Courtney B.'s (courtneyrenee) Beauty Product Reviews

I got a mini of this to try out (I'm a big mascara hoarder, and I always love to try new ones) and I was left underwhelmed. I liked the idea of tubes, but the execution just didn't seem to happen. My lashes were not left looking long and volumized, but instead they were rather clumpy. It was nothing a quick brush with my lash comb couldn't fix, but I really feel like for the price, I shouldn't need to do that. I also had issues with this flaking on me if I wore it for long periods of time. I would have black flakes all over my cheeks at the end of a full work shift. My final test for a good mascara is how well it layers with others, because I love to try different combinations of mascaras. This didn't really do so well in that aspect either. It did look nice when used on top of some of my other mascaras, but it was horrible for a base coat. I will say that I liked the bristles of the brush, and I love Too Faced packaging. But all in all, I was pretty disappointed with this.

Pros:
Very black formula
Nice bristles

Cons:
Clumpy
Flaky
Can be difficult to work with

Works For Me

I got this originally because it came with a mini LCL, which is one of my favorite mascaras. I had a Revlon curler already, but it wasn't really doing much for me, because the little pad inside the curler kept coming out and I'd get pinched pretty often. So I figured I might as well try this. I got this a couple of years ago and I see no need to ever use another curler. I like how I don't have to stick my fingers into anything and I can just grip it. This curler fits me comfortably and the only times I've pinched myself have been due to user error (I don't always pay attention-- bad idea when you're using stuff so close to your eye...). The only thing I don't like is how this will stop itself before you can close it completely. I would guess that this is to keep you from over-curling and crimping up your lashes, but sometimes I feel like I can't get as dramatic of a curl as I might like. You can close this all the way with a bit more pressure, but I would prefer if it was just more smooth.

Pros:
Comfortable
Gets all my lashes
Gives a more natural looking curl

Cons:
Stops itself before closing completely-- requires more pressure

LOVE.

I was given this product by a friend who had purchased it in a kit that was too dark for her. I had never used a concealer before, so I just chucked it in my kit and it sat there for a while until I decided to play around with it. This concealer is one of the best things I have ever used. I have dark circles under my eyes (they're hereditary, and they aren't bad at all, but I notice them) and I'll have an occasional blemish that can leave some residual hyper-pigmentation for quite a while. I can use the tiniest drop-- about the same amount I would use with an OCC Lip Tar, for reference-- and everything I want to be covered will be gone. EVERYTHING. Also, it's not in a "hey, look over here at this girl with concealer ALL OVER HER FACE" type of way, but a blended, naturally covered situation. I was floored at how well this works. It matches my skin tone perfectly, and I can even use it all over my face by mixing a bit in with some moisturizer. I don't wear foundation, so this provides perfect there-but-not-too-much coverage if my skin is deciding to have a moment. I'll still look like myself, freckles and all, just my skin looks perfect. I can't say anything bad about this product. I don't use it every day, but when I do, I feel that I look my best. And I think that's what makeup should do.

Pros:
Amazing coverage
Multi-tasking
A little goes a LONG way
Great color match

Cons:
None!

Super Thick Lashes? Not Really. But Still Good!

I'm a self-proclaimed mascara hoarder. I'm constantly looking for that holy grail, perfect mascara. So when I was browsing around at my local Dollar General, I decided to get this. I figured for $4 I might as well give it a try. I have never had good luck with Cover Girl mascaras in the past (I HATE Lash Blast with a passion) but I had never seen this so I said what the heck. This mascara is actually very nice! It reminds me a lot of Tarte's Lights, Cameras, Lashes!, which is one of my favorite high-end mascaras. The wand is thin and small so I can really get into the corners and at the root of my lashes, but the bristles are long enough for me to use. The formula is not too wet or too dry. With one coat, I get a nice "my-lashes-but-better" look-- very natural. Two coats gives me pretty good volume; better volume I get with two coats of LCL. The name of this mascara is a bit deceiving in that I didn't get super thick lashes with it alone. But two coats of this + a coat of L'oreal's Voluminous Millions = my perfect volumized, lenthened, and defined look. So I'm giving this 4 stars because it does not give (what I would call) super thick lashes, but I do think it's worth a try. I will be repurchasing.

Pros:
Inexpensive
Nice formula
Love the brush
Can be layered/built up easily

Cons:
Does not give as much volume as promised

Good Product, Bad Color Selection On My Part

I bought this product after reading an article on Beautylish about how to make purple blush work for you (it's called Turning Violet, if you're interested in reading it). I was intrigued by the concept, and was at the MAC counter when I came across it. It looked crazy in the pot, and crazy swatched, so I didn't get it. Cut to a few hours later when I was at home re-reading the article... I ordered it. I am very easily persuaded, clearly. I do like this product, and I think that my apprehension about using it more often is due to the color I bought. It is just so different from what I usually use on either my cheeks or my lips. The product itself leaves me pretty glowy/dewy when I use it as a blush, which I'm not the biggest fan of but I can powder it down easily. I think I would like that type of finish more in a more natural color. It is so lightweight and moisturizing on my lips, and I really like it for that. Also, I find the color to be less scary on my lips. I think there's only 1 color left on the MAC website, so I will probably pick it up so that I have one that is less intimidating and more natural. As far as wear goes, it's a very long lasting product, even on the lips, and a little goes a long way. And I mean A LONG way.

Pros:
Long Lasting
Easy to use/Multi-Use
Lightweight
Moisturizing

Cons:
Evening Stroll is not for the faint of heart
Limited Edition

Pretty Much Perfect

I was using UDPP for the longest time, because UD was my first high-end makeup brand and I basically only bought their products. I decided to try this one day because I noticed that UDPP was making my eyelid/eyebrow skin dry to the point where I had flaky skin from right above my crease all the way up to, and throughout, my eyebrow. Not cute. I still needed a primer because my eyelids are oily, so after finishing my last tube of UDPP I bought this. No more flaky skin! I'm not sure if it's because of me moisturizing that area more diligently or the TFSI, but I'm sticking with this. I have no creasing, no transferring, no smearing-- just great eye makeup! And I use a tiny amount for my whole eye area, so this tube should last me a good while. Only thing that keeps it from being 5 stars is that sometimes there's some separation of the product in the tube. I'll squeeze it and a clearish oily substance will come out, and then the actual Shadow Insurance. It doesn't happen every time, but it happens often enough to be annoying. This wouldn't even be an issue if this was a drugstore product, but if I'm paying $18 for something, I want it to work flawlessly every time.

Pros:
Works!
Good value
Does not irritate skin

Cons:
Sometimes product can separate in tube
Initially expensive

Natural

I have a full-sized blush in Tipsy and a deluxe sample-sized one (it came with a bronzer) in Dollface. I purchased Tipsy just because I was on an orange kick, but it ended up being a good purchase! It comes off as more of an orangey coral on me, but I really like it. It was a perfect color for the summer, and I'll keep wearing it through the fall/winter because why not. Dollface is a classic light pink. I was worried about it being too light, but it gives a truly natural flush to my skin. Neither of these shades have any shimmer to them, which I like. They are also buildable, to an extent. I have definitely gone overboard with Tipsy and ended up looking like a crazy person, but I haven't had that experience with Dollface. I think that might be partly because I go for a more natural look and lighter hand with Dollface, and partly because it is a lighter shade and I just can't get it to show up any more on my face. Staying power seems to be what Tarte claims, but then again I'm not one to experience any loss of pigmentation from my blushes as the day goes on. All in all, I think these are great blushes. Maybe a bit expensive, and I do think that you can find similar ones for a lesser price point, but I do enjoy the two I own.

Pros:
Nice color selection
Natural look
Long lasting
No shimmer

Cons:
Lighter shades may lack desired pigmentation
Pricy/Dupeable

Unique Color, Unique Product

First of all, I have to say that I was more than a bit skeptical about purchasing a bright orange lip color. But I was shopping with a friend and mentioned that I had seen someone with an orange lip at work and it looked gorgeous; she berated me into trying this on. Both she and the associate at Sephora told me it looked amazing on, so I bought it figuring that I could always return it if I really hated it. But I love it! This is my go-to product/color for when I'm wanting something rather "out there" that still looks good on me. The product itself is great. It goes on very smoothly and opaquely. I can just put on one layer of this and be done. Since it's a pencil, I don't have to worry about my lipline getting all wonky (which is good, since it'd be pretty noticeable) but the size of the pencil is big enough so I don't have to go over my lip a million times. I also got about 5 or so wears out of it before I really had to sharpen, so you don't have to worry about bringing a sharpener with you. I work retail, so I'm constantly talking; I really look for staying power in my lip products. This stayed with me for about 4-5 hours, which I think is pretty good for a lipstick-esque product. Also, as this wore off, it faded pretty evenly and nicely, so I didn't look completely horrible. My only real caveat about using this product on a daily basis is the color range-- most of these colors are very dramatic, and every one that I've swatched has glitter. Not crazy, I-can't-wear-this glitter, but glitter nonetheless. I don't work in a conservative place by any means, but I don't want to wear something that I would consider to be outrageous every day. Also, these are kinda pricey. I believe I paid $20 for mine. Since I haven't found another comparable product at any price point, let alone cheaper, I'll be repurchasing Punch Drunk just for the color. I won't be picking up any others as long as they are that much.

Pros:
Punch Drunk is a wholly unique, beautiful color
Easy application
Good staying power
Fades nicely

Cons:
Shades are mostly on the wild side
Glittery
Pricy

Wonderful

I have this in Fiery 01, which is a gorgeous red. Usually reds end up being too orange or too pink on me, but this is a blueish-red and I LOVE it. The color is exactly what I was looking for. The product is like nothing I've ever used before. It's literally like someone melted down a tube of lipstick into a lipgloss tube. The doe foot applicator makes it super easy to get a precise line around your lips but it's wide enough to fill in lips easily. Its consistency is very creamy and a little bit goes a long way. The color I have is very opaque and I assume that the others are just as pigmented. I love the matte finish, because I don't like any glitter/shimmer in my lip products. On occasion I'll top it with a gloss just to change up the finish but that doesn't affect the integrity of the product. I do recommend the use of a lip liner if you plan on wearing it all day because I have experienced feathering with it when I wore it for a full 8-hour shift at work. The one thing about this that I really don't like is the way it dries out my lips. After a day of wearing this, I have to take extra care to moisturize my lips that night and I usually can't wear it more than 2 or 3 days in a row.

Pros:
Perfect red!
Long wearing (doesn't smear, smudge, or fade)
Matte finish
Easy application

Cons:
Tends to feather after a while
Very drying

A Miss For Me (But I'll Try Again)

I bought this one day at Target while I was wandering their makeup aisles. The packaging caught my eye since it was new, so I decided to pick it up. I got color 025 Peach Parfait. I wanted something nude-ish without being a true nude, if that makes any sense. Peachy colors usually look good on me and aren't too showy so this seems like a good choice. When I got home, I was kinda confused on the purpose of this product. To me, it seems like a gloss in a lipstick packaging. It went on so sheer that I couldn't see any pigmentation at all other than the gold glitter that is in it. I really don't like glitter or shimmer of any sort on my lips so i was pretty bummed out about that. I can still use it if I throw on a gloss on top that tones down that shimmer, but then it's kind of pointless to even wear in the first place. I'm gonna check out swatches of other colors and see if there's something else from this line that could work for me because other than the particular color I bought, I like the product. It's not super drying, unless you wear it all day, and does seem to last for a while considering that it isn't a true lipstick or lip stain.
If I get another color I'll definitely consider changing my review but for now I can't give this anything better than just average.

Pros:
Inexpensive
Wide range of colors
Convenient packaging (you can just throw it in your pocket)
Staying power

Cons:
Some colors might not work on your skin tone
Can be drying throughout the day

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