Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Maybelline Colossal is Minimal

Maybelline Collosal Volum’ Express Mascara ($5.99) boasts that it creates 9x the volume in one coat without clumping. I tried it out in Glam Black, hoping for some volume-tastic lashes with a nice black color. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t nearly as exciting as “9x the volume.” Not even with multiple coats!

What Colossal did for my lashes was add just a touch of length/thickness and blackness so they stood out jmore, but in terms of volume, there wasn’t much. When I look at my natural lashes compared to the lashes with the mascara on them, the biggest difference is that they’re blacker. On all other points (lengthening, volumizing, thickening, curling), I didn’t notice much, if anything. I was really disappointed in the results of this mascara, particularly since it was supposed to volumize and didn’t even see that. I could be more forgiving if it at least did what it said to do (I mean, 9x is a bit OTT for me, but noticeabe more volume is good enough for me).

The best thing I can say for this mascara is it doesn’t clump and the level of black pigmentation is decent–it definitely darkened my lashes and made them stand out more, but they just looked like natural lashes really. If you’re looking for a more natural mascara, perhaps this might be something to consider. I just wouldn’t have expected “natural” out of Colossal. I’ll also point out this mascara is very budget-friendly!

One of my all-time favorite mascaras is by Maybelline (Full ‘n Soft), so I was really looking forward to trying this one out and hoping for the best. What are your favorite Maybelline mascaras?

  • Product: 4/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Pass on this one and opt for one of Maybelline’s more proven formulas like Full ‘n Soft!

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Monday, September 21st, 2009


Young Punk

MAC Style Black: Mineralize Eyeshadows Review, Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  Perhaps one item that has likely caught many readers’ attention are the four new mineralize eyeshadows:  Young Punk, Gilt by Association, Cinderfella, and Blue Flame.

Mineralize Eyeshadow

  • Young Punk is a deep purple with lighter icy pink-purple shimmer/glitter.  When applied dry, it has just so-so pay off, but the color is much more intense when applied wet.  When it dries, though, it will fade a little bit.
  • Gilt by Association is a glittering antique gold with a hint of warmer bronze shade.  It has decent color pay off when used dry, but as typical with mineralize eyeshadows, wet is still much better.
  • Cinderfella is a silver-black.  It has a deep black base with a shimmery, silver glitter laced through it.  Again, wet is more intense than dry.
  • Blue Flame is a dark navy blue with silver-blue glitter/shimmer that brightens it.  When used dry, it looks more like a sheer blue-black.  When used wet, that’s when you see the navy blue shade.  It looks very much like the eyeshadow named Blue Flame or the permanent shade Deep Truth.

If you know me, you know I’m not a huge fan of mineralize eyeshadows.  The color pay off tends to be below my expectations with too much fall out to bother.  These are definitely shades that are best used wet (which you can do with mineralize eyeshadows without fear of leaving behind a wet spot).  Using them wet also helps to minimize the fall out issue, which is something that glittery shadows are prone to have (mineralize or not).  I like the colors, and I do like the theme of this dark black-inspired base with brighter shimmer to give it color.  I’d likely be taken in by them, but I’m not sure these are the ones that’ll get me on the mineralize side of life.

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

Recommendation: If you’re a mineralize eyeshadow fan, you’d probably like these.  If you’re not, these aren’t likely to win you over.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Black CCB

MAC Style Black: Cream Colour Base & Greasepaint Stick Review, Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  With it, two cream colour bases (kind of like a cream eyeshadow, but it’s really a multi-tasking product), Black and Bat Black; as well as a new product — the greasepaint stick in Black.

Cream Colour Base

  • Black is a solid, creamy black with a slight sheen but no shimmer.
  • Bat Black is a creamy burgundy-black with more burgundy than black and a glossy sheen.

Cream Colour Bases can be difficult to work with.  If you find that a lot of cream-based products crease extremely easily on you, these may require more work than you’d like to do to get these to work on you.  Be sure to read any safety precautions that may come with these, too, for areas that you shouldn’t use these products on.  I like lighter colored CCBs, because I like to use them on cheeks and lips more than I do on eyes.

Greasepaint Stick

  • Black is actually a purple-black with just a little bit of shimmer when you look at it up-close, but the shimmer wasn’t noticeable when I applied it on my eyes.   I found that the greasepaint held up better on my waterline than my lower lash line, as it actually migrated and smudged a bit on the lower lash line but is still on my lash line about two and a half hours later.

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

Recommendation: If you like CCBs and need a dark base, try these two.  If you like intense black liners, you may consider the greasepaint stick, but it’s not entirely smudge proof.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 21st, 2009

Sonia Kashuk Eyeshadow Duos in Diamond Life, Take Cover, and Nudenick ($6.99 for 0.12 oz.) are affordable, well-pigmented neutral-colored eyeshadow duos. I like Sonia Kashuk eyeshadows because they’re fairly reliable — most of the duos have good color pigmentation levels and easy to blend. I found all three of these eyeshadow duos to hold true to that expectation. I’d say the only one I had trouble with was Nudenick, but it’s more of an issue that one color is the same color as my natural skin tone… so yeah. On someone paler or over a base, you’d see it more. (But it would be good for a very natural, barely there eye.)

  • Diamond Life is is a duo of a matte, cool-toned brown with gray and a frosty, shimmery champagne shade.
  • Take Cover is a duo of a lightly shimmery peach with pale gold shimmer and a richer, golden-toned bronze.
  • Nudenick is a duo of a glittery, cool-toned champagne and a matte, warm-toned light peachy brown.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget, Sonia Kashuk eyeshadows are always worth checking out!

Availability:  Target

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Trend F/W Collection:  Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance. The Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad consists of four eyeshadows, all cool-toned with a mixture of finishes.

Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • A Warmer White is a cool-toned satiny white that casts a bit green. The pigmentation is decent and doesn’t come off looking too stark or chalky.
  • Tone: Grey is a soft, medium grey with a satin finish that has a cool blue-gray sheen. The pigmentation level is decent, though not intense; the shade itself is a bit muted.
  • The Right Smoke is a bright medium-dark blue with a soft blue sheen and has a frost finish. This is like a bluer Deep Truth (or if you mixed Freshwater and Deep Truth together). I’m so tired of seeing this blue, I can’t even tell you how much! This shade is the most pigmented of the four.
  • Waft is a dirty taupe grey–kind of pewter, but not quite–with a taupe sheen and a frost finish. Like the other shadows in this quad, it has decent color pay off, but it’s not intensely pigmented.

The eyeshadow quad actually reminds me of the Gentle Fume eyeshadow quad from Smoke Signals. It isn’t the same, but at first glance, it definitely was reminiscent of it (it doesn’t help that Waft was also in the Gentle Fume quad!). The quad is a nice pairing of shadows for smoky looks with a cool-toned theme. I don’t think this quad is particularly unique or a must-have, because you could easily create the same kind of quad with existing MAC shades that would just as easily suit you.

For those looking for dupes, A Warmer White is similar to Gesso (but without the barely-there-green tint); Tone: Grey is similar to Scene; The Right Smoke is similar to Deep Truth; and Waft is similar to Print (but without the frost or taupe — add a touch of Satin Taupe to fix that).

To get an idea on what kind of look you could create with this quad, check out this silver, gray, and blue look I did using the Gentle Fume eyeshadow quad.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you don’t have similar shades and are looking for a cool-toned, slightly blue-leaning smoky palette, you’d like this!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara

L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara ($10.95) is a lengthening mascara that uses tube technology to create longer, more dramatic lashes. I tried it in Blackest Black, which is an intense black, though not the darkest black I’ve tried.

Double Extend definitely adds lengths to lashes, but it clumped up pretty easily on my stringy little lashes, so it definitely requires a lash comb afterward to get lashes to look a little more natural. This mascara really is designed to add length, so it doesn’t do much in terms of adding volume or thickening lashes. For me, not the best mascara, because my lashes need more than just length (they really do need a lot of help–volume, thickness, and length!).

It stays true the claim of being smudge-proof and budge-proof–until you get into water–which is great for contacts wearers. It rinses off fairly easily with water over makeup remover, so a good shower is an optimal time to remove this mascara, but over the sink works just as well. Even though the $10.95 price tag is steep for a drugstore mascara, if you keep an eye out for sales/promotions, the price is much more in line with my expectations.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you have naturally thick and voluminous lashes, Double Extend is great for adding a little more length. Otherwise, you may want to check out L’Oreal’s Voluminous instead.

Availability: Drugstore.com

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