Monday, November 21st, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Eyes

I’m going to do my best to crank out the last few gift guides in the next day, because I know a lot of sales are coming up for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and I don’t want you to miss out! These are all products I personally recommend that are part of the permanent range. Products are listed in order of ascending price!

Eyeliners

  • Milani Liquif’Eye Eyeliners ($5.49) is a standout formula with a wallet-friendly price tag–if they had a bigger range, they’d be even better. I love their Black and Aqua shades.
  • MAC Fluidlines ($15) is a long-time favorite, because it’s creamy enough for smooth, crisp application but sets and wears well. My favorite is Blacktrack.
  • Tarina Tarantino Dream Hyperliners ($15) are a newly-discovered favorite with a fantastic color range, rich color, and long-wear. My favorite shades have been Sparkling Ammunition and Puppeteer.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liners ($18) also has an amazing range of shades as well as finishes, and this is an eyeliner that stays on well throughout the day. I regularly reach for shades like #4L, 5L, 12L, and 20L.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencils ($18) are a total go-to for me! They have a full color range available, and they’re soft and glide on easily. Some of my favorites are Bourbon Covet, Graffiti, Mildew, Rockstar, Stash, and Underground.
  • Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliners ($20) are super soft and pigmented, but they do run out of quick–but their color range is so rich, it’s hard to say no. I love Moray, Peacock, and Stingray.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners ($21) is a rich, long-wearing gel eyeliner that’s smooth and creamy but still wears all day. Check out shades like Black Mauve Shimmer Ink and Cobalt Ink!
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners ($23) is my absolute favorite for liquid liner, because the color range is wide and the formula itself stays on all day. I recommend shades like #3, 4, 9, 10, and 14. If you like lots and lots of sparkle, consider Stila Sparkle Liquid Eyeliners ($22) which have a very similar formula but their shades have more shimmer.

Eyeshadows

  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow ($1.99 to $4.99) are a real steal with a lot of variations and options available, and a lot of the shades are of excellent quality.
  • Inglot Eyeshadows ($5) won’t break the bank but will deliver intense color payoff–they’re most well-known for their mattes and Double Sparkles.
  • Sugarpill Chromalusts ($12) are finely milled with lots of dimension. My favorites are Stella, Absinthe, and Goldilux! I’d also recommend checking out their eyeshadows if you’re shopping for someone who loves bright colors (they’re also $12 and top notch).
  • theBalm Eyeshadows ($16) are richly pigmented, silky smooth, and wear really well. Their individual singles are great, but they also have several palettes that work well, too. My favorite singles are All About Alex, Jealous Jordana, and Risque Renee.
  • Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19) are some of my favorite cream eyeshadows for quick all-over washes or as an eyeshadow base; the range is generally more neutral/subdued so it would be great for busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to spend on their makeup every morning. I love shades like Birthday Suit and Skinny Jeans.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils ($20) is a chubby pencil that can be used as an eyeliner or more like a cream eyeshadow (or even an eyeshadow base). They wear really well and deliver pretty good color. I like shades Clinic, Lit, and Midnight Cowboy.
  • Bare Escentuals Ready Eyeshadows ($20 for duo, $30 for quad) caught me off guard, because I really didn’t think they’d be out of this world, but they’re really, really good. Some of my favorite duos are The Scenic Route and The Escape, and some of my favorite quads are The Elements and The Truth.
  • MAC Pigments ($20) are still one of my favorite products for really revving up a look. Some of the permanent shades I love are Pink Opal, Melon, and Teal.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22) come in neutrals as well as bright pops of color, and they’re a cream product that really locks down once it sets. I love the Aqua Creams best for eyes. I totally dig shades like #2, #5, #13, #15.
  • Illamasqua Pure Pigment ($24) may be pricey and they don’t come with a whole lot of product, for most consumers, it’ll take years to get through. The reason I like these is I feel like the range has a lot of complex, unique shades.
  • Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eyeshadow ($30) is a pricey but absolutely luxurious eyeshadow formula that’s built for layering. I love shades like Chameleon and Jade.
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense ($32) are so intense and have this interesting formula that wears well all day long and comes in some fun shades. I love #1, 2, 3, and 6 a lot!
  • Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palettes ($32) are good bang for your buck with top notch quality–love Dreamy the most.
  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow ($38) is my favorite eyeshadow formula, and I really wish they’d come out with more shades, but my favorites are Gypsy, Prism, and Lagoon.
  • Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette ($48) is still one of my favorite palettes that Urban Decay has launched, and it is something I reach for when I travel.

Mascaras

  • Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Mascara ($6.59) is my go-to for soft, natural-looking lashes with lots of volume.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara ($15) is a great all-over mascara; it thickens, lengthens, and volumizes.
  • Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara ($19) is fantastic for lengthening.
  • Hourglass Film Noir Mascara ($28) is inky black while lengthening and thickening well.

What are your must-have eye products that are permanent?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Milani Intermix Baked Eyeshadow
Milani Intermix Baked Eyeshadow

Milani Baked Metallic Eyeshadow: Intermix

Milani Intermix Baked Metallic Eyeshadow ($7.49 for 0.05 oz.) is a melange of rusted brown, bronze, and white beige, which all mixes to create a medium-dark bronzed brown with a frosted finish.  It swatches the same whether used wet or dry, which is fantastic.  The texture is soft and allows the product to apply smoothly without dust or fall out.

I do wish they’d ditch the sponge/brush applicator, though, because the bristles are splayed and scratchy, while the sponge is thin and surprisingly scratchy. I did like the switch to a black interior, over the champagne gold from the Runway Eyeshadows. The lid is also quite secure, and I had to pry it open with my nails.

The Glossover

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product

Intermix

A
This is one of the best of Milani's Baked Eyeshadows--super smooth application, rich color pay off, and no fall out.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, May 28th, 2011

5 Great Pencil Eyeliners

Reader Su Ann wanted to see five great pencil eyeliners, so here are five favorites from what I have tried…

What’s your favorite pencil eyeliner?

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Milani Melange Baked Eyeshadow
Milani Melange Baked Eyeshadow

Milani Baked Metallic Eyeshadow: Melange

Milani Melange Baked Metallic Eyeshadow ($7.49 for 0.05 oz.) is a mix of smoldering, blackened brown, khaki gold, bronze, and silvered white. When applied, it’s very much a black gold–it has that really dark black-brown color base with khaki and bronze shimmer on top. This shade applies much sheerer when used dry, while applied wet, it has much more intense color pay off.

Milani advertises these as luminous (marketing for soft/sheerer color–more like a wash) when used dry, so it’s actually as described. (Many of the other shades were closer in payoff, though.) I did find that this shade had a faint amount of fall out when used dry; it seemed to have a lot more shimmer than some of the other shades, and the shimmer sat on top of the color more than weaved within it.

I do wish they’d ditch the sponge/brush applicator, though, because the bristles are splayed and scratchy, while the sponge is thin and surprisingly scratchy. I did like the switch to a black interior, over the champagne gold from the Runway Eyeshadows. The lid is also quite secure, and I had to pry it open with my nails.

The Glossover

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product

Melange

B+
I think this kind of color is harder to come by, which might excuse the fallout that occurs for some. I do find this is a shade I have to use wet to get the best results, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Milani Fusion Baked Eyeshadow
Milani Fusion Baked Eyeshadow

Milani Baked Metallic Eyeshadow: Fusion

Milani Fusion Baked Metallic Eyeshadow ($7.49 for 0.05 oz.) is a melange of plum, gold, and copper that turns into a medium-dark bronzed brown with a soft bronze sheen.  This is one of the downsides of baked eyeshadows, especially onces that are swirled with other colors, because it looks so interesting in the pan but when swatched, it doesn’t seem as nuanced.  It applied well both wet and dry, with the wet version darkening just a smidgen.

I do wish they’d ditch the sponge/brush applicator, though, because the bristles are splayed and scratchy, while the sponge is thin and surprisingly scratchy. I did like the switch to a black interior, over the champagne gold from the Runway Eyeshadows. The lid is also quite secure, and I had to pry it open with my nails.

The Glossover

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product

Fusion

A
This has a really smooth texture, not powdery at all (like some baked products), and has rich color payoff. I can see this working well on warmer skin tones as a staple brown.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Milani Drenched in Gold Baked Eyeshadow
Milani Drenched in Gold Baked Eyeshadow

Milani Baked Metallic Eyeshadow: Drenched in Gold

Milani Drenched in Gold Baked Metallic Eyeshadow ($7.49 for 0.05 oz.) is a softened yellow gold with a metallic sheen.  It reminded me a lot of MAC’s Goldmine, which is a staple eyeshadow for me.  I liked the way this looked both wet and dry–there really wasn’t much of a difference-so it is more convenient to use.  It applied smoothly and had good color pay off with no fall out.

I do wish they’d ditch the sponge/brush applicator, though, because the bristles are splayed and scratchy, while the sponge is thin and surprisingly scratchy. I did like the switch to a black interior, over the champagne gold from the Runway Eyeshadows. The lid is also quite secure, and I had to pry it open with my nails.

The Glossover

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product

Drenched in Gold

B+
This is an affordable dupe to MAC's Goldmine eyeshadow! It's gold without being too dark or metallic, so I think it will work well in a variety of looks.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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