MAC Russian Red Matte Lipstick Review

Photo by Tracy Sotirakis

Ever heard of this stuff?  It’s supposedly THE best red lipstick ever. What makes it so wonderful?  It can be worn by all skin tones, from light to dark.

Photo credit:  Madonna.com

Back in 1990, MAC Russian Red lipstick was Madonna’s signature color for her Blonde Ambition tour.  It has been a staple classic red lipstick for many celebrities and makeup artists since then and has a cult type of following, making it one of MAC’s best selling shades.

A tube of Russian Red will set you back $15.00 at the MAC counter in the USA and it is described by MAC as having an “intense bluish-red color” with a subtle vanilla scent.

Some celebrities that reportedly have worn Russian Red:  Dita Von Teese, Kim Kardashian, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie, Christina Hendricks, Scarlett Johannson, Christina Aguilera and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.

If you are gutsy enough to wear this intense of a lipstick, make sure that your lips are not dry.  Exfoliate them with a simple scrub made of sugar and olive oil first, then apply a light layer of lip balm.  Dry, flaky lips are not friends with matte lipstick, especially red.

photo by Tracy Sotirakis

*A matching lip liner pencil may be used if you find that colors bleed on your lips.

* To make it last, apply a layer with a lip brush for precision, blot with a tissue and apply another layer.

*For a subtle color wash/stain, apply a light layer with clean fingertips and blot.  Lip balm or gloss can be added if wanted.

*Go easy on the rest of your makeup when going bold with the lips, they should be the focus.  Use lighter shades of eye shadow and keep the blush and bronzer to a minimum.  Thin winged black eye liner looks great with Russian Red lipstick.

*Take your time in applying red lipstick.  Don’t think that you can smear it all over your lips in 5 seconds and it will look fabulous.  It won’t, you’ll look like a clown, literally.  Slow down and apply it with accuracy.

What do you think?  Are you daring enough to try Russian Red?  I know you’ll get compliments if you do!

*Disclaimer:  I was not paid to review this product by anyone, I bought it with my own hard earned money.*

Solution To Creased Eye Shadow

Hot weather, humidity, oily eye lids and wearing makeup for long hours–all causes of the dreaded creased eye shadow.  Are you plagued with this problem?  The solution is pretty simple, eye primer.

Eye primer is a pretty hip cosmetic item now so there are many brands to choose from depending on your budget.  An eye primer should last you a long time, so if you want to invest in a more expensive brand, feel free.  Less expensive brands also work just as well, it just depends on personal preference.

L to R: Primer from a wand, from a stick, a pot, clear wand, shimmer

They can come in pots, tubes, sticks, wands or brush applicators.  Eye primers can also come in different colors.  They can be skin tone, color correcting/neutralizing, clear or have a shimmer to them.

Left side with primer, right side without (same eye shadow)

Before doing any eye makeup, apply a small amount of primer on both lids, going from the lash line up to the brow bone, smoothing with your finger if necessary.  Let the primer dry for about a minute then apply eye makeup as usual.  You will notice that your eye shadow will be more vibrant and last all day.

If you are also plagued with migrating eye liner on your lower lash line, apply a small amount of eye primer there too before applying eye liner.

Say goodbye to melted eye liner and creased eye shadow, use your eye primer!

 

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Review

Yeah, sometimes I cart this much around.

We have all been hammered by the beauty and fashion magazines lately about BB Creams.  BB stands for Blemish Balm, as they are sold in Asian markets, or Beauty Balm as sold in Western markets.  They are supposed to multitask and be a primer, foundation, sunscreen, moisturizer and serum.  You can wear them alone or with your other favorite moisturizer, foundation or powder.

Are they really worth the hype or are they just another sales pitch for one more product that we can’t possibly live without.  I have so much makeup it’s frightening (or drool inducing), but that’s my job.  See picture to the right and you’ll see what I mean.  Is a BB Cream really going to change my life?  Probably not, but I had to try one anyway.  Those magazine ads really do work.  I had received samples of different brands and I liked them but they always made my skin look a little shiny after a few hours.  For my personal use, I usually like more of a matte look to my skin.  I don’t wear a full coverage foundation, maybe just a tinted moisturizer or a very light coverage foundation.  Too many freckles to cover up and then I just look weird.   BB Creams seem to be marketed to gals like me.


In a beauty magazine recently, they had an ad for Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin.  My interest sparked.  The ad came with a coupon and a handy color chart.  Most of us know what color spectrum we fall in when the cosmetic companies group us into only 3 different skin tones.  Although, light may not be light enough for you or deep is not deep enough.  Trial and error is sometimes the only way to figure out which color is appropriate for your skin tone.  I went with the Light/Medium for combination to oily skin.  I purchased it at my local gigantic one stop shop for $11.97 and used my $1.00 coupon.

Garnier’s BB Cream Skin Renew for combination to oily skin is supposed to control shine, minimize pores, even skin tone, and hydrate.  It also has SPF 20, which in my opinion is not enough for daily wear (SPF 30 is recommended), but at least it’s something.  It also has “Mineral Perlite + Mineral Pigments”.

I have been wearing it for a few days now and here’s my opinion:  OK, not a life changing “miracle”, but I kind of like it.  The color is a tad dark and a little too beige for me, so I have to use it sparingly and blend well down my neck.  Most BB Creams are supposed to be used very sparingly anyway.  I do really like the fact that it is not dewy like other BB Creams.  It does feel like more of a light coverage foundation.  My skin looks very pretty with it on and I did set it lightly with a loose translucent powder.  I wore it out one day and got caught in a rainstorm and it seemed to hold up pretty well, my hair was another story.  My only note of caution is that some users with very sensitive skin have reported that this product was irritating to them.  I haven’t experienced any blemishes or itchiness.

The texture is not thick at all, not what I would call a “cream” but more of a liquid.   You have to be careful when dispensing it from the bottle, a lot can come out at once.  The smell is alright, it doesn’t really bother me.  After it sets on the skin I can’t smell it.

While this product may not be technically a true BB Cream like the real ones sold in Korea, I will continue to use this bottle of Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream for combination/oily skin.  Are you going to be sucked in also and try a BB Cream for yourself?

** Update:  I have been using this product now for a while and I have come to completely love it.  I even put one in my professional makeup kit and intend on purchasing the darker colors as well.