Review: Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

0.26 oz/7 g

Sephora: $24

John Lewis: £19

http://www.sephora.com/smudge-proof-eyeshadow-base-P261211

http://www.johnlewis.com/search/nars-eyeshadow-base?_requestid=1540656

http://www.narscosmetics.com/complexion/primers/~/smudge-proof-eyeshadow-base

Found on Nars Cosmetics website

This “lightweight” clear eyeshadow primer is said to help keep cream and powder eyeshadows “looking brilliant, fresh, and just-applied all day”. It “uses a unique polymer and mineral powder blend” and is fortified with “special deep-sea extract and an antioxidant rice extract”.

Ingredients

Isododecane, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Dimethicone, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Carbonate, Peg-40 Stearate, Sorbitan Olivate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Phenoxyethanol, Diethylhexyl Syringylidenemalonate, Oryza Sativa [Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil Extract], Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Castor Oil Phosphate, Sea Whip Extract, Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).

I really like this primer. It makes my eyeshadows look much nicer, go on smoother, and last longer. I have used two others in the past, the cult-favorite UD Primer Potion (review here), and the insanely cheap ELF Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (review here).  This one out-performs both. For actual texture, this one is much silkier than the ELF one, and a bit silkier than the UD one. I do not get dry patches, quite the opposite in fact, but I think this is thick enough to help deal with those but still light-weight enough to blend seamlessly. I would recommend verifying this though, before buying this product. But as someone with oily eyelids, I can say that this helps a lot with creasing and fading. My eyeshadow looks nicer at the end of the day than with the ELF one and much nicer than the UD one. However, I must say that I do still get some fading. Much less than with other products I’ve tried, and with (horror of horrors) no primer, but my nevertheless it still occurs. By this point I have kind of accepted it as a fact of life. On the bright side, if you do not have extremely gross eyelids like me, this will probably blow your mind!

For packaging, it is the beautiful classic Nars aesthetic with the beautiful classic complaint: the rubberized material gets so dirty! Not that big a deal, but kinda annoying considering the price and the fact this complaint has been around since the beginning of time. Get it together, Nars!

I really do like this product, and it is the best thing I have found so far to help with my chronic fading problem (the struggle is real, y’all), but I’m a bit unsure about the price tag. This is the best product I have tried, but I’m not entirely sure it’s $21 better than the ELF one, which sets me a whopping $3 back. It does last an long time, so the cost is spread out over a while. Would I repurchase it? Yes, conceivably. After I try some other things. I would recommend trying the ELF one first, and if it doesn’t work go for this.

Rating: A

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Review: Alaffia Beautiful Curls Wavy to Curly Curl Enhancing Shea Butter Shampoo

12 fl oz.- $12

(I believe I bought mine at either Whole Foods or Central Market, for all those in Houston- I don’t remember it being $12 though, more like $8)

http://www.beautifulcurls.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=9&idcategory=3

Found on Alaffia Beautiful Curls website

This sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, vegan, biodegradable and certified Fair Trade shampoo is supposed to ‘gently clean the hair and scalp without stripping it of its natural oils’. Shea butter and coconut oil “provide unparalleled moisture to enhance and retain waves and large curls”. “Chamomile extract soothes and calms the scalp and enhances natural highlights. Yarrow extracts help normalize scalp oil production. Natural minerals and vitamins soften hair and reduce frizz.”

Ingredients:

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) Extract (aqueous), Yarrow (Achilleamillefolium) Extract (aqueous), Certified Fair Trade Saponified Shea Butter* (Butyrospermum parkii) and Certified Fair Trade Virgin Coconut Oil* (Cocos nucifera), Decyl Polyglucose, Cocamidolpropyl Betaine, Magnesium Sulfate, Coconut Oil (and) Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract (and) Ylang Ylang Flower Extract

* Certified Fair Trade by IMO 

I commend Alaffia on their commitment to the environment and the under-represented communities of the world; I condemn them for making a terrible shampoo. I really tried to like this shampoo, I really did. I loved the idea and the social responsibility behind the product, but it was really really horrible to use.

First off, the product is very runny. This makes application fairly difficult, and means that you waste a lot more product too. But it’s not something I can’t work with if the product is worth it. It wasn’t. Just out of the shower, the product left my hair feeling  very strange- like it had left a soapy deposit, squeaky is the only word I can think of to describe it. Not to mention unbelievably tangled. Then finally, the final test: how your hair feels after drying. The result? Oily at the top (Yarrow extract- dude, get your act together), frizzy at the bottom (um, “natural minerals and vitamins”?), and hooray hooray, the soapy deposit stuck around! Needless to say, this did nothing for my curls.

I think this company is really doing some good in the world, and I could conceivably pay $12 for a GOOD shampoo, but honestly this is ridiculous.

Rating: F-

Product Smackdown: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (Commander in Chic) vs. Essie Merino Cool

I love taupe colors for fall in all capacities- eyes, nails, and sometimes even lips! Nearly every single nail polish manufacturer on the planet has got a version out there. Here I have two very similar colors of taupe polish from two respected brands- Essie and Sally Hansen. Let’s see which one wins!!

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in 370 Commander in Chic: $6.59 (0.5 fl oz/14.7 mL)   at Target

Essie Nail Lacquer in 76 Merino Cool: $7.79 (0.46 fl oz/13.5 mL) at Target

http://www.target.com/p/sally-hansen-complete-salon-manicure-commander-in-chic/-/A-13332358

http://www.target.com/p/essie-nail-color-merino-cool/-/A-13249632?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C13249632&CPNG=Health+Beauty&kpid=13249632&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=13249632&gclid=CIvJoOb0kboCFZE7Mgod-ScApg

Essie Merino Cool vs. Sally Hansen Commander in Chic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally Hansen Essie
Features (as found on brand websites) Base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, salon-inspired color, top coat, chip-resistance and a gel finish all in 1 bottleVita Care technology for advanced 10 day wear, more shine and nourishing care

1st place

Outstanding durability, a chip-resistant formula 

 

 

 

 

2nd place

Price 1st place 2nd place
Color (for me personally) Mid-tone purple-based taupe (lighter than Essie)1st place Dark-mid-tone purple-based taupe (darker than Sally Hansen)2nd place
Wear time (until first chip appears)   After 4-5 days, only minor tip wear , no base or top coat

1st place

 After 2-3 days, no base or topcoat

 

2nd place

Application Brush slightly larger, product less prone to gloopiness1st place Good brush, product prone to gloopiness2nd place
Dry Time 1st place  2nd place
Ingredients DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde freeContains parabens

2nd place

DBP, Toluene, and Formaldehyde free1st place
OVERALL RANK 1st place 2nd place

Overall, there is no disputing it: Commander in Chic outperformed Merino Cool in virtually every category. Honestly, the wear time for me was the most impressive; for me most things wear 2-3 days before starting to chip, like the Essie shade. For me to get that much wear out of it was absolutely mind blowing for me. The Complete Salon Manicure looks like an amazing formula, I think I will be picking up some more colors from the line in the future!