Review: Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder

Dear Voxy,

We here at Too Faced know that you love our primers, but that for some reason you aren’t as keen on some of the rest of our products. What could we do about that? Love, Too Faced


Dear Too Faced,

Hmm, I dunno. How about making them out of chocolate? Love, Voxy


Dear Voxy,

Done! Love, Too Faced


OK, that’s not really what happened. But nevertheless, Too Faced has indeed created a bronzer out of chocolate. Well, cocoa, anyway. They’ve actually had this product out before in a darker shade, but now there is a “milk chocolate” version of the Chocolate Soleil bronzer available for those of us who are too pasty fair for the regular version.

There has previously been only one bronzer I’ve found that works for me: Tarte Park Avenue Princess. In general I haven’t seen much use for bronzers, since most of them just make me look dirty — and since I’m pale enough naturally that no one will actually think I’ve been out getting any sun unless I bronze my whole darned body. Maybe people who have yellow undertones to their skin rather than pink ones have an easier time with bronzer. Anyway, the category has been largely a fail for me — but this may change that!

The Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzing powder is actually very subtle and not orange-tinted at all. I really had to pile it on for the swatch, so it looks a little unnatural (and the skin on my hands is really dry — sorry about that, not the nicest looking swatch ever), but actually dusted onto the face it’s virtually invisible. It can be built up to a moderate degree of color; it would be a good option for contouring if that’s your thing. But the best thing about it is the delicious, mouthwatering aroma — yes, that is real cocoa powder in there. OK, it’s probably supplemented a bit by added fragrance (since fragrance comes right before cocoa powder in the ingredients list), but as it engulfs your face in a cloud of sweet, sweet deliciousness, you will not care. The scent does linger on the skin for awhile, so if you are one of those crazy people who doesn’t want to smell like chocolate for some reason, you have been warned. After a bit either the scent dissipates or your nose grows accustomed to it. I did notice that when I washed my face after wearing it during the day, the water came away with a decidedly brown tint. To an extent that happens with any makeup — the first few rinses have a peachy or tan hue as your foundation and powders are rinsed away — but I was surprised to see how much brown there was in the water. A cotton ball swabbed over the skin afterwards showed that I did get it all off using my standard cleansing regimen (pHisoderm cleanser with my Clarisonic), so it shouldn’t be problematic to remove. The first ingredient is talc, though, so for those of you who are sensitive to talc, you may want to look elsewhere.

Given the state of America today, I’m kind of surprised that it doesn’t bear the label “Do Not Eat,” because you will want to eat it. Heck, I tried to lick my own face. But if you want sweet powdery things that actually are edible, go with the Urban Decay lickable body powders.

One warning when ordering: Too Faced has not done such a good job distinguishing this from the regular (darker) Chocolate Soleil powder, so be sure you look carefully at the box before you pick it up. The front of the box only says “Chocolate Soleil,” but there is a little brown sticker on the top of the box that says “Milk Chocolate.” These are clearly the same boxes as the regular Chocolate Soleil, and they’ve added the sticker to show you it’s a different shade. Anyway, just keep your eyes out.



Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzing Powder in Milk Chocolate: $29

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. I had a coupon, which helped.

Purchase again? N/A, since I hardly imagine I will ever run out.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

EOTD: Gradated Eyeliner

Because why should eyeliner have to be just one color?


I happen to be wearing something very green today so I decided to just put a shimmery nude color on the lid and let the eyeliner be the main color event.

Products used:

• Shiseido Refining Primer
• MAC Fluidline gel eyeliners in Ivy, Shade, Siahi, and Blacktrack (the last one for tightlining only)
• Stila Kitten eyeshadow (which I hardly ever use)
• LORAC Multiplex 3D mascara
• Tarte emphasEYES brow pencil in Medium Brown

I Swear This Is Not An April Fool’s Day Post

Mmm… cheezburger….

Brought to you courtesy of Burger King Netherlands. “Get a Tasty New Look!”

Yummy, or gross? You decide.


Review: CARGO Color Sticks in St. Tropez and Maui

< — Says it all.

Honestly, CARGO, this is a great product. Really a great product. In really, really crappy packaging.

Cream blush is my favorite. (Well, and liquid blush. That’s my favorite too. And gel blush. Also my favorite.) OK, let’s just say I like cream blush a lot. So when I saw these from CARGO, I had to give them a go.

CARGO Color Sticks come in five shades: Champagne (very light beige-gold; more like a highlighter), Key West (a very light pink), Maui (mid-tone pink), Santorini (bright berry), and St. Tropez (bronzy orange gold). If you buy one, and want to remember what color it is, you should probably take a Sharpie and write the name on the side of the case. The little sticker on the bottom of the tube that tells you what color it is will jump off and fly away as soon as you exhale anywhere in its vicinity, and there’s no other marker on the case itself that tells you what shade is in there (the lid is also opaque so you can’t see the color through it). Because the bottom of the tube is not a continuous flat surface, it’s also really hard to put your own label on instead. I did succeed with one of mine, but I had to wrestle it down and secure it with electrical tape. Not exactly the kind of chic, jetsetting look that CARGO promotes.

Which is a shame, because these are really very nice products! At least, they are very nice cream blushes. I bought the two I thought I’d use most, and the color is vivid but not overpowering. In-store, I found Santorini a little too intense for me, but remember that I am relatively fair-skinned, so if you are a darker-toned beauty, it would probably look awesome on you. The color blends easily — you can apply with a brush or fingers or straight from the tube — and it lasts all day on me.

CARGO says you can use these on eyes, cheeks, and lips. I wasn’t super-impressed with using these as a lip color; I found them drying and they weren’t really attractive on the lips. I haven’t tried them as eye colors. I wouldn’t try Maui as an eye color anyway; I do like pink eyeshadows but this is not a very usable shade. I might try the St. Tropez, just as a lark, but we’ll see. I’m happy that they’re good cream blushes. These all-in-one products never actually function as all-in-one products.

Photo with no snarking, and swatches!


Left: St. Tropez. Right: Maui.



CARGO Color Sticks: $28 each

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Poor. I’d have given them a “fair,” since $28 is still a lot for a cream blush, but the crappy packaging brings it down to a “poor.”

Purchase again? Maybe. I own the two colors that I think work best for me; if they were to come out with other ones that would also suit me, I’d have to think twice (at least) about the packaging before deciding whether or not to commit.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)








Random Swatches: Sephora/Pantone Tangerine Tango Lipglosses and Blushes

Some random swatches taken at a mall. I corrected for lighting as well as possible. I hadn’t really been planning on photographing my swatches, so I didn’t swatch the products the way I normally do for blog photos (which is to say, as neatly as possible and with an eye towards making sure the pigmentation is even, texture and finish are accurately shown, etc.). Sorry about that, but I thought these might be helpful anyway if you are considering indulging in the Tangerine Tango line.

Lip products. Single swatch at left: lipstick in Tangerine Tango Cream. Four center swatches, from top to bottom: TT Luminous, Vivid, Opal, and Glaze. Single swatch on right: eye/lip liner in TT Twist.


Blushes. Far left: Prisma Chrome Apricot Brandy. Middle and right: the two shades of the blush duo. I *think* the shimmer shade is in the middle and the matte shade is on the right.

My recommendations from this collection: Prisma Chrome blush in Apricot Brandy and the lipgloss collection. The matte neon lipgloss shade is almost unwearable but the other three could all be made to work.

More From the Beat Your Head Against the Wall Department: HuffPost (!) Hawks “National Cleavage Day”

Really, HuffPost?


There are not enough things I can do to that text to adequately render the amount of jaw-dropping, face-palming, head-desking scorn I have for this. OK, it’s HuffPost UK, not HuffPost US, BUT STILL. Article below. Link here.



National Cleavage Day: Holly Willoughby Wins Best Breasts, With Scarlett Johansson And Beyonce In Hot Pursuit


Ladies, its time to make the most of your assets – for it is, of course, National Cleavage Day!

Yes, the annual celebration created by Wonderbra is a day of appreciation for breasts in all shapes and sizes.

The bra-maker says: “We view this as a day for women to acknowledge that their cleavage is something unique and encourage you all to be proud of it.”

According to its research: “Most British women are happy to showcase a bit of cleavage as it helps make them feel feminine, sexy, and gives them confidence.”

This year the brand held a poll asking 1,000 women which celebrities they thought had the perfect cleavage.

Holly Willoughby steals the crown this year and will be the first person inducted into the Wonderbra Cleavage Hall of Fame.

Here is the list in full.

1. Holly Willoughby
2. Scarlett Johansson
3. Beyonce
4. Rihanna
5. Marilyn Monroe
6. Dita Von Teese
7. Katy Perry
8. Brigitte Bardot
9. Kim Kardashian
10. Lara Stone

(And if you go to the HuffPost link, you can see a slideshow (OF COURSE YOU CAN!) of these lovelies in suitably boobalicious costumes and poses. Way to reduce a woman to the size and shape of her breasts! I mean, you know, even more than usual.)



Between this and the recent spate of conservative Republican “your vajayjays are a matter of national moral security,” I think my head is going to explode.




 top photo:



Squee! Estee Lauder Mad Men Collection

These just arrived so I haven’t had time to give them a wear test yet, but I couldn’t wait to post for you all!

Estee Lauder has released a [very small] limited edition collection in conjunction with the long-awaited start of the new season of Mad Men. And by “collection” I mean two pieces. I don’t think you could have a “collection” of one piece, so this is pretty much the smallest “collection” imaginable. If we go by this definition, then I have a “collection” of cats. And a “collection” of bathrooms in my apartment.

Anyway, I hear there are future installments of this “collection” in the works, but the first two items to be released are a lipstick and a cream blush (and we all know what a sucker I am for a cream blush).

The packaging is very vintage — I’m very much reminded of the cream blush my mother used to keep in the medicine cabinet when I was a little girl.  Estee Lauder actually calls it a creme rouge, and I do remember my mother referring to hers as “rouge.” The packaging is metal, and not light. They definitely have a vintage heft. However, as every blogger from here to Ossining has commented on, the lipstick is teeny tiny. In my order from, I also got a BB cream sample, and the box for the BB cream sample and the box for the lipstick are the same size. It’s tiny. However, since I never finish a lipstick anyway, I decided I didn’t care. The cardboard boxes are also vintage-style, and within the boxes the items come packaged in little gold leatherette bags, which frankly I could have done without.

In the promo photo, the lipstick looks like a deep red, but in real life it’s actually a pink. They call it “cherry,” which it isn’t, at all, but OK. The blush is Evening Rose, and it’s a lovely medium pink: not too light, not too dark, not too cool, not too warm.

Bigger photo and swatches!

Left: lipstick in Cherry. Right: cream blush in Evening Rose.

These are not cheap. But they are Mad Men. And I will take any opportunity I can get to channel my inner Christina Hendricks. The lipstick is $25, and the creme rouge is $40. Available only at (online only as far as I know) and Bloomingdale’s (online and selected stores).

Will you indulge?

Aaaaagh! Cringe-worthy: “Browdazzling”

I have no words. Unless a scream counts as a word. Then I have lots of words.

Because, what? Vajazzling is not enough? Don’t worry; it also comes in pink.

I dare you — I double-dog dare you — to wear this to work/class/church.


Image via













Fish on a Bicycle: Stila Solar Lighted Compact

Welcome to a new category of posts! Based on the phrase “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” this category is a hall of shame for cosmetic and skincare items which have been designed, packaged, or otherwise gimmick-i-fied so as to provide a “feature” that is completely irrelevant (or, in some cases, antithetical) to the product’s function or normal use.

Example: “New! Eyeshadow you can store underwater!”

The inaugural entrant in this category is Stila’s newly-released Solar Lighted Compact, which Stila describes as “an eco-friendly, solar-powered, [sic] compact with illuminated logo and mirror” which “is sure to make a statement no matter where you go.”

Indeed. That statement is: “Look at me! I’m a slacktivist!”

I am not sure what Stila is alluding to when they describe the item as “eco-friendly.” Is it eco-friendly because it is made “from recycled material”? It doesn’t say how much recycled material, it doesn’t specify that the recycled material is post-consumer content, and it doesn’t say what part or parts of the product are made with recycled material. It also does not say that the compact itself is recyclable.

Or, are we to assume that the juxtaposition of “eco-friendly” and “solar-powered” means that it’s the solar-powered feature that’s eco-friendly? If this is the case, I wonder if Stila has done its research about the eco-friendliness of solar panels. Solar panels cannot be recycled, although they can be stripped down and the various metals can be melted down for re-use. However, this is an economically inefficient procedure that is usually reserved only for the giant solar panels you see on buildings, satellites, etc. No one is going to break down a compact to get the tiny solar panels out of it; there’s not enough good bits to be recovered to make it worthwhile.

But the fish-on-a-bicycle part comes in when you ask why in God’s name such a thing would be desirable in the first place. Let’s think about the circumstances under which women actually apply makeup, and see which ones might necessitate the use of a solar-powered lighted mirror.

1. At home, in the mornings. Nope.
2. At the office. Nope.
3. On a date. Normally women head for the bathroom to reapply makeup, where presumably there is adequate lighting. If they try to do it tableside, then a glowing compact is likely to do them a disservice by freaking out their date.
4. At a nightclub. I suppose that if the bathrooms at the nightclub are filled with people doing lines of coke and throwing up (as nightclub bathrooms are so often depicted in films), then you might want to avoid them. And I can also see that blacklight might not be the best light for applying makeup. However. NO ONE CAN SEE YOU. (See above, in re: blacklight.)

Then, of course, there is the charging issue. Because you have to charge the thing, and recharge it when it runs out of power. Stila says:

for best results, place compact in direct sunlight for about 9 hours to charge. the compact can also charge in ambient room light, but not solely under fluorescent light if the compact has lost all charge.

First of all, find the damn shift key. I know that your logotype/wordmark features all lower-case letters, but that doesn’t mean that you can just take the shift keys off your computers and throw them away. Does all internal stila correspondence feature capitalization-free sentences? “dear ms. jones: we regret to inform you that your position as junior account executive has been terminated. we apologize for the inconvenience. please clean out your desk by friday at 2 pm. we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors! sincerely, management.”

More importantly: 9 hours? And if it’s 9 hours of direct sunlight, then how long in ambient light? And where does Stila (excuse me, “stila”) think women keep their makeup? On the windowsill? How about in the bathroom, in their bedrooms, in drawers, in boxes, and in their purse? At least three of those locations are short on ambient light. So you have to remember to get it out and leave it on the windowsill for 9 hours before you want to use it. That means you really have to plan ahead, to a degree that I think most women are unlikely to sign up for.

Who is stila marketing this to? Young women who read “eco-friendly” and “solar-powered” and think that by spending $50 (!) on this compact they have bought not only makeup but moral virtue. They are Helping The Environment!

They will, undoubtedly, be the prettiest slacktivists on record.

Stila’s Solar Lighted Compact is available now for $50 from Image from the stila website.


EOTD: Blue Moon

Just for kicks, I played around with a few of my BareMinerals shadows this afternoon. Yes, I am avoiding grading. You wanna make somethin’ of it?


• Base: MAC Painterly
• Colors: Bare Minerals “Year of Beauty” collection — January (pale blue), July (deep blue), December (white with multicolored glitter, which doesn’t show up in this photo)
• Liner: Urban Decay Perversion (black), MAC Petrol Blue pearlglide
• Mascara: Lancome Oscillating Waterproof. I’d already had mascara on today so this came out spikier and not as full as I’d have liked, but I was just playing around.
• Brow: Tarte Brow Mousse in medium