Thursday, July 29th, 2010

NYX Nude on Nude Palette
NYX Nude on Nude Palette

Cheap, Tawdry Nudes

For a mere $11, you can grab NYX’s Nude on Nude Palette, which contains nine neutral eyeshadows, plus two complementing lip colors. It contains these eyeshadows: pale nude beige (semi-matte finish), semi-sheer mushroom taupe with warm undertones (light shimmer), cool-toned dark brown (satin finish), peachy copper (frosty/metallic sheen), muted copper (frosty), semi-sheer dark gray brown (light shimmer), brightened copper (frosty), browned gold (frosty), and warmed medium-dark chocolate brown (light shimmer). It also contains a reddish rose with lots of shimmer and sheer, medium bubblegum pink for lip colors.

Overall, the eyeshadow quality is pretty good; some shades kick-up a noticeable amount of powder, so you may experience some fall out when using the shades. Nearly all of the shades were nicely pigmented and had a soft, smooth texture.  I also like the packaging (except the pull out drawer–feels cheap) — on the outside, it looks sleek and classy.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: On a budget and want some neutrals? NYX makes it easy to do so without feeling guilty.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Milani Coral Bora Bora Lipstick

The Summer Season: Milani Coral Bora-Bora Lipstick

Milani Coral Bora-Bora Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a semi-opaque pinky-coral with a high-frost finish.  It applies easily and wears a solid three hours before the majority of it has worn away.  It is definitely a frostier lipstick, though, so it will emphasize imperfections on the lips–I wouldn’t recommend it if you suffer from dry/chapped lips unless you exfoliate first!  Though a synthetic/waxy scent never is pleasant, it doesn’t linger when applied.  Luckily, at under $5, it’s something I can overlook!

Is this the right coral for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast Eyeliner
LiquilineBlast: Brown Blaze, Blue Boom, Silver Spark, Green Glow, Violet Voltage

Urban Decay Dupe?  Not Quite, But Close

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast ($7.99 for 0.033 oz.) are touted to give you the “intensity and styaing power of a liquid with the ease and blendability of a waterproof pencil.” It also comes with a smudger on one end. There are six shades in all, and the one I don’t have to review here is Blackfire–will try to get my hands on it for a review soon.

  • Brown Blaze is a dark neutral-toned brown.
  • Blue Boom is a bright medium blue with a satin-y shimmer finish.
  • Silver Spark is a dark charcoal gray with silver flecks of shimmer-glitter.
  • Green Glow is a bright pop of chatreuse green with yellow shimmer-sheen.
  • Violet Voltage is a red-toned purple–very eggplant-y.

I really do like these, even if they don’t do quite as good of a job as some of my favorite high-end eyeliners (Make Up For Ever, Urban Decay). My favorite shades were Blue Boom and Green Glow, which I’m sure doesn’t come as a surprise!

The LiquilineBlasts have a very smooth, soft feel when used, and they do glide very well across the lid/lash line. However, they aren’t incredibly pigmented–you can layer it on to get more of that opaque, intense liner look, though, but it’s not one-stroke color here. It’s also better if you apply in the same direction, even in layers, because it keeps it from smearing/sheering out.

These excel in the wear department, though — I had no trouble with these lasting all day without smudging, budging, or migrating. They stay tacky enough to be smudged for about a minute or two, but they seem to set quite well after that. It’s a shame that the pigmentation is a little low, because these could have been a great affordable alternative to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners–they’re a good one, but they’re just not a perfect substitute.  I would also say these felt softer than Urban Decay’s liners.

But I really love Green Glow — I only have a liquid liner in this color, and I am very much an eyeliner fiend, so whenever I come across a shade I don’t quite have, it’s hard not to fall in love.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I really like these, and with their lower price tag, it might be worth looking into as long as you don’t mind a little layering to get it to be true-to-color. They wear well and long, which is the most important aspect of any eyeliner, in my eyes … or rather, on my eyes… Ha!

AVAILABILITY: Ulta

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Rimmel Eyeful Eye Glistener

Glossy Eyes?  One Slippery Ride…

Rimmel Eyeful Eye Glistener ($7.29) are great in theory, terrible in practice. I don’t usually use the word “terrible” to describe beauty products, because I don’t come across too many that merit such a negative descriptor. These are glossy pencils to give lids “vibrant, yet transparent” colour, and Rimmel says you can use it as an eyeshadow or eyeliner.

  • Stand Out is a sheer, golden-shimmered light olive green.
  • Talk to Me is a soft medium sky blue with a silver sheen.
  • Girls Only! is a peach-shimmered pale petal pink.

May all of the beauty gods and goddesses be at your side should you dare to use these as an eyeshadow! These slip and slide and crease and migrate all over the place. It’s like a waterslide adventure where the produce is in my lashes, glitter is on my cheeks, and my eyelids look more like an oil spill than beautiful and luminous. It looks awesome for the first few minutes, so I think for a photoshoot, they could work, if you were going for a sheer, glossy lid look. If you’re actually planning to wear these out of the house? Not so much!

Even applied over an eyeshadow base and “set” with eyeshadow, these still end up creasing within a couple of hours, and by setting with eyeshadow on top, you lose the glossy effect (so why bother?). They have a sticky texture, so eyeshadows adhere well to them, but I felt like it kind of gunked up my brush at the same time. I couldn’t find a way to make these creaseproof at all, unfortunately.

As an eyeliner, they definitely fair better, but I still found the liner migrated to the corners after two to three hours and some of the glitter fell under my eye. It’s a cool effect, and for a quick trip out, it could be worth trying. Girls Only! is a shade that could be used elsewhere on the face, like the cheeks, for a highlighter effect. It doesn’t seem to ever fully dry, so while you can get glistening cheeks, be wary of touching them. I’m not sold on using it elsewhere, to be honest, because it slips around so easily.

I didn’t get great pigmentation out of the three shades I tried–they were definitely on the sheer side–but according to Rimmel they’re supposed to be “vibrant, yet transparent,” which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

No, I’ll just stick with clear lipgloss if I want a glossy look–lasts about the same and sometimes a little longer.

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

  • Product: 7/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For photoshoots or five-minute wear, maybe. As a novelty, maybe. I’d skip.

AVAILABILITY: CVS, Ulta, etc.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 5th, 2010

NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Eyeshadow Palette

Budget Friendly Beauty:  NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Palette

NYX I Dream of St. Lucia Eyeshadow Palette ($8.75 for 0.28 oz.) is a tropical-themed palette with all of the fun, bright shades of the beach. It has a medium grassy green with a semi-matte finish, medium sky blue with a satiny feel, sunny, paled yellow with a frost finish, pop of bubblegum pink with blue undertones and a satin finish, and bright orange with a satin finish.

I love NYX as a brand that provides higher quality products at a very budget-friendly cost. I find NYX eyeshadows to be good but not great–they tend to be a little powdery and fade a bit on the lid. The powderiness can lead to a modest bit of fall out, though a small price to pay to keep within your budget! What’s great about this palette in particular is that I don’t have shades quite like these in some of my higher end brands, so it’s a nice way to complement and supplement my high-end collection, too.

All five shades were pigmented, though the green and blue shades easily faded if you overblended. The yellow and the orange had the best pigmentation, both vibrant with little product, and the yellow shade didn’t fade or sheer out at all (owes to the frost finish, I’d say).

Overall, it’s an excellent palette with good eyeshadows at an even better price. One thing I’d like to see is a reference guide as to what shades the palette actually contains – I couldn’t track down a list of what each was called. I only know that the palette contains some of the original, best selling NYX eyeshadows, but I’d like to know exactly which ones — NYX has so many, and it’s difficult to tell online!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re on a strict budget or you don’t want to shell  out $15-20 per eyeshadow to get your bright eyeshadow fix, NYX has you covered with their I Dream of St. Lucia palette.  Five brights for under $10–quite the steal.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Milani Cabana Coral Lipstick

The Summer Season: Milani Cabana Coral Lipstick

Milani Cabana Coral Lipstick ($4.99) is a shimmering coral-orange with a frosty golden shimmer-sheen. It’s nearly opaque, and it’s bright without being blinding. It wears for two to three hours, but the formula is smooth, rich in color, and lightweight on lips.  I like that it’s noticeably orange, but it’s a lot more wearable than true oranges.

Is this the right coral for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →