Section: Product Reviews

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter Is Worthy of Backups Upon Backups

Published in: Becca, Makeup, Product Reviews

In photography, backlighting drives me bonkers…unless it’s something I’m trying to do on purpose, which I’m usually not, but in the case of BECCA Backlight Priming Filter ($38 for a 1-oz. bottle), I have absolutely no problem with it.

Oh, my goodness! Where do I start? There are just so many things I like about BECCA Backlight, notwithstanding the $38 price, which doesn’t qualify as drugstore bargain awesome sauce, but still… I fully intend to use every last drop (and then may even crack open the bottle to get a little more).

BECCA says that Backlight functions like a filter thanks to these things called Filtering Luminescent Pearls, which are supposed to make pores and fine lines look smoother and your whole skin sitch more radiant.

And yup, it does that. It’s got that whole signature BECCA luminescence thing going.

becca backlight swatch

Swatches of BECCA Backlight unblended and blended (for reference, I wear BECCA foundation in Bamboo)

On my skin, Backlight, which came out earlier this fall, looks like a pearlescent beige with the pearl turned waaaaay down. Less shimmery than a BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector, it’s only lightly luminous and glowing, so it doesn’t look like I’m sweating.

Now, even though it’s classified as a general purpose primer, it doesn’t exist solely to extend the wear time of your foundation, concealer and complexion makeup. It specializes in blurring pores, illuminating, moisturizing AND prepping and priming your skin so that anything you layer on top of it goes on smoother.

I use it as a lightweight, illuminating, pore-blurring lotion to prime my face before I apply my foundation, or whatever else I plan to layer on top. I don’t notice it significantly extending the life of my complexion products when I use it with them, but that’s fine by me because that isn’t something it’s designed to do.

Fascinatingly, it somehow manages to illuminate my skin without emphasizing my pores, which is a rare thing indeed, so this is like a magic potion you can keep in your makeup bag.

nars mekong eye closeup

Here I’m wearing BECCA Backlight mixed with foundation and under-eye concealer


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The Smith & Cult Holiday Trio in Red and Glitter

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews, Smith & Cult

smith cult holiday trio 2

The Smith & Cult Holiday Trio in Red and Glitter ($54, available now at Neiman Marcus stores and online)

I can haz Smith & Cult paw polishes…? Because I’d like a wall of shelves filled with them.

It’s the bottles, man! I could spend hours starting at the bottles…

It’s as if whoever designed the bottle plumbed the depths of my makeup-loving soul for things that make my heart flutter, like the cursive typography, the hefty glass, the oval curves and the Dali-like cap (it looks like it’s melting!).

I love it when beauty products are actually, like, beautiful…and I friggin’ LOVE these bottles.

smith cult shattered sould

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Shattered Souls

These three fun shades are part of the new $54 Smith & Cult Red and Glitter Holiday Trio available now at Neiman Marcus stores and online. The trio comes with three full-size bottles of Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer from the brand’s permanent line in poppy red Kundalini Hustle, creamy eggplant Dark Like Me and golden glittery Shattered Souls.

Kundalini Hustle and Dark Like Me are both fully opaque, while Shattered Souls is glitter in a clear base.

As far as bargains go…this isn’t one of those sets. Smith & Cult nail polishes usually sell for $18 each, so $54 for three doesn’t constitute a price break, but I still think you get a nice combination of complementary colors (there’s also another trio available with pastels).

Smith Cult Kundalini Hustle

Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer in Kundalini Hustle


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Laura Mercier Master Class Colour Essentials Holiday 2015 Eye and Cheek Palette

Published in: Laura Mercier, Palettes, Product Reviews

laura mercier master class colour essentials collection

The new 20-piece Laura Mercier Master Class Colour Essentials Collection eye and cheek palette ($125) looks a little like a day planner from 1998, or like a chic clutch you might take to an event where all the ladies are wearing dangerously high heels and carrying ridiculously tiny purses.

Still cute though, I think, especially with the brown and gold tortoiseshell-like trim.

laura mercier master class colour essentials collection 6

The limited edition holiday 2015 palette comes with 12 powder eyeshadows, three blushes, two powder liners (for tightlining), a black eye kohl and two brushes, and it’s about two degrees of separation from Laura Mercier herself, because she handpicked all of the products.

I mean, it’s not like hanging out with her over tea and scones (I wish!), but it’s almost like having her do your makeup.

Almost.

LOL!

With such a wide variety of colors, finishes and formulas, the palette is packed with creative possibilities for endless looks ranging from day to night to nude to smoky.

laura mercier master class colour essentials collection 1
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The Essie Holiday 2015 Fringe Luxeeffects Collection Nail Polishes for When You Want to Sparkle Like You Mean It!

Published in: Essie, Nails, Product Reviews

Essie Fringe Luxeeffects 2015 collection

The Essie Holiday 2015 Fringe Luxeeffects Collection nail polishes ($8.50 each, available now online, at salons, drugstores and Ulta)

Like a confetti party for your paws, Essie’s four new Holiday 2015 Luxeeffects nail polishes have So. Much. Glitter.

Glorious gobs of glittering, glistening, lens-flare inducing glitter!

And the glitter comes in different shapes, colors and sizes, all of it suspended in a clear nail polish base, so you won’t be stuck staring at standard-issue sparkle. No, way. There’s gunmetal gray and pink glitter in Fringe Factor, platinum and cobalt in Frilling Me Softly, copper and bronze in Tassel Shaker and maroon sparkly flecks in Fashion Flares.

essie fashion flares

Essiei Fashion Flares

essie tassel shaker

Essie Tassel Shaker

essie fringe factor

Essie Fringe Factor


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Introducing MAC Maximized False Lashes Maximizer

Published in: Eyes, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac false lashes maximizer

See that pristine white porcelain candelabra/bed post in the picture below?

Haha, just kidding. It’s actually a tube of new $17 MAC False Lashes Maximizer (coming to the MAC website November 30 and to MAC counters and stores December 3), and it only stayed looking pristine like that for about 18.325 seconds…which is about how long it took me to get foundation fingerprints all over it.

If I didn’t know better, I would have assumed that this stuff was designed to take false eyelashes to the next level, because of its name, False Lashes Maximizer, but it’s actually designed to make the most of your real lashes.

It’s a lash treatment and volumizing lash primer rolled into one, with the idea being that it’s supposed to make your real lashes look like falsies.

As the owner of stick-straight, underwhelming natural lashes, THAT’S an idea I can totally get behind. :)

The formula, which goes on white but dries clear, is supposed to condition lashes while priming them for mascara layered on top, and it’s also supposed to make your lashes look thicker and plumper.

So it’s basically a mascara primer, but unlike some others, it doesn’t have those tiny fibers in the formula.

mac false lashes maximizer
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