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.

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  • 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

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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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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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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