About Brook (makeuprealreviews.blog)

I'm an average everyday 32 year old woman who loves makeup and wants to give you real information. I wear makeup all day, for 12 hours or more to work and can put it to the test. I want a place where we can build a database for makeup compatibility as well, so you can lookup and see what products don't work well together!

JSC liquid lipstick

I know this isn’t new but I’m sure a ton of people have thought of buying them and have not taken the plunge. This is for you ❤️

Right off the bat 9.5/10 overall and 10/10 for innovation for Jeffree Star’s liquid lipstick.

Here are the deets.

I have drug lord (matte white), I’m nude (ultra light pinky beige matte nude), and Sagittarius (greyed out matte nude with lavender undertones). As you can see, I like very light, cool-undertone lips.

Terrible photo included.

Hydration: it will keep your lips hydrated while also being mostly transfer-proof. It’s ideal for us dry-lipped girls. It’s emollient, and highly blendable. This is awesome for a few reasons:

  1. You can blur the edge of your lip line by tapping the color there with a finger to blend it out. If you have asymmetrical lips this will help disguise that without having to overline your lips. Great for quick color, tap tap, out the door, kind of days.
  2. You can use it as eyeshadow. Now this is a more “I’m gonna spend an hour applying eyeshadow” kind of benefit, most people probably won’t use it this way. If you want to do a cut crease, liner or even use it in your crease and just blend it out with a brush a bit, it works great. It diffuses like eyeshadow does, so you can use it that way as well. I believe all JSC liquid lipsticks are eye safe but always double check. The white color is great for this, as well as making any shade lighter. You can get a red and a white and 💥 bam you have a huge variety of light pink to red to choose from!
  3. It wears off evenly. No more patchiness, pilling, weird gaps or half on lipstick. For this everyday wearability quality alone, they are well worth the price.

Here are some swatches. Top color is applied with applicator from tube haphazardly. Bottom color is diffused with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. You see that shit? It’s awesome. Indoor lighting, no flash or editing.

It’s actually not a “makeup artist only” kind of brand. It’s for everyone, and he has done amazing things with the shade range. It’s expensive to formulate new shades, I’m sure he reinvests a lot into R&D. Smart. I’m talking myself into buying more now, uh oh…

Purple swatched next to the white, below the image is the two diffused together with the same fluffy brush.

Okay this is starting to sound like an ad but I promise it isn’t 🙂 I’m just really excited about a product that’s so useful and user-friendly to even the novice makeup user.

Now the cons, I hate even doing this but there are a few things to note. Jeffree, you can stop reading here 😘

One of the three shades I own had a very strong chemical odor (I’m nude, my fav shade). It goes away after application but it was a little unnerving at first. I wish I’d had a heads up and a “it’s okay, the smell is normal and won’t hurt you” from the brand. I don’t think they have done this. Maybe put it in a FAQ on their website so people can check but then they don’t have to advertise it and scare people away? That would be nice.

However, the performance was the same as the others, and I know the ingredients are safe so it’s not a huge deal for me. If that scares you, just keep in mind this is a very different kind of formula and if it’s a choice between scent and performance in the formula, I’m glad he picked performance. The same smell is in the wet n wild photo focus foundation, which I and many others think is great and I’ve heard of no bad reactions. Remember all of nature is chemicals, and sometimes chemicals smell weird, but do great things 👍

The lipstick will wear well for about 4-6 hours depending on your, um, lip use? Is that a thing? But again, it wears off evenly so you don’t have to reapply to avoid looking patchy if you don’t have time or don’t think of it.

The second con I think is the consistency between colors. I believe all the nudes, reds, purples, etc., the more common colors, are consistent, but there have been murmurs of the more fabulous shades like lime green or yellow or neons being different. Those shades have pigments that interact differently with ingredients so I understand the struggle. I probably won’t purchase those colors because, well, I wouldn’t wear them on my lips. So just be aware that the performance may differ between colors, but you’re pretty safe in the everyday/evening colors that most brands have some version of.

Bottom line: Buy it. Buy it now.

#notsponsored

What you should be buying on AliExpress

It’s amazing how many products on amazon are actually from AliExpress / Alibaba. For those of you who don’t know, alibaba is the wholesale version of AliExpress for goods made in China. You might not like the idea of buying directly from China, but the fact is almost everything you buy now is made there. There are many safe beauty items you can get on AliExpress that you don’t need in two days, and by waiting a month or so for the slow shipping from China, you can save A LOT. PS I’m not sponsored by any of this and make no money off your purchase.

How about a $1 beauty blender that comes in a portable case? Do I have your attention? These guys are soft, double in size when wet, are about the same squishy firmness as a beauty blender, and I absolutely love the container for throwing it in my purse. The only issue I have is it tends to stain, so if you don’t like your blender blemished this might not be for you.

http://s.aliexpress.com/zy2aMBj2

Need a mirror for your purse? It’s a good quality mirror, cute design, nothing really amazing or terrible about it but damn it comes in handy

http://s.aliexpress.com/63YNfINN

These little guys are awesome for mixing, masks, and even some makeup applications!

http://s.aliexpress.com/AVzAN3aY

Want to feel like a real artist? Get this palette and tool. This is actually a depotting tool as well, and I use it to open containers, mix loose shimmer with mixing medium, and mix my foundations.

http://s.aliexpress.com/MfIjEJR3

I like to fan down my foundation to help it dry faster. Plus you can do a dramatic open with this fan, it makes a fun sound 🙂

http://s.aliexpress.com/quY7r2yI

Now these I wanna was not expecting to work. At all. But they do. And many of them fit my face well. Not all, and some of them are ridiculous for me, but a good 5 are awesome, and another 7-10 are pretty good. It’s a fun way to play with shape and how that changes the face.

http://s.aliexpress.com/r2AB7N77

These surprised me too! I have to admit I don’t use them often and they are a bit hard to hold. But at under a dollar, even a few uses I think was worth it.

http://s.aliexpress.com/zaYbUZny

Perhaps the best thing I’ve gotten, that I use everyday, is this makeup mirror. Came really well packaged and was in perfect shape, plugs in or uses batteries, and I’ve never seen my pores as clearly as I do in this. Much cheaper than amazon too. Wooo hooo!

http://s.aliexpress.com/FziMb6ni

There’s also a variety of great magnetic palettes to choose from, empty bottles and pans, and I have even ordered dry sheet masks so I can make my own and save a ton by using it with serum. I also hear great things about some of the brush brands (yes, really!) I don’t recommend cosmetics or skincare (they can be fake, many heavy metals and other bad actors can be in those, not worth it). But non face-sinking-in items I think are just fine. Hope you found some good suggestions!

FAKE reviews on Amazon… and how to check for it

As a beauty reviews blog, I feel it’s my duty to find the liars and the phonies trying to scam you out of money by telling you something is amazing when it’s NOT. Yeah.

All of my links for shopping are Amazon links. I use Amazon all the time and love it, it’s so convenient and I don’t spend $150 like I do when I take a trip to Walmart or Target. Okay enough of my love notes to Amazon… here’s the real issue with using Amazon reviews to evaluate what to buy.

People can buy fake reviews, and sometimes they are hard to spot. Maybe 50 out of 100 are fake, and they don’t immediately show up. But all of them are 5 star, so the average is suddenly 4.8 when in reality, people that bought the product and left a review would give it a 2 stars. This is a problem.

Here’s a good example of a product with fake reviews.

fakelashes

The first signal is all 32 reviews have given 5 star ratings. That is extremely improbable. But if you aren’t sure, or you want to check, copy the link on Amazon, and put it into this website: Fake Spot

fakespot1The “Fakespot” grade is an F. That’s bad. It means there are many untrustworthy reviews, based on the quality and accounts that are used to give reviews. For example, if they know Katie12345 has written a great deal of 5 star reviews that are short and full of grammatical errors, Katie is considered a fake reviewer, and the grade is lowered if enough of these people show up. Bad Katie!

Here’s an example of one that’s much more difficult to spot. It has A LOT of reviews, an average of 4 stars, and even some good reviews with pictures that look like they’re written by real people. However, a solid 10% of people have given it 1 star.Castoroil

The Fake Spot review for this one is a C. The analysis says 25% are “low quality” reviews, and spotted a pattern that might indicate deception. There are a few unreliable reviewers it picked out, and tells you that some of them created a large number of reviews on the same day. So suspicious? Yes. But does this mean the product won’t work? Well… no.

Just because it has fake reviews doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. In fact, it might be wonderful! However, you can’t trust the majority of the reviewers. My advise is to look at what people say when they rate it 3 stars – a fake review would never give it 3 stars, and the buyer moderately enjoyed it. Also check out the 1 star reviews to see what problems there might be with the product. If you still want it, by all means, you do you!

However, I’ve never NEVER bought a product that had a lot of 5 star and a lot of 1 star reviews that I’ve liked. They are always terrible. Watch out for those.

It’s more and more important to be a discriminating consumer, as our anonymous online personas could be anyone, and when money is involved, may have different motivations than you. Be careful on the internets! Love ya! MWAH!

Why people are mad at Tati Westbrook – the Psychology behind the reaction.

Inevitably, since I watch a lot of reviews and makeup tutorials, I get sucked into the drama that is YouTube and their influencers. Tati Westbrook (glamlifeguru) is a beauty/makeup expert, posting new content five times per week. She is definitely one of the most prolific beauty youtubers, and has sold herself as a reliable resource not influenced by free PR, brand trips, or affiliate codes.

People were super excited when she announced she was starting her own brand. What would it be? A highlighter? A foundation line? Maybe even skin care? She built up the suspense with a few videos answering questions about her brand (Saying it’s inclusive, cruelty free, vegan, etc.) but not telling anyone the product to be launched. Finally we see a video (with a few minutes of nausea-inducing fluff about “how far she’s come” and “oh my god look at how amazing I am” and “I can’t believe this is happening to ME” at the beginning). And then she brings up a bottle of pink pills.

Now my own reaction was anger, but I’ll try not to be angry in the rest of this post. Wait… let me get it out first… WHAT THE FUCK?! PILLS?! ARE YOU CRAZY!???  Ahem. Okay I’m good now.

The reason some people had the same reaction of anger isn’t because we’re jelly of her success, or we want to tear her down, or because we hate her, or we’re all trolls. It’s because people were 1) shocked, 2) did not ask for or express interest in such a product, and 3) have dealt with a massive amount of fraudulent claims from this industry over the years.

Starting with number 3, we’ve ALL probably tried at some point a diet pill, or a hair skin and nails pill, or some kind of pill that was over-promising on what it could deliver. After failing several times to see results, we finally start to realize that pills have limits. And start to scoff when we hear things like keeping hair from graying or skin being more supple. Thus, whenever you see someone advertising pills now, no matter who it is, your automatic reaction to it is going to be “um, no, it’s not going to do that”. Because you are smart enough now to know the limits of pills.

Number 2, there was no market interest for another pill. Tati never talked in depth or at length about health and wellness in her videos, nor is she an expert. When you have a niche, you take advantage of it. Her niche is makeup, probably for older 30+ women, so a line of makeup with attention to wrinkles or adding in skincare to a powder would have made sense. That’s tapping into a niche and giving your viewers what they want.

Number 1, since nobody was expecting this and it did not fit our image of her, it was quite shocking and disappointing. This quickly turns into anger because that expected reward of something new and shiny didn’t show up. A boring ol’ pill showed up. Some people even couldn’t let that anger go and threatened her and her family, which seems to mean those people have mental health issues.

So that’s why people are mad Tati. It was a tone-deaf business move on her part that was important to her, not to her viewers. That kind of behavior ultimately means her focus is on herself and not the people who watch and support her. So we have to come to terms with the fact that she’s selfish, something we didn’t want to face.

If Tati reads this (which I’m sure she won’t) I’d ask her to examine why she chose to make those pills. Was it because she wanted us all to have glowing skin and longer nails? Did you think that’s what we wanted most from you? If she were to come to terms with the fact that it was a selfish move, perhaps she could work on changing herself and focusing more on others.

It’s important to understand our reactions so we can let go of our feelings easier. I hope this helped to explain why we reacted the way we did, or if you had no idea what happened, filled you in on the scoop.

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Additional notes:

The “clinically proven” ingredient in her formula is Ceramide-Rx. This ingredient can be found on Amazon for half the price, given it does not contain a lot of the other ingredients in Halo beauty’s formula: BioGanix Natural Phytoceramide Capsules Supplement For Skin /w Vitamins A, C, D & E (Plant Derived Rice Ceramide-PCD ®) Anti-Aging and Skin Tightening Support **Affiliate link**

I bought the above to see if I notice any difference. I will do a thorough review after a full month of taking it. But it is the exact same ingredient, just goes by a different name.

I put clinically proven in quotes because as far as science goes, it doesn’t cut it. It is not cited on her website, and thus we cannot actually evaluate the work ourselves. It appears to be placebo-controlled (good start) but we don’t know if it was double-blind, or how many participants were in the study. We don’t know what dose they used in the study. We don’t know what the demographics of the participants were. We don’t know what measurements they took, how many, or how often. We don’t know if there were non-significant tests reported or how many tests they did. We don’t know if this is a peer-reviewed, published research project, or some guy who was handy with excel making this up.

There is also, still, even with several people pointing it out, a typo on her website. “Anti-gray fighting enzymes”… which means fighting the things that would prevent graying of hair. That means Halo should turn our hair grey. Someone asked for a refund based on mislabeling on the bottle (it said 60 servings when there were only 30), as well as the typos on the website. The customer service she received was… jaw dropping. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. Check it out yourself here, although I don’t like this channel, do not take this as an endorsement…: Customer service Halo

I think Tati handled it well, but this is another bump in her very bumpy road.

Natural looking matte with dry skin. Can it be done?!

Yep. It sure can.
This morning I was looking at my foundations and realized all I have are dewy or satin foundations. I love a matte look, but if I try matte foundation I look like someone tried to use sand for my foundation. So what are we dry skinned ladies and gentlemen to do if we want that airbrushed matte look? I finally figured out the formula.

First step is to moisturize. Ideally, rinse your face, apply a serum, and then a moisturizer. This morning I used this: Komenuka Bijin Essence Whitening Serum with Rice Bran – 40ml
It says “whitening” but it’s ingredients don’t contain any harmful irritants like hydroquinone (which gives me a terrible rash!)It feels very hydrating, soothing, doesn’t have much of a scent, and is a great texture that’s easy to apply. After serum you need a moisturizer. You can use whatever product you want here. I like a gel formula personally like the water bomb from Korean skincare brand Belief:belif Korean Cosmetics The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb, 1.69 Ounce
This morning I used this one from Clinique because I have a sample to use up (this is a great price on a three pack, man I love amazon): 3 Pack – 1oz Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
Next you want a matte primer. It sounds dangerous for dry skin, but trust me on this one. Only use the tiniest amount of this on the center of the face and press it in with a stiff brush or sponge. I REALLY like this one from L’Oreal, it’s on the cheaper side, and since you only use a tiny bit it lasts a really long time unlike the slick silicone based primers that last, like, a month: Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base Trial Size, 0.17 Ounces *This is a link to the trial size, but the full size is in the drop down menu* There’s also a coupon for it right now, don’t forget to check that box!

After you do all this you should look pretty blurred, like you applied some powder. Put on your favorite foundation, but not one that’s too dewy. I used Milani conceal and perfect (which I talked about last time, love it SO MACH)which is more of a satin finish. My shade is 01 Creamy Vanilla, but I’m going to order their new color 00b which is a lighter shade. I only have a few drops left of my bottle!!! Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation Concealer, Light Beige, 1.0 Fluid Ounce
Don’t apply too much foundation here. Less is more here. Use a concealer next to hide imperfections and dark circles (I used Maybelline dark circle eraser) and THEN do a light dusting of a mattifying powder. Use a smaller brush to pack more powder wherever you put your concealer. I absolutely love Royal and Langnickle brushes. Something this size is great for undereye powder: Royal & Langnickel Moda Makeup Brush, Highlight and Glow

Do your other makeup as you please 🙂 YAAAAAS mauve eye, werk (used UD Naked 3).eye3-22

You can use a mattifying setting spray to keep it all on longer. Nothing beats Urban Decay all-nighter. If you’ve never tried it… it’s unreal.
I went to physical therapy (because I’m old and have chronic pain) and laid face down for a half-hour with a full face of makeup. Because I’d used all-nighter there was NOTHING on the pillow case that day. I was used to leaving a nice face print on the table before I broke down and got it. It truly is worth the price, I can’t express how big of a difference it is compared to drugstore setting spray. Some things aren’t worth high end prices (like blush, come on, nobody needs a $75 blush, I’m looking at you MANNY MUA), but setting spray is one of those things to not cheap out on.
I’m not cool enough to have an affiliate link to this one, but here it is at Sephora: Urban Decay All-Nighter

Feel free to use the links or not, they are for your convenience and I get a tiny bit of the money if you buy from the affiliate links. Again, I’m not cool enough to have any sponsors or anything and I’ve bought every single product I’ve ever used.

An everyday look kit

Everyday makeup is much different than special occasion makeup, but at work it’s fun to express yourself by emphasizing one of your features. I’m currently on an eyeshadow kick, and wear shimmer to work. Is it too much? Who cares!

If your just getting started with makeup, or want to freshen up your routine, here is a list of my everyday products I highly recommend. Again, I’m in my early 30s, have very slight wrinkles around my eyes, dry, pale skin, and freckles (sometimes even acne, but less now. Do you want my skincare routine? Let me know). So here’s my routine, which is admittedly excessive, but hey, I love makeup and hate life. All links are affiliate links and your purchase supports my sarcasm and ruthless reviews 🙂

I start with moisturizer. I personally love this award winning Laneige Water Bank cream. It has changed the texture of my skin over time to be much smoother. Don’t skip this step, even if you’re oily.
Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream, 1.6 Ounce

Next is primer. I used to think primer was a waste of money. It doesn’t even have any color. Geez. But if you get the right one, it helps everything last longer and your skin appear smoother and more “real”, less like you’ve caked on a bunch of makeup. This Maybelline one is affordable, but you have to apply it with a brush. Trust me on this one, it makes a huge difference for some reason
Maybelline Face Studio Master Prime Primer, Blur + Redness Control, 1 Fluid Ounce

Foundation is your foundation. heh. I like many foundations, but my favorite, Elf Acne fighting foundation, has been out of stock for many weeks now. My second favorite right now is Milani conceal and perfect, but I HAVE TO use self tanner to get myself to match their lightest shade. If you have medium to dark skin, they have a great selection, but for the ultra pale, 01 Creamy Vanilla is what I would call a medium shade with yellow undertones. You can always blend it with some lighter concealer around your jawline and bronzer on your neck so it matches better. Here are the colors:

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Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation Concealer, Light Beige, 1.0 Fluid Ounce

Next comes concealer. I always come back to this one. It is moisturizing, blends out immediately, and brightens the face. I use the lightest shade, and it’s perfect on my light skin. Go a tiny bit lighter than what would match you. I apply this under my eyes, on top of my eyelids up to my brows, and dot it on my chin and bridge of my nose.
Maybelline Makeup Instant Age Rewind Concealer Dark Circle Eraser Concealer, Light Shade, 0.2 fl oz

Have I forgotten to mention that you need this sponge for application? Yeah you need it. It’s much cheaper than a beauty blender and softer. I have it on subscribe and save for delivery every 3 months:Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, 0.9375 ounce (Pack of 2), Latex-Free, Polyurethane Foam, Multi-Purpose, Round Bottom Makeup Sponges, Ideal for Blending

This next product is for yer brows. Unless you have been blessed by the brow gods and have full, dark, well-shaped brows, you’ll need to feather a little color in to make them more defined. I recently started using this, and even as a blond it works well on me. It says universal, and I believe it. Unless you have deep black hair, this color will work
Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil

Okay, I used to put on foundation with my fingers and call it good. I turned everything I touched a lovely beige-orange color because I’d touch my face and it would transfer. A hug with someone wearing a white shirt? Uh oh…
To avoid this you have to use powder. Now with powders I tend to buy higher end because cheap talc can contain asbestos. That’s right, the stuff that gives you lung cancer. So get yourself the Laura Mercier translucent powder and set your face with a light dusting to avoid giving your white-shirt friend a permanent impression of your face. It’ll last you a looooooooooong time too.
Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder, Translucent, 1 Ounce

What you do next is up to your artistic creativity. You could do a defined lip, or a smokey eye. Pink or copper or whatever you please. I’ll be giving step by step instructions in future posts, or if you can’t wait, look for a tutorial on youtube, the source of all DIY knowledge. Here are a couple of my favorites at some different price points.
Eyes:
L.A. Girl Beauty Brick Eyeshadow, Nudes, 0.42 Ounce
theBalm NUDE ‘dude Eyeshadow Palette

Lips:
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick, Fairest Nude, 0.13 oz.
E.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick Ravishing Rose, 0.11 Ounce (yes, ELF lipstick is phenomenal)

Face:
Milani Baked Blush, Luminoso, 0.12 Ounce
E.l.f. Blush Palette Light, 0.56 Ounce
And the best bronzer of all time
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, 0.38 Ounce

I’m going to save my pick and discussion of mascaras for another post, and besides that this post has gotten out of control long. If you’ve read the whole thing leave a comment that says happy birthday to the ground, or I’m an adult. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go google one of those phrases and thank me later. I hope you got some new suggestions from this and have fun looking at the products. Happy shopping!

Found Cosmetics translucent powder – hmmmmmmm…

Okay here’s the deal. I love this powder, and I hate it. Here’s why.

I’ve never in my adult life been able to “bake” my undereye makeup without it looking cakey, crinkley, patchy, and ghostly.  My skin is dry, and no amount of moisturizers have been able to let me bake. When I first applied this I thought “wow this is a really moisturizing powder, maybe I should try baking”. So I have done so twice now with different products each day and OH MY GOD IT WORKS. The powder is smooth, no patchy coverage, no dryness… it’s a miracle.

It says it contains White Lilly to hydrate (adding to my favorite ingredients list), and sandlewood powder to blur pores and reduce lines. Both of these claims hold up in the court of makeup law. With a light dusting my foundation is set, but my foundation remains dewy. No transfer but I still get to look moisturized???!?!?! Yes please.

Here’s the thing though. In my previous post I was like “oh this is only $8.88”. What I didn’t immediately see is you only get 0.17oz. That’s right. It’s $52.24 an oz. Laura Mercier translucent powder (which I love also but is a tiny bit too drying) is only $38 for 1oz. Shame on you Found Cosmetics. Them’s Gucci prices.

So is it worth it? Ehhhhhhhh, kinda. I think I’ll save it for special occasions, but at the cost you pay for the amount I won’t be able to regularly bake with it, which uses approximately 1 crap ton of powder so it wouldn’t last long. So bottom line is this: buy it if you want to bake your dry skin once in a blue moon, otherwise I’d recommend Laura’s powder.

I will continue to hunt for that perfect drugstore powder for my dry skin. Do you have any recommendations?

Other details

Coverage: None
Texture: Smooth/Fine, velvety when baked on
Messiness: Low
Skin type: Best for dry, normal skin, excellent to cover wrinkles
Waterproof: Nope
Hold up to sweating: No, becomes slightly patchy, but may depend on foundation
Longevity: 4 hours for light application, reapplies well. 10+ hours for baking.