Sometimes products just don’t work out and it can be important to share those items even if I don’t want to do a dedicated review for them. These are just some quick thoughts on these products since I won’t be continuing to test them out for more in-depth reviews. Today I’m talking about the NARS Copper Mini Voyageur Eyeshadow Palette, the bareMinerals Bare Pro 16HR Powder Foundation in Medium 35 Warm, the Armani Lip Power Long Lasting Satin Lipstick in 400, the Urban Decay Hydromaniac Tinted Glow Hydrator in 60 Medium Dark, and the Covergirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm in Red Maple Bloom (limited edition shade, but permanent formula).
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The bottom row in this palette is the normal NARS shimmer formula that I’m used to. There are no topper shades in this palette, which suits my personal preferences just fine. If you read my review of the Quartz Mini Voyageur palette, this formula is consistent with the regular shimmers in that palette. The 2 darker shimmers (bottom middle and bottom right) are a bit smokier than I expected. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for personal preference, it is more flattering when my eyes are brighter. The shade Cantina (bottom middle shade) reminds me a lot of the NARS single shadow in Guayaquil. I also had the same issue with Guayaquil being too dark for my liking. The darkest shade does have some fallout, but it’s easy to brush away.
The lightest matte and lightest shimmer both appear ashy on me. I think the undertone is the problem rather than the shades being too light. The mattes are powdery but can be easily controlled by gently picking up just a little product or tapping your brush before applying. It is not necessarily bad to have a looser press on eyeshadows as it can make them easier to blend, but these are dustier than I’m used to from NARS. Overall, this isn’t a bad palette, it just doesn’t suit enough of my personal preferences for me to be that excited about it.
bareMinerals recently updated the formula of the BarePro 16HR Powder Foundation and in my opinion, it is not for the better. I think the previous version was higher coverage and more forgiving to my dry, eczema-prone skin issues. The new 16HR formula has medium coverage when used with a brush and at least for my skin type, that is the better way to apply it. When built up in light layers with either a loose powder brush or a dense foundation brush, it does not end up looking cakey. The included sponge does get you to the brand’s promised full coverage but the powder just sits on top of the skin and looks chalky in comparison to the brush application.
The formula is quite messy in the pan and there is a lot of kick up when I dip my brush into it. This mess is more manageable with a dense foundation brush (rather than a fluffy powder brush) and being gentle (tap the brush in the product lightly). This doesn’t just look dry on me, it accentuated bumps and pimples I didn’t realize I had. It does look less dry as I wear it, but it also starts sinking into pores and lines. Basically, I don’t like the bareMinerals BarePro 16HR Powder Foundation and it doesn’t like me. MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation is still the best powder foundation I’ve been able to use with my dry skin.
Comparison Swatch (Discontinued BarePro Formula in shade Sable 21)
I would say the new formula for Barepro performs very similarly on me to the old formula. The old formula does seem more blurring, which I think makes it a little more forgiving. However, I do have to give the brand credit for stating that this powder foundation isn’t good for dry skin unless you apply it wet. Since I know I won’t apply it wet to wear it on a regular basis, I didn’t even try it this way.
I love the color of the Armani Lip Power in their cult classic 400 shade, but the formula does not stay put and dries my lips out ever so slightly. It was bleeding outside my lip lines and into the corners of my mouth before I even got a chance to do anything. Oddly enough, I don’t notice any feathering into fine lines at the edge of my top lip. To me, this is much shinier than a satin finish. It is possible that it wears down to a satin finish over time, but I’m not going to babysit this lipstick for long enough to find out. The shade does stain which probably helps with longwear claims for those that can keep it from sliding around. I have tried this without lip balm and making sure my lips are dry and I’ve also tried it with MAC prep and prime lip. It performed better with the MAC lip primer, but it still moved around at the corners of my mouth. That combo also made it less shiny but that didn’t seem to help enough for it to stay put. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the Armani Lip Power formula, so this seems to be a Nikki problem.
Comparison Swatches (MAC MAC Red** and E for Effortless**)
MAC Red is a true satin finish in my opinion and wears better. The Love Me lipstick in E for Effortless is a more similar formula although it leans more berry than Armani 400. I also can’t keep E for Effortless from moving around on me, so if you have had success with the MAC Love Me formula, you may also like the Armani Lip Power.
I’m clearly in a tinted moisturizer phase right now, but unfortunately, this one is my least favorite. I even like MAC Face and Body better than the Urban Decay Hydromaniac. Let’s start with the fact that the color oxidizes. You really have to wait for this to dry down to decide on the color because it definitely gets darker a minute or so after application. This shade, 60 Medium Dark, looks very orange at first but works better for me after the dry down. I do have an olive undertone, so it is still too orange (as most foundations are) but it’s passable once all my makeup is done. The brand recommends finger application and while that works fine, I was able to apply it with the Smashbox Blurring Foundation brush without much issue. There can be some streaks due to the emollient formula, so I find that stippling as the last step is needed. For some reason, this formula looks heavy on me regardless of how I apply it. It just looks like I have too much product sitting on top of my skin.
The finish is very dewy and it still looks dewy when powdered (keep in mind that I have dry skin and use lightly mattifying powders). This stays tacky unless it is set and it transfers easily regardless of setting. Out of the powders that I tried with it, the NARS Light Reflecting Powder feels more dried down than MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural with this underneath. It didn’t take long for this to settle into pores and lines either, despite being set. It does have nice medium coverage, so although you will still see some spots peeking through, it does even the skin out nicely. I think this would work well for many people with dry skin because of the finish and how hydrating it is. I wonder if it may just be better suited to younger skin (I’m 39). I don’t think my skin is that bad, but I do have more lines and texture than I once did from age on top of my eczema and dry skin issues.
Comparison Swatch (Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer Medium tan**)
The biggest thing pushing it to the bottom of my tinted moisturizer ranking is the fact that it looks so heavy when compared to the Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer. Also, if my skin is on the drier side it will look as dry as my skin is that day, whereas the Smashbox looks hydrated regardless of the state of my skin. If not for that personal issue, I would say these two are very similar products.
This one will be quick, it’s a lip balm that has a tint and is fragrance free. It does provide some color, nice shine, and it makes my lips look smooth, all as promised by the brand. The problem is that it wears off fairly quickly and doesn’t feel like there is any leftover nourishment. Typically the lip balms I like the most make my lips feel like I have some moisture or nourishment lingering even after a few hours. However with this, after drinking a glass of tea or having a snack or meal, there is barely anything left. If you are someone that likes a light balm and will appreciate that this isn’t sticky, I do think it is still worth checking out. However, if you like a heavier balm that feels like it’s there, this might miss the mark for you. I do want to point out again that this shade was a limited edition release, but the product itself is permanent. There are 6 shades including a clear option. I found Red Maple Bloom in my local Walmart, but I’ve also seen it available from CVS online.**
Comparison Swatch (Dior Addict Lip Glow in 8**)
The Dior Addict Lip Glow is more pigmented, so it is more noticeable on the lips. It also has a slight tackiness to it that keeps it around for a few hours. The color may be lost after an hour or so, but my lips still feel like they have balm on. The Dior does have a scent and it doesn’t smooth my lips lines as much as the fragrance free Covergirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm.
I started this post thinking it was a quick just throw it together type thing. I thought I’ll just briefly chat about a few things that I didn’t want to do stand-alone posts for and then it turned into this beast 😂. Anyway, I hope you found something helpful in this post. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for being here!
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