8.04.2012

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope Review and Swatches

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope

My favorite lipstick of the moment isn't a lipstick at all. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope($24) takes the creamy texture, smooth application, and rich pigmentation of a great lipstick and delivers it in convenient, jumbo pencil form.

Thanks to the inclusion of silicones and moisturizing ingredients, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope has a matte finish that feels silky smooth instead of dry. The jumbo pencil design is convenient, easy to use, and multi-functional. You can line and emphasize your lip shape, fill your entire pout with color, and layer under other lipsticks or gloss. The only drawback to the pencil design is that you may need to purchase a large sharpener if you don't have one that fits. I still need to buy one and, as you can see, it's getting down to the wire...

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope is a unique peachy nude. The shade includes hints of brown, coral, peach, and rose that work to create a sexy, mature "my lips but better" look. Mad Men fans take note -- this shade is used on set for tragic 60s bombshell Betty Draper, portrayed by the gorgeous January Jones. Keep NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope in mind for your extra-authentic tortured housewife costume!

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope
Natural Light

As in the above picture, the rosy coral tones of NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope show up well in natural light. The peachy beige tones show up more in artificial light, as seen in the swatch below.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope Swatch
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope Swatch
Studio Light

The wear time on NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope is killer. Something about the smooth matte finish makes it ultra-resistant to transferring. I was shocked to discover that NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Calliope left no smudges on my water glass, and it even survived a meal.

If the color of Calliope isn't for you, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is available in 16 other shades, including shades of pink, beige, and red. I definitely recommend that you try this product out for the comfortable finish, amazing wear time, convenient design, and beautiful shades!


8.02.2012

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon Review and Swatches

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in 970 Purty Persimmon Swatch
Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon

I've already featured Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon ($1.99) on my blog a few times for comparison swatches, so I figured it was about time this lipstick got its own post!

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon is a dirt cheap way to stay on top of this season's tangerine trend. The bright orange shade screams summer while the red tones keep this lip color wearable.

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon Swatch
Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon

When I first opened the tube, I was worried that Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon would be hard, dry, and difficult to apply. I couldn't have been more wrong. This lip color actually applies like a dream, with a creamy semi-matte formula and amazingly opaque coverage. Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon is so smooth that it minimizes the appearance of lip lines.

The intense pigmentation and fabulous coverage is similar to Wet n Wild Mega Shield Lip Color in It's a Girl. Who knew Wet n Wild had such great lipstick formulas?

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in 970 Purty Persimmon Swatch
Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon Swatch

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon wears well throughout the day, and it leaves behind an attractive coral pink stain after eating and drinking. I find that it fades more evenly than other lipsticks and avoids blotchiness.

So how does Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon stack up to other orange lipstick shades released this season?

It's brighter, redder, and more matte than Sephora + Pantone Color of the Year Creme Lipstick in Tangerine Tango, which is more of a glossy lipstick. 

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon is a pretty good dupe for MAC Hey, Sailor! Lipstick in Sail La Vie because they both have creamy, semi-matte finishes and large doses of bright, mid-tone orange. However, Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon is more red.

When it comes down to it, the biggest difference between these lipsticks is price! Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in Purty Persimmon is a high-quality, on-trend product that is worth more than the money you'll pay for it. What more can we can ask for?


Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black Review and Swatches

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black
Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black ($18) is a decent mascara that's also very far from fabulous. Instead of dramatic volume, the lightweight formula does more to increase lash length rather than thickness.

Like Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache, I received Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in the Sephora Beauty Insiders Bare Minerals Finishing Touches Set. I've been using this mascara for a few days and noticed a few problems. It takes many swipes to fully coat my lashes and I end up with quite a few clumps. Plus, the formula feels a little dry and produces flakes.

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black Swatch
Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black

I haven't experienced any smudging with Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black, and the mascara does increase the appearance of lash length. I wouldn't call it a horrible mascara by any means. Still, I must say that I'm glad I didn't spend money on Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black, and I don't see myself reaching for it much in the future either.

Has anyone else had better luck with this mascara?


8.01.2012

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie Review and Swatches

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie Swatch
Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie

I've been trying to fight it, but whenever I think about Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie($18) my mind instantly jumps to Nineties metal band Limp Bizkit!  "I did it all for the nookie," anyone? Come to think of it, something about this lovely gloss DOES have a 90s vibe, just one of a different sort.

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie is a pale opalescent shimmer that would look right at home on the lips of a Nineties New Age goddess. The light pink shade includes hints of mocha and peach and is spiked with large gold glitter flecks throughout. Despite the warm gold and peach components, I'd say the color pulls cool-toned overall thanks to an abundance of beautiful purple and pink shimmer.

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie Swatch
Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie Swatch

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie includes a brush applicator that's a tad small for me. It takes awhile to apply the gloss because of the small brush, but the petite applicator does allow for quite a bit of precision. It's a trade-off.

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie smells like fruity candy but has no discernible flavor. The color is a too pale for me to wear by itself, but it makes a great layering gloss that adds opalescent flair over light-to-medium pink or rosy lipsticks.

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie Swatch
Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie

Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie is a great gloss for adding shine, shimmer and dimension to your look. I think this gloss would look particularly rockin' on people with cool or neutral undertones, but the hints of peach and gold mean that us warm-toned ladies can pull off Benefit Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Nookie Nookie as well.

What's your favorite Benefit gloss?


Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef Review and Swatches

Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef Swatch
Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef

All of the recent coverage of Fall 2012 makeup collections has left me feeling a bit panicked. I'm not yet ready to trade the vibrant shades of Summer for the deep, dark colors of Autumn!

So I painted my nails with Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef ($6) as a reminder: It's only August and we don't have to say goodbye to Summer yet.

Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef is a hot coral-pink that put me in a sunshiney- mood the minute I brushed it on. It's a shimmer-free creme shade that looks both retro and modern at once.

The formula of Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef isn't particularly stellar. The polish is prone to streaking and clumping, so I'm wearing 3 coats in the above photo. After wearing it for a few days, I've found that it peels rather than chips.

Despite this, I'm happy overall with Avon Nailwear Pro+ Nail Enamel in Coral Reef. It's a bright, fun reminder that Fall is still far away, and for that I am so grateful.


7.31.2012

CANADIAN MAKEUP: Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel and Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss Review and Swatches

Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel and Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss
Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel and Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss

Annabelle Cosmetics is a popular drugstore makeup brand based in Montreal. My friend Kim from Makeup Alley lives in Canada, and she was nice enough to send me some Annabelle products so I could give this reasonably-priced, cruelty-free brand a try.

Kim sent me two Annabelle Cosmetics products: 1) Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel and 2) Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss.

Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel Swatches
Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel Swatches

Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel ($6) includes a medium-deep bronzey chocolate, a peach beige shimmer, and a light sand shimmer. The colors are well-coordinated, making for a beautiful trio that can be used to create many different looks.

The color payoff of Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel is very good as well. I found that each shade applied smoothly, with dense pigmentation and shimmer. The light sand shimmer shade was a particular standout; it only took a few swipes to thoroughly cover my lid with pigment. 

My only quibble is the packaging. Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel is packaged in lightweight plastic that feels cheap. And that's fine! I don't expect ultra luxe packaging for $6 eyeshadow. However, part of the lid broke as I was opening the trio this morning so I feel like that's worth a mention.

Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel Swatches
Annabelle Cosmetics Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel

In the above photo, I'm wearing the light sand shimmer on my lid and browbone, the bronze chocolate in the crease, and the peach beige shimmer blended between the crease and browbone.

Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss Swatch
Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss Swatch

Compared to the fab eyeshadow, I am much less satisfied with Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss ($6).

Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss is a pale peach shade reminiscent of a Creamsicle. The shade is shimmer-free and has a somewhat milky appearance. I don't like to wear light shades like this on their own because I end up looking washed out, but Missymiss could work better layered over lipstick.

I'm not a huge fan of the texture of Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss. This gloss is pretty goopy. I thought it was difficult to apply evenly and it seems to settle into lip lines. 

Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss Swatch
Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss Swatch

Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss has unusual packaging -- it's in a squeeze tube with a twist-off sponge applicator. That design would probably work fine with some glosses, but the texture of Annabelle Cosmetics Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss is so goopy that sometimes gloss drips off when I'm taking the applicator out of the tube. 

Overall, I'd say my first experience with Annabelle Cosmetics has been a mixed bag. Le Gloss Lip Shine in Missymiss did not impress me, but I'm very happy with the Trio Eyeshadow in Creme Caramel, which is very good quality for drugstore eyeshadow.

Have you tried Annabelle Cosmetics? How do you think it compares to other drugstore brands?


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7.30.2012

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache Review and Swatches

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache

Don't you love it when you try an unexpected lip color and the risk totally pays off?

That's what happened when I tried Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache, which is a plummy wine color that's completely unlike any other shade I have in my collection. 

Bare Minerals Finishing Touches Sephora Beauty Insider Set Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache, Mineral Veil, Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black
Bare Minerals Finishing Touches
Sephora Beauty Insider Set

I received Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache as part of the Bare Minerals "Finishing Touches" set for Sephora Beauty Insiders. The Bare Minerals "Finishing Touches" set includes one mini version each of: 1) Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, 2) Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara, and 3) Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache. This 3-piece mini set was first available as a gift with purchase a few months ago, but Sephora promoted it again in an email last week. No minimum spend required.

If you want to check if it's still available, the promo code for this set was: BEFINISH

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache Swatch
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache 

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache appears to be a plum/grape in the tube, but red undertones come out when it's applied. Although Bare Minerals describes this as an opaque lip color, it's actually fairly sheer. Some of my natural lip color shows through and makes this lip color even more flattering. 

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache has a light, non-sticky texture with some (but not tons) of shine. I was particularly impressed with the applicator. It doesn't look like anything special, but the slightly tapered tip allows for extremely precise application.

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache Swatch
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache Swatch

Unfortunately, it seems that Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip Color in Panache is exclusive to the Finishing Touches Set at the moment. I have a hunch that Bare Minerals will soon make Panache available as a core Pretty Amazing Lip Color shade, or at least include it in other limited-edition/exclusive collections. Keep an eye out -- this color is too pretty to keep from Bare Minerals fans!