Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick
Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick

Try Out a Subdued Red!

Milani Bing Cherry Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a subdued cherry red–it’s like a sheer cherry red but it’s actually opaque on lips. There’s still the brightness of a cherry red, but I think this is a much tamer way to wear one if full-on cherry red is too much for you. It seems like it has a pinkness to it, but when worn, it seems a little more of a coral-red. It’s definitely an interesting color, though. I’m curious to hear what others who own think!

Milani’s Color Perfect Lipstick is a creamy, moisturizing formula with opaque color coverage. It does have a rather a synthetic/waxy scent, though, which may be too much for those with sensitive sniffers. I typically get three to four hours of wear on average with this formula.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Consider Bing Cherry if you’ve always wanted to wear red but never wanted to go for a full blown in-your-face kind of red.

AVAILABILITY: Milani

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


CoverGirl Blue Boom, UD Deviant, Tarina Tarantino Glamorous Thief, NARS Kitty, MAC Hi-Def Cyan, Korres #13, MAC Smoothline, Milani Aqua, MUFE #7L, UD Electric, Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi, tokidoki Rondine

Blue Eyeliner Comparisions & Dupes

I think I may have more blue eyeliners than any other color in my stash. It’s definitely a close race between blue and green, though! These are just medium to light blues – I kept navy blues separate.

  • CoverGirl Blue Boom Liquiline Blast is a medium-dark ocean blue. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Deviant 24/7 Liner is a medium-dark ocean blue with subtle silver sparkle. (Review)
  • Tarina Tarantino Glamorous Thief Dream Hyperliner is a medium-dark ocean blue with subtle silver sparkle. (Review)
  • NARS Kitty Eyeliner is a medium-dark blue with a cream finish. (Review)
  • MAC Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil is a sky blue with a cream finish. (Review)
  • Korres #13 Eyeliner is a periwinkle blue with a cream finish.
  • MAC Smoothline Technakohl Liner is a darkened blue-based teal with a satin sheen. It’s more aqua than blue.
  • Milani Aqua Liquif’Eye Liner is a medium-dark teal. Though not included in this comparison, it is very similar to Urban Decay’s Covet. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #7L Aqua Eyes is a bright, lightened blue. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Electric 24/7 Liner is a bright, lightened blue. (Review)
  • Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi Dream Hyperliner is a bright, lightened blue. (Review)
  • tokidoki Rondine Glitter Eyeliner is a medium sky blue with silver glitter. (Review

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! I think it’s safe to say that CoverGirl Blue Boom Liquiline Blast, Urban Decay Deviant 24/7 Liner, and Tarina Tarantino Glamorous Thief Dream Hyperliner are very, very similar. I would say they are dupes, with the exception of Glamorous Thief being a smidgen darker.

DUPE ALERT! It is apparent that Make Up For Ever #7L Aqua Eyes, Urban Decay Electric 24/7 Liner, and Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi Dream Hyperliner are very, very similar.

Formula/Wear: CoverGirl Liquiline Blast and NARS Eyeliner are the only two that have any issues based on my experience. CoverGirl just requires more layering, as it is not as pigmented as the other shades here. NARS, however, I’ve had a lot of migrating issues with, but I encourage you to read the review and the comments. tokidoki Glitter Eyeliner stays on well but can be scratchy against the lash line due to the glitter particles.

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


Silver Eyeliner: Milani Silver, L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning, Make Up For Ever #8L, Urban
Decay Dime, Guerlain Silver, Urban Decay Gunmetal, CoverGirl Silver Spark, Urban Decay Uzi

Silver & Gray Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

It looks like metallic silver has been done by quite a few brands, doesn’t it? When it comes to grays, though, I don’t have nearly enough to give a particularly great comparison, but of the three darker grays I own, there are more differences between the three than with the five silver shades.

  • Milani Silver Liquif’Eye Liner is a metallic silver. It is nearly identical to Urban Decay’s Dime. (Review)
  • L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning Chrome Eyeliner is a metallic silver. It is very similar to Guerlain’s Silver, and it is a little darker than the other three silver shades here. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #8L Aqua Eyes is a metallic silver. It is a little lighter than the other four silver shades here. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Dime 24/7 Liner is a metallic silver. It is nearly identical to Milani’s Silver.(Review)
  • Guerlain Silver Stylo Yeux is a metallic silver. It is very similar to L’Oreal HIP’s Silver Lightning; it is a little darker than the other three metallic silver shades here. (Side note: I received this relatively recently, but yet I could hardly find any information on it… anywhere.)
  • Urban Decay Gunmetal 24/7 Liner is a darkened silver-gray with shimmer. (Review)
  • CoverGirl Silver Spark Liquiline Blast is a bluish silver-gray. It’s similar to Gunmetal, but it is bluer and has less shimmer. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Uzi 24/7 Liner is a blackened silver. I was hoping to find you a dupe for this one but no such luck. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! The first five shades are all quite similar: Milani Silver, L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning, Make Up For Ever #8L, Urban Decay Dime, and Guerlain Silver . L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning and Guerlain Silver is are a hue darker than the other three. Make Up For Ever #9L is the lightest of the five.

Product Formulas/Wear: I have no notable issues with wear with any of these formulas (with the exemption of Guerlain’s Stylo Yeux, which I have not tested). They all wear all day for me (tested for at least 12 hours) without budging or migrating. L’Oreal HIP and Milani are the creamiest, with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners following shortly after (still creamy, though). Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes are firmer but still doesn’t tug on the lash line. CoverGirl Liquiline Blasts sometimes need a second pass for true color pay off but otherwise wear fine.

What are your favorite silvers and grays?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


Gold Eyeliner: Tokidoki Unicorno, Guerlain Gold, Make Up For Ever #9L,
Urban Decay Eldorado, Urban Decay Honey, Milani Gold, L’Oreal HIP Gold Charge, Stila Koi

Gold Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

There are certainly lots of variations on gold but one particular hue seems to find its way into multiple ranges, and I’ve deliberately excluded more antique golds (to-be-posted), but these are the more traditional golds, based on the products I own.   (Please assume that if it’s not here, I do not own it.)

  • Tokidoki Unicorno Glitter Eyeliner is a pale white gold base with darker gold glitter. (Review)
  • Guerlain Gold Stylo Yeux is a golden orange-peach–looks yellower in the pencil than swatched. (Side note: I received this relatively recently, but yet I could hardly find any information on it… anywhere.)
  • Make Up For Ever #9L Aqua Eyes is a lightened yellow gold. It’s not a dupe for Urban Decay’s Honey (or Eldorado). (Review)
  • Urban Decay Eldorado 24/7 Liner is a true yellow gold. You can tell it is significantly different from Honey. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Honey 24/7 Liner is a rustic gold with a molten gold-bronze glint. This is one of my favorite colors, but apparently Urban Decay discontinued it. It is similar to the next three eyeliners, but it seems a hue darker. (Review)
  • Milani Gold Liquif’Eye Liner is a deep metallic gold. It has a nearly identical texture and color to L’Oreal HIP’s Gold Charge. (Review)
  • L’Oreal HIP Gold Charge Chrome Eyeliner is a deep metallic gold. It has nearly identical texture and color to Milani’s Gold. (Review)
  • Stila Koi Smudge Stick is a deep, metallic gold. The color is nearly identical to both Milani’s Gold and L’Oreal HIP’s Gold Charge, but it’s a mechanical pencil, so it’s not quite as creamy. (Review)

Thoughts

Urban Decay Honey is now discontinued, but for those feeling the heartbreak and are running low, you may want to consider any of the following as close sistersL’Oreal HIP Gold Charge, Milani Gold, or Stila Koi.

DUPE ALERT! If it wasn’t visually obvious, L’Oreal HIP Gold Charge, Milani Gold, and Stila Koi are near identical.  L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner and Milani Liquif’Eye Liner formulas are quite similar, too–both creamy eye pencils that glide on smoothly (creamier than Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, by-the-by).  Stila Smudge Sticks are mechanical pencils, and they have known packaging woes (takes forever to get it to twist, often you can’t twist it back in).

Product Formulas/Wear:  I have no notable issues regarding overall wear with this set of eyeliners (exempting Guerlain Stylo Yeux, which I haven’t tested).  For more specifics, I urge you to review the particular product’s review.   Tokidoki Unicorno Glitter Eyeliner is a bit rough/scratchy against the lash line, because of the glittery bits.

What are your favorite golds?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Black Eyeliner Comparison
Black is Black is Black?

Black Eyeliner Comparisons

Are there shades of black? Indeed there are! Not every black eyeliner is the same. There are soft blacks, medium blacks, and deep blacks (and of course, variations within those categories). To try and make some sense of it all, I’m going to assign numerical ratings based on how black each liner is, with 10 being deep, dark black, 1 meaning so light that it’s almost no longer black, and 5 meaning a medium black.

  • Shiseido Black Noir (BK 901) Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil has an amazing creaminess to it, and it is almost a true, deep black. (Review) 9
  • MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil some creaminess but has some hardness (but not in a bad way–it’s not rough on eyes at all), and it is a true dark black — leans on the warm side. (Review) 10
  • MAC Feline Kohl Power is a rich, deep dark black that’s easy to smudge. It is a limited edition product, so it’s not currently available but is often repromoted. (Review) 10
  • Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner is a rich, deep dark black–creamy without being runny. (Review) 10
  • Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner is a softened, medium black. It is a slightly warmer black on me. (Review) 4
  • MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a darkened medium black. 6
  • MAC Smolder Eye Kohl is a dark black with cool leanings. 8
  • MAC Graphblack Technakohl is a medium black. 5
  • Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner is a dark black with a cool pull. (Review) 8
  • Stila Stingray Smudge Stick is a dark black with neutral to cool undertones. (Review) 8
  • YSL #1 Eye Pencil is a rich black, almost ultra black, with a very matte finish.  (Review) 9
  • Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner is a rich, glossy black. The glossiness makes it look less inky, though. (Review) 8
  • Benefit BADgal Liner is a creamy, dark black with warm leanings. (Review) 8

I included review links when I had them to share, but I had some wear issues with YSL’s #1 Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s Black Kohl Eyeliner, and Benefit’s BADgal.

The darkest: MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil, MAC Feline Kohl Power, Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner

Dark: Shiseido Black Noir Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil, YSL #1 Eye Pencil

Medium-dark: MAC Smolder Eye Kohl, Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner, Stila Stingray Smudge Stick, Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner, Benefit BADgal Liner

Medium: MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil, MAC Graphblack Technakohl

The lightest: Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner

See more photos! Continue reading →

Friday, October 8th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: Under $12

The first part of the Lipstick Comparisons series features lipstick formulas available for less than $12.  (These are all actually less than $8, I believe!)

One of the easily detectable and distinguishing ways that more affordable lipsticks vary from higher end lipsticks is in the scent.  I have yet to find a lipstick in this price range that doesn’t tend to have a synthetic scent, and if not syrupy sweet or floral, often a nauseating mix of plastic and play-doh.  Sometimes they can also have an off-taste, too.  Both scent/taste are highly personal, though, and both dependent on your sensitivity.

Wear time can sometimes differ (noted below), but while I rarely find lipsticks that wear well for six or more hours, there are some that do wear for the average time for me (four hours is my average).

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick (~$8.00)

  • PROS: Decent shade range, wearable shades that tend to be more universally flattering (mass appeal), smooth, opaque, wears for 3-4 hours, color-coded packaging
  • NEUTRAL: Mostly “wearable” colors — nothing really out of the box, synthetic/generic sweet scent on some while others have a more plastic scent
  • CONS: Some shades tend to cling, which make them less suitable for those with drier lips
  • MY REC: The scent can be pretty bothersome for some, but it’ll depend on how adverse you are to certain smells. For a drugstore lipstick, they might feel a little pricey, so it may be prudent to wait for a sale. It doesn’t dry my lips out, but it’s not at all moisturizing, so those with dry lips should take note.

Milani Color Perfect Lipstick ($4.99)

  • PROS: Wide range of shades, creamy, moisturizing, opaque
  • NEUTRAL: Both neutral and brighter shades, synthetic/waxy scent
  • CONS: Frost finish shades are drier and less opaque, dated packaging
  • MY REC: The creamier shades are the best of the line; they’re incredibly pigmented and apply really well. The frostier shades tend to emphasize any dryness on lips.

NYX Round Lipstick ($4.00)

  • PROS: Ridiculous amount of shades, variety in finishes, opaque, creamy, affordable
  • NEUTRAL: Scent-free but strong plastic scent on some
  • CONS: Wears off after 2-3 hours, darker shades bleed
  • MY REC: When it comes to trying out shades, NYX is definitely a go-to brand. The creamy, smooth texture and the huge shade range helps it stand out amongst other budget-friendly options. NYX also occasionally has crazy bundled packages–I remember buying 30 or 40 lipsticks for around $50 one time.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick (~$5.00)

  • PROS: Good shade range, creamy, doesn’t dry lips out, affordable
  • NEUTRAL: Synthetic fruity scent
  • CONS: Wears off within 1-2 hours requiring frequent reapplication
  • MY REC: It’s a decent option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind reapplication.

The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.

This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.)  I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences.  I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.

(And yes, I recognize that the series photo does not include any of these brands! The image represents the series, not individual posts.)