Wednesday, July 30, 2014

L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD Concealer Review + Swatches

L.A. Girl PRO Conceal HD Concealer

L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer ($5) is described as crease-resistant, opaque coverage in a creamy yet lightweight texture. The long-wearing formula camouflages darkness under the eyes, redness and skin imperfections. Provides complete, natural-looking coverage, evens skin tone, covers dark circles and minimizes fine lines around the eyes.

These cruelty-free concealers by L.A. Girl Cosmetics have been raved about all over social media and for good reason at that. We all know that finding a great long lasting concealer with little to no creasing and at an affordable price is hard to come about in the beauty market. Look no further my beauty enthusiasts, these gems are here to stay! 

The Pro HD Concealers come in (18) different colors: Classic Ivory, Natural, Creamy Beige, Nude, Medium Bisque, Pure Beige, Warm Sand, Medium Beige, Almond, Cool Tan, Toast, Warm Honey, Fawn, Toffee, Espresso, Chestnut, Beautiful Bronze, and Dark Cocoa.

With a vast array of color options to choose from, rest assure there is a color to fulfill your needs. Whether you are looking for a highlighting, concealing or contouring color,  LA Girl pro concealers have got you covered. From the lightest ivory to the deepest cocoa shade the variety in colors make these concealers a hot item for any makeup artist's kit; allowing them to have options for their clients' needs at a reasonable price.


Reviewed here are two of the shades in the collection. I use Creamy Beige to highlight and Toast to contour. When choosing your shade, it is a bit difficult to easily find what you are looking for through the website as they are not actual swatches. I recommend you try looking up real swatches on blog reviews such as this. I got lucky and chose the two that ideally met my needs. Creamy Beige is a bit light to match my foundation but it works perfectly for highlighting my face (mid forehead, bridge of nose, under eyes, cupids bow and chin) which is what I wanted it for. Toast is the perfect color to contour my face (temples, cheekbones and nose) with. I always go for a contour color about 4-5 shades darker than my skin tone and just blend blend blend into my foundation and highlight for a flawless contoured look!

Creamy Beige used as highlight / Toast used as contour

PERFORMANCE
Naturally I have dark circles that have always been an issue for me when trying to find a product to cover them up. I also have fine lines under my eyes that always tend to cause creasing when I apply concealer. The problem indiscovering the perfect concealer is finding one that would not only cover my dark circles but prevent creasing and is long wearing all at the same time. It wasn't until I started using MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($19) that I had found a solution to my dark circle trouble. I vowed to never try another concealer again but when I came across the Pro Conceal HD Concealers and the raves about them I knew I had to give them a try.

Left to right: Creamy Beige - Toast
Just like the infamous Pro Longwear, they are very creamy and opaque, concealing my problem areas without having to use much product. Although they are creamy and blend easily, you will have to work a bit quicker with these concealers because they do dry a bit faster. I use a beauty blender or stippling brush to help blend out the product effortlessly. Thus far the concealer has stayed put for 10 hours without any creasing. 
 

PACKAGING
These squeeze tube concealers are reminiscent of some lip gloss tubes which some may not like but I love. I prefer this packaging over any jar or hard plastic tubes that come with a wand or brush... meaning less mess and more hygiene care. This also means no product gets left behind in the tube. We all know what a pain that is when you still have enough product leftover for a few more applications but there is no way of getting it out of the packaging. I do favor the pump that the MAC Pro Longwear comes with but the problem with pumps is that they make it difficult to control how much product you are dispensing; once you do there is no putting any leftover back in the container.


Holding .25 oz of pigmented product means they will last you quite a while. MAC packaging holds .30fl oz and lasts a long time. A little goes a long way with both concealers so not much is needed for one application.

There is one minor downfall to the packaging of these concealers, that being the tip has a brush applicator. Bacteria can grow in the brush from the leftover product after using it directly on your face. Even if you are using them for personal use, it's not too sanitary. I suggest squeezing out some product and transferring it onto the back of your clean hand or a mixing plate. The brush does make it a bit messy though..

Brush Tip Applicator

PRODUCT TIP - HYGIENE CARE
Here's a tip! When I received my concealers I took a pair of pliers and pulled out the brush applicators. This way I can just squeeze out the amount I need without the mess all while using the most sanitary care possible with this product. I also always wipe down the opening with alcohol to prevent any bacteria from entering the tube.

Top: toast / Bottom: Creamy Beige

OVERALL THOUGHTS
I'm happy I got my hands on the L.A. Girl Pro HD Concealers, they certainly do live up to the hype! The non-creasing long-lasting formula makes for a perfect concealer to fix problem areas as well as for highlighting and contouring the face.

At about a quarter of the price of MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, the Pro Conceal might just replace my previous favorite. A slight downfall to these concealers is the availability of them. I've heard some say they can be found at your local beauty supply store but I have yet to see them. They can be found online on the L.A. Girl website at $5 a piece or about $3 at iKatehouse.com. I need to get my hands on all the shades to add to my kit. These concealers are recommended by yours truly to everyone, especially makeup artists wanting to stock their kit with high quality products at an affordable price.

Availability: L.A. GirliKatehouse / Drugstore.com
Price: $2.29 - $5.00 
  

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for consideration by the manufacturer. This does not affect any opinions as they are my own honest experiences with the product.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer


theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer ($24) is described as an all-in-one essential, smart shadow, beautiful blush and subtle highlighter that is tucked inside a go-anywhere compact. The light-reflecting peachy pink hue adds a splash of color to your cheeks and a hint of shimmer to your lids, while illuminating your finest features.


This beautiful soft sheen pressed powder can be used as a highlighter, blush or shadow on the lid. If you're familiar with theBalm products you know that they are very pigmented and have a silky buttery texture. This is the same for this multi-use beauty product. Use a light tap of your brush when applying the Cindy-Lou Manizer; its high pigment goes on smoothly so you don't need to use much of it.

Packaging
As with all of theBalm line, the packaging of this compact has a unique whimsical theme that is carried throughout their powder products. The inside holds a nice sized mirror which comes in handy for those of us that like to use compact mirrors.



With .30oz of product it is a fairly decent size compact powder that will last you for quite some time. Remember, a little goes a very long way with their products so use it sparingly. I have yet to hit pan on my previously reviewed Mary-Lou Manizer and have had it for more than year now; I use it on a regular daily basis.

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is similar to the Cindy-Lou but just in another shade. The Cindy-lou Manizer is a soft pink powder with peach undertones whereas the Mary-Lou Manizer is a champagne-colored powder.

Swatches

At first, the swatch applies heavily but when sheered out using a brush it gives a more subtle shine to the skin and does not appear as powdery as the intial swatch done with my finger.

Wearing Cindy-Lou Manizer on cheeks

Overall Thoughts
Although it is a beautiful powder I don't think it will be replacing my Holy Grail highlighter, Mary-Lou Manizer. Since I have more of a medium skin tone I plan to use it more as an eyeshadow and blush. I do think that it will work great as a highlighter on lighter or darker skin tones. On my skin though, it gives a subtle sheen on the cheeks but I tend to go for more dramatic highlighters on my cheekbones. Be mindful when working with high sheen powders like these. If you have drier areas on your face make sure you avoid putting them on those areas being that they tend to emphasize them more. All in all this gorgeous powder is going to be a nice little addition to my collection and I recommend it to anyone looking for a pink-toned highlighter.


Availability: theBalm 
Pricing: $24

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for consideration by the manufacturer. This does not affect any opinions as they are my own honest experiences with the product.