Boots No7 Foundation & Concealer Review PLUS New Match Made Service Available At Walgreens

Before I get to my review on some amazing new foundations I’ve been loving, let me ask you a question: How hard is it for you to find your perfect foundation shade at the drugstore? Displays filled with tons of shades and formulas from lots of different brands line the walls when you walk into the cosmetics department and often it’s a daunting task to try and pick out just the right shade, especially with those horrible fluorescent lights overhead. Great news my dear readers: Boots No7 is coming to select Walgreens and Duane Reade locations in the New York area and bringing along an awesome new service that will help you find your perfect shade AND formula with the help of their specially trained Beauty Experts and a handy little device shown below:

No7 Foundation Match Made Service from Boots

No7 Foundation Match Made Service from Boots

Previously, I have only ever seen such a cool service offered at Sephora where their device would match you to a specific Pantone color which correlated to the different brands and formulas of foundation found within their store. But Boots wanted to bring that same convenience to the drugstore and offer a totally affordable option without skimping on the quality. Boots started this process by measuring the exact skin tone of more than 2,600 women around the world of all different ages and ethnicities which resulted in the development of a new shade palette of skin-true foundation shades unique to No7. Head into your local Walgreens and get matched to one of 17 different shades and four different foundation lines, based on your skin needs:

  • Boots No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation provides medium coverage that blends easily to target advanced signs of aging.
  • Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Foundation targets the early signs of aging, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles with medium coverage.
  • Boots No7 Beautifully Matte Foundation absorbs excess oil to create a flawless look.

I was psyched when I saw the new Boots No7 display at my local Walgreens down here at the Jersey Shore this past month. I knew I had to check out some of their products previously unavailable to me. A lot of Target locations already carry the No7 line but I think it’s going to be even more convenient having an additional display at Walgreens! One other thing I noticed immediately was that every single product and shade within the display had a tester right in front of it! How awesome is that? No more guesswork! No more returns! Take a peek:

No7 Display

The new No7 display at my local Walgreens

I was able to test out some wonderful products that I’m really loving at the moment. First, I’ve been using No7’s Protect & Perfect Serum ($24.99) for over a week now in the morning and at night before I put on my moisturizer and I really like the way my skin is reacting to it. It feels like it is smoothing my skin and I definitely notice it feels softer to the touch now. I also am testing out their Photo Fix Primer ($19.99) which seems to be a great dupe for Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer but with a thinner consistency, which I enjoy. It’s also not as silcion-y as the Smashbox version so I don’t feel like it’s clogging my pores which is great.

No7 Foundations & Skincare

No7 Foundations & Skincare

Sometimes during the hot summer months, I don’t want a lot of product on my face or just feel like having a no-makeup makeup type of a look going on. That being said, having perfect skin is the main goal with this look so I’m please to tell you all, No7’s Beautifully Matte Foundation ($13.99) is hands-down, my new favorite! One of my all-time loves will always be Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation, but at $37, I can’t always afford to keep it in my weekly rotation. DUPE ALERT! I was sooo impressed with No7’s version! It feels very similar going on the skin, gives amazing full coverage without looking cakey or feeling heavy and it evened out my skin tone! And the best part? It lasted all day long on my typically oily and acne-pron skin! Yup! No breakdowns around my t-zone, no extra oil production and it never oxidized or turned a deeper color after being on my face for hours. I am able to get 12+ hours of wear with this foundation and it also has not broken me out once. I’ve been loving this stuff for over a week now!

Easy FOTD featuring makeup from No7

Easy FOTD featuring makeup from No7

I’m currently testing out No7’s Lift & Luminate Foundation ($14.99) as well and again, I’m super impressed! It’s a lighter consistency in a pump glass bottle like the Beautifully Matte, but it gives medium coverage that I’m sure you can build up if needed. It also leaves my skin with a very subtle dewy glow, which is nice for days when I don’t need a totally matte complexion. I’ll update as time goes on with this one, but so far, I really like it and it has also lasted all day without changing color or breaking down around my oily areas, although with the Lift & Luminate, I do like to blot my face for excess oil throughout the day to help keep my skin looking fresh.

Some other fantastic products I’m loving from Boots No7’s line is their Stay Perfect Blemish Cover which is in a stick form and has a cream-to-powder consistency. It covers my acne marks so well and blends beautifully with a soft touch from your finger tips. Plus, I know I found the perfect shade that won’t clash with my foundation and call attention to my problem areas like some concealers tend to do. I’m enjoying their Stay Perfect Mascara ($8.99) too at the moment. Take a peek at that precise brush head in my photo above. It separates my lashes so well, it’s not goopy or too thick and it doesn’t clump. I found it gave me really nice, dark lashes with a lot of volume. My only wish is that it had a little more lengthening properties to it, as my lashes tend to be short and I love that long lash look. But this is great for my everyday makeup routine and I found it very easy to remove at the end of the day. And, it never gave me the dreaded raccoon eyes! Finally, if you’re a huge fan of chubby lip crayons, check out No7’s High Shine Lip Crayon ($9.99). In the photo above, I used the color called “Daydreamer” which is the perfect “my lips but better” shade on me. Loved the instant hydration, it did NOT dry my lips out like some other chubby crayons have done in the past, and the color, though very light and neutral, definitely stayed in place on me for a good 4 hours before I ate my lunch and needed to retouch afterward.

It’s great that drugstore brands are finally recognizing the need to be able to easily match our skin tone shades before we make a purchase and I have to give a lot of credit and praise to Boots No7 for bringing this amazing service, along with testers built into their displays, to our favorite locations! I wanted to share this exciting news with my readers as well as give you some quick reviews on the products I have from Boots. Please go check out your local Walgreens and Duane Reade locations if you’re in the New York area and let me know if you were able to have a Beauty Expert help you out and find your perfect skin tone match to any of the products in their line and how you like them. I do hope Boots No7 will continue to expand the shade range in their line to more options for very fair skin tones as well as deeper and darker skin tones. My location did not seem to have a lot on display for the extreme ends of the spectrum and I hope that changes. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you’re curious about a particular No7 product that you’d like me to do a review on and thanks as always for stopping by!

Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks: Too Faced Melted vs. L.A. Girl Glazed vs. Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color vs. OCC Lip Tar vs. Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer

ARRREEE YOUUU REAAADDDYYY TO RUMMMBBBLLLEEE???

This week’s post is all about my adventures in liquid lipstick testing. There are some hot new lip products on the shelves lately, from drugstore to high end, and you all know me: I don’t discriminate; I’ll try them all! It seems to me the most popular ones are Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick, L.A. Girl’s Glazed Lip Paint, Milani’s Lip Intense Liquid Color, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics or OCC’s Lip Tar and Rimmel’s Show Off Lip Lacquer. I’ve had a few of these babies in my collection already and picked up the Too Faced Melteds and L.A. Girl Glazed so I decided it was about time to write up a comparison for you all. First let’s do a packaging and swatch comparison between L.A. Girl and Too Faced since there was a lot of talk in the beauty community recently about how similar these products looked to each other when they were released a few weeks back:

L.A. Girl Glazed vs. Too Faced Melted Swatches

L.A. Girl Glazed (from left: Pin-Up, Bombshell, Hot Mess, Babydoll, Blushing and Coy) vs. Too Faced Melted (Melted Ruby, Melted Fuchsia, Melted Coral, Melted Peony, Melted Nude and Melted Violet) with swatches

Right off the bat, I can tell you the L.A. Girl Glazed are NOT dupes for Too Faced Melted. If you were hoping to save some cash and try out the less expensive versions from L.A. Girl, I wish I could tell you they are more similar in texture and color, but they’re really not. In my swatches above, the first three shades to the left look the most alike however, the formula on these is vastly different. I would say the Glazed are closer to OCC’s Lip Tars and the Melted are more of a true… well, “melted” lipstick. Too Faced are creamier, thicker and not as runny as L.A. Girl. Both pack a big punch when it comes to pigmentation and you only need one swipe to coat your lips in total opaqueness, which I love. The Melted lipsticks have a sweet, almost cherry scent and the Glazed have a minty scent and slightly tingle your lips but do not cause any burning sensations like some lip plumping products do. The Glazed are also more glossy than the Melted and harder to apply with their squeeze tip that is just a larger hole in the plastic slanted edge. I would recommend using a lip brush for a cleaner and neater application. The Melted leave a satin, almost matte finish, much like a regular lipstick in a tube would leave (unless it’s a high shine lipstick formula of course!) and the tip is fantastic- one of the best features to the packaging in my opinion: a slanted tip covered in a furry felted texture with tiny holes allowing the product through so you can achieve a more even and controlled application. Plus, the formula of the product is thicker and creamier so it doesn’t drip out or run all over your lips which is a bonus.

Let’s talk about staying power: because the Glazed are a tad on the runny side, I did notice feathering around my lips after 30 minutes or so. Kind of a bummer for me because I hate feather. I guess I could use a lip liner to help lock them in place and also give me a neater application so that’s a quick fix. Or you could wear these over a regular lipstick as well. The Glazed do stain your lips a tad. Not as much as say, the Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains do or an actual “lip stain” product, but they do leave behind a slight stain. Not so much with the lighter colors in the Melted line- only Ruby, Fuchsia and Violet left a slight stain, though not as much as the Glazed. I feel like Too Faced lasted longer on my lips before I needed a new swipe to punch up the color, say about 4 hours. L.A. Girl needed some help around those feathering lines an hour into my day and I found myself touching them up a lot more often, though the glossy shine did last a decent amount of time. When it comes to quality, hands down Too Faced Melted wins this battle! The tube itself feels rather nice in your hands and the applicator tip was really awesome. The quality of the product inside was of course much better too- felt more comfy on my lips and really wore nicely throughout the day. I would say these are worth their $21 price tag for 0.40 fl. oz./12mL of product. But I am not saying you shouldn’t pick up some L.A. Girl Glazed for ONLY $4 again with 0.40 fl. oz./12mL of product. They both smell, feel, look and last differently on the lips!

Now let’s talk about all the other liquid lipsticks in my collection and how these all compare to each other or scroll to the bottom to find out which brand wins out overall for the title of “Best Liquid Lipstick”.

Battle of the Liquid Lipsticks

Too Faced Melted in Fuschia (Melted Peony pictured here at the bottom only to show you the applicator tip since I do not have a full size of Melted Fuchsia, only a sample) vs. L.A. Girl Glazed in Bombshell vs. Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color in Fiery Coral vs. OCC Lip Tar in Anime vs. Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Apocaliptic

If were going to call them “liquid lipsticks” than Too Faced Melted, Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color ($7 for 0.20 fl. oz./6mL) and Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer ($6 for 0.18 fl. oz./9.8mL) feel to me like the closest thing to it. L.A. Girl Glazed and OCC Lip Tar ($18 for 0.33 fl. oz./6mL) feel so similar, very runny and glossy, with the Glazed taking the prize for most glossy out of them all. OCC Lip Tar stains the best in my opinion and both the Glazed and Lip Tars have that slightly tingly minty smell, taste and sensation. The least pigmentation and color payoff goes to Milani which have a very similar sweet cherry scent like Too Faced. Don’t get me wrong: Milani packs a punch! But You can see it’s a thinner formula, though more mousy compared to OCC and L.A. Girl but I felt like I needed two layers to achieve full opaqueness. Easiest to apply? Too Faced, Milani and the winner for best applicator: Rimmel which has a doe foot applicator that gives you just the right amount of product and a precise application with it’s extra slanted fuzzy tip! Love it! These all have great lasting power, much longer than a regular lipstick, so that’s a plus. And you never have to worry about breaking off your lipstick tube on a hot day or if you apply too much pressure: these are already in the perfect melted form! Now let’s check out my categories and see how each brand did:

Truest “Liquid Lipstick” Formula:

  • 1st Place: Too Faced
  • 2nd Place: Rimmel
  • 3rd Place: Milani

Glossiest Formula:

  • 1st Place: L.A. Girl
  • 2nd Place: Rimmel
  • 3rd Place: OCC

Longest Lasting Formula:

  • 1st Place: OCC
  • 2nd Place: Too Faced
  • 3rd Place: Rimmel

Most Comfortable Formula:

  • 1st Place: Too Faced
  • 2nd Place: Milani
  • 3rd Place: Rimmel

Best Pigmentation:

  • 1st Place: OCC
  • 2nd Place: Too Faced
  • 3rd Place: L.A. Girl

Best Packaging/Applicator:

  • 1st Place: Rimmel
  • 2nd Place: Too Faced
  • 3rd Place: Milani
  • LAST PLACE: OCC- I should mention I am NOT a fan of OCC’s packaging at all but I know a lot of people love it. I can’t wait for OCC to come out with stick versions of their colors!

And finalllyyy… Overall Best Liquid Lipstick Winner (based on all categories and my rigorous testing): Drumroll please…

  • 1st Place: Too Faced
  • 2nd Place: Rimmel
  • 3rd Place: OCC

Have you tried any of these liquid lipsticks and which ones are your favorites? Any other brands I didn’t mention that you think are worth a shot? Please leave me a comment and let me know. I love chatting with you all and getting to hear YOUR options and favorites! Thanks for stopping by and I hope I was able to help you find a new liquid lipstick that you might want to pick up now!

It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette by BH Cosmetics: Review & Swatches

 BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

Close up of the beautiful shades in the BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time eyeshadow palette

A few weeks ago I pre-ordered the new It’s Judy Time eyeshadow palette from BH Cosmetics because I had seen a few promising YouTube reviews and hey, let’s face it: I’m a sucker for browns and purples on my blue eyes. The price point seemed great at $14.95 compared to some of my higher-end palettes in the $50+ range and I’ve always enjoyed watching Judy on her YouTube channel It’s Judy Time. I like the idea of beauty gurus teaming up with cosmetic companies to create their own personalized makeup palettes. Prior to this purchase, I had never owned any BH Cosmetic eyeshadows so I was curious to see how they would perform. Once this palette arrived earlier in week, I began to play around with it every day to make sure I could give an honest and thorough review for you.

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

Outside packaging

First off: Packaging. I personally LOVE when eyeshadow palettes are sleek, slender and travel-friendly and this palette is all three! It reminds me of my Lorac Pro Palette except for that rubbery feel on the outside (which I am not a fan of because it can leave a lot of fingerprints). The case is in sturdy cardboard with a black matte finish and gold lettering and closes securely with a magnetic flap in the front. Very chic!

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

The shade selection

Inside are 12 shades of 6.75g/.24oz each (about the size of a penny) and the colors are mainly neutrals with a few pops of purple and blue. Not that it’s a big deal, but I do like it when each eyeshadow color has a name or number underneath and I was a little disappointed to see these colors were not named by Judy. I think that might have been a fun little touch. The mirror on the top flap is not very big so that might be annoying for those expecting a large enough mirror to use during the application process but 9 times out of 10, I hardly use my palette’s mirrors anyway.

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

“Natural is beautiful, but makeup is glam” and I couldn’t agree more with Judy!

Let’s start with the top row from left:

  • A matte, light peachy-beige (peachier than MAC’s Orb but close), perfect for highlighting or blending (this shade happens to be close to my natural skin tone so I’ll use it more for blending)
  • A warm, matte sable-brown similar to MAC’s Soft Brown (which I love for my transition area or for more blending)
  • A shimmery golden-brown close to MAC’s Woodwinked but more on the warm side (again, could be for the transition area)
  • A pink-toned, medium matte brown
  • A deep, cocoa matte brown (definitely crease-worthy!) like MAC’s Embark
  • And a shimmery dark brown, reminiscent of MAC’s Carbonized

And then on the bottom row from left:

  • The perfect “copper penny” color with lots of shimmer like MAC’s Honey Lust but a tad darker
  • A rich, burnt orangey-brown with a metallic finish, the most buttery shadow in this palette and totally stunning!
  • The darkest shade of the bunch (believe-it-or-not!), this matte, deep brownish-black base has sparkly flecks of burgundy throughout and is a very close dupe for Urban Decay’s Naked 3 Blackheart (and dare I say I like this shade even better?!)
  • A medium, cool-toned purple frosty-metallic that almost appears to be a duochrome (it’s not unfortunately) and is a close dupe for Urban Decay’s Vice 2 Betrayal
  • A satin, what I would call “periwinkle” (GORGEOUS on the eye!) but probably the shade I had the most trouble with as you do need patience to build it and it was the chalkiest of the bunch
  • And finally, a dark, navy blue matte base with royal blue sparkles throughout which seemed a tad on the “gritty side” to me

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t wait to swatch this puppy because the colors look so stunning together. However… my initial thoughts when swatched dry with my fingertips on the back of my hand? I was NOT impressed and started to get worried. None of the YouTube videos I watched commented on how poorly they swatch and so I almost wondered at first if there was something wrong with my palette because I expected to feel buttery soft shadows that glided on like a dream. Unfortunately, no. Take a peek:

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

Swatched dry with fingertips

The matte shades felt chalky which I know can happen with even higher-end brands and there seemed to be a lot of flakiness with the shimmery shades. I then decided to grab a flat shader brush and see how these applied when dampened a bit, since I know that can really bring out the metallic effect in some shadows and help achieve better color pay-off:

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

Swatched with a damp flat shader brush

Much better! I felt now I could really see how these might perform on my eyelids since I always wear a primer anyway. I decided to put them to the real test, because come on! Who just buys an eyeshadow palette to swatch it on the back of your hand? Well, my lovely readers, you’ll be happy to know that despite the fact that these shadows did not swatch very well initially, they did show up nicely on my eyelids and I had no trouble blending them and patting them on gently to build up color and I did NOT use a damp brush or wet the shadows in any way. In fact, I learned a lesson not to always trust hand-swatching in the future.

I am impressed with the pigments in most of these shades. They blended into each other easily and I achieved a nice color-payoff right away: I didn’t have to keep going back in to add more except for that periwinkle color. However, it’s worth it to have patience because once you work with that shade, you do achieve a lovely, vibrant punch of color! These shadows lasted all day on my lids with a primer and I do tend to get oily so I was impressed they didn’t transfer, have any fall-out or crease during the day. Very happy with the wearability of the shadow formula.

Here’s the look I got by using that light, peachy-beige for blending and a highlight, the warm, matte sable in my transition area with a touch of the shimmery golden-brown (see why names or numbered shadows would make this so much easier to explain?) and finally the periwinkle on my lid and the cocoa matte brown on my outer v blended slightly into the crease:

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

A fun, neutral eye look with a pop of color to really bring out my blue eyes!

Despite the fact that there are some close color dupes to MAC and Urban Decay shadows, would I say this palette is along the same lines in terms of quality? Unfortunately no. With MAC, Urban Decay, Lorac, TooFaced and the very high-end Chanel, Dior, Marc Jacobs, etc., you are paying for the high quality you’d expect. But for only $14.95, I would definitely say this is a great palette to add to your collection with good quality shadows that perform very well. I’d compare them to Wet n Wild’s Color Icon shadows which I’m obsessed with because for the price-point, and used with a decent primer, you can’t go wrong!

What does make this palette stand out in my collect is the fact that Judy did a fantastic job at putting together 12 coordinating shades that will all work nicely with one another. I know that’s not easy to do and I give her credit. A lot of my pricey eyeshadow palettes are not even coordinated this well. And, as you can probably already see, all of these shadows are on the warmer side, except for those last three cool-toned purples and blue, which again, work wonderful next to the warm neutrals! I also love that there are some shades here that I don’t have any dupes for in my collection.

Overall, I’d give this palette a thumbs up and if you’ve been stalking the BH Cosmetics site or YouTubing reviews like I was, just go ahead and order it already! You’ll be happy you did! Thanks for stopping by and please leave me a comment below letting me know what YOU think of your It’s Judy Time palette and what kinds of fun eyeshadow looks you’ve created using it!

BH Cosmetics It’s Judy Time Eyeshadow Palette

FOTD featuring the It’s Judy Time eyeshadow palette by BH Cosmetics

DUPE ALERT: Maybelline Color Tattoos in Just Beige and Nude Pink vs. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots in Soft Orche and Painterly

So I finally got my hands on two of the three new matte Color Tattoos from Maybelline in their Gilded in Gold Holiday 2013 Collection: Just Beige and Nude Pink. I have to be honest, as a total MAC junkie and not a huge fan of the shimmery formula of the previous Color Tattoos, I am SUPER impressed with these new matte versions which ended up being very close dupes to the Paint Pots. Because I go through my Paint Pots so often and buy them every couple of months (I use them as my under eyeshadow primers everyday), I know I’m going to have to stock up on these Color Tattoos now because unfortunately they are limited edition and who knows whether or not Maybelline will re-release them again down the road. I don’t want to take the chance and wait! They are THAT good!

Maybelline Color Tattoos in Just Beige and Nude Pink vs. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots in Soft Ochre and Painterly

Maybelline Color Tattoos in Just Beige and Nude Pink vs. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots in Soft Ochre and Painterly

First item of business: Color payoff. These two Color Tattoos have it! In fact, dare I say they are actually more opaque and less streaky when applied compared to my Paint Pots? True, Nude Pink is a tad darker and cooler than Painterly, however I feel that once applied to your eyelid, the difference is not noticeable at all. And Just Beige is soooooo close to Soft Ochre, maybe just a little on the warmer side whereas Soft Ochre is cooler.

Talk about creamy! They glide on so smooth which is another reason I am loving these at the moment. I’ve had issues with previous shimmery Color Tattoos coming off clumpy or streaky on my lids. Even though you can’t beat their lasting power, I still hate when the application is too messy and there are chunks of product that won’t blend in as easily. Rest assured you will not have this problem with the matte formula. And one swipe seems to cover all of my lids too- something that requires a few swipes of my Paint Pots to achieve.

Here are side-by-side comparisons of MAC’s Paint Pots and the new Maybelline Color Tattoos:

MAC’s Painterly compared to Maybelline’s Nude Pink

MAC’s Painterly compared to Maybelline’s Nude Pink

MAC’s Soft Ochre compared to Maybelline’s Just Beige

MAC’s Soft Ochre compared to Maybelline’s Just Beige

And so you can see how they compare when swatched on my skin in direct sunlight:

MAC’s Painterly (left) vs. Maybelline’s Nude Pink (right)

MAC’s Painterly (left) vs. Maybelline’s Nude Pink (right)

MAC’s Soft Ochre (left) vs. Maybelline’s Just Beige (right)

MAC’s Soft Ochre (left) vs. Maybelline’s Just Beige (right)

 

Now let’s talk lasting power. I have been using the new Color Tattoos all week and I have not noticed any creasing with my eyeshadows throughout the day and I have oily skin and eyelids so that’s always a concern of mine. Every once in a while I will get creasing with my Paint Pots but it’s an issue easily corrected by applying an eyelid primer under the Paint Pot. Yes, I know… basically I am using TWO primers but hey, it works when I need it to. I like to think of my Paint Pots as not just primers though. They have worked as correctors for me to even out my skin tone on my eyelids and hid any redness or veins that I have there. But now I’ve actually found that the new Color Tattoos are even better at covering and priming my eyelids than the Paint Pots. MAC’s Paint Pots seem to have a tad drier of a formula compared to Maybelline’s Color Tattoos so maybe that’s why I can swipe once and coat my entire lid without streaks or a second coat.

Finally, price: For $4.99, Maybelline’s Color Tattoos give you .14oz (4g) of product compared to MAC’s Paint Pots with .17oz (5g) at $20.00. If you love Painterly or Soft Ochre, it’s a no-brainer to try Nude Pink or Just Beige, especially when the drugstores have coupons or offer Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off which happens every other week! So stock up while you can and let’s hope Maybelline continues to add more matte Color Tattoos to their permanent line!