Glambot Batch Verification

This is a legacy post that has been giving a formatting facelift. I still feel very strongly about Glambot given this unsavory experience with them – three years later, I feel the same about not recommending them. If you weren’t around in 2014, here’s what went down.

Initially, I didn’t get much of a response from Glambot on their product intake and batch verification procedures I was seeking.

But I do now.

I reached out to Glambot and asked if they could clarify their team has some special batch verification process to see whether or not products are past their prime.

Glambot’s initial response, copied-and-pasted:

From our experience, MAC lipsticks loose their initial vanilla scent in about 1-3 years.  The exact amount of time varies with the specific color but I do believe that frost finishes, including those that have any trace of a metallic sheen, loose their vanilla scent the quickest.  Although we do not cross-reference each item’s batch number, we do handle customers concerns individually, as they come.

Well, losing a nice scent and becoming intolerable are two different things. MAC Cosmo is an amplified creme finish so the frosty/metallic information isn’t relevant. The vanilla wasn’t as strong as my new tube of Brave; even if it had no smell that would be one thing, but this was pungent. Not something I could stand to wear even not thinking it had expired.

Also – each item that comes in does not receive Glambot batch verification? Does that mean some some items do? I wasn’t sure; it was worded ambiguously.

Following Up

I followed-up, detailing my experience with my tube of MAC Cosmo I purchased from them back in June. It was reported to be in good condition, 80-100% full.

When I received it, it smelled okay, but between then and now it turned to a familiar foul, cheap-crayon scent. It is common knowledge that when lipsticks experience drastic changes like that, they are probably expired.

They came back asking how I store my lipsticks. I store them upright, away from light and heat in a closed drawer in a room that does not have significant temperature variance. They replied that I was, “doing everything right,” but left it at that.

Taking Matters into My Own Hands

At this point, I checked the batch number myself as it was clear to me that there was no interest in that on their end.

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NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

This is a legacy post that has been given a slight facelift (don’t worry, content and opinions are the same). NARS Sheer Matte is a discontinued product I don’t miss. Continue reading to see why!

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Punjab
NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Punjab

After a battery of swatches, samples, and wear tests I wound up using NARS Sheer Matte foundation for my bridal makeup. Prior to self-tanning (which I wasn’t going to do originally so I didn’t have to buy something new), I was already too dark for my, ‘pasty,’ foundation…so I decided to self-tan. I went to get color-matched once I established my desired color.

Getting Matched

It took a few trips to get it right. Unfortunately, the ColorIQ device was used improperly (I was flushed from the heat); I was initially EXTREMELY pink foundation. The foundation looked fine under the fluorescent lighting, but I stepped outside and was pink. (I have neutral-to-yellow undertones.) Pink wasn’t a good look for me. On the third trip, we finally nailed a color match – NARS Sheer Matte in Punjab. And it wasn’t just, “close enough,” Punjab was my skin color at the time. I was delighted – before, it had never taken three tries to pick a color; usually I do a ton of homework so I usually have a good idea what is going to work. This time, since my skin was not my usual color, I took a chance and threw myself on the mercy of the sales associates.

Excited for my first NARS product (eye pencil sharpener does not count) went home, tried it in the sunlight – still perfect! In weird lighting, in front of my Jerdon lighted mirror, and on camera – yes! Awesome. No SPF which meant no flash-back or washed out pictures.

I worked with it a few times before my wedding day so I wouldn’t be surprised about how it behaved not only during application but also during wear. Once it was on, it looked great – but in short? I would never, ever repurchase NARS Sheer Matte.

Packaging

Sheer Matte does not come with a pump on its own – it is a standard screw-top bottle that you pour out. Nars has a pump that you can purchase separately for $6. Drugstore options have been coming out with pumps for years now; I just feel like if I’m paying $43 for a bottle of foundation…it should have a pump already. I should not have to accessorize a prestige product that comes with a prestige price-tag.

More than a Feeling

Although Sheer Matte was a flawless match and wore beautifully, I was not thrilled with it. I’m not a fan of thick foundations in the first place and this one is crazy thick. Thicker than, for example, honey–by a lot. If you tilted the bottle upside-down, capless, it would take a while before it poured out without additional coaxing. My skin is was decent, I wear medium coverage at most but this product is medium-to-full, depending on how you build it.

I was willing to deal with it for my wedding day (again, it did look nice) but it was definitely very, very opaque; don’t let its name–NARS Sheer Matte–fool you. I could absolutely feel this foundation perched on the surface of my skin (a feeling I loathe) in contrast to, say, Urban Decay Naked foundation or MUFE HD Invisible Cover.

Application

Aside from feel, the other big downfall to being thick and full coverage meant it took some elbow-grease to blend onto my skin. I started by dotting it on my face, then stippling it and buffing it in with my Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki (which I sang the praises of here; 2017: I still use this brush but am open to replacements after I had a ferrule go bad on one). I am thorough about buffing on a normal day – so a day where hundreds of photos will be taken? Exhaustive. With my normal foundation, I never need to break out additional tools to help me blend… but I not only needed to grab a second flat-top brush but I also needed to grab a damp BeautyBlender to help me get the job done (and no, I definitely did not apply too much product).

It made me crazy. Even after three or four applications prior, I was still stymied by the application of this stuff. Perhaps a trowel would have been more appropriate? Once blended, it looked fantastic. The finish wasn’t too so matte that I looked dehydrated, but it did seem that if you do not thoroughly exfoliate and moisturize prior to application, you’re gonna have a bad time. I applied it over a combination of Benefit PoreFessional (nose area), and Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and set with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray.

The Bottom Line

I went and read reviews of NARS Sheet Matte after the fact (living on the edge again) – my thoughts are not isolated. Sephora has the product at 4 stars; not sure how because there are 2- and 3-star reviews for days if you read. Reviews praised the color range but scorned the lack of pump as well as the thickness and difficulty blending. Reviews indicate that it lacks shine control and that it cannot hold up to heat or sweat. Others confirmed that is unforgiving when it comes to flakes; perhaps I should change my suggestion of thorough exfoliation to aggressive exfoliation. We cannot know what prep these customers used, but the frequency of these complaints about NARS Sheer Matte substantiates my own.

Those who are willing to fight and spend 10+ minutes just on blending will be rewarded with a lovely base. I cannot justify that amount of time on one step, though. Ultimately, I would only recommend NARS Sheer Matte foundation if you match it exactly and need special event makeup. I do not feel that this is appropriate for regular/daily-use.

L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara

Note: This is a legacy post that has been given a facelift! Some minor adjustments have been made to format and readability, but the content is the same with spot-updates from today!


(In 2015) I’d been using L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess for a while and liked it well enough. I was picking up a waterproof tube (of something else) for a wedding I went to in June 2015 when I decided to pick up a tube of L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black, too (not waterproof).

Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara - Stock Photo

TL;DR? I love it.

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Tan Talk: Ocean Potion Everglow Gradual Sunless Tanner

Ocean Potion Everglow - Front of Bottle

Ocean Potion Everglow, under $5

Ocean Potion Everglow had been on my sunless tanning radar for years. It had, in fact, occupied a space on my drugstore.com list for quite some time (before drugstore.com became defunct; RIP). Somehow, though, I always found something more interesting to try that stepped in line ahead of it. It wasn’t until after drugstore.com shuttered, however, that I decided to pick it up from my local Wal-Mart earlier this year.

Color

Because Ocean Potion Everglow does not deposit color and uses DHA to stimulate melanin production, this isn’t an instant gratification product. Unlike other self-tanners that are DHA-only, too, this is, like the title suggests, a gradual sunless tanner. You don’t apply and have noticeable color in 6-8 hours. You will develop subtle color after a few days. For me, it took about 4-5 days of daily use to notice a difference. When I did, I found the difference to be good – my tan looked natural. Not orange, not streaky.

Application

Since this is a gradual tanner, I skip the tanning mitt when I apply. After using my normal body lotion as a barrier on my feet, knees, and elbows, I apply it like any other lotion. After application, I wash my hands thoroughly – and that’s about it. A slow-to-develop product like this requires less precision and attention to application detail. I never noticed any awkward streaks or splotches.

Read moreTan Talk: Ocean Potion Everglow Gradual Sunless Tanner

Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Initially

Up until this past winter, I exclusively used the Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head. As I approached restocking time, the cost-effective four-packs of Sensitive brushes for $81 were sold out everywhere. I never had any intention of trying the other brush heads, but I’m not about to pay $27 each…when I can get 2 for $44 (or, even better, 4 for $81!). I time my purchases of supplies like this so that I can take advantage of a 15% VIB or 20% Platinum Perk discount because I hate paying full retail.

Before

For a while, my Clarisonic had been nearly-benched in favor of my FOREO Luna Mini. I had come to decide that the Clarisonic, paired with the Sensitive brush head, was too much for daily use for me. Instead, I was using the FOREO Luna Mini daily and the Clarisonic primarily for decollete use and occasional face use.

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