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: 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: L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions mascara

mascara, L'Oreal, drugstore, makeup, beauty, cosmetics, review, eyes

Mascara is just about my favorite thing to experiment with (excluding pizza toppings and number of times I can hit the snooze button and still make it to work on time). It’s one of the few beauty items that’s just as good, if not better, when purchased from the drugstore. And since I’m someone who uses mascara every day, I tend to run through tubes fairly quickly so cheaper is definitely better. My current favorites are Maybelline’s The Falsies Flared for my top lashes and Clinique’s Bottom Lash Mascara for the lower ones; I promise you can’t go wrong with that combo.

I was feeling adventurous in Target the other week and, instead of buying the usual, ended up getting about four different mascaras I’ve seen popping up across different beauty blogs and YouTube channels. One of these mascaras was the L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions mascara. I was turned on to this mascara by Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup. She’s been vowing her love for this number for as long as I’ve been reading so I thought it was high time to give it a go. To be 100% honest, Anna loves the L’Oreal Telescopic mascara in waterproof but I’m entirely too lazy to deal with waterproof makeup at the end of the day so I went with the shocking extensions non-waterproof one instead.

So, did it live up to the hype? Pretty much. The want itself is tiny, really thin, and plastic with short bristles and a shape that’s vaguely reminiscent of an anorexic peanut. I’m a sucker for a big, thick bristled brush so I was a bit leery before the first swipe. Don’t be fooled, however, this little wand packs some serious punch in the glamour department. The thin shape allows you to get right in close to the root of your lashes and the stiff bristles do a pretty decent job of separating and coating them as you pull up. The peanuty shape helps give your lashes curl and the formula gives you a bold look with one swipe. That being said, this is not a mascara for girls (or boys) who prefer a more natural lash look. Yes, you get glamorous, wow lashes but no one’s going to think you roll out of bed with those beauties. I also find it’s hard to get truly separated, fluttery lashes with this mascara. I find I usually have to go in with a eyelash comb after the second coat to remove some of the excess mascara and separate a few lashes that are threatening to clump.

I’ve had no issues with the mascara flaking or smearing during the day but I have noticed it’s a chore to get off. Even after using my Emma Hardie cleanser and following up with eye makeup remover, I couldn’t get it all. I ended up going to bed with some left on for fear I’d pull out my eyelashes if I tried any longer. It did come completely off in the shower the next morning though, not even a trace of raccoon eyes! It may be easier with a more heavy duty makeup remover but I didn’t have one to test the theory.

Overall, I’m impressed with this mascara, I’d keep it around for a night out or days I want my eyes to have some real oomph. This would be an awesome choice for people who really like to emphasize their eyelashes and aren’t too fussed about keeping things natural.

This was $7.99 at Target but you can find it at most drugstores.

Image credit: womansday.com

Seven Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag

makeup, cosmetics, beauty, tag, seven sins of beauty

1. GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?

The most inexpensive beauty products I own definitely come from elf (their products average $1-$3) BUT I’m going to give you a product that I use regularly. The Ardell Brow Sculpting Gel is a clear gel I use to hold my unruly eyebrow hairs in place – the best part: It’s pretty cheap ($6.49). Before this I used the Anastasia Brow Gel in Clear ($22) and I haven’t seen much difference between the two. If anything, I like the brush of the Ardell one better, it’s slightly smaller which allows for greater control. I will say the packaging is very cheap looking but at $6 I didn’t expect anything fancy. It’s not an AMAZING product but it’s as good as any I’ve tried and it saves me money – counts as a win in my book.

2. WRATH: What beauty product do you have a love/hate relationship with? What product has been the hardest to get?

emma hardie, skin care, beauty, cosmetics, oily skin, tag, skin care routine

Hmm this would have to be Maybelline’s Volum’ Express The Rocket Lash mascara. I go back and forth with this product. Sometimes I really like it and sometimes I think it’s getting a one-way ticket to the trash can. The first coat looks great – it does an amazing job of defining and coating each lash, its stiff bristle wand is merciless when it comes to separation. The second coat is where I have issues. The lashes look really coated and fake and lose some of their natural curl. I keep wanting to love it and I hate the idea of throwing money away so I’ve experimented with different ways of applying it. Currently I’m using it to do my first coat and then layering it with Maybelline The Falsies Flared for my second coat. The Rocket Lash gives me separation and definition while the Falsies Flared gives me curl and volume without making my eyelashes look coated with mascara. Power couple. As for what product has been the hardest to get, that would have to be my Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. This is hands down the loveliest cleanser I’ve ever used. It melts into your skin and takes off all your makeup, even eye makeup in one step. It cleans your skin beautifully without being the slightest bit drying. The one downside is that it’s ridiculously difficult to get your hands on, especially here in the states.

3. GLUTTONY: What’s your most delicious beauty product?

This one’s easy, my Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia cologne. I’ve had it for about two months and my obsession has yet to diminish. It’s absolutely the most delicious, summery fragrance – I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been tempted to sneak a taste. It’s fruity and sweet without being saccharine; there’s just enough of a floral note to cut the sugary scent and it gives the fragrance a more mature tone than your average fruity body spray. It doesn’t have the greatest staying power but I managed to snag a sample of the cologne too and carry it around with me for touch-ups or sporadic moments of weakness. I realize Jo Malone is a wee bit pricey but in this case it’s worth it – this scent has earned a permanent spot in my perfume line up.
4. SLOTH: What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?

beauty, tag, cosmetics, skin care, lips, balm, salve

I’d have to go with lip products on this one. I’m a lip balm girl all the way (current faves are EOS summer fruits and Smith’s Rosebud Salve). For some reason I feel that adding a lip takes my makeup over the edge from more natural to a real made-up look, but  maybe I’m just working my way up to bold lips. If I’m honest though, I mostly stick to lip balm because it’s easy – no touch ups, no matching, no worries.

5. PRIDE: What beauty product gives you the most self-confidence?

I’m going to have to cheat a little on this one. Since I have problematic skin, I steer clear of mirrors and/or the public when I don’t have a base on. I guess this makes my Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation the numero uno confidence booster. A very close second (maybe even confidence booster 1.5) is my Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencil in gray. My eyebrows sort of give up the plot halfway across my eye so filling in my eyebrows makes a massive difference for me. I personally think properly shaped eyebrows are the single biggest way to impact your look so going around with two half eyebrows isn’t the greatest for my confidence levels.

6. LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in the opposite sex?

Since this is a beauty tag, I’m kind of assuming this is about appearance but so you all don’t think I’m a superficial twit I’m throwing in some personality things as well. For the physical check list I love a good head of hair and some solid eyebrows. Does anyone else notice guys’ eyebrows or is this a result of my deeply rooted eyebrow insecurity? I also like a nice jaw line – can’t go wrong with that. Going beneath surface level, I go for confidence, kindness, intelligence, and a great sense of humor.

Well, that’s my Match.com profile written.

7. ENVY: What items would you most like to receive as a gift?

beauty, cosmetics, fragrance, cologne, perfume, tag

I’ve been lusting after the Escentual Molecules “Molecule 01” fragrance for a while now. It’s a fragrance with only one base note scent (most perfumes have a whole handful) that reacts with your body’s natural pheromones to produce a completely custom, irresistible fragrance. How amazing does that sound?? It’s also interesting because most people can’t actually smell it on themselves, they only get the occasional whiff when the breeze changes or when they catch it lingering on clothing. Other people, however, are apparently drawn to it like those crazy women in the Axe commercials. The perfume has rave, sometimes hilarious, reviews and seems like it would really fun to try. The problem is it’s a tad hard to get hold of in the states and its VERY pricey. If you have a rather large amount of disposable income I think it would make an awesome gift – it’s a unisex scent too!

Image credits: allwomensweekend.com, emmahardie.com, vogue.com cultbeauty.co.uk