Everyday Look From My Drugstore Stash

Lately, I have been trying to toss out a lot of my old makeup. I’ve been indulging in so many new things, I need to create some more space in my makeup cabinet.

So today as I was getting ready to go to the supermarket, I pulled out some old blushes. I had three inexpensive blushes in various shades of nude:

Revlon Cream Blush in #400 Nude (really old)
Revlon Powder Blush in #006 Naughty Nude (this is the newest)
L’Oreal True Match Blendable Blush in N3-4 Innocent Flush (really, really old)

I figured I’d keep the newest  – the Revlon Powder Blush – and toss the other two.

But when I looked at them side by side, they all looked so pretty – and so pretty together – that I just wanted to use them.

nude blush

After applying my foundation and concealer, I dabbed on a little of the Revlon Cream Blush in Nude with just my fingertips, blending it in carefully. I love cream blush, but I have an issue with it disrupting my foundation and the concealer I use to disguise an age spot I have right in the middle of my left cheek. So I need a very light touch – and that can be difficult with cream blush.

Over the cream blush I added the L’Oreal True Match powder blush in Innocent Flush. This is a shade just very slightly warmer – I’d almost call it sunnier – than the Revlon cream blush. It’s a gorgeous color. (You can see that I have hit the pan on this product – I’ve used it that often.) The two blushes go together so beautifully.

On the very top of my cheekbones I added a bit of Essence Pure Nude Highlighter. This highlighter is very subtle – no strobing effect on this one. But pretty and amazingly blendable. And amazingly affordable. I bought this in Ulta for $4.49. And the compact is huge.

The Revlon powder blush – Naughty Nude (what a good name!) – is just a bit tawnier that the other shades – and I used it today as eyeshadow. Why not?

I dusted my face when complete with my favorite setting powder – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light – an expensive product to top off my drugstore blush. But if you are going to use a luxury product – last is best. It makes the rest of your makeup look very rich!

For lipstick, I just used some e.l.f. lip balm in nude.

The result is a nice natural look for everyday. I went to the supermarket feeling quite terrific. I liked the whole effect so much, I may just have to keep it all. So much for a clean-out day.






Allure Beauty Box – May

Recently, a reader/blogger friend asked me if I subscribe to any beauty box.

A few years ago, I subscribed to Birchbox. It was really fun getting all those samples every month – like a surprise present in the mail. I subscribed for about three years or so, and received some nice product and was introduced to some beauty products I really liked.  Some examples:

The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer. The sample was really tiny, but you know, I still have a bit left in the corners. This was the first highlighter I ever tried, and I really loved it. When I use it now, though, I tone it down a bit with a softer, subtler highlighter from Laura Geller. (Older skin doesn’t really need flurorescent headlights – but I’ll review highlighters in a post soon.)

Benefit Cosmetics. I had never used any of this brand before so it was great to try a few products – and I liked the Hello Flawless foundation (come to think of it, maybe I need to try that again) and They’re Real mascara.

Perfumes and colognes.  I really loved all the little vials of perfume. How nice to sample different scents without a huge commitment. One obscure cologne that I liked enough to buy was Miss Me by Stella Cadente. Not super expensive, it is a light floral fragrance that I find quite pretty. (Not in my top 5 favorite scents, but probably in my top 10.)

Caudalie skin care. Super duper expensive, but I love all the Caudalie products and bought the moisturizers (day and night) and eye cream regularly until this year.  Maybe I will buy them again, but that’s a difficult decision on a retirement income. Isn’t it ironic that when you reach an age where you really need the best in skincare, you can no longer afford it?

With Birchbox though, the sample sizes were mostly very tiny, and I ended up with drawers full of tiny things – many of which I really didn’t like and ended up tossing them or giving them away. And some still are there, in the bottoms of drawers.

But my friend’s question reminded me of how much fun it was to receive those monthly packages.

So I have started up again.

I did some research on what beauty boxes are hot right now, and I went with two:  Allure and Ipsy.

Allure is $15/month and Ipsy is $10/month.  The cost is less if you subscribe for a year, but I didn’t want to commit right now. My plan is to find which one I prefer and drop the other.

I am also very interested in Sephora’s beauty box, since you get Beauty Insider points, but I decided to go with the ones I saw the most positive write-ups about. Perhaps when I choose between Allure and Ipsy, I can try the Sephora, and then pick the best again.

And I have decided to be very scientific about how I judge the box. I am a financial analyst by trade, so I am going to give all the products a dollar value, according to this plan:

  1. Value of the sample itself.  For example, if the product’s retail cost is $20 for 1 ounce, and the sample is 0.5 ounces, I will value it at $10.  But that’s only if I like it. If it is something I will never use it gets $0 in sample value. But I will give it a partial value if I think maybe I will use it a little – or if I know someone else who will like it.  And it may only get a partial score also, if I know I can get a comparable product for a lower price. (By they way, I have decided to donate everything I do not use to the local women’s shelter. Even homeless women should have a little lipstick now and then.)
  2. Value of the savings I get if there is a discount if I buy the product. So if I buy the product and get a $2.00 savings, for example, I’ll add that in. But only if I’m not shelling out for shipping.
  3. Bonus value. Here’s where I give extra credit for what I love. I will give a totally subjective bonus for what I would consider a “real find” So if the beauty box introduces me to a new Mary Lou Manizer, for example, I may give the bonus value of a few dollars more.

So here’s the example based on Mary Lou Manizer: The sample was only about 20% the size of the real thing, and the real thing cost $24. So the sample value is $4.80.  Then suppose I went ahead and bought the product with a 10% discount and free shipping. The discount off $24 is $2.40, so I add that to the value. Then the bonus value for finding a product I love – let’s say I add another $1.00.  So the value of the sample is $8.20.  ($4.80 plus $2.40 plus $1.00) And there were four other samples in the box – so I’d say that month’s box would end up being worth a lot more more than I paid.

So my first Allure box came this week.

Here’s what I got and the value I am assigning:

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30.
This is a natural sunscreen. It is very nice. It is light and not at all greasy, and goes on really well under my makeup. However, the retail price is $34 for 3 ounces, and I received a tube that is 0.5 ounces. I would never pay $34 for a facial sunscreen, even though it’s excellent. My moisturizer (Neutrogena Visibly Even) is also SPF 30 and it is only $13.32 (Amazon) for 1.7 ounces.  The Drunk Elephant retail value is $5.66 for the half-ounce I received, but my Neutrogena (which I love) is $3.92 for a half-ounce. I will definitely use the Drunk Elephant though, and so I will give it a $4.00 value.

Skinfix Foaming Clay Cleanser.
This facial cleanser is really good! I would say it is comparable to my favorite Origins Cheeks and Balances foaming cleanser for removing all my makeup and leaving my skin feeling really clean. The retail cost for a full size (3.4 oz) tube is $14.99 or $4.40 an ounce. And I receive a full ounce. Funny thing, my Cheeks and Balances costs $22 for 5 oz – and that comes to $4.40 an ounce. So they are comparable price-wise as well as performance wise. The 20% discount code is not worth anything though unless you are buying a lot, because you don’t get free shipping with a small order. But I will add a dollar to the value of this “find” because it’s nice to know that I can get a good cleanser at CVS and not have to order from Origins – there’s no store near me –  or drive to Sephora… although that is not such a hardship – it’s just always an expensive outing. So I give this a $5.40 value.

This Works Stress Check Breathe-In Fragrance.
This is a little rollerball scent with Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Frankincense. It smells quite nice. It’s a good relaxing fragrance to apply prior to my yoga class. The retail value of this is $30 for .27 ounces. And I received .17 oz. So that about $19 worth. No way! But I’ll use this though, so to me, it’s maybe worth $2.00.

Kneipp Lavender Body Oil.
I actually use lavender oil for relaxation, sleep enhancement, and stress relief. And although I’m not sure how effective it is, I even rub some on my ankles when I am out in the garden, because it is supposed to be a natural tick repellent. I received a .67 oz (20 ml) bottle, which is offered for sale on Kneipp’s website for $8.00. What I usually buy is about the same price. So this one is worth the whole $8.00.  I have a discount code that doesn’t come close to covering the shipping, so no value there.

Luxie Beauty Tapered Blending Eye Brush.
This is a nice eyeshadow blending brush. I’ll definitely use it. It retails for $12, but I know I can get a decent eyeshadow brush at Target for less than $6.00 – so I’ll give it the $6.00 value.

Doucce Eyeshadow Mono.
This is a tiny little eyeshadow (but I know that eyeshadow lasts a long time) in a shimmery pink. I actually like a little pinkish/taupey shade on my lids, but this pink is a lavender pink, and not for me. And especially the shimmer – not for me. Older eyelids don’t need shimmery shadow – even though I will admit the shimmer when I apply it is subtle. I also received a four-pack palette of the same brand for signing up for the Allure beauty box, but 3 of the four colors are also shimmery and the one matte color is black, and I have a better black from Smashbox. (I use it to soften the look of my liner).So these are a “NO” for me – and the first contribution to my box for the women’s shelter. $0 value.

So here’s my sum total:

Drunk Elephant sunscreen: $4.00
Skinfix Clay Cleanser:  $5.40
This Works Stress Check fragrance:  $2.00
Kneipp Lavender Oil;  $8.00
Luxie Blending Eye Brush:  $6.00
Doucce Eyeshadow:  $0.00

Total:  $25.40

Not too bad for a $15.00 box.  Can’t wait to see what Ipsy sends me!


Skinfix Foaming Clay Cleanser – My favorite from the Allure Beauty Box.









Battle of the Concealers

I have been on a quest to find a concealer that will cover my dark circles while at the same time not accentuate the crepey skin that I now have under my eyes. It’s a balancing act.

I have always had dark circles. I can remember my third grade teacher, Sister Octavie, calling me to her desk to tell me that I must have too late a bedtime, as I looked so tired. What I was actually tired of was her telling me I looked bad. Go blame my Dad, who had the same dark circles.


Me – with the dark circles so generously provided by my Dad. And let’s not even discuss the lack of eyelashes – that’s for another post.

When I was younger, concealer was easy. I bought an opaque concealer, smoothed it under my eyes. Done. But now that I am older, my skin has become very thin and crepey under my eyes. The photo above doesn’t reveal the extent of my horribly crepey texture, since I already had on my eye cream when I took this photo.

So the issue is covering up these purple discolorations without exaggerating the crepey skin. Most concealers that are opaque enough to cover up the darkness settle into my lines and make me look like I have iguana skin under my eyes.

For years, I could use any old concealer with good coverage. Then when I reached my sixties, I switched to something that didn’t crease so much. For me that was Lorac Double Feature Concealer and Highlighter.  This product has a stick concealer one one end and a liquid highlighter with wand applicator on the other.


Surprisingly the stick concealer, which is firm, did not settle into my creases too badly, as long as I applied it very lightly with a concealer brush. I think perhaps it worked because it was so solid that I only needed to apply the smallest amount – so therefore it didn’t crease. (The highlighter by the way is pretty invisible – it’s okay but there are much better ones out there – I’ll discuss highlighters in a future post.)

But the Lorac concealer was also dealing with far less crepiness that I have developed over the last couple of years – which is why I have been on a search for something better.

I took one of Sephora’s makeup classes last year for “Concealing and Correcting”. Their consultant taught me to apply a corrector first – Urban Decay Color Correcting Fluid (in Pink) and then a concealer that matched my skin tone, bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer (in Medium). The consultant instructed me to apply these products – gently pressing with a damp makeup sponge between coats to set the product – before my foundation. And I looked pretty good at the end of the class, and happily bought these products.

But a few hours later, I had quite a bit of creasing under my eyes. Still, I gave these products several months to “get the hang of it”  – but was a bit disappointed.

So my search continued.

I read a lot of good reviews of IT brand’s Bye Bye Undereye concealer, and happened to see it at Ulta one day, and gave it a try. It had great coverage and a creamy texture, and I bought it. Again, I should have worn my tester-application home and checked myself in the mirror a few hours later. The creasing into my crepey skin was significant. I think, however, that this is a terrific concealer for dark circles, as long as you have smooth undereye skin.

Then I tried Cover FX Cream Concealer (in N Light).  Not bad. But still some creasing. I felt I was getting closer.

Then two weeks ago I was back at Ulta and spoke to the consultant there. Well, she swears by Tarte ShapeTape Concealer. I have seen reviewers on YouTube swoon over ShapeTape. So the consultant applied the concealer (in Light) and it looked fantastic. I ran to the register with glee.

By the time I got home, I looked horrible. The concealer was so heavy it looked like crinkled Kleenex under my eyes.  But I figured the consultant just got carried away, so the next morning I tried it with a lighter application.

Still not good.

And I realized something pretty important. One of the big mistakes of this concealer was that the color was way too light. I know that everyone is raving about contouring and concealing – sort of the Kim Kardashian look. On how-to videos, the girls are applying a ton of very light concealer not only under their eyes, but they bring it halfway down their face in a sort of inverted triangle. And blend and blend. And most of these girls look very good indeed. At least on camera.

But most of these girls are young enough to be my granddaughters. What looks good for them is not necessarily right for a 66-year-old woman.

I realized that the instructor at Sephora was at least correct in matching my skin tone and not going lighter. White under the eyes looks gray and skeletal on most older women including me.

So after another try, I hated the Tarte ShapeTape so much, I returned it to Ulta, and trekked back to Sephora.

I explained my dilemma – if I have a concealer opaque enough for my dark circles, it is so heavy, it settles into my crepey skin and creases like crazy.

And here’s what the consultant thought:

First – that I need a nice plumping undereye moisturizer to help my crepey skin. She suggested a product like Perricone MD Brightening Eye Cream. However, I had learned something else in my search. I shouldn’t be so quick to jump on any suggestion – especially when it is expensive. So although the eye cream seemed extremely nice, I decided to search online to see what else might be recommended.

Second – The consultant agreed that I really needed to lighten up. Not in product color – lighten up in the thickness of the product under my eye.  So after a good eye cream – ONE CONCEALER…. not color corrector first. Just one coat of something not too heavy. And what she recommended was a complete surprise. The bareMinerals bareSkin Serum Concealer I had bought from them after my class. The same product, the same color. Well, I have that!

Third – As part of lightening up, the consultant also thought that the powder I was using to set my makeup was probably too heavy for my fragile undereye area. She suggesting the very fine, light loose powder like Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.  She applied this very sparingly by gently pressing it in with a dry beauty blender. This looked really great. And though I know I should have waited to see what it looked like a few hours later – I did spring for the Laura Mercier powder.

laura mercier secret

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

When I got home, I did my online research for a good eye cream. I actually have used a very good eye cream in the past, Caudalie Premier Cru Eye Cream. I love the Caudalie brand – the quality is just amazing. But it’s really expensive, and I’m retired now, and I was hoping to not spend $99 for 0.5 ounces of eye serum.

So I searched around and found an Amazon best-seller that I had never heard of:  LilyAna Naturals Rosehip and Hibiscus Eye Cream. It is a natural, light, hydrating cream that absorbs almost instantly into my skin. It’s organic, vegan and cruelty-free, and in addition to rosehip oil and hibiscus extract, it contains Vitamin C (good for discoloration) and Vitamin E (good for skin). It’s very highly rated – with more than 1800 reviews with more than 75% of them being 5-stars and most of the others at 4-stars. And it’s $16.99 for 1.3 ounces. It’s a little soon to tell if it has any long term benefits, but I’m liking it. It seems to smooth my skin before my concealer goes on. And it feels lovely at bedtime too. It could be a real find.

lilyana eye cream

LilyAna Naturals Rosehip & Hibiscus Eye Cream



So for the past week, here’s the three-step technique I have been using with much more success than I had seen before:

1. I start with the LilyAna eye cream.

2. I follow with a light application of concealer – not too much.  Best for me is the bareMinerals bareSkin concealer.



I have also found that the Cover FX isn’t too bad after all, although the shade is a bit too light.

And one more concealer that is awfully good. I had in my stash one drugstore concealer:  Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer.

age rewind

Age Rewind is one of those makeup staples that everyone likes. And likes for a reason. It’s very good.  It tends to lie smoothly on your face without settling into your lines. It’s staying power is decent too. And you can buy it for under $8.00 in the drugstore. I have this in Medium.

By the way, the sponge-tip applicator is not a bad way to apply concealer, but it can get a little “gunky” before you finish the product. I found that you can just pull off the sponge and then when you wind the product up, it just comes out the tiny opening, and you can apply it with a concealer brush.


My Age-Rewind with the sponge torn off.

3. I finish with my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder… a very small amount pressed in dry with this Laura Geller brush – the spongy end (in the bottom of this photo). I got this brush as part of a kit, and it’s great for pressing the powder in gently to set the concealer.  (although a dry beauty blender would work too.)


And here’s the result:  This photo was taken in the car in unforgiving light 2 hours after I applied my makeup and after spending more than an hour in the sun on a hot and humid day, shopping for veggie plants at the local nursery.



Do I have creasing under my eyes and still a bit of dark shadows?

YES. Yes I do.

But holy crap –  I am 66 years old.

I do not expect my lines and wrinkles to go away. I just don’t want my makeup to make them look WORSE.

So I’m pretty happy.

A Beautiful Blush – But A Very Good Dupe!

Shopping at Sephora a few weeks ago, I fell in love (yes, again) with a beautiful blush.

It is Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Mood Exposure:


This blush, swirled with Hourglass’ ambient lighting powder, which I also love, is silky smooth – the silkiest powder blush I have ever tried (so far). It is the only cool-toned shade in the ambient lighting blush collection, although it is still warmer looking on the skin that in the pan.

I felt sun-lit and gorgeous when I applied this. But there were two big drawbacks:

First – that it is VERY pricey – $38 for a scant .15 ounces. Yikes!

Second – that it was out of stock. Sephora had only the tester.

The first drawback made me reluctant to spend the money. The second drawback made me want it even more. I mean – if everyone is buying it, it must be wonderful, right?

So I splurged. I ordered it. Sephora ordered it for me – shipping it to my home at no charge. (This is one of the benefits of in-store ordering.)

I couldn’t wait to get it. OMG, it was like forever!  (It was five days.)

It arrived. It was beautiful.


It was darker than I remembered. So highly pigmented that I had to rub my brush against my hand until my brush was basically clean in order to not have it look crazy strong on my face. Well, I told myself that could mean that this compact could last a really long time, and it really wan’t that horrible a buy.

Three days later, I am in the drugstore. There is no way I can enter a drugstore and not peruse the makeup aisle.

And I saw this – Covergirl TruBlend Blush:


Does it look familiar?

It’s small – only 0.1 oz. But it is under $10. As a matter of fact, the drugstore had it on sale and it was marked down to $6.

At that price, I just had to make the comparison.


When I got home, this is what I found:



Pretty close, don’t you think?

And on the skin, it is also close.

hourglass v covergirl

As you can see, the Hourglass Ambient Blush is a bit warmer and more luminous on the skin. The Covergirl TruBlend is cooler – pinker – and is a bit more matte.

In addition, The Covergirl is definitely less pigmented. I have the tiniest bit of Hourglass in this swatch, I have two swipes with the Covergirl, However, if you are fair, like me, this is not a drawback. I personally would rather have a blush that I can build up rather than one that I am always trying to tone down.

Is there a difference in quality? Oh yes! The Hourglass is so silky and finely milled. It is just lovely to the touch. The Covergirl is a bit grainier, but really, it’s a fairly good texture.

Which one do I prefer?

Despite the amazing quality of the Hourglass – which there is no denying – I like the Covergirl. I like the lighter, cooler pigment.

Here’s how much I like the less expensive Covergirl:

I returned the Hourglass.


The Covergirl TruBlend Blush in Medium. By the way, this is Milani liptstick in #69, Matte Beauty – at $6, another good drugstore find.


Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow

Back in February, I went to Sephora to claim my little birthday gift – which consisted of some nice travel-sized Caudalie skin products. I love Caudalie skin care – it is very pricey but very good, and a little goes a long way, so I am stil using the eye serum.

Sephora also offers a mini-makeover for your birthday. You choose whether you’d like your eyes done, or blush or whatever. I decided on blush.

To my suprise, the consultant did me up in shades of peach. I’m usually a pink girl all the way.

But I loved it.

The consultant used the Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow palette.


This palette contains a warm peach blush, a light golden peachy highlighter, and a light bronzer in a peachy taupe shade.


The finished look was really flattering, and so I bought the palette. It was $42, and so a bit on the pricey side, but broken down for 3 products, it’s not ridiculous.

I wore the palette a few times, but it sort of got temporarily relegated to the back of my makeup cabinet.

But we are well into Spring now – actually, it’s only JUST Spring in Northern Connecticut. Today was a beautiful day, and I felt very Spring-y – so I pulled out the Too Faced palette.

And I love it again.

It’s perfect for the warm weather and lighter colored clothes.

I’m not much for contouring, but the bronzer is nice at the edges of my temples. And what a nice shade for my eyelid crease.

I recently saw a Sephora-sponsored tutorial video for a different makeup line, and the lovely young woman said that she always puts some of her blush and bronzer on her eyes as well, as she thought it really lifts and lights the face.

And in this case, with these products, it’s so true!

too faced sweet peach glow palette closeup

I used the blush as lid color and the bronzer in my crease and outer corners, and a touch of the highlighter below my browbone – I love the results.


With the peach blush on my cheeks and highlighter brushed across the top of my cheekbones, I didn’t need too much else. I finished with my favorite Hourglass illuminating powder in Dim Light.

The products are infused with a peach scent. I’ve read some reviews from women who don’t like it, but I thought it was lovely – a peachy powdery scent that I continued to get the occasional whiff of throughout the day.

The colors are set very hard in the pan – you really have to work to get the product on your brush when the palette is new. I don’t consider this a drawback though. Highly pigmented product is too easy to overload and sometimes hard to tone down once it is applied too strongly. These lightly pigmented colors can go on very sheer and muted, but are buildable to a warmer, more noticeable effect. I cannot imagine though, that you could ever get to an intensely shaded look with these colors. They may be too subtle though for a darker complexion.

The Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow palette would be a great travel palette – since the powders look so nice on both eyes and cheeks. I wish the cute tin compact were just a little bigger, so the mirror was bigger, since hotel mirrors can be just awful.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how the palette works in summer, when I have just a bit more color. I’m thinking it might be a really pretty summer look.

Here’s the final look:.


Other products I used for this look: Cover FX primer, Laura Mercier Candleglow foundation, Maybelline Age-Rewind concealer,  IT No-Tug liner, Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, Smashbox brow powder, Hourglass illuminating powder, Butter/London lipliner and lipstick.

Setting Spray?

I’ve been watching a lot of makeup videos lately. And many of them discuss the amazing and wonderful results from makeup setting sprays. So of course I was ready to give them a try. I’m always ready to be amazing and wonderful.

Setting sprays – in case you don’t already know – are mostly water that you spritz on your face after your makeup is done. It makes your makeup all blend together nicely and helps your makeup last longer. At least that is what it is supposed to do.

So I decided to give them a try.

Of course, setting sprays are more than just water. The second ingredient is usually denatured alcohol. Then there are glycerins and a lot of chemicals that are mysteries to me. I’m not sure they are harmless and it’s difficult to research. I did read that if you are already wearing a full face of makeup when you spray this stuff, very little will penetrate your skin, as it is designed to lie on top your makeup. So I guess it’s not a big worry. With alcohol as an ingredient, I’d definitely make sure your eyes are tightly closed.

I didn’t want to spend a lot on setting sprays, since I wasn’t even sure I wanted it, so after a few YouTubes, I decided to buy just two. The high-end spray and the low-cost spray that the vloggers think are really good.

I bought Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray:


And Milani’s Make It Last setting spray:


The Urban Decay setting spray is $31 for 4 ounces, but I bought the small travel size – one ounce for $15 – which is a terrible buy but not as big an investment. I did try it at Sephora first, to make sure it didn’t kill me or anything.

The Milani spray is $10 for 2.03 ounces. It can be a little difficult to find, and even on Milani’s website it is sometimes out of stock. I managed to find it in a brand new big CVS – the third CVS I tried. And I paid $10.99 rather than the $10 online because the CVS was in a fancy neighborhood.

But okay. I had 2 brands to try.

The beauty vloggers say to spray your finished makeup by spritzing down the center of your face and across – in a T. And then across diagonally – in an X. I learned that that is WAY too much. My first spritz of Urban Decay at home was a disaster. I doused myself and my makeup ran. My mascara ended up on my cheeks.

But the next day, I did a much lighter spray and got better results. Did I see a difference? Well I guess my makeup did look well blended. Did it stay better? I’m not sure. My makeup lasts pretty long anyway.

But the Urban Decay made my face feel slightly and weirdly itchy. Not horrible, but still. I gave it a try a third time, but I felt the same mild itchiness.

So Urban Decay All-Nighter is a NO for me.

Next up: the Milani Make It Last spray, which definitely feels nice going on. No itchiness. That’s a big improvement. I definitely needed a magazine handy to fan myself with to help it dry. It is not instant-dry at all.

My makeup does look really nicely blended.  A nice, very slightly glowy finish.

So I decided to give it a difficult test to see who it lasts:  My Zumba class.

So I put on a full face (though not crazy full to go to the gym!)  and spritzed the Milani setting spray. Here’s how I looked on my way out the door:



Then I had a full hour of dancing like a maniac.

I came home like this:


You can see that my concealer took a beating, but then again so did I. I had sweat running down my eyes for a good portion of the hour – you can see how wet my hair is. My eyeliner looks pretty blurry too. But my blusher still looks quite nice. So perhaps not too bad.

Part 2 of the test.

Another exercise class. This time it’s Pound class…  an exercise with drumsticks and lots of sweating. You may have seen Kate in a Pound class in “This Is Us.”

I did the same makeup, but I did not use the setting spray. Instead I set my makeup just by pressing a slightly moist beauty blender against my skin all over. Finished look may not have been quite as pretty as the setting spray, but it was close.

And when I came home I looked like this:


To me, not only did I lose the concealer again, but I think I lost a little blush too.

Does this make enough of a difference?

Part 3:  Yoga.

My Yoga class is strenuous and the day was humid, so I did sweat more than non-yoga practitioners might thing you would. I used the Milani Make It Last setting spray. Here are the before and after shots:


As the after photo shows, again most of the damage is to my eye makeup, most especially my concealer.

But maybe it’s not a fair test. Maybe a setting spray isn’t meant to keep your makeup in place while you sweat like the horse that finished last in the Derby.


Part 4:

How does a setting spray last during just a normal day?

So I did my makeup this morning and then went to my Mom’s for lunch and then a little shopping.

Here’s my fresh makeup face – with Milani Make It Last setting spray:



I do like the way the setting spray blends my makeup so well, and gives me more of a glowy finish, as opposed to how powdery I sometimes look without it.

Here’s how I looked 4 hours later:



Of course, this shot taken in the car is in totally different light. But still, my concealer has diminished and creased badly, while the rest of my makeup (not counting my lipstick, which I did not reapply after lunch)  still looks quite nice.

So as long as I was out shopping, I went to Ulta and spoke to a beauty consultant about my creasing, disappearing concealer.

She did not believe that this was the fault of the setting spray, which she thinks are a great last step for makeup. She thought that I was wearing the wrong concealer – too thick for my fragile aging undereye skin, and too powdered. (Powder is usually the best way to set in your concealer.)

So naturally, she sold me something lighter and silkier.

I will let you know.