Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hits & Hell Noes (July Favorites)

Once upon a time, I had a goal of making two blog posts a week. That… never happened. July shaped up to be a stupendously busy month, hence taking so very long to post anything at all. Oh, well. It happens, right? I do have a few other posts already half-written, so hopefully I can set a more attainable goal of one post a week and stick to it. Anyway, on with the show. Here's what I've loved (and hated) in July. 


1.) Chanel Les 4 Ombres in Mystic Eyes.* I received this as a gift from a friend, opened it up, thought it was pretty, and… never used it. I recently unearthed it in my makeup drawer and thought, "Hey, I should try this!" And it's awesome. They're all shimmery shades, which might be off-putting to some, but the glitter is so finely milled that it doesn't make the eyelids look like disco balls. I especially love the champagne and bronze shades. They're easy, go with everything, and last well thanks in part to my next favorite.

2.) Milani Eyeshadow Primer. I've tried Urban Decay's Primer Potion, Too Faced's Shadow Insurance, and Benefit's Stay Don't Stray. Because I have slightly hooded eyes, they just don't work. Imagine my surprise when a little tube of six dollar primer from Walmart kept my shadow on for over eight hours with only the very first hints of creasing in sight. In the summer. That's impressive. 

3.) Lancôme Hypnose Star Mascara. I received this sample free when I ordered a pair of shoes from Nordstrom, tossed it in my makeup bag, and sort of forgot about it until a day I was rushed and had to leave the house sans makeup. I fished this little tube out, slapped it on, and I really, really liked it. I have short, straight lashes, and this formula -- or maybe it's the brush -- curls them and makes them look much longer than they actually are. Even better: my mascara lasted all day in 102 degree weather with nary a smudge in sight. I'm definitely going to buy a full version of this when I use the sample up.

4.) Blistex Deep Renewal Lip Balm. I have perpetually dry lips all year-round, so I try a lot of different lip balms. Some of them are awful, some of them are pretty good, and then there are the rare few I rave about. This is one of the latter. It smells amazing, tastes yummy, has SPF 15, and actually moisturizes the lips. I recommend it to everyone.

5.) Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 110. Yes, you read that correctly. SPF 110. I'm so pale I've managed to get sunburned through a car windshield, something that's supposed to be impossible, so I don't play around with sunscreen anymore. I slather this on without fail before leaving the house, and I haven't burned since. It does go on a little chalky, but it blends in after about five minutes. I recommend waiting at least ten minutes to apply any foundation since the product can pill up a little, but otherwise, I have no complaints. No sunburn, no breakouts, no problem. Well done, Neutrogena. 

6.) Revlon Photoready BB Cream.* Ah, BB creams. Everybody and their mother owns at least one. Being of the sensitive-oily skinned variety, I typically approach BB creams with all the caution of a hunter stalking a man-eating lion in the wilds. I worry they could make me greasy, and then there's my usual problem -- the color range. When you are so deathly pale that cinematic vampires look dark compared to you, finding a drugstore color match is unheard of. Then, after complaining directly to Revlon about their lacking foundation range, I received this guy. I was dubious, but the shade matches my pasty skin, and it has SPF 30. My only complaint is that I do have to touch up with powder after a few hours, but that's so normal for me that I won't stop using it over something that trivial.

7.) Givenchy Pi Cologne.* This was actually a gift from Tristan several years ago. I know what you're thinking. "Cologne is for guys!" Go and smell this one; I beg to differ. Pi is for everyone. The notes are Mandarin, pine needles, rosemary, guaiac wood, and benzoin (for those of you who didn't look them up on Fragrantica when I started blathering on about a man's fragrance), and it smells like a bottled summer evening in the woods. It's green, but there's a rich note to it that smells warm. Just go sniff it. Your nose will thank you. Your wallet may not.

8.) MAC Patisserie. As you can see from the tiny nub I have left in the tube, Patisserie is one of my all-time favorite lipsticks. It's a brownie-pink that goes on sheer and adds a hint of sheen rather than color. It's perfect for those hot summer days when not even die-hard red lipstick lovers like me are brave enough to run the risk of having our lippy trickle down our chins once the temperature rises over 100.

Hell Noes (Not pictured because I already threw them away. Far, far away.)

1.) Maybelline Expert Eyes Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover. I typically wear waterproof mascara, so I purchased the type that's supposed to remove waterproof mascara. I can't vouch for the regular formula, but this stuff is vile. It left a greasy film around my eyes and in my lashes. And? It didn't remove the mascara. Not one smudge of it came off. Buying budget-friendly eye makeup remover seems like such a good idea until you realize that you've chucked out the last five cheapies you've bought. Just give me the damn Lancôme Bi-Facil; at least I know it works. 

2.) Rimmel Max Volume Flash Mascara. I got this for free with my CVS points, so my only consolation is that I didn't pay for this atrocious thing. It claims to boost the volume of your lashes by a whopping fourteen times. I had to try it. My hands were itching to tear into the packaging. I tried it as soon as I got home, and all I could do was laugh. Seriously, Rimmel? What good is fourteen times the volume when the formula is so thick and gloopy that it causes your lashes to point downward like an arrow directing traffic into Hell? That's where this product went. Well, the landfill. Same thing. Hell no, Rimmel! Just... Hell no!