Worth it? Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

Cinema Secrets Brush CleanerCinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner, $24 for 8oz

This was a legacy post that I gave a facelift because I seriously cannot tell enough people about this product. If you’re an artist? Lifesaver. If you aren’t, it means you can avoid buying thirty seven thousand brushes, because you can use the same one over and over in a look.

I’d seen this brush cleaner in blog posts and on YouTube. I was curious but…really, how good can it be? It’s a brush cleaner. I had come close to buying it a few times for myself but always talked myself out of it. My current system is good; why invest in another product – especially with that price tag? Fortunately, a wise friend sent this wee little spray-bottle of it to me.

I tested it that night, but was not prepared to record or demonstrate my findings. Spoiler alert: I was blown away and wondered how the ever loving hell I haven’t had this product in my life before.

Let me just show you.

Before

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Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Foil PacketDeborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go, $12

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because it’s a neat product. Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

I received a single Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go sample foil in a cadre of samples . I tend to use pure acetone to remove my nail polish these days – the silly additives don’t actually seem to help, and they just weaken the product. When I wear regular polish, I tend to wear shimmery and glittery colors which pure acetone removes far more efficiently  less glitter and shimmer these days, but still. More often, though, I wear gel nail polish – a bottle of Cutex is not going to cut that.

Giving it a Go

I happened to be wearing a fun bright green on my toes that was ready to come off (China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard, mentioned in my May Favorites, if you’re wondering). Out of acetone, but having just gone though my samples I reached for my sample Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go. I glanced at the packet and noticed it was supposed to smell like lavender, and that it was a, “finger mitt.” What? I wasn’t sure what to expect here, but the packaging said that one mitt will remove polish from all ten fingers.

Ripping the Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go package open, I was greeted with the smell of acetone and something trying to be lavender. There was a little fabric pouch that with one rounded, closed end and a squared, open end. A-ha, a mitt. You insert a finger or thumb into it like so.

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go Finger Mitt

I found that Deborah Lippmann The Stripper to Go works better slipped over your thumb; you can, “scrub,” your nails more effectively.

Effectiveness

It worked OK for not being 100% pure acetone, and didn’t smell quite as harsh. I did have to work a little harder with it than I have become accustomed to; I’m not sure whether to attribute that to the formula or the mitt itself. The mitt was textured such that with the stronger product it would have made extremely quick work of the remnants of my pedicure.

Unfortunately, I could not remove all the polish from my toes before the product was spent. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing; it advertises being able to take polish off ten fingers. Unless you have atypical digits, the combined surface area of your toenails is greater than the combined surface area of your fingernails.

I do not see this being effective for gel polish removal.

The Bottom Line

I thought it might be nice for travel purposes and found that it retails for $12 for six mitts. If it does remove all polish from all ten nails, that would put this product at $2 per removal. This is considerably more expensive than acetone and cotton balls. If you travel often and have to frequently redo your manicures, though, it might be a good (albeit costly) solution.

I do have a favorable opinion of this product compared to my initial perception of it as a gimmick. Unfortunately, though, my favorable opinion of the product does NOT outweigh its price. I still won’t be purchasing for myself unless I have extensive travel on the horizon.

The Great Lie: Gel Nail Cleanser

The Great Lie: Gel Nail Cleanser

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because who doesn’t want to save money on manicure supplies? Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

If you’ve ever gotten a gel polish manicure before, either salon or DIY, you know the final step consists of saturating a pad with gel nail cleanser and wiping off the tacky residue from the newly-cured nail surface. If you’ve done it in a salon, it might be in a nondescript bottle just like the lotions or scrubs may be. At home, it might be part of your gel starter kit. This is often the same solution used to clean the nail before the gel primer is applied.

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NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift because who doesn’t want to be warned about shockingly bad foundation? Opinions are the same, but is formatted and edited for easier reading and flow.

I wore Nars Sheer Matte on my wedding day, and while it photographed beautifully, it was heavy. I felt it all evening. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation came out earlier this year (2015) and, as it often happens, the blogger and vlogger world was abuzz. I saw a lot of positive feedback about the product (go figure).

I didn’t put any stock in it because it seems when a notable brand comes out with something new, everyone is hyped over it. Oh, and unlike its sisters Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte it has a damn pump – so that’s nice. I hadn’t seen amazing results on other people, though, so I ignored it.

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless FoundationNARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Skeptical Match

Fast forward to June, I had a wedding to attend to and a faux tan thanks to self-tanning…and no foundation that matched. I ventured to Sephora, did the silly ColorIQ thing and spent a lot of time with the ladies there trying to sort out my shade. I told them I prefer MUFE HD and UD, but could do NARS Sheer Matte. Instead, they matched me to NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation because I didn’t have a shade in the others. She assured me that it was fine for oily skin, can be applied with a brush or sponge without issue, photographs well, etc.

Application

I applied the product with a Sigma F80 flat-top kabuki on top of Benefit Porefessional; fairly standard procedure for special event makeup. I noticed that although it did not have the consistency of the Sheer Matte, NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation was on the heavier side. It also required significant effort to blend…and like the Sheer Matte, I had to bust out a beautyblender to help me do so. I set with translucent powder (Rimmel Stay Matte, what I always use) and Urban Decay All-Nighter – again, standard procedure for me for makeup that needs to last.

Wear

The ceremony was outdoors at 5PM (about 15 minutes after I finished painting my face), and brief; the weather was pleasant, not raining or even stiflingly humid. My husband and I headed in for the cocktail hour and he noticed that the foundation was:

  • Breaking up at my jawline
  • Beaking up between my eyes and
  • that it was making a dry patch (that I usually have NO ISSUE with) near my nose awkwardly visible.

I checked it out, and it wasn’t looking good – all the things my husband noticed were definitely the case, and more; it had settled into my smile lines and the lines on my forehead. I tried to blot it, thinking, “Maybe I’m just a bit on the oily side today,” nope – I’m wasn’t, a ton of foundation smeared and lifted when I blotted. I remained blotchy. What the hell?!

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MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream

MISSHA Perfect Cover

MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream

I was obsessed with a now-discontinued, American BB (or, you know, a tinted moisturizer being a poser). You may have seen one of my twelve thousand references to it. I’m now out of my backup stash. Although Naked Skin Foundation in 3.25 worked for me in summer, it doesn’t now – and I’ve decided to approach sunless tanning in a more casual fashion anyway. What came to mind was MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream – from Korea, it’s legit, and highly rated for a reason. You can get it stateside from Target ($22) or MISSHA’s site (same price usually, on sale at the moment), but I decided to take a chance on saving money and buy mine from Amazon Marketplace seller BeautyBest LLC.

The Packaging

The Box

…is a shiny, metallic gold and brown with normal things you’d expect on a product box. There’s a mix of Korean and English, and certainly enough of the latter for an English-speaking consumer to make sense of. Drug facts and ingredients are listed in English, too. I find it frustrating to buy foreign products and lose that easy reference to see if there are ingredients that disagree with you; I’m glad to have missed that with this. Some of the translated sections are a little shaky, but by no means incoherent (looking at you, Elma & Sana).

On the front, beneath the branding, it reads:

MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream offers a novel skincare concept with BB cream which lightens skin tone by healing visible wrinkles and blemishes with excellent skin-cover ability and prevents skin aging through effective whitening and anti-wrinkle properties.

Ingredients are to the left of the front of the packaging, and can be found for each shade here. Other info, including product shade and directions are to the right of the front. The back is nearly 100% Korean. This guide on spotting fakes from SumWearCo is a good reference as well.

The Tube

…is an airless pump. This is exciting! Airless pumps have a few cool advantages:

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