New In My Make-Up Bag: Pixi Beauty
I don't know about you guys, but there is something fascinating about beauty aisles at Target. It is one of those places, where I completely zone out and go into a "don't distract me or somebody's gonna get hurt real bad" mode. That being said, one of the main attractions for me has always been Pixi Beauty. Even in my San Fran days I would not mind driving all the way to Oakland to check out their latest launches and I have to admit that the line has grown quite a bit in recent years. The brand was kind enough to send me a few new pieces to try; so if you are curious to hear more, just keep on scrolling!
About the Brand
Pixi Beauty was founded by Petra Strand back in 1999. Although the brand's flagship store is located in London - Pixi Beauty has a cult following and is loved by many beauty bloggers and skincare professionals all over the World. There are two lines here: skincare and make-up; great thing about the brand is that all products are infused with nourishing and natural (feel good, look good) ingredients and are created with hard-working, busy ladies (and a few gentlemen) in mind.
Claims: moisture serum/ weightless/ nourishing/ hydrating/ brightening/ lightweight/ softens, refines and tones the skin
Price: 24 USD (for 45ml/ 1.52 fl.oz of product)
Packaging: something I like about the brand is their signature mint green accent-packaging. Unlike most serums, Rose Caviar Essence comes in a clear rose-tinted tube, where you can see all of the "encapsulated" flower oil particles. I think this is a very cool packaging.
Formula: the whole "caviar" concept speaks to me on so many levels (after all I am of Russian/Ukrainian descent so you can't blame me). But seriously speaking, this product visually reminds me of Lancome's Absolue Precious Cells Revitalizing Rose Lotion Toner. It is a similar, extremely lightweight and watery clear gel formula with encapsulated rose oil specks running through it. This serum has a distinctive sweet rose scent, which depending on your preferences in skincare, will be something you either love or hate. I happen to love rose-scented products in general, so it is right up my alley. It practically vanishes as soon as the essence gets absorbed and did not cause any skin irritation.
Key Ingredients: Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Bergamot Peel Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Aloe. Find a full list here.
Application: since this is a serum/essence, it should be applied on a dry/cleansed skin right after your toner (presumably before your moisturizer). My biggest tip is: apply as little product as possible. The first time I've used it I kind of went ham on it and my face ended up sticking to my pillow during the night (totally my fault). This formula gets absorbed practically as soon as you press the product onto your skin; and if you use it sparingly, it will layer really well under any other gel/cream you typically use. Although there are plenty of oils in it, it is light to the point where it seriously feels just like water.
Wear & Results: you can use it AM and PM; having dry skin, I personally think it works best overnight. I use a pea-sized amount for my entire face and follow up with a night cream. From my experience, it is best to let it sink in and wait for a minute or two, before going in with any other skincare product. I find that I wake with my skin feeling well-rested and smooth whenever I use it.
Verdict: although it is not the most hydrating primer I have ever tried, I really enjoy Rose Caviar Essence. I love how weightless it feels, same as how it works together with my other skincare products. I can easily see how a serum like this should work for all skin types, combination skin in particular. So if you wanted to add an extra nourishing step to your skincare routine - look this way.
Claims: oil-free, quick absorbing formula/ instant moisture/ brightening/ revitalizing/ works as a moisturizer, primer and mask
Price: 24 USD (for 45 ml/ 1.52 fl.oz of product)
Packaging: similarly to the previous product, Rose Flash Balm comes in a cute little baby-pink tube.
Formula: this is supposed to be a 3-in-1 kind of a product. Right off the bat I can tell that it has a slightly stronger, yet equally delicious, sweet rose scent (think Lush Rose Jam). But unlike Rose Caviar Essence, this is definitely a creamier/balmier formula that sets to a satin finish. It is a bit tacky to the touch at first, but once it gets absorbed - it becomes pretty much undetectable on the skin (the scent also fades away).
Key Ingredients: Rose Flower Water, Olive Leaf and Rose Extracts. Find a full list here.
On the photo: 1- Rose Caviar Essence; 2- Rose Flash Balm
Application: although, in theory, this product should work as a primer, moisturizer and even mask - using it as a mask is something that works best for me. So, I typically apply a thick layer all over my face for 5-10 minutes and call it a day. I've tried using this balm as a primer before, but I find that it peels and balls up the minute I go in with my foundation (even when I don't rub or use a soft sponge), which is literally my biggest make-up/skincare pet peeve. I know that some people, with combination skin, use Rose Flash Balm as a moisturizer; however having dry skin, I don't think that this formula is rich enough (in terms of ingredients) to meet my Sahara-skin needs.
Wear & Results: whenever I feel like my skin could use a little bit more love, I just pop this balm on real quick. It does leave my skin feeling calm and refreshed.
Verdict: athough it is a lovely product, I don't feel like it has changed my life (if you know what I mean). Perhaps if you are not a make-up wearer and have more of a normal/combination skin, you could use it as a moisturizer; but if you are dry like moi - I would go with something that packs more punch.
Mattelast Liquid Lip
Confession: I don't like liquid lipsticks. I've tried a number of bestselling lines in recent years and nothing really called my name. BUT! 2018 might be a year of sudden (positive) changes, because I've finally discovered a formula, that for the first time in years didn't suck the life out of my lips. Please meet my new beau - Mattelast Liquid Lip.
Claims: extremely longwearing, comfortable/ quickly sets/ feels hydrating/ universally flattering colours/ applies in a single stroke
Price: 14 USD (for 6.9g/ 0.24 oz of product)
Packaging: something I truly love about this product is - the "PixiPetal" applicator. The shape is very similar to L'oreal Infallible, but I do prefer the Pixi version, mainly because it is slimmer, pointier, more elongated - which allows a very precise (no lip liner needed) application.
Formula: according to the brand, these lipsticks are infused with rosehip oil, which might be the reason why they feel so hydrating on the lips. The formula is quite watery yet colour-saturated at the same time, so little goes a long way. They don't set right away, which is great news, as you have enough play-time. These little guys are scented; strangely two of the darker shades I have smell differently than the rest. Lighter shades have this absolutely delicious je ne sais quoi semi-sweet scent, while darker ones have more of an old-school make-up vibe to them. Could be just a batch or pigment "thing", but all five shades that I own are pretty much the same in terms of pigmentation, application and wear. The scent doesn't last that long anyway, so I would not worry too much about it.
Application: as I've mentioned earlier, applicator practically does all the job for you. Even with big lips, I can easily access every nook and cranny without any extra tools (like a lip pencil or brush). The applicator glides on like a dream, coating your lips perfectly. I also find that I experience no feathering or bleeding. My lips naturally have quite a few lines, but the product will never settle in those. This is, hands down, the most user-friendly liquid lipstick I've ever tried. My biggest tip: work in thin layers, by spreading the lipstick from the center of your buttom lip outwards; repeat this same technique on your top lip. Wait for your Mattelast Liquid Lip to fully dry before smacking or rubbing your lips together.
Wear: although these do transfer and will most likely rub off, especially if you eat something that has oil in it, they do last incredibly well. I find that they can go up to 6-8 hours on me, but if I eat - I will definitely touch up or add a fine layer to make my pout look perfect again. They never feel drying or uncomfortable; they won't stain your lips either, which is great. I like switching up my lipsticks (sometimes) several times a day, so with Pixi Beauty I can change mine all I want.
Disclaimer: in case you were wondering, I never alter my swatches. What you see is what you get. My hand is a touch darker/photographs darker than my face, so do keep that in mind. I have a light-neutral complexion; some of my foundation matches are: Fenty Beauty 150, Tom Ford 1.5 Cream, Hourglass Shell, MAC NC20 (Face & Body Foundation), NARS Deauville.
Hits/Misses: although I find that Au Naturelle looks a touch drier compared to other colours, I still enjoy all five shades. If I had to pick my favourites, I would go with Pastel Petal and Evening Rose. Overall, I do think these lipsticks will look incredible on pretty much every complexion.
Verdict: words cannot describe how much I love these and for someone, who has dry lips and typically stays miles away from a liquid lipstick, it speaks volumes. They feel ultra lightweight/ last for hours/ never accentuate dryness/ won't bleed or crumble/ are super easy to apply. Which is exactly why I give Mattelast Liquid Lip my A+.