Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes Liner

Going Green for Earth Month with #16L Aqua Eyes

Make Up For Ever #16L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a muted grass-green with yellow undertones and subtle darkened, grassy sheen.  I find this shade of green to be particularly unique amongst eyeliner shades.  Despite owning more eyeliner than eyes (ha, ha, not hard to do!), I don’t have a green quite like this.  It’s green without being bright or dark.  It’s almost muted but not exactly dull.  This looks pretty with soft, warmer browns and plums as well as the more expected blues, greens, and teals.

Aqua Eyes has a really great long-wearing formula that won’t budge, smudge, or fade throughout the day.  They have enough softness to glide on smoothly without tugging on the sensitive skin around the eyes, and they deliver color just as you see it in the pencil itself.  I’ve always found Aqua Eyes to look very true-to-pencil in color, which is always a nice thing, because you know what you’re getting!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: This is a great green for those who love the color but want something more wearable and, perhaps even, office-friendly.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes Liner

Summer-proof Your Eye Makeup with Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes

Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a dark, navy blue with lighter, twilight blue shimmer.  It’s smooth and has a soft sheen.  I like wearing this particular navy shade with other blues, greens, golds, and even blue-toned purples.

I’ve reviewed several shades of Aqua Eyes, so if you’ve read those, much of the rest of this review is going to sound a bit redundant… but for those who haven’t read my previous Aqua Eyes’ reviews, this is for you!

Aqua Eyes have a really brilliant formula that’s budge-proof, smudge-proof, and water-resistant.  They’re excellent for those looking for long-wearing eyeliners that won’t migrate and fade throughout the day.  I particularly like them during the summer when I know I’ll be spending quite a bit of time outdoors, because I don’t have to worry about my eyeliner sweating all over the place.  The color range is tremendous with twenty-five shades to choose from, too, which is convenient–if you find you love this formula, you don’t have to look elsewhere for the shade you want.

They’re not as creamy or soft as Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners, but they’re not hard on the eyes, either; they’re just not quite as soft, and some may prefer that for getting more precision in their looks.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been wanting a navy blue eyeliner that’s not going to fade or migrate on your lash line, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes formula may just do the trick for you!

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Urban Decay Summer of Love Eyeshadow Palette

Travel with Urban Decay This Summer

Urban Decay Summer of Love Shadow Palette ($29.00) is a new-for-summer eyeshadow palette that features four eyeshadows (0.04 oz. each), a miniature Sin Primer Potion (0.09 fl. oz.), and miniature Bourbon 24/7 Eye Pencil (0.03 oz.). The eyeshadows included in the palette are Flash (bright iridescent purple), Maui Wowie (medium gold with silver glitter), Chopper (coppery fawn with silver microglitter), and Smog (deep coppery bronze).

Everything in the palette is available individually, should you only fall in love with one of the shades! As such, everything included is also permanent. However, for those who do not already have the majority of these eyeshadows either individually or in various past-released palettes, you get a good amount of product in the palette itself.

Normal eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. (and retail for $17) while the palette versions are 0.03 oz. — still plenty to use. The eyeliner is typically 0.04 oz. (and retails for $17) but 0.03 oz. in the palette. Plus, you do get the mini-sized Sin Primer Potion (my least favorite of the primers, though–so metallic!). All in all, the palette is a good deal with lots of value–if you don’t already own the shades in it.

  • Flash is a cool-toned violet purple with a slight iridescence. It’s very smooth, pigmented, and vibrant.
  • Maui Wowie is an antique gold with silver glitter. It has great color pay off, and I swear this version felt so much smoother than the one included in the Alice in Wonderland palette, which felt much grittier. You may encounter some fall out with this shade from the glitter.
  • Chopper is a muted copper with a gilded-bronze sheen/shimmer. It has nice pigmentation and applies smoothly.
  • Smog is a deepened chocolate brown with a warm bronze sheen. It, too, is a vibrant shade that has rich pigmentation.

Urban Decay seems to really love releasing summer palettes with a series of browns and then a pop of color. (Remember Get Baked from last year?) I do like this color variation a lot better than last year’s, because I feel like there is a good amount of differentiation between each shade.

The packaging fits with their theme–definitely groovy and all that–but I’m not digging the vintage photographs on the back. I would have personally loved to have seen the floral pattern continue around the mirror, like it did in Get Baked. It’s cool that the graphic designer’s parents are now immortalized in a makeup palette, but for me, it’s just, “Who are these random people?” Like the majority of Urban Decay products, it is made out of sturdy cardboard. I like these flip-open palettes, because they’re slim, streamlined, and easy to travel with and store.

It’s a nice option for a summer palette, but as always, I wish Urban Decay would release new shades of eyeshadows rather than using their permanent shadows. It makes it hard to purchase as a fan, just because you probably own all of them with the palettes you already have! Maybe Urban Decay should make palette forms available of all their eyehadows so we can just mix and match throughout the year! :)

P.S. – I think I have enough mini-sized Bourbon liners to get me through year 3000.

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

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

Recommendation: If you don’t own a lot of Urban Decay eyeshadows, this palette makes a fun option for some summery shades. It’s a great value if you don’t have any of the shades, and the quality of the products within the palette are tops.  It’s easily skipped if you own half or more of the shades/products in it.

Availability: Urban Decay

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection
Pearlglide Eyeliners: Black Line, Undercurrent, Industrial,
Petrol Blue, Almost Noir, Designer Purple

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Art Supplies Collection launches in-stores on April 1st (late April for international locations) and online March 30th. The collection includes eight new and limited edition shades of Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50), six new and limited edition shades of Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners ($14.50), and nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00).

Pearlglide Eye Liner ($14.50)

  • Almost Noir is a darkened burgundy purple with a slight red tone to it and gold and burgundy sparkle.
  • Designer Purple is a bright pop of violet with deeper violet and iridescent purple shimmer.  Very pretty–most vibrant of the six!
  • Petrol Blue is a brightened navy blue with blue and light blue sparkle.  I would say it is similar to Fly-by-Blu (but I don’t own it to do a swatch comparison, sorry!), perhaps a little brighter.
  • Black Line is a dark black base with a mix of gold and green-gold shimmer. It’s almost like Old Gold Pigment and a black eyeliner had a baby. I’m ALL over this one!
  • Undercurrent is a bluish-teal base with teal shimmer and sheen. So pretty and lovely… but I’m a sucker for teal, so really, are you surprised? ‘Cause I’m not!
  • Industrial is a high-shimmered silvered blue. It’s almost like a sky blue but with flecks of silver lining (I couldn’t resist) throughout.

The good: Smooth, soft eyeliner with rich, intense shades that glide on easily and don’t smudge or budge. They’re similar in smoothness/softness as Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liners, Milani Liquif’Eye Liners, and L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners.

The bad: They’re limited edition and made of awesome, so it kind of sucks, but I’ve also never run out of an eyeliner, so I’m not (personally, at least) concerned about running out of these either. I have no other complaints about Pearlglide Eyeliners. Oh, wait — the line could use more shades? Sure, that’s “bad.” MAC continuously puts out Pearlglide liners and even new shades periodically, so they should just make these permanent already! (Much like Feline Kohl Power might as well be permanent… so much for my five backups!)

My picks: All? Black Line is the most unique of the three I’ve tried so far!

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection:  Greasepaint Sticks
Greasepaint Sticks: Zinc Zone, Uniformly Blue, Slick Black, Greengrease,
Dirty, Charred Mauve, Brown Now, Below Ground

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Greasepaint Sticks Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Art Supplies Collection launches in-stores on April 1st (late April for international locations) and online March 30th. The collection includes eight new and limited edition shades of Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50), six new and limited edition shades of Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners ($14.50), and nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00).

Today, I’m going to review the new Greasepaint Sticks and (in a separate post) three of the six Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners. I’m going to mull over the Lipstain Markers until tomorrow, but I’ll give you my review of the three (of nine) shades I tried so far–so stay tuned! :)

Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50)

  • Below Ground is a soft bronzed chocolate brown with lighter bronze flecks. It reminded me of a lighter, less frosty version of Bronze eyeshadow.  I liked this one a lot, because I felt like it was light enough to be used in lighter looks as well as darker looks.
  • Brown, Now is a burgundy-brown. I don’t know why it’s called Brown, Now, to be honest, because it’s pretty burgundy to me.
  • Charred Mauve is a cool-toned blue-based purple with soft blue-violet flecks/sheen. It is similar to V, but it’s not the same–it’s a darker, grayer version–but the two are close enough that you don’t need both.
  • Dirty is a taupe brown with multi-colored shimmer. Kind of cool how it has all different colors of shimmer in it.
  • Greengrease is a forest green over a blackened base. It has flecks of gold, blue, and green shimmer. I found this one to be the least pigmented of the eight, though you can layer to get a more opaque look.
  • Slick Black is a matte, all-black shade. It’s rich and dark. It’s not like the original Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, because the original Greasepaint Stick is a black base with flecks of blue and violet shimmer. It reminded me a lot of Blacktrack fluidline, though.
  • Uniformly Blue is a medium-dark navy blue over a blackened blue-gray base with flecks of blue shimmer/sheen. Compared to B, it is a darker version; Uniformly Blue has a blackened base that the blue shade sits over. It’s close enough, though, that unless you’re a huge fan of Greasepaint Sticks, you only need one of the two.
  • Zinc Zone is a gunmetal silver over a lightly blackened base with silver and black shimmer/sheen. This is a fun shade, and I think it would make a nice base for a very dramatic, near-black smoky eye.

The good: I loved the variety of the shades offered in the collection. There are eight to choose from, so you aren’t stuck with just one or two like in the past. On me, I find they wear quite well–no real budging, smudging, or transferring throughout the day. They’re very smooth, soft, and easy to apply without tugging on the eyelid too much.

They’ve also improved the scent/smell of the Greasepaint Sticks this time–which is huge. My previous Greasepaint Sticks have a funky scent that’s unpleasant, but I didn’t notice any scent on these (whereas the scent on the original shades is still overwhelming!). These might have the faintest scent if you’re particularly gifted in the smelling department, but I didn’t detect anything with my sniffer.

The bad: Even though a nice dark base can be useful, I don’t necessarily need eight different variations on the theme. I’ve always found that most darker bases eat color rather than enhance it, so you’re always left with some sort of darkened smoky eye. Personally, I find that they’re a bit too thick to use as eyeliner without having to do some clean-up after application with a cotton swab.

My picks: Below Ground, Brown Now, Greengrease, Zinc Zone

Skip if you have…: Charred Mauve if you have V, Uniformly Blue if you have B, Slick Black if you have Blacktrack (Fluidline)

How to Use Greasepaint Sticks

  • As an all-over eyeshadow base — think of them as darker versions of shadesticks
  • As a smudged out eyeliner — make sure to sharpen them (sharpener is found on the opposite end) so you don’t get too thick of a line
  • As a defined crease — draw it into the crease and then smudge with a brush and/or eyeshadow

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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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