Product Fail: Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer

Rarely do I hate a beauty product. It might languish away in my drawer due to disinterest, but there’s always the hope that it might get rediscovered. But I have some full-blown hate for Rimmel London’s Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer. It has utterly failed at its purpose.

Grrrr....product rage.

Grrrr….product rage.

The reason I’m so cranky is that Rimmel is a good drugstore brand. I love their mascaras and eyeliners in particular, so when I saw the Undercover Shadow Primer I thought it would be a natural fit with my collection. False.

This product promises to smooth and prep the lid for 4-7 hour wear and its shimmery white color could be used alone or to enhance your eye shadows. Another feature it stresses is that your color should be smudge proof. All pretty basic things for a primer. Though the 4-7 hour promise is a bit weak considering that my Wet n’ Wild For My Primas (Fergie Collection) Primer lasts me all dang day.

Now finding this primer online is kind of tricky. There are some eBay prices ranging from $4.99-6.99. I honestly cannot remember what I paid for this primer because I got it at Target in store a few months ago, and you cannot even buy this primer online. It’s like the internet knows this product is bad news. And I got seduced by the crisp, white aisles of my local Target. Sigh. Such is life.

Here you can see the pale shimmery white color. it had such potential!

Here you can see the pale shimmery white color. it had such potential!

I was really excited for this primer because the packaging showed a picture of colorful eyelid with and without the primer, and the lid with the primer yielded more vivid colors. Typically when I apply primer, I do my face primer and then my eyes. Then I brush my teeth or go get dressed so that I allow my primers to fully sink in. The Rimmel Undercover Shadow Primer was still tacky after the few minutes it took me to get dressed. So I put on my foundation. After my face was buffed and blended, the primer was no longer tacky but it had already creased and clumped up in the tiny folds of my eyelid. Am I supposed to sit for five minutes with my eyes closed for this thing to do its job? If so, that is incredibly unrealistic. Think of me like a little bear perpetually stumbling out of hibernation; it’s not going to take much to make me want to stumble back into my cave. If you ask me to sit still with my eyes closed in the morning for five minutes, I will fall asleep again.

Still, I smoothed out the primer to the best of my abilities and tried to apply my shadow. The shades looked muddy and did not blend well on the primer (I’ve used those specific colors before and have had no problems). On top of all these problems, the colors barely lasted a few hours before they smeared off my lid. I looked like a wreck. But I was still willing to give this primer a second shot thinking that maybe my application was at fault.

Doe footed disaster.

Doe footed disaster.

Round two with the Rimmel Undercover Shadow Primer was just as frustrating. The primer has a doe-foot applicator, so I will say it applies easily though not necessarily evenly. This time I gave the primer ample time to set, or so I thought. I used different shadows from the day before and tried applying those shadows with a brush. The primer started flaking off. Or maybe pilling is a better word for it. Little balls of primer formed and flaked off my lid as I was trying to brush on shadow. This is one of the weirdest primer experiences I’ve ever had.

After two disastrous attempts I had to call it quits with this Rimmel primer. Not all of a brand’s range can be winners, and this primer is an absolute loser. I hate wasting things that I spend my money on, but this beast is going in the trash.

Has anyone else had trouble with this primer?


April Ipsy Bag 2014

I’ve got an addictive personality. And it doesn’t seem to extend to drugs or alcohol. But movies, books, and clothes? Most definitely. Makeup can now be added to that list of goodies.

I stumbled upon ipsy via Facebook; my friend and stylist posted about her glam bag and I was immediately intrigued. For those of you who haven’t heard about the glory that is ipsy, it’s a monthly delivery service where you receive 4-5 sample or full size beauty products for $10 a month. Your premier products come in an adorable makeup bag that fits the month’s theme. Each bag is somewhat personalized to your beauty interests since you take a quiz, and your product reviews impact future bag items. As an ipster a.k.a. glam bag subscriber you can also get discounts and free samples from the brands in that month’s bag. Super bonus, it’s created by beauty guru Michelle Phan!

Ipsy is an addict’s paradise because it’s so darn affordable. The proof is in the proverbial pudding: this is my first month as an ipster and I could not be happier! For the month of April, the theme is Beauty Rocks as an homage to the kicking off of music festival season. My bag came in about a week ago, and I’ve been playing around with the products to share my reviews with you. So here we go!

Follow me on Instagram @caitlinemccann

Follow me on Instagram @caitlinemccann

So this little bag has already made its way into my purse as a permanent addition. Coincidentally, the blue-violet tone of the bag matches my purse, and the kind of vinyl material seems like it would be an easy clean-up in case of spills. It’s also pretty unique with its square shape. It hold quite a bit of stuff too.

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink. First of all, I’m such a fan of the way this product is designed. The conical-shaped top actually has a little lip brush in it so you can apply the balm with more precision. While it may appear that there isn’t much balm in the bottom tub, a little bit of this stuff goes a long way. The balm is wonderful: highly pigmented, with a matte finish, and it doesn’t dry out my lips. I’ve used this lip balm multiple times in the last week or so and the Apple Pink shade is perfect for spring. This is a full size product that regularly retails for $19. I want to finish up with this balm (I’m really trying not to go purchase crazy here) but I could easily see myself buying more Cailyn Tinted Lip Balms in the future. With 18 shades in the collection, there is a color here for everyone.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment. Cover FX has a whole line of primers that are specified for your skin needs, but I’m glad I received this one. Not only is the matte finish quite nice, but this primer has micro exfoliating beads that help treat and prevent breakouts while smoothing fine lines. I’ve never seen a primer make higher claims. I’d have to use it more often to see if it really delivers. And while I still prefer some other primers, I’m not mad at this one either. Ipsy members received a travel size, but the full size product runs to $38. I’m going to keep using this primer, but I’m on the fence about whether or not I would shell out for it once the travel size is gone. Still, nice stuff!

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet. This sample is exciting because it’s a brand new product from Urban Decay. My expectations were high because UD has such a good reputation in the beauty world. And I was not disappointed! The Velvet Glide pencil is a true black shade that feels creamy and light. It smudges well if you want it to, but stays put if you don’t. It really does hold long-term too, so the 24/7 is not just a flashy name. A full size pencil costs $20, but the travel size is about the same size as some of my drugstore liners so it feels like a great deal. If I ever use the stuff up I would definitely commit to a repurchase.

City Color White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse. Holy Moly! I just looked at the City Color website and this amazing little thing is only $3.99. FULL SIZE. If you like shimmery lids, this is absolutely the shadow for you. I’ve never seen another product with this kind of texture: it kind of feels like Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme. I realize that sounds weird and potentially off-putting but it feels great on the lid. And the golden hued shimmer is an excellent accent or as a base shade. I haven’t used it as a highlighter because I don’t like that much shimmer for highlights. But as a shadow, I am on board! Will definitely re-buy when I hit pan.

KISS Looks So Natural Lashes in Shy. These false lashes also retail for $3.99, but I’m less excited about them than I am about the white gold shadow. Don’t get me wrong, the lashes look lovely in their little box, but I’m still a bit intimidated by the concept of falsies. I’ve been told they’re easy and once you start using them, you never go back. But I’m content with my regular mascara at the moment. These will languish in a drawer until I muster up the courage to try them someday. Until then, they were kind of a wash. Still, I can’t be upset because I am thrilled with the other lovelies in my ipsy bag!

For $10 I got all these products sent to me in the mail–in a pretty pink bubble-wrapped envelope, by the way. The bag items at full price would retail for $84.98. Not too shabby, eh?

If ipsy sounds like your kind of thing, then feel free to use the link below to get you started. I get these spiffy things called ipsyPoints that I can potentially use for free stuff, you get a glam bag…it’s a win-win.


e.l.f. Haul and Review

As you might have noticed I’ve been slowly exploring the realm of beauty blogging. Part of that is trying to bring you more reviews when I come across products I love (or hate). Recently, e.l.f. had a deal where if you spent over $25 they would include a spring showers gift. If you love makeup but don’t like stretching your wallet too far, e.l.f allows you to play around with color and finishes without feeling guilty. Their products retail for anywhere from$1 to around $30, but the higher price items are usually package deals and sets. So for a total of $34 I got all the goodies you see below, which includes the spring showers gift set.

My e.l.f. haul. All this for $34.

My e.l.f. haul. All this for $34.

These beauties all arrived Thursday, and I spent this morning playing around with most of this bounteous haul. Some of the products I have immediate pro or con reactions to and others might need a longer look-see before I can make final judgement, but here are my initial thoughts for you.

Eyeliner and Shadow Stick in Green/Moss. I am madly in love with this product after one use. This green shadow is amazing. It’s more of an olive-y green but it’s also super blendable. The formula is creamy and highly pigmented too, plus it lasted through an afternoon in the California heat. The liner is alright–you’ll have to keep layering it on for definition. Both have a hint of shimmer but it’s not overwhelming, so if glitter isn’t your thing don’t panic! The best part? The stick is $3. For my look below I used the shadow as a base, covering my whole lid, and then lined my eyes with the moss shade.

Little Black Beauty Book Warm Edition. I used three colors from this palette and since there are no labels, I’m just going to describe them. On the inner third of my eyes I used an olive toned gold (looks a bit like fool’s gold on the lid), which added some shimmer. I also bought two brushes from e.l.f. not pictured above. Using one of these blending brushes, I took a matte brown and placed it on the exterior corner of my eye is a v-shape. Then for highlights I used a bone shade along my brow. The colors in the palette are a lot of fun and I’ll definitely play with them more–some of them seem to fade faster than others. The beauty book was part of the spring showers free gift but the palette with 48 shades retails for $6.

Waterproof Lengthening &Volumizing Mascara. At first I was a tad hesitant about the mascara because I’m a loyalist to my Neutrogena Healthy Volume. But this stuff might just win me over (not enough to change over completely but enough to add the e.l.f. to my rotation). The brush is more narrow than the average volumizing mascara. The formula itself doesn’t feel heavy and it didn’t flake off or smudge. I’m pleasantly surprised since I didn’t actually purchase this mascara; it was in the gift set. Normally it retails for $3, so give it a shot.

The full look.

The full look. Check out ‘dem freckles!

Makeup Remover Pen: LOOOOVE. Have you ever gone a bit overboard with your eye shadow or lost control of your liner? It’s tricky to fix your mistakes once you’ve applied foundation, concealer, shadow, etc. This thing completely obliterates errors. I was able to sculpt the exterior shape of my eye shadow for a more pro look. I would highly recommend this pen! And it retails for $3! Get on it, ladies!

Poreless Face Primer. I’m becoming a primer convert. I can be kind of lazy with foundations and such, so the added step of primer always seemed painful. I dig this Poreless Primer though. It takes care of pores and fine lines, giving you a natural, flawless finish. When I first put it on it felt a tad waxy but the feeling disappears once the primer sets up, leaving skin quite silky. I used my Aveeno Clear Complexion BB Cream for a foundation, and frankly it’s never looked better. I credit the primer for the extra oomph. Retail: $6.

Baked Blush in Peachy Cheek. Jury’s still out on this one. Pigmentation is medium strength and the peach color is nice, but I’m not yet ready to commit or quit. This was also part of the gift set so maybe my ambivalence stems from not having chosen it myself. I’ll keep you posted. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, it’s only $3.

Baked Highlighter in Pink Diamonds. Another gift set surprise. It arrived broken but that sort of thing has never stopped me. It gives a subtle shimmer so I brushed it along my cheekbones. Ultimately, I didn’t love or hate this product. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, but it will get used nonetheless. Retail: $3.

An everyday look for spring.

An everyday look for spring.

Mineral Lip Liner in Peachy. I’ve never been a big lip liner person, but I decided to give it a shot. I wear a lot of nude shades, so the peach seemed like a natural fit. Not sure how I feel about this one. I mean…it works. Will it make it into a daily rotation, probably not. And the running e.l.f. theme, $3.

Matte Lip Color in Coral and Rich Red. Matte is such a beauty trend right now! So that’s what got me to purchase the Rich Red color. The coral, luckily enough, came in the spring showers set. I am such a gloss girl, even my lipsticks are on the buttery side, so it felt a bit weird to have “dry” lip. I used the coral shade in today’s look and I’m not mad at it. Good color. Didn’t dry my lips out. But it also didn’t last more than an hour, hour and a half tops. So you’d have to reapply. I haven’t tried the rich red shade yet but I’ll let you know if there are any differences from color to color. Guess what? These are also $3 a pop.

Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Movie Star. How sweet is that color name? Even though I’ve been on a nude kick for my lips, I adore a good red shade. Especially if it’s more of a blue-red. I think the product title is a bit of a misnomer, because it feels more like a balm. I wore this color yesterday and it lasts fairly well, but it has more of a sheer coverage. The formula left my lips feeling straight up juicy. You might want to reapply every few hours though. If you’re interested in this Gloss Stick it costs $2 individually or you can get it online in a three-pack for $6.

Lip Exfoliater. Well I’m definitely a fan of the concept. All year long I struggle with chapped lips. I moisturize them. I drink enough water. And still my lips flake up. I put this on before bed last night and then again this morning: you apply using a circular motion and then dab off any grit left behind. It’s not an immediate transformation but I can tell it’s gradually working. Lips are not chapped today! So far soooooo good. I’m going to keep up the routine and see what happens long-term. Grab yours for $3.

Daily Brush Cleaner. Not a happy camper with this one. Where it was most obviously not working was with the highlighter. The brush I used is still tinged pink and I need to wash it properly. This cleaner is supposed to help you go between brush washes, which I would love to be able to do. It’s also scented, and I’m not sure if I like that. I’ll give this another shot, but I think it’s a bust. Luckily, this was only $3 so I can’t be too upset. But I am disappointed.

Some stuff I didn’t really mention: The brushes (blender and smudge) seem nice. They’re not the highest quality and are a little scratchy, but they do the trick for $3. I also received a Hypershine Gloss in Flirt as part of the spring showers promotion. I haven’t tried the gloss yet but I don’t have high hopes for it. I’ve had e.l.f glosses in the past and haven’t been too impressed with their longevity or color. But, hey, it was free.

Holy Moly that was a long post! And a lot of makeup! Overall, I’m quite pleased with my e.l.f. haul and so is my wallet. Everything I purchased came from their online store, so prices might vary if you buy elsewhere. Hope you enjoyed my rambling reviews. More beauty posts to come, but likely not so lengthy.


Product Review: Tom’s Deodorant

I can’t say that I’m the most health conscious person out there. I’m a hardcore carnivore. I’m a Coke addict (just to confirm, we’re talking glorious caffeine, not white powder). And my favorite form of cardio is a marathon day at the mall. At the same time, I recycle, buy free range eggs, walk everywhere I can instead of driving, and avoid veal and lamb (no babies in my diet!). So occasionally my better impulses win out.

My most recent attempt at positive change happened in the deodorant aisle at Walgreen’s about a month ago. I’ve been hearing rumbles about aluminum in big brand deodorants, and let’s face it, aluminum does not sound like something you should be slathering all over your armpits. So faced with the wall of choices at my drugstore, I noticed the Tom’s of Maine brand and its emphasis on a more natural personal care. Their Original Care deodorant is aluminum free and unscented, so it seemed like a good way to branch out into more healthy product use.

Picture above taken from the Tom’s of Maine website.

There are a lot of good things about Tom’s of Maine Deodorant. Their website shares every ingredient and explains the purpose of everything that goes into their products. There are no artificial preservatives, fragrances, or colors either. Original Care deodorant is also cruelty free, encourages recycling in both pre and post product use, and supports sustainable practices. All commendable, but unfortunately I’m not 100% convinced by the results.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been using Original Care for about a month and while it works just fine for day-to-day use, I would not recommend this product if you plan on doing heavy activity. When I work out or it is hot outside, I sweat profusely. At the end of an average day, I smell fine and have no issue with Tom’s, but at the end of a day of exertion I’m a little too smelly for comfort. While Tom’s of Maine does make an antiperspirant, it uses the dreaded aluminum so it might be a give and take sort of thing.

I would cautiously recommend Original Care to someone with the caveat that you know your body better than I do. If you sweat often and are concerned about B.O., this is not quite the product for you. But if you’re only a  mildly sweaty gal and don’t struggle with a…personal musk, shall we say…then you should give this natural product a try. I’m all for making positive changes in your daily life, but this one just wasn’t for me. Moving forward I will keep using the Tom’s of Maine deodorant for my run of the mill days, but I also bought some Dove deodorant for the rougher days on my itinerary.

Does anyone else out there know of a good aluminum free brand that handles B.O. better?