Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors

Highlighters are something I’ve only started experimenting with in the last year or two. I love the glowy look they give and let’s not talk about the amount of time I’ve spent checking my cheeks out in the mirror after applying one. No, seriously. Don’t go there.

I bought the little trio of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors from Sephora around the holidays and they are wonderful. They are liquid highlighters you can apply on top of or mix into your foundation. The formula is a creamy but still thin liquid with a beautiful sheen whichs gives such a nice glow to skin.

From left to right: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Gold, Opal, and Pearl

From left to right: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors in Champagne Gold, Opal, and Pearl

The kit I have (which sadly is no longer available but you can get the full sizes) has three minis of Opal, Pearl, and Champagne Gold. Opal is a subtle pink-tinted color, Pearl is white, and Champagne Gold is – obviously- gold. I love all the colors but can’t decide if I like Opal or Champagne Gold best.

All the highlighters have a very pearly sheen but no large chunks of glitter. They do have a teeny bit of sparkle but it’s something I had to really examine to see and definitely doesn’t scream “I’m wearing glitter!”

I usually apply these by dotting the little applicator along my cheekbones after foundation and then taking a stippling brush (I use the elf Small Stippling Brush) to gently blend it into the skin. This gives me a nice glowy but blended look.

Here I am wearing Champagne Gold

Here I am wearing Champagne Gold

I love these so much and can’t wait to add more to my collection. Any other liquid highlighters I should try?

This entry was posted in Reviews.

No Buy July Vol. 2


Urban Decay Naked 3, Covergirl Clean Powder, Ulta blush, Mac Pro Longwear, Revlon Lip Butter, and Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation, Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

Urban Decay Naked 3, Covergirl Clean Powder, Ulta blush, Mac Pro Longwear Concealer, Revlon Lip Butter, and Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation, Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

We’re almost halfway through the month and I have managed not to buy any makeup. I’m actually a little impressed with myself. Full disclosure, I did make a Sephora order because I was out of conditioner and there was a promo code for a free trio from Armani, but that isn’t the reason I made the order and I didn’t pay for it. Free makeup doesn’t count, right?


For my second No Buy July look, I was spending the day going between doctor’s visits and the Met. It was hot and muggy out so the theme of the day was making sure my face didn’t melt and the products I used got a serious test.

Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder, Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation, Mac Pro Longwear Concealer

Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder, Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation, Mac Pro Longwear Concealer


Let’s start with the face. I haven’t really used my Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation, mostly because the shade “825” is a bit dark for me and I still gotten any sort of a tan this summer. But it has really good staying power so I combined a half pump with a half pump from the itCosmetics CC Cream to get a better color match. Despite the 1000% humidity it held up pretty well.

Continuing the long-lasting theme, I dug out my MAC Prolongwear concealers. I really like this concealer, but the pump dispenses wayyy too much for one person and because I’m between shades “NC15” and “NC20” I usually have to decant some into another pot and it becomes too fussy to deal with on a regular basis. But when I need some sweat-proof, heat-proof, life-proof concealing, I turn to this.

I finished the face with the Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder Oil Control formula in the shade “Medium Light.” I tend to reserve this for the summer because the shade is dark for me. It’s not the finest milled powder I’ve ever used but it doesn’t look chalky when applied and did a decent job of keeping me relatively shine-free…or at least as shine-free as possible considering the humidity.

No Buy July 2 Blush

Ulta blush in “Sunkissed”

For the cheeks I went with this Ulta blush in “Sunkissed.” I believe I got this as a gift over the holidays but it’s been sitting in my drawer. It looks like they changed the packaging on the website, but I don’t know if it’s the same formula. It was kind of hard to get a decent color payoff and it has a lot of shimmer. It also didn’t hold up well during the day but considering how hot it was I’m going to give it another shot.

No Buy July 2 Eye close up

For the eyes I broke out my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I like this palette but some of the shades give me a lot of fallout so I tend to stick to the same few shades.

Urban Decay Naked 3 "Strange"

Urban Decay Naked 3 “Strange”

To start I took “Strange,” which is a matte cream color, and used it all over the lid and browbone.

Urban Decay Naked 3

From left to right: Urban Decay Naked 3 Nooner, Liar, Factory (not used), Mugshot (not used), and Darkside


I applied “Nooner” (a matte mauve) in the crease as a transition shade and then took “Darkside” (a satin medium gray) and used it in the outer corner and crease. I layered “Liar” (taupe shimmer) on the lid and then mixed “Darkside” and “Liar” for my lower lashline. This gave me a soft look that wasn’t too fussy for a casual day but different from my normal look.

Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

Urban Decay Supercurl Curling Mascara

I finally tried the Urban Decay Super Curling Mascara, which came in the Book of Shadows I spoke about last week. I’ve only used it twice so the jury is still out on it.

Revlon Lip Butter in "Sorbet"

Revlon Lip Butter in “Sorbet”

I finished the look with my Revlon lip butter in “Sorbet,” which is a super bright hot pink I usually wear during summer. I love the color and how it leaves a long-lasting stain while still being moisturizing.

Two weeks down, two to go. It hasn’t been easy, especially with several new products out there I want to try but at least I have time to save up some money to splurge next month. 🙂

Best Basecoat: Sephora Formula X Prime Base Coat

Sephora Formula X Base Coat

Sephora Formula X Base Coat

I’ve always struggled getting manicures to last. In the past I’ve been lucky to get through two days before several nails had chips, regardless of whether I had them done by a professional or did them myself.

A random purchase changed that. I picked up the Sephora Formula X Prime Base Coat before a vacation last summer on a whim and used it when I got my nails done before we went away. I’d had good results with the color range from the Formula X line and was hopeful this would at least help me get through 4 of the 7 days we’d be away.

I was SHOCKED when my manicure lasted the whole 7 days, despite spending that time on the beach, where I expected sand, sunscreen, and salt water to wreck my nails in about five minutes. Again, I had history to back up that expectation.

Sephora Formula X Base Coat

Sephora Formula X Base Coat

The formula is thin, spreads easily and has a bit of stick, which works well to keep nail color on my nails. Best of all, I can get abou five days out of my manicures with only minor tip wear. While I know a lot of people can get a lot more wear out of their manicures, this is big for me. Longer lasting manicures mean I have to worry less about my nails breaking. And since I have naturally brittle nails prone to peeling, this is a huge help.

Have you tried this base coat? Is there another one that helps your manicures last? Let me know in the comments!

This entry was posted in Reviews.

No Buy July

UD Book of Shadows Vol. IV, NYC Bronzer in "Sunny," Wet 'n Wild's "Reserve Your Cabana," and MUFE's Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N31

UD Book of Shadows Vol. IV, NYC Bronzer in “Sunny,” Wet ‘n Wild’s “Reserve Your Cabana,” and MUFE’s Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N31

It’s very strange to me to be writing this post now after truly getting this blog going a few weeks ago. And I meant to post it on Wednesday but life kind of got in the way. Anyway…

I wanted to start off this month getting my finances in order so I hereby declare this “No Buy July” at Once a week I will feature a “shop my stash” look in an effort to get me to ease up on the spending. I have a bunch of makeup I’ve purchased but haven’t used a lot, or in some cases at all and I figured this would be a good way to find some diamonds in the rough.

My full face

How the shadows looked after a full day.

How the shadows looked after a full day.

This is the look I started I chose to start off this experiment. I apologize for the iPhone pictures, but I was exhausted and it was hot so there was no way I was breaking out my lights and camera setup. I grabbed a couple of pieces I wanted to use the night before so it would be easier to remember to use them in the morning. I bought the Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV a year or so ago and have never used it. I know, it’s bad. But the case is so inconvenient I never reach for it and it lies in my drawer. I’ve been meaning to depot it and never got around to it. Maybe once this month is over I’ll finally get around to getting a Z-palette.

Shadows used: "Virgin," "Lost," "Sin" and "Stray Dog."

Shadows used: “Virgin,” “Lost,” “Sin” and “Stray Dog.”

After I primed the eye I used the shade “Virgin” all over my lid and brow bone, since it was the closest thing to a matte in the palette. Then I used “Lost” in the crease and outer corner and layered “Sin” on the lid. I used “Stray Dog” on the lower lash line. The colors look a little faded after a long day, but for the most part they’re intact.

From left to right: NYC bronzer in "Sunny," MUFE lipstick Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N31 and Wet 'n Wild's "Reserve Your Cabana" highlighter

From left to right: NYC bronzer in “Sunny,” MUFE lipstick Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N31 and Wet ‘n Wild’s “Reserve Your Cabana” highlighter

For the face I used my NYC bronzer in “Sunny” and Wet n’ Wild highlighter in “Reserve Your Cabana.” Finally for my last “shop your stash” product for this face, I used Makeup Forever’s Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N31 over my Milani lip liner in “Haute Pink.”

I’m glad I finally tried out this palette and will be trying to use it more. But I remembered why I stopped using the other products. The bronzer isn’t as pigmented as I would like, nor is the highlighter and it doesn’t give me a real noticeable highlight. I think the bronzer is a great one for beginners because it’s very hard to overdo it but I need to figure out a way to get more out of the highlighter. As for the lipstick, it’s a pretty color but cooler than I usually go for. And MUFE lipsticks have a fragrance/taste to them that while it isn’t very overpowering, it’s still a little off-putting.

Overall I’m pleased with how this came out and I’m looking forward to the rest of the month.

Does Milani Have a Dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes?

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes vs. Milani Baked Blushes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes vs. Milani Baked Blushes

When the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes came out over a year ago, the online makeup community went crazy. The original Ambient Lighting Powders are popular so it was only to be expected that the blush version would be well received. They deliver a light wash of color and glow and are difficult to over do. But at $35 a pop, they’re not as friendly to your wallet as they are to your cheeks

Shortly after the Hourglass blushes came out, I couldn’t help but notice they seemed similar to a well known drugstore product: the Milani Baked Blushes. Like their more expensive counterparts, the Milani blushes have some serious sheen to them, thanks to their baked formula. The fact that both products come in shiny gold (well, rose gold for Hourglass) packaging didn’t hurt the resemblance in my mind. Two shades in particular – “Luminoso” and “Dolce Pink” – made me think of the Ambient Lighting Blushes in “Diffused Heat” and “Dim Infusion.”

From left to right: Milani Baked Blush in "Dolce Pink," Hourglass ALB in "Diffused Heat," Milani Baked Blush in "Luminoso," Hourglass ALB in "Dim Infusion."

From left to right: Milani Baked Blush in “Dolce Pink,” Hourglass ALB in “Diffused Heat,” Milani Baked Blush in “Luminoso,” Hourglass ALB in “Dim Infusion.”

Unfortunately, these are not a true dupe, but I do think they are a good alternative if the Hourglass blushes are out of your price range. The Milani blushes contain a lot more shimmer and are more pigmented. The Hourglass options have more sheen than outright glitter and sheerer color. They are also more finely milled and the texture of the powder is so smooth. While the Milani blushes are not coarse by any means, you can clearly tell the difference by swiping your finger in the pan.

Either way, I think both products are great and if you don’t want to shell out $35 on a blush, I think Milani is a great alternative.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

My New Daily Face Base

itCosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50 +

itCosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50 +

I’ll admit my experience in the base department is limited, mostly because it is so. damn. difficult. for me to find a shade match. I’m deceptively pale and my skin has mostly yellow undertones. In my experience, most brands think being super pale means you’re pink-toned and the palest yellow-toned shade is several shades darker. Attention makeup makers: pale and dark skins come in a lot more colors than the makeup you’re making!

Sorry. I needed to get that off my chest.

Anyhow, when I finally found a foundation match (Illasmaqua’s Skin Base in 4 if you’re wondering), I didn’t stray far because it had taken me about a year to hunt down a formula I liked in a shade that worked. But sometimes you want something lighter than a foundation.

Enter the itCosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream. I was looking for something lighter than a foundation that I could slap on my face with my fingers or a brush for a quick, get-out-the-door-because-you-hit-snooze-too-many-times-again product that would even out my skin without being too heavy but would still have some lasting power. And oh yea…matches my skin.

I’m happy to report that the lightest shade “Fair” is in fact yellow-toned *pause for angelic singing*. Unfortunately the shade range is limited and if you’re fair and pink-toned this isn’t the color range for you. There are five shades so there’s not a lot of variety but since BB/CC/tinted moisturizers tend to be sheerer than foundation you may be able to find a shade for you.

The formula does provide decent coverage without being too heavy. It does feel a bit thick when you first pump it on the back of your hand but that doesn’t translate on the face. The lasting power is pretty decent for the type of product, so I could get a workday’s worth of wear and can go out to dinner or drinks afterward. However if I had a special event after work I would probably want to reapply. It doesn’t hold up as well in my t-zone and I think those with very oily skin types won’t love this but drier to combination skins will. I have combination skin and when I set it with a powder it holds up quite well.

In terms of packaging, this thing is gold to me. It has a pump , which I find dispenses more than what I need, unless I’m dipping my brush straight into it and that soaks up the product. But it’s easy to dispense a half pump and that works well to dot on my face and then blend. Also the soft tube is travel friendly and will fit well in drawers but the cap allows me to stand it up if I want to and it’s pretty secure.

While I wouldn’t say it’s a perfect product because of my oily t-zone, this product does everything I wanted it to do. Provide light, skin-like coverage that’s quick to apply for work or brunch with some SPF and half-decent staying power. Looks like I can finally give my foundation a much deserved break.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

My New Hair Favorite from Living Proof

Living Proof 5in1 PHD

Having curly hair has been the bane of my existence since I was three years old. It took me about 15 years to learn how to tame it into something resembling a style and I still wouldn’t say I have it 100% under control.

In addition to being curly, I have a LOT of hair and it’s very fine. So the list or requirements for my hair products is very long.

They must:

  • Have a lot of frizz-fighting power

  • Be light weight enough to not weigh my hair down

  • Be affordable with enough product in the bottle so I won’t run out in two weeks

  • Be silicone free

That last one is often the biggest sticking point. I need to wash my hair in some capacity every day because it becomes a total mess when I sleep. I stick to sulfate free shampoos to prevent my curls from drying out and to protect my hair color. But sulfates are needed to wash out silicones and what do 99.99% of companies use in their frizz control products? If you guessed silicones, ding ding ding! Come claim your prize.

Are you starting to see why I’ve had trouble finding hair care products?

I’ve always stuck to drugstore hair products because I can’t afford higher end ones, which often come in small bottles I’ll end up going through like water. But when I heard Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup (check out her blog/ YouTube channel, she’s wonderful) raving about the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment, she piqued my interest. At $26 for 4 oz. of product it’s not cheap but I figured I had nothing to lose by checking out a sample from Sephora and I’m very glad I did.

It’s a super lightweight product with major frizz control. It’s silicone free and a tiny amount goes a loooooong way. One of those little Sephora sample containers lasted me at least a week. So I took advantage of the Sephora VIB sale and picked up the bottle.

I’ve really enjoyed how soft my hair is with this product and how I need only a little of it combined with my Herbal Essenses Totally Twisted Mousse to get my hair under control. It doesn’t build up even between my bi-weekly (or errr…weekly) shampoos so I can still rinse my hair with conditioner easily on a daily basis. And since I only use a squirt or two of it, I don’t have to worry about going through it in a week.

So if you have a long list of hair requirements like mine, give this a try!

Finally Found: A Sunscreen I Actually Want to Wear Daily

Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen Review

I’ve read many an article about the importance of using sunscreen every day, indoors or out, rain, shine, hurricane, what have you. And like me I’m sure you’ve read similar pieces and thought, “Yea that’s great. Now if you can find me one that doesn’t reek, make me feel like a grease ball, and doesn’t wreck my makeup I’ll totally listen. And oh yea. I need one that won’t make my credit card cry buckets of tears when I get to the cash register.”

Since I started using chemical exfoliation about a year ago (AHAs can make you more sensitive to sun) I’ve been on the lookout for a sunscreen that fits all these not unreasonable requirements. I could rant for days about how ridiculous it is that it took me so long to find something like this, but I’ll spare you.

For several years now, I’ve loved the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch and Silk Hydration SPF 30 sunscreens for the body. But I never felt they were quite right for my face. Well, someone on their product development team must have read my mind because as I walked the aisles of Rite Aid in July I got a little too excited when I saw the Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration for Face Oil Free Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face Sunscreen

This sunscreen dries to a matte feeling, natural looking finish which provides enough hydration that I don’t feel the need to use a separate moisturizer in the morning. I don’t know if that will change come winter but at least for the summer it works for me. Those with drier skins may feel differently. It also doesn’t impact my foundation’s staying power, nor do I feel the need to apply powder to get rid of any shininess when I go makeup free.

Anyone who has used the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch or Silk Hydration body sunscreens in the past knows they have a distinct smell that is light and airy and not too obtrusive. I’m afraid that’s about as descriptive as I can get because it is unlike any other scent I’ve ever smelled. But it is pleasant and the best part about it is it dissipates quickly and can only be noticed if your nose is up against the skin of someone wearing it. A special thank you to my boyfriend for indulging me in that experiment.

The one problem I’ve experienced with this sunscreen is a slight burning around my nose and upper lip, and occasionally my cheekbones. My guess is the stinging is due to the fact that it’s a chemical sunscreen but it is not painful, only mildly uncomfortable and it disappears quickly. For me it’s nothing I can’t deal with and I don’t find it causes any redness or lasting skin issue, but that’s up to you to decide if you want to deal with it.

All in all, for a sunscreen one can purchase in drug stores in the $10 dollar range (for 1.7 oz. of product no less!) I’m a fan and will be purchasing it again when it runs out.

Let the Makeup Madness Begin!

Hi there! Welcome to RiffRaff Rouge, a home for all my beauty related ramblings. My name’s Melissa and I am a 24 year old New Yorker who spends way too much time browsing the aisles of Sephora, drugstores, and beauty blogs for new things on which to blow my hard earned cash.

I’ve always loved makeup but in the past several years that love has grown into a passion, which I needed to channel into something useful. Thus, was born. I wanted something that would give me the opportunity to explore my current stash in depth and share what I love with random people on the internet!

So have a look around the site and leave some comments or find me on any of my social media platforms. I love to connect with people who share my love of all things beauty-related.