Saturday, December 22, 2018

Rating Holiday Beauty Buys

And by "holiday beauty buys", I merely mean stuff I've purchased in the last couple of months leading up to Christmas. I've been visiting Sephora and Mecca Maxima/Cosmetica at an alarming rate, and couldn't pass up Priceline's recent 50% off makeup sale. And let's not even mention online shopping, probably my ultimate weakness. Dedicated trips to my Australia Post Parcel Locker constitute my most regular form of exercise.

In any effort to blog more often, I've decided to rate just 1-2 products per post. (Well, that might not be 100% true, it's more that I'm also lazy and doing a mammoth post featuring a lot of products is both a long hard slog to write and read.) So, little tid bits!

Speaking of photos, I've just read that Flickr, the website I use to upload photos for my blog, is implementing the below changes:

January 8, 2019: Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. Free accounts with more than 1,000 items will no longer be able to upload new photos or videos.

February 4, 2019: Any items over the 1,000-upload limit will be at risk of deletion, starting with the oldest of the items.

Which is to say I guess I've no choice but to start uploading my pictures directly to Blogger from now on, and that there could be disappearing images on the blog from February. Thanks, Flickr.

Anyway, back to the products.

Let's start with the biggest disappointment.

Maybelline Countdown Palette

Rating: 2/10

When I bought this, there was no tester in the store and no swatches or reviews online. But, because I was fairly happy with the Maybelline Soda Pop Palette, and noticing this palette was made in Italy (ooohhh), I took a chance. It is an insane $29.95 RRP in Australia, but I purchased this at half price from Priceline. There is no doubt in my mind if there was a tester, I wouldn't have wasted my money.

Billed as Maybelline's holiday palette, I was conjuring images of impossibly pigmented, sparkly, glittery shadows in flattering festive shades. The reality is, it's chalky, dry, chunky, lacking pigmentation (except for maybe one matte and two metallic shades), and just totally unnecessary in the scheme of the palettes I already own. If you like the matte berry/magenta/orange shades, I have everything from Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance to the original Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette (the one that no one remembers or cares about anymore). The metallic goldy/peachy shades are also extremely reminiscent of the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette. Basically, I already have superior versions of the colours in this palette.

The four larger pans, which appear to be more eyeshadow bases or toppers and could even pass for face highlighters, are generic, uninspiring and very average in quality. They're so light in colour that they're more a sheen on the lids than anything that provides definition. The only shade that truly caught my eye, and that I had high hopes for, was the glittery copper at the centre bottom right. Sadly that also proved to be a letdown. Even then, it's still the most interesting and "special" shade in the entire palette, despite being flaky, weak in pigment, fall out central, and overall underwhelming. If I wanted a beautiful gold glitter topper, I could just get out my Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita quad, or the incomparable gold leaf shade in the Clarins Odyssey palette, still one of the most stunning things in makeup I've ever seen.

Lesson learned: don't buy unless there's a tester. And thoroughly scan existing inventory to see if anything matches what you already have. Of course, rational tests like this should be second nature for someone who has spent thousands of dollars on makeup. Let's hope failing constantly will one day produce change.

Maybelline Fit Me Loose Powder

Rating: 6.5/10

I was extremely hyped for this given NikkieTutorials swears by it and it takes approximately 12 years for anything "hot" to make it to Australia. I should've probably reflected on Nikkie's makeup style and application vs. my own in deciding to purchase this. I basically never powder and if I do, it's almost always with a pressed powder. In fact, this might be my very first loose powder purchase ... pretty remarkable when you consider how long I've been into makeup.

It has all the usual pitfalls of loose powders, being having to turn the jar upside down to get powder out, the struggle to get the right amount of product on your brush, the potential messiness and spillage. I use the best of the best to get it on my face (Wayne Goss Brush 00), and it does apply to the skin nicely and provide a more matte, smoother appearance. But my main feeling is I don't think it does anything for my makeup application. As oil control, it's entirely ineffective (I experienced little to no meaningful difference in how oily my skin was during the day using it and not using it). It perhaps locked in my base for a little bit longer, but seemingly at the expense of slightly cakier skin. I found that when used all over, other powders (blushes, highlighters) looked more chunky, visibly sitting on the surface and not melding into the skin, especially near the under eye area. I prefer a dewier, more glossy complexion, and I've accepted there is basically no good way to eliminate oils from the skin except for a good blot, so this loose powder just seems like a fiddly, extra step in my routine that provides no clear benefit. Results may be better if applied with a damp sponge, so at the very least there's room for improvement with experimentation.

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