Friday, February 16, 2018

Revisiting First Impressions Videos -- What Stayed?

"First Impressions" videos are incredibly fun, but are regularly subject to a totally valid criticism: you can't properly review a product after one application. So I decided to revisit my recent First Impressions videos and discuss what products I kept, what I immediately purged, and what I finished, but wouldn't repurchase. Hilariously, my first impressions actually matched up to my initial reviews almost perfectly.

So what stayed?

The biggest surprise was the Catrice Long-Lasting Brow Definer, a $5 brow marker I tossed in my Ulta cart on a whim. This easy-to-use product makes it possible for me to get naturally full-looking brows in a minute. It actually ended up on my Best of 2017 list. Unfortunately, it looks like Catrice is discontinuing it; there's only one heavily discounted shade available on Ulta right now. (ETA: Several readers have contacted me to say that this product is still readily available in Europe. Thanks for the info!)

Now, I expected to like the Cream Rouges sent to me by Besame, but I didn't realize just how often I'd wear them. They're perfect for my lazy makeup days because they're so natural, blendable, and multipurpose. I'm especially fond of the red, Crimson Rouge. Still, I can't wear them every day because they contain an ingredient that breaks me out with consistent use.

These were okay, but...

I'm really enjoying the YLS Touche Eclat, and getting a full size tube of the stuff along with a bunch of other interesting samples for a mere $25 was a coup. However, I put it on my 2018 Use It Up list because it's just not worth the price tag. When it's finished, I'll switch back to the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen in Radiant. If you want a natural highlighter and a soft, glowy undereye corrector, you can get it at a cheaper price.

As for the Dior DiorShow mascara: it gave me fluttery, full lashes, but holy shit, did it reek of perfume. You can smell that stuff as soon as you open the tube. I mean, let's just take a look at my face in that First Impressions video:


Last, but not least, the Ciate Lip Velvet was really lovely, but just not My Thing. I got rid of it for three reasons: I've given up on liquid lipsticks, it's not the sort of liquid lipstick formula I liked to begin with, and I have several red shades that are almost identical. However, if you want a comfortable, smooth, pigmented liquid lipstick that won't dry you out horribly, I'd have no qualms recommending the Ciate range.

Fuck this.

Can we have a moment of silence for my hopes and dreams? Because I was expecting the Colourpop Brow Boss pencil to wow me. Instead, I found the formula difficult to work with, the packaging flimsy, and the spoolie downright painful. I've considered trying their new Brow Boss Gel, but the pencil basically turned me off of the entire range. PS: most of the shades read weirdly yellow on me.

Last, and certainly least, is the MAC Upward Lash mascara. Look, I'm all about unique wands, but only if they function. The non-existent bristles on the Upward Lash wand glomped mascara in wet, greasy pools all over my lashes and smeared product across my eyelids. I usually force myself to finish mascaras, even if I'm not in love with them, but this stuff sucked so hard, I had to toss it.

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