Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

NYX Lip Pencils
NYX Lip Pencils: Natural, Plum, Auburn, Dolly Pink

Quick Review: NYX Lip Pencils

NYX Lip Pencils ($3.50 for 0.04 oz.) are excellently pigmented lip pencils to enhance, mute, or neutralize your lips. If you can’t find the shade you need amongst NYX’s 53 different lip pencils, I don’t know you ever will! Like most pencils, I recommend swatching it once or twice on the back of your hand, which will soften the point to make it easier to apply to the lips. You can use the slanted edge to get a really crisp line when lining your lips, too. For a traditional lip pencil, these are exceptionally creamy and glide on easily. They also wear well without feeling dry (but they are matte and for most, you’ll want to layer a lipstick on top or a balm underneath if you plan to wear it for extended periods of time).

  • Natural (810) is a medium beige with a hint of brown.
  • Plum (812) is a deepened, berried red–not really plum to me, though.
  • Auburn (801) is a muted brick red with brown.
  • Dolly Pink (839) is a bright, blue-based cotton candy pink. This would work well with shades like MAC Snob, Lady Gaga, etc.

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

RECOMMENDATION: These are lovely lip liners, not even for the price but on their own merits.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Monday, December 13th, 2010

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils
Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencils: Illegal, Midnight Cowboy

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Lip Pencils

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is releasing two new shades for spring: Illegal (barely-there rosy nude) and Midnight Cowboy (deep nude). The information I have indicates that these will retail for $18, but the other Lip Pencils are currently available for $17, which makes me think this is a price increase going forward starting in January.

  • Illegal is a medium-dark rosy brown. It’s nude, but it’s not really what I think of nude (which tends to be a paler beige). It is, however, a shade that will flatter most natural lip colors, especially those with some pink.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a medium-dark brown with a hint of mauve. Similar, this is a good shade for an allover lip color base. It would also work to darker your favorite beige lipstick or neutralize some of your other ones.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils are really creamy, glide on like a dream, and wear well. They are some of the more comfortable lip pencils to use, because they don’t tug at all.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you are looking for a nice lip liner that will neutralize or even out your natural lip color, I think both of these will work nicely.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 at urbandecay.com, February 2011 at Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, and ULTA

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Moth to Flame (sheer neutral beige; dazzleglass), Baron’s Rose (medium rose; lipstick), and Draw Me Close (dusty rose; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). The dazzleglass is permanent, while the other two are new and limited edition to this set. The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.

  • Moth to Flame is a sheer peach with white shimmer. On my lips, it just brightens my natural lip color and adds glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Baron’s Rose is a semi-sheer reddened berry with strong gold shimmer and sheen. It is a cremesheen finish lipstick. It’s extremely similar to Fun Bathing (from To the Beach) — Baron’s Rose is slightly redder/darker, but they are very, very close. It’s a lovely color, though.
  • Draw Me Close is a browned pink. It’d be great to use as a neutral lip liner.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a real shame that Baron’s Rose has several similar pre-existing shades, because it’s a gorgeous shade. Festive but still perfect for autumn!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Vain & Glorious Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Baby Sparks (sparkly baby pink; dazzleglass), Mellow Mood (sheer pink; lipstick), and In Synch (light pink; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). None of the products in the kit are new; Baby Sparks is permanent, while Mellow Mood and In Synch are both repromotes.

The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.  It seems well-made to me; it definitely doesn’t look or feel cheap just by handling it.  If tartan is your thing, cool–if it’s not, well, pass it on to a friend.

  • Baby Sparks is a sheer, milky baby pink with icy pink shimmer. On my l ips, it just lightens up my natural lip color a bit and adds a lot of glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Mellow Mood is a semi-sheer softened pink with subtle gold shimmer. It’s a little milky, and it has a lustre finish. Since it’s not too cool, it works on both cooler and warmer skin tones. It was originally launched with Electroflash back in 2008.
  • In Synch is a coraled pink. It is a lip pencil, and it was originally launched with Too Fabulous earlier this year in the spring.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like pink lips, this is definitely your set. If you have really pigmented lips, this set might not do much for you, as both lipstick/dazzleglass are on the sheerer side.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #1C Lip Liner
Make Up For Ever #1C Aqua Lip Liner

Long-wearing, Waterproof Lip Liner

Make Up For Ever #1C Aqua Lip Liner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a long-wearing lip liner that really does not budge until you take your best makeup remover to it. This is the area it most excels in–the wear is phenomenal, and the liner itself stayed on through drinking water and coffee with no problems at all. It can be layered underneath lipstick/gloss or used to define the lips. It’s soft enough that it’s easy to apply the liner on the lips, but it’s not so creamy that it becomes more like a lipstick pencil than a liner. It doesn’t impart much moisture, but it doesn’t leave lips feeling dry nor dry them out as it wears.

#1C is an interesting shade, because it’s described as a “light neutral beige,” but it almost looks a bit orange when you first swatch it, and then on lips, the natural rosiness of lips (even if you have lesser pigmented lips) seems to bring it down a notch. I like this shade underneath sheerer lipglosses and nude lipsticks best. I think for those with more pigmented lips, it can also help to mute the natural pigmentation of your lips in a more savory way than using concealer/foundation.

The only downside–for some, not all–is that it is a pencil liner, so it may need to be sharpened more frequently in order to get a precise edge. I didn’t have issues using the edge, and I don’t, personally, sharpen every use, to get a precise outline on my lips, but I use the slant more so than the tip itself. I don’t see it as a downside myself, but I could see those who prefer the thinner point of automatic lip liners finding fault here.

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: Maybe not this color, but Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Lip Liners are certainly worth a peek if you’re in the market for a long-wearing lip liner.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Eye & Lip Pencils

MAC To the Beach Collection — Eye Kohls & Lip Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches

To the Beach also sees the introduction of two limited edition lip pencils and one limited edition eye kohl (plus a repromote of a permanent shade).  I liked both of the Eye Kohls, but I found the Lip Pencils to have a bit of a rough texture, even after heavily swatching them to smooth down the point.

  • Rosemary & Thyme is a gilded olive-green with an antique gold sheen. This is a permanent shade, but a gorgeous color to own if you love wearing neutrals, metallics, or greens.
  • Float on By is an aqua sea-blue with a silverish-metallic blue sheen. I love the color, but I feel like if you own the majority of UD’s 24/7 liners, you probably have this already.
  • Life’s a Breeze is a soft medium pink with yellow undertones. It can be difficult to find really awesome lip pencils that suit your natural tone, and I have to say finding a great warmer pink can be more challenging as well.
  • Temperature Rising is a bright, neon orange. This is totally construction cone orange to me.

Edited:  Review for wear added, now that I’ve had several hours to wear these…

The Eye Kohls wear okay, but they’re not immovable.  I don’t, generally, have major issues with eyeliners fading or smudging on me, but I find these fade a bit by hour three.  I think those more prone to smudged eyeliner will find the kohls a little more difficult to work with–unless you set with sealer or powder, then they stay put.  As far as the Lip Pencils go, those were just fine.  They stayed in place, did their job (helping lipstick adhere to your lips, defining lips, etc.).

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