• beauty test drive

Beauty Test Drive: REN Pore Minimizing Mask

BTD: Highlighter
Benefit Watt's Up
Jessica loves Benefit's new Watt's Up highlighter! Read More »
BTD: Spa Sonic
We try the Spa Sonic system! Read More »
BTD: Waterproof Liner
Can Tarte's liner really stay put through the tears? Read More »

The open pores on my nose drive me crazy, and when I say I’ve tried everything to shrink them, I mean everything: cleansers, masks, serums, creams, drugstore, department store, made in my kitchen, all claiming to do the same thing, and hardly ever fulfilling that promise. I had all but given up on my endeavor for smaller, cleaner pores, resigning myself to a lifetime of dissatisfied mirror-gazing with picking and squeezing that would leave me red-nosed and embarrassed for hours… until yesterday, when I tried REN Multi-Mineral Pore Minimizing Detox Mask. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Benefit Cosmetics’ Watt’s Up Highlighter

BTD: Body Butter Duo
Jessica loves The Body Shop's sweat pea body butter duo. Read More »
BTD: Eyeshadow
Sephora's moonshadow baked eye palette is very dramatic. Read More »
BTD: Cheek Tint
Jessica loves Benefit's Cha Cha Cheek Tint. Read More »

Highlighter is one of those makeup products that sounded kind of like BS to me, like lip gloss primer. Really? Do I really need this? Then a makeup artist at a MAC counter put some sparkly highlighter on me and — ta-da! — I had cheekbones for the first time in my life. As someone with very round features who suffered from the nickname Cabbage Patch Kid as a child, I can’t believe I went so long without illuminating the (few) angles in my face with a highlighter. I also wish I had started using highlighter years earlier to make my skin look more “alive” during winter months instead of slogging onward through cadaver-dom. So I am happy to report that Benefit Cosmetic’s Watt’s Up highlighter is quite pretty and is a bit more natural-looking than my sparkly MAC highlighter.  Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Sephora Moonshadow Baked Eye Palette

BTD: FIT ME Foundation
Maybelline FIT ME foundation
Jessica loves Maybelline's new FIT ME foundation. Read More »
BTD: Body Butter Duo
Jessica loves The Body Shop's sweat pea body butter duo. Read More »
BTD: Cheek Tint
Jessica loves Benefit's Cha Cha Cheek Tint. Read More »

When Sephora sent me their Moonshadow Baked Eye Palette  to test, I was concerned. First of all, there’s lots of sparkles. As much as I love a sparkly highlighter to fake cheekbones in my big ol’ chipmunk cheeks, I stopped wearing glitter on my eyes around, oh, age 17. Sparkly-ness is not something I look for in an eyeshadow. This picture from Sephora.com doesn’t accurately portray just how glittery these shadows are, but trust me, they’re shimmery. 

Second of all, that cobalt blue shadow scared the crap out of me. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: The Body Shop’s Spiced Pumpkin Body Wash

BTD: Body Butter Duo
Jessica loves The Body Shop's sweat pea body butter duo. Read More »
BTD: FIT ME Foundation
Maybelline FIT ME foundation
Jessica loves Maybelline's new FIT ME foundation. Read More »
BTD: L'Oreal Le Glosse
L'Oreal Le Gloss photo
Rachel loves L'Oreal's new Le Glosse lip gloss. Read More »
BTD: Cheek Tint
Jessica loves Benefit's Cha Cha Cheek Tint. Read More »
body shop spiced pumpkin body wash

I am prefacing this review with a note about a hilarious argument (well, I thought it was) Jessica and I just had. Jessica seems to believe that A) body wash is not the same as “soap” and that B) you cannot get clean with products that are considered non-soaps (as this one is). For the record, I am a body wash user. I don’t use bar soap. I consider body wash just as good as your average bar of soap and, I suspect, some of the body wash brands I use have “soap” in them, while others don’t, though I’ve clearly never paid attention.

So what exactly is “soap” and what does “soap-free” mean? Chemically speaking, soap is made when fatty acid salts (from plants or animals) are combined with an alkaline solution like lye. Soap-free products are detergents that do the same thing as soap but are made from plants with natural high saponin levels. Or something like that. So, basically, if you’re someone who purposefully does not use soap products, you’re likely doing so because you’re not down with harsh chemicals, which can be drying to the skin and aren’t as eco-friendly.

Anyway, read onward for Jessica’s review of The Body Shop’s Spiced Pumpkin Wash, which she would use in addition to bar soap, but those of us who don’t differentiate between soap and soap-free, would use on its own. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Sweet Pea Body Butter Duo

BTD: Colorstay Lipstick
Winona loves Revlon's Colorstay Lipstick. Read More »
BTD: Cheek Tint
Jessica loves Benefit's Cha Cha Cheek Tint. Read More »
BTD: L'Oreal Le Glosse
L'Oreal Le Gloss photo
Rachel loves L'Oreal's new Le Glosse lip gloss. Read More »

It’s the least wonderful time of the year. My skin is dry year-round, but fall and winter are the worst of the worst (as in, before writing this post I went to the ladies’ room to slater on face cream for the second time today). I don’t just have to worry about keeping the skin on my face moisturized (but not greasy!) %u2014 it’s when I suffer chapped, flaky, sensitive skin and pretty much carry lotion on me 24/7 to cope. Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss

BTD: Bliss Fabulips
Does Bliss Fabulips really work? Annika investigates. Read More »
BTD: FIT ME Foundation
Maybelline FIT ME foundation
Jessica loves Maybelline's new FIT ME foundation. Read More »
BTD: Natural Lip Balm
Rachel loves Pleasant River's vegan, natural lip balm. Read More »
L'Oreal Le Gloss photo

I’m going to be honest: what initially drew me to L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss was the packaging. I’m the first to admit that I’m a sucker for advertising — I don’t even wear lip gloss. But I laid eyes on Le Gloss at a drugstore chain where I was in a rush to a) catch a train and b) make a credit card minimum. Le Gloss was in my line of vision, I liked the color in the tube and the minimalist design, and so I bought it. 

Hello, this stuff is glorious!  Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Revlon Colorstay Lipstick

BTD: Lip Balm
See our review! Read More »
BTD: Spa Sonic
We try the Spa Sonic system! Read More »
BTD: Bliss Fabulips
Does Fabulips really work? Read More »

I discovered Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick by accident. I was at Walgreens (because I’m always at Walgreens) looking for a long-wearing pink lipstick. I picked one that had some promising adjectives in the title (“infallible” was involved, or maybe it was “impenetrable”?) and brought it up to the counter. The woman rang it up, then examined the label and frowned. “Are you looking for a lipstick that lasts?” she asked.

“Yes,” I told her. “All my pink lipsticks fade within an hour. I need something heavy duty.”

Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: A Balm With Bite

BTD: Fabulips
Does Fabulips really work? Read More »
BTD: Waterproof Liner
Can Tarte's liner really stay put through the tears? Read More »
BTD: FIT ME Foundation
Maybelline FIT ME foundation
Jessica loves Maybelline's new FIT ME foundation. Read More »

The sexiest thing about me? My extremely chapped lips. I realize most people have to combat this condition once the temperature drops and brisk winds are in the air, but my lips are unique in that they have no regard for the climate. Through both bitter chills and balmy 100+ degree days, my lips are intent on cracking, peeling, occasionally bleeding, and generally trying to make a run from my face. Granted, I tend to exacerbate it by licking and picking at the issue, not to mention applying unfit products that are bound to dehydrate my pucker (red lipstick, why must you be so drying?!?!). As a result, I’ve tried just about every lip balm on the market that claims to repair the situation and leave your lips feeling silky smooth. But, more often than not, they fail me. I’ve found a few winners along the way but nothing that stands out as my healing holy grail. I have hyper-sensitive skin that blooms rashes if you look at it wrong, and my lips are no different. Some of the most popular and highly recommended formulas have left me red and itchy for days.

That’s why I was more than a little  excited when a Bar and Balm Bag from Pleasant River Soap Co. landed on my desk… Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint Cheek Stain

BTD: FIT ME Foundation
Maybelline FIT ME foundation
Jessica loves Maybelline's new FIT ME foundation. Read More »
BTD: Bliss Fabulips
Does Fabulips really work? Read More »
BTD: Waterproof Liner
Can Tarte's liner really stay put through the tears? Read More »

If a makeup salesgirl (or makeup sales-gay) descended upon me at a beauty counter with something orange, I would visibly make a face and say, “I don’t think that will work on me.” You see, I have the pallor of Katie Holmes at a morgue in Antarctica — not a sun-kissed California girl like Kate Hudson who can pull off something with the word “mango” in the title.

But because Benefit gave me a sample of their Cha Cha Tint cheek stain to test out, I tried it. I already owned Benefit’s Posietint and wore the pinky-pink blush every day. Why not test another hue, even if it’s going to look terrible?

It didn’t look terrible, my friends. Not at all. In fact, the first day that I wore it to the office, the first thing our marketing manager Sophie said to me in the morning was “Your makeup looks great.”

Keep reading »

Beauty Test Drive: Maybelline FIT ME Foundation

BTD: Waterproof Liner
Can Tarte's liner really stay put through the tears? Read More »
BTD: Umbrian Clay
Better skin through mud? No way! Read More »
BTD: Fabulips
Does Fabulips really work? Read More »
Maybelline FIT ME foundation

I am 27-years-old and I have been wearing makeup for 13 years. And it has taken me all 13 of those years to find the perfect foundation, a creamy (but not too creamy) and illuminating (but not too illuminating) base.

Goodbye, MAC. Goodbye, Smashbox . Welcome to my life, Maybelline FIT ME foundation. Keep reading »

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