Monday, November 19, 2012

Beauty Essentials from Mary Kay: Perk up your Routine!

When I found out about the opportunity to test a variety of bestsellers and new products from Mary Kay, I jumped at the chance! Mary Kay has a long history of being a trusted brand with very nice products. With that said, it has been a while since I have explored the brand in depth. So, I am excited to share my thoughts on these skincare and makeup items from Mary Kay!
Mary Kay sent a beautifully wrapped box full of beauty essentials: makeup and skincare. With the change of season, my beauty routine needs some perking up with these new products!
This review is for the following products:
  • Mary Kay Compact Mini
  • Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color: Golden Vanilla, Truffle, Lavender Fog, Midnight Star, Sweet Plum and Black Pearl
  • Mary Kay Mineral Cheek Color in Shy Blush
  • Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara in Black
  • Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara in Black
  • Mary Kay Waterproof Lash Love Mascara in Black
  • Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Gloss: Mango Tango, Rock 'n' Red, and CafÈ au Lait
  • Mary Kay Lash Primer
  • Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set
  • New! Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream

Giveaway Announcement:
BlogHer is offering a gift basket full of Mary Kay goodies to one lucky winner! Please see the giveaway rules at the bottom of this post. Just leave a comment (see the official rules after the page break) telling me the greatest beauty tip you've learned and you'll be entered to win.

To find out more about these products and to enter the giveaway, please keep reading!

Let's dive right in to my assortment of Mary Kay products!


The Compact Mini:
Mary Kay's eye shadows and blushes come in pan form. The Compact Mini is a small magnetized empty palette that you can customize in any way you please! Personally, I am a huge fan of customizable palettes. You get to pick and choose what you need and what you will use. How many times do we purchase a pre-designed palette only to use just a handful of shades? (All the time.)


The top flips open to reveal a mirror and the area for the shadows/blushes. The pans just stick right on magnetically. Just be careful and take your time when removing the pans for reorganizing! While in a hurry, I accidentally dug my fingernails into one shadow and the blush. Oops! The pans are not difficult to remove, but there is just a small space in between to pry them out. The magnet is very secure. The outer compact is sleek and sturdy as well.
The area with the pans flips up to reveal a little compartment underneath. The compartment houses your applicators, or you could use this space to hold additional shadow/blush pans.
You can see below how the shadow pan lifts right out (and see my "oops" where I nicked this shadow with my fingernail).

Here is how my palette is organized:
This is how the individual shadows are packaged:
They lift right out to be added to your compact.
Swatches:
Shadows and Blush:
What gorgeous shades! Both the eye shadows and blush are heavily pigmented. The textures are soft without being overly powdery. Both the eye shadows and the blush apply very smoothly and blend easily. The eye shadow and blush are long-wearing mineral-based powders. The shadows are formulated with Vitamins A, E and C.
  • Shy Blush: This blush is just lovely! It is a gorgeous peachy pink with a golden luminous finish (without being sparkly). If you love NARS Orgasm, then you will like this blush, as it is very similar. It is just that ideal peachy pink shade that I tend to go for. The blush is very soft and powdery. Just the slightest touch of your blush brush will release the powder. I just tap off the excess.
  • Golden Vanilla: As the name implies, Golden Vanilla is a gold-toned matte vanilla shadow. While this shade is a bit too yellow and dark for me as a highlight shade, it would be pretty on those with neutral-warm coloring.
  • Lavender Fog: Ooooh! This one might just be my favorite from this assortment! I love purples/lavenders and didn't have a shade quite like this in my collection. I like wearing this soft matte lavender on my outer lid corner for definition. It is such a subtle way to "do color."
  • Truffle: What a complex color! This is a deep and rich brown that has a duochrome flash of purple. The shimmer in it is slightly glittery and flashes a bronzy/peachy/pink color. Gorgeous! I use this either as a liner or outer corner color. Another one of my faves from this assortment.
  • Sweet Plum: This is a deep and rich burgundy shimmer with a duochrome flash of pink.
  • Black Pearl: Black Pearl is actually not black. It is a deep charcoal with a silver shimmer. It blends beautifully (like all of these shadows).
  • Midnight Star: This is a deep medium-navy blue. It almost has a gray quality to it with its duochrome flash between cobalt blue shimmer and a more silvery gray. The color is very deep and nicely suitable for a liner shade. (Sorry there is no swatch pictured! Somehow it got skipped!)
The Skinny:
Suggested retail prices: Eye shadow pans: $6.50 each; cheek color: $10.00 each; the Compact Mini empty palette: $16.00.

Eye Lashes: Mascara and Primer

Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara in Black:
This is Mary Kay's volumizing mascara. It is the one pictured with the curvier tube. The black is super-duper dark black. The brush is a classic spoolie brush with very dense hairs. I think this mascara thickens the look of my lashes nicely. However, I did find that it clumped a little bit, so I just use a lash comb to comb it out after application. The formula seemed not overly wet (which I like!). Also, good news...it doesn't smudge! I have such a terrible time with most mascaras smudging. But not this one! The suggested retail price is $15.00.

Lash Love Mascara (Waterproof and Non-waterproof):
Lash Love Mascaras have a thin rubberized brush head. I say thin because I am used to the BIG rubberized brush head of my CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume mascara. Anyways, these rubbery mascara brushes are exactly the type of mascara brush that I love! No clumps with these mascaras. I think that the wand style makes a huge difference. These mascaras give nice definition. Plus, no smudging or clumping with these mascaras. Also, these Lash Love mascaras hold curl very nicely. The wear is great with both Lash Loves. The waterproof version will give you even longer wear. (Mary Kay claims up to ten hours of wear "through sweat, rain, tears, humidity, and pool and salt water.") Now, I didn't test it through all of those elements, but I can tell you that this mascara wears well through the Georgia humidity! The formula is enriched with Panthenol Pro Complex and Vitamin E. These mascaras can be a little harder to remove. Just take your time with your remover and it will all come off. Also, be sure to stick to about two coats. I find that these mascaras cause lashes to stick together and look "spidery" after two coats. The suggested retail price of the Lash Love mascaras is $15.00 each.

Mary Kay Lash Primer:
This primer really is different from other primers I have used. Unlike other primers, this Mary Kay Lash Primer is invisible. So you can't see it going on. So I don't really see a huge visible difference in the finished look of my lashes after primer and mascara. Where this primer really is different is that it is not just for lash "looks," it is a nourishing formula designed to help condition and strengthen your lashes while helping the lashes lhold curl longer. The suggested retail price is $15.00.

The Lip Glosses: Mary Kay's NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss
This formula is completely non-sticky and smooth! It is a moisturizing gloss that feels incredibly smooth and hydrating on your lips. It is a bit more like a sheer liquid lipstick than a full-on gloss. It packs pretty good shine without looking too glossy or wet. I love how comfortable it makes my lips feel. My lips are always dry, so I appreciate a hydrating gloss! The best part? This gloss is not super shiny. It has a natural shine and is not overly thick. It feels smooth going on as it instantly hydrates your lips, leaving them looking plumper and fuller.

These glosses come in fourteen shades. They are packed with lip conditioning ingredients like antioxidants and botanical extracts. The glosses have a very faint vanilla-like scent.

CafÈ Au Lait:
This is the quintessential My-Lips-But-Better (MLBB) lip gloss. I know that is an overused term, but, honestly, I think it is the best way to describe this color! It is exactly that: my lip color but only slightly darker, more "neutral"/nude, shinier, and generally more luscious. Who wouldn't love that? The color is a neutral brown-toned medium pink -- a spot-on neutral. I have a suspicion that this will become one of my most worn and used lip products. I am already using it constantly! It's neutral shade makes it so easy to wear. When I want fool-proof lips, I reach for this lovely gloss.

Rock 'n' Red:
This is a bold tomato-red gloss. It packs some major color. What a great way to do red! While reds are a bit too bold for me for day-to-day wear, this will be beautiful for going out! I love how this color looks against my fair skin.

Mango Tango:
Mango Tango is a slightly shimmery/sparkly orange gloss. It is slightly more sheer than the other two shades that I tested. I love the punch of bold orange color. It is actually very flattering! Personally, I love wearing orange lippies. I think the orange color is completely on trend and a great follow-up for all of us who have been loving corals through the spring and summer.

NouriShine Plus Glosses have a suggested retail price of $14.00 each.

Skincare: TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream and the Timewise Microdermabrasion Kit

Skin Background:
Before going into the skincare reviews, let's take a quick look at my skincare background. I have sensitive normal/combo skin (normal in warmer months and normal-dry during the cooler months). I have a little bit of oil through my T-zone. While I do not have any major lines or wrinkles yet, I am in my late 30s and interested in age fighting products. When my skin is dry, fine lines do crop up around my eye area. Also, my pores are on the large side and I battle dark under-eye circles.

NEW TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream:
This eye cream is part of Mary Kay's new TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Line. This line targets common complaints such as sagging skin, crepiness, under-eye bags, puffiness, and dark under-eye circles.

My eye area is very sensitive and I struggle with dark circles. While I do not have any major lines or wrinkles yet, I find that a good eye cream is crucial not only for age prevention but also for helping to make the eye area look refreshed and hydrated.

This eye cream is packaged in a nice and sanitary tube. The tube's tip has a metal-type applicator that maintains a "cool" feeling. At first I thought that the metallic tip was no big deal. Well, let me tell you, I *love* the feel of this cool applicator on my eye area. It is so cooling and pampering! It makes my eye area feel instantly refreshed, and I feel that it helps my under-eye puffiness.

How I use it: I apply less than a pea-sized amount of eye cream to my entire eye area (lids and under-eyes). Then I take the cool metallic tip and smooth out the cream under my eye and in the inner corner. Honestly, I look forward to eye cream application just for this extra little step!

The eye cream is non-irritating and hydrating. While I do not see a reduction in lines or wrinkles (because I do not have any), I do see that my very faint "expression" lines look even more faint because the area is generally well hydrated. I think that the combo of the eye cream ingredients plus the cooling applicator tip has helped to decrease the puffiness under my eyes. I look a bit more rested. As a mommy of an 8-month-old, looking rested is a feat!

The TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Eye Renewal Cream has a suggested retail price of $40.00.

TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set:

As many of you readers may know, I am a huge fan of a microdermabrasion and any "good scrub." Good exfoliation is absolutely key to fighting signs of aging! That is why I think it is such a brilliant idea that these two products are sold as a set! You get two products in the kit: the Refining Step (an exfoliating cream) and the Replenishing Step (an antioxidant-rich serum).

According to Mary Kay, this set reduces fine lines, decrease the appearance of pores, and create smoother and softer glowing skin.

Step 1:
Refine is a professional-quality micordermabrasion treatment that uses the key exfoliating ingredients used by dermatologists. This product provides superior exfoliation and reveals very soft and smooth skin.

Step 2:
Replenish is a nourishing antioxidant/anti-irritant rich serum. This works to nourish the soft and smooth skin that is revealed in Step 1. It feels very soothing going on the skin.

How I use it:
I use this product two to three times a week. First I gently cleanse my face. Then I use about a dime-sized amount of the Refine product. I gently smooth it on using small and slow circular motions around my face (avoiding my eye area). Then, I rinse thoroughly using warm water. I pat dry and then apply about a dime-sized amount of the Replenish serum.

My Impressions/Results:
I found this set to be both easy to use and gentle on my skin. While Step 1 is very abrasive, it is still remarkably gentle for a microdermabrasion scrub. I did not have any issues with irritation. If you have sensitive skin, start with this one or two times per week and then build up to more frequent use if your skin tolerates the microdermabrasion. Also, I suggest using Step 1 very gently. Just lightly smooth it over your skin in gentle circles.

I really do not have any major lines or wrinkles, however, I did see an improvement in the appearance of pore size and skin smoothness. My skin feels baby soft while using this two-step treatment. Also, my large pores are somewhat minimized and smoothed. The pores in my T-zone (which usually look quite large) appear recuced. I am pleased with the results!

The suggested retail price for this set is $55.00 (for both products).

In summary, I am quite pleased with this assortment of Mary Kay products! Actually, I found a few items that have potential to be new go-to items! My makeup favorites are the CafÈ Au Lait lip gloss, the Shy Blush, and the Lash Love mascara. Also, I am impressed with the skincare as well. I will continue to use the TimeWise eye cream and microdermabrasion set in between other product testing. I really am in love with that cool-feeling applicator tip of the eye cream!

Giveaway:

BlogHer is offering a gift basket full of Mary Kay goodies to one lucky winner! Just leave a comment telling us the greatest beauty tip you've learned and you'll be entered to win.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 19 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/19/12-12/31/12.

Be sure to visit the Mary Kay page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win! For more about Mary Kay and product information, please see: Mary Kay.com, Mary Kay's Facebook page or Mary Kay's YouTube Channel.

I was provided with Mary Kay products to use and review, and was compensated for this post, however all opinions are my own.

This is a sponsored post.

65 comments:

Chantel said...

Gorgeous products.

Kirsten Holen said...

The best piece of beauty advice I have received is to always moisturize!

fabricyoyoqueen said...

Beauty comes from within.

audrey ogg said...

The best beauty tip I ever learned was the importance of primer not just for your eye makeup but for your face as well. I have dry skin and using my MAC primer allows me to use just my bare essentials powder without developing crack marks two hours after application. In fact I can last an 10 hour day. Thanks pammy for the great info on Mary Kay. You've peaked my interest in the line

MoonRae said...

This is a great haul!! Thanks for the in depth, honest review!!
Thanks for this fab opportunity!!

Sharon
lunrei@yahoo.com

MoonRae said...

tweet,
https://twitter.com/SharonSiqueiros/status/270610347872882688

Sharon
lunrei@yahoo.com

Kelly Massman said...

I learned that good exfoliation is absolutely key to fighting signs of aging! Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!
kmassmanATgmailDOTcom

Lisa Brown said...

Greatest beauty tip: don't stress. Stress is so hard on skin and can prematurly age you.
jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

Lisa Brown said...

https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/270642152621629440
jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie Faxas said...

I think the best beauty tip I've learned is to be confident. I used to religiously follow beauty rules, and wear only neutral colors, because I was terrified it would look awful. I'm so glad I've conquered that fear! I love color, and I love feeling the freedom to wear whatever I want and to feel good about it!

As far as actual beauty tips, I learned one that I really like. If you have redness in your cheeks, place your blush two fingers away from your nose. That way, if your foundation fades by the end of the day, you won't look super red.

Liz said...

The greatest beauty tip I've ever learned is EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE!

Pammy (PammyBlogsBeauty) said...

Thanks for the comments ladies! Love all the tips! :) Keep em coming! xxoo

Emmy L said...

If I have given a chance too I would grab it too. I have heard so much about Mary Kay products and many have really liked it. I wish I can try samples of it too..

Andrea Arevalo said...

love Mary Kay products!!!

Anonymous said...

Get plenty of sleep and drink plenty of water! That really helps your skin.

Julie Morrow said...

My tip is to use MK eye primer before applying your eye shadow; it will stay in place all day!

Karina said...

put all your powdered make up on before your mascara so no powder gets stuck on your lashes

karinaroselee at gmail dot com

Bethany said...

The best beauty tip I ever got was to moisturize!

Sherry said...

Sunscreen, moisturize, and use primers for everything!

karenmed409 said...

I use a moisturizer under my makeup and switch out in summer months to wear a sunscreen under my makeup instead. It does the same trick and doesn’t dry my skin

Anonymous said...

Exfoliate, moisturize and smile with confidence! those three are must have learning basics :)

mariannakeough at hotmail.com

Unknown said...

The best beauty advice I ever received was from my mom. She told me to ALWAYS wash your face before going to bed.

chambanachik said...

My best tip is simply washing my face every night without fail!

chambanachik at gmail dot com

June C. said...

June....The best advice I learned from Mary Kay is to use your middle finger and the one on the right next to it to apply makeup, moisturizer, cleansing cream. using a motion from above the eyebrows to below the eyes and towards the nose. Use a light pressure and this will help to prevent crowsfeet. I have been using Mary Kay for 43 yrs. and wouldn't use anything else and am now 70 yrs. old. Love, love, love it.

erica from dallas said...

homemade aspirin facial.

Natasha of Natashaskitchen.com said...

Greatest tip: hmmm I guess it would be to use the best facial products you could afford; you have to start with the right basics; face wash, lotions, eye creams...etc. :) Hoping to win!

tori3645 said...

Don't smile, it causes wrinkles! Just kidding. I guess the best advise would be to drink plenty of water, it helps your whole body in so many ways.

My twitter post
https://twitter.com/tori3645/status/273603059874156544

Tracy said...

Always moisterize w/SPF and remove all makeup every night..And smile because it increases your face value...

Anonymous said...

To never forget about the neck area! Kim Wi

Kim wi said...

My greatest beauty tips are to never forget to moisturize the neck ares and backs of hands! Exfoliate once a week and always use a lip conditioner! Kim Wi, peachesncrm0116@yahoo.com

marybug2 said...

My tip is get plenty of rest. We need it.

marybug2@yahoo.com

marybug2 said...

I also tweeted

https://twitter.com/marybug2/status/274879019768500224

Stephanie said...

Always wash your face every night before bed, no matter how tired you are.

stephmcbride1976 at yahoo dot com

Stephanie said...

I tweeted

https://twitter.com/shartman1976/status/275763192167276544

CosmeticCrazy said...

My tip is to wash your makeup brushes and change your pillowcases regularly. Small tip but is a big deal :)

I tweeted about the Giveaway: https://twitter.com/aitch77/status/275781454317895680

MCantu1019 said...

always use moisturizer and sunscreen
MCantu1019 at aol dot com

Tina said...

drink lots of water and wash your face everyday
merleandtina@yahoo.com

Tina said...

https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/276061018235473920
merleandtina@yahoo.com

Rhonda said...

Always use your ring finger for applying moisturizer or concealer around your eyes

Ms. Knitsalot said...

Mascara is a must for me!

spirit_kim said...

I was told and a agree a smile is a beautiful thing. A little mascara never hurts.

Lanay said...

My favorite beauty tip is to exfoliate your lips by lightly brushing them with a toothbrush!

lanay(at)live(dot)com

Unknown said...

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Rena and Jesse Frey said...

Use an eyelash curler and heat it up a little bit with a blow dryer to get the curl to stay!

Gina Wildorchid said...

My favorite beauty tip is to put a little white eyeliner along the inner corner of the eyes to make them appear bigger.
Thanks for the cool giveaway!
wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

rachel said...

Give your face a makeup free day every now and then! It does wonders

Madeline Brubaker said...

My best beauty tip (that I learned the hard way) is: to look younger, don't overpluck your eyebrows!
madelinebrubaker {at} gmail (dot) com

Madeline Brubaker said...

My best beauty tip (that I learned the hard way) is: to look younger, don’t overpluck your eyebrows!
madelinebrubaker {at} gmail (dot) com

Amy said...

The greatest beauty top I’ve learned is put on a moisturizing mask before putter on makeup. The foundation will absorb much better.

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

Amy said...

tweeted:
https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/284205644117078016

Amy [at] utry [dot] it

kate24 said...

Dab a bit of toothpaste on a zit before bed - better than any zit cream out there!

Deb said...

Over the years, the best advice that has helped me long term to to use the best moisturizer you can possibly afford - now that I'm older, I go for the best serum I can afford!

LAMusing said...

Emphasize your eyes OR your lips, not both. It will keep you from looking over made-up.
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

Get lots of sleep, drink lots of water, and SMILE!
bingomamanorma at gmail dot com

LAMusing said...

Tweet! https://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/285499414871683072

latanya t said...

apply a good primer before applying foundation

dlatany at gmail dot com

WWillows6 said...

My best beauty tip is to use an under eye concealer because it really helps make your face look younger.

Lisa Garner
lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

WWillows6 said...

I Tweeted: https://twitter.com/lisalmg/status/285606540352843776

Lisa Garner
lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

Anash said...

a beauty tip that i received was to put vaseline on your hands and cover with cotton socks overnight forsoft hands! Thanks for a super giveaway!
My email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anash said...

Tweeted:
https://twitter.com/anashct3/status/285898268167249921
Thanks for the chance to win!
email: anashct1 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Betty C said...

The best tip I learned was to avoid allergic reactions by doing a patch test on new products.

willitara [at] gmail (dot) com

Erica Best said...

knowing skin type is important when trying makeup

Erica Best said...

https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/285909019686756352

ms-texas said...

always take your makeup off at night before going to bed

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

ms-texas said...

i tweeted here:

https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/285976957030653952

debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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