Musings of the Day: To Cheap or Not To Cheap

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So here it is….that scary question of whether you prefer cheaping it out with drugstore cosmetics and finding golden nuggets among epic fails or are you a counter girl who prefers high end to low end?

The Muse happens to be a counter girl and rarely ventures far from it. She’s all about high end skincare, haircare, and cosmetics. Sadly, it’s very rare I find drugstore products that work. If I think about it I can probably shell out $50 or more dollars before finding a single item at my local drugstore that works. For that I might as well just head to my local Sephora and pick up the item that I know will get the job done and not having to go through a dozen or more products I can’t test or return at a drugstore!

I’m not dissing on lower end cosmetics nor am I saying higher end are easy to afford but I just personally feel like about 85% of drugstore cosmetics, skincare, and haircare are simply rubbish in my humblest opinion and I’d rather spend the extra $ on a counter brand. For example I can probably get a quad from say L’Oreal at my local drugstore for around $8.99 or less….chances are it’s not a great formula, doesn’t blend well, and isn’t really all that pigmented. I might as well just throw in the extra $5 bucks or so and snag a single pigmented eyeshadow from MAC and be all the happier for it!

This isn’t to say all drugstore brands are bad because I’m found a few gems here and there myself.

So the Muse is in the “not to cheap” category.

How about you?

Love your drugstore cosmetics?

Can’t get enough of the higher end counter brands?

Tell the Muse!

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Smashbox Muse Lip Paint in Luminary Review, Swatches, Photos, and FOTD

Anyone up for a little bit more of the Smashbox Muse Collection? The Muse is all about “her” collection and is loving it so far! Today I’m bringing you a review of the Smashbox Muse Lip Paint in Luminary.

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A new gloss line was introduced with the Smashbox Muse collection which are the limited edition Lip Paints. These glosses offer a tiny hint of color while delivering shine to the lips. The lack of color variety does somewhat disappoint but taking into consideration that these are limited edition I think it’s safe to say that three color selections are a plenty.

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The color I was busy testing out this week was Luminary which is a shimmering nude peach shade. Mmm slightly scared of those nudes shades but test I did and I came up with a few takes on the gloss.

First off I was slightly unhappy with the formula of the gloss as it wasn’t particularly glossy and had a tiny bit of a dryness to it. Hmmm, I know..dryness you say Muse? But I can’t think of another way to describe the formula, it’s simply very dry without the normal glossiness one assosicates with lipgloss. After all that’s why it’s called gloss right? Because it’s glossy. This isn’t so very glossy sadly however it is a rather nice shade which adds a touch of golden, peachy shimmer to lips. It’s not pigmented enough to work on it’s own so I do suggest prepping with a bit of stain or lipstick prior to use and topping with this for a nice sparkly finish.

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For the most part I do think the name is slightly misleading because I was thinking that these would be a pigmented gloss with a brush applicator however turns out it’s a sponge tip applicator and a very sheer gloss. I dunno, I just associate paint with pigment I suppose?

Overall I do think the gloss had a fab finish and I can’t deny it looks mighty nice on my lips when paired with a warmer makeup look but I was just slightly disappointed with the overall formula and lack of pigmentation. The Muse thinks she might try indulging in one more shade before deciding if it’s a hit with her or a miss!

Sportin’ Smashbox Lip Paint in Luminary

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Have you tried any of the Smashbox Muse Collection yet?

Tell the Muse!

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Beauty Reflections: Bold, Vibrant FOTD’s

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Step through the Muse’s past posts and check out some of her bolder, vibrant FOTD’s from looks she created in the past!

Today I thought I’d look back on some older looks I created and bring my favorites out to play! These may be posts you’ve already seen or maybe they’ll be a new discovery for you. Please join me in visiting and enjoying some past FOTD’s (Face of the Day pictures). Considering the Muse has revamped a tiny bit and gone very soft looking lately she thought you’d enjoy her wilder days!

With the release of the MAC Naughty Nauticals Color Story the Muse was really feeling all those blues! She was particularly happy with Mutiny Pigment as she recalls! Check out these two FOTD’s from that collection!

Naughty Nauticals & DazzleGlass Meet Up!

Trying my hand at a Naughty Nauticals Face Chart

The Muse simply adored the Fafi for MAC Collection, do check out her rather outrageous and dramatic Fafinette FOTD to feel the love!

The Muse adores purple. She associates it with her inner goth side! Of course, many of her FOTD’s last year were inspired by some purple element. Check out this Reader’s Request Purple FOTD.

Enchanted by fairies? Indeed. See the Enchanted Fairy inspired look the Muse duped after falling in love with one of Sephora’s Holiday Catalogs.

Ahhh rejoice in MAC Eyeshadow in Big T again which is and shall remain the Muse’s favorite shadow!

Trying to recreate Anna Sui’s Royal Romp look from Fall ’07 proved difficult but try it the Muse did. Check out her version of the Royal Romp promo!

I hope you enjoyed some of these fun looks that the Muse created in the past. I know over the last year or so my tastes have evolved some and I rarely do bold looks anymore but I must say I still love them every more and shall try to incorporate them into my daily looks more often so I can start posting about them again here on Musings.

Tell me about some of your favorite shades you use for a bolder, vibrant eye look or send me your favorite popping FOTD and I’ll share it here.

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WANT IT: Givenchy Sari Glow Iridescent Blush

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The Muse is shivering with anticipation over iridescent shades of pink and orange blush from Givenchy’s Spring Collection.

If Givenchy Sari Glow Iridescent Blush gives me half the glow I got using the Givenchy Prisme Again! Blush Quartet in Glowing Rose, you can count this Muse a happy girl!

Available in a sizzling pink and a gorgeous popping orange the blush promises a silky soft formula and a gorgeous flush of color for cheeks! I’m very interested in ordering both shades of the blush for myself as I think they’ll be ideal colors for pairing up with MAC Manish Aurora Eyeshadow Palette, glosses, and lippies for a bright, fun Spring (and Summer) look!

From what I understand the blushes may be a baked version of Givenchy’s normal blushes which has me curious about the pigmentation. Generally I love Givenchy’s blush range so I’m on board for picking up both of these.

Currently the price is $42 USD each which I find quite nice as Givenchy continues on it’s new “lower” range. Why do I get the feeling they’d be marked at $50 USD if all was well with the economy? I’m all for embracing Givenchy’s new prices, that’s unquestionable!

Keep this Muse in mind for a review soon!

What do you think of the Givenchy Spring Collection 2009?

How about these blushes?

Tell the Muse!

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Innisfree BB Mousse Review

The Muse was totally cheapin’ it when she seen that Sasa got some Innisfree products in stock. The price jack was around $4-$5 from regular Korean retail so I really wasn’t feeling the need to indulge…so indeed I was being total cheap about it. After fighting with myself I realized if I had a friend in Korea airmail it over that it would probably work out to be the same price anyway so I decided what the heck and snagged myself the InnisFree BB Mousse.

The product originally caught and captured my interest because I’ve used BB Mousse’s in the past and really like them. Etude House actually makes one as well which I adore so purchasing one from Innisfree really wasn’t too hard a decision although the formula isn’t suitable for everyone.

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Read on to find out more!

I’ve tried a few products from the Innisfree makeup and skincare line up prior to this and all are of good quality so I didn’t doubt in anyway that the Innisfree BB Mousse would be just as good. Please do read my article on BB Creams if you’re clueless at the moment about what they are.

All the BB Mousses I’ve tried including Innisfree BB Mousse share one common flaw which would be pigmentation of the product. BB Mousses have a knack for offering very sheer coverage but honestly they aren’t technically supposed to offer coverage anyway so I guess this is only a minor problem.

Basically using a BB Mousse simply offers a very light, brightening finish with the benefits of a high SPF of 30. This particular mousse by Innisfree also supposedly tightens pores and makes skin look fresher and clear. I can’t speak for pores as my pores are barely visble however the mousse does offer a fresher look to my face and a brightening effect however it is NOT full coverage but more of a prepping primer for face.

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I can easily use Innisfree BB Mousse as my foundation as it brightens my face, erases dullness, and preps my face for my other makeup items such as blush and highlighters. This is typically why I use foundation anyway as I do not have problems with my skin aside from dullness which I seek to erase with the use of foundation so using this mousse does just that plus it offers a nice, fresh look to my skin. The formula of the product is a silky, foaming mousse which has little pigmentation but it does manage to offer a somewhat white like finish after application which quickly tones down to suit the shade of my skin. Interestingly enough the product distributes from the can as a wet texture but quickly absorbs into the skin leaving behind a powdery, silky, almost matte finish. In terms of color it’s a very pale ivory shade which does tone down a little bit once it’s on the skin however I do not think darker tones can really use this as it doesn’t adjust as well a regular BB Cream does.

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I think the product is particularly good for those days you want a very light application of makeup. A little of this, a bit of cheek stain, and some gloss will make a rather lovely Summer day makeup. I’m unsure if I’ll make full use of the product on days that I am going for a full makeup look because the staying power isn’t fabulous and by 3 hours in my face is already looking dull again and in need of a pick me up. For days that I want a really minimal look or days I’m just running around doing small errands this is an ideal product. It happens to be an oil free formula which makes it particularly good for Summer as the coverage is not only light but also oil free, lord knows we don’t need anything to make our faces shiny in the Summer!

If you’re inclined you can use the mousse as a prep prior to foundation as it’ll work at providing SPF plus the promise of tighter pores and the brightening effects are a nice primer for your other coverages.

Who needs this?

  • Anyone with tired, dull skin that needs a bit of a pick me up!
  • Those who want a minimal look for hot Summer days.
  • Anyone who wants a minimal, natural makeup for on the run days.

Those who should avoid it:

  • Anyone who needs medium-full coverage in foundation
  • Those who use foundation to cover serious skin problems

All in all I really liked the product in general but it didn’t really have any added benefits or extras that any other BB Mousse I’ve tried had. The price is $14.90 USD and it normally ranges at around $8-$9 USD within Korea so it’s not too bad a deal but there are cheaper options available in mousses for sure but as hard as these are too get I do believe the price of nearly $15 USD is a fair deal. I do think it’s worth checking out for yourself if you’ve never used a BB Mousse prior to reading this post.

You can see me wearing the InnisFree BB Mousse and no other foundation in this morning’s Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy Lipstick post.

You can grab it at Sasa who ships worldwide and free with your purchase of $75 USD

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