Heeeello to anyone that has magically, by magically I mean through the power that is the internet, come across this blog.
I'm starting this with the intention to provide product reviews and swatches to anyone looking for them. Nothing irritates me more when there aren't swatches of some product I'm looking into and I have to go in and buy it with the hope that it's not complete rubbish. Hopefully I can alleviate some of that stress for you people. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MAC: Select Cover-Up in NC35

The Breakdown

Brand- MAC

Color- Select Cover-Up in NC35

Packaging- A little squeeze tube with a pointed nozzle

Thoughts- This was the first MAC product I purchased. EVER. I got it to cover the redness around my nose and occasional redness on my forehead.

The product is just thick enough to give the coverage you need without having to layer it on or it looking cakey. It is a liquid concealer, so keep that in mind if you can a preference when it comes to textures. A little goes a long way with this stuff, so use sparingly.

The concealer dries to a matte finish, which may or may not be a good thing. If I am wearing a dewy foundation, I do apply this first just so the foundation covers the matte finish. If I've got nothing else but concealer on, then the matte finish is fine, but I find that dewy foundation + matte concealer over =weird looking skin.

I have found, through trial and error, that it is best applied using the tips of your fingers to gently pat it on. The combined heat between your face and fingers helps to loosen up the product slightly and allows you to use less product than a brush would. It also blends better with your fingers than it does when you use a fluffy brush (a la pixiwoo).

Overall- I love this stuff. It is exactly the right shade I need to conceal any redness around my nose. Unfortunately, I have a bit of occasional redness in the V of my brow and when I tried to cover it up I found that this product breaks me out in that area. It's my go to for non-foundation days when I only have time to cover the redness around my nose, slap on a bit of bronzer and a coat or two of mascara. I don't have acne prone skin so I can't tell you whether or not it covers blemishes well.

Star Rating- 4/5...If only it didn't break my forehead out.


Heavy swatch on the left, blended out on the right

e.l.f.: Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder

The Breakdown


Product- Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder

Thoughts- I won't lie, I got this when I was fascinated by drugstore dupes of higher end brands. I was just starting to delve into the realm of makeup so I figured that $3 wasn't too high of a price to pay to try something out.

As of now, there is only the one combination of blush and bronzer being offered by e.l.f. The blush is a nice pink that manages to give some light to the cheek. It does however contain copious amounts of gold glitter that are very noticeable in size. The color of the blush itself sits nicely against my NC37-ish skin.

The bronzer is a very deep with a very slight orange tinge. It is supremely pigmented so a little goes a long way and people with light complexions need to be wary of how much they apply. Much like the blush, there are large bits of gold shimmer running all through the powder. It can also look a bit chalky if you are not careful with it.

Both the blush and the bronzer veer on the softer side of products. They don't fall apart on contact, but they do require a very light hand. I suggest you use a fluffy brush (like the e.l.f. complexion brush) with these suckers.

Overall- I can't say that I use this duo all too much. I think the only time I do use it is when I want a bronzy, blush free cheek (which is rare). Through my makeup journey I have found that I prefer cheek products with a sheen of very, very fine shimmer running through. The glitter in this is too large and too abundant for my taste.

Star Rating- 1.75/5...I like the shades but the glitter puts me off.


With flash, just to show you how much darn glitter there is

The Blush, single on the left and heavy on the right

The Bronzer, single on the left and heavy on the right

Monday, December 20, 2010

ORLY: Rage

The Breakdown

Color- Rage

Thoughts- I bought China Glaze's gold nail polish in the 2010 Holiday collection and found that I loved the metallic finish. This led my to go on the hunt for other polishes with the same outcome.

From what I can tell, this is a permanent color in the ORLY line, though it is being promoted this year as one of three colors to rock on New Years, I think the others are a gold and a silver metallic.

The color is a muted rose gold, that shifts to either side of the scale depending on what light your hands are in. It's lovely and I found myself always looking down at my hands to see what the effect was. The darker the lighting, the rosier the color seemed.

I do have to say that it goes on quite sheer and really does need 3-4 coats in order to get it even and opaque. If you don't work fast enough, the polish does tend to be a bit streaky. I don't know if that's unique to this polish or if all ORLY polishes require that many coats, I'll have to pick up a few more and test out that theory.

It lasts about as long as the CG polishes do, about 4 days (which is amazing considering I have class in a lab and am constantly doing things with my hands) with a good quality top coat.

Overall- I love it and I hope to try more polishes that have this amazing finish. It is definitely on my recommendation list.

Star Rating- 4/5, would have been higher if it was another 2 coat polish.

In the shade

In natural sun light

Revlon: PhotoReady Makeup in 008 Golden Beige

The Breakdown
Brand- Revlon

Color- PhotoReady Makeup in 008 Golden Beige

Packaging- A glass container with the all too important pump. Be careful though, a full pump will disperse far too much product, even for a round face like mine.

Thoughts- I think this product is falls into the love/hate category. Some people love it and others hate it. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing which one you are without trying it for yourself.

I used the Temptalia Foundation Matrix coupled with an online review I found, I can't for the life of me find the blog I used, to pick out the right color. Unfortunately, things did not turn out as I would have hoped. I did notice that the numbering in the color system was a bit weird (high numbers do not always mean a darker color), but there was a fair mix of pink, neutral and yellow based shades.

The foundation applies quite easily and you don't need very much to get a really good level of coverage. You can continue to layer it to achieve full coverage, but I found that it looks more and more porcelain and fake as the layers are schlepped on.

In terms of how it sets, the foundation itself settles to a nice satin finish. It is not dewy nor is it supremely matte. It is a very nice natural finish. It does, however, have a good bit of shimmer running through it. I thought previous bloggers and reviewers were exaggerating, but there is so much shimmer in such large chunks that they catch the light in photos and are visible from as little as a foot away in real life.

Overall- I must admit that I do not wear this on its own. Frankly, I picked out the wrong color (it was waay to light/porcelain) and the sparkles, while in essence a good idea, just did not work for me at all. Of course, I fell bad not using it and seeing as I can't return it, I'm mixing the smallest amount in with my Neutrogena Healthy Skin just to make the finish a tad less dewy.

Star Rating- 3/5... I love the finish, though the trial of color matching and the sparkles put me off.



Heavy, then blended swatch.

Heavy, then blended swatch in the shade.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

China Glaze: Coral Star

The Breakdown

Brand-China Glaze

Color- Coral Star

Thoughts- This is the most neglected of my China Glaze polishes. My preferences are cremes or dark polishes, as you can tell this is neither. I do like it though, don't get me wrong.

The is a bright pinky coral with a fine reflect orange glitter running through it. It's quite bright and eye catching, regardless of who wears it. It requires two thin coats to get it opaque, which is pretty standard for CG polishes. I like that the color sits nicely against my skin tone.

Overall-I don't seem to be reaching for this one very often. I tend to gravitate toward darker glitter polishes or midtone cremes. I use this when it is inappropriate to have blue nails that are not a flat color. I won't buy this again, but I do like it.

Star Rating- 4.5/5, It's a nice polish that stands out against all the blues and greens in my collection. Not my favorite, but still pretty.

China Glaze: Dorothy Who?

The Breakdown

Brand-China Glaze

Color-Dorothy Who?

Thoughts-Oh man, I am in serious lust with this polish. It was part of a line of polished inspired by The Wizard of Oz, I don't know if it was limited edition or not, but I do know that this polish is now part of their permanent line.

In terms of color? Well, first think of the ruby slippers from the movie. Then, replace the red with a bright cerulean blue. It is nothing short of lovely. It is rife with large bits of bright blue and silver glitter, exactly like a blue version of those oh-so-famous shoes.

Qualitywise? To get an even coat of glitter, you need at least three thin coats. Thick coats are not the way to go, so you need a bit of patience to layer and let dry. Also, the glitter is so large that you can never get a smooth coat with just the polish. A thicker top coat (Seche Vite) or two layers of a thinner one is the best way to go. You do need to let it dry completely before doing anything or else all those layers of polish will dent, not a good look.

Overall-Amazing, no other word for it. The massive chunks of glitter make it difficult to remove without a cotton ball (I normally use the jars with sponges in them, I'm lazy). I get compliments everytime I wear this and I find myself gravitating to it whenever I don't have a particular color in mind. Regardless, I hope this polish never goes away.

Star Rating- 5/5, I always want to wear this polish, always.


China Glaze: Midnight Mission

The Breakdown

Brand-China Glaze

Color-Midnight Mission

Thoughts-Midnight Mission is a part of the LE Vintage Vixens Collection. From what I can tell, it was available at Sally's for a little bit, but they only carried a few bottles of each. I missed out, as a few months ago I didn't know how nail launches worked, so I had to break down and search for the sucker online (at transdesign, review here).

The polish itself is a blackened navy blue, there's no other way to describe it really. It has fine but still noticeable) silver and blue glitter running through it. The silver gives the polish another dimension and gives it a faux 'metallic' sheen when light hits at the right angle.

The quality is amazing and, to be honest, I expect nothing less from China Glaze. It's easy to apply and lasts a while given the right topcoat. Well worth my money.

Overall-It's no surprise that I simply love this color. It's dark without being black and sits perfectly against my coloring. I'll be sad when it runs out, but I figure if/when that time comes I'll have boatloads more nail polish than I do now that will ease the pain.

Star Rating- 5/5, If you don't mind turning to an online retailer and have a few other polishes you missed out on, go ahead and add this to your cart...you won't regret it.


Love, Love, Love

Online Shopping Review-Trans Design

The Breakdown

Purchased- China Glaze past collections

Price- $2.99/China Glaze polish

Shipping- By weight, four bottles set me back $8-$9 in shipping. Nail polish is heavy

Overall-The color selection of this site is ridiculous. There is a good mix of permanent colors, great for those w/o a Sally Beauty Supply to feed your China Glaze fix, and those hard to find Limited Edition polishes that seem to sell out instantly. They give options to buy individual bottles or polish sets of each collection, for those in love with an entire LE release.

I picked up three colors- Midnight Mission, Emerald Fitzgerald and Recycle. All were from LE collections. I fell in love with the first two after checking out Temptalia's swatches and I drove to about 5 Sally's, only to return disappointed. My cousin was looking for a gray polish (Recycle) but they were either too expensive(OPI You Don't Know Jacque), too brown (Rimmel Steel Gray) or sold out (again, OPI You Don't Know Jacque). Her quest led me to break down and place an order to trans design, the only site that has had fully positive reviews via youtube. In total, the four bottles I ordered (I picked up a Recycle for myself) set me back about $21, including tax and shipping.

Shipping wise, it's not lightening fast, nor is it supremely slow. They use Fed Ex, so you can track your package with once a day updates. It took about 1 1/2 weeks to get my order in, which isn't too bad at all. When I got it it came packaged quite well, with all the packing peanuts it didn't look like anything could cause the bottles harm.

From what I can tell, Trans Design also sells more high end polishes (OPI, Essie, Orly) though none of the prices are as low as those from China Glaze. I'm pleased with my order and the process, though the shipping cost tends to negate all of my discounted price savings, so it'll remain my last resort option.

Rating-5/5...This is a great site for anyone trying to track down LE collections of the past or for those (like me) who aren't quick enough to snag them at Sally's.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Overall Review- N.Y.C. Waterprood Pencil Eyeliner

The Breakdown


Product-Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner

Packaging- Standard pencil, needs a sharpener

Thoughts-BOGO free and clearance sales make me (and my miniscule makeup collection) a very happy camper

I have this liner in four shades-Dark Brown, Smoky Plum, Bronze Gold and Turquoise- the first two are permanent and the last two are limited edition. I picked up the Dark Brown and Smoky Plum because I wanted to try a cheaper alternative to the Styli Style 24hr Line and Seal liners, which didn't work as well as I had hoped. The black was sold out at the time so these were the two I went for. I got the last two at the end of the summer (2010), the packaging indicated they were limited edition and I was lucky enough to get them on 75% clearance.

Each shade has a supremely fine shimmer running through the pencil, but it is small enough that it will not cause irritation to the eye. I wear it on the waterline all the time and have not had a problem at all. Also, from my extensive testing, this stuff is truly waterproof, adding water and eye rubbing to the mix will have little affect on the liner's appearance. Most importantly though is that this liner is truly TRANSFER-PROOF. I have not had issues with it transferring to my lids or moving around, because of this I think I can declare it my HG drugstore eyeliner.

The Dark Brown is the perfect dark shade to line my waterline when I don't want a harsh black. Also it is really nice for a natural look on my upper lash line, when I choose not to go with my liquid or gel liner.

The Smoky Plum is exactly what the name describes, it's a nice darkened plum with a slight gray undertone. I use this interchangeably with the Dark Brown on my waterline so I can have definition without the harsh color contrast.

The Bronze Gold (LE) definitely leans more toward the gold side of things. This is very, very creamy and soft so I have to be careful not to add too much pressure when I'm lining my eyes. I use this mainly as an accent to the Dark Brown when I line my upper lash line, though I have used it on my waterline as well to brighten my eyes a bit. If you do though, be sure to run a bit of the brown on the outer third of the lower lash line just to give the eyes definition.

The Turquoise (LE) is very bright, as you can see by the photos below. It is true to color, meaning the color the pencil is is the color that will show up on your lids. I use this as an accent on my upper lash line and for a pop of color on the outer third of my lower.

Overall- I don't think love is a strong enough word for my feelings about this liner. It has great staying power (10+ hrs on my non-oily lids), doesn't smudge and best of all...does not transfer! It is also waterproof which translates to at least 6hrs of wear on my waterline. It's perfect for my eye type and desired uses, I haven't come across anything that works nearly as well.

Star Rating-5/5...I will happily purchase again and again.


L-R: Dark Brown, Smoky Plum, Bronze Gold, Turquoise

L-R: Dark Brown, Smoky Plum, Bronze Gold, Turquoise

Overall Review-Jordana: Easyliner for Eyes

Overall Review

Product-Easyliner for Eyes

Packaging- Twist up eyeliner pencil

Thoughts-As of right now, these are my least favorite cosmetics purchases of all time. I was drawn in because the eleventhgorgeous girls were raving about the Fab-U-Liner by the same brand. I figured the brand overall was good, so when I saw these at $1.99 I wanted to try them.

Unfortunately, I didn't follow my first rule in eyeliner purchases-make sure it is waterproof. BIG mistake, these have absolutely no staying power and will come off with the lightest touch. My lids fold asian-style so the transfer from these liners is a nightmare to deal with. I have even gone so far as to setting them with a powder, I tried eyeshadows and translucent face powder and I have tried them over primers. NOTHING I have done has worked.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. The only people I can see this working on would be people with no folds in their lids, but even then the staying factor is horrible so it would still be useless. I have demoted these to practice makeup, where I'll use it before I shower just to get techniques down or to try out new eyeliner patterns, but I will never subject myself to wearing this product in public.

For individual reviews, click the links- Purple Fusion or Sterling Blue

Star Rating- 0.25/5....I cannot dislike this more than I do.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jordana: Easyliner for Eyes in Sterling Blue

The Breakdown


Color-Easyliner for Eyes in Sterling Blue

Packaging- Twist up eyeliner pencil

Thoughts-I'm telling you, impulse buys made without research can only lead to regret and resent over a lighter wallet

This range of liners is one of the softest I've come across, but it takes a few passes to get the intensity you want. Sterling Blue is a gorgeous cerulean/ocean blue, the color is amazing. Unfortunately it is NOT waterproof or smudgeproof so anyone with lids that fold will have to pass on this. The transfer factor is horrible, which means that the staying power is non-existent.

Overall- Please don't buy this...the product smudges, smears and transfers like there's no tomorrow. I cannot adequately express how much you shouldn't waste your money on this eyeliner.

Star Rating- 0.25/5...Love the color, hate-hate-hate the liner.


Single on the left
+Rubbing on the right
+Water & Rubbing below

Jordana- Easyliner for Eyes in Purple Fusion

The Breakdown


Color-Easyliner for Eyes in Purple Fusion

Packaging- Twist up eyeliner pencil

Thoughts-I pick this up on impulse at Walgreens without having done any research, which is rare for me. It's purchases like this that remind me why I do so much review reading before I buy something.

The liner is quite soft and applies very smoothly. It takes a few passes to get the color on your lids to match the liner itself. Purple Fusion is a nice jewel purple, very similar to amethyst in color. This is NOT waterproof or smudgeproof so anyone with folding lids will have to pass on this.

Overall- I hate this liner. The color is gorgeous, but it smudges, smears and transfers like crazy. You might not be able to see this in the swatches as the lighting was iffy, but trust me there is nothing good that can come from using this liner. I have tried it on the lids, outer corners, lower lash line, waterline...everywhere, and there is no way I can use this with the amount of transfer/smudge issues that come with it.

Star Rating- 0.25/5...Nice color, horrible formula.


Single on the left
+Rubbing on the right
+Water & Rubbing below

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Haul #2

You will not believe the luck I had shopping in Target clearance...it really does pay to be cheap.

Specifics- 4 Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Quads, 3 Revlon Colorstay Liners, 1 Revlon Colorstay Eye Liner Pen and an e.l.f. Compexion Perfection face powder. I paid a total of $13 for ALL of that, the Revlon value packs were $2.24 on Clearance.

I'll write up a few reviews when I've had enough time to really test/try and then swatch them.

I am on official Eye Makeup No Buy, I just have way too much. The only things I am allowed to splurge on are Lipstick/gloss and blushes. I am also on a Nail Polish No Buy until after Thanksgiving, I just have waaaay too much.

CoverGirl: Outlast Smoothwear Liner in Indigo

The Breakdown


Color-Outlast Smoothwear Liner in Indigo

Packaging- Twist up eyeliner pencil

Thoughts-This was an impulse buy at CVS a long while ago, I think there was a 40% off sale on Covergirl eye products AND there was a 50% sticker on this AND there was a 'Save $1 Instantly' coupon on the packaging. So it ended up being something like $0.75, but this was the only color with that promo, so I only picked up the one.

The color is a deep, deep blue. It's almost black if you layer it enough. Also, it does not budge one bit, if you rub the tip between your fingers for a minute to warm it up, you can get it on the waterline and it will stay there for at least 6 hrs. Nothing smudges this liner.

The texture is where I have issues. It is supremely hard, almost too hard. It drags on the lids quite a bit, which can be painful if you are a contact lens wearer like I am. The texture makes it difficult to create a smooth solid line, which is not all that attractive (see swatches below). Also, it is a mission to get off, you really need an oil based makeup remover or else it will not budge. The balance between staying power and texture just isn't quite right for me.

Overall- This liner is no joke, it stays so unbelievably well, I don't have a transfer issues when I wear this. Unfortunately, I don't wear it often as the hard texture is a pain, literally, to work with. Also, the tip does need to be sharpened on occasion whenever the liner stops writing smoothly. Because of this, I don't think I'll be buying anymore of these.

Star Rating- 3/5...It has good staying power, but drags a little too much on my eyelids.


Labels (hard to read, I know)

The liner, see how dark it is?

Single on the left
Smudge Test on the right
Water+Smudge Test below

Thursday, October 28, 2010

L.A. Colors: 12 Eyeshadow Palette in Supernatural

The Breakdown

Brand-L.A. Colors

Color-12 Eyeshadow Palette in Supernatural

Packaging- Another dinky plastic case that is just waiting to snap in half.

Thoughts- What was I thinking? In my defense I found it at a Dollar Tree and I liked the Traditional palette enough to give this one a try.

Every shadow in this palette has visible shimmer. Consistency-wise, the are pretty good, not too soft or hard. The color pigmentation gets better as the shades get darker, so it's alright in that regard.

My problem? It's what the colors look like when they are swatched. They look so similar that instead of a 12 color palette you actually have a 6-7 color palette. The top row swatches practically identical, the second row only gives two colors and the last (gray) row give only three. Unless you like the exact colors as they are swatched and can see yourself benefitting from multiples of each, I can't see an upside about this.

Overall- I'm whatever about this palette. I think the only reason I got it was because it was $1. Too many of the shadows look the same against the skin...this thing just seems useless to me.

Star Rating-1/5...it only gets a start because of the decent quality.


Styli Style: Line & Seal 24hr in (121) Black Velvet

The Breakdown

Brand-Styli Style

Color-ine & Seal 24hr in (121) Black Velvet

Packaging- Standard pencil, requires a sharpener

Thoughts- Another YouTube made me do it, but this time it's from EnKore Makeup. I was looking for a liner that didn't smudge and I came across on of his videos where he used s Styli Style pencil. I have asian folded lids, where the inner corner folds completely bit from mid-to-outer it does not. I have had issues with transferring and I was looking for a liner that would not give me this problem. These are available at CVS and Rite Aid (I'm unsure about Walgreens) for about $5-7, depending on the area you live in.

The liner is a nice dark black, but doesn't go on as smoothly as I would have hoped (see swatches). It is most definitely water proof and holds for at least 4hrs on my waterline, not the advertised 24 but I don't think there will ever be a liner that holds that long on the waterline. It only smudges with a lot of pressure, which is something I was looking for. It can be sharpened with a standard makeup pencil sharpener, it does not need to be the Styli Style brand one (I use a Wet n Wild one I got on sale for $0.50).

Overall- It's good and I like it, but I have found that the NYC waterproof pencils work just as well and are priced a little less. I like the color range, but there are a lot of variations on black, with no way of knowing what the difference is. I found that it transfers after 7hrs, not 24, but I tend to use gel/cream liners on the lid just because I seem to always have transfer issues with my asian style double folding lids.

Star Rating-3.5/5, It's a good product but not the best I've come across

Labels galore

Again with the labels

The pencil, post-sharpening

Swatches- It's a little different this time around
Left- Standard Swatch, 1 pass
Right-Swatch + high pressure rubbing
Bottom-Swatch + spritz of water + rubbing

Wet n Wild: Color Icon in Greed (246)

The Breakdown

Brand-Wet n Wild

Color-Color Icon in Greed (246)

Packaging-Sturdy plastic palette with a nifty eye diagram on the back.

Thoughts-I picked this up at the same time I got the Vanity palette...40% off sales rock my drugstore cosmetics world.

As with all of these palettes, the right shadows are matte and the left are shimmery 'effect' shadows. The matte shadows are soft, incredibly soft, maybe even too soft. I'm afraid that if I forget not to press too hard that the salmon pink and the black (especially the black) will fall apart and I'll lose the whole shadow. They are super pigmented and not chalky, so I think Wet n Wild should just press them a little more firmly as most soft shadows are pressed that way to increase color payoff, which these do not need.

I have issues with the effects shadows on this palette. As with the other palettes in this range, the glitter is big enough to identify all the individual pieces. The periwinkle blue and the shimmery pink have little to no pigmentation. It seems as if all the color comes from the sparkle embedded in the shadow, so all you are doing is adding a pink or blue glitter on top of a base shadow. Also, what is that blue doing in this palette? It doesn't go well with the other shades and I would have preferred a shimmery cream or beige shade in its place. The one redeeming quality of the effect shadows is the shimmery black, it seems to be a black base shot through with silver. Holy pigmentation Batman, it is amazing, but it seems that the more color payoff there is, the softer the shadow. The shimmery black is definitely on that you need to treat with a light hand.

Overall- I love the matte side shadows, but the 'effects' shadows are a bummer for me. They are supposed to be highly pigmented, but the blue and pink are definitely not. I have the same issues with shadow consistency that I have with the last. This is not my favorite of the Color Icon palettes, but for under $5, it's still a pretty okay buy. If someone asked me if they should get it, I'd tell them that unless they are in love, go for the Vanity palette instead.

Star Rating-2.5/5, I like to use it, but the iffy quality is killing me.


The palette

The diagram that is useless to my eye shape

The shadows

Matte shadows, Single on the left and Multi on the right.
The black is crazy soft and insanely pigmented.

The effect shadows, Single on the left and Multi on the right
Do you see what I mean with the crap color payoff on the blue and pink?