Sunday, November 30, 2014

12 Days of Tarte - Door 4 - Smooth Operator Finishing Powder

Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Door number 4 of my advent calendar revealed a small container of Tarte's Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.  To be honest, I haven't heard a lot about this powder.  I feel like I've seen it mentioned a few times, but I've never seen it as a "holy grail" item or something that is mentioned repeatedly by anyone.  I'm not sure why this is.  My feeling is that it is good powder, but for the price it may not be a great powder.  This is my thought at least.

From the first use, an issue I found that has nothing to do with the actual product, particularly if I had a full size, is that it is hard to get my brush in this tiny container to apply it.  I use the Real Techniques Powder Brush, which is a rather fluffy, large brush (perfect for applying powder).  However, I have a terrible time trying to get it into this container without spilling the product.  As I said, this isn't an issue I would deal with if I had the full size of this product.

It doesn't take much of this stuff to get a good finish on the skin.  It is mattifying without making the skin look cakey, and is super light weight and very finely milled.  It seemed to have kept my skin matte for most of the day.  I didn't have a chance to touch it up much (mainly because I left it at home and went out for the day...whoops!), but by the end of the day the only areas that needed touching up were in my t-zone.  This is pretty standard for me.

All in all, I wouldn't say that I'm underwhelmed by this product, but it didn't "wow" me enough to feel like the price point is worth what I got out of it.  To be honest, my tried and true finishing powder is a drugstore powder; Rimmel's Stay Matte powder.  It is at a great price point ($4.99 as opposed to $32.00 for Tarte) and gives me the same finish and staying power as the Tarte powder.  I do have to say though, after some thought, that I think I will try using this powder to set my under-eye concealer.  It is a perfect size to get my little brush I use for setting that part of my face in and will last me until the product inevitably expires.

Thanks for reading!

Have you used this product?  What do you think of it?  Do you have an absolute favorite setting powder?

12 Days of Tarte - Door 3 - Clean Slate Poreless Primer

Clean Sate Poreless 12-hr Perfecting Primer

This week, the two doors I opened gave me a chance to try out some face products by Tarte.  Inside of door number three I found a deluxe sample of Tarte's face primer, Clean Slate Poreless 12-hr Perfecting Primer.

I was excited to get this product because I was just thinking about grabbing a new primer, since my Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer is just about out.  I really like the Pixi primer because it is fairly lightweight and has a little bit of pigment in it.  I feel like after I spread it on my face, it evens out my skin tone a little before I even apply foundation.  This was one of the major differences I found with Tarte's primer.  This primer is a clear, almost gel-like textured product.  Once applied though, and spread out over the face, it changes to an almost powdery (very finely milled powder, mind you) finish.

Tarte claims that this product has a mattifying quality to it and will instantly fill in fine lines and pores to create a flawless finish to foundation.  Once applied, I found that I could apply foundation immediately and it went on much smoother than without primer.  It seems as if it also kept the dry patches around any spots I have on my face so that my concealer doesn't cling to them as much.  I have very prominent pores, so they are hard to completely conceal with a primer, but this primer did help to keep my skin smooth for the application of my foundation.

As for staying power, I am quite impressed.  Yesterday I wore my makeup for a good twelve hours and when I went to wash my face late last night, everything was still in place and the only shiny spots were my in t-zone.  Of course, the setting powder I used (next post) may have had something to do with it, but everything had stayed in place very well!

I am very impressed with this product.  It is nice and lightweight (more so than the Pixi primer), keeps my face matte throughout the day, and keep trouble areas on my face easier to conceal.  I would certainly consider purchasing a full-size bottle of this.  Unless I find a drugstore primer similar to this for a much better price, this will be my next primer purchase.

Have you used this product?  Do you happen to have any drugstore suggestions for a primer like this?

As always, thanks for reading!  Be sure to check out my post for the 4th door in the Petite Treats Collection!  If you missed the first two doors, check those posts out in my archive!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

12 Days of Tarte - Door 2 - Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelette

Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelette

Behind door 2 of the 12 days of Petite Treats 12 Days of Tarte Deluxe Collection, was the Brazilliance Skin Rejuvenating Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelette.  Let me preface this review with a little background on my self-tanning experience...I don't really have much.  I use Jergens Natural Glow foam and really enjoy it.  What I like most about it is that it is a gradual tanning experience.  Any tanning that shows up dark within a few hours is not something I am experienced with.

With that in mind, I actually quite liked using this Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelette.  The packaging is convenient and the application was super quick!  You can purchase a box of 10 of these single-use little packets from Tarte and use them when you need a little color on your face.  I'm sure these would be especially helpful to someone who tans regularly and is nervous about putting what they use on their body on their face.

After exfoliating my face in the shower, instead of putting on my moisturizer, I swiped the towelette across my face and down my neck according to the instructions.  I let it sink into my skin and went about my day.  I didn't apply any makeup or moisturizer; I just let it sit on my skin and develop throughout the day.

Just before application 10 AM

Evening of day of application 10 PM

Thankfully, I wasn't overwhelmed by the amount of color the towelette gave me.  Perhaps for some, that's not a good thing but I feel like it gave me a nice flush without looking too orange.  The second picture was under artificial, warm toned lighting (sorry), which makes me look more orange than I actually was.  I have to say that I am impressed with this product.  If I used self-tanner more often, I would probably want to invest in these. 

I like that I felt good about the ingredients I was putting on my face.  It didn't break me out or leave me feeling dry, since I didn't put on moisturizer after application.  I applied this product two days ago and am still seeing the effects of the self-tanner.  

I have to say that I would recommend this product, particularly if you self-tan and are not sure about tanning your face!

Have you tried these towelettes or anything similar?  Let me know in the comments below!

As always, thanks for reading!

12 Days of Tarte - Door 1 - LipSurgence Lip Tint in Wishful

LipSurgence Lip Tint in Wishful

Day 1 of the 12 days of Petite Treats 12 Days of Tarte Deluxe Collection is a mini LipSurgence lip tint in Wishful.  Admittedly, I don't have anything from this line and I've heard great things about it so I was super excited to try it out!  I have to say, I really love this!  

First of all, I love the format of this product.  It is a lip crayon, which I have quite a few of.  It is easy to apply and fun to just throw in your purse.  The LipSurgence line claims that it is a 3-in-1 product that gives you "all the benefits of a lipstick, lip gloss and a creamy balm".  I found the claim to be right on target.  This product has nice pigmentation for a lip crayon, gives a nice sheen on the lips, and feels balmy and moisturizing.  I love all of these things in a lip product, so I was very impressed!

Staying time was what I expected from this type of product.  It hung around on my lips for a good two hours or so, but did need to be reapplied.  Generally these lip crayon formats don't last hours upon hours for me, so I was happy with it.

As for the color; I adore it.  It is a perfect "my lips but better" color for me.  Wishful is a nice, peachy nude with a litter sparkle in it.  Just gorgeous.

One last note on the LipSurgence line is the peppermint oil in them.  If you are not a huge fan of peppermint, I would not recommend this product for you.  It has quite a candy cane smell, similar to what you find in Burt's Bees chapstick, so be aware of that.

All in all, I really like this product.  The one thing I do want to make note of is that I have found a few drugstore products very similar to this that perform similarly and have a much lower price point.  LipSurgence lip cremes retail for $24, whereas Revlon Kissable Balm Stains (which perform very similar to these lip cremes) retail for $9.49.  I HIGHLY recommend grabbing these types of products in sample size collections like I did and trying them out before splurging if you are on the fence about them.  These types of collections are also a really fun way to try high-end products without forking out too much without knowing how much you like them.

Keep in mind, if you are interested in Wishful because you like the color, it is available only in this advent calendar or in the Sweet Dreams Holiday Collection, which I cannot find online at the moment.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A New Family Member!

We Got a Kitten!

That's right!  We added to our family yesterday and adopted a second kitty!  We have had our resident cat, Guenhwyvar, for four years now and thought it was about time to get him a playmate.  For about a year, a few years ago, our roommate had a kitten that we raised with Guenhwyvar, but we have parted ways since then so we decided to add onto our furry family!

Meet Gnar!

Gnar is a male kitten, about five months old.  He looks like he's got some Maine Coon in him, so I'm wondering how big he will get.  He does however have short, stubby legs, so we are thinking that he might have some Munchkin Cat in him as well!  He may turn out to be a huge cat with stubby legs...(let's hope).  :D  He is super cuddly and wants to be petted all of the time!  We hope he stays this way :)

He seems to be settling in fairly well.  (While I am typing this, he is at the vet getting fixed though...yikes!).  We are keeping him in a "safe room" to help Guenhwyvar (resident cat) to adjust to the new kitty smell while Gnar gets used to living in a house rather than a cage.

I've also included a photo of Guen...he's not too enthused just yet...

As always, thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for my first post about my first two doors I opened in my Tarte advent calendar!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tarte Petite Treats 12 Days of Christmas

New Series!  

Hi everyone!  Sorry I've been a little absent as of late.  I've been doing a lot of work on my YouTube channel lately and just haven't had much to talk about here on the blog.  However, that is all about to change!

I have a fun new series I am going to be doing once a week through Christmas!  I got an order recently from Ulta that included Tarte's Petite Treats 12 Days of Tarte Deluxe Collection and I am so excited about it!  Growing up, each Christmas, my grandmother would give me an advent calendar at the beginning of December.  It was one of my favorite traditions and still is today.  I hope to start to make it a tradition with the kids in our family (our four nieces and nephews).  With that in mind, I just HAD to get my hands on this to carry on my own favorite tradition AND to get to try out some products from Tarte!  Admittedly, I don't think I've tried anything from Tarte before but have always heard great things and have been wanting to try them for a very long time!

Of course, I just couldn't wait until the 12 days before Christmas to start opening the calendar, so I decided to make it into a series over the next six weeks leading up til Christmas.  And yes, there are just six weeks until Christmas in case you haven't been keeping count.  YAY! 

Each week, I will open two of the doors in the advent calendar and do a little mini review on the two products I get sometime that week.  I will post at the end of each week (probably Saturday or Sunday) to tell you what I think about what I found inside of the doors!

Door 1 - LipSurgence Lip Tint in Wishful

Door 2 - Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelette

Door 3 - Clean Slate Poreless Primer

So stay tuned and let the holiday fun begin!

As always, thanks for reading!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: LUSH A French Kiss Bubble Bar

My Bath Matched My Hair...

No, but really.  It did.  :)
Today I wanted to review the experience I had with the LUSH A French Kiss Bubble Bar.  I purchased this recently with some seasonal products I featured in my recent LUSH and Bath and Body Works haul on my YouTube channel.  I have always heard great things about this bubble bar, so I added it to my basket last minute to try it out one evening!

First of all, it is an adorable little shape.  It's the shape of a Hershey's Kiss (adorable) and smells AMAZING!  The description of this bubble bar boasts notes of lavender, rosemary and thyme; all of which I can smell in it.  It is such a relaxing scent!

This color my bath turned when I crumbled it in (which was way late in the bath since I forgot that it is a bubble bar!) was just gorgeous!  I had just gotten my hair colored when I took this bath and it matched my hair pretty perfectly, which was fun!  It gave a nice richness to the bath, which if you've read my other reviews of LUSH bath products, you know I look for that.  My skin felt soft and luxurious and again, the scent was super relaxing and amazing!

A French Kiss will definitely be a repurchase for me.  It is perfect for a nice, cozy winter bath when you just want to chill out and go to sleep.  I definitely recommend this product from LUSH.

Have you tried A French Kiss?  Do you have a go-to bath product when you want to relax before bed?

As always, thank for stopping by!