Product Review: Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain Review

You know that accessory you have that makes every outfit instantly look better? (Mine is a Biggie Smalls necklace.) The makeup version of that is a bright or intense lip color. I personally go for bright over intense, because with my light skin and black hair (with blue at the ends) anything vampy or dark makes me look like Elvira. I love the idea of a vampy look and am a huge fan of an oxblood or black cherry lip on a blonde or redhead, but on me, bright usually works better.

To get my bright lip fix, I used to automatically go for orange reds, like MAC Lady Danger. But a while back, my cousin, Saint Maria Goretti, gave me a Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Rendezvous, a pretty coral (more on the orange than pink side of coral). It instantly turned me into a coral lip girl. Rendezvous has become a staple in my personal makeup bag. I wear it at least once a week. I find myself reaching for it when I either a) Don’t have much time but want to look like I put effort into my look or b) Am feeling blah and need a pick me up.

Circumstance A happens a lot when I’m crazy busy working on a shoot or during wedding season. During those days or months, I don’t have much time to put on makeup. But Rendezvous, in combination with my My Super Quick Everyday Look, makes me look pulled together even when I’m so busy I don’t know what day, month or year it is (I’m not exaggerating–I once thought it was August in November). In case you missed it, here’s how I do my Super Quick look: https://allisonbarberamakeup.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/my-super-quick-everyday-look/

Circumstance B happens for most of the winter. When it’s mid-February and there is no end in sight to the short days, daily snowstorms and bitter cold, I have to fake myself into thinking summer is near or I risk losing my shit completely. When I’m on the verge of a seasonal breakdown, I often bring out the Jergens Natural Glow, a turquoise eyeliner or now, my Rendezvous Balm Stain. I do this in hopes that my summer makeup fools my brain into thinking it’s warm out, even if only for two seconds.

The ColorBurst Balm Stain is a gel formulation. Rendezvous has a sheen to it and feels pretty moisturizing. You can easily build up the coverage, and the color payoff is good. It’s reasonably long-lasting, which surprised me as even decently longwear products can be tough to find at the drugstore level.  This is one of those big lip crayons, like a Clinique Chubby Stick, so you’re not going to get a precise line with it. (I like more of a blurry line on my own lips, because I think it makes them look bigger, so I like this aspect.) When it starts to wear down, you just twist the top to bring more product up.

I found this to be an easy, wearable and inexpensive (retails between $6.80-$8.99) lip product. This particular shade may not be for everyone, but they have several colors in the line. Even if you are not usually into a pop of color on your lips, why not give it a try? It’s spring time–have some fun! 😉 I think it really is worth experimenting with a brighter lip color. The right color can brighten up your face and bring out your eye color. And if you buy it at CVS, you can return it as long as you have the receipt. So you have nothing to lose! At least consider it for me, would you?

Have a beautiful day 🙂

A Lip Color Alternative: CoverGirl Lip Stain Review

Growing up, I (of course) loved playing with makeup. Sometimes I’d put a lipstick on, decide I didn’t like it, then gently blot some off on a paper towel.  Many times, I liked the color that was left better than the original application.  I was making a lip stain and didn’t even know it.  And now they come pre-packaged, no paper towel needed.

I love a berry lip stain with flushed cheeks and just mascara on the eyes. It’s a really pretty look and different from the glossed or nude lips that are so popular. A stain is low maintenance, because it really stains the color on your lips (duh) and doesn’t wear off as quickly as glosses or lipsticks.  Another option is to layer it under a lipstick to both give the lipstick something to anchor to and so there is a layer of color undernearth when the lipstick wears off.  The only downfall is that lip stains are often drying, so if your lips are chapped or cracked, the product is going to grab onto those areas and showcase them.

I recently tried the CoverGirl Lip Stains and they are fabulous. The applicator looks and feels like a felt tip marker and it deposits color when you press down. The color comes out kind of sheer at first, but you can build up to a deep stain. They offer a good color selection, which is key.  A girl’s gotta have choices! They also have a faint fruity scent which I like.

My only issue with this product is that as a makeup artist, it’s hard to use these on other people. With other lip products, I scan scrape, squeeze or swipe them out of their containers, but you can’t really do that with these. I can press down and deposit color on a palette, but it only gives a little at a time.

But for personal use, you can’t really go wrong. I’d say it’s worth it to have one of these in your makeup bag when you feel like doing something different. If it feels too matte on your lips, you can always add gloss or balm.

And at around $10, they won’t break the bank. So give it a try!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Pleasantly Surprised: CoverGirl Lashblast Fusion Mascara Review

CoverGirl, lengthening mascara, drugstore mascara

I’m a Diorshow girl–I think I’ve made that clear. I’ve yet to find any better (non-waterproof) mascara. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try out other mascaras.  I don’t think I’d be doing my job as a makeup artist if I didn’t try new products.

I recently tried the CoverGirl Lashblast Fusion in Very Black. It claims to  lengthen, separate, and volumize the lashes, without smudging or smearing.

Before I tell you what I thought of this product, I have a confession to make. I’ve become somewhat of a makeup snob in the last few years.  I used to buy all of my makeup from drugstores–until I discovered lines like MAC, NARS, Laura Mercier and Make Up For Ever.  I found that in general, the more expensive brands are more expensive for a reason–they’re better.

But I’ve tried a lot of CoverGirl products lately and I must say, I’m impressed. The Lashblast Fusion mascara is a solid lengthening mascara. I don’t think it does much in terms of volumizing, but it absolutely lengthens.  I haven’t noticed any smudging or flaking, even in humid weather. And true to its claim, it separates the lashes. (It doesn’t separate perfectly like in the ads you might see for mascara–those are fakes lashes and/or Photoshopped–but it does a good job of that.)

What I don’t care for is the mascara wand. It’s a rubbery, spiky looking wand  and I don’t like the way it feels.  This doesn’t affect when I use the product on clients, since I only ever use disposable wands on them, but I don’t like the way it feels when I use it on my own lashes (obviously I have one tube for clients and one for my personal kit). That may just be a preference thing though.  I don’t consider it a dealbreaker, like the spiky ball applicator in the Givenchy Phenomen’eyes mascara.

So all in all, this is a solid lengthening mascara at a great drugstore price.  Nice work, CoverGirl!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

An Eyeliner That Won’t Budge: CoverGirl LiquiLine Blast Review

These liners are legit.

Remember that surprise makeup package I got? Sure you do. So let’s get those reviews started, beginning with the CoverGirl LiquiLine Blast eyeliners.

These pencil eyeliners are stubborn, and I mean that in a good way.  You do not have to worry about these bad boys going anywhere. I tested all seven liners that I received, and not once did they smear, smudge or flake.  Once they’re on, they’re on.  They lasted through hot, humid days, workouts, and even a few tears.

That being said, if you want a smudgy look, you need to work fast. Take out a pencil brush out and get moving, because these liners set before you can say “smokey eye.”  I didn’t care for the smudger found on the other side of the pencil. I found it a little too hard, and I felt like it was tugging on my eyelids when I tried it.  A soft pencil brush (CVS Essence of Beauty makes great, affordable ones) will do the trick though.

There’s nothing I hate more than a weak eyeliner. If I want a muted color, I’ll tone it down or blend it out.  Give me color, give me pigment, or give me a friggin’ break.  Thankfully, the CoverGirl LiquiLine Blast eyeliners absolutely deliver in the intensity department. When I first tried the Blue Boom shade (a gorgeous electric blue), I actually said “Oooooh!” out loud.  I also really like the Silver Spark and I’ve been using Brown Blaze a lot on wedding clients.

These liners retail for under $10–a great value. If you want a good, long lasting liner that has serious intensity, try a LiquiLine Blast. There are very few liners that can stand up to the heat and humidity that most of the country  is having right now, but these liners won’t let you down.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

If Extra Bucks Were Real Dollars, I’d Be Rich

CVS, extra bucks, I love my extra bucks, drugstore makeup
I sure do!

I go to my local CVS so much that one of the cashiers knows my name, and he gives me Hershey’s Kisses and extra coupons when I come in. Last week, I made four trips there in 24 hours. I recently wore out my CVS card and they had to give me a new one. I think I spend more time there than I do in my own house.

Besides birthday cards, contacts solution and toothpaste, I buy a lot of my kit essentials there. Here are my top CVS items:

1) Wet Ones Wipes. I use these to remove fake blood from skin, and sometimes to clean my brushes in between clients. These wipes kill 99.99% of germs, so my brushes get properly sanitized, and they dry quickly. They’re also gentle enough to remove makeup from my human palettes (my hands and arms) without drying out my skin.

2) Essence of Beauty makeup brushes. Essence of Beauty is CVS’s cosmetic line. I adore their eye makeup brushes, especially the small pencil brushes. They’re great for placing shadow in the inner corner of the eye, and smudging liner at the lashline. The larger pencil brush is great for creasework.

3) Cotton Balls. If you remove your eye makeup–and if you wear it, you should be removing it at night–you need these.

4) L’Oreal Eye Makeup Remover. Every makeup artist has their favorite eye makeup remover, and this is mine. My eyes have been burned, stung, clouded up and otherwise assaulted by other eye makeup removers. But this blue, white-capped bottle has treated me kindly, and is able to remove even the most stubborn eye makeup. I use the original formula.

5) Ardell DuraLash Flares. I use these all the time. 95% of my brides wear them, so I buy a lot. Flare lashes are more subtle than strip lashes, and they allow you to build the level of drama you want. (Update: I now buy these in bulk from a beauty supply site but for non-makeup artists, CVS is the place to go for these).

6) Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin. I find that undereye concealers work best when the area is prepped with a little bit of lotion first. So I use this non-irritating moisturizer on everyone. Also, it comes without SPF, which I prefer for weddings and photoshoots (SPF products can cause a white cast in pictures).

7) Hand Sanitzer. My job requires that I touch people’s faces, and it’s just not right to do that without sanitizing first. It’s one of those cheap but essential items every makeup artist absolutely needs. And of course, these aren’t for makeup artists only. Everyone needs a little sani in their purse, car, or desk drawer.

8) Petroleum Jelly: I’ve used this for chapped lips, to make eyeshadow glossy and to add a sheen to the skin. My cousin uses it on her lashes at night and swears it makes them softer. I haven’t tried that yet because if I add any more products to my nightly beauty routine, I’m going to have to start at 7:00pm.

CVS is quick, cheap, and (at least for me) convenient. What’s your favorite CVS product?

Have a beautiful day 🙂