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!)

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  • 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…

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  • 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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Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Maybelline Born With It Lipstick

The Spring Season: Maybelline Born With It Lipstick

Maybelline Born With It ColorSensational Lipcolor ($7.49) is a softened pink-nude with soft champagne shimmer and a creamy finish. It has a light sheen, more sheen than glossiness, and it has decent color coverage–though not quite opaque (you can still see my little lip freckle/beauty mark!). This is probably one of my favorite shades of Maybelline lipstick I’ve tried so far! What are your favorite Maybelline shades?

More Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks to take a look at…

Is this the right pinky-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 →

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) is a stunning combination of slightly warmed-up neutrals.  I was really hoping Maybelline was going to knock it out of the park with this combination, but they didn’t quite hit the mark for me.  They’re so-so but just not stellar.  I’d still consider it pretty good by drugstore beauty standards, though–but it’s only decent against popular favorites like MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Urban Decay.

It includes a champagne-pink with a frosty finish, subdued copper, muted golden bronze, and darker chocolate bronze with light gold shimmer.  My biggest issue with these eyeshadows was just that they applied sheerly, so it was difficult to get as much dimension as I’d like on my eyes.  Like the other Maybelline palettes, these are softer eyeshadows that have to be applied with less sweeping and more packing/tapping techniques.

These excel best over a more metallic base (think MAC Indianwood or Rubenesque Paint Pots), because these eyeshadows grab onto the base well and then you can get the colors to pop and look more like themselves!  I’m still, overall, impressed by the quality of the Maybelline Eyeshadow Quads, but none have been quite as good as Good with Gold thus far.

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad Reviews…

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for soft, almost velvet-textured neutrals, you might like Copper Chic for a budget-friendly option.

Availability: Target

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Monday, March 8th, 2010

Milani Glitter Eyeliner

Milani Glitter Eyeliner ($5.99) is new for spring, and it’s available in six shades: Precious Silver, Emerald Stone, Purple Quartz, Terra Brown, Blue Topaz, and Black Rocks.

  • Black Rocks is a dark black base with silver micro-glitter.
  • Emerald Stone is an turquoise-green with silver micro-glitter.
  • Blue Topaz is a softened sky blue with silver micro-glitter.

I’m pleased to report that these pencil eyeliners are easy to use and last well on the lower lash line. I didn’t experience any budging, smudging, or migration when I wore these on my lower lash line. What I really liked about these was how smooth and soft they were when I applied the color to my lower lash line. Some glitter eyeliners have a grittier texture, which makes them less than ideal for application on such sensitive areas as the lash line.

A fun detail is on the opposite side of the pencil is a smudging sponge, but I found these didn’t smudge that well–even when first applied. That’s fine for me, since I’d rather have it never smudge than smudge a little. I also prefer using the 219 and eyeshadow to really smoke out or smudge the lash line!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love a little bit of glitz and glam on your lash line, you might want to check out Milani’s new Glitter Eyeliners!

Availability: Milani

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Friday, March 5th, 2010

Maybelline Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad

Spring Pastels with Maybelline are a Little Too Light

Maybelline Eye Studio Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with very faint, icy lilac shimmer; a lilac-lavender with gold shimmer; a blue-based blue-purple with subtle gold shimmer; and an eggplant purple with red undertones. This is probably my least favorite Eye Studio Eyesahdow Quad I’ve tested–it’s very faint overall. The pigmentation just isn’t there in three of the four shades (all but the eggplant-y one). I like the concept of four different purple shades, but I must say the blue-based purple might have been nicer with another, stronger medium purple with red undertones.

The eyeshadows themselves are soft and smooth, they just lack pigmentation. I’ve been happier with some of the other variations in this product type, like Good with Gold. This is definitely a skip variation to me — if the colors had more pay off, it could be a nice a way to try out purple eyeshadow, but since they’re already so soft, it’s hard to build up the intensity with these.

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad Reviews…

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: Skip this one — it’s just too faint — unless you love really soft, subtle color!

Availability: Target

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