Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara
Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara (Waterproof) ($7.50) is designed to give you full, curled lashes.  It purports to give you “70% curlier” lashes, and lashes look “lusciously curled, plumped and defined.”  Rimmel also advertises that you’ll see 7 times your natural volume and the curl will hold for a full twelve hours.  I gotta say, Rimmel is making a lot of very big claims about this mascara!

Unfortunately, my experience didn’t really live up to Rimmel’s claims of fuller, well-curled lashes–at least not to the degree that they advertised.  I’d say that my lashes are, perhaps, have a slight lift to them, but it’s not much–it’s just more pronounced by the lengthening of the mascara and slight volume it adds.  It just neither gives me fuller nor more curled lashes really.  I’d still feel like I needed to use an eyelash curler to really get the curl I’m looking for, and the mascara performs pretty average in all other aspects.

Out of personal taste, I tend to like incredibly rich black shades–the darker the better–so Rimmel’s level of blackness in pigmentation just doesn’t do it for me.  My lashes do look better when I use it, they just don’t stand out like they do with other mascaras that I have loved.  To be honest, I can be a harsh critic when it comes to mascara, because I always judge a mascara on how well it performs relative to the claims the brand makes about what it should do.  It’s great if it still turns out to be awesome in some other way, but usually if they fall flat on their claims, then it’s just so-so and nothing stellar.  This is definitely the case with Rimmel’s Sexy Curves mascara.

I will say that one thing I did really like about this mascara is the brush separated lashes really well and kept them from clumping despite layering on three coats of mascara.  The brush is relatively easy to use, and the packaging is definitely eye-catching in that bright, metallic teal tube.  (It does, however, hold finger prints, so big boo from me.)

Bottom Line: I’d say to skip this mascara.  It performs fairly average at the end of the day, because it really doesn’t do much but add a smidgen of length (and maybe a little volume).  It just looks like I’m wearing mascara, but it doesn’t look like I’m wearing a very good one!

Anyone like this mascara? I could have sworn some readers said this was their favorite!

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

  • Product: 15/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I’d pass on this mascara–it just doesn’t live up to the lofty claims Rimmel makes about it at all.  I normally expect mascara claims to be rather outlandish, but I feel like this one doesn’t even get close.

Availability: Walgreens

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Monday, October 26th, 2009


L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner: Black Shock, Silver Lightning, Gold Charge, Violet Volt

L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner ($10.00) pencil eyeliners with a chrome detail to them. The formula currently has four shades available:

  • Black Shock is a deep black satin — this one didn’t really read metallic or chrome to me, but it’s such an ultra dark black, I love it and don’t care at all that it isn’t more chrome-d out!
  • Silver Lightning is a shiny bright silver with a definite chrome effect.
  • Gold Charge is a deep gold with a decent amount of brightness to it.
  • Violet Volt is a dark violet purple, almost a jewel-tone purple, with a slight metallic sheen (not quite as strong as Silver Lightning or Gold Charge).

I’m not often impressed by a lot of color products available at mass retailers, but when I am, I get very excited to share with others about my find! These are one of those instances where I was utterly blown away (and am a little annoyed with myself for sitting on these–not testing them, that is–for over two months) by the pigmentation, feel, and quality of the product.

These Chrome Eyeliners are ultra soft when you touch them, and the feel reminds me of an even softer version of Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, which I absolutely adore. These are so soft that I’d actually say it’s one of the minor issues with working with these – if you apply these with too much pressure (as is easy to do when swatching, ha!), the product may break a bit. I’m not sure if L’Oreal has a good sharpener for these, but they worked well with my Urban Decay one (which, coincidentally, works best on my 24/7 Liners, too).

The color pigmentation is amazing — very true to color and bright and bold. There’s no sheer color here. They apply easily because they’re so soft and smooth, and they just glide onto the lash line with no fuss. I will say the first time I applied these on my lower lash line and lower waterline, my eyes teared up and watered a fair amount. The liner stayed pretty well in place on the lower lash line and faded after an hour so of watery eyes on the waterline (to be expected).

I layered both Black Shock and Silver Lightning together a few days later, and I didn’t find my eyes teared up at all. I doubt very much that these are waterline tested or labeled safe, so just want to caution those looking for something to use on the waterline. Nonetheless, I found the liners wore well throughout the day and didn’t smudge or migrate on my lower lash line.

Bottom Line: Whether you find these at full price or are able to get a good deal (buy one, get one!), these are worth every penny. (I will say that $10 for an eyeliner at mass is a bit steep for me.) Soft, bold color that lasts for hours and stays put. I was just about to give up on L’Oreal, but these are totally amazing. Now, I’m a bit more eager to see what else L’Oreal releases in the future!

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

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

Recommendation: For metallic, chrome-a-licious eyeliner, L’Oreal HIP makes a fantastic product to check out next time you’re at the drugstore!

Availability: Drugstore.com

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Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Bobbi Brown Earth Metal Lip & Eye Palette ($60.00) is a new, limited edition holiday palette from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection, which also features a Velvet Plum Eye Palette, Glitter Lip Balm Palette, and Chrome Eyeshadows (I mentioned those last week–love them!!).

For Eyes

  • Autumn Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow is a slightly green-tinged golden brown with shimmer.
  • Earth Metal Metallic Eyeshadow is a plummy brown with shimmer.
  • Zinc Metallic Eyeshadow is a light taupe brown with kind of a silver sheen. This shade wasn’t quite as pigmented as the others (it was just so-so).
  • Black Spruce Metallic Eyeshadow is a dark forest green with metallic shimmer.
  • Sunset Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a pale, light melon-y gold with light shimmer. Like Zinc, it wasn’t as pigmented the majority of the eyeshadows.
  • Antique Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a coppery bronze with a metallic sheen. (It doesn’t look like antique gold to me!)

For Lips

  • Paisely Rose Creamy Lip Color is a pale, peachy pink.
  • Rose Garden Creamy Lip Color is a light medium yellow pink.
  • Rose Bud Creamy Lip Color is a plummy-pink.
  • Barefoot Shimmer Creamy Lip Color is a shimmery peach-brown.

First, as some of you know, I’m not of a fan of lip palettes. As such, I probably wouldn’t purchase this palette, just because I don’t extract any value out of the lip palette portion. I don’t think the eyeshadows are so stunning as to warrant the price tag ($60) by themselves, either. (I’d rather splurge on the Chrome Eyeshadows instead!) The lip colors, as in most lip palettes, are very sheer and don’t do much on my lips. They all kind of look the same, so this isn’t a lip palette designed to change my mind on how I feel about lip palettes in general.

I like the eyeshadows, because they’re definitely my kind of colors – earthy, metallic, and lots of gold thrown in. All of the eyeshadows felt very smooth and had a metallic look to them, and I only found pigmentation problems in two (Zinc and Sunset Gold), but the problems were minor – they just weren’t as pigmented as the majority of the palette, but there was still plenty of color pay off. I think this palette is actually a really good mix of shades that go together easily, and there’s just not much fuss when you use these.

Bottom Line: If you like the lip palette portion, I think this is a great buy. If you’re more like me and have no use for lip palettes, this is more of a skip item. I just can’t get with a palette knowing I’m not going to use half of it and still paying the full price for it, you know? I really wish they made these shades available separately or split the palette in half!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I would rather just be able to purchase the eyeshadow portion of the palette as a set over the lip and eye combination.  If you like both sides, I definitely think it’s a good buy in that instance!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow: Gold, Silver, Pewter

Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow ($22.00 for 0.1 oz.) are new and limited edition from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection for the holiday season.

These are stunning metallic finish eyeshadows — ultra pigmented, feel like butter, and blend easily. There are three shades available: Gold, which is a darker bronzy-gold; Silver, which is a bright metallic silver-gray; and Pewter, which is a taupe-brown gold with a silver-gold sheen. All three are equally amazing, just from the first use. They’re so soft, and each shade packs plenty of color. I think I may have to get a back-up of Pewter, because it’s just such an excellent color in a stellar formula. (I’m totally planning to use Pewter as a one-swipe-and-you’re-done shade!)

Bottom Line: Considering the size of the shadow (they’re cheaper than MAC, by the ounce!), the sleek packaging of Bobbi Brown (though it does hold fingerprints), and the amazing quality of these shadows… I am in love! So smooth, so rich in color, and I’m all over anything metallic. Perfect shades for holiday, too!

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

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

Recommendation: If you love metallic, shiny, or otherwise gilded eyeshadows… I think you’ll enjoy Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadows!

Availability: BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension ($28.00) is an extension (harhar!) of Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Mascara. This is a lengthening mascara, whereas the original Phenomen’Eyes is more of an all-purpose mascara, though it is designed to curl and separate lashes. Both mascaras describe the final result as “lashes with a panoramic effect.” I tried out Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension in Extension Blue, which certainly looks like a medium navy blue on the wand and in the tube.

On my lashes, the color itself is minimal–if you have lighter or blonder lashes, I imagine the blue will be more pronounced. To get more color pay off, I do recommend trying it with a fleshy-colored lash primer (most lash primers are white–my favorite is Lancome’s Oscillation Primer). Aside from the color, I was incredibly impressed by the superior length I achieved with a few coats of this mascara. My lashes looked longer, just a smidgen thicker (but I wouldn’t call this mascara thickening), and it kept my lashes pretty separated.

The biggest downside is this product takes some getting used to. It definitely has a revolutionary wand, which is a sphere-shaped wand with little spikes. I’d say it took me about three to four uses before I started to feel like I was getting the hang of the application. You have to play around and experiment to see what’s the best method to apply it is. I don’t think this separates perfectly, but I also think that the “spikes” on the wand can sometimes clump up with product, so blotting can help. One or two brushes with a lash comb will separate lashes and give you a great finished look, and I find I usually do this step most of the time, since I have a tendency to PILE on the mascara. :)

Bottom Line: For a great lengthening mascara, Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension Mascara is killer. It also gives my lashes a natural curl and keeps it in place all day. I don’t find this mascara smudges or flakes on me, either. My only issue is the blue doesn’t really show up that well on me, though it’s more noticeable in person than in photos. I’d probably just get the Extension Black shade instead, but I really found the formula to work! It’s not the easiest mascara to use and it is a bit pricey, which keeps this product from getting a better overall score.

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: 3/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: For longer lashes, Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension Mascara delivers!

Availability: Sephora.com

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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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