Review: Smashbox High Definition Concealer

I’ve pretty much felt “meh” about most of the Smashbox stuff I’ve tried.  The things I have liked seemed too expensive for what it was, but I’m not anti-Smashbox by any means.  This particular product ended up getting purchased because I did the thing at Sephora where you book a “custom makeover” appointment.  My daughter was going to Prom and it seemed like a good way to get her makeup done.  Her makeup did turn out beautifully and this was one of the products her stylist suggested, so I spent almost half of the $50 gift card on it…

Pros: Oil-free. Paraben-free. Lightweight (good for under-eye area).

Cons:  Expensive.  Small container.  Not very thick.  Not waterproof or full-coverage like my favorite concealer.  Not available in a great selection of shades.  The contents of the one I bought were very “separated” and when I first tried to use it, I got a mix of watery residue and actual product.

In Summary:  This is a good concealer for “average” use, but isn’t a great choice if you have very dark spots or blemishes to hide.  It is good for brightening/toning down dark areas like under-eye circles, and it doesn’t look “cakey” when you use it.  Overall, it’s a good product.  But I still think it’s overpriced. I’d much rather buy Amazing Cosmetics concealer and thin it out with under-eye cream when I want to use it for my dark circles.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars  3.5-stars

Price: $22 (USD) for .27 fl oz. tube

Available at:  Sephora, Ulta, Smashbox.com, beauty.com

Made in:  USA

smashbox high definition concealer

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Review: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pure (Primer)

Desperate for a primer that won’t make my face break out horribly (but unwilling to commit a small fortune towards a product that might not work), I went into a Sephora store to get a sample. (OK, I went into TWO Sephora stores to get more than one sample…)  This is one of the products I sampled…

Pros: Vegan. Paraben-free. Oil-free.  Doesn’t contain glycerin like some oil-free products do. (I’ve noticed glycerin clogs my pores/causes breakouts.)  Creates a “matte” surface and reduces the appearance of minor imperfections.  Goes on smoothly. A little less expensive than its Smashbox brand equivalent.

Cons:  Smells a little bit like chlorine/bleach.  Feels a little “heavy”.

In Summary:  I liked this primer, although I don’t like the “heavy” feeling.  Most primers feel this way to me, though, so it’s apparently just something I need to get past.  The faint scent of chlorine didn’t appeal to me, but that’s also something I could get over.  It did seem to help my makeup go on more smoothly and keep from getting shiny throughout the day, which makes it a good product, in my book.  I’m definitely adding this product to my wish list.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars 4-stars

Price: $30 for 1 oz.

Available at:  toofaced.com, Sephora, Ulta, beauty.com

too faced primed and poreless pure

Review: Neutrogena Shine-Control Makeup (Foundation)

Desperate to find a foundation that doesn’t “separate” when my skin gets oily, doesn’t contain parabens, and doesn’t look/feel like it was made of a base of vegetable oil, I picked up this one at a recent trip to a local drug store.  I had been debating trying it for a while and the clever people in charge of the CVS Beauty Care Club sent me a $5 off coupon.  Then they put this product on sale.  And I had a manufacturer’s coupon, so I was able to get it for about $1.  Yeah, kind of hard to say no, right?  By the way, when did foundation stop being called foundation?  Now it’s just called “makeup”.  Isn’t everything I put on my face to try to look pretty called makeup?!?!  I digress.  Back to my review…

Pros: Paraben-free.  SPF-20.  Relatively inexpensive.  Since it’s a “drug store brand”, you can use coupons and promotions to get it more inexpensively.

Cons:   Gritty.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting this.  I’m not sure if it’s an “oil control” ingredient, but it’s kind of odd.  Seriously, it’s rougher than some “exfoliating” products I’ve bought.  Only comes in 8 shades.  The one I chose was too dark, but I think the next shade “down” would have been too light.

In Summary:  This foundation does help control shine somewhat, and it feels less heavy than some of its competitors.  It doesn’t separate as skin gets oily the way many foundations do, which is a big bonus.  It’s definitely better than any of the “drug store” brands I’ve tried.  I think Clinique’s Stay Matte Makeup (read review here:  http://wp.me/p1Z8Rq-ox) works a little better, but probably not it’s probably not “better” enough to pay twice as much for it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars  

Price:  approx $12

Available at:  mass merchandisers, drug stores, drugstore.com, Ulta