12.29.2012

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches
Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom ($24) is a bright, loose powder blush dispensed from a built-in grinder. It's an innovative idea, but I have trouble making it work. Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is a very bright shade so it's difficult to dispense an appropriate amount of product.

On Sephora.com, In Bloom is described simply as "pink." I was hoping for a true hot pink shade, but In Bloom is really more of a coral pink. No problem for me since I love corals, but I think the shade description should be more accurate so that customers can make informed purchases. 

And boy, is it bright! Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is an extremely pigmented, matte bright coral pink. Very little product was used to create the swatch below. If you're scared of bright blushes, consider using a more muted color along your cheekbones and only dabbing In Bloom onto the apples for a pop of color.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches
Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Swatch

While I think Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom is a lovely and luminous shade, I'm having trouble with application. Even when I twist the grinder just a liiiiitttle bit, it seems like too much product comes up. Sure, I swirl and tap my brush to get rid of as much excess as possible, but it's still difficult and messy. For best results, dab a very small amount on cheeks and blend, blend, blend.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom Review and Swatches
Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom

Once applied, I find that Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom looks quite pretty and wears well. I find that it starts to fade after 7 hours but remains present for about 12. This would be a great blush to last you through the work day.

I'm hesitant to recommend Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom because of my problems with the grinder. However, if you can manage this packaging issue, the product inside is nice.

Additionally, I think some of the other shades are more sheer (I'm looking at Warm Glow and Peachy Dream) and would thus be easier to manage in larger doses. I'm not a huge fan of loose powder blushes in general, but I could imagine Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush working well for someone else. The pigmentation, appearance, and wear time are all very good!


12.24.2012

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review and Swatches

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review and Swatches
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

The new Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($27) is a petite palette featuring six versatile neutral eyeshadows. Gone are the glimmer and shimmer that characterize many of Urban Decay's other palettes; instead, the Naked Basics Palette offers demure shades that are must-haves for everyday makeup.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

The Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette is packaged in a mirrored compact with a rubbery, suede-like finish. I personally think it feels a little strange to the touch, but it's what's inside that counts. Here we have six full-size Urban Decay eyeshadows, four of which are new and exclusive to this palette:
  1. Venus:  pearly vanilla white. This satiny shade has a bit of shimmer and is exclusive to the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.
  2. Foxy:  light pastel yellow matte. This shade is available in the Urban Decay Naked2 Palette or as an eyeshadow single
  3. Walk of Shame (or W.O.S. for short):  very light seashell pink/cream matte. This shade isn't strictly exclusive, but the only other way to get it is by purchasing Urban Decay's Build Your Own Palette.  
  4. Naked2:  medium matte brown. This shade is cool-toned with mocha tones. This shade is exclusive to the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.
  5. Faint: medium-to-dark matte brown that's warm but not overly so. This shade is exclusive to the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.
  6. Crave: inky matte black that is seriously DARK. This shade is exclusive to the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review and Swatches
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Swatches

Some cosmetic companies have trouble creating smooth, pigmented eyeshadows that don't generate a lot of fallout. Urban Decay is the exception to that rule, especially since they altered their eyeshadow formula. All of the shades in the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette are very silky and have great color payoff. However, Foxy and Walk of Shame are pretty similar to the color of my inner arm so it was really difficult to get them to show up on camera when swatched. You can see them better on my lids, as evidenced below:

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Foxy, Naked2, Faint, Crave Look Swatches
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette
For this look, I applied Foxy from my lashline to browbone. I then applied Naked2 across my lid and blended it into the crease. I added Faint to the outer third of my eyelids, used Crave to line my upper lashline, and added Venus to the browbone and inner corner of my eye. I also used Faint to fill in my eyebrows a little. I then "completed" the look by accidentally smearing mascara on my lid, ugh!

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Foxy, Naked2, Faint, Crave Look Swatches
Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

This look is pretty darn subtle. I could have ramped it up by using more Faint and Crave, but I was happy with the whisper-soft effect obtained through the light application. My boyfriend complimented me on it, so I guess it must have been flattering enough! I have been getting all day wear out of these shades, but that's due in part to my favorite eyeshadow primers (Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Prestige Primed and Ready).

When it comes to price, this palette is falls right in the middle for Urban Decay products. A single 0.05 oz Urban Decay eyeshadow costs $18, but this palette includes six 0.05 oz shadows for $27. Waaay better deal. On the other hand, larger palettes like Naked and Naked2 include twelve 0.05 oz shadows for $50, which is about the same price per ounce. However, those palettes include added bonuses like mini size primers, glosses, or shadow brushes to sweeten the deal.

Personally, I am pretty happy with the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. I love matte shades and I'm sure I will never feel "overdone" with this palette. Nevertheless, I think the shade selection should have included one more mid-tone shade. Venus, Foxy, and Walk of Shame are all quite light, and I think swapping one out for a slightly darker shade would have made the palette more balanced.

Still, I'm convinced that the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette will become a core part of my makeup routine. These shades are like lingerie -- the fundamental, pretty basics that you need to build your wardrobe!

Do you think you will be picking up the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette?


12.18.2012

Fekkai Holiday Promotion



I must say, holiday beauty deals are helping me stave off the winter blues! 

The latest promotion to catch my eye is for renowned stylist Frederic Fekkai's hair care line. While supplies last, you can get 10% off your total order PLUS a bejeweled holiday headband. To take advantage of this offer, use code: HEADBAND. In addition, each Fekkai order comes with free shipping and samples.

Fekkai is a professional quality product line, and Frederic Fekkai and his staff personally test each formula in the Frederic Fekkai Salon before public release. This line offers such a wide variety of products that I'm not sure what I would like to try most. I've been into big, curly-wavy hair lately, so I'm definitely eyeing the Full Blown Volume Styling Whip ($25) and Perfectly Luscious Curls Wave Activating Spray ($25). Anything to amp up my thin strands!


This is the headband that comes with the 10% off Fekkai promotion. The silvery-grey band is studded with mirrored beads and rhinestones for a shimmering, festive hair accessory. I'm picturing this with an ultra teased crown for a sexy, retro look. 

Something like this, perhaps?



Or this?


I imagine that Fekkai Full Blown Volume styling products might come in handy for creating these 'dos! Totally perfect for a holiday party.

Have you used Frederic Fekkai hair care and styling products? I hope to get my hands on some in the near future to get my hair looking ultra-fab for the season!


12.14.2012

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon Review and Swatches

Clinique Chubby Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon Review and Swatches
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon

I use Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon ($16) almost every day. I adore the glossy pencil format, which makes it an uber-convenient way for me to slap on some color and moisture when I'm on the go. Who doesn't love products that you can apply without a mirror?

Clinique Chubby Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon Review and Swatches
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon Swatch

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon is an extremely wearable shade. It's not super bright but still deposits a healthy-looking dose of pigment that turns your lips the color of a ripe peach. It has a smooth, slightly glossy finish to make things look extra juicy. Yum!

Clinique Chubby Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon Review and SwatchesClinique Chubby Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon Review and Swatches
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon

I get about 2-3 hours of wear from Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon. Not incredible, but my wear time expectations are a little lower for lip balms than lipsticks, which I want to have better staying power.

Certainly, Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon isn't the best lip balm in the world. It's texture is a little waxy and I doubt that it's emollient enough for super chapped lips. My lips are usually in fairly good condition though, so Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mega Melon is a great way for me to maintain their softness with very little effort.

Clinique Chubby Stick is one of those products that get tons of attention in the beauty world. Have you tried it? Do you think it deserve so much hype?


12.12.2012

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Review and Swatches

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set

[UPDATE 12/13: Turns out the Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set isn't discontinued! It's currently back at Sephora!]

Just my luck: I've been testing and photographing the recently-released Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set ($14) for awhile now, but after a quick visit to Sephora.com I've discovered that it's already been discontinued! This came as a big surprise to me because it just came out around November. I guess it was just a limited edition item with low stock? 

I'm disappointed that Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set has been discontinued because I think it's a great product. Each of the 5 glosses are fun shades with great pigmentation and a soft, absolutely non-sticky finish that feels great. At $14, I thought the set was a pretty good deal too, and I was hoping that my readers would get a chance to check it out.

If you (understandably) have no interest in discontinued products, please feel free to browse elsewhere. Otherwise, let's just gaze upon the photographs and dream about what might have been :)

Like the Sephora Collection Izak Baked Eyeshadow Palette that I previously reviewed, the Mini Lip Gloss Set is adorned in the whimsical illustrations of French artist Izak Zenou (Oddly enough, the Izak Baked Eyeshadow Palette is still available even though I reviewed that way back in June). Check out that adorable packaging! 

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set

The first gloss (covered by the illustration on the far left of the box), Candy Floss, is a neutral pink with gold shimmer. Candy Floss is a nice, casual pretty shade:

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Candy Floss Swatch
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set -- Candy Floss

The second gloss, Sunset, is a coral pink with gold shimmer. I'm a big coral fan and I love layering this on top of lipstick for a lively and radiant finish.

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Sunset Swatch
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set -- Sunset

The third gloss, Tea Rose, is a lovely berry cream. There's no shimmer in this shade, and I think it is perfect if you want your makeup to look polished and demure. I seriously love it.

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Tea Rose Swatch
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set -- Tea Rose

The fourth gloss, Fiesta Red, is a bold red cream. A single coat veers a little pinky-red while two coats will give you something warmer and more fiery.

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Fiesta Red Swatch
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set -- Fiesta Red

The fifth gloss, Berrylicious, is my least favorite of the bunch. It's a grape-plum shade that may work better on ladies who can pull of dramatic, vampy shades better than I can. It's similar to Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache, but Berrylicious is darker and more purple.

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set in Berrylicious Swatch
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set -- Berrylicious

Here's the glosses swatched all together: 

Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Candy Floss, Sunset, Tea Rose, Fiesta Red, Berrylicious Swatches
Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set Swatches
L-to-R:  Candy Floss, Sunset, Tea Rose, Fiesta Red, Berrylicious

Again, I really like the Sephora Collection Izak Mini Lip Gloss Set so I'm sad that it's discontinued! Since the other Izak products are still around, I'm crossing my fingers that Sephora will bring back something similar in the not too distant future.


24850_Shop Target + Neiman Marcus Exclusive Holiday Collection starting on 12/1! While Supplies Last!

12.10.2012

Merry Mario Badescu Giveaway!

MARIO BADESCU SKIN CARE glycolic foaming cleanser enzyme cleansing gel cucumber cleansing lotion oil free moisturizer strawberry tonic mask ceramide eye gel
Mario Badescu Skin Care Products

The friendly folks at Mario Badescu are offering one Nicole Reviews Beauty reader the fantastic opportunity to receive their own customized skin care regimen! The winner will work with an expert at Mario Badescu to design a set of products including a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, mask, eye cream and exfoliant.

Previously, I shared my skin concerns with a specialist at Mario Badescu and received a set of 6 products to address my individual complexion needs. It was a fun and interesting experience, and I am so excited to now offer that opportunity to one of my lovely readers!

Here's some background on the brand:

"Mario Badescu Skin Care is dedicated to providing personalized service and customized skin care for all of our clients, including regular folks and major celebrities. With a tradition that began in Romania over 40 years ago, our skin care products use soothing botanicals, fruit extracts, seaweed, high quality vitamin oils, aloe, chamomile, and caviar to provide the highest quality skin care products available. Let Mario Badescu Skin Care help you discover your own personal skin care regimen for glowing skin!"

Additionally, Mario Badescu is currently giving away a $500 Nordstrom Gift Card on their Facebook page! The contest runs through Saturday, December 15th. Check it out here:

http://www.facebook.com/MarioBadescu?sk=app_143103275748075&app_data=dlt-1

Here's how to enter my giveaway for a customized product regimen. Best of luck! This contest is open to U.S. residents only and will run until midnight on Friday, December 15th:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12.06.2012

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches
Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold
L-to-R:  Olive Gray, Starfish, Latte

Love the shades, hate the wear time.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold ($18) is a beautiful set of three mini nail polishes that create a lovely array of shimmering, festive shades. The colors include Latte, a gold shimmer, Olive Gray, a molten metallic green/grey, and Starfish, a gold glitter.

As is the case with all Sephora + Pantone products, the Opulent Lacquer Trio arrived in a sturdy, high quality case. The packaging has a modern look that could serve as a nice addition to someone's vanity. 

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches Latte Olive Gray Starfish
Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Swatches
L-to-R:  Latte, Olive Gray, Starfish

These shades don't provide that vinyl-like finish that I love in other polishes, but the polishes in Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold apply fairly smoothly and provide good coverage despite having a thin texture. Unfortunately, Latte and Olive Gray chip like crazy.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches
Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold

Look how festive! I'm wearing Latte on all of my nails, plus Starfish on my ring finger. I love this fun and sparkly combination. I've received lots of compliments on this look, particularly on the single blinged out accent nail. 

Honestly, I wish I didn't like this look so much, seeing as it only lasted one day! I'm talking really big chips too: about half of my index nail was bare by the next afternoon. Starfish has been lasting longer though, which I expected. Glitter polishes tend to last forever on me.

I really like the appearance of these polishes, but I would say that you probably shouldn't bother buying this set unless you definitely plan to pair these polishes with a good base and top coat. Even then, be prepared to do touch ups.

In related news: today Pantone announced the Color of the Year for 2013! This year's big shade is going to be......EMERALD! Get excited for limited edition, exclusive makeup releases for this shade to come in Spring 2013.

What do you think of this news? Are you excited for emerald makeup, clothes and accessories?


12.03.2012

Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches

Bare Mineral The Star Treatment Set
Bare Mineral: The Star Treatment Set

What an interesting neutral eyeshadow palette!

The limited edition Bare Minerals "The Star Treatment" Set ($40) includes 8 powder eyeshadows along with a mini version of Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer. All shades are in Bare Minerals new Ready eyeshadow formula. Rather than your typical neutral browns and taupes, this eyeshadow palette is packed full of unique and versatile shades.

As you can see, my Bare Minerals Star Treatment palette looks a little messy right now! The black shade, VIP, experienced some breakage during shipping and smudged over the other shadows. I was bummed out by this, but it's nothing that a little cleanup can't fix. Otherwise, the palette is very nice-looking. It has an attractive mirrored case with a large mirror inside. The set also includes a double-ended brush. The brush's bristles are stiff so I haven't been using it, but it would work in a pinch.

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment includes:
  1. VIP - a black shade with gold and silver glitter. This shadow is wonderfully silky to the touch and well-pigmented. Though it's not the inkiest black ever, it's still great for glam, smudgy smokey eyes. Watch out for fallout with this shade. 
  2. Connoisseur - a brassy, coppery gold shimmer. This shade has a particularly creamy texture. The color is one of my favs in this palette. I love applying it to my eyelid and my lower lash line! Killer pigmentation, not much fallout, but a little difficult to blend. Bonus points for teaching me how to spell "Connoisseur."
  3. Carte Blanche - a pearly ivory shimmer. This is pretty much the only highlight shade in the Star Treatment palette. Works well for me, but cool-toned people might wish there was a highlight shade without a yellow base.
  4. Ritzy - a deep brown with dense shimmer and great pigmentation. This shade is fairly neutral in tone and works well for contouring. Unfortunately, I notice fallout with this particular shade.
  5. Kudos - a pearly, icy mint. I think this shade is very interesting and I can imagine it being incorporated into a variety of creative looks. Quite a bit of fallout though.
  6. Bragging Rights - a "copper penny" shimmer. This shadow has a lot of red so it's difficult to wear, but I think it can look nice if you apply it in the crease rather than the eyelid. Red right next to the eye = tired bunny eyes! 
  7. Elitist - an olive green with gold glitter. Great for green eyeshadow lovers. I bet this would look gorgeous with brown eyes. What is up with these shade names though? Elitist, really?
  8. Extravagance - a pale, pearlized cornsilk. I think this shade looks nice swatched, but the pigmentation isn't stellar and I don't like how it looks on my lids. I also experience quite a bit of fallout with this shade. 
Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches VIP, Connoisseur, Carte Blanche, Ritzy
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set Swatches
L-to-R:  VIP, Connoisseur, Carte Blanche, Ritzy

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches Kudos, Bragging Rights, Elitist, Extravagance
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set Swatches
L-to-R:  Kudos, Bragging Rights, Elitist, Extravagance

Given my experiences with Buxom Stick Around Eye Primer (Buxom and Bare Minerals are the same company), I didn't have high expectations for Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised! Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer provided a great base that increases color intensity and helps shadows adhere without losing blend time. The wear time was fantastic as well; I consistently get all-day wear with Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer.

For the below photo, I started off by spreading  Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer from my lash line to brow bone. I then applied Kudos to the crease and blended up to the brow bone. I added Elitist to the crease to contour. I covered my lids with Connoisseur and used Carte Blanche to highlight.

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set

I also used Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer for this next look. This look incorporates Bragging Rights in the crease area for a "sunset" effect. I applied a dash of Ritzy to the outer corner of my crease, but it's not really visible in this photo. I again used Connoisseur on my lid and Carte Blanche on the brow bone. You can also see Connoisseur along my lower lash line. I apologize for the scary deer in the headlights expression!

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set

Bottom Line: I love the color selection in Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set. While I still consider it a neutral palette, the shades are a lot more unusual than what you see in other neutral palettes like Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2. Most of the shadows are well-pigmented and silky, and the mini primer works very well. However, I dislike the fallout, so-so pigmentation, and inferior blendability of some of the eyeshadows. Additionally, while I like the appearance of the mirrored case, it's prone to fingerprints and smudges that diminish the compact's attractiveness. The majority of shades (though not 100%) are warm-toned, so cool-toned folks should consider this purchase carefully.

What do you think of Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set? Are you intrigued by the unique shades, or do you think this palette looks like nothing special?


11.30.2012

JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque Review and Swatches

JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque Review and Swatches
JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque

JINsoon Nail Lacquer is a new line of polishes from celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi. Currently available at Sephora, the fledging brand includes 12 shades that all look great for fall and winter fashion.

Unfortunately, after trying JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque ($18), I'm in no hurry to try more polishes from this new brand. This lacquer isn't horrible but I don't think the quality merits the high price.

JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque is described as a "black red" so I was expecting something along the lines of a deep burgundy or oxblood shade. In reality, JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque is more of a blackened eggplant. 

One coat of JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque allows the purple tones to shine through but does not provide full coverage. I definitely needed a second coat. Sadly, two coats of JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque basically look black. Black nail polish is fine and all, but I was expecting a more unique color. It's not even that glossy either!

JINsoon touts the short dry time of its lacquers. I found the dry time to be average to slow (and ended up with smudgy nails!). Try Butter London or Julep for a much faster dry time.

On the bright side, the wear time of JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque was good. I got about 4-5 days before it started chipping badly. Then I had to remove it immediately because nothing looks worse than super dark, chipped nail polish!

Overall, I was disappointed by JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Risque. I expected something more impressive for the price. I think I will stick to Butter London or Julep for my nail polish splurges for the time being.


11.26.2012

Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara and Eyeliner Duo Review and Swatches

Eyeko Skinny Mini Eyeliner and Mascara Duo Review and Swatches
Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara and Eyeliner Duo

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara ($19) is something of a cult favorite in the makeup world. I always want to check out much-loved products, so I pounced when I saw that the mascara was now available in a travel-sized duo along with Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner ($15). 

Now that I have my hands on the Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara and Eyeliner Duo ($16), I can't say that I'm blown away. Both products are serviceable but they aren't major wins for me. But then again, it seems that everyone has such different eye makeup needs and preferences!

Eyeko Lengthening Skinny Mini Brush Mascara in Black Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner and Mascara Duo Review and Swatches
Eyeko Lengthening Skinny Mini Brush Mascara in Black

Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara's wand has a very unique shape. I must say that these bristles do a great job of grabbing each and every lash. This mascara creates some length, but it's not that dramatic. The black is nice and dark though, with a nice dash of gloss. I find that Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara leaves my lashes pretty clumpy, which is the ultimate no-no.

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner and Mascara Duo Review and Swatches
Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

I had better luck with Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black. The liner has a marker style tip that's precise and easy to use. My main quibble is that the color isn't as jet black as I would like, and it lacks the nice sheen finish that some other liquid eyeliners have. The marker tip also feels like it could dry out fairly quickly, but I don't know that for sure.

Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner and Mascara Duo Review and Swatches
Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner Swatch

As you can see, Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara adds some length but very little volume. The result is kinda spindly and clumpy. I'm also wearing the Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner, which looks fine but not incredible. I wish the mascara was less clumpy and the eyeliner was more intense!

Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara and Eyeliner Duo Review and Swatches
Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara and Eyeliner Duo

On the plus side, both the Eyeko Skinny Mini Mascara and Eyeliner are extremely long-lasting. Neither flakes on me, and I only ended up with a small smudge under my right eye after 8 hours of wear. Makeup remover is a must when it comes time to take these products off. 

Overall, I'm not amazed with either Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara or Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. I'm a little disappointed that they didn't live up to the hype for me, but I guess I can be happy that I sated my curiosity about this cult fav mascara!

Have you tried Eyeko products? Do you think their mascara is a must-have or a product to skip?


11.24.2012

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne Review and Swatches

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne ($30) delivers smooth, light-reflective color that hugs lips to create a plump and glossy pout. It's a nice lipstick for sure, but all in all I'm not convinced that it's worth the $30 price tag.

Like all Givenchy products, Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick comes in very luxe packaging. It features a square black outer tube, an embossed silver casing, and a Givenchy logo pull tab used to remove the lipstick from the outer tube. It's great if you love fancy packaging, but I prefer my lipstick to look a little more basic and inconspicuous. I just feel weird/self-conscious/dorky taking out fancy-looking lipstick in public, you know?

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne Swatch
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne Swatch

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne has a very smooth, moisturizing formula with some shine. While it feels great on lips, this lipstick isn't as pigmented as I expected. I have to apply about 3 layers to get the coverage that I want. For the price, Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick should provide better color payoff.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne Swatch
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne

On the plus side, Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne is a truly lovely shade. It's a subtle warm rose beige that brightens your face for a natural and pretty look. I think this color is versatile and would flatter many different people. The smooth formula also does a good job of filling in lip lines.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne lasts for about 4 hours on me. However, because it lacks intense pigmentation, this lipstick doesn't stain your lips with very much color.

Bottom Line: While it has some good points, Givenchy Rouge Interdit Satin Lipstick in 02 Beige Champagne doesn't knock it out of the park for me. If you're looking for a sheer, moisturizing lipstick, spend $12 on a Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick instead.


11.21.2012

Zoya Nail Polish in America Review and Swatches

Zoya Nail Polish in America Swatch
Zoya Nail Polish in America

I'm a red nail polish fiend and Zoya Nail Polish in America ($8) has all the makings of a new favorite.

My friend Tammy from Make-Up Wishes has cool-toned skin (and is a total Zoya enabler!), so she sent me this bottle to try. Zoya Nail Polish in America is a warm-toned tomato red that evokes retro pin-up girl glamour. I love pairing this polish with a navy blue sweaterdress for a sharp, winter-ready contrast.

Unlike some of Zoya's other more sheer shades, America provides great coverage and is nearly opaque in one coat. In the above photo, I'm wearing two layers without a top coat. As you can see, this polish offers great pigmentation and plenty of shine.

One thing I adore about Zoya is that all of their products are vegan and non-toxic without compromising on quality. Without a base or top coat, Zoya Nail Polish in America provides 4-5 days of good looking wear. So much better than those polishes that chip on the first day!

If you love natural, cruelty free products, check out Zoya Nail Polish in America for the perfect pin-up red.


11.20.2012

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Review and Swatches

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream ($48) is one of my favorite beauty balms so far. While it's not quite perfect, this product offers great coverage, beneficial antioxidants, moisturizing ingredients, and a truly self-adjusting shade. Plus, it's vegan and gluten free!

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Swatch
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Swatch

As a vegan myself, I tend to give cruelty-free products an extra thumbs up, particularly when they are as good as this one. Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream is available in 6 shades and I tried BB5, which is a light-to-medium shade. When first applied, Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 has an extremely yellow cast. After I got over my initial shock, I discovered that the shade adjusts after a few moments to nearly match my skin tone. No idea how it works, but I am happy with the outcome.

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5 Swatch
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5

Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream has a glowing, satin matte finish with great medium coverage. This product also does a fabulous job of filling in pores for a smooth canvas even without primer. It feels pretty light (though not completely weightless!) on skin and lasts well throughout an active day. On top of that, this product has SPF 25 and doesn't irritate my skin or break me out. In fact, I think that my skin looks a little more clear when I take it off at night.

However, Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream has a few problems. The cream is very thick and difficult to spread across your skin. As a result, I think I end up applying more product than I would otherwise. Additionally, Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream is not very blendable. The instructions say to apply it with your fingers, and that really is the best strategy. I tried applying it with Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush and ended up with streaks. Fingers worked much better!

Despite these issues, I'm still happy with Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream in BB5. I love having a vegan BB option and I really like the finish and non-irritating formula of this product. I would prefer if the consistency had more slip and fluidity, but at least the current texture is workable.

What do you think? Are you interested in trying this BB cream from Jane Iredale?



Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.

11.19.2012

Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Black Review and Swatches

Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Black
Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Black

Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Black ($6.50) is a lash lengthening, volumizing, and curling dynamo!

I've been using this multitasking mascara for about four months and it blows many of its counterparts (including the high-priced ones!) out of the water. Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara does an excellent job of making your lashes look long and flirty while simultaneously feather light. My lashes stand up straight on their own, but this mascara also adds a nice hint of extra curl that lasts all day.

One of my favorite characteristics of Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara is how well it layers. I love to wear 2-3 coats of mascara, but that often leads to stiff, clumpy lashes. Not with Prestige! I find that this mascara maintains lash separation and softness when you add extra coats, even if the first coat is already dry.

Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Black
Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Black
Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara doesn't flake on me or irritate my eyes. Its sole drawback is that it starts to smudge below my eyes after about 8 hours. Eight hours is a long time though, so I don't think of it as a major flaw in the mascara. 

If you want to make the most out of your lashes, give Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara a try. It's cheap, coats lashes easily, and provides a delightful dose of length, volume, and curl without clumps. Really, what more can you ask for?


Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.

11.16.2012

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser Review

Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser
Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser ($34) is a natural, botanically based skin care product intended to cleanse, hydrate, and revitalize skin. My luck with botanical products is pretty hit and miss, but I'm satisfied overall with this cleanser.

Here are some of the pros and cons of Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser:

Pros
-- Effective cleansing. Some cleansers, particularly natural ones, do a poor job of removing makeup. Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser effectively washes away liner and mascara without giving you raccoon eyes.
-- Increased radiance. I think that this cleanser makes my skin look bright, soft and healthy.
-- Yummy lemon-citrus scent.
-- No breakouts. I am sensitive to plant extracts and this cleanser contains a large variety of them. Luckily, none of the ingredients seem to be irritating my face.

Cons
-- Expensive. $34 is a LOT to pay for a cleanser, particularly when I am so happy with my old reliable Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin
-- Large variety of plant extracts that may irritate skin. While I seem to be fine, some people might be sensitive to the witch hazel or citrus ingredients in this cleanser.

And that's about it! I'm not in love with this product, but it's doing a fine job of cleaning my face. If you don't mind the price or the extensive list of plant extracts, feel free to give this one a try.



Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.