Nothing quite suits traveling like compact makeup, and especially powder compact makeup (which conceals and mattifies in one step!).
I recently tried CK One Color Airlight Powder Foundation (SPF 15) for this purpose, and would like to share my thoughts.
The compact is very handy, and is indeed ideal for travel. In short, the packaging is sleep and ergonomic:
On first swatch, the foundation itself is very pigmented and finely milled — both signs of high quality. Indeed, it feels silky to the touch upon first application. The shades are all yellow-based, which is usually helpful in canceling redness. For reference, my shade is “Porcelain” (100), which is the fairest shade in the bunch. This product comes in 6 shades.
Now, for the before and after…
Left to right (bare face, foundation applied, full face of makeup)
The initial application covers beautifully, and my first reaction was one of excitement. Compact powder makeup, small enough to fit in a travel bag, with SPF 15 and a beautiful finish…What more can you ask for?
Alas, the good impression was not to last.
Despite its initial finish, this foundation begins to get patchy and streaky as the day progresses. Unfortunately, it also does nothing to control oil, either; the T-zone definitely shines throughout the day after applying this product. The foundation wears off so badly that, without fail, you have a red nose by mid-day. That is pretty bad.
Despite its promising beginnings, this foundation simply does not make the cut. Don’t waste your money.
Following on the heels of my Makeup Geek eyeshadow post, I wanted swatch and review several of the company’s blushes, which have received much hype recently in the YouTube beauty world!
Makeup Geek offers 13 blushes — in compact form for $13 and in pan form for $10 — relatively affordable prices which place these products in the “drugstore” price range.
I’ll show swatches first, then examine each blush — one at a time:
Note: Please excuse the curling iron burns on my arm! ☺️
“HEAD OVER HEELS”
Website Description: “Light bubblegum pink with slight shimmer”
This blush is a cool-toned baby pink, but with silver shimmer. As you can see in the picture, the silver shimmer even enables the blush to double as a highlight! An absolute dream on fair and medium skin. A sweet girly shade!
Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Website Description: “Light Orchid Purple”
This blush is a must-have for porcelain skin tones. I slightly beg to differ with the description; this shade is an even combination between orchid purple and “Barbie” pink. It provides the perfect flush reminiscent of that achieved after coming in from a cold winter’s day. Unlike “Head over Heels,” this blush is matte — no shimmer present.
Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Website Description: “Light pink with mauve undertones and silver specks”
This blush is definitely the least pigmented of this very pigmented group of blushes. It is quite shimmery (like “Head over Heels”) but with less pigmentation. It would only work on the fairest of the fair; it would not even show up on medium and dark skin tones. I would probably not re-purchase this one.
Verdict: 3/5 Stars
Website Description: “Soft rose with gold shimmer”
This shade has been called a dupe for Nars’ iconic “Orgasm” shade, but I disagree — it’s better than Nars’ “Orgasm”! This shade is universally flattering — with its gold shimmer suitable for warm/darker skin tones and its pink/rose base suitable for cool/lighter skin tones. It is like a blush form of Makeup Geek’s gorgeous “Cosmopolitan” shade, which is rose-gold (swatched in my last post). Ladies, it doesn’t get much better than this. (Can I just eat this blush? I love it that much.)
Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Website Description: “Light tan with salmon undertones”
This is another universally flattering color, with its dueling pink (cool) and peach (warm) themes. Since it is matte, this color is very much a functional, “everyday” color. It is reminiscent of Mac’s famous “Melba” blush. If you own the “Melba” blush, you do not need this one as well. However, if you can only purchase one Makeup Geek blush, this is a safe bet. No matter what your skin tone, I guarantee it will look good on you.
Verdict: 5/5 Stars
These blushes, with the exception of “Honeymoon”, impress me most in their vibrant pigmentation and finely milled quality, two characteristics most characteristic of high end (far more expensive) blushes. They are somewhat powdery, but this causes no real harm and is not sufficient to cause untidiness at your dressing area. In addition, these blushes last all day, without fading, which is also impressive.
For $10 (pan form) and $13 (compact form), you cannot find blushes anywhere of such superb caliber.
Today I would like to offer an overview of Makeup Geek Cosmetics, a new makeup brand with drugstore prices but department store quality — as well as reviews and swatches of the products!
A bit of background…
Marlena (aka “Makeup Geek”) is a California beauty blogger and YouTuber who started her own cosmetics line. Her stated goal was to create products of high-end caliber at reasonable prices, including Mac eyeshadow dupes. And she has absolutely done it! Not only iPads her products a hit with the YouTube beauty gurus, but it is also building a massive fandom among women who are looking for a stellar bargain.
I’m going to start with…
Makeup Geek has over 60 individual Eyeshadows, in both potted and pan form. Of those, she has two shadow formulations — the regular shadows and the *foiled* shadows. See swatches below:
These eyeshadows, available in pan form and suitable for a space-saving Z-palette, are $6 apiece. For more information regarding Z-palettes, please read my post here.
The foiled eyeshadows, also in pan form, run at $10 apiece.
Now, I will discuss these shadows individually:
“Beaches & Cream”
The Makeup Geek website describes this shade as a “creamy matte natural beige with just a hint of peach.” This is a great description; it is very creamy. However, it is not one of my favorites in this line since it is skin-tone and produces no color on the eyelid. It is also not shimmery so as to act as a highlight. You can live without this one. Verdict: 2/5 stars
Described on the website as a “medium sand color with a soft matte finish,” this shade is the perfect crease color and a total dupe for Mac’s famous “Soft Brown” shadow. It works with any lid color to create the ideal transition shadow. A must-have which will be a staple in your makeup kit! Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Official description is “pale shimmery pink.” As beautiful, delicate, and feminine as this shadow looks in the pan, its pigmentation is mediocre (at best) when applied without a primer. You can live without this one. Verdict: 2.5/5 Stars
This is a must-have shade! Described as “rose gold with gold flecks and a shimmer finish,” this is a dupe (but even better!) than Mac’s famous “Expensive Pink” shadow. Extremely pigmented and buttery soft! A winner for everyone, but particularly stunning on blue eyes. Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Official description is “matte pale pink brown.” It is an ideal cool-toned crease/transition shade to contrast with a warm-toned shadow on the lid. Often compared to Mac’s “Quarry” — although I think “Unexpected” is far better. Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Now for the foiled shadows…
“Light gold with yellow undertones and a foiled finish.” This is your basic shimmering gold lid shade — on steroids! The foiled finish is incredibly vibrant and metallic — a definite pick-up! Verdict: 5/5 Stars
“In the Spotlight”
Described on the website as “soft pink with coral undertones and a foiled finish”, this shade is STUNNING. It is the perfect pink-gold champagne shade, and very striking as a lid shade. The warm tones of this shade make them ideal for blue eyes. Verdict: 5/5 Stars
“Medium rose gold with slight taupe undertones and a foiled finish” is the website description. This shade is also unforgettable — and a total dupe for the gorgeous “Rose Gold” Ardency Inn eyeshadow. The pigmentation is unreal. Another winner! Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Website description states, “deep medium taupe with strong purple undertones and a foiled finish.” This is a strong silvery pewter shade which is truly striking and universally flattering for all eye colors. Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Official description states, “rusty brown with warm undertones and a foiled finish.” I feel like this description is misleading, however; the shade definitely leans burgundy purple. A terrific fall, vampy color! Richly pigmented — and especially suited to green eyes. Verdict: 5/5 Stars
“True brightened warm copper with a foiled finish,” per the website. This shade, like the other foiled shades, applies like liquid metal to the eye. Another stunning shade for blue eyes! Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Last shadow…and it is a regular finish! (Listed here because I forgot to list it with the other regular shadows 😊)
Described as “pale purple with hints of grey and a shimmer finish.” I would describe this more as a silvery purple-toned taupe — and it is glorious! Marlena reportedly designed “Prom Night” as a dupe for Mac’s bestseller “Satin Taupe.” The Makeup Geek version, however, far excels “Satin Taupe” in terms of pigmentation and longevity! Universally flattering for a neutral and sophisticated eye look. Verdict: 5/5 Stars
I have created two basic eye looks below using a few of these shadows!
“In the Spotlight” (lid), “Cupcake” (crease)
“Cosmopolitan” (lid), “Unexpected” (crease)
“Magic Act” (lid), “Creme Brulee” (crease)
My overall opinion…
On the whole, Makeup Geek is a fantastic bargain for stellar makeup. As noted above, few Makeup Geek products received less than a 5-star rating from me! For this price, you rarely find high quality such as this.
In my next post, I will swatch and review the Makeup Geek blushes! 😃
The “Salted Caramel” shade in this palette is my Holy Grail transition/crease color — perfect for any eye look. I would probably repurchase the palette for that shade alone! Translation: You need it in your life!
This year, I decided to become Cleopatra — Queen of the Nile! I would like to share my makeup look and the products used 😄
FACE Foundation: L’Oreal True Match in N1 Powder: Clinique Blended Powder in “Transparency Neutral” Blush: Mac “Melba” Highhlighter: The Balm “Mary Lou-Manizer” Contour Powder: NYX blush in “Taupe” Lipstick: Mac “Kinda Sexy” Undereye Concealer: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Chantilly” Brow Powder: Bobbi Brown single shadow in “Steel”
EYES Primers: Mac Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre” (all over) and NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” (lid & crease) Lid: Urban Decay single shadow “Honey” Crease: Urban Decay single shadow “Peace” Deep Crease: Urban Decay single shadow “Ransom” Browbone Highlight: Mac “Nylon” Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper” Mascara: YSL “Baby Doll” mascara Eyeliner: L’Oreal Infallible 24-Hour Gel Lacquer Liner in “Blackest Black”
Hope you enjoyed the makeup look! See you next time 👻🎃🍁
Often while makeup shopping, one wonders which items are worth our hard-earned money — and which are no better than their less pricey Wal-Mart counterparts.
Below, I have examined each category and offered my opinion as to which venue — the department store or the drugstore — provides the best product in each category!
1) Foundation: SAVE
An excellent foundation is definitely something which can be purchased at a reasonable price. Top foundations abound at the drugstore, most notably L’Oreal “True Match”, Covergirl 3-in-1 “Outlast Stay Fabulous”, Revlon “Colorstay” & “Colorstay Whipped”…the list goes on and on! These foundations rival and often surpass higher end products.
2) Eyeshadow: SPLURGE
Have you ever brushed your fingers over the Urban Decay “Naked” shadows? Such buttery textures simply do not exist at the drugstore. The reason? Higher end eyeshadows are more finely milled. Top eyeshadow formulas include the iconic palettes from Urban Decay — in addition to those from Lorac, Kat Von D, Tarte, Too Faced, Bobbi Brown, etc. The biggest exception includes the silky metallic L’Oreal Infallible potted shadows.
3) Lipstick/Gloss: SAVE
Outstanding lip products exist at bargain prices — and in large selections. My favorites include the Revlon “Super Lustrous” line, Maybelline “Color Sensational” lipsticks, Covergirl “Lip Perfection” lipsticks, & all the NYX lipsticks. The Revlon line alone offers over 70 shades, ensuring a color for everyone!
4) Blush: SPLURGE
As with eyeshadow, higher end blushes are more finely milled, therefore furnishing a better formula. Star blushes include those from Bobbi Brown, Nars, Mac, & Benefit. The drugstore just cannot compete in this area.
5) Mascara: SPLURGE
This will likely be a controversial verdict, but, in my opinion, the department store offers better mascara. Too Faced, YSL, Dior, & Lancome produce stellar mascaras. The only decent mascara I’ve found at the drugstore is L’Oreal’s “Voluminous Million Lashes Excess” version (in the red & gold tube).
6) Powder: SAVE
Dust your face with Maybelline’s “Dream Matte” powder, any of the the Physician’s Formula powders, or even the vintage Coty Airspun powder, and no one will ever know the difference!
7) Brushes: SPLURGE
A huge part of makeup application is having high-quality brushes, the production of which requires craftsmanship. Mac, Sigma, & It Cosmetics brushes blow Eco Tools brushes completely out of the water. The sole exception is the less expensive Real Techniques collection offered at ULTA.
Although I did an autumn look last year (read it here), I’ve decided to update the look — with a twist!
Much has been made lately about Kylie Jenner’s makeup, particularly the perfect mauve 90’s pout. In all honesty, the look is very versatile and balanced, perfect for work (due to the neutral lipstick) or a fancy evening (due to the subtly winged eyeliner). It’s therefore ideal for the return to work/school.
I’ve recreated the makeup look below:
Face Foundation: Illamasqua Skin Base in Shade 2.5 Powder: Physician’s Formula Mineral Talc-Free Powder in “Translucent” Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in “Exposed” Bronzer: Milani “Hermosa Rose” Concealer (Undereye): Maybelline Dream Lumi in “Radiant”
Lips Lipliner: Mac’s “Spice” (to fill in the lips) Lipstick: Nars’ Audacious Lipstick in “Anita”
Eye Look (close-up):
Primer: Lorac “Behind the Scenes” eye primer Lid & Brow Bone: Mac’s “Blanc Type” Crease: “Vanish” from the Kat Von D “Monarch” palette Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper” Mascara: YSL “Baby Doll” mascara Eye Brow Powder: Bobbi Brown shadow in “Steel”
Hope you enjoyed this look, which is very simple to recreate! As always, I try to utilize a mix of high-end and drugstore products 😄
Nothing oozes sophistication — and power — quite like matte lips. Yet the primary drawback of so many matte lipsticks is their drying tendency.
Do the new Creamy Matte lipsticks from Maybelline measure up?
We shall see!
I purchased 4 shades, with swatches and shade names labelled below:
Now, for the lip swatches!
1) “Touch of Spice”
This color is incredibly flattering for many skin tones — a total dupe for Mac’s “Twig” lipstick. Perfect for work, or even job interviews. Very pigmented, but neutral! The 90’s mauve lip, currently popularized by Kylie Jenner, can be effortlessly achieved with this shade.
2) “Ravishing Rose”
This shade is a cool-toned pink (with a hint of lilac), but more wearable than many of the other bubblegum pinks. Neutral enough for the office as well — and looks natural. Your lips but better!
3) “Siren in Scarlet”
Here’s your “Rita Hayworth” 1950’s red! Although it appears more warm-toned (like a tomato red) in the photo above, it exudes neutral undertones in real life. This renders it a universally flattering red lipstick (there are few!). High glamour here — but only for the bold!
4) “Mesmerizing Magenta”
A true magenta, this lipstick is a dupe for Mac’s “Girl About Town”, but in matte form. It’s a fun, dramatic color! When worn, the wearer must be prepared for many second looks.
The finish of each lipstick is truly matte — and gorgeous!
However, what about the comfort level of this product? I’m happy to report that, while it cannot be called moisturizing, this lipstick is not drying — yet still manages to last through lunch and a lengthy workday.
The best part? The price — $5. No one would ever suspect! 😉
I wholeheartedly recommend these little gems!
Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Available at ULTA, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, & Rite Aid for $5
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.
Welcome back to Part 2 of my “Rose Gold” Makeup Series!
Without further ado…
Top Rose-Gold Blushes:
This blush, with its peachy-pink goodness, is the epitome of rose-gold allure. This blush has achieved iconic stature in the beauty community, and it’s easy to see why. Although it does contain a sheen, it assimilates into the skin seamlessly once applied. With its dueling pink (cool) and golden (warm) tones, it is universally flattering — as are so many rose-gold products. This blush costs $30.
2) L’Oreal “Rose Gold Lift”
This beautiful cream blush is a true rose-gold. It can be applied with the fingers or with a stipple brush. More than any other shade mentioned in this post, it provides a stunning (and very flattering) highlight to the cheeks. It is not highly pigmented, but just enough to provide a natural rose gold flush on those mornings when you are struggling to get out the door! At $12, you can’t beat the price.
3) Benefit’s “Rockateur”
If I had to choose one blush to wear with every makeup look for the rest of my life, this would be it. It’s gorgeous in the pan — neutral enough to flatter any outfit or eyeshadow look, but packing an understated feminine punch. It flatters all skin tones.
I previously reviewed this blush here. It costs $28.
4) Sleek Makeup’s “Rose Gold”
“Sleek” makeup is a British cosmetics brand, widely known in beauty circles for their affordable (and incredibly pigmented) blushes. I ordered this blush from the UK a year ago, and its beauty rivals that of Nars’ “Orgasm.” It leans warm (with a prominent golden sheen) but still manages to flatter most skin tones. You can order this blush from sleekmakeup.com for $7. In other words, it’s an absolute steal!
5) Clinique’s “Precious Posy” is
This is such an underrated blush! A hidden treasure at the Clinique counter. Very pretty, and more on the matte side than any blush mentioned even though it has subtle gold shimmer in the pan. Excellent lasting power as well. It costs $21 at your local Clinique counter.
For Part 1 of my “Rose Gold” Series (Eyeshadow), click here.