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

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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 →

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils: Pure Gold, Electric Blue, Purple Velvet, Rocky Mountain Green

New Jumbo Eye Pencil Shades for Summer

Just in time for summer, NYX has added four new perfect-for-the-season shades of their Jumbo Eye Pencils ($4.00 for 0.18 oz.). These are oversized eyeliners that can be used as an eyeshadow, eyeshadow base, or eyeliner.

  • Pure Gold is a coppered gold. It has a frost finish, and it’s not exactly “pure gold,” since it looks rather coppery. It’s a beautiful color nonetheless!
  • Electric Blue is a brightened sky blue with silver shimmer and a satin-frost finish.
  • Purple Velvet is a royal purple with a violet shimmer-sheen.
  • Rocky Mountain Green is a lightened emerald green with a silver pearl finish.

I like the Jumbo Eye Pencils as eyeshadow bases the most, because their jumbo-sized points are easier to use in applying it all over the eye. Similarly, the pencil is often a bit unwieldy when trying to use it as an eyeliner, just because it is so much bigger and the point that much less precise for lining. I think it would be cool if these were double-sided with the same color on both, but one side is a normal-sized pencil, while the other is the jumbo-size! Best of both worlds, yeah?

I’m able to wear the Jumbo Eye Pencils alone without any creasing, but I think oilier eyelids will experience at least some, minimal creasing. I think they work really well to layer under eyeshadows, especially to give them more pop.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: These make for great eyeshadow bases, and if you’re in the market for some colored eyeshadow bases for your eyeshadow stash, hard to go wrong with one of these!

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Cleansing Pads

Not Quite Travel Friendly:  Aveeno Daily Cleansing Pads

Aveeno Postively Ageless Daily Cleansing Pads ($8.99 for 28, $0.32 each) are pre-moistened, dual-sided cleansing pads that are approximately 3″ in diameter. One side is smooth, while the other side is textured to provide gentle exfoliation.

I liked the way these felt on the skin, and the scent was pleasing to me (smelled like Baby Shampoo), though it didn’t linger. I just have some issues about the practicality of this particularly product. Each pad is very, very saturated–I’d almost say overly so–and while it means you’ll get plenty of moisturize and cleanser on your face to clean it, it seems like overkill. It lathers and foams up a little but not excessively, and it does leave skin feeling clean. I experienced a smidgen of tightness, but it was very, very subtle and barely noticeable.

Based on using these for a week or so, I’d recommend cutting the pads in halves or even thirds to maximize your purchase–but it doesn’t sacrifice quality or anything; there truly is plenty of moisture and cleanser even when cut into thirds to clean your face!  Otherwise you’ll be running through a jar in less than a month!

I’m concerned at the enormous container compared to the contents inside it. As you can see in the photo above, it comes about 2/3 to 1/2 full, but the pads themselves don’t take up the entire diameter of the jar, let alone the height. I’m not sure why it’s so big. It seems like it’d be a better idea to minimize excess air inside the jar to maintain the moisture of the pads (but these were plenty saturated, not even a hint of dryness). I think because I really can’t see the purpose behind such over-sized packaging, I find it particularly wasteful and almost a turn-off from the product overall.

These are more expensive than some makeup removing wipes, which work as well, and come in more economical packaging to boot! You’ll also need to rinse your face after using, so it’s not as convenient as makeup removing wipes (which shouldn’t need you to rinse). I guess I’d rather just use a regular cleanser (and though I have not tried it, there is Aveeno Positively Ageless Daily Exfoliating Cleanser) and use my hands rather than a small pad.

I could see some utility out of these as a nice travel option, but because the jar is mammoth, I don’t see myself traveling with it–it’d take up way too much room for what it’s worth. If I actually have that much space, that means I’m checking luggage and can just bring my regular ol’ cleanser–and if I’m just carrying-on, there’s no way it could fit!

They do their job — they do cleanse, remove the majority of my face makeup (but I wouldn’t use this on the eyes, so it’s a no-go for eye makeup), and didn’t dry out my skin. I’m just less than impressed by the glaringly wasteful packaging.  If you cut the pads into halves or thirds, I think you’ll be able to stretch the usage out where it’s much, much more in line with affordable skincare.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation:  If you’re often on the go and would love to have a pre-moistened cleansing pad help keep you and your skincare routine on track, you might find these a more practical investment!  Or if you have particularly sensitive skin and find most scrubs and exfoliators too harsh on skin, the textured side of this pad is very gentle and may be a better fit for your skin type.

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Beauty on a Budget:  Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow ($3.99) come in several shades, but I recently tested out three shades:

  • Royal Violet (400) is a lightened lavender purple with subtle white shimmer.
  • Sapphire (450) is a nearly matte, periwinkle blue.
  • Posh Peacock (500) is a gorgeous shade of blue with an aqua-teal shimmer-sheen.

These are definitely some of the better textured eyeshadows from mass that I’ve encountered recently. They’re also quite pigmented without having to maneuver in certain ways, like packing it on, using sponge-tip applicators, etc. Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadows work best with brushes, as the eyeshadows are quite silky. I found a sponge-tip felt a little rough on the shadows–like it was causing the shadow to break apart a bit.

Posh Peacock (500) was definitely my favorite, because it was richly pigmented (more so than the other two I tried), and it was just stunning when swatched. It was vibrant and had depth when I’ve come not to expect that from a lot of eyeshadows on the market these days.  The other two shades were decently pigmented, but they were a little more on the powdery side, which is due in part to their more matte texture.

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: They’re not the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, but they’re very good. For $4, they’re a great entry point for those looking to play around with eyeshadows or even just brighter colors in general, without breaking the bank. And for those who get a little thrill out of brilliant drugstore scores, you may want to pick up one of their new Mono shades.

Availability: ULTA

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

NYX 24 Karat Lipstick

The Summer Season: NYX 24 Karat Lipstick

NYX 24 Karat Lipstick ($5.50) is an ultra shimmery, borderline glittery metallic copper with a copper-brown color base. This is a very, very bronzy shade, and I definitely think it’s more suitable for tanner skin. It has a high-shine that’s more metallic than shimmery. I love that the color is entirely opaque! I get about two to three hours of wear with this particular lipstick, and I didn’t notice any scent other than waxiness of the lipstick itself. No real taste, either!

Is this the right bronze 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 →