Tag Archives: MAC

TAG: Not Worth the Hype

14 May

Hi ladies! I thought before I debut my super nail polish swatch-a-thon post that I would do a little write up of some products I have tried and just didn’t like or they just didn’t work for me. Most of these products have been endlessly hyped up on blogs and YT everywhere, which is what led me to them in first place.  Please PLEASE understand that the items that made my list didn’t work *for me*, which is not to say that they are necessarily not able to work for others.  Keep in mind that we all have different skin tones and types and that our tastes may be completely different.

Alrighty, then, with that out of the way, I present the products I regret buying, or that were  “not worth the hype” for me.

  1. Benefit Sugarbomb “blush”

Benefit Sugarbomb- Image from Sephora.com

I bought this in April sometime after seeing video after video of how this was someone’s “go to” blush and was their all time favorite and so on and so forth. I just don’t get it. My skintone doesn’t seem too far from those making that claim so why it *barely* showed up on my cheeks, I won’t know. There was absolutely, positively nothing special about this blush for me. So uneventful in fact that I didn’t even manage to take a photo of it and swatches before I took it back to Sephora. I have $3 blushes from ELF that are better than this. I honestly and seriously cannot see how someone of my skintone could ever wear this as a blush. Someone with VERY fair skin could probably do it, and well perhaps. I wouldn’t be so hard on this blush if it weren’t for 2 things: the hype and the price. I would be ok paying may $5-$10 for this blush. But certainly not $28, which is more than MAC, NARS, Tarte, or Sonia Kashuk which make far superior blushes to this one.

Alternative: Benefit Bella Bamba which is my favorite Benefit blush.You can see my review here.

2.  Dior Amber Diamond

Dior Amber Diamond

Ok, I get it. It’s Dior, it’s pretty, it’s soft, the packaging is cute. But this did not give me that “natural” glow that so many people have talked about this giving. It gave me a more subdued  frosty shimmer. It certainly wasn’t ugly on my cheeks, but it wasn’t any better or any different than my Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips, which are around $9 compared to Dior’s $44 price tag. In my opinion, this is worth no more than $15-$20 at best, and the rest is paying for the Dior name. Maybe it’s because I had heard so much about it that when I eventually tried it my expectations were so high that it could never possibly live up to it. Kind of like when I finally watched the movie ‘The Ring’ years ago. Climatic build, huge let down. Whatever the reason, I tried it for two weeks and returned it to Sephora. I am not opposed to some day trying out a different shade if they ever choose to make more. But $44 is an awful lot to spend on a highlighter, so when I do drop that cash it needs to be *Ah-mazing* and this just fell very flat for me.

Alternative: Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Rose Gold which is by far the best highlighter I own, period, end of report. It gives me the natural glow I want, with the cream formula I love. Or, if you are looking for a powder, try the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips–they make several shades and they are a bargain at $9.

3.  MAC Feline Kohl Liner

I had heard that this the THE black eyeliner to have. It was the blackest, and therefore the best. Not true, ladies. I don’t normally have issues with liner staying put for me. I use an eye primer and have several liners that don’t budge all day. I am not kidding you when I say that MAC Feline smudges on me EVERY single time I wear it. I end up looking  like a hot mess in short order with this liner. I don’t know what it is about it that either doesn’t last or doesn’t agree with my skin, but it is quite possibly the worst eyeliner it was ever my misfortune to purchase. Unfortunately I still own it because I didn’t realize how bad it was until several weeks into owning it. Trust me when I say you don’t need to hunt this one down. There are so many others out there that work so much better!

Alternative: Urban Decay 24-7 liner in Perversion is just as black and stays put on me on all day. For a gel liner, try MAC Blacktrack fluidline, which does last on me or Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner which is lovely as well.

4. EOS lip balm spheres

EOS Lip Balm Spheres

At first when I saw these cute little “dumplings” I was oh so excited to try them out. I mean, really, I love the presentation. But unfortunately for me, this were all show, and no substance. They really don’t do anything for moisturizing my lips at all. The red one actually made my lips for more dry than they did prior to using it. I don’t think I will ever purchase another because these two were just so uneventful. Unless they change the formula, these are complete duds.

Alternative: My favorite lip balm/chapstick is my Blistex Medicated lip balm. It soothes, protects, and moisturizes. It’s definitely not as cute as the EOS, but it performs like a star.

5 & 6.  Benefit Benetint and Posietint/ Tarte Cheek Stains

Benetint and Posietint

I am sorry, but these were  just plain bad for me. The Tarte Cheek Stains are equally bad on me. I don’t have them pictured here, but I have quite a few minis that have come in sets and the only one I like is ‘Eco Cheek’.  The Benefit ones have a horrendous taste which immediately rule them out for use on the lips. On the cheeks they don’t blend well and they dry so super fast. The Tarte stains are so sheer that you have to keep swiping and swiping for color. They are sticky and greasy as well. They slip and slide on my skin and never quite feel like they have ‘set’. I actually had to dig through my drawers to find them because they are buried in the abyss–which says something about a product for me when it’s at the bottom and the back of the drawer, ya feel me?

Alternative: I actually enjoy the Stila Crush lip and cheek stains immensely and own a couple of them. I can do a review if you are interested. Not budget friendly, but I enjoy the Beaute Flouron stain as well. The Body Shop made cheek and lip stains last year and I picked up an orange-y one. I am not sure whether they still make that shade or the line at all, but it is very nice.

7. Guerlain Meteorites

Guerlain Meteroites in Beige Chic

Ahh, one of the single most disappointing products ever. When I just entered “make up addict land”  MakeupAlley was the place I found first, because mostly I was looking for plain vanilla swatches. This product was one I saw frequently on there. Girls who had all the shades, loved them etc. So when Sephora (2 years ago?) had a set for sale that included this baby, I snatched it up, full throttle. Actually, this has a bit on sentimental value because I bought it in Vegas 🙂  at the Sephora just outside the Venetian. But upon trying it I could not see what so many others see in this product. The price is outrageously expensive, and again I think this is more “paying for the name” than anything else. I think the price is around $56 for a full size. Are you kidding me? Plus, I really *really* don’t like the smell of them. I would never buy another of these.

Alternative: Physicians Formula Happy Booster Translucent powder gives me the glow I thought I would get with Guerlain. Plus, the smell is 100x better. Better still is the fact that it costs around $11.  🙂

8. Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer

Rimmel Fix & Perfect

I don’t know that this can fall into the category of  “Hype” or not, because I don’t know that I have really heard a lot about it. What I can tell you is that this is a truly awful product (my experience) and I would never recommend this to anyone, especially oily/combination skin ladies. It did nothing in the way of smoothing or making my face feel more ready for foundation in the way of other primers, like my beloved Guerlain (review here). It made my face feel worse and like I had this heavy layer of moisturizer that was quite greasy. It was cheap and performed poorly. I really ought to just throw it away. I just have a problem wasting it. Do you ladies get this way too even if you absolutely hate something? Blech.

Alternative: Certainly loads more expensive, but I love my Guerlain primer. For a more budget friendly option, try Laura Geller Spackle ( I really enjoy this) or Smashbox Photo Finish primers.

9. MAC Nail Polishes

MAC Polishes Mean & Green, Bad Fairy

I can’t say whether it’s MAC’s formula or whether it’s me but these are probably the worst polishes for wear time ever. They chip so easily! It doesn’t matter what kind of top coat or base coat I try, they never last. When OPI, China Glaze and Essie are half the price and last 3 times or 4 times as long there really is no comparison. This is one MAC product I have zero interest in. The colors are gorgeous, but I expect (who knew) to be able to at least get through one day without any wear ‘n’ tear on my nails. Never happens when I wear MAC polishes, which is why I haven’t touched them at all in 2011. <—-not kidding 😦

Well, I suppose I will end with that. Mostly, I have had fairly good if not great experiences with makeup and beauty products. The occasional fail does not stop my quest or my love for trying new things! I think it’s important to remember that beauty is subjective and ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. How about you, what products have you tried that didn’t meet your expectations?


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FOTD with Tarte and Giorgio Armani

27 Apr

It’s the middle of the week, and cloudy yet again. This is seriously the longest streak of gloomy weather ever. Record rain and all of these clouds has made life positively dull. But sun is in the forecast soon! Hooray!

Meanwhile, I took some products for a spin today, and here is what I ended up putting together to brighten this otherwise gloomy day!

Today's FOTD!

Product Rundown:

Face:

Eyes:

  • UD Primer Potion (original)
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #8- Champagne all over lid
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #4- Pulp Fiction Blended into crease, used as liner on upper lashline, blended into outer part of lower lashline
  • Stila Kajal liner in Topaz for waterline
  • UD 24-7 liner in Perversion for tightlining
  • Givenchy Phenomen’eyes Effet mascara in Extension Black
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black

Lips:

  • MAC Naked lip pencil
  • MAC Lovelorn Lipstick
  • EOS lip balm (hate it, but I am trying to use it up!!)

So far, the Eyes to Kill Intense shadows are amazing! I love the pigmentation and consistency of them. Full review coming soon, but I bet in the mean time Khaki Pulse shows up at my doorstep 😉 Also making it’s debut in this FOTD but I have been using for about two weeks now is the Givenchy mascara. This is by far the best mascara I have ever used. It was recommended in a video (several in fact) by GossMakeupArtist on Youtube. Very glad I took the plunge and picked it up. Full review coming on that item as well!

You will notice I mixed several products to make my “foundation” and have been using this same combo for awhile. I really like the oil control the Tarte foundation gives me, but it’s getting to be a bit thick for this time of year. So I add a bit of tinted moisturizer and a bit of highlighter to it and I am set. I spritz my foundation brush once with Fix+ and I really like the effect this gives my foundation and the added longevity it gives my face makeup as a whole.

How have you been changing up your foundation routine? Have you found something that really works for this transition period into summer?

March Favorites!

5 Apr

It’s that time again ladies! The time where we showcase the products we have been loving for the past month. I’m not going to sit and introduce this because the title really is quite self-explanatory! Let’s get to it.

March Favorites!

Shown Above:

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation- Medium
  • MAC Bare Study Paint Pot
  • Bare Minerals Nude Beach e/s
  • Physicians Formula Happy Booster Translucent Powder
  • MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20
  • Tarte Foundation Brush
  • Sonia Kashuk Cheerful lipgloss
  • MAC Oak Lipliner
  • MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick Gotta Dash!
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Tipsy

Swatches L-R (w/flash) Happy Booster Powder, Oak lipliner, Gotta Dash, Cheerful, Tipsy, Nude Beach, Bare Study, Nude Beach over Bare Study, Pro Longwear Concealer

I have been using the Happy Booster Translucent Powder for over a month now. I love the smell, the feel, and slight glow it gives my skin. Oak lipliner is a great liner that I have been under my brights to tone them down a notch for day time or office wear. Gotta Dash is one shade from the new formula launched by MAC in February (I think that’s when it came out). It is such a pretty peachy coral that goes with everything. I have been wearing it over Oak lipliner as well to extend wear time. Cheerful gloss is in the same color family as Gotta Dash, and I LOVE the formula of this gloss. It is not sticky at all, very different formula than I have ever tried. I am not sure what more I can say about Tarte Tipsy than I have already said. You can see my original review here and my follow up dupe comparison here. It is a very lovely blush to have for any skin tone really. Bare Minerals Nude Beach eyeshadow was something I first heard about from Tiffany @ Will Work For Makeup on twitter. Once she tweeted about it, I had to investigate! Then I believe it was a few days later Jessica from Getting Cheeky did a FOTD with it, you can see her post here. It was all downhill after that, as they say. I picked it up right away and fell in love with it. I wore it layered over Bare Study Paint Pot from MAC most often. While in New Orleans, I had my makeup done (not a full face) at a MAC counter and adored the concealer the wonderful MUA used and purchased it on the spot. The Pro Longwear Concealer is perfect for under the eye. NW20 is lighter than my normal concealer shade, so I wouldn’t use this on my face. It is specifically for my under eye area. I typically like a lighter shade of concealer under my eyes, and the MUA there actually recommended going for a lighter than my skin tone color to use under the eyes. This is the first concealer I have used under my eyes THAT DOES NOT CREASE EVER! I don’t even need to set it, and frequently I don’t. It blends well and it my HG under eye concealer.

Swatches without the flash

Tarte Foundation Brush

Lastly, I had to mention this brush. By far, hands down the best brush for foundation it has been my pleasure to try! This came with a QVC set called Tarte 8th World Wonder and is meant to be used with the clay foundation (also shown above) The foundation and the brush are worth the price of the QVC set alone. The clay foundation is perfect for my oily skin. It contains SPF 15 and blends like a dream. I am not going to go too much into detail on this because I have a full review of the set coming up. But I have used this brush and the foundation almost every single day since getting it a month ago. It is so incredibly soft and dense!

That about wraps up my favorites for last month. Feel free to share your favorites below, or your thoughts on the products I mentioned above. Have you tried any of them?

Summer Brights with MAC!

21 Mar

Happy beginning of the week ladies! Monday is officially over, though today was actually a decent Monday, all things considered. The snow is just about fully melted which means spring is finally here! On the heels of springs arrival I am leap-frogging the season entirely. Yes, you read the title right.. summer! I couldn’t wait that long to share these wonderful bright colors from MAC. Super bright colors is all that I have been seeing in magazines, lips-eyes-nails and everything in between is bright!

Without further ado then, I bring you my picks from MAC for this summer trend, which I am totally digging!

MAC Brights L-R: E/s Newly Minted, Chromagraphic Pencil Primary Yellow, Chromaline Process Magenta, Lipstick Cut A Caper

Top-Bottom: Newly Minted, Process Magenta, Primary Yellow, Cut A Caper

I ADORE these bright colors! Newly Minted is a gorgeous, highly pigmented shade (that is one swipe, no base!) and is super soft! This is a PRO color so you will need to visit a PRO store or call the PRO order phone number- U.S.: 1-800-387-6707. Also PRO only right now is the chromagraphic pencil in Primary Yellow. I have been seeing yellow eyeliner on the eyes in several magazines, and I finally caved in to the trend and picked this up. You could substitute MAC’s eyeshadow in Chrome Yellow, but I tried that over my NYX jumbo pencil in Milk, and it isn’t as bright. I also wanted to give Process Magenta a go, after seeing that in yet ANOTHER magazine (I think I need to cancel my subscriptions!) and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun to work with! This Chromaline is currently offered on MACs website (look under Multi-Use). The last item was limited edition with the Tartan Tale collection, but any brighter peachy-coral lipstick will do. This just happens to be one of my favorites!

As a side note, the lasting power on the Chromaline and Chromagraphic pencils is quite awesome. I actually had a tough time removing them!

MAC Cream Colour Bases L-R: Virgin Isle, Madly Magenta, Tickle Me Pink

L-R: Virgin Isle, Madly Magenta, Tickle Me Pink

Ahh, cream colour bases! I actually prefer these to MAC’s cream blushes (I haven’t tried the new formula, so I don’t know how these compare). These are safe for lip and cheek use. Virgin Isle and Madly Magenta are permanent PRO items that were re-promoted in the Stylishly Yours collection a few months back. Tickle Me Pink was part of that collection but was limited edition. My favorite is Virgin Isle, but Madly Magenta is really nice too. They both can add such a bright color to the lips and a more softened color to the cheeks, perfect for sunny days ahead! Tickle Me Pink is a little more difficult to work with, and isn’t a must have. It works better with fairer skin tones, far more fair than myself. But it is a pretty color all the same, and if you can still find this (it isn’t on MAC’s website anymore) and you do have fairer skin throughout the year, I would pick this up for sure!

Those are my picks for summer brights from MAC. Will you be hopping on the bright trend this spring, or sticking with more neutral/bronzey tones? Do share your favorite brights below!