Monday, January 27, 2014

REVIEW! Desio Sensual Beauty Colored Contacts!

Hi everyone! Today's review is going to be on a subject I get asked about all the time...my colored contact lenses from Desio! Desio is an Italian luxury brand of colored contacts and has the most natural looking and comfortable colored lenses I've ever worn. Desio is an online brand and can be purchased by visiting www.Desiolens.com *Disclaimer: Desio sent me these contact lenses in consideration of a review. As always, I will give you an honest review and all opinions and thoughts on the product(s) are my own.

Desio is currently running a special promotion that ends on January 29, 2014! Buy 2 pair and get the 3rd pair free!

As many of my followers and subscribers are already aware, I have naturally brown eyes. I currently wear the color "Desert Dream" and many of you have seen them in my blog and Instagram photos. I get a ton of compliments on my "green" eyes and on most occasions, I tell people that they are colored contacts. By far, the most common response I get is "NO! Really? They look so natural!"

I am not new to the Desio brand, as I purchased my own set of colored lenses in the color "Desert Dream" awhile back. Therefore, as a previous customer of Desio, I am able to speak on not only my lenses, but my experience with the company, their customer service and the lenses themselves. Which I will do in this review.

Desio lenses are only available for sale online. *IMPORTANT: READ ALL SECTIONS OF THE WEBSITE WHEN ORDERING YOUR DESIO LENSES.*


Overview of Desio Sensual Beauty contacts: *All specifications of the lenses and their parameters can be found in the FAQ section of the Desio website as well as more detailed instructions on the ordering process and shipping information.*
  1. Desio lenses are specifically geared towards people with naturally dark eyes. This does not mean that you have to have dark brown eyes to wear them, but keep in mind that should you have a lighter eye color, it will impact the final look of your eyes depending on the color of lenses you choose. (Everyone has a different "shade" of eye color, so how they appear on my brown eyes, may not be exactly how they appear on your shade of brown eyes.)
  2. Desio lenses come in 8 different colors: "Innocent White", "Creamy Beige", "Smoky Grey", "Mint Touch", "Icy Blue", "Forest Green", "Desert Dream" and "Caramel Brown". (Desio sent me 6 colors to review: "Creamy Beige", "Smoky Grey", "Mint Touch", "Icy Blue", "Forest Green" & "Desert Dream".)
  3. Desio lenses are disposable and can be used for up to 3 months.
  4. Desio lenses are available in prescription or as "plano", which means no vision correction. Be aware, that some prescription strengths are "special order" and require additional processing time. The specific information can be found on their website in the FAQ section. 

Commonly asked questions: (Cost, Prescriptions, Packaging, Shipping)
  1. Cost: As the date of this review, plano and prescription lenses (plano and up to -6.00 power) are 39 Euros ($52 USD). Please use a currency converter to determine the cost in your particular currency if you are in another country. The cost of the lenses do vary depending on the type of lenses you need. This information is in their FAQ section. 
  2. Desio offers their lenses as a pair (2 lenses of the same power prescription). They do not break up a pair or mix prescriptions. If you have 2 different prescriptions, one for each eye, you must purchase a pair in each prescription strength.
  3. The outer packaging is a sleek cardboard box in a very pretty rosy metallic shade. The lenses themselves are in a plastic package with a foiled seal that you peel off. (Like many other brands you may purchase from your eye care provider). Inside the box you will find a color guide as well as an instruction leaflet printed in 6 different languages. (A photo of the packaging and contents are below). This is not my favorite packaging for receiving contact lenses shipped from another country, however, when I take into consideration it is being sent through the mail, it is by far the safest packaging to avoid damage to the lenses. And, it keeps the shipping costs low which I suppose is why Desio is able to offer free shipping anywhere in the world.
  4. Shipping: Desio offers free shipping worldwide. The length of time it takes to receive your lenses depends on your location. Please note, the processing and shipping time can be a long process, so please DON'T PANIC! Desio ships by registered mail to the U.S. and it takes time. It took several weeks for my lenses to reach me. You will be provided a tracking number once the lenses are sent, but it will not be "trackable" on the USPS site until the lenses are in the USPS system. 
  5.  
CUSTOMER SERVICE:

To reach a customer service representative at Desio, please visit their website and go to "Contact Us" and give the requested information. When I first ordered my "Desert Dream" lenses, I did have some questions and this is the most effective way to reach them. My e-mail was answered promptly and professionally. My customer service representative was very kind and knowledgeable and was able to answer all of my questions and concerns. I will admit, I was a pest! I sent several e-mails and each one was answered by the same representative who was always courteous, patient and informative. I cannot say enough good things about my representative and the customer service experience as a whole.

COMFORT:

This is not my first experience with colored lenses. I have tried lenses from other brands and I found them to be extremely uncomfortable to wear. They felt as if they were "scratching" my eyes. I found that when I first ordered my "Desert Dream" lenses that they felt a tiny bit uncomfortable. I took them out (which you should do should you experience any discomfort!) and contacted Desio's customer service. My customer service representative went through several of the most common problems, such as the lens being inside out, etc. They were not inside out, but it was suggested I use a different type of solution than what I was using for my regular lenses. I switched solutions and used the eye drops she recommended and I haven't had any discomfort since. If you have any problems or issues with your lenses, please contact their customer service or your eye care professional. DO NOT CONTINUE TO WEAR YOUR LENSES IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY DISCOMFORT!

APPEARANCE:

The moment you've all been waiting for! For me personally, I consider my colored contacts as a "beauty accessory". In my personal experience, not every color will be suitable for every person and some are more natural looking on me than others. Below are photographs of me wearing each of the 6 colors I was sent for review. The first photo is my natural eye color, and the remaining photos will have the name of the color of the lens I am wearing. (I kept my makeup neutral so as not to affect the appearance of the lenses on my eye.) All of these photos were taken in natural light and the color of the lenses are not enhanced, edited or changed in any way. (Skin color variations are a result of changes in the natural lighting conditions.)






There they are my lovelies! In my opinion, they all look great but, I do admit, I have some personal favorites! I already love my "Desert Dream" lenses, so of course they are a fave! And since I love green, "Forest Green" was also a big hit. One of the biggest surprises I had was "Creamy Beige"...I didn't expect to like the color as much as I did! But, there isn't a "bad" color in the bunch and I will continue to wear every one of the colors. If you have ever considered colored contacts, I highly recommend that you purchase a pair from www.Desiolens.com!

Please subscribe to my blog on Google+ and don't forget to follow me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. Please visit my official website at www.reneebruch.com and like my Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ReneeBruchPhotography

Bye for now my lovelies!!!


Friday, January 17, 2014

REVIEW: Flower Beauty by Drew Barrymore

Hi everyone! I have another review today! This time it's on several products from Drew Barrymore's cosmetics line, Flower Beauty. I was only able to grab a few items because the display at my local Wal-Mart had been completely raided and I didn't have many options. I got the last eyeshadow quad there was! I picked a few things that I really wanted to try and hadn't heard much about either, so I chose the BB Cream, a cream blush, the eyeshadow quad in "Smoke and Mirrors", a Long Wear Eyeliner in "Black" and two different Kiss Stick lipstick formulas: the Velvet formula in "Tea Rose" and the High Shine formula in "Sweet Peony". I picked all of these items up at Wal-Mart, but they can also be found at www.flowerbeauty.com (Prices listed are from Wal-Mart.)

BB Cream: $12.98 - 1 oz. - First, let me say I chose the wrong color for me completely! Much too light! So, I am not really able to give more than a first impression because I only wore this at home and wasn't able to really wear it out. So, I feel that giving a full review would be not only unfair to my readers, but also to the product. So, this is only my initial impression.

I used the BB Cream just on moisturized skin, no primer. It is a thin consistency, blended easily and has very good covereage. It kept me matte for about 3 hours without powder. I did touch up with powder and it lasted for about 6 hours in total before it started to break down, even in an air conditioned environment. I find it is comparable to the Garnier BB Cream for oily skin (which I reviewed in my blog post yesterday) and this one comes in 4 shades. (Which are numbered BB1 - BB4, lightest to darkest). For oily skin, I would say give it a shot, but I don't feel this would work for dry skin.

(Swatches of the eyeshadow quad and the eyeliner taken in direct sunlight.)

Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad in "Smoke and Mirrors":  $9.88 - I am not a huge fan of these shadows. Even though they do seem to have a smooth texture when you initially put a finger to them, they are actually very powdery when you swatch them or use a brush. (Especially the darkest shade as you can see in the photo above.) Three shades in the quad are matte, with the deepest having a bit of sparkle in the swatch, but it didn't translate to the eye and looked matte as well. I didn't find the colors to be very  pigmented and it took a lot of time to build up any color, but in the end I was happy with the final result of a very soft smoky gray look. But, I would not purchase any other shadow quads from this line and this particular quad is not one that I will be reaching for again anytime soon.

Easy on the Eyes Long Wear Eyeliner in "Black": $5.98 - This is a retractable pencil liner and is very black, but not super creamy and not super dry. It skipped a bit on my mature lids, but it did set to a long wearing finish and didn't smudge. I also used it on my lower lashline (set with shadow) and waterline. It performed well on the lower lashline and stayed in place, however, it did not last in my waterline at all. If you are looking for a really black eyeliner for your lid at a reasonable price I would recommend this one.

The last items I purchased were a cream blush and two different lipstick formulas.


Win Some, Rouge Some Créme Blush in "Primrose & Proper":  $7.98 - This was by far my favorite product out of the bunch. It is a very peachy pink and blends out very easily to give a very natural looking flush to the cheeks. This color was perfect for my lighter skin tone. It is SUPER creamy, sets to a matte finish without any sticky feeling and it lasted all day when I used it over my longer wearing foundations. There's not much to say other than I love it. I will definitely be on the lookout for other colors to try!

Velvet Lipcolor in "Tea Rose" & High Shine Lipcolor in "Sweet Peony": $6.98 - My personal experience with these two products was completely opposite of what I would expect from the name of the actual formulas. I found the Velvet formula to be very creamy and very comfortable on the lips. The color was my problem. "Tea Rose" is very similar to my natural lip pigmentation when applied, so it didn't really show up. I honestly thought it would be darker from what I could see on the tube. It is hard for me to gauge staying power because I couldn't really see the color that well.

The High Shine lipcolor in "Sweet Peony" swatches a bit peach toned, but it actually is a very true pink. I found this formula to be a bit dry and it did not apply as smoothly as the Velvet formula. It skipped across my lips and the color went on very patchy and not very shiny. (It was definitely not as shiny on my lips as it is in the swatch). It was just not pretty on me at all and I could not wear it straight from the tube. I used it over a very emollient lip balm and it went on smoothly but, because of the balm, it muted the color quite a bit. It is also difficult for me to determine the staying power of this formula because I was wearing it over such a heavy lip balm.

Please remember that these are my own experiences with these products and you may have completely different results. Especially with the lip products. The Flower Beauty line is actually quite extensive and there is such an array of products that I'm sure there is something for everyone. It is a very affordable line and there are so many products that I didn't try!

That's all for today my lovelies! Please subscribe to my blog and leave your comments down below. I really want to know if you've all tried other products from Flower Beauty and what your experiences were and what you would recommend or not recommend. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. Please check out and "like" my Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ReneeBruchPhotography and also my official website at www.reneebruch.com !

Thanks everyone!!!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

REVIEW! Garnier BB Cream for Combo/Oily Skin

Hi everyone! This is a quick review of the new Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin. Garnier makes several different versions of BB Creams, but this one is specifically targeted for those with oily skin. I have been using this every day since I bought it and I would like to share my thoughts about it.

Garnier's packaging states that it is "An all-in-one product designed to control shine and naturally conceal imperfections for a smooth flawless finish. This oil-free formula combines mattifying Mineral Pigments with Perlite, an ultra oil-absorbing Mineral Powder, to deliver an immediate transformation." It states that it will control oil and shine, cover imperfections naturally, minimize pores, and provide hydration.

I purchased this at Ulta for about $12.00 in the shade Light/Medium and it is a perfect color match for my skin. I did some searching and found that this only comes in 3 shades: Light/Medium, Medium/Deep and Deep/Dark. The product is a very thin consistency out of the tube, and I find that the packaging leaks. Thankfully, I kept the box and now I store it cap side up in the box, yet it still seems to ooze a bit. Maybe I got a bad one, but just keep that in mind if you decide to give it a try.

It has light to medium coverage, blends easily and leaves the skin with a matte finish. But, be aware, this BB cream will cling like mad to any dry patches of skin you may have and just accentuate them.

I first tried this product over moisturizer only, not using a primer or powder. It did not hide my pores and I found that my t-zone needed blotting after only 2 hours. But, it did not oxidize on my skin, which I've found to be a problem with other BB creams I've tried. Next I tried it with just a pore minimizing primer (no setting powder) and found that it lasted a bit over 3  hours without needing to blot, but when I used a primer AND a light setting powder, I was able to go about 4 1/2 hours before I had to touch up with a little powder. If you have severely oily skin, you may need to use an oil controlling primer. On me, this didn't break up or start sliding around, it just started fading away after about 6 hours. The rest of my face makeup (blush, bronzer, etc.) also faded, but when your foundation fades, of course the rest of your makeup will go with it.

I am pleasantly surprised with this BB cream. I like the amount of coverage it has and after I found the right combination of products to use with it, the staying power is much better than any other BB cream I've tried. I am curious to see how this performs in the South Florida heat and humidity in the warmer months.

I love my full coverage, long wearing matte foundations, but if I'm not going to be needing a full face of makeup for an entire 8 to 10 hour day, I would definitely prefer to use this. If you have oily skin and are looking for a lighter option to foundation, I would recommend you try it!

I know that many of you have been anxiously waiting for this review since I posted the photo on Instagram and I hope that this was helpful to you!

That's all for now! Please subscribe to my blog and feel free to leave your comments. I love hearing from you. Let me know if you tried this BB cream and what YOU think about it! You can also follow me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. Check out my official website at www.reneebruch.com and my Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ReneeBruchPhotography

Thank you all so much!




Monday, January 13, 2014

e.l.f. cosmetics "Buys, Trys or Pass it Bys"

Hello lovelies! Welcome to a new series I am starting. This series will be reviews of several products from a certain line of cosmetics, skin care, hair care, etc. I've titled it, "Buys, Trys or Pass it Bys" (yes...I know about the "trys" spelling. LOL) These posts will give you my opinion of a few products from a particular brand. Remember...these are MY opinions only and what does or doesn't work for me may be completely different from what you experience, so please keep that in mind.

In this post I will be talking about some e.l.f. products that I have. Some I love, some that I'm not thrilled about and ones that I would just not recommend at all.

I will start by saying that I love the e.l.f. brand for it's wide range of quality products at such a low price point. I find gems from their regular line and studio line and also a few "duds". First, I will show you photos of me wearing some of these particular e.l.f. products and then I will give product details and my recommendations afterwards.

The products that I am wearing in these photos will be marked with an * below and all of the products and prices listed from the e.l.f. website at: www.eyeslipsface.com

Here is a photo of all of the products I will be talking about and whether I think they are "Buys, Trys or Pass it Bys" and below will be details and my thoughts of each product.


BUYS:
  1. Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths: $3.00 - You can't go wrong with a basic makeup remover wipe. I keep these on hand while doing my makeup to clean up little mistakes, etc.
  2. Essential Shine Eraser Sheets: $1.00 - The best price for basic oil blotting sheets for touch ups.
  3. Studio Small Stipple Brush: $3.00 - Favorite e.l.f. brush - a must have for blending out cream blushes or highlights.
  4. Studio Lip Exfoliator: $3.00 - The easiest way to exfoliate your lips. No need to spend time making one at home. It looks just like a lipstick and it's super convenient to leave on your vanity.
  5. Studio Daily Moisture Stick: $6.00 - This is a twist up stick in a clear solid gel consistency similar to a deodorant. This is perfect to just swirl your finger on it and touch up wherever your skin is dry, or your makeup has settled into fine lines. By just patting this on with you finger, you take away the dry, powdery finish and it makes a huge difference in the appearance. (I especially like to use this under my eyes when my concealer settles or if I put too much powder to set my undereye concealer.)
  6. *Studio Eyebrow Kit: (color medium) - $3.00 - It took me a long time to find an affordable product to fill in my brows that wasn't too warm for my skin tone. This product has a tinted wax and a brow powder. I use the enclosed applicator to fill in my brows with the wax and help keep them in place and then top it with the powder. (This is not a perfect eyebrow product for me, but for the price I can't complain...it serves it's purpose.) If you can't seem to find a brow product that isn't too "warm or reddish" on your skin...try this!
TRYS:

  1. *Essential Lip Balm Tint: "Berry" - $2.00 - This is pretty much the same color as my lips and is a bit sticky feeling. Has a great scent and taste, but it really doesn't do much for me. If your lips are less pigmented and you don't mind the stickiness...you may like this!
  2. *Studio Blush: "Blushing Rose" - $3.00 - This is a pretty color, but it isn't as highly pigmented as I thought and it just doesn't "wow" me. It took awhile to build up the color on my cheeks.
  3. *Studio Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow: "Soiree" - $3.00 - This is a cream shadow that has a mousse like consistency and is VERY metallic. I cannot pull off this shadow as a lid color at all. So, I used it as a center lid highlight. If you dab just a little bit on the center of your lid, it comes off as more of a glittery look. Below is a photo that I took in the sunlight at varying angles so you can see how it looks in a concentrated swatch.
 
PASS IT BY: 

  1. STUDIO TRANSLUCENT MATTIFYING POWDER: - $3.00 - I disliked this powder immediately. It is very chalky, it's gets everywhere when you put a brush to it and I did not like how it looked on the skin. I'm not even wearing it in these photos I disliked it so much. There are much better powders from the drugstore. 
Sorry for the long post! I didn't include every e.l.f. product I have, but I thought these would be good ones for the "Buys, Trys or Pass it Bys" series. Keep an eye out for my next post! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. Check out my official website at www.reneebruch.com and my Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ReneeBruchPhotography. Please subscribe to my blog on Google+ and please feel free to leave me any comments down below! Let me know if you like the "Buys, Trys or Pass it Bys" idea!

Bye for now my lovelies!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

5 High End Beauty Products I Can't Live Without!

Hi lovelies! I recently posted a blog about 5 drugstore beauty products I couldn't live without and I figured, "Why not do a post about 5 high end beauty products I can't live without?" So, I picked 5 products to talk about today. (As with drugstore beauty items, there are definitely more than 5 high end items I could have chosen!) These are items that I not only love and work very well for me, these are definitely products I will be repurchasing. Here's a photo of the 5 items I chose to talk about today.

I'll go though each product and explain why it's a must have for me. (I'll work from left to right as the products are seen in the photo.)
  1. Yves St. Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick in #7 "Rose Infinite"  - ($34.00 at Sephora) - This is a neutral pinky taupe shade and it goes with absolutely any makeup look. It is creamy, long lasting and very comfortable on the lips. I love this formula and this shade. I keep it in my purse at all times.
  2. Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup - ($37.00 for 1 oz. at Macy's) - I am in love with this foundation! Super long wearing, full coverage and has a matte finish. I wear shade 2C3 Fresco 01. And, the price is not unreasonable considering it is a very high end brand.
  3. Mally Perfect Prep Primer - ($35.00 for 1 oz. at www.mallybeauty.com) - This primer is a type of pore filling primer, but the texture is unlike any others I've tried. It has a very unique mousse/whipped type of texture and it leaves your skin silky smooth. I let this sit for a moment to sink in a bit and I like to use this especially when I'm having problems with my skin being dry.
  4. Benefit Erase Paste - ($10.00 for the .11oz. mini size at Ulta stores. These are not on display at my Ulta, so I had to ask for this size specifically) My shade is No. 2 - Medium. This is a salmon toned, color correcting concealer that is very emollient. You only need the tiniest amount to cover the problem areas. I've been using this for about 6 months and I've barely made a dent in it! I use this mainly in the corners of my eyes to counteract the blueness I have there.
  5. Mally Evercolor Poreless Face Defender - *I own the non-travel version* ($40.00 for .46 oz. of product). ****I went on www.mallybeauty.com today and this non-travel version is currently on sale for only $30.00!!! I highly recommend you check it out!) Unfortunately, the non-travel version does NOT have space for the sponge it comes with, nor is there space to add your own. There is a travel version that comes with a sponge in the compact and it costs $40.00 on Mally's website. (I'm sorry...but I could not find how much of the product is in that compact.) This is THE BEST touch up product in my opinion. It mattifies, fills in pores and does not disturb your makeup. This is a product I recommend to everyone! Take advantage of the sale. Even though there is no place to keep the sponge, if I carry it with me I keep a slim, round foundation sponge in my purse in some protective plastic packaging. It's worth the slight inconvenience. 
HONORABLE MENTION: Colored contact lenses from www.desiolens.com (Please visit their website for pricing.) In my opinion...beauty related means anything from makeup and accessories...anything that makes you feel beautiful! I think of my colored lenses as a beauty accessory. I absolutely love them!


My natural eye color:


 Wearing my Desiolens colored contacts in "Desert Dream":
So, as you can see...the "Desert Dream" on my brown eyes looks very natural. I hope to do a full and in-depth blog review showing several different colors and, in that post, speak more about the company, my experiences with the lenses and customer service, etc. But, I did want to at least give these lenses an honorable mention in this post because I do wear them as accessories.

There are my 5 high end beauty products I can't live without everyone! (Make that 6 counting the lenses!) In my opinion, these products are worth the extra money because they work for me. And, as always, these are just my experiences and what works for me may not work for you. Comment down below and tell me what your must have beauty products are! Drugstore or high end! I would love to know!

TIPS:
  • If you love the full coverage and staying power of a long wearing matte foundation, but you feel as if it leaves you looking "flat", try a couple of spritzes of NYX Dewy Finish setting spray. It won't give you a really dewy look, but it will help to give your skin a more natural finish and a slight glow.
  • If you find that you are having trouble blending a long wearing foundation with a brush, try applying it with a damp sponge such as a Beauty Blender. This will help you get a more even application and it will also sheer out the foundation just a bit.
  • Mix a small amount of a regular or tinted moisturizer with your long wearing foundation. This will not only sheer out and add some moisture to the foundation, it will also make blending with a brush easier.
That's all for now my lovelies! Comment down below and tell me what your favorite beauty items are or feel free to ask me any questions. You can also find me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. You can also reach me through my official website www.reneebruch.com and on my Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ReneeBruchPhotography

See you soon!!!