Project 111/Project Pan

The beauty community is one of the fastest growing communities, the makeup industry grew a whole 6% since 2016. And while it is such a beautiful, fun, and uniting pastime and community, I think that in a sense the marketing teams took that love for makeup to make money off of us by using beauty influencers and other media to make us feel like we absolutely need all the new stuff that comes out. But over the past couple months, I felt like I was suffocating in makeup and skincare. I had so much of it, I bought new stuff at least once a week, I always felt the need to buy more even though most of the time those purchases were unjustifiable and something I already had a similar version of.

About two weeks ago, I stumbled upon an article on Refinery29 where the writer detailed her experience with Project 111, where the idea is that you can only use 11 products out of your stash for a month to show how much you actually need. This inspired me to clear basically all my makeup drawer, throw out the stuff I haven’t used in months but kept saying “but maybe I will use it later”, and then put the stuff I knew I would use in a box and hid the box.

What did I leave for myself?

  1. Garnier Fructis Micellar Water
  2. Philosophy’s “Microdelivery” exfoliating facial cleanser
  3. Caudalie “Beauty Elixir”
  4. Murad Essential C SPF 30 moisturizer
  5. Origins “A Perfect World” SPF 20 eye cream
  6. Benefit “Porefessional” Primer
  7. Hourglass “Vanish Foundation” Stick
  8. MAC “Liquidlast” Eye Liner
  9. Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara
  10. Buxom “Lip Crème” Lip Gloss
  11. Too Faced “Primed and Poreless” pressed powder

Similarly to Project 111, I also heard about a project others have started which is Project Pan, where the goal is that you can’t buy a new item until you’ve hit pan (used up) a certain amount of items with a deadline. Again, a really good idea, very structured so great for anyone who likes that kind of organization.

What I’ve done is kind of combined the two, so while I am trying to first get through the 11 items I have listed up top, I did start to branch out to other items I own, like using a Retinol treatment on some nights, and maybe adding a highlighter some days, but overall I’ve tried my darn tooting best to stay true to my original 11 items I’m allowed to use. In short, I’m going to try to shop my own stash before I go out and buy something new.

I’m so grateful that I’ve started these projects, because in all honesty I didn’t need so much stuff. I have a quarter of the tube of the Porefessional primer left, and then a tube of Smashbox’ Photo Finish primer on reserve. I have the foundation I’m currently using and if I get as pale as I was last year, I still have an almost full bottle of the Philosophy Hope in a Jar foundation waiting for me, as well as two drugstore cushion options.

All in all, I don’t think keeping to the 11 products for Project 111 is absolutely imperative,  but it gives you a core that you have to stay true to while you can also use some other items. My goal isn’t so much to show myself how little I need, its more to get rid of the excess stuff and make sure I start to actually use up what I have instead of having my collection pile up. The reason why Project Pan wouldn’t exactly work for me is because I am the slowest person when it comes to using products. The fastest I’ll ever get through a foundation is within a bit more of a year, the fastest products I go through are liquid liners, and that takes me at least 6 months.

To anyone who is also thinking of how to best declutter their piles of makeup and skincare, I strongly suggest considering these projects, because of course while its all up to you, it does provide a fairly good amount of structure so that you can get through the items but at your own pace.

I just feel like generally talking about this is so important because makeup has become more about just getting your hands on a new product rather than actually enjoying what you have and what you buy. Its become a sort of addiction where people rush to getting a new product, feel the “high” of having the new item in your hands, using it once, and then really never going back to it. I believe what sparked this kind of “makeup rush” is seeing all the stuff beauty gurus own, and thinking you need it all. But even they often say “well this isn’t something I really reach for so I’ll donate it” but a month ago she was raving about how beautiful the shades are and promised she’d use it more, causing  everyone to run and buy it.

Its refreshing to know that other people are also waking up from that delirious state and are starting to look for ways to get rid of their stuff. I really believe makeup and just beauty in general should be about fun and getting the joy of using a product rather than just acquiring more and more. At the end of the day, its all up to you and what makes you happy, but for those who are also feeling a bit of that asphyxiation from all the stuff they’ve hoarded, consider these projects because they really will help you free your life up.

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Fenty Beauty Killawat Highlighter | Review

Recently was one of perhaps the biggest beauty events of 2017, and it was Rihanna dropping her new makeup brand – Fenty Beauty. And this release has been pretty controversial, while some people have been ecstatic about it, others aren’t having it therefore this will be a review on the product I purchased as well as just my take on what’s going on in the makeup community and what this whole thing sparked.

Killawat highlighter in Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal

This highlighter is so damn gorgeous, for a while my favorite ever highlighter was the Marc Jacobs Dewy Coconut Drops, but the Killawat highlighter definitely gives it a run for its money. It retails for $34 which is pretty average for a highlighter, Becca’s Opal highlighter is $38 so I wouldn’t say there’s much of a difference. And technically, you get two products in one, because 4 of the 6 shades then have 2 separate pans in the compact. The shade to the left (Lightning Dust) is more pearly but still gives such a beautiful glow, while the shade on the right (Fire Crystal) has more glimmer. They blend and melt into the skin impressively, without looking chunky and dusty.

I think this is such a perfect combination because you could use the left shade for a more everyday look, and then use the other for an event or layer them together for extra glow. This specific combination has more of a peach/champagne tint, while there are also more golden tones as well as darker shades perfect for darker skin…which brings me to the next point of the controversy regarding the whole brand.

Tea regarding the brand

After observing the beauty community, there’s two concerns that arose. The first is that Rihanna doesn’t seem to be someone who has much to do with makeup, she certainly doesn’t wear much usually and I can see why some makeup mavens would feel a type of way about all of this. But I do want to give her the benefit of the doubt that perhaps she did always have a drawing to the beauty world, even if she maybe didn’t like putting makeup on herself. I don’t think that we should really ostracize her for not wearing makeup and yet going and making a line. There’s tons of makeup artists who love makeup and love their job but don’t like wearing it themselves and are usually bare-faced.

The second piece of controversy is that a lot of shades in the products don’t really work for lighter skin tones but are great for darker shades, so it makes you think did she have the POC beauty community more in mind? If you ask me, I’d say that naturally yes. As a woman of color, I’m sure she’s gone through things within the beauty community where she might have felt not included, because not a lot of brands are always catering to all shades and create things only for lighter skin tones. And although she said that she wanted to be inclusive towards all skin tones, perhaps that wasn’t exactly what happened and I am truly ok with this and think its about time to rejoice that black-owned beauty brands be in popular beauty stops, even if the products work a bit better for POC.

While black-owned beauty exists, the fact that it is now carried within Sephora is pretty revolutionary. Obviously, as a white woman, I don’t know exactly if other black-owned brands are carried in other stores that I haven’t seen, but from what I picked up with beauty gurus talking about it, they are mostly online. The fact that now, a person of color can come into Sephora and get color matched and get their exact shade without having to gamble and guess online is remarkable to me and something I’d love to see more of.

Personally, I don’t see any reason to feel heated over the fact that the shades for highlighters and whatnot match dark skin better. Good! I feel that it is totally unfair that for the longest time they have had to put up with most brands catering exclusively to lighter shades and now a brand comes in making products that look great on darker skin, suddenly everyone gets offended. I understand, on one hand it is a bit of a double standard, but I guess to me, when it comes to beauty, to the white people complaining about it, if it doesn’t suit you then don’t buy it. There’s maybe 20 other brands in Sephora alone that have the vastest variety of products that are for light skin. Its not that deep. POC have had to do that and shop mostly online to find things that matched them better for forever. Just because one brand comes out with more options for dark skin, does not make it the end of the world.

How to Win at Beauty Shopping

For many, shopping for beauty supplies is a joyous occasion, but the one part of it that isn’t joyous? Checking your bank statement after you’ve gone shopping. But, fear not! Because there is a way to outsmart the stores and companies, so you can have your cake and eat it too. Stay tuned for my little beauty shopping hacks…

  1. Take advantage of sales but don’t get fooled while at it

Lots of companies, especially now, recognize that customers refuse to buy unless there’s a promo or discount going on. People have become way less likely to buy anything full priced so many distributors like Ulta and Sephora are having more and more discounts going on to increase customer incentive.

Ulta is very well-known for their “21 days of beauty” event (which started Sunday, September 3), where for 21 days, certain products are a whopping 50% off! That’s right, you can get prestige brand makeup and skincare for half off, which really puts a smile on my face. You can stock up on favorite products and beauty staples for such a low price and your renewed arsenal will last you a sufficient period of time.

Seeing as Sephora is trying to pick up the pace, they now have “Weekly Wow” deals, where a bunch of popular products are half off and stay that way for a week, and then the following week they replace them with different items. Again, a fun and super effective way to get the lux products you want without having to spend that much. The only word of caution is don’t just buy off everything because you see that its cheaper, consider if you truly need it and if the answer is yes and you know you’d use a product like that, then go ahead and grab it!

2.  Know when to go for a cheaper dupe

It isn’t always imperative to drop a pretty price for a product, in fact often times, there are fabulous drugstore options that give you a chance to save. For example, many brands are now coming out with micellar water, a water that’s great for cleansing the skin and removing makeup. Can you get a micellar water in a smaller bottle with a larger price? Sure, but why would you want to? Brands like Garnier and Simple will give you the same product if not much better and yet in a larger bottle for a very low price. Other products that you could use a dupe for is clay masks, mascaras, eye liners, lipsticks, and so on.

3. Do your research

Why do we spend money on products? Because we want them to work. Unfortunately, not all popular brands produce items that are truly great and work. I feel that its so important for people to become educated on brands and ingredients to make sure you’re getting the most for your dollar (or whatever currency you use). If you’re in the market for say a moisturizer, make sure to read up on the ones that are truly good and decide which moisturizer will do what you’re looking for. An excellent website that reviews all products honestly from makeup to skincare is beautypedia.com.

While Paula (author) is super uptight about fragrance and jar packaging, she does make great points that will make you think twice about products you might have thought were good. Using other people’s knowledge as a guide will help you make good choices and be happier with your products.

4. Use sites like Ebay and Depop (but exercise caution)

You don’t always need to go to the store and pay full price for the item, in fact it often happens that on sites like Ebay and Depop people who have the product but don’t need it are willing to let them go at a generously reduced price. I’ve even done it myself, when I received gratis from work that I didn’t think would work for me, I would sell it on Ebay and people were so thrilled because they were able to find their beauty staples at a much lower price.

The only unfortunate thing is that dealing with all kinds of people who you don’t know, you may be unsure of whether this person can be trusted. I have had bad experiences too, where I purchased the item, it took forever to ship, the seller didn’t update me with tracking info, and when the item came (a Murad moisturizer), sure the bottle was full but the product was so watery and not how the ones in store were that it definitely makes you wonder did she pour water into it to make it look thinner? I don’t honestly know. So just exercise caution if you do want to try out these kinds of shopping methods.

Thanks for tuning in on my tips and tricks to outsmart the beauty industry, its such a fun community to be in but I definitely feel that for many it may have become economically straining, so I hope you found this helpful.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Acne System | Review

As mentioned in a previous post, I am a long-time warrior with acne. I’ve been very fortunate with not having serious cystic acne but still, the annoying (and occasionally painful) bumps on my forehead are something I’ve been trying to get rid of since the age of 14. After all, who doesn’t love a clear complexion?

I’ve tried many brands as well as natural methods, and thus far I am really loving La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar anti-acne line. I purchased this from my local CVS drugstore in a $30 set. The reason I reached for this line above others is because the spot treatment was rated very highly, however the spot treatment alone I believe is a whopping $35! So a slightly smaller size, as well as other items to try seemed more of my idea of a good time. Lets get started with the actual review of the products!

Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

This is the first step of the system, cleansing. First off, I love this because its fragrance-free. While the chemical/acidic fragrance is far from pleasant to my olfactory bulb, I know its the real deal. The 2% salicylic acid included here is also very powerful although I must say these kinds of medicated cleansers even with an impressive amount of active product unfortunately aren’t as effective because you do rinse this off and what’s to say the salicylic acid actually stays and works its magic on your skin?

I have found though that it dries my skin out, way more than any other salicylic acid cleanser has, perhaps because of the concentration of exfoliating acid, so my skin feels super tight. I know this process actually is said to jump-start your oil production which can be worse for the skin but hear me out. No one says you must leave your skin feeling tight and dry. You can always use either a hydrating but also medicated moisturizer, or just a nice, lightweight, preferably oil-free moisturizer so your skin feels nice and calm and it doesn’t have to produce more oil.

And although La Roche-Posay recommends to use this twice a day, it really seems too harsh for that. What I’ve been doing is using it nightly to really deep clean and get rid of the acne and then following with other steps as well a light night-time moisturizer.

Effaclar Clarifying Solution

Please do yourself a favor and just discard this, honestly don’t even try it. This has so much alcohol in it and it is so damn drying even if you moisturize after (because this is a toner). It only includes 0.5% of salicylic acid and then 2% glycolic acid which is actually said to not be the best for clearing acne. While I definitely agree that glycolic acid has some stellar resurfacing and brightening abilities, it doesn’t really unclog pores like the brand suggests. And half a percent of salicylic acid is child’s play. Personally I would much rather they up the percentage of salicylic acid in this because you are leaving it on the skin and include less of the glycolic acid and way less alcohol. That way, it would have made an excellent all-over treatment and it wouldn’t be just so damn drying.

Effaclar Duo (Spot Treatment)

Finally, the star of it all and the reason that made it all worth it is this amazing spot treatment. With no fragrance and a whole 5.5% of benzoyl peroxide, you best know this is going to obliterate every bacteria in your pores. It just will, and I haven’t found it drying at all. In fact, many spot treatments that I’ve found took several days to really take effect and clear a pimple. You have to apply it constantly several times a day and sure sometimes it does make it all go away but sometimes you can’t help but feel like it’s done nothing. This one, the maximum you apply it is twice and the blemish is just gone, no more, and it doesn’t leave any dark spot either. Its simply the best. I am really loving this spot treatment and I’m so glad I switched to this. Other spot treatments usually include some fragrance and aren’t as potent so I definitely suggest this one above all else.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the company’s take on making an effective anti-acne system. I feel that it worked, and as you can tell I really enjoyed the cleanser and spot treatment. The toner is a hard pass, I just feel like maybe instead of this they could have included a medicated moisturizer to keep the skin still lightly hydrated because if they expect you to use that drying cleanser twice a day as well as the toner and spot treatment, your skin will be raw and begging for some moisture, and worst case scenario, it will just start producing more sebum in attempts to make itself normal.

I’d still say buying the set is more convenient than buying the spot treatment on its own, because you at least get two good products in a really good amount and for a lesser price.

I’d love to hear what products you’ve liked for fighting acne!

 

Sunday Riley U.F.O Clarifying Face Oil | Review

As someone who’s been battling periodic breakouts for most of my adult life, you best believe I’ve tried everything, and I still have some naïve hopes in me that someday I will find that holy grail product that prevent breakouts for good.

In my spare time, I enjoy perusing the Sephora website and checking out all their new features, and one new one was a sort of “skincare customizer” where you pick out what you’re struggling with and they recommend products that should help you with whatever issues you’re experiencing. I’m already using anti-acne cleansers and spot treatments and while they do work, I guess I wanted something to truly clear my skin of all those nasty pimples. And that’s when they recommended this face oil from Sunday Riley.

I read up on the reviews and was instantly won over with the “OMG I freaking love this product its a holy grail I’ve been battling cystic acne for years and this totally helped” so I thought why not. The full size product costs $40 but luckily, the face oil was offered as one of the Beauty Insider point perks and so I confidently used my 100 points to get a little vial of this goodness.

First off, the smell of this oil is ridiculous! When you first apply it, I feel like there’s a strong whiff of either basil or oregano…either way the very first few seconds you smell like pizza. Once that first fragrance dissipates, you get this planty smell which to anyone who grew up in the USA, will 100% remind you of kindergarten. It smells like either some crayons we had or something but it is totally the smell of kindergarten according to everyone I let smell this and what’s worse is that the smell literally doesn’t go away.

Despite this, I still believed this would end my breakout woes, its a medicated dry oil to clear congested pores and breakouts so I’ve used this for about 5 days. On day 4 I noticed new breakouts forming, like the deep, painful type of zit that won’t just go away with a quick pop.

Its at that moment that I felt this product is totally a hoax and won’t actually help with your congested skin. Not to mention, it feels very heavy which if you already have oily skin, you might want something to feel light and refreshing, and the amount of salicylic acid in this is a joke, 1.5% is nothing and I don’t think it could actually help clear anything.

So, I’m really happy I got to try this as a sample, the vial would probably actually last around 2 weeks with consistent use and now I know not to go and spend money on this expensive face oil which doesn’t actually work.

Let me know what products you use to keep breakouts at bay!

 

Renewed Hope in a Jar Moisturizer | Review

To so many people, this item is a skincare staple, and ironically though I’ve worked with the company for so long, a few initial bad experiences really kept me away from this product until recently.

Based on philosophy’s original best selling Hope in a Jar moisturizer, the Renewed version features glycolic acid to renew and brighten the skin as well as to provide light, daily exfoliation, while the hyaluronic acid binds water molecules to the skin and gives all day hydration. There is a small concoction of natural extracts, but I would say the active ingredients are all of those acids which will give you the most results.

Now the reason why I really wasn’t a fan of this product was because when I applied it, it always pilled, not matter what I tried to do. Later on I learned that because of the exfoliators present in the cream, it might just mean that your skin needs to be exfoliated and all of those little pilled up balls are dead skin. I’m not entirely sure how true that is, I know that its still not something people want so I suggest using a gentle daily exfoliator before applying it because it will still exfoliate, but there won’t be any pilling.

After returning to this product, my skin felt refreshed, smoother, hydrated, but not greasy like I often feel after a moisturizer. It absorbs so quickly! It is oil-free and there are options for dry skin and with SPF 30. All in all, I’m really stunned by this number and now understand how come everyone loses their mind over Renewed Hope in a Jar.

My word of advice is if your skin is dry you might find this not hydrating enough. While its good for really light hydration, you still might feel dehydrated towards the end of the day in which case I’d suggest trying something else or using a more hydrating toner under it for perfect balance. But for my combination skin, I felt like my whole face was refreshed and not dry, not oily but just right so I will certainly keep using this moisturizer.

Pretty Vulgar the Feathers | Mascara & Brand Review

Hi everyone!!

A new brand that hit Sephora a few months ago has been Pretty Vulgar, and as your dutiful reporter, I went and researched the brand a bit more because its always fun to try something new, but it can be a daunting and nerve-wracking task.

So according to the site, its a brand created by beauty-industry veterans and its heavily inspired on vintage items, not strictly makeup necessarily but just vintage things that are now part of the past. They’re inspiration and vision is to celebrate real people, the perfectly imperfect and the contraditctions we all have, hence the name. They’re cruelty free and are formulated without nasties like phthalates, sulfates and parabens which is also good to know. Since they are a pretty new line, they don’t have that many products, especially not at Sephora where its an online exclusive for now (they will probably start selling it in stores once they see that its doing well and people are legitimately interested).

My take on the brand

To me the brand message and just branding as a whole is a very interesting concept, because its how you market a company and product that play a huge role in its success/failure. So here, I definitely feel the whole vintage vibe, products are named after old-timey stuff like eyeliner called “the Ink” in a little old-fashioned ink well and so on. The packaging is very heavy in that antique-esque department and I must say that the packaging is among the prettiest I’ve seen. It is so elegant and so pretty which actually brings me to my next point.

I don’t know about you, but something about this brand really reminds me of Too Faced. Not exactly, but for all this time Too Faced was that notorious brand with elegant script writing, delicate floral designs, as well as a bit of vulgarity (ehem ehem, “Better than Sex”). In fact, Too Faced owner Jarrod Blandino accredited the name of the company to the fact that many of his clients were two-faced in many ways, also called contradictory. Am I the only one who doesn’t think this is pretty shady?

But a brand is nothing without the quality of its offered products so let’s move on to the Review…

First off, the packaging is to die for. The tube looks like a gold birdcage and there’s a little bird perched at the top. While the looks of this mascara are so cute, at the end of the day, product performance matters so much more to me.

This mascara is meant to be curling, lengthening and volume-boosting, so pretty much what we all desire from a mascara. The brush tip is with actual bristles, not plastic ones which I noticed plays a huge role for how a mascara functions. The formula is okay, but it does dry looking almost powdery and gives you that obvious mascara look, with what I wouldn’t call clumping but its just not my favorite.

My overall verdict for this mascara is that it isn’t bad, but at the same time there are so many fantastic mascaras like Benefit’s “They’re Real” so since the price point is the same (both are $24), I just feel like for that price you could get something much better, then again mascaras are highly based on preference. I just feel like in this case, your money goes straight to the packaging, and the actual important aspects of a mascara are kind of forgotten.

As for the brand, I’m certainly not blown out of the water from how impressive it is, that is for now. I would still like to try their other stuff such as face makeup and some other things because it just seems so upsetting to have such adorable stuff and have the quality just be meh.

Lorac LA Collection: Santa Monica Palette Review

Lorac recently launched a stunning collection inspired by the city of angels – LA!! And to me, for very personal reasons, Southern California and specifically the Los Angeles area is the most special and close-to-heart place on this planet for very personal reasons that maybe someday I will share. Obviously, when I saw this cute little collection I felt like I needed to get at least just one, plus they are fairly affordable. $24 for 4 eye shadow shades in a generous amount and a blush and highlighter is definitely on the more affordable side (of course it’s still high-end, but I think for a product like this it was totally worth it).

In the collection, they have a palette for Santa Monica, Venice Beach, DTLA, Malibu and Beverly Hills. They all have pretty neutral shades inspired by the place they’re named after. The reason I loved them so much was because while yes you can possibly find similar shades in other palettes, it gives you a sentimental experience purchasing one. At least it was for me and I would say the most special places in that wonderful state to me are Malibu, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills. I got Santa Monica because I thought the shades would suit me best but also because now every time I open this little palette, it brings me back to the happiest days of my life.

Knowing that the shadows are coming from Lorac, I can rest assured that the quality will be superb. I didn’t experience any fallout and the colors are super pigmented as well as blendable. There’s two shimmery shades and two matte shades so its perfect for creating a nice subtle everyday look. What I usually do is use the matte light shade in “Farmer’s Market” to highlight my brow bone, then apply the lighter shimmery shade in “Promenade” on my lid, and use the color “Bungalow” as a crease shade. Also, I’ve recently begun to sweep the silvery shade in “Twilight Tide” along my bottom lash line for that nice contrasting pop of color. What I love is that even though there’s only four eye shadows, you could build it up to a more dramatic look too, like enhancing the outer V with the silver shade to build depth or using just the two matte shades for a very subtle, natural look. Its such a compact palette and yet houses a good amount of variety so its perfect for travel if you don’t want to take a bunch of stuff with you.

Plus the highlight and blush shades on the right are really impressive, the highlighter gives a fairly good glow and the peach toned blush is fabulous for giving a very natural blush.

All in all, I love this palette, I’m so happy I made the investment because while it is high-end, you get a good amount of product and with superb quality. Plus, the different palettes in the collection are also intended for different looks, like say more trendy and dramatic, or fun and bubbly, so I’d say there’s a pretty good amount of options for everyone and what you like. And finally, I just love the SoCal themes, I think when you purchase a palette it doesn’t have to just be a palette, it could also be reminiscence like it is for me.

Are there any products you’ve purchased for sentimental reasons? Leave your thoughts down below!!

The little photostrip above was taken on the Santa Monica Pier. 

Glossier Wow-der Review

First and foremost, I’d like to apologize for not posting for a while, for some odd reason I haven’t been feeling very up to it, I guess I was lacking inspiration.

However, I was still thinking about my dear Valhalla, and I wanted to write about new products that have recently hit the market so that my readers can stay informed about all the innovations that have come out.

I’ve been itching to get my hands on a brand new product by Glossier called their Wow-der (“Its not powder”). I’ve seen this circulating around YouTube and the makeup guru Jackie Aina partnered with the brand to pretty much show it before it got released and educate her viewers about this allegedly revolutionary item. I’ve never before used Glossier products, but from seeing their other stuff, I take it that this is a new wave brand similar to Milk Makeup and The Ordinary. They focus more on natural beauty, and have a youthful, quirky je-ne-sais-quoi about them. Anyways, back to the not-powder itself…

What it is

The Wowder ($35) in essence is nothing at all special, it is simply a setting powder but in a container with mesh film over it to protect from spillage which is what commonly occurs with loose powders. According to the company itself, the Wowder is supposed to be unlike any other setting powder, which usually leave the skin looking flat and chalky. The formula is supposed to be incredibly light and finely milled, therefore it should fill in fine lines and pores, as well as absorb excess oils better than the regular stuff. It comes with a fluffy powder brush, which to me seems a bit too small to really use, plus nowadays most people apply those kinds of loose powders by pressing them into the skin with a makeup sponge, so thanks for the brush, will I use it? I’ll probably figure out what to do with this.

What I can say is that they have a fairly wide range of color, the shade I ordered was light/medium but the other available shades are dark/deep and rich. I know one of the issues people had with powders like Laura Mercier’s Translucent powder was that they only had a light shade and while everyone used it since it was translucent a darker shade definitely had a better look on people with darker skin so this wide range I’m sure is much appreciated.

Now the YouTubers that I’ve been watching (since it was a sponsored product), tried to use the powder to the max, using it under foundation, over and just a million different ways. I purchased it with the notion of it being a setting powder, and being a traditionalist Capricorn, that’s exactly how I intend to use it.

Personal experience

I’ve tried a few translucent powders in my time, for a while my favorite was the Makeup Forever High Definition powder (which also has the mesh barrier), then I transitioned to Laura Mercier’s so going into this trial, naturally I’ll be comparing it to those powders.

So after priming my face and applying my foundation and concealer, I dipped my wet sponge applicator several times into the mesh cover and right off the bat, my one concern is that it doesn’t pick up a lot of product because of this mesh material. It takes some serious dipping and swirling to pick up something. And mind you, I don’t bake my under-eye concealer so its not like after one use, half my jar is gone. I have nothing against this practice, I’m just pretty satisfied with how my makeup looks with using a normal amount of powder and just pressing it in. But with this mesh sifter, dang is it impossible to get even that amount, so forget about it if you do like to bake.

Anyways, after getting a decent amount of product out and pressing it into my under-eye, I must say I’m not really satisfied with how it applied and how it looked. I felt that the area under my eyes was certainly looking dry, as opposed to the Laura Mercier powder which gives it a nice matte finish but stays looking natural and all in all pretty flawless. It did prevent creasing fairly well, but the last offense was looking kind of dark on me. The Laura Mercier powder seems to almost brighten my under-eye, possibly because the powder itself is a lighter shade, but this one just looked dark and that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid.

wowder face

However, compared to Makeup Forever’s loose powder, I will still reach for either the Wowder or Laura Mercier powder because they do have that flesh tone, while the MUFE’s is white so on the skin it does show up with a gray flashback.

Generally, I can’t say I’m crazy disappointed with the Wowder, but I think calling it this otherworldly powder that doesn’t even deserve to be called a powder is stretching it. Its as good as any other powder, and though the Laura Mercier one is more expensive, its only $3 more so I would say make that investment and enjoy the Laura Mercier rather than go out of your way to try this gimmick. In truth, that’s exactly what it is, a gimmick. The mesh covering is totally unnecessary because although the process is cleaner, its more frustrating to pick up the right amount of product needed to cover what you need.

Thanks so much for tuning in, and let me know what’s your favorite setting powder that you’ve used?

-Valhalla

 

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