Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Milani Runway Eyeshadow
Milani Caribbean Sea Runway Eyeshadow

Milani Runway Eyeshadow: Caribbean Sea

Milani Caribbean Sea Runway Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.07 oz.) is such a pretty shade of aqua blue… if you use it wet.  When used dry, it’s rather lackluster and almost takes on a greenish cast; it’s also on the sheer side.  However, add just a touch of fixing spray or water to your brush before picking up the shadow yields a much more intense, pigmented shade of lightened aqua blue.  You’ll need to pack on the color, rather than sweep on, to get the best results.  It’s not a great eyeshadow, but it’s workable when wet.

Check out my original review for my thoughts on the packaging.

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

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

RECOMMENDATION: Color eyeshadow fiends should probably pass, just because it’s nowhere near as pigmented as many top brands for color–but if you just want to play around and experiment with color, this is an affordable way to do so.

AVAILABILITY: Cherry Culture

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Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Milani Runway Eyeshadow
Milani Blue Lagoon Runway Eyeshadow

Milani Runway Eyeshadow: Blue Lagoon

Milani Blue Lagoon Runway Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.07 oz.) looks so full of beautiful blue promise, but it really falls flat.  This was the worst shade that I tried out of the six (there are twelve in total, so I don’t know how it compares against the six I haven’t tried)–it’s just so sheer.  It’s even ridiculously sheer when used wet.  The color practically disappears, and instead of a brightened medium blue, you get this sheered navy blue with flashes of lighter blue sheen.  I think the swatches speak for themselves, to be honest!

Check out my original review for my thoughts on the packaging.

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

  • Product: 14/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: Pass. Skip.  Run away!

AVAILABILITY: Cherry Culture

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Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Milani Runway Eyeshadow
Milani Beach Sand Runway Eyeshadow

Milani Runway Eyeshadow: Beach Sand

Milani Beach Sand Runway Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.07 oz.) is a sheer, barely-there patina gold with a metallic shimmer-sheen.  It really is rather sheer when applied dry, but it does intensify when used wet.  However, this is a shade that can easily be used for that quick, two-minute eye look that adds a little dazzle to the lids without having to spend much time on it.  Just a quick swipe and you’re out the door–it’s one of those kinds of shades.  By itself, it doesn’t stay on for more than a couple of hours, but over a base, it worked just fine.

Check out my original review for my thoughts on the packaging.

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re just looking for an affordable option for a one-and-done kind of eyeshadow, Beach Sand might work for you.

AVAILABILITY: Cherry Culture

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Monday, September 6th, 2010

Milani Runway Eyeshadow
Milani Bronze Doll Runway Eyeshadow

Milani Runway Eyeshadow: Bronze Doll

Milani Bronze Doll Runway Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.07 oz.) is one of twelve shades available in Milani’s Runway Eyeshadow range. I was originally going to review all six shades I tested out at once, but the quality of each is just all over the place that it doesn’t make sense. This is a definite downfall to the product range, because it’s incredibly inconsistent.  I’ll be reviewing a shade a day for the next six days.

We’ll kick off the Runway Eyeshadow reviews with Bronze Doll, which is one of the better shades I tried. It’s a coppery brown with noticeable orange undertones. It has decent pigmentation when used dry, but it is more intense and smoother when applied wet. The texture is similar to those of other brands’ baked eyeshadows; very smooth, a little powdery, and there is a tendency for the product to fade a bit if you use it wet (as it dries down). It’s also better to pack the product on and do very careful blending, because it is easy to sheer these out if you spend too much time blending.

The packaging is a bummer; it just feels cheap and flimsy, and the curved dual-ended brush is terrible. I don’t know how the curve of this tiny brush is supposed to make it easier to apply eyeshadow with it. That brush really kills the overall look for me, though–it’s just so bleh, even the sponge tip feels a bit on the scratchy side.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For warmer skin tones, I think this works decently for a copper-bronze kind of shade without breaking the bank. I think it may look too orange on cooler skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Cherry Culture

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Sunday, August 29th, 2010

NYX Hero Lipstick

The Sultry Season: NYX Hero Lipstick

NYX Hero Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deepened neutral-cool blue-based red with a creamy, glossy finish and opaque color.  My NYX Round Lipsticks seem to be scent-free overall, but I do have a few that were brand new and smelled a little on the plastic side, while a couple had more of a general perfume-y feel.  I’m not entirely sure why there is so much variation across the board!   I love the texture and feel of their Round Lipsticks, though; incredibly creamy and the darker shades are certainly quite pigmented.  They do have a fair amount of slip, so they may bleed if you’re prone to to that, and I don’t find they last more than two to three hours, with darker shades on the three hour side and some leaving behind a soft stain.

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

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara
CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara

How Does LashBlast Fusion Stack Up?

CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara ($8.99) is designed to both lengthen and volumize your lashes in just one formula. A year ago, I reviewed LastBlast Length with pretty good results–not my perfect mascara for my eyelashes–but a solid lengthening mascara all the same.

It is a fiber mascara, which makes it very easy to remove. Despite easy removal, I did not encounter any smudging or flaking during the twelve hour test I gave it. Everything stayed put as it should. This is a great mascara if you use about two coats or three really quick coats–if you work slowly on each coat, you’ll end up in Clump City. It didn’t seem prone to clumping so much as it dries quickly. When it’s dried, my lashes didn’t feel heavy or crunchy, and they still looked like they had a natural softness to them.

I think what left me less than impressed with this mascara is that the effect is more on the natural side, which isn’t what LashBlast seems to be about. It gives some length, a little volume (I didn’t notice much myself), and smidgen of thickening–but it doesn’t do any of these with any va-voom. The original LashBlast does all of these better, and LashBlast Length does a better job of lengthening.

When it comes to rating a product, it’s about how good it is–but also how good it is at what it’s supposed to do. While it’s great when a product does more than it should or does something great, I always consider whether it lives up to the marketing claims. Fusion doesn’t fail, but it doesn’t live up to its claims about volume for me, but it does a decent job of adding length.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I don’t think any of the LashBlasts will treat you poorly, but Fusion seems to give me the most natural look of all three. (And yes, I’m totally aware that I don’t actually have a review of the original LashBlast up at this time.) I’d probably stick with the original for a more multi-tasking mascara or opt for lengthening if you need just length.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

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