Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cosmetics Review: Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don't Stray

The ProductBenefit Cosmetics Stay Don't Stray

The Review: Benefit markets their Stay Don't Stray as an eyeshadow and concealer primer. They claim that it fights the signs of aging with sodium hyaluronate and vitamins A and C, minimizes fine lines, brightens the eye area, comes in a universally flattering nude shade and blends seamlessly into your skin. If you don't believe me, you can check out its Sephora page. To me, this primer is like a bad boyfriend- sooooo many promises, getting your hopes up, and then very little follow-through, leading you to bouts of drinking and self-loathing... Ok. So this primer isn't that bad, but I like to err on the side of the melodramatic. What do you expect of a girl who went to school for opera? See? All my ridiculousness makes much more sense now.

Anyway, I like some things about this primer. When I wear it, my eyeshadow doesn't crease and I think it makes the colors a little more intense. Also, it conceals the crap out of my undereye circles when I blend it correctly. On the other hand, there are a lot of things I dislike. First off, the dispenser pump dispenses WAAAAAAY too much. With this product, you need only a tiny little bit for both eyes. The bottle dispenses enough for, like, 5 people's eyes. I wish I was exaggerating on this one, but I'm not. Even when I'm careful, I still wind up with way more product than I can use, and I hate how much gets wasted. I heard that Benefit might be changing the packaging so that it'll have a doe foot applicator. We shall see...

Second off, this is a very high maintenance primer. The primer itself goes on tacky and pretty damn opaque, so you have to be very careful, go slowly, and blend the shit out of it to keep it from looking like a bad concealer accident (I call this the "reverse raccoon eye." Also, based on this pic, I wonder if this isn't the favorite product of Eva Longoria). I like to call it my eye spackle. Oh, and you also have to let it dry a minute or 2 before applying your eyeshadow. Oh! And make sure your face is well moisturized beforehand or it will highlight every little minute line and look cakey. Basically, if you like to throw on your makeup and run, this is not the primer for you.

Lastly, all these damn claims. Like I said, if you're not well moisturized beforehand, it will NOT "minimize the appearance of fine lines." The product is heavy and opaque and definitely not "lightweight," although I suppose it will eventually "blend seamlessly onto skin" if you work on it long enough. The "universally flattering nude shade" is only flattering if you're a universal shade of pale. I could barely make this work on me when I had a tan, so I can't imagine anyone of Indian or African descent getting this to work for them. I also have yet to see any anti-aging benefits. Maybe you have to use it for years? Eh. I never trust anti-aging claims. Also, word of warning. Other reviewers have mentioned that the product sometimes separates after a couple months, deeming it useless.

Honestly, there are a lot of great eyeshadow primers out there. Smashbox, Urban Decay, and Too Faced all have some decent ones that aren't half as high maintenance and annoying as this one. From what I've read, this primer tends to be favored by pale ladies with extremely oily eyelids, so if that is your situation, maybe you'll like this primer. However, one of my biggest pet peeves is when a company claims a product will do all these wondrous things, even though it's flat-out bullshit. Maybe if they had kept it simple and only claimed that this primer would "make your eyeshadows REALLY stay put", I would have been more lenient.

Rated Beauty Grade: C+

Price: $26

Where to Buy: Your local Benefit counter, Sephora

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cosmetics Review: ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss

The Product: ModelCo SHINE Ultra Lip Gloss

The Review: I got this lipgloss in my November Birchbox, and I have to say that this is the reason why I keep getting Birchboxes- once in a while, you get a full size product that kicks ass, like this lovely lipgloss from ModelCo. Oh, how I love this gloss. I got it in "Showgirl Red," which is kind of misleading because it's not red. It's more like a sheer reddish watermelonish pink that tints your lips the my idea of the perfect amount - you can tell that you're wearing it, but it doesn't broadcast itself. Think of it more like highlighting your lips rather than shining a giant spotlight on them.  It is SUCH a gorgeous color and I can see it looking good on pretty much every skintone. It's the type of color that not only can you wear it by itself every day, but it looks AWESOME over every lipstick shade I've tried with it- reds, peaches, plums, a random brownish shade, peachy gold, you get the gist.

As for the gloss formulation itself, it's not got any nasty flavor (or really any flavor) and it smells like those strawberry candies you get at Christmas. YUM. It doesn't seem to dry out my lips at all, and it's quite long lasting for a gloss. If I don't drink too much coffee at work, I can go at least 3 hours before I feel the urge to re-apply. This is impressive, because I am a chronic re-applier of the lip products. Lip balm? Like every hour. "Long lasting" lip gloss? Same thing. I think part of it is the texture. It's a little thicker and has a very emollient feel to it with a teensy bit of stickiness. It's like a waaaay improved version of Lancome's Juicy Tubes, which are super thick and very sticky.

Another thing I love? The packaging! I never get all that excited about packaging, but this gloss has a built-in mirror on the side of the tube, which is clear and quite classy-looking, in my opinion. So cute.

All in all, this is a great gloss and I've been wearing it every day for the last 2 weeks. I think it's definitely worth the money and plan on buying it again once I run out.  However, if you're the type of person who absolutely can't stand any hint of stickiness, I would suggest avoiding this one.

Rated Beauty Grade: A-

Price: $16

Where to Buy: Birchbox