Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meet the Bloggers: Makeup by Angel

Hi, everyone!  I thought I would continue the Meet the Bloggers series and feature the women (and men!) that contribute so much to the beauty community.  If you haven't already, definitely check out our first interview with The Nailpolish Addict.

Our second featured blogger is Angel from Makeup By Angel.  We met for the first time through Twitter and we've been longtime mutual followers.  She's been a great person to follow and I support her wholeheartedly, just as she has supported me throughout the years.  Her blog is great as well and provides a lot of great conversation, reviews, and tutorials surrounding makeup and beauty products.  Furthermore, her blog incorporates a personal element with the inclusion of her family.  It's a pleasure to know someone so dedicated to creating art, sharing experiences, and to her own family.  I really appreciate her allowing me to do a special feature for the blog!

Q:  Do you have any nicknames? 
A:  As a child my family called me Chicky, to this day I only have a few family members that still call me this. I have dubbed myself Froggistyle73 lol

Q:  Where are you from?  

A:  I am originally from Fremont, California but raised most of my life in Modesto, California.

Q:  What is a typical "day in the life" like for you? 
A:  Oh WOW, chaos!  I am a mother of 3 children and each have very different schedules. My day consists of shuttling kids to and from school, with a slight 1hour break by myself (which I'm taking advantage of right now) before I have to pick all the kids up again and start homework while making dinner. Then we have some family time together watching tv or playing the Wii before it's bed time and we repeat. 

Q:  Aside from beauty, what other types of things are you interested in?  Have you found that your interest in beauty has made a point of connection with any of these other interests? 
A:  Before I got into makeup and beauty, I enjoyed scrap booking.  I had a whole area in my bedroom that was dedicated for it and then it slowly got put to the side to make room for my makeup collection. LOL My husband is a photographer and that has got me more involved in photography, modeling and makeup.  Both scrap booking and makeup, even photography have all combined at one point or another. 

Q:  When did you first become interested in makeup and other beauty products?
A:  My husband started his own photography business and he needed a "model."  I hardly consider myself a model but he did need a subject to photograph. I noticed that my pictures looked dull and washed out.  In an effort to better understand why my makeup wasn't showing up in pictures, I turned to the internet to learn about makeup for photography and well...the rest is history. 

Q:  What is your personal philosophy regarding beauty?
A:  Do what makes you feel good!  In my life, pretty much everything I do is dramatic so why would I expect anything less from my makeup? LOL So take that into consideration for your life and your beauty rules. Take some risks and follow the basics of beauty, everything else you can make up as you go along. 
Q:  Who or what would you say are your beauty inspirations?
A:  I'm inspired by a lot of celebrities, it's sort of my guilty pleasure. I like to take looks they've done for promos and videos and re-create them to make them more wearable or more dramatic. I also take inspiration from nature, it's the best because nature never gets the colors wrong.
Q:  What do you believe is the worst beauty mistake that others could make and/or what are your beauty pet peeves?
A:  Beauty mistakes:  lining your lips in black and using a nude color inside the lines, wrong foundation color (too orange or too yellow), not blending your shadows. 
Beauty pet peeves: people who think there is nothing beyond MAC, drives me insane! 
Q:  How would you describe your signature makeup look?
A:  I go through spurts where I will wear a certain color all the time but I always mix up the color placement or technique. For the most part though, I would have to say dramatic looks are my signature go to looks. If I am not feeling the makeup for the day, I don't wear any.

Q:  What would you say are your "go to" products and what products are you currently in love with?
A:  Go to products: Revlon Colorstay Foundation is a must! Urban Decay Primer Potion. Maybelline Full N Soft mascara w/p formula. Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner. Wet N Wild Color Icon palettes!
Current loves: MAC Black Track fluid line, NYX Cosmetics blushes, lipsticks, glosses and eye shadow.  FLIRT! Cosmetics eye shadow
Q:  How did you get your start in beauty blogging and what was your main goal in starting your blog?
A:  My original goal was to have an online gallery of looks I had created or re-created of others. I eventually wanted to get my name and work out there to try and become more prominent in my community. Then I started having health issues and it became therapeutic and helped relieve stress and anxiety, so my goal changed. I wasn't needing to be known anymore, I just was doing it for me.  

Q:  Do your friends and family know about your blog?  If so, what do they think about it?  If not, why haven't you shared it?
A:  Some of my family know about it and almost all of my friends are aware of it.  My friends are very supportive and ask for my help often. My family is not as supportive and we don't speak about it.
Q:  What type of impact, if any, has running a blog had on your life?
A:  Having this blog is like having a job I actually like. It keeps me busy and also keeps me wanting more. I want to read and learn every bit of information out there so I can share it with others. I want to eventually be a MUA and put all of the knowledge to good use. I've become so passionate about it that it has become everyday life. My children are always getting lessons on skin and beauty lol.
Q:  We all know that you have a blog, but have you already or are you planning on posting videos to YouTube
A:  I have no plans of doing YouTube videos. I have friends that ask me all the time when I will start doing tutorials and I always say I won't be. LOL I try to keep my life pretty positive and there is so much negativity that comes from YouTube and I don't want to subject myself to that.  I know I could ignore it but there are so many great women, even men there with great informative videos that I don't think I need to join that world. I'm happy being a blogger :) 
Q:  What advice would you give someone that is looking to start their own blog?
A:  My advice would be, do it for you and make it what you want it to be! Stay true to you and be honest. People will see how genuine you are in your posts and will keep coming back. 

Q:  What do you think the future holds for you?
A:  I think with a lot of hard work and determination I will have a career with makeup.  I would love to go into business with my kids and husband one day.  My children, as young as they are, are already talking about their careers (hair, fashion and race car driver lol) and if I could combine them into a photography studio, that would be the ultimate job for me. 

Q:  What would you like people to remember about you the most?
A:  I am always me, computer screen or not it's always the real me. I'm fun, honest, passionate and there isn't 
a thing I wouldn't do for my family.

Would you like to appear on the next Meet The Bloggers segment?  Please send all interest notices to  I'm looking forward to getting to know you!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: Lush Breath of Fresh Air Skin Toner

While I'm not one of Lush's die-hard regular customers, there just seems to be something about Lush that draws me into buying their products.  Maybe it was the cheerfully persuasive sales woman.  Maybe it was the packaging or the pretty colors.  Maybe it was the natural, earthy smell.  Or...maybe I'm just too impulsive and too easily swayed to say no.  Whatever it was, I came in for some window shopping and walked out with Charity Pot hand lotion, Lemony Flutter cuticle cream, and this--Breath of Fresh Air skin toner.

Breath of Fresh Air Skin Toner

What it is:
According to the Lush website, Breath of Fresh Air skin toner brings all of the nutrients of the sea to your skin.  It is said to be beneficial for dry skin, especially while traveling by airplane or sitting in air-conditioned offices.  Among the ingredient list is Breath of Fresh Air's featured product, aloe vera gel.
My impression:
I used to use toner a few years ago and stopped, mostly because the alcohol made my skin dry out. I recently became interested in trying it again, however, though I wasn't exactly sure which product was for me.  When I asked for some advice, the woman at Lush recommended this to me, especially since it didn't have any alcohol.  After bringing it home, I was pretty pleased with the results.  It got off the last bits of makeup and cleanser that might have been left over from washing my face.  It also felt very lightweight and refreshing and I noticed my skin starting to take on a smoother, more even appearance after a couple weeks of use.  One of my favorite things about it is that a little goes a long way.  Just two spritzes on a cotton pad is enough for me to apply it to half my face.  The unique spray top ensures that the same amount is dispensed each time and not a lot of product goes to waste.  Because of this, I could easily see this bottle of toner lasting me several months, even with me using it morning and night.  It did smell a little earthy, quite possibly because of the rosemary oil, so if that smell is a turnoff for you, this might not be for you.
My recommendation:
All in all, I thought that it was a great toner.  I loved that there wasn't any alcohol in it and that it kept my skin relatively moist.  Additionally, I thought it was great that it featured natural ingredients.  I also liked that the spray top allowed for a way to dispense the product in a sanitary and controlled way.  My skin does look better than it did before I was using the toner.  However, I think that even though it would last a while, the price tag is a little hefty for it to be a "must have."  I would definitely recommend it, but I wouldn't consider it a necessity.
The rundown:

  • Product:  5/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  5/5
  • Would I buy it again?:  Yes, repurchase is very likely!
  • Where to buy:  Lush website or Lush stores
  • Price:  $8.95 for 3.3 fl oz. or $18.95 for 8.4 fl oz.
  • Pros:
    +  Does not include alcohol
    +  Non-drying
    +  Not greasy
    +  Lightweight
    +  A little goes a long way
    +  Natural ingredients
    +  Packaging allows controlled release of product
  • Cons:
    -  A little pricey
    -  Can smell a little funky to some
I hope you guys found these reviews helpful!  I'm looking forward to trying out more new things and sharing the stuff I've tried with all of you.  If you have any comments or questions, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review any of the products featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Rush Shine DBP Free Topcoat

The third quick dry topcoat that I will be reviewing is Rush Shine DBP Free Topcoat, completing (for now!) my series of reviews.  If you're interested in being Big 3 free and were thinking about some products, you might also be interested in checking out my review of Oh So Wet! and Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine.

Rush shine DBP Free Topcoat

What it is:
As described on the Sally Beauty website, this topcoat claims to be high gloss, quick drying, professional formula, and protective.  It is also DBP free and claims to promote healthy and long-growing nails.
My impression:
To be honest, I wasn't planning on even reviewing this product and only picked it up "on a whim" because it was right next to Oh So Wet!  But it was affordable and DBP free, so I figured it was worth a shot to review and share my experience.  The consistency of Rush Shine was a little on the thinner side, closely matching the consistency of Oh So Wet!  It was easy to work with, however, in my experience it didn't dry any faster than a regular topcoat.  Additionally, it was not as "high gloss" as I had hoped--in fact, I thought my polish looked a little flat.  In terms of chipping, I would say that my nails started chipping as soon as the next day or two--even with Orly Top 2 Bottom as a basecoat.  Because my manicure failed to last, I can't comment on whether or not the topcoat dulled the color or if I was able to achieve healthier, long-growing nails with its use.
My recommendation:
As I've said before, it's not often that I give a bad review on things.  I'm usually very generous and my reviews are usually positive--especially since I do some research before choosing to buy things.  I guess I should have did a little more research on this topcoat, as it did not impress me at all.  I would not recommend it in the slightest.  In fact, you're better off getting a "regular" (big 3 free!) topcoat, as it would probably dry in the same time and do a better job at protecting and providing shine.
The rundown:
  • Product:  1/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  2/5
  • Overall:  2.7/5
  • Would I buy this again? - Not at all.
  • Where to buy?  - I bought mine at Sally Beauty Supply.
  • Price - $4.99
  • Pros:
    +  DBP free
    +  Affordable
  • Cons:
    -  Did not dry quickly
    -  Finish was a bit flat
    -  Nails chipped shortly after
I hope you enjoyed round three (and the final round, for now!) of my Big 3 free quick dry topcoat reviews.  Having experienced three different quick dry topcoats, I think that the best I have experienced thus far is Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine.

If you have any experience with this or know of any similar products I should try, please feel free to leave a question or comment below!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Update: Follow Me On Twitter!

Hello, readers!  Those of you that had followed my blog Twitter, @LMFAOBeauty, might have noticed that the link is no more.  But not to fear--you can still follow me at @VelociMellie!

I decided that it would be the best move, considering it's a lot easier for me to update only one Twitter account.  I also thought that it would be a great way to get to know followers on a more personal level, considering I'm a lot more in touch with that Twitter account.  Since the blog is well-rounded by featuring beauty and fashion aspects in addition to life events, I thought it would only be fitting that my Twitter page stand for the same things as well.

My Twitter account is locked for privacy reasons, but if you request me I will be sure to respond to it in a timely manner!  Definitely don't be shy and don't forget to say hello once you've followed me--I'm always interested in meeting new people.

Once again, thank you for all of the support and I'm looking forward to tweeting with you in the future!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Congratulations, Class of 2011!

Now that we're entering graduation season, I thought that I'd take the time to dedicate a post to my fellow graduates in the Class of 2011 and to share a little bit of my experience with you.  First and foremost, I'd like to say congratulations to anyone that also graduated this spring.  I know that we've all put in a lot of time and effort into earning our diplomas and to finally have it embodied in a way that lasts a lifetime is certainly a great achievement deserving of recognition.  Hats off to you and best of luck in your life endeavors!

My family and I taking pictures after commencement.
My brother and I are tall!  Haha...
As for me...  I began my college career in the fall of 2007 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a marketing major.  I was very much interested in consumer behavior and the power of influence.  The initial interest grew into love as I took pertinent course materials and found that not only was I creative--I was also analytical.  I feel blessed to have the capability to see and be interested in both sides of the story, and while my heart pushes me towards research and analytics, I still enjoy and appreciate the creative aspect of my chosen major.

That isn't to say that the journey was easy, however.  I had my first experience with being away from my home and my family as well as the experience of living with people that were virtually strangers.  I was opened up to a new world of different people and experiences, which I felt was especially challenging due to my quiet and reserved nature.  Academics were also a challenge as well, as I had dual involvement in honors/scholar programs that required a very demanding schedule and a great deal of work.  Also requiring a great deal of work were the extracurricular activities in which I participated and the leadership roles I held.  On top of balancing my social life, academics, and extracurricular activities, there was also the issue of work experiences.

While I held a summer internship on the boardwalk close to my house, I think my first real business experience came at the start of my current job.  It was my first time in an office setting, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be working for a huge, multinational firm this early in my life.  In spite of this, I really think I held my own and learned a lot--especially since I've been working here full-time and have been living away from home (and for a lot of the time on my own).  Although I enjoy where I am, it wasn't always easy to wake up before the sun came up, sit in up to two hours of traffic, and have to come back and take care of things like cooking and cleaning.  Moreover, it was especially hard to keep energized when I had to budget my time between work, school, friends, family, and my boyfriend.  I certainly felt as though I had been thrust unexpectedly into some type of legitimate adulthood.  As hard and as different as it was, I wouldn't exchange it for anything--it was one of my most valuable life experiences to date.

My boyfriend and I with my diploma.  Graduated with
honors, baby!  :)
But of course, I wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of my friends and family.  I thoroughly appreciate their encouraging words and their willingness to let me reach for my dreams.  I'm sure it wasn't easy for my parents to let go of me and let me experience the world on my own for a while...and I'm sure it wasn't easy for my friends to deal with me ranting about my struggles, haha.  But I do want to say that I appreciate and love all of them from the bottom of my heart.

And of course, I appreciate all of my readers here, for supporting this dream of sharing my experiences about life, makeup, fashion, and beauty.

Review: Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Topcoat

As many of you know, this review follows a series of posts stemming from my pursuit of nail products that are Big 3 Free.  Since the first product to go was Seche Vite, I decided to review other quick dry topcoat alternatives.  The first I reviewed was Oh So Wet!, a product that I enjoyed very much.  The next quick dry topcoat I'll be reviewing for my readers is Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Topcoat.

Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine Topcoat

What it is:  
According to the website, Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine is the "ultimate" in quick dry topcoats.  It is meant to seal polish and nail art for wear and shine, ensuring that the color will last.  The formula also includes UV-protectors and claims to be non-yellowing, fast drying, high gloss finish, and chip resistant.  Best of all, it claims to be Big 3 free!
My Impression:  
In doing my research about which topcoats to try, I heard a lot of good things about this topcoat.  If memory serves me correctly, many users ranked this as their "holy grail" of topcoats.  Given the good reviews, I decided to give this a try.  In comparison to Seche Vite, the formulation is thinner, but in comparison to Oh So Wet!, the formulation is thicker.  To me, the consistency was perfect since it didn't glob up and I felt that it would really give the coverage and protection every girl (or guy!) seeks from a topcoat.  From my recollection, it didn't take all too long to dry--just a few minutes and it felt dry to the touch.  I would say it took about the same length of time as Seche Vite took to dry completely.  While the finish wasn't as smooth as Seche Vite, it was already much smoother and definitely more glossy than Oh So Wet!  However, I did notice that after a few days, it did seem to dull some colors a bit--especially the milky pinks that I wear to work.  This wasn't that big of an issue for me, as I frequently change nail colors.  But for those of you interested in longevity, I will confirm that there was very minimal (if any!) chipping involved, though I also started using Orly Top 2 Bottom as my base coat.
My recommendation:
While I think that Oh So Wet! was a good product, I think that I am much more partial to Nubar Diamont Seal & Shine.  It's a little more expensive, but I felt that it dried faster, had a better consistency, and provided better protection.  Though it behaves differently than Seche Vite, I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an effective quick dry topcoat that does not contain the toxic trio.
The rundown:
  • Product:  4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Quality: 5/5
  • Overall:  4.8/5
  • Would I buy this again? - Absolutely!
  • Where to purchase?  -  At the moment, I'm not aware of any retail outlets selling this.  I purchased mine from the Nubar website.
  • Price:  $7.49 on the website
  • Pros:
    +  Big 3 Free!
    +  Manageable consistency
    +  Dries quickly
    +  Glossy finish
    +  Protective
  • Cons:
    -  Dulls the color of some polishes
I hope you enjoyed round two of my Big 3 free quick dry topcoat reviews.  If you have any experience with this or know of any similar products I should try, please feel free to leave a question or comment below!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back from Europe--With Pictures!

Wow.  Would you believe that I've been home from Europe for two weeks already and I have yet to make a post?  Shame on me!  But life ended up taking the reins and as I prepare for graduation in may, the amount of things that I need to get done keep snowballing into one big, frustrating ordeal.  That's normal for any graduating senior, I suppose, but I still remain committed to updating as much as possible and sharing as much as I can of my life with you.  In any case, I'd like to thank all of the readers and everyone that wished me a good trip in Germany and France.  I had a fairly decent flight to Europe and once we got there, it was certainly a great experience!

One of the first places we went to was Hohenzollern castle, which was just absolutely gorgeous.  It sat atop a mountain that we actually needed to climb.  It was then that I realized...I am terribly out of shape!!! (I'm making strides on improving this...more to follow in the next Susan G. Komen post.)  Despite huffing and puffing all the way to the top, I found that it was definitely worth it.  The architecture was beautiful and it totally spoke to that side in me that yearns to be a princess.

While we did a few touristy things while in Germany, we did visit quite a few businesses and we went to places where we could observe International Marketing (that's what the trip was for, after all!).  One such place was the outlet town of Metzingen.  It was a very beautiful set of outlets with high-quality stores like Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Puma, and Hugo Boss.  Despite being an outlet town, however, everything was still much too expensive for me and I ended up window shopping.  It was still a good experience--and I saved my wallet some, too!  Another place we visited was Reutlingen University, where we had a lecture and got to see the way that German universities operate.  For those of you that enjoy a good "brewski," I am pleased to announce that we did go to a German brewery!  It was named Berg Brewery and we got to do our own little beer tasting there as a class.  We also had an authentic German dinner in which I finally figured out what a schnitzel was!

Another highlight of the trip was the Mercedes Factory and Museum.  I don't know much about cars, but I do appreciate good design and quality engineering.  I was surprised to see a lot of Mercedes cars were used as police cars, tour buses, freight trucks, and more.  I was also surprised to see that the Pope Mobile was a Mercedes, too!  Out of all the cars in the museum, I think my favorites were probably the convertibles.  One of my biggest "fantasies," so to speak, comes right out of those old movies.  There's nothing I'd love more than to have a dashing gentleman waiting in front of my house in a convertible, ready to pick me up and ride into the countryside.  Let me also add in that a stylish scarf around my hair and big sunglasses are also necessary!  But in all seriousness...not only were the cars amazing, but the design of the actual building itself was dazzling as well and very modern!  Overall, it was a good experience to see where these cars got their start and how they evolved through the years.  I had a similar experience on my last day in Germany, when we went to the Porsche museum.

I'm not really sure how much of this is evident in the posts that I make, but I would probably consider myself a very traditional person.  It's probably not a surprise that the quaint little town of Rothenburg found a special place in my heart.  A city that was once ravaged by war, Rothenburg, it was able to rebuild and rise once more.  The architecture here was stunning and if there was one place I visited where I would choose to live full-time, it would be here.  From my research, Rothenburg served as inspiration for the setting of the Disney movie Pinnochio and was the setting of scenes in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (not that I've watched it--I just heard about it!).

It was in Rothenburg that I had my first mini schneeballen, a dessert made of fried dough.  Although everything in the bakery looked delicious (it's Europe, after could it not?), I decided to go with the mini-schneeballen.  The particular kind I decided to try (and the one featured in the picture!) is of the cinnamon-sugar variety.  Other varieties that were available were nut, chocolate, and powdered sugar.  I suppose what I would compare it to is kind of like a donut hole (in terms of available flavors), except on the crunchy side!  I determined that the mini schneeballen wasn't for me, but it wasn't bad at all!

After taking care of business in Germany, we went to France.  The picture on the left is of the Arc de Triomphe, which we visited on our first night in Paris.  It was breathtaking at night!  Though you'd think that after nearly keeling over climbing the mountain to Hohenzollern, I would give up on climbing, I decided to be a trooper and stick it out.  I ended up climbing to the top and I'm really glad that I did.  From the top of the Arc de Triomphe was an astounding view of the entirety of Paris.  Though I ended up going a lot of different places throughout the rest of my stay in Paris, I think that by far, my favorite pictures were taken here, that night, at the Arc de Triomphe.

This picture is of the city street, branching out from the Arc de Triomphe.  What I really liked about our trip to Paris was that we were given a 3-day metro pass for our weekend there.  With that pass, we were able to go see the all of the tourist destinations in which we were interested as well as go poking around the city.  Though I'm not fluent in French (my experience spans four years of French education courses in high school...I am now a senior in college), I was surprised at how much came back to me and how well we were able to navigate and get around the city. 

While I only featured a few pictures here on the blog, I did visit a lot of tourist attractions.  I was able to make it to the Eiffel Tower, the Moulin Rouge, the Louvre, Montmarte, the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur, the Notre Dame de Paris, and the Saint Denis Basilica.  My general feeling is that I saw a lot and not enough at the same time.  A weekend was definitely not enough to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish, and I am definitely looking forward to going back to Paris and seeing all these things again. 

While we were able to visit a lot of tourist attractions on our own, the entire class went to visit Crown, Cork, & Seal, a company responsible for metal packaging.  It's actually the industry leader and you probably would never know.  It manufactures containers for a lot of things from beverages to cleaning products to watches to wine to even cosmetics.  Who knew?  It was definitely interesting to see things from their perspective.

So what did I learn overall?
  • I love architecture.
  • I'd love to learn  more about photography.
  • I need to get in more of my pictures.  I was behind the camera almost the entire time!  I need to document that I was actually at these places!
  • Pain au chocolat is absolutely DELICIOUS and I will miss having it for breakfast every day...although it's probably a good thing I'm not having it every day, haha.
  • European chocolate is WIN.
  • Europe is super fun!  :)
If you've got any other questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here and I'll be happy to answer!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Au Revoir & Auf Wiedersehen! Mellie Goes to Europe

Yes, that's right!  By the time you have read this blog post, I will probably be on a plane to Europe.

For those of you that don't already know, I will be traveling abroad for the next few days with an International Marketing course at my school.  We'll be going to Germany and France to see various companies and observe marketing in different cultures.  Since I haven't been to Europe before (only Asia!), I thought it would be a great opportunity to experience something new for a change.

While it spells out great opportunity for me, it means that I more than likely will be absent from the Internet--but don't fret!  I've got a few posts scheduled for my time away and I'm definitely planning on making a post summarizing my trip (complete with pictures!) shortly after I get back.

Thanks again for being the wonderful readers you are.  I'm going to miss you all--without you, this blog would be nothing!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime ®

A picture of me with my late grandmother,
Avelina Antonia Vibar-Provido (1930-1991).
  I thought I'd take the time to update you guys on my progress for Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.  I'm happy to announce that I believe I surpassed the goal that I had set for myself last month.  I had hoped to raise at least $250 by the end of February and I ended up raising $270, with $60 on the way!  It may seem like a small gain, but I'm already at 12% of my goal and I've got a few months left to make a splash and raise the remainder of it.  For anyone interested in checking it out, see my page at

I guess what I wanted to talk about was the picture that I have been using on my participant website and on each of my posts here.  As the caption indicates, it's a picture of my late grandmother and me.  Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with a very advanced stage of breast cancer when I was still a toddler and passed away shortly after.  In doing this, some people have asked me:  "Why have a picture of someone you hardly even knew on your site?  Why are you walking for this person?  Why is it so important for you?"

I really do think that's a valid question.  I was but a child when she passed, but something that was very inspiring to me was one of the slogans of the organization:  "Because Everyone Deserves a Lifetime."  Aside from the pictures we took together and the VHS home videos, I don't have many memories of her.  I remember playing out in the snow and her hands painstakingly peeling grapes for me because, for some strange reason, I hated grape skins.  I know that she loved me with the unique love that a grandparent has for their grandchild and I know that I loved her with all of the affection of an innocent child.

It all seems like it was cut too short, however.  Just as I came into the world and my eyes were opened, she departed and hers were closed.  Images and memories that I hold near and dear to me many more could we have had together had she not succumbed to the illness?  That's something I'll never know, but I know a lot of people have been affected by this illness and I hope that in doing this walk, that's something I can help to change.

One of the things that I love about this event is that all of the proceeds are put towards breast cancer research and community programs.  It also strives to decrease breast cancer incidence and mortality within the next decade.  I think it's so important to spread awareness and actively pursue a cure and more effective treatment for this illness that seems to have affected everyone.  Although the goal seems like a lofty concept, no one got anywhere by not believing.  The dollars that have gone towards this cause have already helped:  While attending a Get Started meeting for the event, the meeting leader stated that when she first started getting involved in the cause, the statistic was that 1 in 7 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  Because of the effort put towards this cause, the statistic has increased to 1 in 8.

While I am just one person, I firmly believe that one person is all it takes to stand up, work for change, and truly make a difference.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Look: Pink and Purple Pokémon Look

I'm sure it's not really a secret that I am a major nerd.  I wear glasses, love Hello Kitty, enjoy video games, watch embarrassing movies and documentaries...I'm sure you all know the type.  Well, I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when I ran into Shiro Cosmetics on Etsy.  The catchphrase of this brand is "makeup and geekery" and with a multitude of hand-blended, vegan mineral shadows on sale with names like Jigglypuff and 1-Up, it certainly delivers.

I did a little bit of research, found some excellent reviews, and decided to take the plunge.  I definitely was not disappointed.  I received my package in a very timely fashion and my little pigment jars were placed into cute little decorative bags.  I ended up ordering Mew, Acid, Meowth, Gengar, and Pikachu, but they were kind enough to include sample sizes of Squirtle and SS Anne.  I did some swatches, and overall, I really liked them!  I'll be sure to order from them again in the future.

Anyway, the reason I didn't really do an extensive review on these was because I got a new camera and I haven't really figured out how to use it that well yet.  Hopefully I can get it all sorted out...hopefully before I go to Europe...and get back to posting a few more better-photographed swatches and looks!  So without further interruption, here's what I created!

Face Products:
MAC Studio Fix foundation
MAC Pro Longwear concealer
MAC Mineral Skinfinish Natural in Medium Dark
NARS Laguna bronzer
NARS Albatross
NARS Deep Throat

Face Brushes:
Sigma F80
MAC 150
MAC 168
MAC 109
Coastal Scents fluffy brush

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Shiro Cosmetics Mew pigment - lid
MAC All That Glitters eyeshadow - crease
MAC Plum Dressing eyeshadow - crease & lower lashline
MAC Shadowy Lady eyeshadow - crease
MAC Brule eyeshadow - browbone
MAC Shroom eyeshadow - middle of browbone
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline - upper lashline
Stila Kajal eyeliner in Onyx - waterline
Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion mascara

Eye brushes/tools:
Shu Uemura eyelash curler
MAC 239 - lid
MAC 224 - crease
MAC 217 - crease
MAC 219 - lower lashline
Coastal Scents shader brush - highlight
Sigma E05 - liner

Viva Glam Gaga lipstick
NYX La~La lipgloss

Hope you liked it!  Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Nivea - A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care

Do you also battle dry, chapped lips as I do?  Are you also looking for kissably soft and smooth lips?  Well this product is not for you.  Okay, okay, that was a little drastic.  It definitely wasn't for me, at the very least!  I think it's rare that I give a negative review on a product--I'm very forgiving when it comes to product reviews.  However, despite seeing many favorable reviews for this product online, I definitely beg to differ.  This product did nothing for me!

Nivea - A Kiss of Smoothness Hydrating Lip Care

What it is:
It is described on the website as a lip balm that quickly absorbs to leave a soft feeling on the lips.  The inclusion of jojoba oil and shea butter are to provide long lasting moisturization.

My impression:
After seeing several favorable reviews of this product, I thought that I would give it a try.  I snuck off to the drugstore and bought myself two sticks--one for my purse and one to keep at my desk in my apartment.  As I'm sure any makeup maven does when getting a new product, I unwrapped them excitedly, very eager to use them.  When I first applied it, my lips felt very soft and smooth.  I thought that I had hit gold!  Unfortunately, that feeling didn't last...and that's the problem.  While my lips felt soft and smooth for a while, it just sat at the surface of my lips and went away after maybe 30-60 minutes.  Even though many lip balms fade away, they still at least leave your lips feeling pretty decent, but not this product.  My lips felt tight and dry...almost as if I had gone away for the weekend and had forgotten my lip balm at home!  There are two redeeming qualities however--the fact that it comes in a tube (I prefer tubes to pots since I don't like dipping my fingers into products), that it has SPF protection, and that it does not have a strange taste or smell.
My recommendation:
If you really want to give this product a try, I'm not stopping you.  However, I know that I would not at all purchase this product again.  It didn't do anything it should have done and for almost $3 a pop, I really was expecting a little bit more.
The rundown:
  • Product:  2/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  2/5
  • Overall:  3/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  Probably not.
  • Where to buy:  A wide variety of places (e.g. - Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc.)
  • Price:  Price varies, but I'd say it's around $3
  • Pros:
    +  It comes in a tube (I prefer tubes to pots)
    +  It has SPF 4
    +  Does not have strange taste or smell
  • Cons:
    -  It did not last
I hope you found my review helpful!  If there are any questions or even if you have some lip balm recommendations, please feel free to let me know in the comments below.  Thanks!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Oh So Wet! Quick Dry Topcoat

For those of you that follow my blog, you might have noticed my earlier post on my decision to be Big 3 Free.  As part of this decision, I decided against continued use of my once favorite quick dry topcoat, Seche Vite.  Consequently, I went out and bought myself a few topcoats to try, one of which being Oh So Wet! quick dry topcoat.

Oh So Wet! Quick Dry Topcoat

What it is:
It is described as a quick drying topcoat that is designed to be placed over any 7-day manicure.
My impression:
Prior to my exploration of the Big 3 toxic trio, I had never really thought about any other quick dry topcoats than Seche Vite.  After all, it was the go-to topcoat for everyone and was receiving such rave reviews--it was almost as if nothing at all could measure up.  Fortunately, I think I've found a pretty comparable topcoat in Oh So Wet! that meshes with my beliefs.  Though it did not dry as quickly as Seche Vite, it did take a much shorter amount of time than if I had used a typical topcoat.  I estimate that it probably took around ten minutes to feel dry to the touch and maybe another five or so for me to feel comfortable with the dryness.  While it wasn't as glossy as Seche Vite, it did give a relatively nice shine.  A plus to this was that unlike Seche Vite, I didn't experience any dulling of the color after a few days of wear.  I also did not experience as much chipping or any polish peeling off cleanly, though this could have also been attributed to my change in base coat from Seche Clear to Orly Top 2 Bottom.  I also liked that the consistency was a lot thinner than Seche Vite and more manageable.
My recommendation:
Although it dries a little bit slower and is a little less glossy than Seche Vite, I still think that this is a great topcoat.  I really like that it doesn't dull after a few days or cause the polish to peel off cleanly.  It also takes care of the main function of a topcoat--to protect a manicure.  I think that this would be great for anyone looking to try a Big 3 free topcoat.  I can really only compare it to Seche Vite, since that is the only quick dry topcoat I've used so far, but putting that experience entirely aside, I still think it's a great product worth trying out.
The rundown:
  • Product:  4/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  4.8/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  Sure would!
  • Where to buy:  Sally Beauty
  • Price:  $4.49
  • Pros:
    +  Big 3 free
    +  Affordable
    +  Dries quickly
    +  Glossy finish
    +  Applies well
    +  Protects manicure
  • Cons:
    -  Doesn't dry as quickly as Seche Vite
    -  Not as glossy as Seche Vite
I hope you enjoyed round one of my Big 3 free quick dry topcoat reviews.  If you have any experience with this or know of any similar products I should try, please feel free to leave a question or comment below!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Isn't he handsome? ;)
I just wanted to wish all of my readers celebrating/observing the holiday a Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope everyone has a great day filled with love!

For those of you wondering who the picture is of, it's my boyfriend!  I thought I'd share with you, since the aim of this blog is to be life-oriented as well.  While the story of how we met is quite long and complicated, I will say that we've been together since 2009 and I couldn't be happier.

At the moment, our relationship is long distance, so we won't be able to be together today based on conflicting schedules.  We're not even really Valentine's Day people, I don't think, so it wasn't that big of a deal to either of us.  We're just happy spending time together in general!

We did have a bit of a Valentine's Day moment last weekend.  He brought delicious cupcakes over from Mr. Cupcakes--including Red Velvet!  To be honest, I really only had Red Velvet cake on two previous occasions, and since then, I was craving more and more.  Fortunately, after weeks of me begging him (note: "begging" is an understatement), he went on a hunt for Red Velvet cake for me.  Little did he know there was a little cupcake shop near his school!

This is what I got surprised with Friday evening.  Two Red Velvet cupcakes (Red Velvet with cream cheese icing), two Triple Chocolate cupcakes (chocolate cake with chocolate chips baked inside and dipped in chocolate ganache with chocolate chips on top), and two Birthday Cake cupcakes (yellow cake with buttercream icing and sprinkles).  Needless to say, I was quite spoiled that weekend!

But then again, he always spoils me with love, affection, caring, and understanding.  I'm thankful to have him in my life and I'm looking forward to all of the adventures we're going to have together in the future.

How are all of you spending Valentine's Day?  Normal day or something a little extra?  In any case, have a great holiday!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Choice to Be Big 3 Free

Truth be told, I was once a nail-biter.  From the end of middle school right up into halfway through my undergrad in college career, I used to bite my nails.  What changed that?  Finding my love of cosmetics and developing an interest in nailpolish changed all of that.  Along with that came my usage of what was then my holy grail topcoat, Seche Vite.

I'm sure those of you that are into beauty products as I am have seen it reviewed.  It has earned a reputation for itself as drying nailpolish faster than it would take to dry on its own while providing an attractive glossy finish and the protective properties of a traditional topcoat.  I'm sure that many of you have also seen the controversy surrounding its warning label:

WARNING! This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Now people have argued up and down about this, but the point of this post isn't to evangelize or try and move you to make the same decision I did.  It's not even to discuss Seche Vite specifically, as I'm sure there is a wide range of other products that have similar ingredients (e.g. - I read in a comment here that Chanel still makes polishes with toluene).  I just want to share what led me to this decision and, if you'd like, provide a starting point for your own research!

As listed on the website for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the "Toxic Trio" of nailpolish ingredients are dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene.  According to the book A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, M.S., these ingredients can pose a variety of different health risks.

Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP):
This ingredient is used as a plasticizer in nailpolish, but is also used as a perfume solvent, fixative, shampoo, and antifoam ingredient.  It can also be used as an insect repellent.  DBP has a low toxicity, but if if it is ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal upset.  Vapor from this ingredient can irritate both the eyes and mucous membranes.

With regards to side effects, DBP has been linked to gene and hormone changes in rodents.  In humans, it has been linked to genital abnormalities in infants and testicular cancer.  Additionally, the United States EPA and the National Toxicology Program suspect that DBP is toxic to development, the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems, liver, nerves, and kidneys.  It is also on the California Proposition 65's list of substances known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.

Formaldehyde is currently on the Canadian Hotlist and is banned for use in cosmetics in both Swedena and Japan.  This ingredient, popularly known for its use in funeral homes, is also used in many cosmetic products as a disinfectant and preservative.  It is used in nail hardeners, nailpolish, soap, and hair products.  When used in cosmetics, it is often used as a disinfectant, germicide, fungicide, defoamer, and preservative.  Even though it might not be listed on the ingredient list, formaldehyde can be used as a preservative in other ingredients, such as lauryl sulfate.

In lab rats, it has been found to cause lung cancer.  Vapors from formaldehyde are irritating to human mucous membranes.  If ingested, formaldehyde can cause severe abdominal pain, internal bleeding, inability to urinate, vertigo, coma, and even death.  Skin reactions are common after exposure since it may be irritating and allergy producing.

Despite the risks, it has been concluded by the CIR Expert Panel to be safe to the great majority of consumers.  However, some may be more sensitive than others because of varying skin types.  Furthermore, it is encouraged that manufacturing of cosmetic products should take into account the minimum amount of formaldehyde necessary to provide the intended purpose.

Toluene, the offender in Seche Vite, is used in nailpolish up to 50%.  It is used mostly as a solvent, and in nailpolish it is used as a "nail strengthener" or hardener with the goal of achieving high adhesion and gloss. 

If ingested, toluene can cause mild anemia and can be used as a narcotic in high concentration.  Among the side effects are possible liver damage and skin and respiratory irritation.  The longterm effects of low exposure to toluene have been found in at least 20 cities where it is present in drinking water.

The CIR Expert Panel has determined that toluene is safe in its current use in cosmetic formulations.

Called to make a change by the public, many companies have decided to reformulate their polishes without these controversial ingredients.  Among brands that boast being free of the Big 3 are OPI, China Glaze, Essie, and Zoya.

Why I decided to be Big 3 free?
Though I had been using Seche Vite for almost two years and was vaguely familiar with the concerns on the warning label, I thought that I'd do some research.  After doing some reading and buying the book, A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, I thought it would be in my best interest to try and find an alternative.

Even though the degree of risk that I will experience some of the side effects mentioned above might be very small, I personally did not think that it was worth the risk.  I think that this is especially true since there now exist products that do not use these ingredients and still do a great job.  Why continue use if I know that the risk is there and that there are alternatives?

All in all, it's just nailpolish and I don't think that I could forgive myself if later down the line it turned out that I could have prevented something negative from happening.  I am well aware that nailpolish isn't the only arena in which potentially toxic ingredients exist and it probably isn't realistic to be totally free of toxins like these (I remember hearing in a class that women were found with toxins in their body that had been outlawed well before their lifetimes!), but that's why I'm taking the steps to become a little more informed and make my choices that way--one step at a time.

In response to this topic, I have sought out to find a Seche Vite replacement.  Stay tuned for my reviews to come in the next few weeks!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer

In the many months that I was missing, I managed to finish up a whole tube of concealer!  Though it didn't turn out to be one of my favorites, I thought that it would be beneficial to review it.  Today's review is of MAC Select Moisturecover concealer, which I first heard about in a video by Tiffany D and then saw that it got a lot of rave reviews elsewhere.  Here is my experience with the product!

MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer
What it is:
It is described on the MAC website as as a blendable, moisturizing concealer with a doe-foot applicator.
My impression: 
I heard a lot of good reviews on this concealer, and many people with dark under-eye circles said it worked well at minimizing their appearance.  Well, the perfect under-eye concealer was what I aimed to find, so I thought I would give it a try.  I did like the packaging (if only MAC Pro Longwear concealer came with this packaging!) and thought that it was pretty easy to get the product out for use.  The concealer was thin in consistency, but in spite of that, it was able to cover and blend very well.  I was very impressed with how well it was able to cover under-eye imperfections.  However, what I didn't like about it was that even if I lessened the amount of product I used, it always ended up settling into the fine lines and creases under my eyes.  By the end of the day, it also looked a little cakey--not so good for someone that is out of their apartment for the majority of the day!
My recommendation:
I did really like this concealer for its coverage and blendability.  I didn't like it because of the way it settled and became cakey, but it might just be because my skin is on the oilier side.  People with normal/dry skin might fare better with this than I did!
The rundown:
  • Product:  4/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  4.8/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  After finding my preferred concealer, probably not, but it doesn't mean it's a bad product.
  • Where to buy:  MAC
  • Price:  $16.50
  • Pros:
    +  Good coverage
    +  Easy to blend
    +  Packaging
  • Cons:
    -  Settled into fine lines and creases
    -  Looked cakey at the end of the day
Even though this turned out to not be the product for me, I hope you found my review helpful!  If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

60 Miles in 3 Days...Can I Do It?

A picture of me with my late grandmother,
Avelina Antonia Vibar-Provido (1930-1991).
Those of you that follow my private Twitter account (@VelociMellie) or my Facebook might know that I have decided to take on a challenge--I decided to sign up for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure™, taking place in October in Philadelphia.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the walk, it entails walking 60 miles (roughly the distance between Atlantic City, NJ and Philadelphia, PA) over the course of three days and camping out each night with thousands of other men and women fighting for the same cause.  The net proceeds from this event are invested in breast cancer research and community programs with the hope of decreasing breast cancer incidence and mortality in the next decade.

As someone that has had various friends and family members affected by this illness, it was really important to me to be a part of it.  At the present time, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.  When you think about it, that really could be anyone.  It's not just an illness that mostly older women get, either--more and more younger women around my age and even men are being diagnosed.   I just feel that it is so important to work towards improving treatment, finding a cure, and aiding in detection and prevention.

I attended a Get Started meeting in the city last Wednesday and it was certainly an emotional experience for me.  Suddenly the things I complain about seemed so small and inconsequential.  For example, some days I wake up tired or I don't feel like going to work or class.  But you know what?  I'm sure someone with cancer didn't feel like having the illness, but it happened.  And I'm sure that chemotherapy and other treatments are no walk in the park, but they endure it.  It is really touching to hear about people with illnesses that don't let it ruin their lives and it is really motivating to see the fighting spirit that is in each one of us.  60 miles in just three days is hard, but it's just a couple steps compared to the journey that cancer patients and survivors have to make.

I have currently committed to raise at least $2,300 in donations by the day of the walk.  At the moment, I haven't gotten much response, but I'm hoping that by the end of February, I can have at least $250 in there to get me going!  I'm determined to meet my goal at the least and exceeding it would be a dream come true.

While I do have financial goals involved in this race, I also have some physical goals attached to it.  60 miles in three days certainly did not sound like an easy task.  Since the race is in October, I thought I'd use the long time in between as an opportunity to train and prepare myself.  It's not "just walking"--it's involves stamina and endurance.  I'm proud to say that I'm eating much better than I did last year and I am also getting lots of regular exercise.  At the end of January, I had dropped nearly 15 pounds!  It's exciting to see my endurance build and I know that if I keep my way on this path, I should be able to last through these 60 miles.

I'm really looking forward to this walk and I hope all of you don't mind me talking about it every once in a while, haha.  I'm looking to make one post at the end of each month with my progress.  If you're interested in participating, please visit for more information.  If you're feeling gracious and would like to make a donation or would like to see the personal page I have set up, please get in contact with me and I can provide more details.  Thanks for reading the post and joining me on this journey!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Library: Asian Faces by Taylor Chang-Babaian

Taylor Chang-Babaian (with foreword by Yoko Ono)
Asian Faces
One of the things that I've really been getting into lately are beauty books, just because I feel like there's a wealth of information that can be gleaned from their glossy, colorful pages.  This is certainly true of Asian Faces by Taylor Chang-Babian.

The book, written specifically for Asian women, aims to address all of their beauty concerns.  As a female of Filipino descent, I had always wondered what would look best on me, and as with any makeup addict, I seek to find my holy grail in every makeup category.  I believe that with this book, I came a little bit closer to understanding more about my face in relation to those of my Asian sisters.

One of the things that I liked the most about Asian Faces was that it was very easy to understand.  For instance, the beginning of the book included an extensive product guide with information right down to brushes and how to use them.  Additionally, I also liked that a face chart using a photograph was included.  It definitely came handy when trying to follow the Asian-specific skincare advice and application tips Chang-Babaian gives in the book.  Speaking of tips, there were countless tips scattered throughout the book ranging on a variety of different topics--like skincare product ingredients and making eyelashes look fuller.  It was great getting the inside scoop from a top makeup artist.

While the first half of the book discusses products and technique, the second half of the book showcases looks done by Chang-Babaian herself.  The looks are all beautifully photographed and I especially liked how pictures of the products in almost a swatch-form were featured.  It gives a lot of freedom to use what you have in your stash and makes it easy for you to find something similar.  I enjoyed how many of the looks had themes.  For example, Chang-Babaian included sections on costume makeup and looks from major American cities.  It was amazing to me to see how makeup styles and preferences changed from New York to Miami to Los Angeles.  And of course, being a blossoming vintage fan, I had great appreciation for the Asian vintage pinup and 1940s sophisticate looks.

Although everything is laid out in a way that is easy to understand, beginners might find it difficult to replicate looks in the latter half of the book.  Despite being detailed, it is provided in a list format rather than step-by-step pictures.  I don't think that this should be too much of a struggle, however.  Practice makes perfect and I think that if used in conjunction with other skill-building activities, like watching tutorials or even expanding into other reading materials, even beginners can become more skilled.

Even though everything was based upon Asian women, I think that I would have benefited from being able to see the different types of Asian eyelids.  The book does address this a little bit, but I would have liked to see a photographic depiction.

All in all, I think that this book was a great read and helped put me in better touch techniques and products that take into account my Asian heritage.

I hope you found this book review helpful!  Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the book featured above. I purchased the book reviewed in this blog post and did not receive it for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

Senior year for me has been a crazy one.  It was difficult for me to juggle the time to make posts and keep up with makeup trends.  It's probably not a surprise that MAC's release of their new Pro Longwear line went unnoticed for me.  Fortunately, I kept up with my Twitter and after hearing all of the raving, I thought I'd give this a try the next time I was at a MAC.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
What it is:
As listed by the MAC website, this concealer is designed to be fluid and lightweight.  It dries to a matte finish and claims to last up to 15 hours.  It's supposed to be great for covering up dark under-eye circles and other discolorations.
My Impression:
I'm sure it's no secret that one of the things I've been struggling with is dark under-eye circles.  Be it from a lack of sleep, genetics, or what have you, I have to deal with covering up these circles each day.  I have been through a boatload of products, each claiming to do what no other product has done.  Well, I never really completely found that to be true--until now.  I am absolutely positively in LOVE with this concealer to the point where I am ready to commit to an exclusive, longterm relationship.  It is definitely very lightweight--much thinner than foundation.  I have found that I only need just the smallest of dots to provide full coverage.  I apply it after I have applied my foundation by patting it on with my ring finger and then blending it out with a brush.  It blends seamlessly with the foundation, dries matte, and stays put for the entire day.  This is the first undereye concealer I have had that hasn't creased and has looked natural enough for my taste.
My recommendation:
I would surely recommend it to anyone facing similar dark under-eye problems.  It not only works, but it lasts!  Although it comes with a $16.50 pricetag, I believe it is well worth it because a little goes a long way.  That does bring me to my next point.  For any of you reading this and believing that it is too good to be true, there is one negative to this product--and that negative would be the packaging.  It comes with a pump dispenser and looks like a mini MAC foundation.  However, unlike the pump that can be purchased for the MAC foundations, this pump is simply uncontrollable.  One full pump will give you enough product to last you the week and even gently pressing it still leaves you in danger of pumping entirely too much.  I ended up finding a way to press it so that just enough comes out, but it takes a careful hand.  I think that if you can find a way to get past this issue, you should be good as gold!
The rundown:
  • Product:  5/5
  • Packaging:  2/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  4.3/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  ABSOLUTELY.
  • Price:  $16.50 at MAC
  • Pros:
    +  Lightweight
    +  Dries matte
    +  Looks natural
    +  Covers dark under-eye circles
    +  Long lasting
    +  A little goes a long way
  • Cons:
    -  THE PUMP
Hopefully you found my review helpful!  If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

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