know which one and let me know why in the comments.

Fingers, brush or sponge?

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Posted in Random

Brown girl in search of the perfect nude – MAC Lipglass in Love Child

If you’re looking for a no fuss, low maintenance nude lipgloss, this lipglass from MAC could be for you.MA_12269835._mac-lipglass-lovechild-48g-017-us-oz

The MAC description of this gloss is ‘ a coppered plum’  but for me this is more of  a pink/ mauve base with some very subtle glitter.  The glitter in this product isnt prominent when it’s on the lips and only acts to intensify the very shiney finish of the product.

 

wpid-20150213_111913.jpg  This lipgloss is super hard to capture on camera for me. Part of the reason for this is that this lipgloss mimics  the rosey undertones of my lips. So this is literally the ‘my lips but better’ lip gloss for my pigmented lips.  I never feel the need to add a lip liner to this gloss because it is just that easy to wear!

While this gloss mimics the rosey tones of my pigmented top lip, it also does an awesome job of muting the depth of the pigment as well making a really sweet, soft muted pinky nude on my lips.
One of the problems for brown girls, is that if we select a nude that is too orange or yellow based or even neutral we can end up looking all types of ashy and casket fresh so pink based nudes tend to give us the look with out anyone needing to call the undertaker.

The gloss won’t give you 100% opacity on the lips but it will give you a great decent wash of colour over the lips.

Like all MAC glosses and lipsticks, it does have a slight vanilla scent. I’m not sensitive to the scent but I know it won’t be every one’s cup of tea.

wpid-20150213_112012.jpgIt is also a  thicker lipgloss, which I like because I find I get a very decent lasting power from thicker glosses.

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I’m somewhere around a MAC studio Fix Fluid NC50 and a Black up FLuid foundation no 6 though, so maybe if you are darker  you may went to use your favourite brown lip liner to blend this gloss into  your lip line, (MAC’s Chestnut is a decent choice).

I don’t ramp with everything that MAC produces (especially limited edition collections) but when it comes to lip products, MAC is one that I rank highly for providing colours for the full range of colours for humanity.

Bottom line: MAC Love Child is an easy to wear nude gloss for brown girls that have considered nudes when the rainbow is not enough.

 

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Posted in Make Up

MAC ‘s Sin vs Wet n Wild Cherry Bomb and a couple reasons to avoid your malicious macocious aunty

So I was busy trolling the blogs recently for new MAC limited edition releases. Purely from idle curiosity since I no longer buy limited edition makeup.

And I told you why here…

And I realized MAC is repromoting one of their lipsticks from the permanent line called Sin in  their new limited collection called Isabel and Ruben Toledowpid-wp-1423509326296.jpeg

I’ve owned Sin for a while. It’s one  of my go to colours for a deep vamp lip. And quite bite accident I stumbled across a much cheaper dupe in Wet n Wild Cherry Bomb.

Both colors are a deep deep blood red  that have the tendency to pull just a little bit brown on me.

They are both a matte finish which gives you very long lasting wear and have the tendency to suck the moisture from your lips.

Which doesn’t mean there aren’t differences.wpid-wp-1423509310760.jpeg

1. Cherry Bomb wears just a little patchier and with less coverage on my lip than Sin. But only your malicious and bad mind aunty would care about that.

2. Cherry bomb leans just the slightly    bit more burgundy than Sin but again, just avoid that malicious Aunty and you should be fine.

3. Cherry bomb is actually leans a bit more semi matte on initial application than Sin which leans closer to a true matte, but after a couple minutes no one would be able to tell the difference

4. Cherry bomb also moves around on my lip a bit more than sin, so I may find it having migrated just a millimeter out of my lip line. Probably be cause it isn’t quite as matte as sin.

5. And of course cherry bomb is less than 1/3 of the price of Sin in Barbados averaging at around 10-12 BBD dollars compared to MAC’s 36 dollars (if you get it duty free).

Every photo shown here shows the wet n Wild Cherry Bomb on one side of  the mouth and MAC Sin on the other. wpid-img_20150209_082914022.jpg

 

I took mwpid-img_20150209_144621599.jpgultiple photos in different lighting to offer the most complete viewing of the similarities. Bet you can’t tell me which is which?

Bottom line if you were thinking of getting Sin from MAC, Wet n Wild’s Cherry Bomb is a really decent alternative. One might even say it was a dupe!.

Do you own either of these lipsticks?

What were your thoughts?

What do you think? Dupe? or Nah?

I’m not the only one with a malicious macocious aunty right?

P.S. Malicious as used in Bajan dialect means overly inquisitive as does Macocious in Trinidadian dialect.

 

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Posted in Make Up
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