Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte

Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte

So I don’t get Ipsy. I never found it to be worth the while. But my friend at work *does* get Ipsy. Last weekend, I got a super serious text from her telling me, “we have to have a chat in the morning,” and it was about this nail polish.

She wasn’t sure about it. And I can see why.

She gave it to me to test. Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte is a murky, muddy, coffeeish bleak brown. In the bottle, there appears to be a slightly creamy swirl of… something. It’s not glitter. It won’t mix in with shaking. Your guess is as good as mine. It reminds me a lot of when the brownish greige grungey polishes were everywhere, like OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques (2008ish.)

Formula was sticky, goopy, patchy and hard to apply evenly. Shown below are two painfully applied thicker coats over Orly Bonder, no top coat. Finish was ok, I suppose. It could work as a neutral on the right skin tone, I’m not sure what skin tone but definitely not mine.

Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte

This chipped in minutes. I’m pretty sure this polish wouldn’t outlast an actual latte. In desperation to try to make this look presentable and tolerable long enough for the one day it would take to show it to my friend, I added some gold dots and glitter, shown below in natural light then flash.

Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte

Trust Fund Beauty $12 Latte

Would I buy this, retailing at $15 US? Heck, no. Neither this nor an actual $12 latte. If I want a murky greige, I’ll use NYC Color in a Minute Park Ave which I already have. I’m afraid this one is getting passed along to someone I hope can appreciate it more than I. Now, I’m off to touch up these chips for the third time in 2 days.

Mac Black Stallion Swatch & Review!

MAC Black Stallion

MAC Black Stallion

This is my first MAC polish. I found this on clearance, and it’s dark, broody shade immediately appealed. I didn’t know who Brooke Candy was, didn’t really care, but looked it up. I remain indifferent. Look her up if you want to, you may regret it. Anyway, Black Stallion is a sheer blackened purple jelly that required 3-4 coats for opacity. Below is a swatch with one coat.

MAC Black Stallion One Coat

MAC Black Stallion One Coat

And 3 coats.

MAC Black Stallion Swatch

MAC Black Stallion Swatch

I didn’t mind that it needed so many coats. What I do mind, is that this started chipping the minute it dried. It’s didn’t even make it to the end of the day. Horrible, awful, terrible performance. I used my usual base and top coat, which usually buys me at least a couple days. This discourages me from ever purchasing another MAC polish, unfortunately. I pay more for a premium product, and even on clearance, this isn’t it.

MAC Black Stallion

MAC Black Stallion

I do still love the color, for the whole few hours it remains intact!

Revlon Parfumerie China Flower NOTD, and Bonus Nicole Top Coat Plus (Scathing) Review!

Revlon China Flower, NOPI Top Coat

Revlon China Flower, NOPI Top Coat

It’s unusual that I have the opportunity to do a review on a product that I can file under both nail polish and fragrance. The Revlon Parfumerie line has been out for a bit now, and I think (hope?) they are clearing out their summer line for fall at my local retailers as I found what was left of a small display at half price. Hope they aren’t discontinuing the line but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are. Finding the China Flower one to look and sound most interesting, it came home with me.

The bottle is attractive. I really like the square shape, however I hate the round top. It made wielding the already harder to use small, thin, round brush more difficult as it was hard to stabilize. The shade is a brightened, summery, coraly red creme/jelly formula, very striking. It went only smoothly at 2 coats, but I used 3 for photo swatches. The result was a vibrant pop of colour against my skin, I really liked it!

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Now about the fragrance. These nail polishes are intended to have a light scent once dry, and this one was quite unique and surely made itself known. I would describe it as a spicy/fresh scent. Something interesting about it is that it had a bit of the feeling you’d get from a whiff of Vicks – not necessarily the smell itself, but the sensation, this nail polish’s scent has a bit of an aromatic, medicated vapour sense to it. Hard to explain. I caught this scent when my hands were about a foot or so from my face. I read a post recently with this Revlon Parfumerie polish in a shade called Bordeaux which I wish was available here, it’s the exact shade of wine I’ve been looking for, and knowing myself I think I’d love the scent. If you’re curious it was over at ClassygirlKate‘s blog.

Part 2!

So I decided to try out the Nicole Top Coat Plus I got in a 3 pack of Nicole polishes over top of the China Flower. I am struggling to find something good to say.

I'm glad this photo is fuzzy.

I’m glad this photo is blurry.

Why am I glad that picture is blurry? Well, the longer I had it on, the more tiny little bubbles would pop up. Now usually that happens if your polish is slapped on in thick, wet layers too quickly. I applied this topcoat well after the Revlon China Flower had dried, after several minutes of taking, uploading and editing photos. Which brings me to my next complaint – although the polish was dry, this top coat pulled up colour onto the brush! Every brush stroke landed more and more red tint to the top coats brush! Not even my super cheap top coats do this! I wiped it off the brush best I could for the header photo. More time passed, I took some more pictures, and then took down my setup with the back scarf backdrop for my header photo to put it away, and then noticed that even though some time had passed, I had little fabric indentations on my nails from just lightly handling the scarf! Now I might expect that to happen immediately after painting, but not, say, 30 mins after applying a top coat in front of a fan on high on a hot day! Suspicious, I lightly touched the nail to see what was going on, and to my surprise it was sticky! Not wet really, but gluey, gummy, sticky! I have never, ever had a top coat – or any polish at all come to think of it – perform so poorly.

To summarize, the Revlon Parfumerie polish looked great and applied beautifully. The scent would be an acquired taste. Worth noting, I could still smell the China Flower under the (awful) top coat. The Nicole Top Coat Plus is officially the worst product I have ever put on my nails. The only thing I could see this being useful for is as a simple clear coat on bare nails, it seems to dry fine and not bubble up or be sticky in that application. The Nicole Top Coat Plus was so bad, I’m resurrecting my bad review haiku ritual for it.

 

Dozens of bubbles.

Why does this polish hate me?

My nails are now glue.

NOPE.

NOPE.

Givenchy Lipstick Sample & Continuing Sephora Snafu Updates!

Givenchy Rose Dressing 202

Givenchy Rose Dressing 202

I was near a Sephora this weekend to return the Tocca Florence minis which was just a bit too potent for me, and I’m surprised I was refunded without a hitch. I wish I could say that about the gift card refund I was supposed to have received recently, I will get into more detail a bit later. First, this adorable little sample!

I was hovering around the fragrances hoping to find someone to help me with a sample decant, but there was no help despite the staff to customer ratio being staff heavy at the time. I couldn’t seem to get anyone’s attention even though a few bypassed me to disappear into the stock room. After several minutes, I eventually gave up and went to stand with my mother at the cash, where she was paying for items and choosing this Givenchy lipstick sample to redeem points on. Apparently they had just got it in that day! Interested, I asked if I needed to purchase an item in order to cash in some of the points I had accumulated (given by Sephora due to the huge amount of trouble they have given me, their idea) and it turns out I could just redeem! Finally some good news out of this company, especially good as I am now more than reluctant to ever buy anything from them again.

This Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick in Rose Dressing 202 is a brand new 100 point redemption deluxe sample. I’m not sure about availability, it was at the Guilford (In B.C., Canada) location but I can’t find it on their website. I’ve included a lot of pictures as the presentation is lovely.

Givenchy Rose Dressing Box

Givenchy Rose Dressing Box

The lipstick is packaged in a very cute velvety cardboard box with a slide out compartment, carefully wrapped in branded “Le Rouge” tissue paper.

Givenchy Rose Dressing

Givenchy Rose Dressing

Once unwrapped, you can see even the sample tube itself is fairly luxurious, with the Givenchy name printed in the chrome detailing. The full size tube has similar chrome detailing, but the tube itself is leather!

Givenchy Rose Dressing

Givenchy Rose Dressing

Givenchy Rose Dressing

Givenchy Rose Dressing

The product itself is an intense coral pink. It is lightly rose scented as prestige cosmetics often are, but the scent fades almost immediately once on the lips. The taste of the fragrance, however, lingers. The formula itself is lightweight and smooth, and applies evenly. The pigment builds well. It held up with through a cup of tea, and wore off evenly with no patchiness. It did feel moisturizing, which leads me to the downside of this lipstick formula – it doesn’t “set”. Most lipsticks, even the moisturizing ones set up a bit, not to say that they get dry but they at least seem like they won’t transfer at the slightest touch. This lipstick felt so slippery the whole time I was wearing it. It felt like it would slide outside of my lip line. I kept checking it, and it didn’t seem like it was sliding away but I still didn’t like the feeling. I don’t want to have to feel like I need to continually check my make up to make sure I wasn’t doing any accidental clown impersonations.

Givenchy Rose Dressing Swatch

Givenchy Rose Dressing Swatch

Givenchy Rose Dressing Swatch on Lips

Givenchy Rose Dressing Swatch on Lips

The colour itself is nice, bright for summer. I will use it until it’s gone, but I don’t seem myself buying this slippery formulation. The shade seemed familiar. I though it looked a little like the Sephora brand lipstick I have in 1st Night so I did a side by side swatch shown here. 1st Night is a more intense pink, and Rose Dressing is oranger, but they are both vibrant corals.

Givenchy Rose Dressing, Sephora 1st Night Swatches

Givenchy Rose Dressing, Sephora 1st Night Swatches

Now for my update on the ongoing Sephora disaster that they are presenting as customer service. About 3 weeks ago, I called, as per their instruction, to get a refund on my order in lieu of them honoring my gift certificate. Full details can be found here on my post about that order. I called, provided my order number, the gift card number, it’s pin number all as requested. The girl on the phone assured me everything was processed and I’d be refunded. I waited, got worried when I didn’t see the refund, and sent them an email to inquire. They told me to wait. So I waited. No refund. I sent another email, this time asking for a confirmation number for my refund. Days passed. I finally got a response. You will not believe it, but they had the nerve to say that “I had never provided the gift card number”. Yes, they claimed this, despite that I personally called myself to provide it and was assured it was processed. Yes, even though they had other emails from me asking about why the refund wasn’t processed. No one actually bothered to check my refund until I had to follow up asking for the confirmation number for proof. They just sent the canned answer telling me to wait, wait, it’s just me not being patient, not their failure to do their jobs, and wait! Unbelievable. This wasn’t the first time they didn’t actually bother checking what was going on and placed the blame on me (a previous time was when I asked them why they didn’t bother sending the gift box as it was on my order form, same line as my phone number, and they said it wasn’t there. Yes, even though it was right there in front of them, hilarious.) So I did call again, and made sure they processed it right there and then on the phone, which I thought I had already done the first time. I did get an email saying that it was intended to go through within another weeks worth of business days, but at this point I will believe it when I see it. I asked the woman why it wasn’t processed the first time, and why no one bothered to tell me what was going on despite several emails on my part. Her answer? “I don’t have access to any of that information”. To me, that translates as no explanation. And that is not acceptable.

The only positive experience I have had with Sephora was the girl who took my return and gave me this lipstick sample. Each and every other experience has been horrendous. Beyond that, actually. It takes at least 5 points of contact to get any one of them to do their jobs, and even then your odds of getting proper service are abysmally low. I have never had such consistently bad experiences as a customer, ever, anywhere. They, as a company, are not concerned about doing things the right way the first time, or any time after that for that matter. Even when you do all the hard work for them, they respond with complacency at best and gross incompetence at worst. I’m truly hoping there won’t be further negative follow ups to this one. I don’t like writing them, but people deserve to know where their money is going. Those high end prices sure aren’t going to proper customer service training.

A company that doesn’t acknowledge and respect the reason why it is even in business, the customer (especially one who sought their assistance as fastidiously as I did), doesn’t deserve to be in business. And people deserve to know. I tried for many weeks with great time and effort spent on my part to make my business with Sephora work, and they failed on every account to provide. I will redeem the last of my points there, in store only, with no purchase made, some time in the future. I will not, however, ever purchase with them again. I will seek any other source. A beauty blogger with all the time in the world to follow up and inform the public of deplorably bad service is not a bridge you want to burn. It does make me sad, but they went out of their way to be awful, both in store and online. I do make exception for the one girl who processed my refund and gave me the lipstick sample, she was great!

Any Canadians have any other beauty supply suggestions for me? I’d love to hear!

Sephora Order/Prize Opening! (and a word of caution)

Sephora_Order_BoxLast month I was the lucky prize winner of a giveaway from the wonderfully generous Rebecca at lastcontrast! The prize was a $50 US gift certificate for Sephora which I gladly put towards this order. I am relieved I was able to use it for this order, as Sephora sure did give me a hard time about it. If you want to get straight to the goods, please skip ahead to the picture below. If you want to be aware of the behaviour of companies you may be buying from and are selective about where your beauty products are sourced, please read on.

I had a write up ready to go regarding their refusal to honor this gift certificate as I was in Canada. I will summarize here. I had it from them in writing that they were keeping the cash for it and not providing any goods or refund to the original buyer. Obviously, this refusal to provide a solution was completely unacceptable.  Over the course of my numerous carefully worded, polite emails, I did the work for them with suggestions and workarounds (six in total) that I know companies should be capable of from my 20 years in customer service myself. I begged for my concerns to be brought to management (on multiple occasions) or at least to someone with the authority to assist me. All I got in response were canned answers from whoever had the misfortune of getting to reply to my email, and by their replies I could tell no one was reading my concerns. As I had given up, and they clearly didn’t even bother trying to actually assist me, I allowed myself to be upset. I sent them an email stating as such and that my write up regarding their blatant refusal to assist after taking someone’s cash would be made available to them via links on any social media I could find including my blog and their Facebook pages for public review.

And what do you know. Unexpectedly, I got a call. A CALL, and they left me a message. Not an email. Someone, only after my upset email, decided to help me. Evidently they decided to honor my gift certificate as a refund to my card after my order had shipped (presumably so I couldn’t back out at that point). This workaround was similar to one of my suggested solutions. Incidentally, I’m still waiting for this refund but they swear it’s gone through on their end. I’ll believe it when I see it, and if I don’t I will issue a chargeback, as I do have it (in writing again) that they were to apply said refund. I am disappointed that my polite calls and emails were brushed off and ignored, but the snarky, upset one that promised to share their willingness to swindle customers with the public got their attention. I think it says a lot about the difference between Canadian and US culture. The only thing that kept them from blatant theft was the threat of me telling everyone about it. Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with Sephora in the future, if you’re particular about where your beauty dollars are spent.

 

ON TO THE GOODIES!

Sephora_Order_Numbered

 

I will quickly go over the haul as numbered. I will do more thorough reviews as the products are used, would be far too much to go into here!

1) Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – the reason I placed the order in the first place. I have wanted this for a very long time but wouldn’t ever allow myself to spend that ($64 Can) on a beauty product. The gift card prize was the only way this could have ever happened. I haven’t used them all yet but so far “Pistol” is my favourite! This no longer comes with a lip gloss, which is a pity.

2) Tocca Florence Travel Fragrance Duo – contains a hand creme and a roller ball fragrance. A light fresh white floral that leans green.

3) Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Sample – 10 shades, 5 shimmer, 5 matte. Single use sample portions.

4) Sephora’s Niche Fragrance Sampler – includes Maison Martin Beach Walk, Tocca Simone, Tokyo Milk Dark Tainted Love,  Nest Midnight Fleur, Clean Skin, and Atelier Orange Sanguine (the topmost left in the waxed paper wrap there is a post card and a sample vial. Most beautifully presented sampler I have ever seen.) There is also a Juicy Couture La La sample but this was not included with the niche sampler, but for this list purpose, and for my later review they will be grouped together.

5) Tarte Flush Cheek Stain – a deluxe sample, from redeemed points Sephora gave me for my “inconvenience” while they were still declining to honor the gift certificate. An impressive amount for a sample. This could last for a few weeks worth of daily uses at least!

6) Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium/Deep matte bronzer. Smells of chocolate, lovely. Also a points redemption as above. Also an impressive amount for a sample, this is the size of a large single pan eye shadow.

7) Make Up For Ever HD Powder sample – a tiny amount of powder on a card.

8) Urban Decay Primer Potion samples (x2 as one was with the palette) – 4 different types of their Primer Potion line, says there is to be a weeks worth of each within the packet. I’m particularly interested in the “anti-aging” one as I’d not heard of it before. I’m still not completely sold on the idea of needing one product to make another work as it should without assistance.

9) Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet – another points redemption as a deluxe sized sample. I admit to liking this far more than I thought I would. It’s simple but lovely.

10) Make Up For Ever “Happy Birthday” deluxe sample pack – contains a mini lipstick in N9 and a mini mascara in Smoky Extravagant. Added this to my order as it was available for free as my birthday is this month.

I would like to once again thank Rebecca at lastcontrast for her generous prize. I would have never had the opportunity to try these high end products otherwise. The out of pocket expense for the large list above was only $25 Canadian (I had to make it $75 for the free shipping as I’d rather the amount go towards product than ship costs)! Pretty good haul I think! 🙂

There was something missing from this order. I had selected that it be accompanied with the magnetic closure Sephora “gift box”, I was looking forward to using it for more attractive photographic purposes for this and all upcoming blog posts regarding the contents of this order. I sent them off another email to ask them about it. I found my order confirmation email where the words “gift box” were right there in black and white for their easy reference, and used it for my reply. I got an email back, immediately. They had the nerve to state that I had not included it on my order. Yes, even though it was stated right there. On the same page. On the order confirmation. Just a few inches down. I replied to them stating the obvious, that it is right there on the same page, but I don’t expect a reply at this point. I don’t understand why they didn’t send it, would have been a ton of free advertising as it would have been used in many of the photos for each of the upcoming reviews on all these products. What a missed opportunity for them, shame! EDIT: they sent back another email (was even from the same rep) saying they added 25 points to my account. Seeing as you need at least 100 to get anything I don’t know how this is satisfactory, but again the loss is really theirs – me as a customer and the free advertising they would have received.)

Although I will thoroughly enjoy using and trying out these products, and I am more than grateful for the prize, I am not sure I would ever order from Sephora again. They refuse to let their e-gift certificates to be used in Canada (why? That’s a huge market they’re just shutting out!) and their customer service is at best farcical and at worst dismissive and grossly incompetent. In the future, if I find the need for a high end beauty product, I will see if it is available from *any* other Canadian retailer first, such as Shoppers Drug Mart, Murale, London Drugs, any department store or even order directly from the product’s company website if need be. I don’t think I would ever put myself through ordering online with Sephora again. I am not close enough to a brick and mortar Sephora store for it to be much of a concern as to whether or not I’d go in to buy there.

EDIT: Unbelievably, I have even more disastrous service stories regarding this same order, they failed to refund me as promised and refused to explain why! Full story at the bottom of the post, here.

I did a quick search and there are some seriously horrifying Sephora customer service stories out there! Anyone else have one? I’d be interested to hear it! Also if anyone has any favourite looks with the Naked 2 palette they would like to share I’d be very interested in that as well!

 

Enjoy your week!

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Ultra Fluid Texture Facial Sunscreen (and GWP) Review

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF50

Lancome Bienfait UV SPF50

“Bien Fait” is french for “well done”. Did Lancome aptly name this facial sunscreen offering? Well, almost. Perhaps they could have more accurately named this sub brand “Presque”. I’ve been using this product for quite some time now (over a year), and  now that it’s almost gone I feel I’ve accumulated enough experience and information for a thorough, fair review. This was a rare treat for me, as I almost never go higher end for cosmetic products. My local pharmacy was offering a gift with $35 Lancome purchase, and I happened to be there specifically in the market for a facial sunscreen. Lancome’s Beinfait UV SPF 50 was exactly $35 at the time, and the free gift was pretty good! Inside a pretty (and by now well used) purple make up bag was a moisturizer, mascara, bronzer, eyeshadow, lipstick, make up remover, and I think a serum of some sort which is by now long gone. It was a ton of stuff! The eyeshadow itself was the clincher, I loved the shades. It was an afterthought to gather up the GWP for a photo, but after realizing I had most of it left in various states of use I figured I should!

Lancome GWP

Lancome GWP

Included in the gift makeup bag (that I remember):

-Star Bronzer Natural Glow in 01 Lumiere (not bad, a bit sparkly for day)

-Definicils Precious Cells Mascara in Black (beat up from living in my purse makeup bag, smells like roses, it’s gloppy but ok)

-Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (also smells like roses, don’t find it any more effective than any other dual layer remover)

-Renergie Lift Volumetry Volumetric Lifting and Reshaping Cream, because apparently creams can do that (nope). I don’t use this on my face as I don’t like jar packaging as I find it unsanitary to continually dip your fingers in and put it on your face. I put this away in a bed side drawer and sometimes use as hand cream when I remember.

-Color Design Cream Lipstick in Natural Beauty (perhaps someone else’s natural beauty, as this is too warm/brown for me on it’s own, nice texture and pigment though – reminds me of the 90’s)

-Color Design Sensational Effects Eye Shadow quad with Pink Pearls (matte), Lavender Girl (shimmer), Clock Strikes 12 (matte) and Sultry Mauve (Matte). I quite like these and often wear it to interviews.

Below are swatches in varying lights, from top to bottom Star Bronzer Lumiere, Pink Pearls, Lavender Girl, Sultry Mauve, Clock Strikes 12, then the Natural Beauty Lipstick.

Lancome_Swatch1

Lancome_Swatch2

Lancome Natural Beauty

Lancome Natural Beauty

Lancome Natural Beauty

Lancome Natural Beauty

Back to the actual product I intended to review! Lancome Bienfait UV SPF 50 Ultra Fluid Texture Facial Sunscreen claims to be a quick absorbing. oil free, non comedogenic water resistant broad spectrum UVA/UVB protective sunscreen. Oil free, I guess so. Quick absorbing? Eh, not really. I found I was left with a thin layer of sheen, and I used oil absorbing sheets to pull that off my face before make up application so I wouldn’t be a greasy mess. I’m unable to quantify if it is water resistant as I don’t generally go splashing about after I apply my make up for the day. Non comedogenic? Perhaps for some, but I feel this irritated my skin somewhat, causing a few smaller cysctic acne type breakouts that I have’t gotten since I stopped using this sunscreen, so there goes that claim. As far as effective UVA/UVB coverage goes, well the ingredient list shows the right amount of the right chemicals to make that claim true, so at least there’s that. There is a piece of plastic in the bottle that rattles when you shake it, these are in most of this type of sunscreen bottles I’ve found. The bottle top includes a nice little nozzle/pour spout thing, presumably to keep it from getting everywhere, because…

Lancome_Beinfait_UV_SPF50_nozzle

Lancome_Beinfait_UV_SPF50_swatch

…application itself was a bit slippery due to the very liquid nature of the product. It was downright runny. Although this does in fact aid in spreading it around your face, it doesn’t help you from keeping it out of areas you do not wish it, such as your eyes! The smell is very strong, and typical of sunscreen scent. Once on, it does burn my skin on a more sensitive day, and the fumes bother my eyes. I will attribute this to the deal breaker ingredient: ALCOHOL. Why, Lancome? I could have put up with the runny texture, and I don’t mind blotting before make up application, but alcohol, in this high of a concentration (I can smell it!) in a leave on product? No no no! I could also blame the skin irritation and strong smell on the alcohol as well. The alcohol content in leave on products causes dryness, free radical damage and irritation. I would think such a well known long standing cosmetics company would know as much. Presumably it was added for the thin, fast drying feel.

I told myself I’d use this til it ran out and never repurchase. The alcohol alone is a deal breaker, especially in a product that doesn’t contain any antioxidants or skin communicating ingredients to mitigate the free radical damage it causes on it’s own. I can’t see why someone would want to pay more for a high end product that will do more harm than good to their skin. I only paid $35 for this (and it’s free gifts), and from what I can see they have raised the cost on this to something around $10 more for this same sub par formulation. To me this is unfathomable. Now that I’ve reached the tail end of this product I will be glad to see the back of it. It would not be worth the repurchase even at the lower cost and free gift I got it at! You can do better Lancome! Will be leaving my sunscreen product needs in the hands of Olay and Neutrogena from now on!

Full ingredient listing as follows:

Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Oxybenzone (6%), Other: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denatured, Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate. Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Lauryl PEG.PPG-18/18 Methicone, Sodium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Methylparaben, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Dodecene, Poloxamer

NOPE.

NOPE.

 

Just remembered, I forgot to post my standard negative review haiku.

Were I looking for
Greasy skin and alcohol
I’d go to a prom

 

L’Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner: A Review & Repurpose

I received this eyeliner, L’Oreal Voluminous eyeliner in black, as a GWP with a mascara, and I’m grateful I didn’t actually spend money on it. If I had, it would have gone right back. This is probably the single worst cosmetic I have ever had the misfortune of trying to use.

L'Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner

L’Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner

I’ll start with something nice. This is a felt tip marker style eyeliner. The chisel tip is handy and easy to use. You can use it on the flat side for a wider line, or the edge for a thinner one, as swatched here.

Swatch of L'Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner

Swatch of L’Oreal Voluminous Eyeliner

That is where the good points end. I pressed fairly hard to get the solid line as swatched. The colour is not particularly pigmented. I suppose you could get a deeper black, more solid line with several passes over, but if I need the speed and ease of a marker type eyeliner, I’m not going to want to bother with several passes over. After being left to dry for 5 minutes, it didn’t set very well. I was able to smear it as shown. This product would have no hope of lasting through a rainy day, or on an even slightly oily lid such as mine.

L'Oreal voluminous Eyeliner, smeared after setting 5 mins

L’Oreal voluminous Eyeliner, smeared after setting 5 mins

When tested on my eye, I noticed a strange chemical smell I have never experienced with any cosmetic in the past. This eyeliner smells more like a sharpie than it does a genuine makeup item. After a few minutes on my eye, I noticed that it both stung and was starting to swell. I am not generally sensitive to anything at all makeup wise, so this was hugely surprising. Luckily for me, it did wash off easily due to its lack of pigment and staying power. The swelling lasted about a day.

After deciding this was never going on my face again, my resourceful side decided it needed a different use. My boots needed a touch up, and this marker did a respectable job!

My poor beat up leather boots! They are several years old but I can’t replace them being out of work and all, so I’m glad I can use this awful eyeliner to help them out in the meantime. A before and after. That is a very scuffed up leather toe, not dirt. Boots were cleaned before applying the eyeliner to the toes.

Badly scuffed boot, before

Badly scuffed boot, before

Badly scuffed boot, after

Badly scuffed boot, after

I’d imagine this touch up would wash off with one rainy day, however. Just grateful I found a use for this truly terrible eyeliner!

My negative review haiku:

Apply…. ouch my eye!
L’Oreal boot polisher.
No wonder it’s free.

Liz Claiborne Curve Crush and a Sexy Scent Study: A Review and Hypothesis

curvecrushThis fragrance has been out since 2003, so I was confused when I received a sample of it along with a completely different fragrance purchase. I can’t even say for certain if it’s still in production. Being an adventurous fragrance lover, I’m willing to give just about anything a chance. It was from a reasonably well known name (in the 90’s anyway) and was a flanker. How bad can it be?

I popped the top, dabbed a bit on my wrist, and regretted it both intensely and immediately. I was assaulted by a cheap, fake cinnamon smell, awash in lavender soapy blahness. If you spilled the cinnamon shaker on Grandma’s third best bowl of potpourri, you might wind up with something like this.

I visited my go-to source for all fragrance info, fragrantica.com. When I first looked and wrote my review there, they did not have a listing of notes. They do now, and they are listed as such: The fragrance features citruses, floral notes, tea, milk, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, pepper, musk and vanilla.

I have a theory about this fragrance. I could be way off, but it’s still fun. Perhaps the developers got their hands on a study done years ago regarding which scents effected sexual response in the human male. This may sound familiar, the tests are quoted frequently. These tests were done by Dr. Hirsch and colleague Dr. Jason Gruss and some results can be found here: http://www.smellandtaste.org/_/index.cfm?action=research.sexual

At the top of the heap for “Increase in Penile Blood Flow” at 40% average increase was the fragrance (or fragrance combo in this case) of pumpkin pie and lavender.

Let’s break this down. Pumpkin pie… ingredients such as cinnamon, cream, sugar, cardamom, ginger, cloves, vanilla! Combined with lavender, as it was in the study, well you’ve got you self some guaranteed “test results”.

Of course I can’t prove this fragrance was deliberately structured in this manner. But being familiar with the cited test, there were just too many parallels to ignore 😉

And we return to me struggling to appreciate this fragrance. I could not get past the artificial cinnamon, and the “old lady” air freshener florals. The lavender just didn’t work for me here. It was creamy in an unpleasant way. I understand what they were going for but it really, really wasn’t for me. I found this unusual as I love other fragrances with cinnamon, creamy, sweet vanilla notes, such as my old beloved, discontinued warm and bracing Ralph Lauren Hot, which I will review at another time. I wanted to follow through with this scent to the drydown to give it a fair shake, but it made me so sick and headachey I had to scrub it off long before getting to that point.

The bottle is a nice purple shade, and is utilitarian enough. I do think the bottle style would suit a more sporty fragrance than this one, but if I like something the bottle is never a deal breaker (I’m looking at you, SJP NYC).

If this fragrance is your thing, good news. You can find it on fragrancex.com for a thrifty $21 for 100 mls or 3.4 oz.

Oh, and my negative review haiku:

Liz Claiborne Curve Crush

Potpourri bowl refresher

Why won’t it scrub off

 

Tres Emme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair: A Review of Betrayal and Poetry

It’s not often a product comes along that is so terrible that I can’t do a thing with it. I almost always think of a back up use for a product that has failed as it’s primary intention. Awful shampoo gets to do my hand washed garments. Perfume that doesn’t work with my body chemistry gets relegated to room or linen freshener or a few sprays goes on an unscented drier sheet for some lightly fragranced clean clothes. Even those fancy facial moisturizer samples in little jars get used up as hand cream within a few applications (I hate jar packaging for things that go on my face, I find them unsanitary). Which brings me to this disappointment…

tresemmeTres Emme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair

(Hair type: fine, blonde, crazy long)

Now I want to be clear in that I adore most Tres Emme products. I have used their shampoos and conditioners almost to the exclusion of anything else for the past 5 years or more, which is probably why I feel so betrayed by this one. I was so offended by this “dry shampoo” performance that I begrudgingly trashed it before I could get a picture. I have included one off Tres Emme’s site. I hope they don’t mind, I truly do love most of their products.

The fragrance is intended to be what I think is a fresh citrus smell, but wow is it overpowering. I usually like citrus scents but this is just suffocating, and it doesn’t fade. Anyone who works in a scent free office wouldn’t be able to use this without getting a reprimand and a couple of weird looks.

Applied as directed (shaken then aimed several inches away from roots) this product left my hair limp, just as greasy, not at all fluffed or volumized, and weird smelling. Testing several times, I would leave it in while doing makeup then try to brush it out and hope I was left with something reasonable to work with, but each time it fell flat. There were times I swore this product left my hair looking oilier than when I started. Each time I used this, I ended up throwing my hair into a messy bun to hide the greasies and hopefully keep the weird fragrance confined. It left a dulled, powdery effect on my hair, you could see the white of the product even though I am blonde.

On clean hair, this did not work as a “volumizer”. Perhaps one could use it as a texturizer if you think gross is a desirable texture. As a hair refresher, I suppose that could work if you like the scent of powdery citrus.

To be fair, it did perform well under one circumstance. If I used the product on still pretty clean looking hair at night, tied it up in a bun as usual, slept on it, then brushed it out in the morning, hair still looked fresh, much more so than if I had not used it. This is nice, however if I have the presence of mind to apply this at night on mostly clean hair so I don’t have to wash it in the morning when too oily, then I have the presence of mind to just shower and let it dry overnight in a sock bun.

Sorry, Tres Emme. I still love your shampoos and conditioners. For dry shampoo needs, I will stay with Batiste for now!

I have a few of these sadder reviews coming up, and hate to be a downer, so I will end all negative reviews with a haiku.

Tres Emme trouble

A bad hair day in a can

Desperation bun