Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Benefit BADgal Liner (Waterproof) ($20.00) is a medium black pencil liner designed to be smudgeproof and waterproof. It’s a follow-up release to the original BADgal liner, which many had trouble getting to really stick on the lash line.

While the newer Waterproof version is longer lasting in comparison to the original formula, it’s not quite waterproof enough. I guess, in that sense, it sort of fails to live up to its name, because I do find that it can be smudged a bit with watery eyes. I think the average person may find this to be long-wearing and smudge and water resistant, but it’s certainly not going to pass the cry test. It’s also not something that lasts well on my waterline (but so little does, and most liners are never touted as waterline safe…).

Personally, it lasts for hours on my lower lash line with little smudging and definitely no creasing or serious migration. My eyes aren’t, though, watery on a regular basis, but I happened to wear this while suffering some seasonal allergies (pollen, dust, and the like) and found it just didn’t hold up well. When it gets hit by tears/water, it has a tendency to smudge a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t start cascading down your face or anything! It does stay within a tolerable distance from where I originally put it, but for something called Waterproof, I expect just that.

I do like that the liner itself is double-ended; it has the liner on one side and a sponge smudger on the other, so it can really give you a quick and dirty sultry eye on a whim. (Really, just smoking out the lower and upper lash lines can add drama to eyes–even if you don’t wear any eyeshadow!) It’s slim and portable, and the formula itself is very creamy and easy to apply… but I just wish it was truly waterproof — I’d describe it more as a water-resistant formula, so it’s like 80% there.

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t have watery eyes and like a soft, medium black, BADgal liner (Waterproof) might be a match for you.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com

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Monday, October 19th, 2009


Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner in Indigo and Cocoa

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner ($8.99) is SK’s answer for longwearing, smudge-proof, budge-proof gel liner. It’s available in three shades: Cocoa (deep brown), Ebony (deep black), and Indigo (deep blue). I haven’t seen Ebony yet, but I did get a chance to play with Cocoa and Indigo.

Indigo is a rich, vibrant dark navy blue (I wouldn’t describe it as Indigo, personally) with slight shimmer but not a lot of shininess. It applies evenly and opaquely with an angled eyeliner brush (I like MAC’s 208). Cocoa is a dark, slightly warm-toned chocolate brown. It has a very creamy texture, and it has a slightly wet look to it, though it does dry down and has an overall matte finish. I’d say that Cocoa is comparable to MAC’s Rich Ground fluidline, but it has a more matte appearance and probably a touch warmer, too.

Both of these gel liners wear incredibly well throughout the day with no budging, smudging, or fading. They stay in place and last all day long on the lower and upper lash lines. They’re also thick and creamy and pack plenty of color, so you can easily create defined eyes with a flick of the wrist. The quality of these is most definitely comparable to Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liner and MAC’s Fluidlines. The packaging isn’t as nice (just feels a little cheap) as either of the high-end brands mentioned, but ultimately, it’s the product that counts.

Bottom Line: If you’re on a tight budget, or if you’ve merely wanted to try your hand at gel liners, Sonia Kashuk provides a solid option. The only real drawback to the line is that it is an extremely limited shade range and may be difficult to find, as it’s only available at some Targets and not currently available for purchase online.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: For those who’ve eyed MAC’s Fluidlines or Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liners, Sonia Kashuk’s DDLGELs are awesome, affordable options.

Availability: Target (Local)

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Nail Lacquer: Lucky Number

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Nail Lacquer & Softsparkle Eye Pencil

MAC launches two metallic finish lacquers: Lucky Number and $$$ Yes (which is a repromote from Heatherette), as well as two repromoted shades of their Softsparkle Eye Pencils — Nightsky and Iris Accents.

  • Lucky Number is a metallic-finish purplish-berry with a high-shine/sheen. Since it is a metallic finish polish, it does show brush strokes. I don’t know if it’s even feasible to manage to get no brush strokes to show, but I know I don’t have the patience to attempt such a feat. It’s a pretty color, though, and it’s not something I already own.
  • $$$ Yes is like wearing tin foil on your nails. It’s a bright silver with a metallic finish. Like Lucky Number, brush strokes will show up. I’ve just kind of learned to deal with brush strokes in metallic shades myself.
  • Nightsky is a medium black with silver microsparkle.  This one is opaque and goes on easily.
  • Iris Accents is a cool-toned, silvery-purple with silver microsparkle.  I find this one more of a semi-opaque shade and doesn’t go on as nicely as Nightsky–it will go on opaque, it just requires layering.

I liked Lucky Number a lot, and if you haven’t played around with the Softsparkles, you may find you like the glitz of them. I like them, but I never find myself reaching for them, despite owning all of them, so they’re not must-haves for me.

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Urban Decay 24/7 Super Stash ($36.00) is just one of three different sets of 24/7 Eye Pencils available for the holiday season.  If I had to pick one, I’d opt for the Super Stash, if only because you can grab the four new shades all at once.   In the Super Stash, you’ll receive nine half-sized 24/7 Eye Pencils (the full-size is 0.04 oz. and these are 0.02 oz. each).  The Hi-Fi and Stereophonic sets include 24/7 Eye Pencils as well, and each is 0.03 oz., so they’re just a little smaller, but not by much, than the full-sized versions.  Most of us will never get through a full-sized blue eye liner, so these sets are a great way to grab lovely colored liners without buying more than you’ll use.

Rather than just review the Super Stash, I’m actually going to review all of the 24/7 Eye Pencils I own.  Apparently, I’ve finally collected them all except Baked, Crash (in the Stereophonic set), and Mildew (in the Hi-Fi set), which I suppose now I’m compelled to get just to round everything out.  (Does anyone else feel that way… the need to complete when you’re nearly there anyway?)

  • 24/7 Super Stash includes: Corrupt, Binge, Eldorado, Oil Slick, Zero, Graffiti, Ransom, Rockstar, and Stash and retails for $36.00.
  • Hi-Fi includes: Mildew, Zero, Flipside, 1999 24/7 Eye Pencils, as well as Distortion Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner.
  • Stereophonic includes: Crash, Zero, Underground, Gunmetal, as well as Midnight Cowboy Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner.

Why 24/7 Liners? They’re pigmented, soft pencil liners that are easy to use, look great, and last awhile.  I use these on my lower lash line all the time, because they add a lil’ pop of color, but they don’t migrate all over the place throughout the day.  They’re fairly budge-proof (at least, on me), and they are so easy to apply, because they’re soft.

24/7 Super Stash Eye Pencils

  • Corrupt is a rich dark brown with warm undertones.
  • Graffiti is a medium pop of bright green with just a tinge of teal in the base (it’s a bluer green vs. yellower green).
  • Binge is a rich navy blue with a slight cobalt kind of look to it with a soft sheen.
  • Eldorado is a brighter pop of yellow-based gold–it’s more of a true gold compared to Honey.
  • Zero is a black liner–it’s not the richest or most intense black I’ve seen, but it’s pretty dark and definitely not a light black.  It doesn’t have any shimmer or sheen.
  • Oil Slick is a silver-speckled light black.  The black base is just a smidgen lighter than Zero, but it has silver glitter/sparkle that lighten it up further.Graffiti
  • Ransom is a iridescent purple with a slight reddish purple undertone.Stash is a greenish-gold–like an antique gold with a green tone.
  • Rockstar is a dark burgundy-purple with a red undertone and slight reddish sheen.

24/7 Eye Pencils

  • Yeyo is a silvery-white — it’s not 100% white on me, there is a little bit of silver sheen to it, but it’s close.  It’s just not a stark white (which may or may not be what you’re looking for).
  • Gunmetal is a gunmetal silver-gray.  It’s a gray-black bas with a silver sheen.
  • Dime is a bright silver-gray with a high metallic sheen.
  • Bourbon is a medium dark chocolate brown with a slight sheen.
  • Underground is a cooler, medium taupe brown with a metallic sheen.
  • 1999 is a red-berry purple with a slight metallic sheen.
  • Lust is a cool-toned dark violet purple with low sheen.
  • Covet is a rich, jewel-tone teal with a slight shimmery finish.
  • Flipside is a medium pop of bright teal with silvery-teal shimmer.
  • Deviant is bright pop of medium dark blue with silver sparkle.
  • Electric is an intense, bright blue-based turquoise.  It’s lighter and brighter than Flipside.
  • Honey is a deep gold with just a bit of brownish tinge to it.  It does really remind me of honey.
  • Lucky is a coppery orange-brown with a metallic sheen.

The majority of the shades available are also available in full-size, which go for $17 a pop and you get 0.04 oz. of product in each.  The only thing I didn’t like about the Super Stash liners is that they do feel a little “stumpy” in your hand, because they are so short.

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Availability: Urban Decay

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner ($18.00 for 0.25 fl. oz.) is a glitter eyeliner with colored glitter suspended in a clear base.  Uncapped and you’ll find a thin eyeliner brush attached (much like the typical liquid liner).  There are currently eleven shades available–from fuchsia to blue to iridescent.

Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner

  • Catfight is a deep fuchsia-pink.
  • Groupie is a pale, muted pink–very muted.
  • Baked is a deep golden-toned brown.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a silvery taupe brown.
  • Spandex is a multi-colored array of blue and gold and brown glitter.  (Looks absolutely nothing like it does in the tube–the rest do.)
  • Air Guitar is a slightly lightened medium blue.
  • Stagedive is a blue-based teal.
  • Mullet is a slightly olive-toned green.
  • Metalhead is a medium dark violet purple.
  • Glam Rock is a medium silvery-gray.
  • Distortion is a whitish, iridescent mix of multi-colored and pink glitter.

What I like using these glitter eyeliners for is to layer over Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners (or any liner, really–they just coordinate well with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners).  Alone, they’re just so-so, because the clear base makes them apply kind of sketchy. They can also be used over eyeshadow, too, for the same kind of effect.

In the swatches, you’ll see how it’s not a very clear, even or defined line of glitter.  When you use it over a liner, it works much better, because you get the sparkle of the glitter, but the colored liner fills in any gaps so the glitter actually pops.

I think I’d love these more if they had colored bases as well, just because it’d be more of a two-in-one and require a little less effort on my part.  They just may make excellent, super glittery bases if they were in a colored base, too… Hm!  Nevertheless, they were designed to have a clear base, so I won’t knock the product because my preference is different.  It’s much like Urban Decay describes, and I love the range of shades they have.

Oh!  One more idea, Urban Decay, how about a holiday set of miniature sized versions of these?  Would be awesome methinks!

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
MAC Greasepaint Sticks: V, B, Black

MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Greasepaint Stick & Feline Kohl Power

MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes three shades of Greasepaint Sticks and repromotion of Feline kohl power.

Greasepaint Stick

  • B is a deep, dark navy blue with lighter blue shimmer and a metallic sheen.
  • V is a deep, dark purple-violet with lighter purple shimmer and a metallic sheen.
  • Black is a dark black-purple with a violet cast and shimmer that’s more noticeable when swatched than when used as a liner.

Kohl Power

  • Feline is an intense, richly pigmented black liner that goes on incredibly dark. One of my favorite black liners!

Per my review of the Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, I haven’t yet found these to be rockin’ my world yet. They migrate on my lower lash line quite a bit – kind of smudgy and creasing on the lower lash line. It’s great that I can smudge the product when I’m applying it, but after I smudge it, I expect it to stay put!

On the water line, it holds up better, but it seems to aggravate my eyes, so I think I’m too sensitive to wear it on my water line. I wish the Black Greasepaint Stick was actually a true black, particularly since V exists so soon after the original release. The Greasepaint Sticks can be a bit thick to work with, so you may find yourself using a separate brush to apply this product in thinner, more precise lines. They feel a bit like a shadestick to me, actually.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like shadesticks, you may find these to be great bases for darker looks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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