Foundation Routine

Thursday, February 20, 2014

As I mentioned in yesterday's post I ran out of a lot of the same products at the same time. I really needed to replenish my stock, especially in the concealer department (I've been using an ELF concealer that isn't quite what I wanted it to be. I.e. it's pretty bad).

I went to my local Cosmetic Company Store at the outlet mall hoping that they would have the Clinique Acne Solutions. Unfortunately they didn't, which may have been for the best since they seem to have mostly darker shades in stock for the more popular lines. I decided to pick up the Stay Matte ($23/$16.5 at the outlet) in the lightest shade (Linen).

I tend to have a lot of redness, and after reading in countless posts on Gh0stparties that the Revlon Photoready Skinlights ($11) in the shade Bare Light helps reduce redness, I decided to give it a go. I apply this after moisturizing using my fingers. And you know what? Kate was right. It does neutralize the redness beautifully.

Then I grab my blender (discontinued) from Avon, wet it, and apply the Clinique Stay Matte foundation. This and the Skinlights is a fantastic combination, I think. My skin has never looked so natural, and flawless. For the moment I feel as though I've found the holy grail.

Depending on my mood I'll apply my new concealer; Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up in Porcelain ($10), under my eyes. It's not a 100% fix for my dark circles, but it's the best that I've found so far. I really like it, actually. I use an ELF Concealer ($1) brush to apply.

Lastly, if I remember, I grab my Real Techniques brush and apply my Guerlain Meteorites.

All of these products work together really well. It's as if they were made for each other. What products do you have that are like two peas in a pod?

Empties #3

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For some reason all of my products like to run out at the same time. Two foundations, 4 concealers (one not shown. It's gone MIA), and a few things that aren't pictured such as two bottles of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner. One of those months, I suppose. I actually have a few products that are nearing their last leg, so expect another one empties post before summer hits.

I finally managed to use up my Origins Checks and Balances. I loved it from the moment it was used up, and I'm sad to see it go. I do plan on repurchasing it in the future, but right now I think I want to explore Origin's range to see what else they have to offer.

This is my second bottle of the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation. It gives off a lighter coverage, and doesn't do much for the redness in my skin which is actually what I'm focusing on. I think I'm finally going to move on from this product. Fun fact: it was the first foundation I ever tried. The other foundation, Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse, is fantastic. I actually fell in love with it when I pulled it out of my drawer where it had been sitting for several months. It masks some redness, and gives a beautiful finish when I use it with a sponge. I was quite sad to see it go. I definitely plan on repurchasing this again.

I was less than impressed by the Avon Brightening Concealer. Sometimes with these types of products I think they need to take the word "concealer" out since it really doesn't do much concealing. The sponge on the Maybelline Age Rewind didn't concern me when I bought it as much as it does now. It gave decent coverage, but the shade became too dark for me as winter crept in. I'm on the look out for something better. What disappointed me the most about the Loreal True Match concealer is how quickly I ran through it. It worked well, a bit drying, but overall I liked it. I just felt I didn't get my money's worth when all was said and done.

I didn't finish the Mark Lash All You Want, but it just doesn't smell right, so into the trash it goes.

For some reason the Sally Hansen Vita Surge just didn't do it for me. It seems like one of those gimmicky products. I'm interested to see if anyone has actually noticed a difference with it.

Do you run out of the same products at the same time?

Let's Talk About Brands: Essie

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Note: this is only about half of my actual Essie collection
I have been seeing a few posts on brands popping up lately, more specifically Essiebutton and The Small Things Blog. I thought about marrying the two together, and talking specifically about nail polish brands. I actually have been wanting to do this for a while now (ever since I posted my bazaar stereotyping post). No idea why I didn't actually make the posts.

Basically I'm going to give a little bit of history behind the company (just the basics), and then go on about my thoughts on the colors, the company, and information like that. Basically it's going to be a review on the brand.

First brand that I am going to feature is Essie. It's the first brand that I bought when I was getting back into nail polish after throwing out all of my old and dried up bottles. Also it was one of the first brands I talked about on this blog. I figured it was a fantastic way to start off this little series.

Here's a brief overview of the company: One of the most loved brands stepped out of professional salons and into public stores in 2010 when the founder, Essie Weingarten sold the company to L'Oreal. She started the company in 1981. Essie nail polishes come in a variety of colors, and include a few very popular shades such as Mint Candy Apple, Nice is Nice, and Cute as a Button.


I love the company. From the adorable bottles that always seem to be so photogenic, to the formula of the various shades. I find that with companies different shades wear better than others, but Essie is pretty consistent as far as quality goes.

I can typically get a lot of wear out of Essie colors, with and without a top coat (though nothing compares with Zoya, but that's for another day). As with makeup, how well a brand is going to work for you depends on the oils, and makeup of your skin/nails. But, Essie is one of those brands that I see *most* people enjoying. It deserves the hype.

Previously Essie was put in this box of pastels, and pinks, and safe colors. They do those shades really well, and have some of the most classic pastels out there (such as Mint Candy Apple and Ballet Slippers, which is Her Majesty's favorite). We have seen the brand doing more trendy shades with their metallics, textured nails, Luxeeffects (glitter top coat), Repstyle (basically looks like snake skin), and even nail stickers.

I am a bit jealous of the UK wince they have the diffusion line of Essie. If you haven't heard of it before; it's sold at Boots and offers 70 of Essie's most popular shades and swaps out the brush that we are most familiar with, and gives them a wider brush (similar to OPI's). That needs to be everywhere, I think.

Essie just isn't about their shades. Oh no, they offer a wide variety of nail care. From cuticle cream, to your basic top/base coat, to products that meet your specific needs. And that side of Essie is only growing stronger by the year.

They have various ongoing collections such as their Resort collection, Wedding, and of course seasonal.

One thing that I noticed early on in my blogging career is the difference in their bottles. Some have a sticker on top and on the side, while others have an "e" embossed on the top of the cap. I wont go into detail here, but here is my explanation from 2011 Kristina (please excuse the poor quality of photos): Drugstore V. Salon Bottles.

Some of my favorite shades: Chinchilly, The Lace is On, Bikini So Teeny, Madison Ave-Hue, and Off the Shoulder (all pictured above).

Psst. I have caught Essie recycling shades and giving them a new name. Not a huge deal, but it can be a problem if you see a shade you like only to come home and find out you have it in the same brand but with a different brand. I've seen OPI do this too.

A picture of Olivia and my Essie bottles since I can't seem to take a blog photo without her getting involved.
Essie can be found in a wide variety of places in stores such as CVS, Wallgreens, Target (though I don't see it at Walmart), online on their site as well as many other retailers. They are also available world-wide in many different countries.

If this one goes over well, I may do a few more over the next few months with Julep, OPI, Zoya, and a few more brands that I've had the chance to dabble in. Let me know if there's one you would like to see next!

What are your favorite Essie shades?