Archive for February, 2010

L’Oreal True Match Roller Perfecting Roll-On Makeup Review & Swatches

February 25, 2010
L’Oreal True Match Roller Foundation in Shade N1-2 ($14.99)

Good idea or bad, you’ve got to admit that the concept of a roller foundation is pretty unique – I’ve thought of a million and one improvements I’d love to make to pretty much every single product I own, but I’ll admit that it never even occurred to me to apply foundation with a little paint-roller reminiscent applicator.

So how did it work out for me? Read on for the review (and more photos of course) after the jump!

First one little caveat – I have yet to have a good experience with L’Oreal compact foundations. Case in point, the Super Blendable Compact Foundation irritated my skin and gave me hives and all-around looked pretty terrible on. I’ve had better luck with their liquids, but generally I tend to stick to their lip products and a skincare item or two every now and then.

Having said that, my complaints about L’Oreal’s True Match Roller are essentially the same as those you’ve seen in my L’Oreal Super Blendable Compact Foundation review. The shade I received (N1-2) is too light, sits awkwardly on the surface of my complexion, never quite blending in and emphasizing any pores and lines, and irritates my skin. I know others who’ve experienced the same, and since the formula may or may not work for you (for me it’s a definite not) I thought I’d focus more on the roller since I know you’re all curious about the paint-roller method of foundation application.

So the roller is — well pretty much a miniature paint roller. It’s a rotating cylindrical sponge mounted on a little roller, and while it’s not terrible, it’s really not my ideal method of foundation application. On the pro side, it’s kinda fun to roll your foundation onto your face and to blend it in by repeatedly rolling over the same area. You can get anywhere from light to full coverage depending on how vigorously you blend and how much product you use, and there’s little to no skin-tugging involved.

Swatch of Shade N1-2 (you can see how it makes a rectangular shape)

As for the not-so-great, well my one major issue was that the roller applicator wasn’t quite as maneuverable as I would’ve liked. A tapered end would have been nice to get into those harder-to-reach areas around my nose, and I would’ve appreciated the applicator being a bit smaller or the pan of foundation being a bit larger, as overall it turned out to be a rather messy endeavor. Also, more often than not I’d end up picking up too much foundation with the applicator, which of course made for too much foundation on my face.

While a fun novelty item, L’Oreal True Match Roller Foundation sadly didn’t work at all for me. Ah well – I still love my Go 360 Clean Cleanser to bits and use it religiously every day!

This review contains a press sample sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

Tarina Tarantino for Sephora is Here!

February 22, 2010

Tarina Tarantino’s Sephora cosmetics line has officially launched and of course I had to spread the news being a HUGE Tarina Tarantino fan! I shared my launch lemmings a few weeks back, but having had nearly a month to talk some sense into myself, I’ve decided to settle for just the TARINA TARANTINO Pearl Glow Primer ($32) as I’m still currently obsessed with perfecting that dewy, glowy but non-greasy look.

Have you seen any Tarina Tarantino goodies at your local Sephora? If so please share locations – I’ve been scouring mine but no luck yet!

I’m Still Alive…

February 22, 2010

For those of you who’ve been wondering, I’m still alive and kicking, although at a much less frenetic pace than usual. I’ve been sick for the past ten days or so and haven’t really had the energy to blog – I’ve basically been spending my days working, sleeping and coughing up a lung. But I’m headed down the road to recovery and I’m ready to get back to bringing you all sorts of fantastic reviews and product info.

Thanks so much to everyone who’s sent me e-mails in my absence, and I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond yet! But to make it up to you, keep checking back within the next few days and you should see that super-fun giveaway I promised you a few weeks ago up and running in celebration of ABS surpassing a million page views sometime in February!! 🙂

ABS’ V-Day Prep

February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around much lately – I’ve been feeling a little under the weather and trying to catch up on some sleep – but now that I am here I figured I’d walk you through my morning V-Day prep.

  • 9:30 AM ~ Roll out of bed (after playing on my phone for a good half hour =P) and hop in the shower. Lather up with all sorts of yummy-smelling products like The Body Shop’s Banana Shampoo and Conditioner and their wonderfully sudsy Fuzzy Peach body wash. After all, what girl doesn’t want soft, touchable skin; smooth, frizz-free hair and

  • 9:50 AM ~ Step out of the shower, stick my hair up in a towel and proceed to spritz away at my face using Kanebo Sensai’s Cellular Performance HydraChange Mist to lock in moisture (wouldn’t want my face feeling tight and dry halfway through the day). Top it all off with Sensai’s HydraChange Cream for superb moisture minus the oilies.

  • 10:00 AM ~ Tear open a packet of Elizabeth Grant’s Vitamin C Illuminating Eye Pads to brighten, tighten and lighten my undereye area. Last night was Lunar New Year meaning late-night fun, which doesn’t quite make for great date-night undereyes. These are my current favorite under-eye quick fix and I even sleep with them on some nights!

  • 10:20 AM ~ Remove eye pads and top with Elizabeth Grant’s Bright Lights pen from her Socializer pen duo for an illuminating undereye treatment. These are fantastic for travel (and for stashing at your boyfriend’s) and make a great quick-fix.

  • 10:25 AM ~ And what am I doing right at this very moment? Taking my hair out of the towel and massaging in some White Sands Orchids Oil. This is a non-greasy yet wonderfully moisturizing hair treatment that’s fantastic as a pre-flat iron hair protection, and it also has a nice light fragrance to it.

Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my morning routine!

The Body Shop Relaunches The Originals

February 7, 2010

The Body Shop recently relaunched a collection of some of their favorite products from the 80’s (brought up to date with 100% recycled PET bottles and community trade ingredients) and guess who’ll be reviewing them all for you? Me of course! The Originals collection includes a few deliciously-scented body washes (think green apple, peach, etc.), a cool icy blue shampoo, a breakfast-appropriate banana conditioner and even a few great products for face. Review of everything to come shortly!

Quick UNII Palette MAC Pressed Pigment Rundown

February 7, 2010

Several of my lovely readers had requested a rundown of the MAC shades contained in my Snow UNII palette so here it is! In the top row we have (from left to right) Dazzlelight (shimmery champagne nude that makes a fantastic brow highlighter), Gilded Green Pigment, Viz-a-Violet Pigment and Fuchsia Pigment, in the middle row we have Naked Pigment, Golden Olive Pigment and Violet Pigment, and in the bottom row we’ve got Apricot Pink Pigment, Mutiny Pigment, and (my personal favorite) Pink Pearl Pigment. The blush is the only non-MAC thing in the palette, and it’s a universally flattering pale pink shade called Sutton Place from DEX.

As you can see, I went through a rather obsessive little pigment-pressing stage some time ago, and if you haven’t checked out my pigment-pressing tutorial, please do! It’s from waaaay back in the early stages of ABS (in the crappy-camera days), but it’s relatively easy to follow and a ton of fun. As for the palette, well you now all know that it’s from UNII Cosmetics and I’ve babbled about all its wonderfulness here.

UNII Palette Review: Simplify Your Makeup Life

February 7, 2010

Many of you have been requesting of review of the palettes that I used to pack my makeup goodies for my Cali trip, and now that the weekend is finally upon us I’ve managed to set aside some time for this post! In a word these palettes are awesome – they’re cleverly packaged, come in a variety of fun, vibrant shades, are ridiculously easy to use, and best of all, are super travel-friendly (and make fantastic gifts).

Check out the full review and find out where these palettes are from after the jump!

So where are these fun little palettes from? The clever mind of UNII Cosmetics creator Minna Ha who created the UNII palettes to enable you to combine magnetized products from all different brands into one convenient palette.

The palettes comes in this pragmatic yet cute envelope packaging that opens to reveal instructions on how to depot using a blowdryer (I have yet to try this method but definitely will in the near future) and much much more.

The palettes themselves are just all-around fantastic, albeit a tad pricey at $29 a pop (although worth it in my mind). They come with their own magnetic strips that you cut to size, and unlike the magnets that I purchase at crafts stores, these are actually strong meaning I can bang my palette around without having to worry about things popping out of place. The large, clear interior mirror is indispensable (I whip mine out on the airplane or at work to touch up my makeup and it’ so nice not having to peer into some tiny little thing) and the rubberized seal around the edges prevents any leakage, but my favorite aspect of these palettes is the dimensions.

The UNII palettes (pictured in Pomegranate above) measure 3.7″D x 6″L x 0.7″ thick – and what really ensures that I use these often is they’re just thick enough that you can even pop a few eyeshadow brushes in there. I happen to hate having to carry a separate pouch for my brushes and always end up just using sponge applicators or my fingers for touch-ups, so the fact that I can now just pop a few of my MAC SE brushes or any of my shorter-handled shadow brushes right into the palette is just amazing.

The UNII Palettes are available in Lemonglass (yellow), Eggplant (purple), Snow (white), Pomegrante (pinky red) and Twilight (blue) and they’re all just gorgeous. Each shade contains this nice multi-dimensinal shimmer that gives them that extra special something, and there’s really a shade for everyone (how perfect is Snow to store your bridal makeup?).

Check out close-ups of Lemonglass and Snow below to get a better idea of the shades and the shimmer in them – how pretty, right?

I have last-minute makeup-requiring events come up all the time so I’m never without at lesat one of my UNII palettes. Now all I need is to buy one of Bobbi Brown’s pan foundations so that I can pop one in one of my palettes and really have a face in a palette. I’d definitely recommend these as gifts for your make-up loving friends as they’re practical, cute, wonderfully sturdy and oh so convenient.

Availbility: Online only at the UNII Palette site for $29.00.

This review contains a press sample – Minna, the creator of these wonderful palettes, was referred to me by the gorgeous Ana of Lipsticks & Lightsabers – gotta love your fellow bloggers! If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

Give Love a Chance

February 7, 2010

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

Do you ever try a product, hate it almost instantly, set it aside and then try it months or maybe even years later only to realize that you actually kinda love it? I’ve never really been a fan of MAC foundations, but my friend Cathy uses them and her skin is always glowing and pretty much flawless, and even Nicole has been giving them a second chance lately, which in turn has made me want to give them another shot. I popped by the MAC store in Grand Central Terminal yesterday and had them slap a little Studio Fix on my face (half over Prep + Prime, and half over just moisturizer) and I’m thinking it may be worth a second try.

Are there any products you hated at first but then later grew to love? Share in the comments!

The Amazingly Luminous Helium Girl on Idol

February 3, 2010

Last night I managed to catch the tail-end of the American Idol auditions taking place in Denver, Colorado, and while the singing was rather atrocious (did we all really need to have our delicate eyes subject to bikini boy?) I was entranced by the gorgeousness that was Nicci (Helium Girl) Nix’s complexion – from the moment I caught sight of her on camera all I could think of was how radiantly her skin glowed, and apparently Victoria Beckham agreed as she felt the need to comment on her beautiful skin.

While her skin was pretty amazing, Nicci definitely had the aid of a healthy dose of luminizer in achieving that glowing look. Check out her audition video and a luminizer suggestion after the jump!

LORAC Oil-Free Luminizer Pearl L1

While the video quality on YouTube and the still up above don’t capture Nicci’s glowing skin in all its glory, it really was pretty amazing and has inspired me to dig up some of my luminizers to experiment a little. In my desire to achieve matte, long-wearing looks I’ve forgotten the beauty of healthy, glowing skin.

The easiest way to infuse a small dose of luminosity into your life? Just take a pump or two of liquid luminizer (like Lorac’s Luminizer pictured above) and mix it into your liquid foundation prior to application – voila, instant glow!

What are your favorite liquid luminizers? Any suggestions as to one I absolutely must check out? Share with me in the comments!

Bits Brought Home From Cali

February 2, 2010

I’ve been looking back through my monthly archives for 2010, and I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. I’m dreadfully behind on reviews and comments, still haven’t had a chance to put together the forum, and I promise I haven’t forgotten about that massive giveaway I posted about. But I’m going to take this week to attempt to get caught up on all of these things so don’t give up on me just yet. In the meantime, I wanted to share some photos of all the wonderful goodies I brought back with me from California – some purchased by yours truly, others gifted to me by the wonderful Cathy. More details and photos (including a sparkly beaded headband and a super-cute, super-cheap pair of booties) after the jump!

Cathy welcomed me to California with a fantastic package full of goodies including Mario Badescu’s Silver Powder (I’ve been meaning to try this for years now) and Fairy Drops Platinum Mascara (such cute packaging!). As for the Epicuren Glycolic Skin Peel – we ran into this lady at Walgreens (maybe it was Rite Aid) one night and she just raved about how this had completely eliminated her pores and so of course we had to run to Larchmont Beauty to try it for ourselves. Review to come!

I picked up this really cute beaded headband from Anthropologie ($32) to wear to my cousin’s wedding as my hair was a bit of a disaster that day. My only styling tools were a blowdryer and a comb so I needed a little something to distract from all the mess.

Cathy picked up these boots for me from Forever 21 of all places – I rarely shop there as it’s a madhouse and not really my cup of tea – who knew they made such cute, insanely inexpensive shoes? I think these were $27.50 or so, and not only are they exactly what I’ve been looking for, but they’re pretty comfy to boot. LOVE these!

And Cathy and I also got these dainty matching bracelets while shopping at The Grove, this great outdoor shopping mall. All in all it was a whirlwind three days and I was so sad to leave (especially knowing that I had to go back to work).

What have you all been up to during the past two months that I’ve been neglecting ABS? Any new developments? We need to catch up!