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Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

Hello, ladies! (and gents.  If there are any gents.  If there are, welcome.)  Today, we’ll be having a look at Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer.

Thoughts

This lovely gem came along with the “Try It Kit” I got not long ago during my Ulta trip.  I have no idea how I’ve gone so long without under eye primer!  This stuff is amazing.

I suffer from unfortunate dark under eye circles which require concealer even on my best days.  Usually, when I wear concealer I end up fussing with it all day/night, constantly wiping my under eye area to make sure it’s not caking, clumping up or otherwise contributing to making me look older.

The Smashbox Primer is light, and you can definitely feel the hydration as soon as you pat it on your under eye area.  You don’t need much of it, which is nice since I only got a small tube of it in the kit. I have a feeling even that will last me for quite a while.

Smashbox Try It Kit - Beauty ChaosI let the primer dry for a few seconds before applying my concealer.  Immediately, the stuff stays put.  I mean, it is not going anywhere.  So I have to now practice NOT touching my under eyes and constantly wiping away my age.  When I do try to wipe at it, I feel almost as though I’m going to take my skin with it.  So I would advise keeping your hands away from your face.

The great thing is, when I go to look at myself in the mirror partway through the day or night, my makeup is all still intact.  As a matter of fact, when I get home at the end of the day, my makeup is still intact.  I find this amazing, as I have VERY oily Italian skin, which is a blessing and a curse, and I’ve usually melted within a few hours.

Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer - Pin

Cost and Where to Buy

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is available at Sephora and Ulta for $29.  However, when I did a search I found a site called Glambot which has it listed for $14.50.  Knowing nothing about this site, I cannot recommend or not recommend it, but for half the price of other places it’s worth a shot.

Also, if the Smashbox Try It Kit is still available, I’d highly recommend this.  There are four primers in one box for $29.  As I said, you don’t need much, so it’s perfect.

Summing Up

As I said, I cannot believe I went so long without using an under eye primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer is going to become one of my go-to products for both everyday use and special occasions.  LOVE IT.

Other Things
Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer - Beauty Chaos
I am wearing the under eye primer in this photo. I know, you can totally see it.

And now some randomness, as usual.  As I write this I’m sitting in the guest room at my mother’s house in Ohio.  I flew in for my grandmother’s 100th birthday, which was a smashing success.  She loved it.  It was amazing to witness.

Getting to see all my friends here is also amazing.  I usually come here a couple of times a year, and it feels as if no time has gone by.  Everyone needs friends like that.  And they all showed up to my grandmother’s birthday party – how amazing is that?

Smashbox Hydrating Under Eye Primer - Jack
Jack, the wonder cat.

 

I also get to visit with my mama’s kitties, old-lady Skittles and the ever-unforgettable 20 pound wonder, Jack.  He is a lover.  They both sit with me as I work in the dining room table with my computer, flanking me on each side, sleeping soundly in their respective chairs.

At night, Jack will join me for some TV time, insisting I pet him by snuggling up to me and touching me, usually on my face, with his outstretched paw.  It’s nice to have lovey animals everywhere I go.

However…I haven’t been taking very good care of myself while I’ve been here.  I find traveling and balancing visiting with everyone, working, and keeping to my workout routine/nutritional plan to be very difficult.  Physique 57 reminded me that I’ve missed four workouts (thanks, guys) and I’ve eaten pizza for almost every meal.

Insomnia is also a problem.  I suffer from it anyways, but when I’m jet lagged or dealing with any time change, it takes me forever to adjust.  By the time I’ve gotten used to it, it’s time to leave.

So while I’ve very much enjoyed spending time with my people and furry friends, I look forward to getting back into a normal routine and taking care of myself again.

Have a favorite primer?  Got a concealer you want me to try out?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

On my recent Ulta trip, I got a great haul of products.  To be honest, I went in knowing I wanted to make the trip a big one.  I didn’t just lose control and buy everything that I saw (not that I haven’t done that before).

This time, I tried to exercise a modicum of restraint and purchase only those things that I needed.  Or had really wanted to try for a long time.  I mostly succeeded 😉

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Try It Kit

One of my purchases was the Smashbox Try It Kit, which contained several primers, including Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water.

The kit included four of Smashbox’s most popular primers, including Photo Finish Primer Water, Foundation Primer, 24 Hour Shadow Primer, and Hydrating Under Eye Primer.  The Smashbox Photo Finish line of primers is their most popular, but they make a bunch of other primers for different purposes.

At first, I picked up a full sized bottle of Photo Finish Foundation Primer, as I recently ran out of my ELF Poreless Primer and needed something to replace it.  However, during my hour or so of wandering around the store, I found the Try It Kit and decided to give it a go.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water - Try It Kit - Beauty Chaos

Four products to try in one box?  Yes, please.

It’s a good thing that I purchased the Smashbox Kit when I did, because soon after I was hired to work on a CBS show.  I’m not allowed to say which one until it airs (the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club).  But it’ll be on in late July and I’ll let everyone know then.

During the day, my makeup has a tendency to melt and smush in different ways.  It’s one of the drawbacks of living in the hot desert climate – no matter how much powder you apply, makeup will run.  So I decided to try a few different tactics in order to keep my makeup in place this time.

One of the main reasons I like the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is that there are several different ways to use it.

First, you can spray it on as a primer (hence the title) to prep skin for foundation.  Next, it can also be used as a setting spray after you apply your makeup, to keep your makeup in place all day.  Finally, makeup artists swear by using it throughout the day to keep makeup set and freshen throughout the day.

Also, Smashbox Cosmetics is cruelty free, which is always a wonderful bonus.  I can’t wait for the day when all cosmetics are cruelty free.  Can I volunteer to be their lab experiment subject?

The online reviews for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water are pretty great.

According to the Ulta website, 93 percent of women said it left their skin instantly hydrated.  90 percent said it absorbs quickly and their skin felt refreshed after first use.

I had much the same experience with the Primer Water.  As soon as I sprayed it on, my skin felt refreshed and hydrated, and my skin didn’t feel as heavy as if I’d applied a creamier primer.  Major plus, since my skin is oily and feels like I have a slick on it most of the time.  I didn’t take it with me to freshen during the day, and I didn’t use it as a setting spray.  I purchased a different setting spray that I wanted to try, but next time I’ll give this a shot.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water Pin - Beauty Chaos

On a 90 plus degree day, my makeup pretty much stayed put.

I wore the Primer Water under a BB Cream and not foundation, which may have contributed a bit to the smearing, but not much.  My makeup stayed in place for the hour drive to the studio, five hour wait, one hour of shooting, and hour drive home.  Considering the heat, I’d say that’s a win.

Cost and Where to Buy

As I said, I got my Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water at Ulta in a primer kit.  The kit cost $29, which I thought was a steal considering that it contained four primers.  The full sized Primer Water is 3.9 ounces, which goes for $32.  The Smashbox website has it for the same price. eBay has it for around $23, if you’re willing to take a chance on that.

Summing Up

I think Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is a great buy.  You get three products in one, and it keeps makeup in place really well.  I’m excited to try it with a foundation instead of BB Cream.

What’s your favorite primer?  Leave me a comment or message me here!  And don’t forget to subscribe!

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette

Today we’ll be looking at the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette.  This has quickly become my favorite shadow palette, hands down.

But first, some weirdness, or else it wouldn’t be my blog.  I woke up this morning and immediately smashed my shin on the corner of our bed.  Now, I should preface this with letting you all in on a not-so-well-kept secret: I’m incredibly clumsy.  Like, not in a funny way, in a did-that-girl-just-legitimately-hurt-herself kind of way.

Clumsiness has been as much a part of my life as my love of pizza, and I do not remember a time without it.  I remember one of my parents saying to me at one point, “How are you so clumsy when you take so many dance classes?”

I don’t know.  Maybe I grew taller than I was supposed to.  Perhaps I have an undiagnosed inner ear problem.

At any rate, my husband is extremely familiar with my, um, ailment, so prior to moving into our current house, the bed had been, well, “Amy-proofed.”  He put foam bumpers on all the exposed corners so that if *cough*when*cough* I ran into them, I wouldn’t hurt myself.

However, as we were moving the foam fell off, and it hasn’t been replaced.  So this morning began with a super duper gash to my shin.  And the day just kind of went downhill from there.  My computer kept crashing.  The internet was going down at pretty regular intervals.

The only saving grace for this day is that I managed to use the word “druthers” and the phrase “clap back at you” during some banter with my husband.  And I ate a lot of chocolate Chex, which helped.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette - Beauty ChaosSo back to the Urban Decay Naked Palette.  I have the original, but there are several other iterations of it, Naked2, Naked3, Naked Heat, and Naked Smokey.  There’s even a smaller one, Naked Basics, which has only six colors.  For the purposes of today, I’m referring to Naked…original.

The palette consists of 12 colors in gorgeous neutral shades, perfect for a natural look or smoky, if the mood strikes.

I was really late to the game on this one.  Having tried a bunch of imitations, I finally decided to just spend the money and get the real Naked palette.  Boy, did I waste my time with the others.  There is something about the quality of this eyeshadow that really makes it worth the price. I think UD refers to it as their “Pigment Infusion System.”

Each palette comes with double ended brush, fluffy on one end and stiff and straight on the other.  The colors included in the Urban Decay Naked Palette are:

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette Swatches - Beauty Chaos
All the colors listed below, with Virgin at the top and Gunmetal at the bottom

Virgin: cool pale beige shimmer

Sin: pale nude shimmer

Naked: nude matte

Sidecar: beige shimmer with silver glitter

Buck: fawn brown matte

Half Baked: golden bronze shimmer

Smog: deep coppery bronze shimmer

Darkhorse: deep mocha shimmer

Toasted: antique copper penny shimmer

Hustle: plum-brown satin

Creep: black shimmer with sparkle

Gunmetal: dark metallic gray shimmer with silver glitter

Most of the time, I use Naked in the crease, Sin on my lids, and a light line of buck under my eyes.  I finish with some brown gel liner on my upper lashes and occasionally blend Darkhorse over the line.

Cost and Where to Buy

You can pick up the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette on the Urban Decay website, Sephora, or Ulta, and it’s listed on all three for $54.  I know, it seems a little expensive, but think about this: a) you’re getting 12 colors and b) as I said, I’ve tried the knockoffs.  This is the best quality. Plus all three of these sites have free shipping over $50.

Just briefly, since I haven’t tried them but they are similar, here are breakdowns of the other two palettes’ colors, courtesy of the Urban Decay website.

Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette Pin

Naked2

Foxy (cream bisque matte), Half Baked (golden bronze shimmer), Bootycall (cork shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Tease (creamy pale brown matte), Snakebite (dark bronze shimmer), Suspect (pale golden beige shimmer), Pistol (light grayish brown shimmer), Verve (oyster shimmer), YDK (cool bronze shimmer), Busted (deep brown shimmer) and Blackout (blackest black matte)

Naked3

Strange (pale neutral pink matte-satin), Dust (pale metallic pink shimmer w/iridescent micro-glitter), Burnout (light pinky-peach satin), Limit (light dusty rose matte), Buzz (metallic rose shimmer w/silver micro-glitter), Trick (light metallic pinky-copper shimmer w/tonal micro-sparkle), Nooner (medium pinky-brown matte), Liar (medium metallic mauve shimmer), Factory (pinky-brown satin), Mugshot (metallic taupe shimmer w/slight pink shift), Darkside (deep taupe-mauve satin) and Darkheart (smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle)

Naked Heat

Ounce (ivory shimmer), Chaser (light nude matte), Sauced (soft terra-cotta matte), Low Blow (brown matte), Lumbre (copper shimmer w/gold pearl shift), He Devil (burnt red matte), Dirty Talk (metallic burnt red), Scorched (metallic deep red w/gold micro-shimmer), Cayenne (deep terra-cotta matte), En Fuego (burgundy matte), Ashes (deep reddish-brown matte), Ember (deep metallic copper-burgundy)

Naked Smokey

High (pale pink-nude shimmer w/ micro-sparkle), Dirtysweet (medium bronze), Radar (metallic taupe w/ iridescent micro-glitter), Armor (metallic silver-taupe w/ tonal sparkle), Slanted (light metallic gray), Dagger (medium charcoal w/ micro-shimmer), Black Market (jet-black satin), Smolder (deep plum-taupe), Password (cool taupe matte), Whiskey (rich brown matte), Combust (soft pink-taupe), Thirteen (light beige satin)

If you’re looking for a great palette of neutrals, Urban Decay’s Naked Palette is definitely the way to go.  I love mine and I can’t wait to check out the others.

Have you tried a different Naked palette?  Got a different favorite eyeshadow?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs

As with many of the products to which I have been introduced, DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs is another from my mama.  She is a font of wisdom when it comes to new products.  This was no exception.  Funnily enough, the DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs have become one of my favorite stocking stuffers at Christmastime, second only to my engagement ring.  And maybe candy.

First Impressions

I think of DHC as kind of a sleeper brand.  As I said, my mother introduced me to it.  She started using their eye makeup remover (an amazing product), and also uses their Deep Cleansing Oil. The oil is a product I might consider trying once my Kardashian experiment is over. Since I can’t read the packaging, I went to the DHC website to check out their spiel.

DHC Olive Virgin Oil SwabsThough I’ve been using the DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs for a while, I didn’t realize that olive oil is the entire foundation for the DHC brand.  Being half Italian, this makes me super happy, as I basically think of olive oil as being magic and the cure for all ills.  Kind of like what Windex was to the dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  I also remember my grandmother talking about holding a bowl with water and olive oil over your head or something to ward off the evil eye?    Maybe.  She’s almost 100 and knows all kinds of kooky Sicilian rituals.

DHC’s history is interesting, as they began as an educational translation company in Japan in 1972.  They launched their beauty division in 1980 with three products, and olive oil became the foundation for their gentle skin products.

Experience

Well, these lil’ things are handy!  They are individually wrapped, and made to “fix eyeliner and mascara mistakes, and condition cuticles and hard to reach areas.”  I’m not sure what those hard to reach areas would be, and I’m not sure I need to contemplate that too hard.  Never having used the swabs on my cuticles, I can’t speak to their effectiveness there, but I will be trying that out in the future.

However, if you’re anything like me, there is no moment in life when my hand is steady enough to not get mascara all over my eyelids.  I also tend to poke myself in the eye occasionally (read: often) when I put on mascara.  Also, I tend to sneeze right after applying mascara so it gets all over my undereye area.  I think the general consensus here is, I’m a mess.

The great thing about the DHC Olive Virgin Oil swabs is that when you use them to correct these mistakes, they do not take off the rest of your makeup.  When removing the excess mascara from, say, my undereyes, my concealer remains completely intact.  All I have to do is dab my finger across where the swabbing took place and my concealer looks as though nothing has happened.

DHC Olive Virgin Oil Swabs Pin - Beauty Chaos

Cost and Where to Buy

DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil Swabs can be found on the DHC website for $7.50.  Each package comes with 50 double sided, individually wrapped 100% cotton swabs.  The only ingredient listed is olive oil.  You can also find them on Amazon, $15.00 for a pack of 2, or a Subscribe & Save price of $14.25.

Summing Up

Out of 10, I give DHC Olive Virgin Oil swabs a solid 10.  The price is right, the ingredients are natural, and they work exactly as they’re supposed to.  So go get yourself a pack!  Or ask your mom to get you one ;).

Have you tried DHC products?  Want me to try another one?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Dior Addict Lip Glow

Okay, a little disclaimer on this one.  I love Dior.  I haven’t found a product by them that I haven’t liked so far.  So this review of Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm might seem like I’m being biased for some reason.  I’m not.  I just love their products.

First Impressions

I was first introduced to Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm by my friend, Missy, while we were out having lunch one day.  Now, I’m usually skeptical of products that promise to enhance your natural lip color.  These lip glosses usually either a) don’t do anything for me or b) turn a ghastly shade of ’80s pink.

However, Missy insisted this was a great product, and I had recently read about it in Glamour magazine, so I decided to give it a go.  The packaging is elegant, distinctly Dior, and I decided to get the classic pink color as opposed to the coral or lilac.  To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if I was aware that the coral or lilac was available when I first purchased the gloss.

Beauty Chaos - Dior Addict Lip Glow Lips
See how shiny?
Experience

To my surprise and delight, Dior Addict Lip Glow works just as it promises.  I have a very pale lip color to begin with, and the gloss adds just a hint of color.  It’s perfect for days where I don’t wear much makeup, or when I’m doing a smoky eye and need just a hint of color on my lips.  I really envy the woman who have lovely, naturally berry colored lips.  If I don’t wear some sort of color on my lips, I tend to look sickly.

Dior Addict Lip Glow moisturizes as well, which is nice because I have a nervous habit of biting my lips.  I end up in a state of perpetually chapped lips, which is not pleasant, and requires lots of moisturizing. Matte lips are usually a no-go for me.  Lip scrubs are my friend.  But the Lip Glow has become a staple in my purse.  I carry it with me wherever I go for a quick perk-up.

Beauty Chaos - Dior Addict Lip Glow
I know it looks like I’m wearing more makeup in the second photo, but I swear it’s only the lip gloss that’s different. I also need a selfie stick…
Cost and Where to Buy

Dior Addict Lip Glow can be found on the Dior website for $33.00.  You can also get it at Sephora for $33.00.  I know it sounds like a lot for lip gloss, but I’ve had mine forever and it’s still kickin’.  eBay doesn’t have it for much less, just in case that’s tempting.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Pin

Summing Up

I would give Dior Addict Lip Glow a 9 out of 10.  I’m only deducting for price on this one, because $33.00 does seem like a lot for lip gloss.  But try it, you won’t regret it.  Sometimes spending a little more on cosmetics is worth it, in my experience.

Have a favorite lip gloss you want me to try?  Want me to try something you don’t want to buy first?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara

I have always been drawn to Benefit Cosmetics.

The packaging speaks to me.  The bright pink with all the cool retro-looking photos – I dig it.  So trying out the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara was a no-brainer.

There’s even a Benefit Cosmetics vending machine in the Burbank Airport.  I’m sure there’s others in other airports, but Burbank is the only place I’ve seen one.  Every time I have down time at the airport, I inevitably end up circling the Benefit vending machine, the products winking back at me like expensive bags of chips or candy bars.  I usually have to pry myself away.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara Pin - Beauty Chaos

The first thing I ever purchased from Benefit was their Kitten Sparkling Body Powder.

loved it.  This was back in college when I was still wearing things like sparkling body powder, and I used to dust myself with it every time I went out.  Unfortunately, Benefit has discontinued the Kitten, but they bring it back for limited offers every once in a while.

Now, before I get into the review, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed lately.  Maybe it’s because I’m doing too much.  Maybe it’s that a spider tried to assassinate me this morning as I was waking up.  One of the foster cats, Moonshine, thwarted his attempt, but he’s now lost in my bedroom waiting for his next opportunity.

Just look at those faces!

Oh, and the foster cats are still with us.  The people who were interested apparently lost interest.  Their loss – these girls are amazing and they are welcome here for as long as they like.  Or at least as long as they’re saving me from spider assassins.

Now, back to Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara.

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Beauty ChaosI came upon a display at Ulta with a bunch of different mascaras, several of which were “fan favorites.”  Since I had already tried a few of the ones on display, including Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, I decided to try Benefit.

The packaging, of course, is adorable, with the signature Benefit script screaming “They’re Real!” in orange and red across the black box.  Copy on the box says that 94% of users saw dramatic length and volume and visible lift, and 90% saw base to tip curl.  Apparently 100% of users saw long wearing results, which is a pretty hefty claim for any company as it leaves absolutely no margin for error.

The tube itself is this futuristic looking dark chrome color, really cool.  And the brush is specially designed for Benefit to give ultimate results.

The reviews on Ulta.com are mixed.
Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Mascara - Left Eye Only
Mascara left eye only

I’ve seen some products where the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and those products usually are shoo-ins.  While They’re Real! has a good amount of five star reviews, there are also a pretty significant number of two and one star reviews.

The reason I’m mentioning this is I find this mascara…underwhelming.  It works fine, lengthens a bit and darkens my lashes, but not nearly to the extent that some other mascaras I’ve tried do.  I’m a little disappointed, to be honest.  With the packaging boasting such amazing claims, I thought for sure I’d found my next favorite.  Unfortunately not, especially for the price tag of $24.

Cost and Where to Buy

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara can be found at Ulta, Sephora, and the Benefit Cosmetics website for $24.  On the Benefit site, there are three colors to choose from: black, brown, and blue.

Summing Up

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara - Beauty Chaos
Top: Naked
Middle: One Coat
Bottom: Two Coats

By all means, conduct your own experiment with this one.  I’m kind of spoiled when it comes to mascara; I expect a lot, and if my lashes don’t look like I’m wearing falsies, I’m not happy.  Based on the five star reviews up, and many claiming it’s their favorite, I imagine there are plenty of women out there for whom this mascara works magically.

Got a mascara you want me to try?  Leave me a comment or message me here!

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator

Today’s Thoughts

Today’s review will be for Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator.  But before we get there, today’s random thoughts.

The kitten, Petunia, is doing very well.  It is looking increasingly like she will be joining our family.

As per usual, I had a million different thoughts going through my head for this post while I was in the shower.  They have subsequently flown from my brain.  But if you’re reading this, thank you for being here! I got my first two comments today and I’m stoked.

Oh, there’s a thought now.  I saw a BuzzFeed post today entitled, “32 Tweets That Would Have Made No Sense 20 Years Ago.”  Now, not to split hairs here, but…zero Tweets would have made sense 20 years ago because there were no Tweets.  As I remember it, there was barely the Internet.

At that time, I remember barely having a grasp on email.  In college, we were assigned an email on the VAX system, which I would describe if I had any idea what it was.  But it basically looked like an HTML document.  There were no graphics.  Just words.

So if someone had said to me, “Hey, you can communicate with people, but you can only use 140 characters and spaces count,” I probably would have ignored that avenue of communication.  Funny now that that form of communication is a cultural regularity.

But those were simpler times.  I remember having to go to the library and research when writing a paper. Now, I have heard, if kids cite books as sources in their papers, they get points deducted because it’s outdated information.  I cannot even wrap my brain around this.

In college, we used to spend hours in the library.  Mostly we were screwing around, but still, it was a social experience.  In an increasingly technologically advanced world, we’re losing those smaller social joys.  And I’m not blind to the irony of this post, being that a) I’m sitting in my home writing it, not in an office; and that b) I never sit in an office.  I work from home.  I’ve chosen the most isolated route.

Even so, there’s an entire generation coming up in the world that doesn’t remember what life was like before computers, before everything was at our fingertips, and there was never a need to leave the house.  Or express yourself in sentences longer than 140 characters.  I can’t help but think that they’re missing out.

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator Pin

 

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator

But, um, back to the lecture at hand ;).  I found the Koh Gen Do brand while working on a movie called “Band-Aid” with Zoe Lister-Jones, where I worked as her assistant.  She sent me to pick up some foundation by this company from a place called Frends Beauty Supply.  To me, this name sounds like a place where you would find all of the most off-brand stuff ever, but it’s actually an amazing store.

Later that night I Googled Koh Gen Do and found a bunch of their products, and the Aqua Foundation Illuminator caught my eye.  The idea is that you mix this in with your foundation to give your skin a kind of “glow,” much like might see on any red carpet starlet who is described as “dewy.”

First Impressions

The Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator comes in three colors: white, beige, and soft pink.  Initially, I went into the store intending to purchase the white, but after chatting with the salesgirl I decided to go with beige.  She pointed out that the Illuminator can be used with or without foundation, and being half Italian I figured slathering white shimmer on my face might look a little unnatural.

Experience

The texture of the Illuminator is light and slippery, pretty much as you’d expect.  I use the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator in two ways.  First, I mix it in with my foundation and a little bit of moisturizer for a fuller coverage effect.  It adds a nice glow to my face and the combo feels like BB cream. Second, I’ll put the Illuminator straight onto my face after applying concealer under my eyes.  I do this if I want a lighter look (like I’m not wearing foundation).

My preference is the second application.  I have gotten some really nice compliments about my skin while wearing the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator, which is nice because I don’t have great skin.  I still break out all the time, as though I’m stuck in some sort of puberty limbo, and wrinkles are now joining the party.  So I take any praise I can get.

Here are some comparisons of me without any makeup, with the Koh Gen Do Illuminator, and with a full face of makeup.  Disclaimer: My mom told me my photos distort my face, so my face looks weird.  Apparently I don’t know how to take a selfie with an iPhone.  Not surprising, since based on this post I’m 105.

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator Side by Side
Left, Bare Face; Middle, Illuminator Only; Right, Full Makeup

So as you can see from the middle photo, the Koh Gen Do Illuminator gives my face a nice sheen.  For the full makeup, I put a layer of loose powder on top, but the Illuminator quickly comes through.  Especially since I’m half Italian so I tend to “glow” anyways. (Translation: I have very oily skin).

Cost and Where to Buy

Koh Gen Do is not a drugstore brand, so it’s a little expensive.  I bought my Illuminator, as I said, at a beauty supply store for around $40.  You can get the Koh Gen Do Aqua Facial Illuminator at Sephora for $39, or at LovelySkin.com for a 20% discount at $31.20.  You might be able to find it at a local beauty supply store, but I would call and check to make sure they carry the products first.

Final Thoughts

I would give the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator a 9.5 out of 10.  I love this stuff.  The only reason I’m not giving 10/10 is the price is a little on the high side.  However, I have had my bottle for a while and I still have a lot left.  Granted, I don’t put on makeup every day, but I still think you can stretch a good few months from one bottle.

Did you try Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Illuminator?  Tell me what you think! Leave me a comment or message me here.

ELF Poreless Face Primer

Random Thoughts

On the docket for today is ELF’s Poreless Face Primer.  But first, some randomness, as promised in my original conception of this blog.  It’s so funny, because while I was in the shower (which is where I always get ideas) I had tons of things to write about.  The trick is getting them all on the computer before they fly out of my head.  Which happens quickly :).

I have four cats living in my home currently.  It’s not like I have wayward cats just stopping by; I say I have four currently because two are foster cats.  So maybe I do have wayward cats.  Bottom line, I have two more than I usually do.

I also have a robot vacuum, a Bobsweep to be precise.  And I love the robot vacuum.  I’m fairly certain about 80% of my life is spent vacuuming when I don’t use the Bob (that’s his name).  Unfortunately, one of the cats got scared of the Bob last time I ran him, and peed on one of the couch cushions.  So now, Bob is just another piece of furniture that I stare at longingly when I’m vacuuming.  With the regular vacuum.

So there’s the random thoughts for today. Onto ELF’s Poreless Face Primer.  Now I, like most women, spent most of my youth not wearing foundation.  In fact, I thought for years that it aged me.  I look back on those days fondly.  With what I would define as starting-to-be-aging skin, foundation definitely makes all the difference in whether I look 27 or 47.

For years, I also did not indulge any thoughts of “primer,” except on special occasions where I was being made up by a makeup artist.  Again, I remember these days fondly, for now I put on primer sometimes when I’m not even putting on foundation.  It offers a nice, even finish to apply loose powder or highlighter or whatever.

ELF Poreless Face Primer Pin

First Impressions

I would like to mention that, even as I’m writing this, one of my cats (the jerk) is tearing at the corner of my shag rug.  I’m sure I’ll talk more about him later.  At first glance, I really like ELF Cosmetics.  The aesthetic of the brand is simple, something akin to MAC, perhaps, very clean with simple black packaging.  I wish it were more mainstream, as I often have to go hunting for it in the drugstore and usually find it on the end of an aisle somewhere.

The consistency of the product is hard to describe.  It almost feels like liquid powder, if that makes any sense.  It’s slippery but light.

More Thoughts

By the time I got around to buying ELF Cosmetics Poreless Primer, I had already tried a few ELF products.  So I kind of knew the caliber of the brand, which I think is good.  ELF always stacks up well in product comparisons that I’ve read on other blogs, so I was optimistic.

Now, I have huge pores.  Cavernous.  Surface of the moon.  And it’s just getting worse as I get older.  I’ve always been envious of those girls with perfect skin.  I have a few girlfriends whose skin looks like its been airbrushed all the time.  I want to kick them, just a little bit.

So here’s me starting out without makeup today.   This gives me a ridiculous amount of anxiety — I hate looking at photos of myself without makeup.  But I think this is something a lot of women struggle with and my new rule is that I have to do things that scare me and be brave.  So here:

I don’t know if that gives an accurate representation of what my pores look like, but I’ll spare everyone the close-up of my nose.  Now, the next photo is me with just the primer on my face, pre-makeup application.

ELF Poreless Face Primer - Beauty Chaos

Still not great, but markedly less shiny.  And my pores aren’t jumping out at me anymore, demanding that someone use them as swimming holes or something.

Better, right? This is me with the primer, undereye concealer, ELF Loose Powder and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, one coat.  Not going to win any awards, but also not going to scare anyone at the pet store.

Cost and Where to Buy

ELF Cosmetics Poreless Primer can be found on the ELF Cosmetics website for $6, Amazon for $5.99, or at your friendly CVS store for $8.00.

Summing Up

I’d give ELF Cosmetics Poreless Primer an 8 out of 10.  I’m definitely incorporating primer into my makeup routine from now on, and I think this does what it sets out to do.  The price is very good.  My only complaint is that I think sometimes it makes me break out.  But not always.  Yeah, I thought that would end when I left my teens, too.  Surprise!

Want me to try a different primer?  Leave me comment or send me a message!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

I picked up a tube of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara over Christmas in Ohio.  It’s funny, I almost just typed “Christmas break” as though I’m not a grown up who hasn’t had a Christmas break in…a long time.  And no, I’m not a teacher so there’s no reason for “Christmas break.”  As a matter of fact, I had gall bladder surgery over this “Christmas break,” so it was more of a chore than a celebration

Anyway, I bought a tube of this in Ohio at Sephora while shopping with my friend Caitlin.  We were there on a post-Christmas shopping trip and I was doing my best not to buy everything in the store.  Mascara displays were everywhere, so I decided mascara would be (one of) my purchases (I have no self control, okay?).

First Impressions

The tube is adorable.  I like pink.  And Caitlin’s eyelashes look amazing, so why not?  I’m a loyal Diorshow addict, but I should step outside of my comfort zone and try new things.

Experience

So I took some photographs so you don’t have to just take my word for it: this mascara is great.  My eyelashes are naturally pretty good; they’re not super thick, but they’re pretty long, so I’m always looking to boost volume.  Here is a photo of my eyes pre-mascara (No judgment please!  I’m wearing no makeup and the lighting is bad.)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - Beauty Chaos
I know, my hair looks awesome, too.

So that’s me, pre-mascara.  There are a lot of layers here so bear with me.  In this next photo, I have one coat of mascara on my left eye, but not the right.

Next, I put a second coat on my left eye.  Despite the crudity of my photography skills with my iPhone, I think you can see there’s a definite difference between the two eyes.

This next image is two coats on the left eye, one coat on the right eye.  I told you, I did my due diligence here.  Again, forgive the images.  I see the shadows are annoying.  Sorry 🙂 Finally, two coats on both eyes.

If I were only allowed one item of makeup, it would be mascara.  Or concealer.  Or lip gloss.  Okay, I can’t choose one.  But I will say this: when I run out to the grocery store or whatever, if I put one cosmetic on my face, it’s mascara.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Pin

Cost and Where to Buy

Like I said earlier, I got Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara at Sephora for $23.  Ulta also carries Too Faced for $23, and lots of department stores such as Macy’s carry Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara for around the same price.  So it’s a little steep, but I think it’s worth it.

Summing Up

Overall, I would rank Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara 9.5 out of 10.  I love it, it’s amazing, but the price is the only gating factor.  I would like to try Too Faced’s other mascara products, like their waterproof mascara and their Better Than False Lashes Extreme! Instant Lash Extension Kit.  Wow, that’s a long name.

Want me to try some crazy makeup?  Message me here!