Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Beauty Mission: Look Fabulous on a Budget

Thank you to Kroger and CoverGirl for sponsoring this review. While CoverGirl provided me with a $30 gift card to purchase CoverGirl products at Kroger stores, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own, represent my honest viewpoint, and not that of CoverGirl, Kroger, or Proctor & Gamble. I am making no claims about the products, just expressing my thoughtful opinion. Clever Girls Collective supports Blog With Integrity.

Anyone who knows me will agree that make up binges and blogging madness are two of my most favorite reasons to live. So, when I received the opportunity to do a summer beauty overhaul on behalf of Kroger and CoverGirl, you know I was all about creating some crazy good looks. Plus I like to push products to serve at least two different purposes to satisfy my needs for economy and efficiency.

So, my challenge was to spend $30 at Kroger on CoverGirl products and to deliver two looks: one daytime summer look, and one evening summer look. I was careful not to add too much complexity to either look, they're literally applications that you could use to go from daytime to evening with your hands and a couple of q-tips. From work or the pool to dinner with friends or a fun night of clubbing. I recruited my friend Jenna to test my beauty looks and here are our findings:

1. CG Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15 #810- We used this  for all over moisture and to add a slight tint to even out skin tone with a light, protective coverage. With the added SPF 15, this is a perfect product to smooth over skin before you deplane, drive to the office, or travel en route to your favorite summer adventures. It warms up your skin and avoids looking washed out. However, I do recommend additional SPF if you will be spending an extended amount of time in the sun.

2. Cover Girl Smoky ShadowBlast in Purple Plume #810 - Creamy eyeshadows are super easy to apply with  fingers or with a brush. I used the soft pink color all over Jenna's lids to add a wash of bright color for her daytime look. The cream blush was really transparent at the first layer, but the color was was buildable by waiting a minute or two between layers.

For evening, I used the darker hue in two ways: 1. Using a narrow brush to create a smudged line on the top and bottom lashes and 2. Using fingers to apply the dark color in the outter corner of the eye and popping it into the crease.

3.Classic Color Blush in Rose Silk #540 This blush has a hint of gold shimmer to give skin a warm summer glow. You can even take it a step further and mix it with some bronzer for added cheekbone definition. This is a good meat and potatoes make up staple, though I secretly wished I'd tried the Simply Ageless Sculpting blush in Royal Plum. It's a creamy blush with anti aging elements and you can use it with your fingers to brighten your cheeks, lips and eyelids.

For evening, you can build up the color of the Rose Silk blush with repeat applications until you get the desired color density. Though if you're doing a dramatic smoky eye, you typically want to balance out your features by using a low key blush and perhaps a muted lip.

4. LashBlast Fusion Mascara in Very Black -Regardless of eye color, hair color or skin tone, every woman can benefit from black mascara. Seriously! I really wanted to test the LashBlast Fusion Mascara because CoverGirl makes some pretty big claims about what it does. Its supposed to lengthen and add volume to lashes, and you know what? It totally does. Plus the mascara was light on Jenna's lashes and didn't weigh them down. Impressive.

For evening, we added a couple layers of mascara to the smoky eye let the mascara dry between applications. Gorgeous!

5. Outlast Lipstain in Wildberry Wink and Teasing Blush - This product has a very exciting concept, a lip tint that doesn't add the heaviness of a lipstick or the goopy application of a gloss. It's a flat, bright lip stain with a finish that looks like you just ate a popcicle. Very sweet for summer.

Jenna and I loved these lipstains that look like chubby sharpie markers, however they are very dense in color and went on brighter than we anticipated. Next time we'll get slightly muted colors so they're less overwhelming. Still #415 is good on medium to dark skin tones for daytime and #440 is rockin' for nighttime. Even still, you could still top this look with a clear gloss on top for extra glam. Easy peasy, right?

Overall, I was pleased with my beauty haul and plan to use many of these products on a regular basis. Each item works well individually and also partners well with what's already in my make up collection. Great products, fun looks and seamless integration. What's better than that?

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