Review: Maybelline’s “Fit Me” Shine-Free Stick Foundation

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Maybelline released its new “Fit Me” Anti-Shine Stick Foundation in July 2013 with promises of a “lightweight gel stick foundation with an anti-shine powder core” that delivers “flawless, shine-free skin.”

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Sounds fantastic, especially for those with oily skin!

When I purchased this product, I was a little stunned at the small size. This could be considered an advantage, as the size makes it ideal for travel. In fact, it would be easy to stash in your purse and use for touch-ups later in the day. Here it is, pictured next to my hand for scale:

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My shade is the palest — “Porcelain” — out of the 12 offered. You can glimpse the (supposedly) anti-shine core in the center of the stick:

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The foundation feels lightweight on the skin and blends well with a brush. (I tried to apply the product with my fingers, but this resulted in streakiness.) Like most foundation sticks, the coverage is buildable. The undertone seemed neutral, which aids in shade selection:

Before foundation:

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After foundation:

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Full face of makeup:

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Looks fabulous, right?

The problem is, however, that my face became very oily by midday. This is a big strike against a foundation that claims to be “anti-shine.” In fact, this product may suit dry, mature skin better. Even though it is perfect for on-the-go makeup application, the inability of this foundation to live up to its primary claims, and the lack of SPF, forces me to deduct a couple of points here.

Final Score: 3/5 Stars

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Available at Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreen’s, Target, Rite Aid, and ULTA for $7

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Review: Bobbi Brown’s “Pale Pink” Blush

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For many years, Bobbi Brown has been my favorite cosmetics brand. The look personified by her models is that of a polished, ladylike career woman. Her company crafts and markets natural, “my-face-but-better” makeup — consistent with Bobbi’s unique beauty philosophy — which is always office-appropriate.

One of the flagship products from her line is blush, particularly her classic blush in the shade “Pale Pink.”

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It is a vibrant, cool-toned pink blush which looks downright scary in the pan, but which imparts that healthy “just-in-from-the-cold” flush and reminds me of dainty porcelain doll cheeks. It is a totally matte blush, with no hint of shimmer. Many prefer this sort of blush finish since it looks more natural — consistent with Bobbi’s philosophy, of course 🙂

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Wearing the blush:

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The blush lasted all day.

As if you needed any more temptation to grab this blush, I have one more interesting tidbit.

“Pale Pink” imparts a royal flush — literally!

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, purchased all Bobbi Brown products for her wedding day makeup and was even instructed by Hannah Martin, a prestigious Bobbi Brown makeup artist in the UK.

You guessed it — Kate wore this blush to the royal wedding!

Below is a face chart released by the company, detailing the exact look and products used by the duchess that day:

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Final Score: 5/5 Stars

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Available at sephora.com and bobbibrowncosmetics.com

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Review: Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner

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In ancient times, Egyptians viewed the eyes as the cornerstone of beauty — and likewise emphasized them with cosmetics. Cleopatra’s legendary kohl liner, with its seductive properties, illustrates this point:

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The good news is that we can conjure a similar eye look in the present day!

Today I’m going to review Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in the classic black shade, “Trooper.”

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As depicted above, the eyeliner comes in an ergonomic pen form. The pen possesses a felt tip which, since it is thin and flexible, glides across the eyelid like a dream and prevents feathering/smudging.

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The color, although highly pigmented, is not matte. See the swatch below:

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Winged eyeliner look (top lashline only):

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This eyeliner, with its sleek felt tip, really should be featured in “How to Achieve Winged Liner for Dummies” (if such a guide actually existed!). You cannot go wrong since the pen tip slides across the lashline to create the perfect line. The pigmentation is incredible.

The only strike against this eyeliner is that the shade is not matte. Still, this small flaw should not keep us from giving kudos to this incredible eyeliner which makes it easy for the rest of us to achieve “Cleopatra eyes.” And, after all, this product does come from a company begun by Kat Von D, a famous tattoo artist 😉

Final Score: 4.5/5 Stars

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Available at Sephora for $18

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Contouring 101

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Today I will discuss the basics of contouring!

So why contour with makeup?

Look only at the following before and after photos to see why:

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And last but not least, I cannot discuss contouring without mentioning Kim Kardashian. Even though I feel that she is far less than exemplary from a moral standpoint, she is the queen of masterful contouring:

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See the before and after difference in the photo above?

The key to contouring is to highlight those areas on the face where the light naturally hits and to darken those angles which recede into shadow.

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For this purpose, you must begin with a concealer several shades lighter than your skin tone (for highlighting) as well as a bronzer or foundation several shades darker than your skin tone (for shading).

Here I have applied Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser in the shade “Neutralizer” as highlighter beneath my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, and on the chin primarily. This will highlight those areas where the sun actually hits. The “Neutralizer” shade is actually a universal highlighter, with its yellow base. (I also alternate with Nars’ Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Chantilly,” which is almost white.). I have applied a darker concealer to the sides of my nose and the hollows of my cheeks, which naturally recede into shadow when exposed to light:

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And the nose:

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I know this looks scary, but please bear with me! 🙂

Once the colors have been applied, the key is blending, blending, and more blending — so that the finish looks natural! Bronzer can also be applied to the hairline for added effect.

The finished look:

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I hope you enjoyed the lesson! 🙂

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Review: Lorac’s “Pro to Go” Palette

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The new LORAC “Pro To Go,” sold at Sephora, is the only eyeshadow palette you will ever need…

….and I’m going to explain why!

The packaging is super compact — and could easily be stashed in a small carry-on bag while traveling.

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The palette unfolds on one side to reveal 6 eyeshadows:

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Closer View of the shadows:

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Top row (L to R) includes the following shades:

1) Pearl – This is a shimmering white color which could serve best as a highlight — for either the brow bone or the inner corner of the eye. It could also work as a base over the entire eye.
2) Chai – This color oozes bronze glamour. It works best on the lid itself, or even in the outer V of the eye.
3) Mink – This deep brown-black color is highly pigmented and contains just the right amount of sheen. Looks gorgeous on the lid itself, the outer V, the crease, or as eyeliner.

Bottom row (L to R) includes these shades:

1) Shell – Matte cream color works best as an all-over base color.
2) Cafe – Matte reddish-brown shade can serve as a gorgeous crease color to mimic the natural shadow cast by the brow bone.
3) Black – Matte black color (as the name indicates) can constitute eye liner or deepen the crease.

Just look at the intense pigmentation of these shades in the swatches below!

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The other panel of the palette opens to reveal 2 blushes and a bronzer:

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Closer View:

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L to R:

1) Coral – Shimmering peachy-pink blush. Would work for all undertones.
2) Pink – Matte barbie pink blush. Suits cooler-toned ladies best.
3) Bronzer – Matte bronzer, with slightly warm undertones.

Swatches below:

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These neutral eyeshadows are be combined to create endless looks — from daytime to nighttime, simple or smoky. I’ve posted 3 looks using the shadows below.

Look #1:

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The look above is very office-appropriate. I used “Shell” as an all-over base color, with “Cafe” to deepen the crease and “Pearl” to highlight the inner corner. “Black” was used as eyeliner.

Look #2

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Smoke it out! I used “Shell” again as a base color, with “Mink” to create a smoky lid and “Cafe” again in the crease. Also, “Black” was used to line the eye with “Pearl” to highlight the brow bone.

Look #3

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Bronzed goodness! For this look, “Chai” was applied to the lid. This time, I used “Mink” in the crease and, again, “Pearl” in the inner corner.

Although I’m only posting 3 looks, you can create any look from this palette, for any occasion — from a business meeting to a Saturday night date. The pigmentation of the shadows, blushes, and bronzer is intense and long-lasting. In addition, it’s the perfect kit for travel. Although we will always WANT more, ladies, this is the only eye/cheek palette you NEED.

Final Score: 5/5 Stars

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This palette is available at Sephora for $38

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Review: L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation

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I recently picked up a bottle of L’Oreal’s newest foundation, “Magic Nude Liquid Powder” foundation. Count me intrigued by the name!

The website boasts that this “revolutionary liquid transforms on contact, leaving a soft powder-like finish,” like “wearing no makeup at all.”

The packaging, lacking a pump, is average and must be poured out onto the hand (or a flat surface) prior to application.

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The first thing I noticed when pouring the foundation out of the bottle is its watery consistency. As you can see, the foundation runs quite a bit and could easily spill if one isn’t careful. A pump would have been useful in this case. The company recommends shaking the bottle well prior to application.

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Of note, this foundation contains SPF 18 and comes in 12 colors. (This is a good color selection, as far as foundations go.)

Bare Face:

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After foundation application:

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The foundation does have a weightless feel and seemingly disappears into the skin. It offers light to medium coverage, so those with major blemishes will need to apply concealer as well. I did not feel the need to add powder after foundation (as I normally do) since the foundation does indeed assume a matte powder-like appearance, as the advertisement claims.

Full face of makeup:

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Throughout the day, my skin became shiny in the T-zone — and required some blotting. The finish, although appearing matte initially, therefore did not remain so at midday. I didn’t notice any patchiness.

I think this foundation is a mixed bag. The SPF 18, the price, and the color selection are all advantages. Nevertheless, the difficulty of application is a definite con. In addition, I would recommend this more for dry/mature skin as opposed to oily/combo as it does not retain its powder-like finish on the latter skin types as the day goes on. For universal appeal, I think L’Oreal’s trusty True Match liquid foundation has more to offer.

Final Score: 2.5/5 Stars

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Available at Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s, CVS, Rite Aid, and ULTA for $13

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Review: Too Faced’s Very Scandalous Mascara!

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I have a scandalous new product to review today!

Shhhhh — it’s our little secret 😉

It’s a mascara from Too Faced Cosmetics…….

….called “Better than Sex.”

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As you can see in the promotional ad above, the sleek pink packaging, with an hourglass-shaped mascara wand, is quite reminiscent of a Victoria’s Secret campaign, continuing the provocative theme.

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Ready to test the product!

Bare Lashes:

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Lashes (with 2 coats of mascara — top lashes only):

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WOW!!!

Very impressed by this mascara. No clumping at all, even though 2 coats applied. It thickens and lengthens lashes to conjure a “false lash” effect, all the while doing a reasonable job separating the individual lashes. As icing on the cake, it lasts very well throughout the day — without a hint of smearing.

For lash drama, THIS IS IT.

This mascara is indeed better than……ice cream 🙂

Final Score: 5/5 Stars

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Available at Sephora, ULTA, and toofacedcosmetics.com for $23

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Review: Revlon’s “Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup”

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Today I’d like to review a relatively new foundation from Revlon, its Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup. The company promises a “truly decadent” foundation, with a mousse-like texture which feels “like skin.”

Does this foundation deliver?

The packaging feels rather substantial, with a screw-on top and glass jar reminiscent of more luxurious brands like Chanel.

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My shade is the palest in the range — Ivory 110.

The foundation glides on with a rich but soft texture, mousse-like, indeed “like silk”! The consistency feels quite thick initially, until blended. (See the swatch below.)

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Time to test the product!

Before foundation application (no makeup):

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After foundation:

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As you can see, the foundation covers my imperfections very well, particularly the red areas around my nose. The product can be built up to full coverage if desired, or dialed back to a lighter consistency. It truly feels luscious on the skin!

Following full face makeup application:

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This wonderfully creamy (and affordable!) foundation suits both oily and dry skin types by offering moisture to the latter and a demi-matte finish to the former. (It remained shine-free on my very oily skin at the day’s end.) It truly is a Holy Grail foundation, in my opinion. The only disadvantage is the lack of sunscreen, a problem which can be remedied by either SPF-containing powder above or moisturizer underneath the foundation.

Final score: 4.5/5 Stars

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The Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme foundation is available at Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreen’s, and Rite Aid for $11.

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Review: Benefit’s New “Rockateur” Blush

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Benefit Cosmetics promises that its new rose-gold blush, “Rockateur,” gives a famously provocative flush in a universally flattering shade (see the promo picture below).
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Does this new product live up to the hype?

We shall see 🙂

The packaging and size are quite similar to Benefit’s other “box-o-powders.”

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The description offered by the website certainly matches the blush itself, with a deliciously golden pink sheen. The blush shimmers but lacks chunky glitter. (The embossing of my own product in the picture is slightly dulled by use.)

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Here is the swatch:

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As you can see, although the sheen is beautiful, it takes several swipes to build up the pigmentation. The photo above was taken after several swatches of product.

On the face, the blush certainly conveys a healthy peachy-pink flush, not dissimilar to Nars’ famous “O” blush. (This is a family-friendly site, so you can google that particular blush if you are not already familiar with it! 🙂 It also confers a certain rosy glow which renders additional highlighter unnecessary, a feature which I like, without the gritty glitter chunks which often mar other “glowing” blushes.

See my photo below (I’m wearing “Rockateur”):
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In short, I think this blush is a quality purchase. The peachy-pink duality of the shade makes it universally flattering for both warm- and cool-toned ladies, as the company promises. It is long-lasting and brings a beautiful sheen to the cheeks. The only reason I am giving the product 4 instead of 5 stars is the pigmentation, which must be built up by multiple swatches.

Final score: 4/5 Stars (****)

This product is available at Sephora and benefitcosmetics.com

Dupes include Clinique’s “Precious Posy” and Nars “O”

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Welcome to Makeup Diva, MD!

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From the darkest kohl liner of Cleopatra, with its power to enchant the two most powerful men in Ancient Rome, to the porcelain faces of the fabled geisha, to the ruby lips of 1950’s silver screen sirens, makeup has never been surpassed in its ability to transform, ennoble, and illuminate the fairer sex.

From early memories of playing in my mother’s makeup bag to my daring experiments with turquoise eyeshadow in college, my own fascination with makeup has been long-lived. In its purest form, makeup is no mask, but a lens through which to glimpse a woman’s natural beauty. For this reason, it is among the crucial adornments of a woman on her most important day.

Likewise, as a physician (hence the name of this blog!), I strive to present my best face to the world (and my patients) each day. Through this blog, I hope to bring you honest reviews of cosmetic products so that you may best utilize this most dazzling medium of femininity.

God bless! 🙂

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