Saturday, September 7th, 2013

If you’re looking for something bold or bright to wear this fall and don’t want to break the bank, here are five of my top picks!

  1. Revlon Raspberry Pie — a medium-dark, fuchsia-pink with a glossy, luminous finish that’s comfortable to wear and balm-like
  2. Maybelline Brazen Berry — a brightened fuchsia-magenta with a luminous sheen
  3. NYX Chic Red — a bold, bright blue-based red with a matte finish
  4. Revlon Pink Truffle — a plummy brown with a luminous sheen
  5. Maybelline Very Cherry — a classic blue-based red with a matte finish

What’s your favorite lipstick for fall that’s a total steal?

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Reader Maha requested my top five picks for bronze eyeshadows, and here we go! :) This was a tough one–there are SO many fantastic bronze eyeshadows on the market. You can see a few more shades that didn’t quite make the cut here.

  1. Maybelline Downtown Brown — golden bronze
  2. MAC Bronze — red-toned bronze brown
  3. Giorgio Armani #6 — deep, golden bronze
  4. Inglot #409 — medium-dark bronze
  5. bareminerals Cognac — metallic bronze

What’s your favorite bronze eyeshadow?

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

These are my very, very favorite lipstick formulas (in no particular order!) at the moment.

What’s your favorite lipstick formula?

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin NARS Taos Zoya Beatrix YSL Vert d'Orient Illamasqua Supernatural Burberry Cameo Pink Burberry Cameo Pink OCC New Wave OCC New Wave Urban Decay Radium Sephora Fairytale Marc Jacobs The Starlet

The Tempting 10 features my top product picks for the upcoming month, and these are all products I’ve reviewed in the past (you can click around the image above or use the links below to see more photos, swatches, etc.). I think it’s a great way for me to share old favorites (but always ones that are permanent!) and highlight recent limited editions that have captured my attention.  Asking me to narrow anything down to a top ten is difficult, but I’ve tried to capture products across brands, price points, and even types, for a more well-rounded list.

August is that month that, for me, will always be the last real month of summer, even if technically it’s not over.  I think a lot of it has to do with being in school until I was 25, so August meant back-to-school shopping, enjoying the last days with no essays, no textbooks, and no looming exams, and getting away with (at least some of the time) doing nothing.  Now that I’ve graduated from school, summer is a little different, but there’s a part of me that still gets nervous when August 1st pops up on the calendar, because I think, “Nooo, school!”  To that end, I look at the month as one filled with fun, which is why my favorites are vibrant and rich.  I also think with the hot temperatures we see in August, brighter colors just feel so appropriate, and then formulas that are minimalist or long-wearing are musts.  I love how one statement color, whether on eyes, lips, or nails (or wherever else!) can instantly make one look alive and colorful and present without spending a lot of time or having to worry about it breaking down easily.

Bonus: a lot of these products work well for anyone hurried in the mornings or doesn’t want to touch-up a lot during the day–so perfect for those of you who are heading back to school this fall.

  1. Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin — a rich, vibrant orange-red for the perfect pop of color in the summer when you want to look a little done up but not actually wear a lot of makeup
  2. NARS Taos — a bolder, super pigment-rich shade that can be worn subtly or intensely in a burnt red with gold shimmer–the more you blend and buff it into the skin, the more glowy it looks
  3. Zoya Beatrix – a sparkling, dazzling tangerine for your nails that wears well, too
  4. YSL Vert d’Orient – a rich, decadent teal cream that makes me think of swimming pools, tropical islands, and vacation
  5. Illamasqua Supernatural — a dewy, bronzy glow that gives skin a wet, shimmering look
  6. Burberry Cameo Pink – a beautiful, glossy coral-pink shimmered with gold with semi-opaque color coverage
  7. OCC New Wave – glossy, shiny, stained glass color that is lighter than lipstick but still more pigmented than traditional gloss; New Wave being a pinky-red with subtle cool undertones–like a juicy watermelon for your lips
  8. Urban Decay Radium — a deep blue with a frosted finish and would work well paired with golds, greens, aquas, and teals (if the eyeshadow is too much, there is always the eyeliner!)
  9. Sephora Fairytale — shimmer like a mermaid with this blue-based teal that has green and gold shimmer; I love wearing shades like this (I am a teal eyeliner junkie) on the lower lash line with not much else on the eyes for an instant burst of color
  10. Marc Jacobs The Starlet – it’s a lovely palette, period, but I think it’s a nice transition piece from summer to fall, and August, no doubt, is going to be an interesting month for MJB, since we’ll see the full release and I can’t wait to hear what the beauty world says about the range!

I’d also like to take a moment in this post to plead with Tom Ford to make his Cream Colors in Escapade and Pink Haze permanent, because had they not completely sold out months ago (part of the summer collection), they would have earned a spot here most definitely.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for August in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

  • Must-Have Eye Products:
  • Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
  • Must-Have Lip Products:
  • Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Maybelline Never Fade Jade Color Tattoo Pure Pigments
Maybelline Never Fade Jade Color Tattoo Pure Pigments

Maybelline Never Fade Jade Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) is a bluish-teal with a satin finish. It’s beest applied with a damp brush, as it is semi-sheer and slightly patchy when applied dry. It is also easier to blend out when it is damp, as it tended to stick when I tried to apply it dry. Fyrinnae Gender Bent is lighter. Fyrinnae Sleepy Holllow is bluer. Urban Decay Deep End is more shimmery, brighter. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is greener, cream. MAC Cool Heat is bluer. Inglot #338 is matte, darker. See comparison swatches.

Pink Rebel Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) is a medium-dark fuchsia-pink with cool, blue undertones and iridescent fuchsia shimmer. This one was quite sparkly. Applied dry, it’s very sheer and more like a barely-there wash of color. Applied damp, it was more semi-opaque. CoverGirl Fired Up Pink is brighter, less cool-toned. Urban Decay Noise is less sparkly, darker. MAC Infra-violet is similar, less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Potent Purple Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) is a medium-dark purple with subtle warm, plum undertones. Applied dry, it was sheer and uneven, and applied damp, it was more pigmented but still patchy. It was difficult to blend on the skin. Disney Snarfblat is cooler-toned. Dior Lilas Mitzah is similar. Urban Decay Vice is a touch darker. See comparison swatches.

Though they seemed incredibly pretty in their pots, I did not care for these in practice, because they stain the skin in such an over-the-top way and for all their staining power, fade within hours. I felt like my experience with these three was very opposite of what I experienced with the first three I tried. I experienced major staining with Never Fade Jade and Pink Rebel; my eyes were a murky, moldy green paired with “have you been crying?” pink for THREE (!) days. With a primer, it seemed to prevent most of the staining from Pink Rebel, but Never Fade Jade ate right through the primer and left an unholy stain of pain.

All three of these faded very, very quickly; like by the time you went to apply color on the other eye, everything appeared noticeably faded and washed out. I used these damp on bare lids, and then I used them damp over a primer, and they really couldn’t be helped over bare lids and absolutely needed a primer to manage decent color. I still had significant fading after a mere four hours with primer, and there was also a fair amount of fall out. Pink Rebel seemed to be responsible for the majority of the fall out (it was very iridescent!). I had originally tried three of the more neutral shades, and I remember Musings of a Muse didn’t like these much, so I was confused as I loved the neutrals, but after I tried these three, I knew exactly what she was talking about (and we texted about the differences between the shades).

Definitely not 24-hours of wear; not even four hours of decent wear with a primer (which has generally seen me through many an eyeshadow formula to at least eight hours of wear!). The staining is to such a degree that it can actually interfere with wearing makeup the next day or even the day after that. The staining left behind is sheer and uneven, so one would be hard-pressed to argue that was 24-hour wear. It’s not “powerful color intensity” that “stays put up to 24 hours.”  Some of the shades in this range are absolutely a dream to use, but these three were nightmarish.

The Glossover

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product

Never Fade Jade

D-
I experienced major staining with Never Fade Jade and Pink Rebel; my eyes were a murky, moldy green paired with "have you been crying?" pink for THREE (!) days. With a primer, it seemed to prevent most of the staining from Pink Rebel, but Never Fade Jade ate right through the primer and left an unholy stain of pain.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Pink Rebel

D-
Pink Rebel seemed to be responsible for the majority of the fall out (it was very iridescent!).

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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product

Potent Purple

F
Applied dry, it was sheer and uneven, and applied damp, it was more pigmented but still patchy. It was difficult to blend on the skin.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Maybelline Barely Brazen Color Tattoo Pure Pigments
Maybelline Barely Brazen Color Tattoo Pure Pigments

Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) come in twelve different shades, and this post features three of them. These are the first three I grabbed to try, and they happened to coordinate rather well together, which was a nice bonus! I really liked all three, as they had a very soft, finely-milled texture with nice pigmentation. Maybelline touts 24-hour wear (which is one of my least favorite claims for any product to make), and I’m not overly comfortable wearing makeup for that long, but I did wear all three shades for sixteen hours. I had some creasing after nine hours, and it was noticeably faded and fairly creased by sixteen hours. When worn over a primer, I didn’t have any issues until fourteen hours (some fading but no creasing).

The one thing I did notice was that these don’t contain a ton of product; loose eyeshadows are all over the map in regards to sizing, with generous sizes above 0.15 oz. and some around this size.   The jar seemed large, so I was surprised to see how much it actually contained. I think that it has plenty of product to last you quite awhile, but for those who are concerned about price per ounce, it might be something to consider.

I plan to review a few more shades from the range, and the next three I have planned, I can tell you that these are not created equal at all.  Though they did not live up to the 24-hour claim, they did wear well for a over half a day, so I suspect that for most, the wear is long enough–or at least not a deal-breaker.  I did experience more issues with some of the other shades, which I will get into after I finish up testing them.

Barely Brazen is a warm, shimmering champagne beige with a frosted finish. It applied with mostly opaque color dry, and then was fully opaque when applied wet. MAC Mooncake is a cream product. MAC Summer Haze is more frosted, lighter. MAC All That Glitters is similar. See comparison swatches.

Breaking Bronze is a warm, coppery brown with a frosted, metallic finish. It was semi-sheer applied dry, and then it was fully pigmented applied with a damp brush. Disney Cosmic is less warm. theBalm Manic Maribel is less metallic. MAC Bare My Soul is less shimmery. Urban Decay Penny Lane is similar. NARS Isolde #1 is less metallic. bareMinerals Bragging Rights is similar. See comparison swatches.

Downtown Brown is a medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a smooth, metallic sheen. It had opaque color both wet and dry. bareMinerals Schmooze is less metallic. Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss #2 is similar, less metallic. Bobbi Brown Bronze is darker. Urban Decay Suspect is cooler-toned. MAC Woodwinked is warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Barely Brazen

B+

There are a lot of good things to say about this shade--nice color payoff, soft and smooth texture, and blends out easily--and the only downside is that it only lasts decently for 10 hours or so but definitely not 24!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Breaking Bronze

B+

Like Barely Brazen, the major downside to this shade was just that it didn't hit the 24-hour wear time that Maybelline claimed.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Downtown Brown

A-

Downtown Brown had fantastic color payoff whether applied wet or dry, but it did not last a full 24 hours as claimed. For most, this isn't going to be a deal-breaker.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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