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A real mom of 4 reviewing various products & services with honesty & integrity. From natural beauty products to household items to groceries - the truth - so you can save dollars, time & sanity. No flames, no games, just a real mom reviewing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy Summer Face: Stila & Stainiac

For lots of us, summer means looking less made-up. We want to streamline our beauty routine, and we don't mind looking a bit more natural, even if we're not ready to go completely bare.
Just in time for my extended summer vacation in South Florida, I got several of my subscription beauty boxes. While they were all awesome, I'm going to focus on just one of those boxes for this post because it really helped me nicely achieve that less made-up look. My Birchbox contained several deluxe samples I was VERY excited to try out.
Photo: Birchbox
It had quite a few good things, but I was most excited to try:

theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac


stila one step bronze

First, I watched the Birchbox video tutorial for each:
Stainiac Lip & Cheek Stain Tutorial

Stila One Step Bronze (SOSB) Tutorial

Now armed with some directions, I washed up and applied the SOSB to my entire face. It smoothed on really easily and felt nice...not greasy, not thick or creamy...just right. That's thanks to the serum in it, which claims to be an "anti-aging mineral complex that helps regulate oil production while shrinking the look of enlarged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles." While you'd have to use it a good while to see if it truly helped with aging, lines & wrinkles, I COULD tell that it seemed to slow up the oil production in my face some. If you've got seriously oily skin, this is NOT gonna make your face matte or anything, but it helps with typical oiliness. I don't really notice myself having large pores, so I can't comment about whether it is beneficial in that aspect. Sorry.
I noticed that a little pump went a long way. You don't need a lot of this stuff. SOSB claims to use a "trio of complementary pigments: coppery bronze adds warmth, pink-toned bronze evens out skin tone, and Kitten (one of stila’s best-loved shades) brightens and conceals with its soft shimmery champagne hues." It mildly darkened/bronzed my face so that it better matched my body (I use sunscreen religiously on my face these days, so it's much more pale than the rest of me). It did some lightweight camo on my flaws (this is NOT going to cover freckles up, sunspots, scars or acne...but it will give you light coverage so you'll have more even skin tone/coloring). And the soft shimmer is really pretty and gives you a boost. Some people hate shimmer, and if you're one of them, avoid this product. If you're okay with it, this is great. It's not too heavy on the shimmer, but quite "sun-goddess" like. I'm not a huge shimmer person, but some is okay, and I really like this stuff.
Okay, so after I checked out the nice results from the SOSB, I grabbed the Stainiac, which is in the shade "Beauty Queen", and dotted 3 dots across the apples of my cheeks, just like the tutorial shows.
 I gently blended. I apparently blended the stain into oblivion, because I couldn't tell I ever put it on.
 3 MORE dots on each check, gently blended, and the most beautiful, natural looking, fresh-blushed look emerged. It REALLY looked so sweet, fresh...even innocent-looking. Like the way my daughters' cheeks look naturally. I was way impressed. Since then, I've discovered that I always have to use the 3-dot-twice method to get a perfect blush. That's just me. We're all different, though.

2 more things about Stainiac:
1) the color on my cheeks really made my blue-gray eyes POP.
2) the color on my lips looked too pinkie.
It's not my color as far as lips go, unless I was doing a pink outfit, maybe. I look better with brownish-red undertones on my lips, not blueish pink. But that's me, and as I said, we're all different. I just want to point out that even if the color doesn't suit you on one area, it might work on the other, like it did for me. Also, keep in mind that you can't expect great results with this if you use a powder type foundation, like Bare Minerals, for example. The color in the mineral foundation will completely cover the blush right up. This is best for use over liquid-type foundations or no foundation at all.
To sum it up:
While I really like the Stainiac, I'm not sure...I might try the same look with some of my other lip stains I already have and see how it goes. Not sure why, but I've never tried them on my cheeks, so I need to. But I WILL probably get a replacement for the SOSB when it runs out. That stuff is quite unique and I don't know of anything else like it, although it has some resemblance to the BB Creams that are so popular right now. But even they don't have all the same attributes that the SOSB does. I think this one's gonna be a summer keeper for me.
It's really hard to capture subtle makeup effectively with a camera, but I did try for you! This is me with JUST the SOSB and the Stainiac on.

Curl the lashes, add a coat of Ulta Legendary Lengths mascara and some lip gloss or stain or whatever floats your boat, and voila! Super simple summer face.

Have you used either of these products? Do you do a less made-up summer look? Do you use lip stains?

If you are interested in getting your own Birchbox subscription, please click HERE. I get referral credit, good for free products. Thank you very much!