Wednesday, December 29th, 2010


Products pulled for Cham-Pale/Stylishly Yours Comparisons

MAC Stylishly Yours Dupes & Comparisons Swatches

  • Dark Diversion is a burgundy berry, while Macroviolet is a blackened violet with flecks of fuchsia-violet micro-shimmer. Very different.
  • Follow Your Fancy is redder than Off the Page, while Sugarpill Asylum is darker and more orange.
  • Madly Personal is a little darker and less frosted than Fuchsia, while Bright Fuchsia and Bold & Brash are both much brighter, deeper, and darker–the latter has a stronger iridescent fuchsia sheen. New Fixation is redder.
  • Neon Orange is slightly darker than Morange but the difference is very, very subtle.
  • Something New is a glossier version of NARS Schiap, while Smashbox Flirty is a lil’ sheerer and Girl About Town is a bit darker. Trimming Talk is frostier and lighter, but Most Popular is totally different.
  • Style Curve is similar to Show Orchid, which is brighter and more fuchsia, while Violetta is purpler and darker. Go For It is too purple, and Purple Rite is more plum than fuchsia. Love Forever is also similar but more fuchsia than purple.
  • Play It Proper is a very pale, powdery pink, and it’s really not much like Benefit Dandelion, Shell Pearl, Porcelain Pink, or Oh So Fair. Pearl Blossom is the closest, but the texture is so different; plus it has a sheen, rather than a powdery finish.
  • Too Chic is closest to NARS Albatross, which is a little yellower, while Chez Chez Lame is more beige. Benefit Dandelion is too peachy while Pearl Sunshine is significantly darker.
  • Madly Magenta is significantly more purple than both Show Orchid and Love Forever.
  • Movie Star Red is more pigmented but similar in color as Gesina, while Russian Red has less pink in its base.
  • Tickle Me Pink is closest to Viva Glam Gaga (slightly lighter and cooler) or Snob (cooler), but it is similar to Overtime, which is a yellower pink (almost looks peachy in comparison). Unlimited looks nothing like it.
  • Virgin Isle is a touch lighter than Vegas Volt, while Jazzed and Ever Hip are significantly lighter.

See swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 3rd, 2010


Green Eyeliner: MAC Tealo, Korres #4, MUFE #16L, MAC Jade Way,
UD Mildew, shu uemura #07, UD Graffiti, tokidoki Sandy, MUFE #17L, CoverGirl
Green Glow, NARS Parrot Cay, Korres #12

Green Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

I’m always surprised by the sheer variety you can have within a single color.   You have deep, muted, cool, warm greens.  You have undertones.  You have finishes.  It’s just incredible how even a slight alteration to a color can change it.

  • MAC Tealo Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a darkened green-based teal with a creamy matte finish.
  • Korres #4 Eyeliner Pencil is a muted medium-dark green with a creamy matte finish.
  • Make Up For Ever #16L Aqua Eyes is a muted medium green with green shimmer. It is a lighter version of Korres #4. (Review)
  • MAC Jade Way Technakohl Liner is a dark teal with a softly blackened teal base. It is a tealer version of Urban Decay’s Mildew.
  • Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Liner is a dark forest green. It has a blacker base, and less teal and more green than MAC Jade Way. (Review)
  • shu uemura ME Green 07 Drawing Pencil is a light-medium green base with a soft golden sheen.
  • Urban Decay Graffiti 24/7 Liner is a medium grassy green with cool undertones. (Review)
  • tokidoki Sandy Glitter Eyeliner is a medium grassy green with warmer undertones and gold glitter. It is yellower and a little brighter (plus has gold flecks) compared to Urban Decay’s Graffiti. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #17L Aqua Eyes is a pale chartreuse green with strong gold sheen. It is a much lighter, paler version of CoverGirl Green Glow. (Review)
  • CoverGirl Green Glow Liquiline Blast is a bright pop of chartreuse green with a lighter chartreuse sheen. (Review)
  • NARS Parrot Cay Eyeliner is a pale sea foam green with a creamy matte finish. It is similar to Korres #12 but leans greener. (Review)
  • Korres #12 Eyeliner Pencil is a pale aqua with a creamy matte finish. It is similar to NARS Parrot Cay, but it leans a little bluer.

Thoughts

SIMILARITY ALERT! (I don’t think any of these are close enough to call a true dupe, but there are a couple that are quite similar.) The general feel of Korres #4 Eyeliner Pencil and Make Up For Ever #16L Aqua Eyes are very similar, but Korres is a shade or two darker and has less shimmer. MAC Jade Way Technakohl Liner and Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Liner also seem similar at first glance, though MAC Jade Way has less black in its base and is tealer, while Urban Decay Mildew has a blacker base and leans greener. Make Up For Ever #17L Aqua Eyes and CoverGirl Green Glow Liquiline Blast are both chartreuse greens, but CoverGirl Green Glow is much darker and brighter–less gold. NARS Parrot Cay Eyeliner and Korres #12 Eyeliner Pencil are also similar, but NARS leans greener while Korres leans bluer (but they are close!).

Product Formulas/Wear: All of these wear all day long on me except NARS Eyeliners, which migrate and smudge terribly on me. I urge you to check out the NARS review and comment section, because some readers had similar experiences while others had great ones! I have not tested shu uemura’s formula at this time. CoverGirl tends to need a second pass for true color intensity. I’m not a fan of tokidoki’s Glitter Eyeliners, because their texture is rather rough from the gritty glitter, but they wear fine.

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 3rd, 2010


Khaki Eyeliner: Shiseido Black Sand, MAC Buried Treasure, Make Up For Ever #5L,
Urban Decay Stash, shu uemura ME Khaki, MAC Rosemary & Thyme, Chanel Khaki Dore,
Stila Moray, Urban Decay Mildew

Khaki & Olive Green Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

I love antique golds/tarnished greens, and as a result, I do tend to gravitate towards these shades, especially in eyeliners.  I find they pull out the warmth in my hazel eyes–Urban Decay’s Stash is a total go-to liner for me.  Other green shades will be compared separately.

  • Shiseido Black Sand Smoothing Eyeliner is a black base with green and tarnished gold shimmer. (Review)
  • MAC Buried Treasure Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a blackened olive brown with soft green and dark gold shimmer. It’s similar to Shiseido’s Black Sand, but the base is browner and less true green shimmer; seems warmer.
  • Make Up For Ever #5L Aqua Eyes is a khaki green with a tarnished gold sheen. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Stash 24/7 Liner is a dark tarnished gold with sheen. (Review)
  • shu uemura ME Khaki 09 Drawing Pencil is a khaki green with a tarnished gold sheen. It is a hair darker than Make Up For Ever’s #5L.
  • MAC Rosemary & Thyme Eye Kohl is a khaki green with antique gold shimmer and sheen. It is greener than Make Up For Ever #5L and Shu Uemura’s #09. (Review)
  • Chanel Khaki Dore Crayon Yeux is a warm khaki brown with subtle gold and green hints. It is significantly less green than the others here. (Review)
  • Stila Moray Smudge Stick is a deep tarnished green with antique gold shimmer and sheen. It’s most comparable to Urban Decay’s Stash, but the green base is much stronger in Moray, making them noticeably different. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Liner is a dark forest green. It almost seems like an olive green initially, but it’s far too cool and lacks the golden sheen of the rest in this comparison. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! If you like khaki green-golds, Make Up For Ever #5L Aqua Eyes, MAC Rosemary & Thyme Eye Kohl, and shu uemura’s ME Khaki 09 Drawing Pencil are all very similar. The shu shade is a little greener than the other two.

Product Formulas/Wear: I have no wear issues with any of the formulas here, with the exception of shu uemura’s, which I haven’t tested. Stila Smudge Sticks and Make Up For Ever Aqua Eye wear best on the water line for me (but I do not know whether either are tested for the water line). MAC Eye Kohls are the creamiest, with Urban Decay right behind it.

What are your favorite khaki/olive green eyeliners?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


Silver Eyeliner: Milani Silver, L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning, Make Up For Ever #8L, Urban
Decay Dime, Guerlain Silver, Urban Decay Gunmetal, CoverGirl Silver Spark, Urban Decay Uzi

Silver & Gray Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

It looks like metallic silver has been done by quite a few brands, doesn’t it? When it comes to grays, though, I don’t have nearly enough to give a particularly great comparison, but of the three darker grays I own, there are more differences between the three than with the five silver shades.

  • Milani Silver Liquif’Eye Liner is a metallic silver. It is nearly identical to Urban Decay’s Dime. (Review)
  • L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning Chrome Eyeliner is a metallic silver. It is very similar to Guerlain’s Silver, and it is a little darker than the other three silver shades here. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #8L Aqua Eyes is a metallic silver. It is a little lighter than the other four silver shades here. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Dime 24/7 Liner is a metallic silver. It is nearly identical to Milani’s Silver.(Review)
  • Guerlain Silver Stylo Yeux is a metallic silver. It is very similar to L’Oreal HIP’s Silver Lightning; it is a little darker than the other three metallic silver shades here. (Side note: I received this relatively recently, but yet I could hardly find any information on it… anywhere.)
  • Urban Decay Gunmetal 24/7 Liner is a darkened silver-gray with shimmer. (Review)
  • CoverGirl Silver Spark Liquiline Blast is a bluish silver-gray. It’s similar to Gunmetal, but it is bluer and has less shimmer. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Uzi 24/7 Liner is a blackened silver. I was hoping to find you a dupe for this one but no such luck. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! The first five shades are all quite similar: Milani Silver, L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning, Make Up For Ever #8L, Urban Decay Dime, and Guerlain Silver . L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning and Guerlain Silver is are a hue darker than the other three. Make Up For Ever #9L is the lightest of the five.

Product Formulas/Wear: I have no notable issues with wear with any of these formulas (with the exemption of Guerlain’s Stylo Yeux, which I have not tested). They all wear all day for me (tested for at least 12 hours) without budging or migrating. L’Oreal HIP and Milani are the creamiest, with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners following shortly after (still creamy, though). Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes are firmer but still doesn’t tug on the lash line. CoverGirl Liquiline Blasts sometimes need a second pass for true color pay off but otherwise wear fine.

What are your favorite silvers and grays?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


Gold Eyeliner: Tokidoki Unicorno, Guerlain Gold, Make Up For Ever #9L,
Urban Decay Eldorado, Urban Decay Honey, Milani Gold, L’Oreal HIP Gold Charge, Stila Koi

Gold Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

There are certainly lots of variations on gold but one particular hue seems to find its way into multiple ranges, and I’ve deliberately excluded more antique golds (to-be-posted), but these are the more traditional golds, based on the products I own.   (Please assume that if it’s not here, I do not own it.)

  • Tokidoki Unicorno Glitter Eyeliner is a pale white gold base with darker gold glitter. (Review)
  • Guerlain Gold Stylo Yeux is a golden orange-peach–looks yellower in the pencil than swatched. (Side note: I received this relatively recently, but yet I could hardly find any information on it… anywhere.)
  • Make Up For Ever #9L Aqua Eyes is a lightened yellow gold. It’s not a dupe for Urban Decay’s Honey (or Eldorado). (Review)
  • Urban Decay Eldorado 24/7 Liner is a true yellow gold. You can tell it is significantly different from Honey. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Honey 24/7 Liner is a rustic gold with a molten gold-bronze glint. This is one of my favorite colors, but apparently Urban Decay discontinued it. It is similar to the next three eyeliners, but it seems a hue darker. (Review)
  • Milani Gold Liquif’Eye Liner is a deep metallic gold. It has a nearly identical texture and color to L’Oreal HIP’s Gold Charge. (Review)
  • L’Oreal HIP Gold Charge Chrome Eyeliner is a deep metallic gold. It has nearly identical texture and color to Milani’s Gold. (Review)
  • Stila Koi Smudge Stick is a deep, metallic gold. The color is nearly identical to both Milani’s Gold and L’Oreal HIP’s Gold Charge, but it’s a mechanical pencil, so it’s not quite as creamy. (Review)

Thoughts

Urban Decay Honey is now discontinued, but for those feeling the heartbreak and are running low, you may want to consider any of the following as close sistersL’Oreal HIP Gold Charge, Milani Gold, or Stila Koi.

DUPE ALERT! If it wasn’t visually obvious, L’Oreal HIP Gold Charge, Milani Gold, and Stila Koi are near identical.  L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliner and Milani Liquif’Eye Liner formulas are quite similar, too–both creamy eye pencils that glide on smoothly (creamier than Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, by-the-by).  Stila Smudge Sticks are mechanical pencils, and they have known packaging woes (takes forever to get it to twist, often you can’t twist it back in).

Product Formulas/Wear:  I have no notable issues regarding overall wear with this set of eyeliners (exempting Guerlain Stylo Yeux, which I haven’t tested).  For more specifics, I urge you to review the particular product’s review.   Tokidoki Unicorno Glitter Eyeliner is a bit rough/scratchy against the lash line, because of the glittery bits.

What are your favorite golds?

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, October 11th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: $26 to $34 (Part 2)

Though often lumped into high-end, this is a tier made up of designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL. Most higher-end/designer lipsticks are scented, usually with floral or fruit. Rose seems to be the most prevalent scent found in brands across the board; sometimes it’s subtle (Chanel), while other times it’s heavy (Dolce & Gabbana). I find designer range lipsticks to be non-drying to moisturizing with more opaque formulas overall. Packaging is often nicer, but it’s not always the case and is, inevitably, very personal.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque to opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours)
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free, somewhat moisturizing
  • CONS: May feather/bleed on slightly dry to dry lips
  • MY REC: I don’t find them super moisturizing, though they don’t dry lips out. Typically, I don’t find lipsticks bleed on me easily, but I did have some issues with this one feathering on me when I tested them originally (my lips were a bit drier than they normally are during those tests). Like Burberry lipsticks, there is a magnetic clasp that keeps the lid on.

Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick ($31.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, glossy finish, moisturizing, smooth, opaque, wears for an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., fruit-scented
  • CONS: Basic shade range of pinks/reds
  • MY REC: After being spoiled by Guerlain’s Rouge G lipstick line, despite being $16 more, I feel like if I’m going to go Guerlain, I better go Rouge G. KissKiss is actually a nice formula on its own; it’s creamy, usually pigmented, and moisturizing enough for normal to dry lips.

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick ($29.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), minimizes lip lines
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz, rose-scented
  • CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
  • MY REC: I love how creamy it is without being slippery; it won’t slide all over the place, so it actually wears well and on the longer side. It is also a bit pricier than other Lancome lipsticks, which makes it it their top tier lipstick, but at least they give you 0.14 oz., while the average lipstick is 0.12 oz.

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, good shade range, moisturizing, wears an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Slippery, shades can be stark, heavy
  • MY REC: YSL has expanded their Rouge Volupte line quite a bit since I originally reviewed the range, and more importantly, I’ve expanded the range of lipsticks I’ve tested as well. I actually find these don’t wear as well as other lipsticks–they’re just too slippery. It’s moisturizing but not overly so, but it is also one of the heavier lipsticks I’ve worn. If your lips are prone to bleeding, you might experience that with the darker shades, since it has a lot of slip.

YSL Gloss Volupte Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, sheer (supposed to be), glossy finish
  • NEUTRAL: 0.07 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Not very moisturizing, requires frequent reapplication
  • MY REC: Apparently, I’ve never done an official review for this, but I distinctly remember being unimpressed by it. It’s a very sheer formula, which is fine, but I didn’t even see any color on my lips, which goes beyond sheer to me. My lips felt drier after wearing this, and I found myself having to reapply every hour or two. Also, did you note how little you get for $30?

The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.

This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.