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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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in #4L

Make Up For Ever #4L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a reddened plum with subtle red shimmer. I like Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes a lot–it’s budge-proof, smudge-proof, water-resistant, and it just really hangs on all day long. There are also many shades to choose from, so you’re bound to find at least one that appeals to you!

I personally wish they were a softer pencil eyeliner, though; they’re not too hard, but I definitely prefer mine to be on the softer, creamier side. They’re about average in price–not falling in the “affordable” category, but they’re not prohibitively expensive either.  The packaging is straightforward; it looks like a pencil with a glossy black casing.

I also reviewed Aqua Eyes in several other shades (seven, to be exact) last year.

What are your must have Aqua Eyes?

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

Recommendation:  If you’ve been looking for a pencil eyeliner that stays put, Make Up For Ever might have your number!

AvailabilitySephora

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Monday, February 15th, 2010

Milani Liquif'eye Liner

Long-lasting Eyeliner on a Budget:  Milani Liquif’Eye

Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencils ($5.49 each) are new for spring and available in five shades: Black, Silver, Gold, Aqua, and Brown. As far as I’m concerned, there is always more room in the world for metallic/chrome eyeliner. These do remind me of L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners in many ways, though these are a little firmer and more metallic than chrome finish. They’re definitely similar, though.

Liquif’Eye is soft, smooth, and richly pigmented eyeliner. It glides on like my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liners and looks just as smooth. I get good wear out of these–no smudging, budging, or migration eight hours later. They don’t look faded either! Surprisingly, they stay well on my waterline, too, for several hours (but I do have a more watery waterline at times), which isn’t something most liners can do for me.

At just $5.49 each, they’re hard to resist. Not only are they excellent in every way–quality, long-lasting liner that is rich in color and smooth in texture–but they’re priced just right. I tried out four of the five shades, and I found each one to be just as good. I hope to see Milani release more shades in the future–how about a green, copper, and violet?

  • Black (#01) is a rich, deep dark black. It’s an absolutely smoldering black that’s truly black–there’s no gray here.
  • Silver (#02) is a bright and shiny silver with a metallic finish.
  • Gold (#03) is a toned down, burnished gold. It’s not a true yellow gold, but it’a step down from that. Little more “antique” gold in it.
  • Aqua (#04) is a bright aqua-blue. It isn’t quite as metallic as either the gold or silver shades, but it still has that metallic sheen.

Even the packaging is anything but cheap.  It’s a matte black that looks and feels sleek.  If you blindfolded me, I couldn’t tell you that these didn’t feel like other high-end eyeliners, like Smashbox and Urban Decay.

Have you tried these yet?

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

Recommendation: Next time you’re near a Milani display, these are definitely worth a little look-see.

Availability: Local drugstores, MilaniCosmetics.com

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Friday, February 5th, 2010

Smashbox Liquid Pen Liner

Easy Liquid Lining with Liner Pens:  Version Smashbox

Smashbox Heartbreaker Jet Black Liquid Liner Pen ($24.00) is a felt-tipped pen that’s designed to look and feel like liquid liner, but with the control and precision that a pen can deliver. The pen is new and limited edition from Smashbox’s Heartbreaker Collection for the spring.

It’s actually kind of funny, because it seems like pen liners are the new thing to do, as several brands have put one out for the spring. I remember the first one I ever used was MAC’s Penultimate, which I still use on occasion. I like pen liners because they are easier to use than traditional liquid liners. I think I do personally prefer gel eyeliners for the upper lash line over liquid liners, but I do prefer pen liners over traditional liquid liners. You have a lot more control, and it is nice that the tip is always rich in color–you don’t have to worry about running out or product drying on you mid-lining.

Smashbox’s Liquid Liner Pen comes in just one shade, Jet Black, which is a rich black. It’s pretty intense and does go on as a slightly shiny black. I’ve noticed that a lot of black liquid liners seem to reflect more brown-black when swatched, but they really do appear quite black in real life–the same thing happened here. I urge you to check it out where I wore it in this look (on the right eye–your right, not mine–the left eye was done with Stila’s Pen Liner!)

If you like extremely tight/thin lines, I don’t think this is your best bet. It can give you a relatively thin line, but I had trouble getting and keeping it ultra thin. The tip is long enough to give you a nice, broad stroke, but it’s not so long that you lose control over the shape and direction of your line (nor does it kind of bend too much). This does have a very “liquid” feel when you use it, so don’t go over the line too much — once or twice should be plenty. This liquid liner does last a solid eight hours or longer on me (I avoid wearing my makeup for longer than eight hours a day!) and doesn’t fade, smudge, or migrate whatsoever while I’ve worn it.

It’s housed in a simple pen-shaped tube with a removeable cap that clicks back on. It’s very minimalist, but it’s slim and functional. The price tag seems a little higher than I’d have expected (Jet Set and Cream Eye Liner by Smashbox are both $22), but it’s not too out of the price range for Smashbox liners. The other downside is that this is a product that could become a staple in your routine, but it’s limited edition!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve always wanted to try black liquid liner but don’t have the steadiest hand, a pen liner might be a good option!

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Sephora

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Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Affordable Gel Eyeliner from Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($9.99) is a gel eyeliner that comes in a glass pot with a screw-on lid. Lasting Drama is currently available in four shades: Black, Brown, Grey, and Plum. I’ve only tried out the Black and Plum myself. Each glass pot of gel eyeliner also comes with a small, flat bristled brush with a dome shape for lining. I personally didn’t find the brush the right kind to line with (I prefer angled or very, very thin and pointed), but it’s a nice little bonus.

I’m pleased to report that after testing the wear of this liner that it is indeed lasting! (I wore it in this look.) Blackest Black didn’t smudge, budge, or fade on me throughout eight hours of wear–though Maybelline does advertise “24-hour wear” (I’ll leave that test to someone else…). I found it was plenty black for me–and I love me some rich black pigment–so I was quite surprised at how well it translated onto the lid. I used MAC’s 208 angled brush to apply Blackest Black to my upper lash line, and it was smooth, easy to apply, and gave me good color intensity off the bat. I didn’t have to go back over to darken at all, which was yet another concern alleviated.

Blackest Black is very much a true black. It doesn’t have much of a sheen, though it’s not completely flat, and it doesn’t have shimmer. Plum, on the other hand, has a higher sheen and plummy-mauve shimmer in a dark plum base. The consistency of both is thick without being goopy and very smooth when applied. They’re not creamy like Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliners, but they can be blended or smudged so they’re not too thick. They seem to dry without much of a fuss, but they don’t dry instantly, so you may have to wait a few seconds before you squeeze your eyes shut to avoid any transfer.

At $9.99 each, they’re on the pricier end for the budget beauty maven, but Maybelline frequently goes on sale, so at buy one, get one free or buy one, get one 50% off, I think they’re definitely worth picking up if you’re in the market for an affordable gel eyeliner. The packaging has a surprisingly “high-end” feel for Maybelline (whose packaging I’m generally not impressed by) — they look and feel much like MAC Fluidlines.

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: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for an affordable gel eyeliner, keep an eye out for Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner!

Availability: Ulta, your local drugstore

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Monday, January 4th, 2010

Chanel Khaki Dore Le Crayon Yeux ($28.00) is a stunning shade of rich, metallic golden bronze. It’s just the hue that I’m totally nuts for – that antique gold, bronze gold… anything in that family, I’m game for. Khaki Dore applies evenly, smoothly, and opaquely. It comes with its own pencil sharpener, and the liner itself is dual-ended. It has an angled sponge tip on the other end for blending/correcting.

It’s the first Chanel eyeliner I’ve tried, and I’m pleased with it. It looks really lovely in natural or smoky looks. Sometimes I’ll even wear it alone on my lower lash line with just some mascara for a very quick look for running errands. I wore it in this spring look I did few weeks ago. I’d say the highlight of this eyeliner is really how precise it is; it really does define and apply in a thin, even line without much fuss. It lasts all day on me (eight to twelve hours) without smudging, budging, or fading–always a necessity in an eyeliner.

Bottom Line

I’m not over the moon with the formula, but I do like this shade and don’t have anything quite like it, so it’s a shade I knew I’d be drawn to. The price tag is daunting, and I don’t expect most people to make room in their budgets for this eyeliner. Surprisingly (and a little to my horror), $28 isn’t as outlandish as I thought — Dior is priced at $26, YSL is priced at $28.

With that in mind, if you had $28 laying around and wanted to give your money to Chanel, I’d recommend a lipstick or gloss over the eyeliner, just because they do those exceptionally well. This is still a quality product, but it doesn’t reign supreme over eyeliners from other brands.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love antique or bronzy golds like me, this might be a must for you–if the price doesn’t scare you away.

Availability: Nordstrom

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