Product Review: Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation

review, beauty, drugstore, makeup

I’ve spent the last couple weeks putting Covergirl’s Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation through its paces. This foundation has been making some serious rounds over the last few months, I’ve seen it pop up on beauty vlogs and blogs left, right and center. Between the rave reviews; full coverage, long-wearing formula; and the built-in primer I  was utterly powerless to resist.

PACKAGING

Major props to Covergirl on this one: the glass bottle is sleek and compact with….drumroll please….A PUMP. Honestly, I’m not sure why there are any foundations in existence that come without one (I’m looking at you Revlon ColorStay).

SHADE RANGE

The foundation comes in an impressive 14 shades that range from the super fair Ivory to the dark Soft Sable. As is the case with most drugstore foundation lines, the warm undertones outweigh the cool but there seems to be a shade for most everyone. Something important to note is that this foundation does oxidize: the formula turns slightly darker and warmer as it settles on the skin. True Ivory, for example, is a great match for my skin in the bottle but ultimately is slightly too yellow-toned post application.

FORMULA/FINISH

This is where this foundation truly shines. For starters, having a primer built in is pretty amazeballs. Anything that subtracts a step from my morning routine gets a gold star from me. The broad spectrum SPF 20 earns another gold star although it means you might wanna give this foundation  a miss for nighttime due to potential flashback. I also loved that this product is utterly scent free, there’s nothing worse than lathering your face up with something that smells like grandma perfume (ColorStay, once again). The formula itself is fairly thick and while it does have an impressive level of coverage, I did still need to use concealer over any hyper pigmentation. In terms of finish, this foundation is demi-matte – meaning that the finish is matte without looking overly flat or unnatural. I did find that the formula clung slightly to drier patches on my forehead and, as I mentioned above, the color will become noticeably darker as it sets which is a bummer. What really impressed me with this foundation was wear time and oil mitigation. True to their word, Covergirl delivered a foundation which is about as long wearing as they come, even without a primer. I also noticed that this formula kept me matte for hours. To give you an indication of the mind-blowing significance of that statement let me inform you that my skin falls into the extremely oily category; as in, my face has the potential to eliminate US dependence on foreign oil. This is the only non-powder product I’ve ever tried that made any significant impact on my oil levels throughout the day, and for that reason alone, I’m naming Outlast a keeper. Oh, and it doesn’t cause breakouts! Winning for everyone!

APPLICATION

It appears that most bloggers out there favor the beauty blender/sponge method of application for this foundation, but, rebel that I am, I prefer to use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. I find a buffing brush allows me to really work this product into my skin, which is key for achieving a natural finish with heavier formulas.

FINAL VERDICT

While this foundation has definitely earned a permanent spot in my foundation line up, I don’t think I’ll be using it on a day to day basis. Perhaps snagging the correct shade will change my mind but, as of this moment, Outlast has failed at seducing me away from my beloved Urban Decay Naked Skin. While I understand that a heavier formula comes with the territory of any long-wearing foundation, it’s too intense for my daytime look, especially as humid summer draws ever closer. If, however, you’re in the market for an excellent long-wearing, shine-fighting, full-coverage foundation, this is absolutely worth a test.

$9.49/1 fl oz at most drugstores.

 

 

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Product Review: L’Oréal Voluminous Power Volume 24H Mascara

review, beauty, cosmetics, drugstore

Sadly, I’ve got another bummer review for you today, and it’s no April Fool’s joke.

Which is good, or it would be the world’s lamest April Fool’s joke of all time.

On the whole, I think I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to mascara; as long as it’s doing something decent for my lashes, I’ll happily use up the tube. What I can’t stand; however, is a mascara that’s either a major fuss to apply or that gives you super cakey, over-mascaraed looking lashes. L’Oreal’s Voluminous Power Volume mascara unfortunately ticks both those boxes.

Quite frankly, there’s nothing I like about this mascara. I admit that I’ve only been using it for a few days but I’m sorely tempted to just throw it in the trash. (Don’t worry, I won’t. Still poor and everything.) Firstly, the packaging is about as boring as it comes, though that’s definitely not a deal breaker. It’s also conspicuously lacking any reference to L’Oreal, I ended up having to google the formula name to remember what brand it was – seems like shoddy marketing, though maybe they’re distancing themselves? I wouldn’t blame them. As for the wand, it’s fairly standard, full and shaped vaguely like an anorexic peanut.

The true disappointment with this product is the formula, especially when it comes to application. Usually, applying mascara is my favorite part of doing my makeup. It makes a massive difference and is traditionally pretty hard to screw up. L’Oreal has created an exception to that rule, however. For starters, the formula dries incredibly quickly on your lashes, giving you almost no time to work with them. It dries so quickly, in fact, that I work with only one eye at a time, instead of going back and forth between them as I would normally do. The second problem here is that the formula is heavy, making it almost impossible to create nicely separated lashes and giving a final result that is a far cry from natural. I also suspect that this mascara diminished my lashes’ natural curl (I happen to be pretty lucky in that department, no curler needed) so I can’t imagine it would do a good job with lashes that tend towards the straight end of the spectrum. The final straw was that the mascara started flaking almost immediately, and getting mascara bits stuck in my eye is not on my list of most comfortable feelings.

As you can imagine, this product was a total let down. L’Oreal, for the most part, has an excellent offering of drugstore mascaras (Telescopic Shocking Extensions and Voluminous being prime examples) but Power Volume 24 Hour is not one of them.  What puzzled me is that the reviews online are for the most part positive, if not gushing. While there’s a chance I picked up a bad tube, there’s no chance I’ll be picking up a second to test the theory.

Product Review: Rimmel Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara

makeup, cosmetics, drugstore, review, rimmel, benefit, mascara

I’ve long awaited this day – the glorious day I find a bonafide drugstore dupe for Benefit’s BADgal Lash mascara. For years, BADgal has been my go-to for fluttery, daytime lashes. And for years I’ve resented shelling out $19 per tube. Well no more, my friends. Rimmel London’s  Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara just might be usurping BADgal’s throne (and it’s a much more affordable $6.99).

Let’s start with the packaging, it has one of those super thick, chunky tubes which I oddly really like, but can take up more than it’s fair share of real estate in your makeup bag. The tube itself is also very lightweight (not that mascara is traditionally muscle-straining but this one is practically weightless). The brush, like BADgal’s, is oversized and full-bristled, which works beautifully to comb through your lashes.

Now for the the good stuff – what it looks like on. I really love this mascara, my lashes look long, curled and oh so fluttery. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit I love a good daytime mascara; something that doesn’t clump and gives me length and volume without looking like I have a ton of mascara on. One coat will give you beautiful, natural lashes: two will up the volume for something that could transition into nighttime. If you’re into a super glam, full-on mascara look then this isn’t the product for you. If, like me, you sometimes enjoy a softer look, this is definitely worth giving a go. The formula also dries to be fairly flexible, you’re not left with that stiff lash feeling you find with more intense mascaras like Maybelline’s The Rocket or Benefit’s They’re Real.

Now for what you really care about, photographic proof of what the mascara looks like on. You’ll have to excuse the quality, I’m using an iPhone and good light is scarce in an apartment with itty bitty windows.

rimmel london scandaleyes lycra flex, mascara, review, before & after, fotd

Anyone else tried this mascara? From what I’ve heard on Twitter, it’s a real hit or miss product.

Product Review: Maybelline Volum’ Express the Mega Plush Mascara

mascara, drugstore, makeup, beauty, review

When I first spotted this mascara in the drugstore, something about it just called to me. Maybe it was the name, which promised gravity-defying volume; maybe it was the massive, full brush – my favorite kind; or maybe it was the “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century” inspired packaging. Either way, it made the trip home with me and I’ve been swiping it on every day for the last couple of weeks.

The verdict?…..I want to love this mascara, I really do. Let me explain.

It has a gorgeous, fluttery finish that’s soft enough to be worn during the day but has enough impact to transition flawlessly into nighttime. While the name promises mega volume, I found myself more impressed with how long and curly my lashes looked after using this. As Maybelline’s first ever “gel-mousse mascara” it  apparently has 40% less hard waxes to eliminate that brittle, hard lash feeling you normally associate with mascara. While the formula was definitely softer than many other drugstore mascaras, I wouldn’t say the stiff lash feeling is completely conquered.

So, why can’t I love it? Let’s start with the fact that it smudges under my eyes. While the smudging itself is minimal, I never usually have this problem unless a nap or 18 hour day is involved. I also found this mascara hard to get off at the end of the day – surprising given the aforementioned smudging issue. My final problem with this mascara is the patented “Flexor Brush.” While I loved the soft, full bristles, the odd flexibility of the wand itself proved more a hindrance than a help. The wand was so flexible it would bend back instead of combing through my lashes – I would have to chase them all the way back to the lid in attempt to actually coat them with product. I inevitably ended up with little mascara dots decorating my freshly applied eyeshadow, which, especially if you’re vaguely OCD about this type of thing like I am, is infuriating. 

While I will definitely finish this tube and spend an inordinate of time admiring my lashes post-application, I sadly won’t be repurchasing.

Available in waterproof and washable formulas for $7.49 at CVS 

Image credit: Maybelline.com

Product Review: Soap & Glory Super-Colour Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss

makeup, cosmetics, soap & Glory, lipgloss, sephora, review,

Aside from having the world’s longest name for a lip gloss, this little number from Soap & Glory is pretty impressive. I picked this up after hearing a ton of good things about it, though somehow I completely managed to miss the fact it was a lip plumping gloss until I got it home. Reading – I should try it.

While I generally like my makeup pain free, I’ll make an exception this time. The gloss comes in six super wearable shades with a different sweet scent paired with each color. I picked up the shade Baby Doll, which is a pinky nude with a chocolate raspberry scent. The color is fairly sheer and delivers the most beautiful, wearable nude. The gloss itself is very thick, very shiny, and rather sticky, and while the texture was initially a bummer, the trade off was that the gloss lasted for ages on my lips. It doesn’t stay as thick or glossy as right after application but fades gradually, becoming less sticky and more subtle, which I preferred.

Now let’s get serious and talk plumping. Here’s Sephora’s rundown on how this gloss works to give you that coveted bee-stung look:

A single slick of Sexy Mother Pucker™ can fool your lips into looking and feeling fuller. It features SUPERFILL™ microspheres that explode in volume up to 10X when they absorb moisture, and circulation-enhancing LIPSWELL™ natural plant oil infusion to increase blood flow and make lips look almost instantly lusher.

If say, you bought this product without realizing it was a plumping lip gloss, you’d be pretty darn alarmed when you first swipe this across your lips. Again, reading, Erin – try it. This gloss is tingle city, people. It feels like you pissed off hundreds of microscopic bees and they’re focusing their vengeful wrath on your mouth. The most intense sensation fades after a few minutes, however, and you’re left with slightly tingly lips that do indeed look somewhat fuller. Whether this effect is due to the plant oils or the shine power of the gloss is up for debate but the end result is a pretty and plumped pout.

If you’re someone who can’t stand sticky or volumizing glosses, then I’d give this a miss. If, however, you’re willing to trade tingles and stickiness for lasting power and fullness then give this a go. I’d especially recommend the shade Baby Doll – it’s a gorgeous nude that would suit most complexions.

$16/.23 fl oz at Sephora

Image Credit: Sephora.com

Product Review: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

makeup, cosmetics, concealer, sephora, review, under eye concealer, dark circles, highlighting

Everywhere I turn these days, someone is talking about this concealer. It’s achieving the kind of cult status not seen since the launch of the Collection concealer over in the UK. Fortunately for those of us not based in the UK, NARS is readily available from Sephora or any NARS counter.

I decided to try out the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer as a new weapon against my under eye circles. I’d been using the equally cult-status Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit which, while getting the job done, is slightly heavier and more prone to creasing. Deciding it was time for a change, I took myself off to Sephora, picked up the shade “Vanilla,” and set about giving it a thorough test. Having been using this concealer for three months or so, I can attest that it totally lives up to the hype.

The concealer itself comes in ten of the standard NARS shades that run the gamut from super pale (Chantilly) to fairly dark (Cacao). NARS, as always, nailed the packaging with their usual sleek, minimalist design that looks so darn good sitting on the dresser. First thing I noticed while trying this product was how much creamier and smoother this formula is as opposed to the original NARS concealer. The original concealer is slightly drying and can become cakey as you build up coverage. The radiant creamy concealer, however, is super smooth and blends easily into the skin.

As you might have guessed from the word “radiant,” this product is slightly luminizing, which makes it ideal for brightening the under eye area or for highlighting certain areas of the face (i.e. down the center of the nose, the cupid’s bow). I personally use this under my eyes, bringing it up slightly around the inner corners of my eye for a subtle highlight, and around my nose. When used without a setting powder, I’ve found it does crease ever so slightly. With a sweep of powder, however, you’re good to go and crease-free for the rest of the day.

When it comes to concealing acne, this is not the best option, in my opinion. Because it has a subtle radiance, it draws attention to the areas where it’s used, which, especially for large, raised blemishes, is exactly what you want to avoid. If the concealer closely matches your foundation, however, it works well covering minor, non-raised imperfections.

Overall, this is an excellent product. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for a lightweight under eye concealer or a product to subtly highlight the face.

$28/.22oz at Sephora

Image credit: Sephora.com