Through an opportunity with Blogher ads, I received an offer to try $100 worth of Estee Lauder cosmetics absolutely free. If there is one thing I love in this world, it's free beauty products (no matter what kind they are) and so I jumped at the chance.
Makeup has always been an interest of mine. From the time I was 8-years-old I've been involved with one dance or theater performance or another and makeup was an essential part of those performances. In my 20's, using all the professional stage makeup tricks of the trade I learned over the years, I supplemented my income by doing freelance makeup on the weekend. If you got married in the Bay Area in the 90's, chances are I did your face or at least someone in your wedding party's. If you needed headshots, I probably did those, too. I love making people pretty(er).
From the time I was little, Estee Lauder cosmetics have held a certain allure for me. Their 70's spokesmodel, Willow Bay, would peek out at me from magazine ads or department store signs, and she always seemed to be saying, "Yes, my child. This is the make up you will be wearing when you are...a woman."
When I was old enough to wear makeup, I chose Clinique because it was the 80's and that was the starter makeup of the day. From there, I moved on to Lancome and Borghese because that's what all the sophisticated college co-eds were wearing. Somewhere along the way, I branched out and tried other brands until MAC came along and I was blown away. I spent most of the 90's powdering my face into perfect matteness and lining my lips with MAC Spice liner before applying my Viva Glam. Somehow I skipped over Estee Lauder altogether because by the time Paulina Porizkova was their spokesmodel, that wasn't the woman I wanted to be. Estee Lauder seemed to be a brand for "older" women. The colors didn't seem modern. Estee Lauder was a brand for preppy moms.
Now that I am 39 and a mother and someone who works from home, I have learned to simplify my makeup routine. I know what works best for me and don't stray much from that. I like neutral eyeshadows that go on like silk. I like foundations that offer SPF and provide coverage without being too heavy. I need brow powder and mascara that adds instant thickness to my sparse lashes and I like my lipstick to have a touch of gloss. I wear perfume everyday and change it up depending on my mood.
As I pored over the selections on EsteeLauder.com I realized a couple of things: either things had changed, or I had. I liked these colors. They weren't dowdy at all. I spent 10 minutes drooling over the pretty compacts. I also realized as I was filling my basket that something seemed...familiar. The lip gloss I chose (Pure Color, Rhubarb), well, was that...the same color Sarah Palin wore when she gave her speech at the RNC? The Lucidity foundation in Golden Sands, was that her shade? Suddenly I came face-to-made-up-face with the fact that Sarah Palin and I have exactly the same skin tones. No wonder why, despite my hatred of her and everything she stands for, I always had to give her mad props for her flawless makeup. (Although she could've used a lighter hand with the blush brush.
In the end, I selected the following items to test:
- Lucidity Foundation in Golden Sands and Golden Caramel ($33.50 each)
- Pure Color Lip Gloss in Rhubarb $18.00
- Pure Color Eye Shadow in Mink $17.50
- and also included was a gift set of assorted Pure Color Eyeshadows, some foaming facial cleanser, a mascara, and a sample of Sensuous perfume
I had a deadline to do the review (today), so I got up this morning and put on all my new colors. By 8.30AM I was rocking a full face of Estee Lauder and the teacher's at Wallie's preschool were all, "Oh, are you the babysitter?" I've come so far from the days when I wouldn't leave the house to go to the corner market for a paper without a full face of makeup on.
What I like: The Lucidity foundation is gorgeous. I like my foundations to be a little luminous. Some light-diffusing foundations make you look like you have a face full of glow-in-the-dark paint on, but Lucidity is very subtle. It covered all my flaws without being heavy. The lip gloss is lovely. It provides lots of glossy color without being sticky, without scooting around on your lips, and there's no weird taste. Love it.
The eye shadows are pigment-rich (which means you use less) and go on silky-smooth. I choose some neutral browns from the gift set and will save the Mink for evening wear. It's a little darker than I imagined it would be. Am also wearing the Sensuous perfume today which is floral-y (my preference) with just a hint (just a bare hint) of spice. The quality of all of the products was top-notch, right down to the packaging. None of the shadows were cracked. Cases and bottles feel substantial, not cheap.The perfume didn't leak. That means a lot ot me. Lastly, the site is very easy to navigate and explanations of all the products are complete.
What I don't like: I think I am color-challenged because I have a hard time knowing what the colors of the eyeshadow, lipstick, and foundation look like online v. IRL. As I mentioned, I thought the Mink was going to be a taupey-brown, but it's really a dark, smokey brown. I love smokey colors, but I was expecting something lighter. I love shopping online (it's how I do the bulk of my personal shopping for everything from cosmetics to clothes), but I recommend going to an Estee Lauder counter first and making sure the colors are what you want. This is why I ended up with two foundations--I just wasn't sure which color would be right.
Cost to you for all of the above: $100+shipping
Cost to me: Free
So here I am, rocking the Estee Lauder and wondering why I didn't order any concealer. (This review wouldn't have been complete without a picture, right?) I am a far cry from Liz Hurley, but I'm very pleased with how everything turned out. Seriously, though, couldn't you see these colors on Sarah Palin?