Wednesday, April 16, 2014

All Time Loves: Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

As promised the other day, today I'm reviewing one of my long time loves, the Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil.

If I recall, this first came to my attention courtesy one of the many Brit blogs I read, right around the time the idea of putting oil on one's face came into the mainstream. I know some people out there still feel a bit skittish about it, but I'll try basically anything once (at least, when it comes to skincare), and, boy, am I glad I did.  After about a year and a half of daily use, I can happily attribute the continued health of my skin at least in part to this fabulous little bottle.  In the winter, I use it both morning and evening, after toning and before moisturizing, and it definitely helps keep my skin hydrated, a must in the nasty Chicago winter.  Most of the scientific hubbub around rosehip oil arises from a study published in 1988 out of a university in Peru, although I've not yet had any luck digging up and reading the study myself.  I'll be sure to update this post if I can find a place to read it online.  At any rate, the summaries I've read suggest that the vitamin A in the oil is what helps repair the skin and reduce the look of scarring.

The first bottle I had was the 45mL size, which would be a better deal but for the fact that this oil can get a bit iffy if you've had it open too long.  I ended up not being able to use the entire bottle before it got blech-y, so the second time around I went for the smaller size.  However, I recently gave it a go on a burn I got from my hair curler (once it reached the flaky stage, of course, there's a warning to avoid broken skin on the bottle), and it's remarkable how little of a mark there is.  Obviously I didn't have a control for this, as I try not to burn myself too often as a rule, but there's practically no scar, so if it did help, thanks.  Next time I have to re-purchase, I may consider going with the larger size so I can try it out on some older body scars I have as a result of my continued inability to avoid hitting objects while walking around in my daily life.

In summary: get thee to the internet/Whole Foods.  I love this shit, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than most facial serums, which is the step I'm replacing with this.

Monday, April 14, 2014

MAC Pro Palette for Blush and Eyeshadow

This Christmas, one of my beloved cousins gifted me something that approximately blew my mind: a MAC Pro Palette with fifteen eyeshadows and six blushes, as well as three new brushes, including the fabled 217, after which I have lusted incessantly for the past three years.  Since we're into April now, I can share with you my favorites from my new collection (sorry if I faint from giddiness).

This is the real life awesomeness...
...and these are some handy charts I made on MAC's website so I don't have to keep pulling the pans out to remind me what's what.

You'll notice there's a blank space in each one, which is because the colors available online don't always match up with what's in stock at the store. Still, this is handy enough. The missing eyeshadow is Brown Down, and the missing blush is Pinch O'Peach. I did each chart based on how they're arranged with the hinge facing up, FYI.

As you can see, the colors look TOTALLY different in real life than they do online.  That's about as strong a recommendation I can give for doing first time makeup shopping in person.  No way would you think Expensive Pink looks anything like it actually does based on the website color, and the blushes?  Fuhggedahboutit.

I'm sure you can tell that some shades are more loved than others, though they are all beautiful and have pretty uniformly great texture and payoff.  My only disappointment would be Blackberry, which seems like it would have some nice purple/red tones to it, but mostly reads brown on me.  If I had to pick three faves, Twinks, Amber Lights, and Contrast beat the others by a nose.  Twinks is a maroon shimmer that's been serving me well as a crease color, as its warmth and subtle shimmer go beautifully with a wide range of colors.  Amber Lights is a bronze-gold shimmer that really packs a punch as an all over lid color for a night out, and provides a nice accent on the lower lid when you want to keep it more toned down.  Contrast is a satin navy that reads a little purple in the pan, but goes on straight up traditional pea-coat on the eyes; its awesome depth goes great in the crease and it also makes a fab eyeliner when applied wet for something just a little different than traditional black or brown.

Where the blushes are concerned, the variety of finishes MAC offers in their powder blushes gives a crazy number of options in application.  Hands down Blush All Day gallops past the finish line as my go to in this palette.  It's a dusty rose that leans quite a bit browner than I'm used to, but I love that it gets me out of my comfort zone.  I reach for it most often when I'm having a natural makeup day, as it suits my skin tone in a way that just makes me look healthy. (Side note: Temptalia hated this, which just goes to show that sometimes you won't know if you like something until you try it for yourself.)

Now for the brushes!  In addition to the overwhelming color boost my collection received, I added three more brushes: 129 Powder/Blush Brush, 217 Blending Brush, and 219 Pencil Brush.  Though the 129 does a fairly good job picking up color and has a great shape for easy blush application, I find the texture of it really rough.  It feels like it's scratching my face every time I use it, in addition to which it seems to have some difficulty maintaining it's shape after a wash.  The 217, on the other hand, is everything I've ever dreamed of and more. It's the perfect shape for blending out your crease, but I most like it for softening out the edges of your shadow so that nary a harsh line mars your look.  Add in absurd softness and it's basically the perfect eye brush.  Last but not least, the 219 makes packing a dark color into the corner easier than a hooker at Mardi Gras; it's also great for a quick smudge of color beneath the lower outer lashline when you've got to do your nighttime makeup in a hurry.  I actually have a Special Edition travel size of this brush that I got in a set an alarmingly long time ago, but I find the longer handle makes it mush simpler to use, so I'm sold on the full-size.

Phew!  That about wraps it up, I hope you enjoyed this peek into my newly enlarged color collection.  If you have questions about any of the other shades, please leave a comment on the post and I'll be happy to give you an answer.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spotted: Trilogy at Whole Foods

I realized I've never done a review of one of my favorite products of all time, Trilogy's Certified Organic Rosehip Oil. That's not what I'm doing today, though, so don't get your hopes up.  I'm only mentioning it because I was in Whole Foods the other day and I happened to notice that the bougie grocery chain seems to be carrying many of the products Trilogy makes, including my very favorite, as well as the Antioxidant Plus version.  If you've been interested in their stuff but hate ordering things online (you weirdo), I say head on over to your local Whole Foods and check it out!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Essie Spring 2014: Style Hunter

I thought Romper Room would be my favorite from this collection, but we've got a one coat wonder on our (my) hands here.
This lovely bright pink is called Style Hunter. I've long placed Fruit Sangria on a pedestal as my favorite bright pink summer color, but I don't actually own it – I discovered it in my "getting professional manicures" phase. This color reads slightly redder than that oldie, but I think it's very chic while still getting that massive color payoff that I like to use to lift my spirits before the trees start growing again.  I'm not sure why (probably because I take all my photos on an iPhone camera), but it's slightly orange in these pictures, when in fact it's a very red pink.

As previously mentioned, this was a one-coater, so I feel real good about that, though it was a bit on the thick side.  That might be because it's cold in my apartment, and I only have a mini bottle of it, but I suspect that's true to it's texture in the larger size as well, since I find that to be the case with most Essie colors that only need one coat.

And I've got Hors D'oeuvres as my accent nail, which I did a post on back in January if you want to check it out.
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