Category: Product Reviews

With Laura Mercier Colour Dots and Baked Blush Illuminé, You Get the Glowing Cheeks of a Girl From an Impressionist Painting

Published in: Face, Guest Post, Laura Mercier, Product Reviews

Laura Mercier Colour Dots

Impressionistic cheeks: Laura Mercier Colour Dots in Sangria and Baked Blush Illuminé in Rose

I’m often inspired by art when I get ready in the morning — and not always modern art, à la Andy Warhol or iconic images of Twiggy — but sometimes, like during the deepest and darkest parts of winter, I’ll think of a novel or a particular Renaissance painting and try to recreate the spirit of the work or, if it’s a portrait, the glow surrounding the subject.

Sometimes with Laura Mercier I think of impressionist paintings, and it’s not hard to see similarities between some of Laura Mercier’s muted greens, steel blues and rich sienna browns and a color palette used by Claude Monet, right?

That’s perfect for me, as I love that romantic flush on the faces of so many impressionistic heroines. If you gaze at a Renior, you’re sure to see a glowing rose pink, and when my skin is at its most sallow or pale during the winter months, that’s the look I most like to create with my blush.

Thanks to the new Laura Mercier Colour Dots ($32) and Baked Blush Illuminé in Rose ($42), I’ll be glowing like a painting for months.

Laura Mercier Colour Dots

Impressionistic cheeks: Colour Dots in Sangria and Baked Blush Illuminé in Rose

Laura Mercier Colour Dots

Positively glowing thanks to Laura Mercier Colour Dots in Sangria and Baked Blush Illuminé in Rose

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These Shade Adjusting Drops From The Body Shop Are Kind of…Awesome!

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup, Product Reviews, The Body Shop

the body shop shade adjusting drops

Feeling like a cosmetic chemist with The Body Shop’s Shade Adjusting Drops ($20 each, available in two shades)!

And they work very, very well, but I almost didn’t give them a try at all, because I think they’re something you probably don’t really “need.” Once you’ve got them, though, you find yourself reaching for them over and over again. 

I’ve been seeing pictures and reviews of them floating around online, and I thought, “Neat,” but I wasn’t moved to rush out and buy them immediately.

Sure, I was intrigued. They’re supposed to transform an almost right face makeup shade into something perfect, but I wondered if they’d also affect the performance of my foundations. And I also thought it would just be easier to go get the right foundation shade in the first place (amiright?).

After playing around with them for a couple of weeks, I’m convinced now that they really are a cool product.

body shop shade adjusting drops

The Shade Adjusting Drops from The Body Shop ($20 each, available in Lightening Shade 41523 and Darkening Shade 41524)

The Lightening ones are meant to be used if your foundation shade looks too dark or orange, and they have a mix of white and pink pigments to neutralize yellowness and also lighten your foundation. One drop will lighten your foundation by about 1/2 a shade.

The Darkening ones work for when your foundation looks too light or ashy, and they have a mix of black and red pigments. And one drop will darken your foundation by about 1/2 a shade.

When I first heard about these, I assumed I’d be using the Darkening drops, because I tan super easily, and each of my six or so foundations are slightly different colors because of this. When I lived in New York, my skin tone differed pretty dramatically due to the long stretches without any sunlight whatsoever (you know, winter). Even within a single brand like NARS, my three foundations are in different shades, just because I was a slightly different color each day I happened to walk into the store to buy them (here are swatches in this post).

But it turns out that I’ve actually been reaching for the Lightening drops more often, and I use them to make one of my favorite summertime foundations wearable for me right now.

body shop shade adjusting drops

To show the Body Shop’s Shade Adjusting Drops mixed with Diorskin Nude BB Creme — on the top (L-R): Lightening Drops, Diorskin Nude BB Creme, Darkening Drops; on the bottom (L-R): 1 Lightening Drop + Diorskin Nude BB Creme and 1 Darkening Drop + Diorskin Nude BB Creme

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The Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette, With Its Simple, Logical Layout, Is Almost Perfect!

Published in: Guest Post, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Too Faced


too faced cocoa contour

The words “contouring” and “easy” don’t usually fit into the same sentence for me, but I think it is possible to have them both with this particular popular palette: the Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette ($40).

Most contouring palettes have a LOT going on, but this one has such a logical, simple layout. It only has four pans, but it always comes in handy, no matter if I feel like wearing a little makeup or a lot. Contouring has never been a part of my daily makeup routine, but I’m surprised by how quickly I’ve grown to like using this palette!

too faced cocoa contour

too faced cocoa contour

too faced cocoa contour buki brush

The super soft contour buki brush is included with the palette

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Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: Now Waterproof!

Published in: Eyes, Guest Post, Makeup, Product Reviews, Too Faced

too faced better than sex waterproof

Remember when Too Faced made a mascara that was “better than sex?” Well, this one is even better than that one because it’s waterproof!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara ($23) works magic in every department now — volume, length, and (now) curl.

Feeling upgraded in every way, it’s packaged in a heavy metal tube with a water-fleck texture like the one I fell in love with from the MAC Alluring Aquatic Collection (2014).

Waterproof mascara isn’t for everyone, though. For some, it means blinking away black flakes, dry crunchy lashes, and even losing a few eyelashes trying to take it off, but I think this is one of the better waterproof mascaras I’ve used, and it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a new one. This one’s now my favorite mascara for special occasions.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof

Better lashes, here I come!

too faced better than sex waterproof

too faced better than sex waterproof

Closeup of the “Better Than Sex” wand…

too faced better than sex waterproof

too faced better than sex waterproof


So, the wand on this mascara is ridiculously huge, and my first few tries with it were super messy. I’m not sure if the wand has to be THIS big, because sometimes the product can collect into clumps on the brush.

But since I love the way it makes my lashes look, I can overlook a few messy applications. The jet-black formula really sticks to my lashes, but instead of weighing them down like the original Better Than Sex Mascara does, this one holds them in place.

Multiple layers are also possible because of the slow-drying formula.

Now, even though your waterproof lashes look amazing, what do you do with them at the end of the day?

Removing waterproof mascara

You grab Too Faced Mascara Melt Off ($17), which you swipe right onto your lashes, and the oil-infused formula conditions and literally “melts off” waterproof mascaras.

Too Faced Mascara Meltdown

Too Faced Mascara Meltdown

Too Faced Mascara Meltdown

Too Faced Mascara Melt Off applicator

The main reason I don’t wear waterproof mascara more often is because cleanup is so difficult, and even though I always use a separate waterproof eye remover, this mascara still doesn’t budge easily.

But Mascara Melt Off works great and takes less effort. I just let it sit on my lashes for a full minute before wiping off the oil and the rest of my eye makeup with a warm makeup wipe (I warm the makeup wipe by running it under hot water).

These products were made for each other, and Mascara Melt Off really works.

See you in the next!


Anna Oh

Anna is an illustrator and designer from Atlanta, GA. Her work focuses on fashion, beauty, and awesome women. A former tomboy, Anna now happily embraces all things pink, glittery, and floral scented. You can see her illustration work at and on Instagram.

These MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter Pens Should Really Be Called PERK+Prime! Miracle Workers

Published in: Eyes, Face, Guest Post, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter Pens

Ta-da! Using the MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter pens ($26 each) to “pep up” my under-eyes

I’m guessing that by now you’re all getting tired of hearing me bang on about how tired I am.

But really, it’s a vicious cycle. I recently read a meme on Facebook (don’t judge me) while scrolling through my feed during the wee hours of sleeplessness with a fussy baby that read, “Parenting is the constant battle between going to bed to catch up on some sleep or staying awake to finally get some alone time.”

L-O-L, is that ever true!

Hopefully for this tired mama, MAC’s new $26 Prep+Prime Highlighter click pens can help. They’re supposed to “effectively [bring] a soft, sheer wash of colour to skin.”

But first, can we briefly pause to appreciate the shimmering — dare I say sexy? — packaging? I’m in love with these boxes and tubes…

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

The MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters in all their glittery packaged glory!

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

Out of focus (on purpose) because I love the tiny shimmers in the packaging!

Available in nine shades (including two correctors in peach and rose) to suit a wide range of skin tones, the Prep+Prime Highlighters are MAC’s answer to YSL’s eponymous Touche Eclat Stylo. Creamy and easy to apply thanks to the gentle brush head from which the product is dispensed, these highlighters do dry down quickly and oxidize slightly to a somewhat deeper tone than I’d expect based on the swatches.

Although the two shades on the right are just too deep for my complexion, any of the first three on the left would suit my skin tone, depending on what I want and need. The one called Light, for instance, is a classic highlighting concealer, while Medium would be better suited to cancel out the blue tones under my eyes.

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters (L-R): Light, Medium, Medium Plus, Dark, Dark Deep

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