Saturday, August 25, 2012

Return of The Skinny!

Those of you who are fans of my Weekly Sales posts (which has been on hiatus, I apologize!) no doubt noticed several months ago when beauty-only site The Skinny disappeared from my list. The good news is, now they're back. The even better news is that they've extended a special 10% off offer to Out In A Pout readers! Simply use the code OutInAPout10 at checkout. The code is valid now through September 10th, (sorry, it can't be combined with The Skinny credits). If you haven't signed up yet, and feel like giving me credit for referring you, just click here to sign up for your free membership. Today's featured brands are pūr~lisse (ends Monday, August 27th) and Olivella (ends Thursday). Have fun shopping!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Flash Swatch: L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream

I'm a big fan of BB Creams, and as they begin to penetrate the US market, I'm naturally curious about what the western brands have to offer. I've tested one or two brands in store, and the results have been less than encouraging. Most on-line reviews I've run across have reinforced my first impressions: US BB creams seem to be nothing more than a marketing gimmick; re-branded tinted moisturizers that lack the coverage, finish and benefits of their Asian counterparts.

Today, I flipped open my newly arrived issue of Allure to find a partially exploded blister pack sample of one of the new state-side offerings: L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream. Though there wasn't enough left in the pack to get a full face application, there was enough to do a little quicky hand swatch, so I thought I'd share my impression.

L'Oreal Youth Code BB Cream in Medium
Unblended Swatch with blended portion underneath
The shade pictured here is medium, so it's no surprise to me that it's too dark for my sub-MAC paleness, but the real issue is the tone. The cream is a bright peachy-orange, and I have a hard time believing it would look natural on any skin tone, though it could perhaps bring a little balance to olive skin tones that lean blue or medium tones that have issues with ashiness.

Another disappointment is the utter lack of coverage. To me the magic of a true BB cream (like my favorite, Missha Perfect Cover) is that they can provide flawless coverage while looking and feeling totally natural. This covered nothing and I wouldn't even say it evened out my skin tone, it really just added a bit of tint.

The final mark of distinction of a true BB cream is it's infusion of skin care benefits. Now, I should say, I don't rely on any BB cream or foundation for my moisture or repair- and in the case of Youth Code, that would be a good thing. Though I spied a couple of antioxidants and one of my favorite multifaceted wonder ingredients, niacinamide, on the label, they appeared very low on the
ingredient list, appearing after preservatives and irritating by-products. To me, this is a red flag that the product is simply "dusted" with beneficial ingredients but that it likely doesn't contain them in concentrations high enough to be effective. Even the sun protection in this cream is wanting- though advertised as a broad spectrum SPF 15, the combination of octinoxate and titanium dioxide is lacking in strong UVA (aging) protection.

What do you think? Have you tried BB Creams, and if so, do you prefer the newer domestic versions, or their original Asian predecessors?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beauty Goes Wild!
Japonesque Safari Chic Brush Collection

Safari is big this fall; animal prints are springing up everywhere, and the beauty world is taking its cue!

China Glaze takes your mani On Safari

Tarte gives a shout out with their Call Of The Wild eyeshadow palette

Even Dior is headed to the jungle, with Savannah inspired shades and leopard spotted shadows

But perhaps the most unique (and adorable!) offering I've seen so far is the Safari Chic collection from Japonesque.

Launched exclusively at Ulta, the Safari Chic collection consists of 4 super-soft, completely synthetic brushes with bristles that are actually arranged in a leopard spot pattern! How has nobody thought of this before?! 

The brushes themselves- a kabuki ($22) and a trio set including a plush powder brush, and two shadow brushes ($29.95) are travel sized with shorter handles, but are the perfect working size. The bristles are firm enough to stand up to cream makeup, but fluffy enough to make blending and buffing a breeze. The ferrules are tight, and I've seen not one bristle shed since I started using these almost a month ago. 

My only complaint about the collection is that I did find the two shadow brushes very similar in function; while one brush is larger and slightly more dense, the shape is virtually identical. While both brushes worked well for lid and all-over application, and as blenders, even the smaller crease brush was simply too long and fluffy to provide much precision on a smaller lid like mine. Though I liked each brush individually, I'd simply would have liked to see more variation in the set (perhaps a pencil brush or more compact, shorter bristled lid brush). 

All things considered, I think the Safari Chic collection is a worthy temptation for any animal (or makeup brush) lover! I'm not a mineral makeup fan, but love the kabuki for buffing in my BB and cream foundation, and I've taken to using the larger shadow brush with concealer for an airbrushed finish. Maybe best of all? These babies sure do stand out on a vanity! 

The products featured in this review were submitted for promotional consideration by a representative of the company. What does this mean? I didn't pay for them. My commitment is to you- my readers- and to myself (it's called integrity, I like to have it). The opinions expressed on are my own, based on my own research and experience; I am not paid in any way nor is the final outcome of the post influenced by any outside party.

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