Saturday, October 25, 2014

Drugstore Reviews and Re-Views

I know that I'm pretty bad at reviewing drugstore products, and I apologize. It's not that I don't like them, and it's not that I think luxury products are inherently better. There are a number of drugstore gems I couldn't do my face without. I just don't think to review a lot of those products. Furthermore, drugstore foundations aren't exactly known for their shade ranges--finding something pale enough for me that isn't Pepto-Bismal pink takes a lot of effort.

Recently, I've been testing out two products that are new to me (L'oreal True Match foundation and Flower Beauty Color Play Creme Eyeshadows) and re-trying two products I always liked, but haven't used in ages (Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Black Cherry and Maybelline Full n' Soft mascara).

Here's the HD "face of the day" utilizing all 4 items:

Straight off the bat, I think we all can tell that Revlon Black Cherry is just not that flattering on me. I'm actually wearing it over MAC Beet lipliner to make it slightly more pink, but still, it just doesn't work with my skintone. It also makes my teeth look oddly yellow.

Now, let's be clear here: I recommend the Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick line often because the formulations are creamy, decently long-lasting, and relatively fragrance free. But over the years, I've come to prefer a more matte, long-wearing lipstick, so the Super Lustrous line no longer fits my needs. I give the overall formula a 5 out of 5, but I'm purging Black Cherry because it looks awful on me. I'll probably replace it with something more purple than plum, and in a long-wearing formula.

The Flower Beauty Color Play Creme Eyeshadow in Good As Marigold has been an absolute, 5 out of 5 love of mine for the past two weeks. The formula is extremely wet and creamy, sort of like a whipped mousse texture. Hence, the jar can be a bit messy. Flower staves this off by putting a little plastic lid inside the jar (to prevent the product from slopping everywhere). Actually, I think the packaging is pretty stellar overall; you can see the actual product through the bottom, the lid is air-tight, and the whole thing looks relatively sleek and pretty. A little goes a long way with this stuff. You'll definitely want to use an eye primer under this product, given how creamy it is, but I always use an eye primer anyway.

Naked face on left, one layer of L'oreal True Match in W1 on the right.

I purchased the L'oreal True Match foundation in W1 on a whim: it looked like it was pale with cool-yellow undertones. That's a tough find at the drugstore! And I'd heard good things.

I tried applying this product two ways: once with my fingers, and once with a damp Beauty Blender sponge (which is shown above). Using my fingers was a major fail. This product doesn't have a ton of slip to it, so it's hard to blend without some added moisture. The damp BB made things much easier; I'd assume this product would also work better over a layer of moisturizer. The shade W1 is darker than my neck, lighter than my face, which puts it in the N10 range.

You can get light to medium coverage with this foundation, depending on how you apply it and how much you layer, and the finish is relatively natural. It also feels pretty light-weight. But I noticed three bad things about this product:
  • it can transfer, if you put enough pressure on your face,
  • the SPF causes some flashback in flash photography, and
  • it's full of microshimmer.
The microshimmer and flashback are both visible in this SD photo--take a look at my forehead:

I look terrifying, I know...sorry.

L'oreal True Match's shade range is what's really impressive. And I've heard it's a great "mixer" if you're trying to thin out other foundations. But I personally wasn't wowed, and I've yet to love a foundation that's got shimmer in it. I'd give this one a 3 out of 5.

Last, but most certainly not least, I've been retrying Maybelline Full n' Soft mascara. I've been trying to figure out why I stopped using this stuff. The answer? I got distracted trying a lot of other products. While CoverGirl Clump Crusher is still more dramatic and more iron-clad against rain and humidity, Full n' Soft has reclaimed its place as my favorite "natural" mascara. I can put on one thin coat for a "is she wearing mascara?" sort of look, or layer it 3-4 times for a bit more drama with next to no clumping. Gorgeous stuff, definitely a 5 out of 5.


  1. I've had Black Cherry for years, but have never been able to apply it at full strength, because the formula is so patchy and slippery. The only way I can wear it is as a stain worked into my lips. I like most of the Super Lustrous lipsticks I've tried, like Cherries in the Snow and Fire and Ice, but Black Cherry is so disappointing. Good riddance, I say.

    1. Alas, it's such a nice color in theory. :( I used to get tons of compliments on Cherries in the Snow, and I recommend it all the time.

  2. Full 'n Soft is my favorite, too. It doesn't get crunchy and it holds a curl.

    1. Great point that I always forget to mention! It's definitely "soft," like the name suggests.

  3. Do you have a second favorite mascara in the 'natural category' (1 drugstore, 1 high-end) I was a fan of Full N Soft (Not Waterproof) as an everyday mascara and it has been discontinued in Canada. The US has a much larger selection of products. Thx !!

    1. I've really been liking the Milk Ubame mascara lately, which isn't available in Canada to the best of my knowledge. I also found Clinique High Impact and Covergirl Professional Super Thick Lash comparable, if you can get your hands on those!

    2. Thanks for your suggestions. The Covergirl Professional Super Thick Lash is lovely and the price was great. Looks really natural. My lashes are long and thick, but the tips are blonde, so this does the trick and is super easy to use and remove.Thanks tons 😀