Product Reviews

JULY 1, 2013

When I stumbled upon the Sonia Kashuk "Velvety Matte Lip Crayon" while browsing the makeup isle of Target, I couldn't help but buy one because surprisingly it looks almost exactly like...that's right...the NARS "Velvet Matte Lip Pencil."  But how does the SK perform? What's the texture like? How's the color payoff?

I gotta say, they're damn good and absolutely kit worthy.  The color pigmentation is pretty much the same as well as the texture.  I do find that the NARS lasts and stays put longer than the SK one's but that's nothing that can't be altered with a little makeup artist magic.  A good lip base that moisturizes and hydrates will hold it longer.  It's also what I use when applying Lip Tars to avoid bleeding. I like the FACEatelier Lip Putty.

Obviously the NARS has more of a color selection that the SK.  The SK seems to have more of every day natural colors, where as the NARS has quite the color range from Brights to Darks and everything in between.  If SK were to release more of a color range, it would be quite the competition especially in price (SK $7.59 / NARS $25.00).

I'm definitely already loving this for bridal.  Because of the pricing, I would totally put this in their touch up bag.  I would still use my NARS pencils on them (most popular color used in my kit is "Sex Machine") and then give them an SK one.  Though nothing will ever compare to "Sex Machine" (let's face it, that color is gorgeous - and if you don't own it, you totally should!), the closest color I found that kind of matches is "Pinky Nude".

All in all the SK is a really good buy and really nice for bridal, commercial, catalog etc. work.


DECEMBER 17, 2011

I was invited to attend a St. Tropez some time ago where I was able to walk away with a wonderful goody bag of some of their products.  I've heard of the brand before but never had the pleasure to try it personally.  Now, I've tried several bronzing products before but never quite fully satisfied.  While most products have pro's and con's, I found that the St. Tropez products have a lot of pro's.  Here are some of the products I received and tested:

Self Tan - Bronzing Mousse
I tried this on myself, at night and after my shower.  I applied it only once with no re-application whatsoever.

* Lasts about 3 - 4 days
I believe it really all depends on the soap you use, how many showers a day you take, how much you apply (or reapply) and if you use a loofa/sponge.  Obviously the more you shower, the faster the product wears off.

* Doesn't rub off
As stated, I applied the product about an hour before heading to bed.  There was no product residue on the sheets or my clothes.

* No streaks
Unlike many bronzing products, St. Tropez goes on evenly and leaves no streaks on the skin.

* Not orange
Thank goodness because my first fear was that I was going to wake up looking like an Oompa Loompa.  Not the case here.  The color you first apply is the color that sticks with you, even as the color starts to fade.

* Lighweight
Love that the skin really absorbs the product and leaves you feeling as if you never applied anything at all

* The smell
It's not a bad smell, but it does have a tiny hint of "tanning product" smell on it.  I suggest applying at night about an hour before showering (or you can apply after your shower - just shower in the morning *duh*).  The smell doesn't really stick to the sheets much and I found that it fades after a day and half.  I do have to say that my husband didn't really enjoy the smell much.

Self Tan - Bronzing Gel
Again, tried on myself after showering.

Almost as same as above
* Lasts about a week
* Doesn't rub off
* No Streaks
* Not orange
* Stronger color

* Takes a bit to dry
I find that the gel feels a bit heavier than the Mousse.  Not a sticky heavy, just more like a wet type of heavy.  It's better to apply this product a good hour before showering.  Once showered, the heavy feeling goes away.

* The smell
Again, not a bad smell but it's definitely stronger than the Mousse.  Better applied at night at least 1 hour before showering.  If you apply this after showering or right before heading out for the day, forget applying any perfume.  My husband hated the smell of this one.

Wash Off - Instant Glow Body Lotion
Because this product is only for a temporary tan and washes off with one shower, you have no choice but to apply it the day of, right before heading out.  This is a great product if you don't feel you want to commit to a whole week of being tan or just want to tan certain areas.

* No streaks

* No commitment
Great for just bronzing some parts such as shoulders, filling in tan lines or if you're doing a shoot and don't want to commit your model/client to a whole week of being tan.

* Buildable
I love that you can choose to have a light tan or something a bit darker.  If applied and you feel that you want to go a bit deeper in color, wait until the product is completely dry and set in before applying another layer.

* Translates nicely on film/photos
What you see is what you get.  No weird flashbacks of white or orange.

* Not orange
No Oompa Loompa effect (always a plus).

* Doesn't rub off
Although it's a lotion, once dry and set into the skin (give or take about 5 - 7 minutes), it will not rub off onto your clothes!  You don't see this a lot with temporary products so it's nice to know that you can wear light colors and feel confident that your tan won't wind up on your clothes.

* Lightweight
No heavy or sticky feeling.  Feels just like any regular lotion.


I can't really put this into a pro or a con because everyone has a different sense of smell.  For me, it just has a bit of a lotion smell but not terrible.  You can definitely wear your perfume and not worry about having 2 different smells on.  I did find that there is a bit of an after smell (again not terrible) about 2 hours after application.  I didn't really mind the smell and neither did my husband.

Skin Illuminator - Gold
Gorgeous light shimmer and beautiful on pretty much any skin tone.  Great if you want a hint of luminescence and best used on shoulders, collar bone and legs.  A little goes a long way so careful not to over do it.  No crazy smells either.

Applicator Mitt
While it's not necessary to have this little accessory, it is nice to the touch.  Has a velvety feel to it and really does help the product go on evenly (especially the Self Tan products).  Since the Self Tans are semi-permanent,  I don't suggest using your bare hands to apply it.  Another alternative to buying/using the mitt is to use a fluffy brush to apply.  Something dome shaped like a Kabuki Brush, in a circular motion and making sure to blend.

I feel the Mitt is best for personal use and a brush is best if on set.  The Mitt is washable so if you feel you like that better, I suggest having more than one.

All products available at


NOVEMBER 30, 2011
When the first Naked Palette was released I remember not being able to find it anywhere in stores or online because it was sold out!  Now, there are talks about a Naked 2 palette that according to Urban Decay's website and Twitter page, is "coming soon".  Rumor has it that its in December, while others say that it's in February just in time for Valentines day.  I'm going to bet that it's in Dec just in time for the holidays.

Naked 1 came with a Good Karma Eyeshadow Brush and a mini Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Naked 2 is said to come with a Dual Ended Brush and a Lipgloss in "Naked".

Here are some product shots that have been circling the interwebs for a couple of days.

Colors from Left to Right:
Half Baked (which is in the first Naked Palette)

I have to admit that I don't really see too much of a big change here except for the black color (Blackout).  Nothing I don't already have in my kit (or something close).  First off, they're using Half Baked AGAIN and second...can we say SHIMMER BOMB?!  I would have loved to see Naked 2 filled with beautiful matte colors.  As an artist who works mostly doing catalogs, TV/Film, Corporate etc., shimmer shadows aren't always appropriate.  But for a consumer, this is heaven!

While I love my Naked 1 palette to death, I don't think I'll be getting Naked 2 (no pun intended, ha!).  For those of you who will probably get it anyways, I'd love to hear your feedback on the product.

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