I feel like being reflective today. About makeup, of course. In the last 18 months or so, I've tried a LOT of makeup, and reviewed most of it. But sometimes I'll love something when I get it, give it a great review, and then realize later that it doesn't wear well, is over-priced, or just isn't as good as another product. That's why I'm put together this list of stuff that I've had for a while and either love or hate.
MAC Face & Body Foundation, $32 at maccosmetics.com, MAC 188 Brush, $34 at maccosmetics.com: This is officially the first foundation I've bought. I've had it for about 3 months and am about 1/3 of the way through, so I'm thinking it'll last me six more months, which is a good value for $32. The main thing that I love about it is that it's water-based, so it doesn't break me out. It's easy to layer, and it dries to a nice dewy finish. It's definitely not a heavy concealer--in fact, I'd say it's a light to medium coverage foundation, so if you have a lot of scarring/blemishes, a lot of redness, etc, it's probably not the best for you. I apply my foundation with this 188 brush. I'll be honest, it's not cheap at ALL. But it is a definite investment. I've had it since November, and it's still in perfects shape. I use it every day for my foundation, blush, contour, and highlight, and it does all of those things perfectly. It's more hygienic than using my fingers all over my face, and it lets me use much less product than I would with my fingers (which soak up everything). If you're like me and want one nice brush to multi-task with, this is it.
MAC Painterly Paint Pot, $16.50 at maccosmetics.com, MAC Shadows in, $14.50 at maccosmetics.com: I thought UDPP was my HG eye shadow primer. Oh, no. No, no, no. Painterly kicks UDPP's butt. The first time I wore it, I put on my makeup at 8AM, wore it all day, fell asleep in my makeup (bad Megan), and woke up the next morning to perfect eyeshadow. That's impressive. With UDPP I had to touch-up before dinner, and with Painterly I'm set for 24 hours. Plus, Painterly is cheaper, has more efficient packaging, and actually evens out the color of my lids. I'm totally hooked on paint pots. I'm thinking Bare Study's gonna be my next shimmer base. Out of all the shadows I've ever tried, MAC wins. Hands down. I'm not saying all MAC shadows are perfect, but they are pretty darn fantastic. My personal favorites are Wedge, a matte medium brown that's a great crease color, Satin Taupe, Femme Fi, my sadly limited edition HG highlight color, Mythology, this fab sparkling copper, Romp, a shimmer bronze, and Shale, a sparkly lavender. I've hit pan on four of those shadows, and that's something I've never, ever done before.
MAC Fun & Games Blush, MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer, $16.50 at maccosmetics.com: I am definitely not a blush person. My skin has a lot of pink undertones, and adding blush on top of that often makes me look sunburned or feverish. Not cute. But Fun & Games blush (limited edition from the Hello Kitty collection, yes, I am that mean), is perfection. It's a pale pinky-peach with gold shimmer that gives me a little pop of color but doesn't make me look ill. Plus, the packaging is SO CUTE. I've gone through 3 of these MAC concealers. I don't think I've ever gone through 3 of any makeup products before, ever. I've had tons and tons of conealers, even the famed MUFE one, but this is by far the best. It sticks around all day, matches my skin perfectly, and covers up everything without looking cakey. I've even caught my little brother stealing it, and if that doesn't convince of its awesomeness, well...I can't help you.
Stila Smudge Pot in Black, $20 at sephora.com, Max Factor Volume Couture Waterproof Mascara: I've sure some of you remember that about 6 months ago I loved, loved, loved Bobbi Brown's gel liner. And then I got this Smudge Pot, and it all changed. The Bobbi Brown liner would get me through about 4 PM, and then I'd have to reapply because it would fade/flake/smudge off. The Stila stays pristine ALL DAY. Even the little cat-eye flick on my outer corner, which I rub at all the time, is perfect. It's easy to apply, and the mini version that I have has lasted me 7 months. And I'm only halfway done with it. Imagine how long the real version will last! I've noticed that in the 85+ degree LA weather, a bit of the liner will get into my crease by the end of the day, but it's barely noticeable. This last one makes me sad. It's my beloved Max Factor mascara, and it's been discontinued. I've tried Great Lash, Covergirl, Lancome, Dior, Chanel, Benefit, almost every mascara at Sephora, and they all pale in comparison to this drugstore find. I can layer it on for more or less drama, it never EVER clumps or flakes, and it's totally waterproof, but comes off easily. I'm totally going to resort to buying this from Europe on eBay. Darn you, Max Factor, and how you taunt me with HG mascara!!!
Urban Decay Primer Potion, $18 at sephora.com, Urban Decay 24/7 Liners, $17 at sephora.com: I'm sure most of y'all are shocked to see these two in the bad section. So am I. It's not that they're really terrible products, it's just that I've found significantly better versions of them. UDPP has been shamed by MAC's Painterly. UDPP doesn't last as long, the container is ridiculously wasteful, and UDPP doesn't conceal any lid perfections. It's just a crappier version of Painterly. The UD liners are well beloved, I know, and don't get me wrong, I love how they apply. They go on so creamy, and have a nice range of colors. However, the lasting power, especially on the waterline, is so subpar. I put Zero on my waterline at 8AM and it's gone by 11AM. Not cool. Not cool at all. I'm thinking of trying the MUFE liners instead. If you really love the shade of one of these liners and you don't mind reapplying 4x a day, then these are for you. If you're like me and like to apply your makeup in the morning and be done with it, don't bother with these.
MAC Nocturnelle Shadow, $14.50 at maccosmetics.com, Seche Vite Top Coat, $6.85 at amazon.com: It hurts me to hate on a MAC shadow, but Nocturnelle (which I incidentally bought during, and across the street from the LA IMATS last year), is not great. It's not even good. I really like the color, a warm medium purple, but the pigmentation sucks. I have to put in on wet to get it to show up. And it's not just me, I know other people have this problem. All of my other MAC shadows are like satin, and this one applies like chalk. Ugh. I know, I know, Seche Vite is "the best top coat ever." For about a month. And then it dries up, get's stringy, and completely stops working, and you can only thin it out again with special Seche Vite thinner. I just can't afford to buy a new top coat every month, even though it's fab for those first few weeks. I'd rather have a more consistent, longer lasting top coat that's not as shiny (it's so darn shiny), but actually functions for more than 30 days.
Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil, $22 at sephora.com, Givenchy Mr. Light Corrective Pen, $32 at sephora.com: I've repurchased this Anastasia pencil twice, but I'm starting to think that it's not all that great. Why? The color range is quite limited, the pencil isn't that big, and $22 is a LOT for a brow pencil. I like this pencil in the morning, but it fades a lot throughout the day, and it's basically gone by nightfall. I've heard the MAC, Maybelline, and Rimmel make better, cheaper options that I'm gonna check out. Oh, Mister Light. How wonder you sounded on sephora.com. It's touted as a cheaper Touche Eclat. It's not. It's just a thin, milky concealer in a click-up pen. It's not terrible, but it's not illuminating and it's not very concealing. It's just kind of...blah. I'm using up my tube, but I would never spend $30 on this product knowing how it applied. I have a $2 pencil that does a better job at concealing under eye circles.
MAC Face & Body: lovelipstickandlime.blogspot.com, MAC 188: maccosmetics.com, MAC paint pot: onsugar.com, MAC Mythology: computergirl2007.blogspot.com, MAC concealer: maccosmetics.com, Stila smudge pot: maquillagelover.blogspot.com, Max Factor mascara: amazon.com, UDPP: sephora.com, UD liners: sephora.com, MAC nocturnelle shadow: perfumezilla.com, Seche Vite: amazon.com, Anastasia pencil: sephora.com, Givenchy concealer: sephora.com.