Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #9L Aqua Eyes Liner

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liner:  #9L

Make Up For Ever #9L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a pale gold with a high sheen. While it does have shimmer, it doesn’t look like it–much more like a sheen. It’s a nice shade to use in conjunction with blues, browns, greens, and teals. I don’t have a liner quite this color from other brands, because it’s not quite a true gold–it’s more like a golden yellow, where it looks more yellow than gold. It’s much paler, lighter, and yellower in comparison to Urban Decay’s Honey Liner.

I love the Aqua Eyes formula because it really does what it’s supposed to! It’s a long-wearing eyeliner that’s waterproof that won’t migrate to anywhere you didn’t apply it. You can smudge it if you want, but it’ll set after a few minutes and stay put. I also like that they have such a wide shade range available (25 colors available on Sephora!), because who doesn’t want to collect them all? (And I know some of you have the Aqua Eyes Collector Set… I’m totally jealous!)

The only thing I could think of to improve the formula is to make it just the tiniest bit creamier.  They’re not stiff or hard on the eyes at all, but I’ve found that I definitely prefer more of the ultra glide-on creaminess of liners like Urban Decay.  I keep my Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever eyeliners separate from all my other eyeliners–and I’m constantly reaching for one of the two!

What’s your favorite shade of Aqua Eyes?

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

Recommendation:  If you need a long-wearing eyeliner, Aqua Eyes has an incredible formula that really holds up well for all-day-long wear.  They’re easy to use, come in a variety of shades, and look fantastic on.  Maybe #9L isn’t your cup of tea–but surely one of the other 25 is!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Givenchy Pardas'Eyes Liner

Givenchy New Impressions Collection: Parad’Eyes

Givenchy Parad’Eyes Eye Liner ($27.00 for 0.1 oz.) includes two new shades as part of Givenchy’s New Impressions Collection for Spring 2010. The two shades are…

  • Mauve Impression (8) is more pink than move. It’s a clear base with lots of shimmering pink sparkle. It’s very pretty and spring-y, but it didn’t show up mauve at all on me! Sephora described the shade as “metallic lilac,” which is a little easier to get behind than “Mauve.”
  • Nude Impression (9) is a metallic bronze with champagne and bronze shimmer. Like Mauve Impression, it seems like a clear base with colored shimmer rather than a colored base.

The Parad’Eyes Eyeliners come in square tubes with predominantly black packaging with the bottom of the top with Givenchy’s logo in blue and the bottom of the product in a bronzy-gold and the label. I find that these liners do stay on well, once they dry (which takes a little longer than the average liquid liner), but with these being more glitter/shimmer based, they look best layered over a solid-colored liner. These can also be fun on lashes for a little extra bling-bling over mascara. They stay on without budging or flaking, but they may be a little pricey just for a glitter/shimmer eye liner!

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 love a bit of added sparkle to your spring look, these certainly will do the trick! They’re sheer enough to be versatile and universal, but they have plenty o’ bling to give you that glitz and glam. They’re on the pricey side, though in line with high-end prices, so they may be more of an indulgence. Both shades should work nicely on both cool and warm skin tones, because neither is so warm/cool–though naturally Nude pairs the best with warmer skin tones and Mauve with cooler skin tones.

Availability: Sephora

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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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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?

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 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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