Monday, February 13th, 2012

5 Pretty in Pink and Red Lipglosses for Valentine’s Day

In case you’re not into lipsticks, or maybe you like to mix, here are five of my favorites that would make for a perfect lip for Valentine’s Day!

  1. MAC Driven by Love — ruby red with ruby shimmer
  2. Chanel Trimphal — pinky-red with lighter pink and red shimmer
  3. Illamasqua Indulge — bright, yellow-toned pink
  4. Milani Photo Flash — glittery, glitzy pink-red
  5. Hourglass Siren — metallic orange-red

What’s your favorite gloss for Valentine’s Day?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil
Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil

Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil

Milani Photo Flash Lip Flash Gloss Pencil ($6.49 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “fuchsia with gold and fuchsia shimmer.” I wouldn’t really describe it as fuchsia; it’s more of a pink-tinged red with fuchsia and red micro-glitter. When applied, the color coverage is mostly opaque, and it looks like a really juicy red with just enough translucency to give it that pinky-red coloring. The formula is supposed to be highly pigmented, extra glossy, and contain “moisture-rich” ingredients. It’s not supposed to feather or feel sticky either.

Like Flashy, it yields great color payoff but doesn’t look as glossy as a lipgloss. It looks more like a shiny lipstick to me than a lipgloss, and it feels that way, too. This particular shade wore for just over five hours, but I did notice the grit of the glitter after an hour or so of wear.

This shade also has a very similar Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color dupe in Adrenaline. The two formulas feel very, very similar; I doubt I could point out the differences in a blind test. Some other similar shades include Guerlain L’Heure Bleue (redder) and Dior Technicolor (less pink).

Even though I love the way they look and how much color they deliver, I don’t love that noticeable grittiness after an hour of wear. Luckily, the glitter doesn’t travel! You may want to freeze these pencils before sharpening, as their soft, creamy consistency make them harder to sharpen and messier to deal with. You should also expect some waste during the sharpening process if they are at room temperature.

The Glossover

DC
product

Photo Flash

B+
I love how the glitter looks but not so much how it feels after an hour or two of wear--slightly gritty--and sharpening these types of pencils could be improved. The color is, however, lovely!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Milani Flashy Lip Flash Gloss Pencil
Milani Flashy Lip Flash Gloss Pencil

Milani Flashy Lip Flash Gloss Pencil

Milani Flashy Lip Flash Gloss Pencil ($6.49 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “hot pink with hot pink shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark raspberry fuchsia with fuchsia micro-glitter. The color coverage is mostly opaque but a hint of my lip freckle peeks through. The formula is supposed to be highly pigmented, extra glossy, and contain “moisture-rich” ingredients. It’s not supposed to feather or feel sticky either.

It has nice color payoff and doesn’t require a lot of product to deliver the results seen in swatches, though it’s not as glossy as true lipgloss. The texture feels gritty over time as the color wears away but the glitter lingers on. With Flashy, I was able to get four hours of wear. It’s not perfectly non-sticky, but it doesn’t feel tacky overall, and my lips felt about the same after wearing these–not drier. I didn’t experience any bleeding or feathering of color with this shade.  They look and feel more like a lipstick with extra shine.

If you’ve wanted to try (or have already tried and are a fan of) Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color, this is a good budget-friendly alternative, because Flash is an exact dupe of Urban Decay Big Bang. The two formulas feel very, very similar; I doubt I could point out the differences in a blind test. Some other similar shades include MAC Quite the Thing (slightly darker) and MAC Rare Exotic (brighter, no shimmer).

I’m not in love with the format or the feel of these, which is the same way I felt about Urban Decay’s version. I don’t love the grittiness that gets more noticeable as you wear the color, and sharpening them can be frustrating. Readers have recommended freezing pencils prior to sharpening to minimize waste, because of the soft, creamy texture, there can be a lot of waste when sharpened at room temperature. Sometimes the excess gets caught in the sharpener and smears more than it disappears when you go to wipe it away!

The Glossover

DC
product

Flashy

B+
It's a gorgeous color, and I love how the glitter looks but not so much how it feels after an hour or two of wear--slightly gritty--and sharpening these types of pencils could be improved.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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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

P
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?