Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

NYX Paradise Nail Lacquer

NYX Paradise Nail Polish ($5.00) is a funky shade perfect for summer!  It’s this blue-teal with flecks of gold-green shimmer.  I thought it’d be a nice shade to feature for the upcoming warmer, summery season :)

The formula doesn’t standout, but it’s solid — it’s not too thick or thin, and it goes opaque in three coats (but you definitely need three).  I get good wear out of this polish, too–it’s my first NYX polish–so I was pleasantly surprised by that.  I used Zoya’s Color Lock System for the polish, just as a FYI!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you love duochromes, Paradise is a nice mix of blue, teal, gold, and green.  Perfect for summer!

Availability: NYX Cosmetics

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Monday, April 12th, 2010

Milani Mandarina Lipstick

The Summer Season: Milani Mandarina Lipstick

Milani Mandarina Lipstick ($4.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a vibrant, tangerine-orange with a glossy sheen and completely opaque color. This is not an orange for the faint of heart! This is a bold, unabashedly orange lipstick. The best part of this lipstick is how truly pigmented it is–trust me, I was impressed upon swatching at just how opaque the color is on lips. It lasts about three hours on me, but it fades evenly enough that it’s not a big deal when it does. I wish the scent was a little less synthetic/waxy–even just vanilla would work for me. Otherwise, the intense color pay off and creamy look and feel of the formula is well worth the five dollar price tag.

Is this the right orange lipstick 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.

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Lipgloss
Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Lipgloss

The Spring Season: Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Lipgloss

Maybelline Sandstone Shimmer Color Sensational Lipgloss ($5.99) is a sheer, lightly peach-tinged champagne-shimmered gloss. Applied on my lips, it mutes the natural rosiness a bit, giving it a milkier, nude-pink look with a glossy sheen and noticeable shimmer. It has a sweetened berry scent and no real taste to me (nothing bad, maybe a touch sweet) as well. This would be nice layered over matte or semi-matte nudes for extra sparkle!

Is this the right nude 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 →

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

NYX Chandelier Lipgloss

The Spring Season: NYX Chandelier Lipgloss

NYX Chandelier Lipgloss ($5.50) is a sheer jelly base with just the slightest pink tinge with pale silver and pink shimmer. On lips, it’s a very soft color that delivers mostly a highly shimmered look with a glossy finish. It’s a fun gloss to wear everyday without having to work too hard, but it’s also a nice way to add more shimmer to any of your favorite pink or nude glosses.

Is this the right gloss 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 →

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Milani Infinite Liquid Liner

Long-wearing Liquid Liner with Milani Infinite

Milani Infinite Liquid Liner ($5.99 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is a long-wearing liquid liner that is available in five shades (and new for spring): Infinite (blue), Endless (purple), Eternal (green), Forever (brown), and Everlast (black). I test drove three of the five shades (but I’ll be reviewing the other two later down the line, not to worry!) over the past few weeks, and I gotta say, these hold up to their name!

  • Eternal is a medium grassy-green with yellow undertones, gold sheen, and a metallic finish. It reminded me of MAC Lucky Green Eyeshadow, but in a liquid liner format. It’s just a smidgen greener than MAC Greenplay Liquidlast.
  • Infinite is a bright medium blue with a slightly metallic finish/sheen. It’s a dead ringer for MAC Blue Herizon Liquidlast–total dupe.
  • Everlast is a matte, flat black. It’ll apply quite glossy initially, but once it dries down, it will be a flat, but intense, black. I don’t own MAC Point Black Liquidlast, but from the swatches I’ve done of it in the past, the two should be incredibly interchangeable.

The good: These will wear and wear and wear. They won’t budge or smudge until you’re ready to take them off. They’re also water-resistant and crease-proof, so they’re perfect for summer days spent at the beach, ocean, or pool. The shade range has two more everyday/wearable shades (Forever and Everlast) and three “fun” shades (Endless, Eternal, and Infinite), so it’s a nice mix. I, of course, would love to see Milani expand the color range–I want to see some teals, pinks, duochrome kind of colors.

The bad: They can take awhile to dry if you apply too heavily. If you apply a thin layer, drying time is around twenty to thirty seconds, but if you go thicker, you’re looking at over a minute. I found they stayed wet a little long for my personal preference, but once I was aware of it, it wasn’t an actual issue when I used them. The brush itself is a little on the large side, which made it difficult to apply straight from the tube, so I did opt to use a thin, angled brush to apply it instead.

Taking them off can be a challenge if you’re not used to incredibly long-wearing makeup, but I found that a good oil-based remover like Lancome’s Bi-Facil or shu uemura’s cleansing oil did the trick. I like Bi-Facil on a cotton swab, because it allows me to get everything off in just one swipe.

These are very, very similar to MAC’s Liquidlast Liners–from the shades themselves to how well they wear. Liquidlast Liners run a bit thicker (but not actually thick) than Milani’s Infinite, which feels kind of thin, but the pigmentation is the same on both. Liquidlast Liners retail for $17.50 a pop for 0.085 fl. oz. while Infinites retail for $5.99 a pop for 0.17 fl. oz. (That’s a third of the cost for twice the product!)

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

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

Recommendation: If you love liquid liner and want one that keeps on going long after the sun goes down, Milani offers a truly long-wearing product. Oh, and if you love MAC Liquidlast Liners, then I think you’d love these, too!

Availability: Milani

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Thursday, March 25th, 2010

EcoTools Bronzer Brush

Cruelty-Free Brushes:  EcoTools Bronzer Brush

EcoTools Bronzer Brush ($9.99) is a large, dome-shaped bronzer brush that’s really more of a multi-tasking face brush than specifically a bronzer brush.

It’s great for pressed or loose powder, buffing, bronzer, and even liquid foundation if you don’t mind washing it often! The brush is so dense that it feels more like a kabuki brush, actually. I personally liked to use it for buffing and application of loose powder to set my makeup. It’s easy to clean and wash (and no funky smell or bleeding dye!), though expect a longer drying time with such a densely-packed brush (much like any kabuki!). Your best bet is to wash it after you use it, so it’s ready for the next day.

I appreciate the earth-friendly packaging, but I do feel like the handle is a little too thick. I could go for a slightly thinned out handle so it doesn’t feel chunky in my hand. Otherwise, I can’t think of any complaints about the brush itself! The softness and density of the brush itself make it nearly fool-proof to use to apply your favorite powder products.

EcoTools makes their brushes with sustainably grown bamboo for the handles, recycled aluminum for the ferrules, and Taklon bristles, which makes them 100% cruelty-free.

Celebrity makeup artist Meredith Baraf uses the bronzer brush in this video…

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: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been wanting a kabuki/buffer brush but haven’t wanted to shell out $40+ for one, EcoTools makes an excellent, affordable alternative.

Availability: Drugstore.com

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