Hi. I’m Mari...and I’m a beauty junkie.
Often times, I go into a store with a list in my hand of necessities I need and walk out with a crap load of extra items that I thought either looked cool or was something I saw in an ad that popped up on one of my social medias. Damn you marketing gods!!
There have been times I’ve been lucky when purchasing a new item but, occasionally, I'll find that I've somehow wasted my money.
Now, I know the title of this entry sounds a bit on the negative side but it's my honest review of some of the most hyped up beauty products out there. I intend for this entry to be informative and, who knows, could (potentially) save others from disappointment.
Don't get me wrong...others may absolutely love these products (I can see a couple items in this article to be considered holy grail products), but, sadly, they didn’t quite work out for me. Sharing my experiences may help y’all think of alternative ways to make them work for you should you try any of these items out yourself.
Too Faced Peach Mist Setting Spray
This fruit-scented mattifying setting spray is part of Too Faced's Peaches & Cream Collection. When you take a whiff, it smells a whole lot like Peach Marshmallow candy. This 14-16 hour long-wearing spray is described as "silky" and meant to control oily skin (ME) and leave a dewy glow. I'll be honest, it does a great job of controlling the shine and I feel it's best reserved for those with oily skin types.
POSITIVES: Gluten-Free; Paraben-Free; Sulfate-Free; Phthalate-Free; Oil Control; Fruit-scented (that may appeal more to the younger demographic)
One day, without thinking, I failed to shake the bottle before application. I did a good misting on my face and did a final check in the mirror then went on my merry way to run some errands (the product still hasn't settled, mind you). About an hour or so in, I checked my eye makeup in the mirror and, to my horror, saw white specks on my face (like I had dried drool droplets all over) and what appeared to be flakes in my hair - as if to add to my existing dry scalp issue (more on that in another entry)! And, also, why the HECK did anyone NOT tell me?! Needless to say I was a bit red in the face...I sprayed some on my arm (see picture to the right) to show you what I mean. This is a hard lesson learned to always follow directions of use! Now, technically, it is my fault because there's a big sticker on the cap that exclaims "Shake Me Baby!"...then it dawned on me that the white specks may be a type of water-soluble powder ingredient to help with oil control.
Also, while it claims to leave you with a dewy finish, I didn't experience that glow factor. In fact, it did an all-too good job of mattifying my face that I felt it almost emphasized my minor wrinkles. I like to be matte but with a little sheen. There's nothing too aging than truly matte makeup, especially when you're over the age of 35.
Lastly, while the scent is pleasant for most, it smells a little too "young" for me. It doesn't smell bad and I know I'd love it if I were 12 - 17 years old but I tend to be more biased to light floral scents these days.. Something "age appropriate" if you will.
Final Verdict: It's an okay product and must be used with care especially before spritzing. I'll be using my bottle until I run out because I hate to waste product and, unfortunately, I am not going to repurchase.
Retail Price: $32
Ardell Magnetic Full-Strip Lashes
This product is a major fail. Magnetic half lashes made their debut about a couple years ago and I've heard mixed reviews. So, when I saw these at the Walgreens in Vegas, I wanted to grab a box to try because I've never seen nor heard about magnetic FULL strips. The box comes with 2 pairs of lashes, each with 4 teeny-tiny magnets on the lash line. One pair lays on top of your actual lashes while the other pair goes underneath your actual lashes, hoping to connect with the falsies on top.
CAVEAT: You've got to make sure the upper falsies are secure for the bottom falsies to align exactly. It took me about 10 minutes to attempt but had no real luck. The outer corners seem to attach a lot better than the inner corners. The inner corners weren't close to the lash line at all and just appeared to be falling off your eye.
My 2nd attempt, I tried another approach. I cut the bottom lashes in 3 sections to see if that would be easier in connecting with the upper (full) strip. It definitely was easier but the inner corners still looked loose and still wasn't nearly as close to the lash line.
Final Verdict: Provides 2 pairs of lashes so you could potentially wear them separately (but with lash glue, of course). Don't waste your money on this item (or at least from this particular brand as I can't speak for others). However, I can see the magnetic accents (half) lashes working...
If you have any tips for getting these to adhere perfectly, let me know, because I'm curious to find out how!
Retail Price: $12-14 depending on style and store
Tarte Maracuja Oil
The marketing on this product is "a vegan face oil for a healthy, radiant complexion with no greasy feel." Honestly, I went back and forth with this product. I saw it everywhere on social media and wanted to try it out. I wanted to LOVE IT. Naturally I have an oily skin type but now that I'm getting older, I noticed that some areas of my face were a bit drier than normal. And with our Pacific Northwest weather, we tend to have really cold days, which, can exacerbate the skin.
Ironically, the oil itself doesn't feel greasy after applying (if you use a 1-2 drops (3 at the max)) but the unscented oil has an uncanny smell to that of oil used to cook egg rolls. I love eating egg rolls but I don't like smelling like the oil it's been fried in.
Although this product is made for the face, it's a bit heavy for my skin type (even with the dry patches I seemed to have) but I do use it on my hands, neck, and arms because anything below my neck is pretty dry. My skin soaked the product right up and I was left with softer skin. It's just too bad the smell makes me gag! Again, I will use this product until I run out so as not to waste it. Until then, I'll just have to bear it (luckily, I bought the travel size so I'll run out of this stuff fairly quickly).
Final Verdict: It's mostly a good product but is not recommended for anyone with oilier skin types. If you don't mind the natural, unscented liquids, then try this product out. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother. There are other oils you can probably find with a more pleasant smell. I really tried to love this product but the scent (or lack thereof) is a deal-breaker for me.
Retail Price: $16 (travel size), $48 (1.7 oz regular), $68 (super size)
Fenty Beauty Pro Filtr Foundation
I know the young 'uns will probably disagree with me (and that's okay) but this is another product I wanted to love. If you've been living under a rock, this line was created by none other than pop singer, Rihanna. This foundation is said to be "the ultimate photo filter in foundation form." It is medium coverage, however, i experienced a more full-coverage application - and this is using about a dime-sized drop! You also have to work fast because the liquid dries down rather quickly. This foundation is long-wearing and does a great job in keeping my oily skin under control; however, my skin tends to look super dry (even with moisturizer and primer) and the color will oxidize. The Sephora Consultant talked me into getting a peachy shade and I ended up looking a bit orange. The shade I think I was closer to was on backorder. Again, I'm trying to work with it by thinning it out and mixing in a lighter-toned foundation but, frankly, that just takes too long...ain’t nobody got time for that!
POSITIVES: Available in a whopping 40 shades; Made for all skin types; Paraben-free Phthalate-free; Long-wearing
Final Verdict: When you're older like me (35 and over), I don't think this foundation is quite for you. I've heard rather rave reviews from younger women, mainly, and that's wonderful! The foundation actually looks great on them! But, for me, it just didn't work as I'd hoped. It felt thick and drier than normal, and the finish seemed more matte than I'd liked. The foundation ended up settling into my creases so I had to really work in buffing these areas out. This brand does have a foundation primer available so perhaps you have to purchase it to make this base work (but I've already got 2 personal primers and there was no point to purchase more).
Retail Price: $34
Zoe Ayla Silicone Beauty Sponge Applicators, 2-pk
This isn't the only brand that sells these silicone "sponge" applicators. I actually snagged mine (above) from one of Hautelook's flash sales and bought the 2-pk at a deep discount. The idea of this applicator is to provide an airbrushed finish by only using half the amount of makeup you'd normally use because it's not absorbing the product. I thought, "Wow cool...this may be something I could use on my clients!" Of course, before making a commitment to buying a few applicators, I tried it on myself. I am most often my own guinea pig and I found it didn't give me the airbrushed look it claimed it could give. I could see streaks and some blotching.
If someone has a technique in applying with this tool, please let me know. I hate to think that these are a waste of money because it seems like a genius concept.
POSITIVES: 100% bacteria-free and easy to clean; Non-irritating and allergy-tested
Final Verdict: In theory, this concept is innovative and meant to make our lives easier but, in fact, it takes a bit of work to ensure the foundation (or any cream product) is blended to perfection. I've tried multiple times to work with it but, truthfully, it just gets a little discouraging each time especially when I can't seem to work with it the way I want. Since it doesn't absorb any of the excess, the foundation seems to "sit" on top of the skin. Therefore, I end up buffing the rest with my dome-shaped brush or beauty blender. Still, feel free and try this out because there have been people out there that actually like its application. I, for one, am definitely not getting on that bandwagon.
Retail Price: $30
So, there you go...my honest opinions on some products that I'm sure you've seen, used, or been intrigued by.
Let me know if you have any questions with the products above or have experience in using them and what your thoughts are. :-)
~ XOXO, Mari