Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Milani Holographic Nail Lacquer
Milani Holographic Nail Lacquers: Hi-Tech, digital, Cyberspace;
HD, 3D, Hi-Res

Milani Holographic Nail Lacquers for Spring

Milani Holographic Nail Lacquer ($4.99 each) really caught my eye after I reviewed Hi-Tech. Here are all of the new shades for Spring swatched and photographed–and still loving them! The formula on these is thin, but it’s not runny–it works quite well and it’s very easy to apply. I did three coats for all the shades, which was just what was needed (except 3D, where two would have been fine). These are just fun, sparkling shades! :)

  • Hi-Tech is spring-y, yellow-green with different flecks of, predominantly, gold and green shimmer.
  • Digital is a sparkling medium pink with multi-colored shimmer. Pink and purplish shimmer dominate, but then there are flecks of gold and green, too.
  • Cyberspace is a sky blue base with green blue shimmer that’s most noticeable, and then the reflective multi-colored shimmer is subtler.
  • HD is a silver-ish polish with a semi-sheer silver color base and lots of bright silver and multi-reflective shimmer. I found this was the sheerest shade of the bunch; pictured is three coats, and you can still see a bit of the nail through it.
  • 3D is a yellow-gold that goes opaque in two coats, though I swatched it with three, just for good measure. It has brightened golden yellow shimmer along with the multi-coloured shimmer found in holographic shades.
  • Hi-Res is a shimmering medium red-based purple base, almost feels like a jelly base, with icy purple and pops of gold shimmer dominate, but then there is also red, blue, and green shimmer underneath.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Love glittery, holographic polish? Check out the new shades by Milani!

Availability: Local drugstores, Milani

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Beauty on a Budget:  Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with bright silver shimmer, a muted teal-blue with silver shimmer, a dark navy blue with a soft sheen, and a matte black with silver sparkle. The eyeshadows have a very soft texture, so they are best applied by patting the eyeshadow on rather than sweeping it on.

The silver, dark blue, and black were surprisingly pigmented and really didn’t have a powdery or chalky finish to them–the only one that I had any issues with was the teal shade, which tended to go on very soft and really had to be packed on in order to get decent color. I also found that it was easy to overblend the teal shade to a very faded teal shade, but the other three shades I didn’t have that problem with. I thought I might have had that issue with the black, but it stayed dark and black for the most part.

The silver reminded me of MAC Electra, while the blue was similar to a mix between MAC Freshwater and MAC Deep Truth, and the black was a less glittery version of MAC Black Tied. The teal was a bit too faded to really be comparable to a MAC eyeshadow, but it has a similar tone as MAC Surreal (which is now discontinued).

The packaging is the same as the other eyeshadow quads I’ve reviewed, so I still have the same gripe — it’s cheap and flimsy. It’s easy for the clear plastic lid to pop off the hinge, though I haven’t had it break, so I can still pop it back on. For the price tag (particularly if you catch these on sale), they’re worth checking out!

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads…

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: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and want to try out some new eyeshadows, Maybelline’s Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads are worth a look!

Availability: Local drugstores

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Beauty on a Budget:  Maybelline Irresistibly Ivy Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Irresistibly Ivy Eyeshadow Quad ($8.49) is a mix of four eyeshadows that can be used together or alone. They’re very soft, slightly powdery shades, so it’s better to use a tapping technique, rather than sweeping/brushing it on a lot. Think less windshield-wiper motions when applying these with a brush. I find that this is just something that holds true for all softer shadows (e.g. Stila and Urban Decay).

Irresistibly Ivy includes a softly shimmered champagne beige; rich, orange-copper with golden shimmer; matte teal with glitter sparkle; and reddened bronze-copper. I found that the orange-copper shade had the best texture and color pay off–very smooth and true-to-color. The teal had a little more of a dusty feel to it, since it’s more of a matte base with shimmer on top.

For drugstore beauty, the pay off is intense and over a good primer (e.g. UDPP), I had no problems with the color popping and staying true. I found minimal fading after eight hours, so they’re not quite as good as some of my favorite eyeshadows, but for the price, they’re an excellent alternative for those on a budget–or would like to try certain colors without shelling out $15+ for one.

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: 3/5

Recommendation: If you like soft shadows and want something affordable, Maybelline Eye Studio Quads might be up your alley!

Availability: Local drugstores

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Maybelline Warm Me Up Lipstick

The Spring Season: Maybelline Warm Me Up Lipstick

Maybelline Warm Me Up (#235) Lipstick ($7.49) is a beautiful shade of slightly milky-medium pink with a yellow undertone. It has just a smidgen of shimmer and a very creamy look. It’s smooth, easy to apply, and wears well for a solid three to four hours. I love that it’s a full color coverage shade, too–it gives me a quick and easy, everyday pink that I can wear alone or with smoked out eyes. Maybelline’s ColorSensational Lipstick line is really impressive–the shades I’ve tried so far have been wearable, creamy, and pack good color pigmentation to boot. If you’ve been hoping for a more affordable yellow-based pink, this might be it!

Is this the perfect pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Milani Hi-Tech Holographic Nail Lacquer

Beauty on a Budget: Glitter-tastic Nails with Milani Holographic Nail Lacquer

Milani Hi-Tech 3D Holographic Nail Lacquer ($4.99) is one of six new holographic shades from Milani this spring. Other shades include: HD (silver), 3D (gold), Cyberspace (blue), Digital (eggplant purple), Hi-Res (purple).

According to Milani, “New specialty nail lacquer that exhibits a unique 3D Holographic effect that no other nail lacquer has ever achieved. The nail lacquer appears to color-shift as the illumination source or the viewing angle changes. This color phenomenon is based on Holographic Image Technology that makes a very thin, bright, embossed metallic flake look like a rainbow. It allows the color to travel from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet; seven distinctive colors of the color spectrum.”

Hi-Tech is wickedly shimmery with larger shimmer particles (but they don’t feel gritty like a glitter polish often does). It’s a spring-y, yellow-green with different flecks of, predominantly, gold and green shimmer. It reflects and catches the light in a way that I can’t capture on film–definitely one of those “you gotta be there” moments. Really stunning, though. I’ll be sure to post again if I try any of the other five shades available.

Have you tried any of the new Holographic shades yet?

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love glitter polishes but not the removal process, Milani’s 3D Holographic polish might be another way to get your glitter on.

Availability: Local drugstores, MilaniCosmetics.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Milani Liquif'eye Liner

Long-lasting Eyeliner on a Budget:  Milani Liquif’Eye

Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencils ($5.49 each) are new for spring and available in five shades: Black, Silver, Gold, Aqua, and Brown. As far as I’m concerned, there is always more room in the world for metallic/chrome eyeliner. These do remind me of L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners in many ways, though these are a little firmer and more metallic than chrome finish. They’re definitely similar, though.

Liquif’Eye is soft, smooth, and richly pigmented eyeliner. It glides on like my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liners and looks just as smooth. I get good wear out of these–no smudging, budging, or migration eight hours later. They don’t look faded either! Surprisingly, they stay well on my waterline, too, for several hours (but I do have a more watery waterline at times), which isn’t something most liners can do for me.

At just $5.49 each, they’re hard to resist. Not only are they excellent in every way–quality, long-lasting liner that is rich in color and smooth in texture–but they’re priced just right. I tried out four of the five shades, and I found each one to be just as good. I hope to see Milani release more shades in the future–how about a green, copper, and violet?

  • Black (#01) is a rich, deep dark black. It’s an absolutely smoldering black that’s truly black–there’s no gray here.
  • Silver (#02) is a bright and shiny silver with a metallic finish.
  • Gold (#03) is a toned down, burnished gold. It’s not a true yellow gold, but it’a step down from that. Little more “antique” gold in it.
  • Aqua (#04) is a bright aqua-blue. It isn’t quite as metallic as either the gold or silver shades, but it still has that metallic sheen.

Even the packaging is anything but cheap.  It’s a matte black that looks and feels sleek.  If you blindfolded me, I couldn’t tell you that these didn’t feel like other high-end eyeliners, like Smashbox and Urban Decay.

Have you tried these yet?

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

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

Recommendation: Next time you’re near a Milani display, these are definitely worth a little look-see.

Availability: Local drugstores, MilaniCosmetics.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →