#MakeupMonday – Maybelline Master Kajal Eyeliner

jacey blush school of makeup maybelline master kajal eyeliner makeup to go makeup to go blog

the lovely Jacey was my demo model, makeup by moi…


Howdy folks. I’m using this Makeup Monday to introduce a new column to Makeup to Go; A Quick One. A Quick One reviews are going to be straght-forward reviews of just one product. I’ll still cover ingredients, performance, etc. but in a condensed and easier to read format. I may even start using a ratings system.

For this the inaugural A Quick One, I am reviewing Maybelline’s Master Kajal eyeliner. Anyone who knows me or who reads the Makeup to Go Blog knows that – with the exception of Great Lash mascara, Revlon lip colors, and a couple of other products – I’m not a huge fan of drugstore/mass-market makeup. Too much of it just doesn’t work. When I first heard about the Maybelline Master Kajal, I was duped intrigued on the strength of Maybelline’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner. The Lasting Drama gel liner was almost unilaterally well-received and reviewed and deservedly so. The gel liners are creamy, nicely pigmented, apply easily and work for personal and professional use. How does the Master Kajal Eyeliner stack up?

jacey blush school of makeup maybelline master kajal eyeliner makeup to go makeup to go blog

Maybelline Master Kajal eyeliner (click to see larger)


What Is Kajal?: It’s Kohl. As you are likely familiar, Kohl is a popular eyeliner type due to its soft texture and easy blendability. Traditional kohl/kajal is made from ground galena which is a form of lead(II) sulfide, mixed with other ingredients. Even though that form of lead is not generally considered to be toxic, a lot mainstream brands that sell Kohl pencils do not actually use Kohl in the formulation. Instead they’ll use a mixture of oils and waxes to emulate the texture of kohl.

When I was growing up, the Kajal I was familiar with was the traditional kajal which came in short, stubby cones with pointed ends. You can still find these traditional kajal cones in Indian and other international grocery stores that sell international beauty products.

Testing: I used the Master Kajal eyeliner during a demo for my Makeup for Photography class. I did not want to chance using it on a job, but I did want to see how it look photographed as well as in real life. I tested the Navy eyeliner specifically because I wanted to see if it would give good color payoff.

Design: The Maybelline Master Kajal emulates that traditional cone shape and adds a long, tapered handle to make it easier to hold. I liked the handle, it felt good in hand and it was easy to control. It should be noted that the Master Kajal has no sharpener nor does any more product “push up”. The amount of product you see is the amount of product you get. Product life will depend on product usage, and Maybelline suggests in the product packaging to always use it on its side (in a rotating fashion) instead of on its point. Keep this in mind.

Colors: Black, Charcoal, Brown and Navy
Good eyeliner basics and the Navy adds a nice pop of color to the collection.

Texture: Waxy. Not at all what I was expecting, although upon further inspection of the ingredients I am not surprised. People who like Kohl eyeliner – which I do – like it for it’s creamy texture. In fact some people do not like Kohl because they think it’s too soft. Well, as we will soon see, there’s no danger of that with this product 😐

Blendability: Since it is not creamy, it is not as blendable as one would expect or want from a Kohl/Kajal liner. In India, Africa and the Middle East the Kajal cone is all many women use to create a deep smokey eyeliner. There is no way you could do that with a product of this texture. I had a more difficult than expected time getting the winged eyeliner to jump off. Both myself and my model felt the product “drag” along the lash line. I would definitely not use this for the lower lashline or the waterline.

Color Payoff: Weak. It registered as a grayed blue in real life and as just a gray-ish/charcoal-ish color when photographed. It certainly did NOT look like anything I’ve seen in the advertising for this product. Remember when I said you are instructed to use the product on its side for maximum product life? Well nothing came off the cone when I did that 😐 It was only when I used the tip did I start to get any meaningful color release. As the product warmed up against my model’s skin I was able to use the side but it took some effort.

jacey blush school of makeup maybelline master kajal eyeliner makeup to go makeup to go blog

this was the best color payoff I could get (click to see larger)


Wear: Just okay. I did my demo in the morning, and my model and myself were at school all day. I did notice that by the end of the day the color – which was not strong to begin with – had begun to fade. But there was still liner on her lids several hours later.

jacey blush school of makeup maybelline master kajal eyeliner makeup to go makeup to go blog

Hmmmm…. (Click to see larger)


Ingredients:
I took pictures of the backs of two of the eyeliners I purchased because one had a sticker on it which implies that the product may have had some formulation changes. As you can see the first several ingredients are various waxes: Microcrystalline wax, paraffin, candella, etc. It does contain castor oil which is a great ingredient that generally adds a smooth texture and “slip” to a product. But then that’s it. There are a couple of standard cosmetics ingredients in the mix (lauryl methacrylate/glycol dimethacrylate crosspolymer is a fixative, for example), and a few flower waxes towards the end of the ingredients list (meaning they are small components of the overall formulation). Mostly this is a colored wax stick and we all know what a colored wax stick is called? A crayon. Quite frankly that’s what the Maybelline Master Kajal looked and felt like. By contrast check out the ingredients in Sephora’s Kohl eyeliner pencils. Waxes AND oils for a soft, smooth texture. Clearly Maybelline are referring to “kajal” as the shape of the product, not the actual quality of the product

The Verdict: Would Not Repurchase. This is certainly not up to snuff for any professional use of any capacity, and consumers can do better as well. There are other “Kajal cones” available (Sephora’s brand has particularly nice color payoff) or you can just get a Kohl pencil like Make Up For Ever’s fab Kohl Pencils and call it a day.

Alas, Maybelline did not hit another one out the park with the Master Kajal eyeliner.

#MakeupMonday – Kit Sanitation

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The Clean Team


A couple of weeks ago here on Makeup to Go Blog, I posted an article regarding knowing when it was time to say “Goodbye” to your old makeup (click to read “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: When to Toss Makeup). In that article I made mention of the fact that some rules can be bent or even broken. The trick? Kit Sanitation.

Makeup artists refer to their makeup product & tools as their “Kit”. If you have a lipstick, an eyeliner, a mascara and a few brushes, that is your Kit. Makeup artists obviously have a lot more in their Kits (not to mention an artist that does Airbrush or an artist that does FX), but the point of the story is whether your Kit contains 5 items or 500, proper care, maintenance and storage will enable you to keep and use your products longer. I debated doing this post as a “Makeup Monday” or as a “Biz Talk” post but as I was writing the makeup purge post I realized this is relevant info for pros and non-pro makeup lovers alike πŸ™‚

THE HARD TRUTH
Humans are bundles of bacteria, as are most things in the world. It is this constant contact with a barrage of bacteria why we cannot just keep makeup indefinitely. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out this LiveStrong article on the different types of bacteria found on cosmetics, transmitted through human contact.

– Staphylococcus epidermidis
– Staphylococcus warneri
– Pseudomonas aeruginosa
– Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

So we’re talking 3 different forms of Staph infection, and one other infectious bacteria that is even worse. No bueno.

WHAT TO DO
Short version: Keep your stuff clean!!!!!

As a semi-germaphobe I just cannot believe the condition in which I’ve see some people’s makeup and tools. Sad to say, I include non-pros AND pros in this statement 😐 Keeping your products and tools clean will not only lessen (not eliminate, lessen) the risk of catching some of the afore mentioned nasties BUT it will enable you to keep makeup longer. No makeup artist is buying a limited edition NARS palette and then tossing it after a year, that’s laughable. I owned my beloved “Skin Deep”, “Emotional Rescue”, and “Rapture” palettes for about 6 years or so (from when they came out until this past Labour Day weekend when I did my purge) and they were in steady rotation in good working use for about 5 of those 6 years. That final year was me being in denial and not ready to let go, even though the lipsticks were giving me that telltale smell πŸ™

HOW TO CLEAN

Ask a number of makeup artists and you’ll likely get a number of different answers, but in 15+ years I’ve never had a sanitation complaint or had talent have a negative reaction (that I am aware of) from my Kit. Here’s how I keep it clean;

Cream Products
(Foundations, Blushes, Eyeshadows, Lipsticks, etc):
SPRAY WITH ALCOHOL AFTER USING.

In my professional life I use a (preferably metal) spatula to take product out of its container so I can use it on my talent/client. On myself, of course, I just use the product directly on my face. In either case, I give a quick spray with alcohol after use (yes, even when using a spatula because the product has been open and hence exposed to air). Let the alcohol sit on the product for at least 30 seconds. I just give my product a good spray down and let it air-dry and by the time its fully dry it is good to go.

Powder Products
(Eyeshadows, Blushes, Bronzers, Pressed Powder, Powder Foundations, etc.)
SPRAY WITH ALCOHOL AFTER USING. Wipe top layer periodically.

Powders should last you a while because they do not carry bacteria the way creams and liquids do. That said, unlike creams and liquids you have to use them right out of the pan. With creams and liquids you can decant as needed and not have to “double dip” into your product. Since using powder products is a constant “double dip” you’ll want to keep that top surface clean. Spraying with alcohol will NOT compromise your product, just be sure not to over saturate your product, and let the alcohol evaporate completely. You can – and should periodically – use alcohol wipes on your powder product so that you are actually removing the top layer of product revealing a fresh, new layer underneath. Some people recommend scraping the top layer of powder products, but one time of accidentally crushing your favorite eyeshadow, blush, or bronzer and you’ll see why I’m not a fan of that method.

Liquid Products
(Foundations, Liquid Highlighters, Illuminators, Lotions, etc.)
USE PUMP and/or TUBE DISPENSERS

These are tricky because they generally need to be shaken and then most people pour the product out into their hand, often touching their hand. Once bacteria is in there, there is no way to get it out. My solution: Use liquids that come in a pump bottle. That way you only dispense what you need and the rest stays safe and isn’t exposed to air, your hand, etc. If your favorite product doesn’t come in a pump bottle or a tube, move it to one. Places like The Container Store or my beloved MUJI that I wrote about have empty pumps and tubes available. NOTE: Glass is better than plastic in terms of longer term storage. If you get a plastic container, don’t try to reuse as plastic is porous. Just toss it when the product is empty and get a new one. Extra Germaphobe Points: Wipe the opening of your pump bottle/tube with alcohol periodically πŸ™‚

Makeup to go makeup to go blog kit sanitation

Cut the wand OFF. Maybelline Great Lash comes like this now (click to see larger)



Mascara
CUT THAT WAND OFF!!! Use Disposable Wands Instead

Mascara just does not live long so your first order of sanitation business is just to accept the reality of that reality. However, you can make your mascara last longer by ditching the wand that comes with it and using disposable wands the way professionals do. And by ditching the wand I do not just mean not using it, I mean cutting it off. Why? Because every time you take the wand in and out of the tube, you are pumping air into the product. This not only increases the likelihood of introducing bacteria, it also dries the mascara out faster so you have to replace it sooner. By cutting the wand off you can stretch your mascara’s life from 3 months to as many as 6 or maybe more*. NOW – a lot of the hype with many mascaras on the market IS the brush itself and how it applies product or separates lashes or what have you. IF you want to use the wand that comes with the mascara you certainly can (on YOURSELF, not using it on multiple people), just know that you’ll have to replace your mascara more frequently.

Pencils
KEEP SHARPENED. SPRAY WITH ALCOHOL.

Pencils can actually last a while if well cared for. I do an alcohol > sharpen > alcohol routine for all of my pencils in my kit. For yourself, if you just sharpen your pencils** right after using it and keep your pencils covered (don’t lose those lids!) you’ll be removing that outer layer where the bacteria lives and your pencils will stay happy longer. Extra Germaphobe points if you sharpen your pencil AND spray with alcohol after each use.

Gel / Liquid Liners
NOT A WHOLE LOT YOU CAN DO

With Gel liners, which is what I primarily use, I scrape a small amount of product out with a spatula and I spray the gel liner with alcohol after each use. As we all know, gel liners tend to dry out quickly anyway, and alcohol hastens the process. Therefore like mascara, this is just a category of product that does not last very long.

Liquid liner is great for personal use but tricky for pro use because the brush/applicator sits in the product in the tube. Therefore to use the product you are constantly double dipping. For professional use if I decide I’m going to use a liquid liner for whatever reason it’s a case of one and done for me. I use it and I give it to the person I used it on and just keep it moving. For personal use, you can wipe off the brush/applicator tip with alcohol before re-inserting it into the tube. This may help a bit but again, this type of product by its nature just doesn’t last long.

Tools
(Brushes, eyelash curlers, pencil sharpeners, etc.)
CLEAN, BABY, CLEAN

I said this in a previous Makeup to Go post and I’ll say it again: Everything I just wrote is completely moot if you do not keep your TOOLS clean. Your TOOLS are the items making direct contact to the skin and hence they are the carriers of the bacteria.

– WIPE BRUSHES AFTER EVERY USE. Its not hard, in fact it only takes a few minutes. Wiping your brushes with a specifically designed quick brush cleaner will remove surface oils, skin cells, etc. that get on your brushes. Hence you won’t transfer that back to your product, hence your product will live longer. There are many brands, just make sure they disinfect as well as clean pigment. And always let the brush dry completely before using again, you do not want brush cleaner on your product or on your face! In a pinch you can always use good ole alcohol (just be forewarned, over use of alcohol will dry your bristles and cause your brushes to age prematurely). My brush cleaner of choice: Parian Spirit

– DEEP SHAMPOO your brushes at least once a week. If you’re doing makeup on other people, please do this as close to daily as possible. Again, there are a number of good brands, and in a pinch you can use either a shampoo/conditioner all-in-one like Pert, or any baby shampoo. My brush shampoo of choice: Clean Brush

– WIPE METAL TOOLS such as tweezers, eyelash curlers, pencil sharpeners and spatulas with alcohol after every use. And when they start looking raggedy, just replace them.

– WASH YOUR HANDS before doing anything. Our hands are our most important “tool” in our “kits”. Before handling anything and certainly before touching your face, wash your hands with soap and hot water. At very least wipe with a sanitizing cloth and use hand sanitizer. It makes a huge difference.

PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU STAY CLEAN

Alcohol
Preferably NOT 99% alcohol, it evaporates too quickly. I use either 70% or 91% alcohol, both of which are readily available at any drugstore. 70% is my favorite. The water content helps the alcohol evaporate more slowly so it disinfects more thoroughly but it is not so much water that it will ruin your product (I wouldn’t recommend a 50% alcohol, too much water).

Beauty So Clean
I’ve not personally tried it but I know many pros who swear by it. The main active ingredient in BSC is alcohol. The difference with BSC is the addition of emollient agents. They claim that straight alcohol can dry out and alter your cosmetics (not in my experience) and that BSC is formulated with a balance of disinfectants and emollients to prevent that from happening. Again, I’ve never had a problem with straight alcohol, but Beauty So Clean works and it smells good. If you’d prefer to use something other than straight alcohol, Beauty So Clean is there for you.

– Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner
(NOTE: Parian Spirit has lower alcohol content than most pro brush cleaners and uses citrus spirit as its main cleaning/disinfectant agent. Therefore it does not dry as quickly as other “quick clean” brush cleaners and the smell is very citrus-y. I love it, some folks hate it lol)

Clean Brush Shampoo
Solid brush shampoo to deep clean your brushes.

Bleach
This shouldn’t need to be said but I’ll say it just in case: DO NOT USE BLEACH ON YOUR COSMETICS PRODUCTS. It’ll ruin them. However I do use a small amount of bleach on a q-tip to clean my pencil sharpeners periodically. Wipe, let sit for a bit, then RINSE with water and dry thoroughly. Do not try to soak your sharpener in bleach, it will rust all the metal bits (ask me how I know that 😐 ).

STORAGE makes a big difference as well in the longevity of your products but speaking of long, this post already is. Look for a post on storing your cosmetics in an upcoming Makeup Monday.

Breaking Up is Hard To Do: When to Toss Makeup

makeup to go blog makeuptogo blog when to toss makeup

You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em… (Lyrics Β© D. Schlitz)


I am sure for many of you the above photograph is highly depressing if not devastating.

Yes, that is a trash bag filled with makeup. That bag contains everything from NYX cream blushes (which I loved back in the day) to NARS Artists Palettes. Yes, you read correctly: NARS Artists Palettes. Discontinued ones that have not been available in years and years. Why would I commit such an atrocity? Because it was time. Sadly, all good things come to an end and for a lot of the makeup now residing in that trash bag, their end actually came and went a while ago yet I was still holding on. Today’s musing: When to Toss Makeup.

Students and others have heard me talk about my makeup room. It actually stores more than just makeup but obviously as a makeup artist, the makeup is amongst the more important things I store in there. Anyone who’s heard me talk about this room has also heard me talk about how I get new makeup quite often. It is the blessing of being a working artist however I recently had to confront the reality of the truth; I had way too much old makeup taking up too much space. So much so that my new makeup wasn’t making it into the storage room and instead the new makeup was living in my dining room. I would show you a picture of how that was, but it’s embarrassing so, no.

Why To Toss
There are a myriad reasons why makeup might need to be tossed. The real question is why we do we hold onto makeup in the first place. My theory is that memory is a powerful thing. And memory leads to nostalgia and nostalgia leads to holding onto items well past their due date. As I was doing my purge I realized that EVERY single piece of makeup I own is attached to a memory of my life and career. Be it a career milestone or a personal treat of some kind, every piece of makeup I picked up sent me back in time to some recollection of yesteryear. Thus, it made it very difficult to purge the old makeup, but purge I did and purge you must. There comes a time when you have to let go of sentiment and face reality head-on. In deciding what to keep and what to toss I gave myself 3 criteria:

– Is it still in good condition?

– Do I still use it? Does it serve any purpose?

– Can someone else use it or is it just DONE.

The first one is a no brainer. It is dangerous to use makeup that has expired be it on yourself or on others. If it has a funky smell or the colors have started to change, that’s an automatic trip to the trash. The second criteria helped me assess where I am now. I am not in the same place in my career that I was 5 years ago, and certain products – while I may really like them – just never get used anymore. They’ve either been replaced by new fabulosity or I have found my Holy Grail Staple of that item type. If it is not being used, it is taking up valuable real estate and it needs to go. Lastly, just because I cannot/do not use it does not mean someone else cannot. Whenever possible I prefer to recycle makeup either to friends or what-have-you (women’s shelters and other charities can only accept new and unused product).

When To Toss

Generally speaking there are broad guidelines that can be followed to know when to toss a given cosmetics. To paraphrase Morpheus, some rules can be bent, some can be broken. There are some rules, however, that MUST be followed strictly (MASCARA!!) in order to maintain makeup health. These are broad (i.e. not absolute) guidelines for once a cosmetic is opened and in use. We will get into how to bend/break the rules next week…

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(Click to see larger)


Powders – 2 – 4 years
Powder eyeshadows, powder blushes, pressed powder, loose setting powder, etc. Powder FOUNDATIONS are a little different due to the pigmentation and other ingredients that may be added. I would keep powder foundations the same length of time as cream/liquid foundations.

Creams – 12 – 18 months
Cream blushes, cream eyeshadows, foundations, concealers, etc. Liquid foundations last about a year.

Lipsticks – 12 months

Pencil Liners – 2 years
With good care, pencil liners can (CAN) last up to two years. Regular sharpening removes the used layer of product and keeps the product clean/sanitized so that it lasts longer**.

Gel / Liquid Liners – 2 months

Mascara – 3 – 6 months
Please do not try to play games with gel and liquid liners and mascaras. Not only are these products creams/liquids which transfer bacteria more readily than powders do, but these items are used in one of the most sensitive and infection prone areas of your body.

The other more specific way to see when to toss makeup is to look and see what your makeup is telling you;

makeup to go blog makeuptogo blog tarte cosmetics amazonian waterproof matte bronzer compact park avenue princess

(Click to see larger)


Nowadays, most cosmetics products feature this icon of an open cosmetics jar with a number next to it. That symbol is telling you once this product has been opened, you have X number of months to use it. So in the case of this Tarte Cosmetics Park Ave Princess compact, once I open it up it should be good for about 12 months.

Now mind you like I said before the reason I threw these items away was because they were not in condition to be given away. Hence they were not in condition to be used, hence they were just taking up space. Most of the time, however, I do give my overflow makeup away either to homeless/domestic abuse shelters (which is my first choice), or to students as prizes, or to my friends etc. etc. The point of the story is this: one way or another you’ve got to know when to let it go. The benefits since my purge has been faster kit organization and packing for the jobs I’ve had since the purge and just an overall sense of calm whenever I walk into that room. And getting my dining room back! Further, since throwing out the old and writing this article (which took me about a week to do) I’ve actually received two more packages of makeup. As Nicey Nash used to say when she was the host of The TV show “Clean House”:

When your hands are open to give, they are open to receive…- old proverb

**Only if you sharpen after each use and keep your sharpening tools clean, however.

#MakeupMonday – #TarteCosmetics Rainforest After Dark

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest After Dark Fall 2014 Collection makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest After Dark Fall 2014 Collection



I had the good fortune to be invited to a launch event for Tarte Cosmetics fall 2014 collection: Rainforest After Dark. The new collection features Tarte’s ever popular Amazonian Clay-based cosmetics in new products, formulas and color schemes.

What really caught my eye in the new collection was the limited edition cheek and Eye- color palette, which I guess you could say is Tarte’s take on the popular “naked” style palette. The colors are wearable for a wide variety of skin tones, the texture is creamy and velvety, and it’s less shimmery and more wearable than a lot of other neutral palettes.

The other belles of the ball were the Colored Clay tinted Brow Gels. They look like mascara tubes but they feature a tiny precision size wand to pick up every single brow hair and coat it with a sheer wash of color.

Tarte Cosmetics Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel


In addition to the new collection, Tarte had all of the old favorites on display. I refrained from taking yet another cheek stain which I do not need and instead focused on the Amazonian Clay blushes which I hadn’t played with before.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Tarte cheek stains makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hr Blush & Tarte cheek stains


Thanks so much to Tarte for sponsoring this event and for having me in attendance. I am certain I will be using these products for the various events happening this coming weekend.



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smolderEYES(tm) Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner



tarte cosmetics self tan towelettes Amazonian bronzer makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Brazilliance(tm) skin rejuvenating maracuja face and body self tanning towelettes and Amazonian Clay waterproof bronzer



LipSurgence lip colors tarte cosmetics makeup to go blog tarte cosmetics fall 2014 collection

Tarte Cosmetics – my beloved LipSurgence(tm) lip colors




Click here to check out the full new collection…

Flower Beauty and Cosmetics by Drew Barrymore

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I generally like to take my time with reviews and see how products act over time and in different situations, therefore I do not necessarily review things right as they come out. When I first read about Flower Beauty and Cosmetics by Drew Barrymore in an Allure magazine cover story on Drew Barrymore, I was immediately intrigued. This is a woman whose own face has been tended to by some of the best makeup artists in the world and who has access to the finest products in the world. In short, this is someone who should know a lot about how makeup should feel, act, wear and respond. Indeed according to that Allure cover story Drew Barrymore was very hands-on in the creation of Flower Beauty. Like the Target-stores exclusive Sonia Kashuk Cosmetics – which I overall love – the aim with Flower Beauty is to bring high-quality cosmetics to the mass-market. As someone who is a bit of a snob with regards to mass market cosmetics, here’s what I found from my investigations.

PROS

– Has a full cosmetics range from foundations, concealer and powder to mascara to cream blushes and cream eye shadows.

– Has a good color range in the foundations/concealers for a wide array of skin tones and complexions.

– Attractive packaging.

CONS

– It’s at Walmart (more on that to follow)

– Products need to be shrink-wrapped

– Not all items available at all Walmart stores

Face
There is a saying amongst makeup artists that you should spend on your skin and save on your color cosmetics. This axiom holds true as I was definitely least impressed with the foundations/concealer/powder elements of the line. Currently Flower offers a liquid foundation, a stick cream foundation, a full coverage cream foundation, a tinted moisturizer, a BB cream and a powder foundation as well as an illuminating concealer and a regular concealer. In my opinion they would be well served to pare-down and make a few GREAT face products instead of going the “something for everyone” route. I was impressed with the fact that, in the liquid foundation and stick cream foundation formulations, they have a good color range that incorporates all skin tones.

Belle of the Ball: “Skincognito” stick cream foundation. Not too much coverage, not too little, allows skin to show through and to breathe. Comfortable to wear. Good “everyday” foundation. I would not, however, recommend this for photographic use.

Lips
Amongst the better offerings in general are the Flower lip products. Here Flower offers two different formulations of lipstick called “Kiss Sticks” (Velvet and High Shine), “Lip Service” lip butter, “Shine On” lip gloss, “Sheer Up” & “Lip Suede” lip crayons and the “Kiss Me Twice” lip and cheek stain sticks. First of all, the packaging of the lipsticks and lip glosses is very attractive and looks high-end. The color payoff on all of these products is excellent, the colors are rich and true. Most of the products – except really for the “Sheer Up” lip crayon – lasted a reasonably long time with the “Kiss Me Twice” lasting quite a long time. And in fairness given the formulation, I would not really expect the “Sheer Up” crayon to last a long time. I found the “Kiss Sticks” (both formulas), the “Lip Suede” lip crayons and the “Kiss Me Twice” lip/cheek stain felt a bit dry on myself and when I used them on talent they all did seem to dry out the lips a bit. This can obviously be rectified with the use of a lip moisturizer before applying the color, but if you’re like me you like your lips feeling soft, so that is a consideration.

Belle of the Ball: “Lip Service” lip butter. This “more than a balm, not quite a lipstick” formula is smooth and creamy, has a nice shine and rich color, and wears well without feeling drying. 2nd Place: “Kiss Me Twice”. I saw some folks comparing Kiss Me Twice to NARS Multiples. I don’t know about all that! LOL! But it is a bendable and smooth formula with great color payoff.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco makeup lessons tania d russell flower beauty and cosmetics  kiss sticks lipstick

Flower Beauty “Kiss Sticks”


Eyes
The eye products are all fairly standard issue with the collection consisting of a selection of mascaras, pencil liners, liquid liners, powder eyeshadow, eyeshadow “chubby stick” pencils, and cream eyeshadows. Alas, many of the colors will not work on deeper skin tones because they just are not pigmented enough. Texture-wise, I found the “Shadow Play” powder eyeshadows a bit dry as less-expensive eyeshadows often can be, however they did blend reasonably well. I would think a primer would be necessary for long wear on the powder eyeshadows. The “Eyes on the Prize” eyeshadow chubby is more like a cream-to-powder formulation so in my opinion they have better blend ability and staying power. The colors are also a bit more “true”, so they are more usable on a wider array of skin-tones. I was very impressed with the texture, finish, build ability and long wear of the “Color Play” cream eyeshadows. If you search the web you’ll see numerous reviews of people successfully wearing these colors for eight hours and more with no creasing or slippage without the use of a eyeshadow primer, and that was my experience as well when I used them on a photoshoot. I hope they increase the color range and pigmentation of this product, they’d have a real winner on their hands if they do.

Belle of the Ball: “Color Play” cream eyeshadows

Blush
The blush products were the most just OK (aside from the “Kiss Me Twice”) of the color cosmetics products. Most of the products were too shimmery, and the color selection too narrow and not pigmented enough. I was most interested in the cream blushes but I could not actually try them for reasons I go into below (see: Con – It’s at Walmart).

Belle of the Ball: “Glisten Up!” Highlighting chubby pencil. A sheer, pretty highlighter in a pencil form which makes application easy-peasy.

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Lastly I feel I should offer a word about Flower Beauty being exclusive to Walmart. Note to Flower: PLEASE hire some Flower reps to go to stores and maintain the product displays. The caliber of the product and the quality of the packaging of the product, etc., is definitely undermined by the shabby presentation I found at most of the Walmart stores I visited.

The first Walmart I visited the display was so disgusting (opened product, smeared product all over the display, etc.) I was scared and I left, period. I went to a different Walmart and the display was much cleaner however you can tell that the product has been tempered with. I wanted to try some of the cream blushes & cream eyeshadows however there were clearly finger marks and swipes on the product.

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swiped product for sale at Walmart. #ewww


I was concerned about trying anything that was not shrink-wrapped which left me with few options of what I could try. The store nearest me in Los Angeles was actually the cleanest and had the nicest visual display but they had the least amount of selection (likely due to the color palette not really working for the demographic of that store). I ultimately did my purchasing via Walmart.com and that would be my suggestion for those interested in trying items from this line. I would suggest going to LOOK at the colors in the store but then order from Walmart.com so as to ensure the product is fresh and unopened plus you’d have access to the entire line at once instead of searching for items at individual stores.

Overall I think Flower Beauty and Cosmetics by Drew Barrymore is a fun new consumer cosmetics line. There is not much I would work into a professional makeup kit, but for a woman who wants an inexpensive commitment to some quality cosmetics and/or to try “trend” colors without spending a lot, I would definitely say Flower is worth a look.