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!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

CoverGirl: Shimmering Onyx

The Breakdown


Color-Shimmering Onyx

Packaging- Fairly sturdy plastic for a drugstore shadow

Thoughts- I needed a black shadow so I could practice smoking out my eyes without having 3 shadows of the same color family. I saw on youtube (pixiwoo's channel to be exact) that it didn't matter that you didn't have multiple coordinating colors for a nice smoky look, all you really need is a blendable shadow and an equally blendable black shade. Originally I wanted the NYX single shadow in Black, but I didn't have an Ulta near me at the time so I settle for this.

This shadow falls in the Single shadow line from CoverGirl. I picked it up at a local CVS for $3.29, I wasn't really looking for high quality, just something that I could practice with. In the pan, it looks like a dark black with chunky silver and black shimmer. On the lid, if you don't layer and blend it enough it comes off as a charcoal gray with silver and black sparkle. Layering gives the color intensity that I was looking for.

This is a drugstore shadow and it is black, so expect some fall out, but not nearly as much as you would think. The bigger glitter bits fall down, but the finer shimmer stays put, which is good enough for me. I use this for everything, smoking out shadows, setting liner, on its own as a shadow liner. It's amazing, the glitter/shimmer is just large enough to reflect the light and make your eyes look that much more interesting.

Overall- This is seriously one of my better shadow buys. The price and quality of this shadow blows me away, so much so that this has been upgraded from practice shadow to my official go to for a non-brown smoky eye. Get it if you need a black shadow and you can't get a hold of anything else.

Star Rating- 4.95/5, I fully recommend this one.


The nice clear cover, made of thick plastic

The Shadow

Single on the left, Multi on the right

Clinique: Lucky Penny

The Breakdown


Color-Lucky Penny (shadow)

Packaging- Silly little Clinique Sample Packaging

Thoughts-So a few years ago, I was buying the Clinique Touch Base for my mineral shadows when the nice MA at the counter decided to throw in this sample container for free. A part of me thinks that she took pity on my broke college student-ness, but the rest of me was just excited to get a free shadow. At the time BE Gal Pal and Clinique Blue Lagoon were the only shadows I owned. Also, if you read through those reviews, you can see that I was going through a single color, sparkly lid phase.

Anyway, Lucky Penny is another permanent shadow in the Color Surge Eyeshadow Super Shimmer range from Clinique which retails for $14. This again means that it has boatloads of shimmer, but it seems that the shimmer in this is slightly larger than that in Blue Lagoon. You will experience fall down with this, so be ready to touch up the tops of your cheeks and under your eyes when you use this. Despite the glitter, it has a very smooth texture and is has just the right "consistency."

Colorwise, in the packaging Lucky Penny looks is a very shimmery rose gold color. It's not too bright so it would do well in everyday looks, but has enough shimmer to handle nights out. When you apply a thin dusting the color comes out more of a tan-gold, but as you build the rosiness really shows.

I don't use this much anymore, but only because my Touch Base has long since died and I can't bring myself to pay $16+ on an eyeshadow primer. Someday I'm sure I'll give in, but for now this shadow has been set on the back burner.

Overall- I like the color and the ability to layer to intensify the shade, but it is supremely glittery. Use some sort of sticky base or else there will be glitter everywhere. Also, I recommend not putting any sort of powder on your face until you are finished applying this shadow so you can get rid of any of the fall out.

Star Rating- 3.5/5, It's nice but I do need a base for it, so stars off.


The dinky sample packaging

The shadow

Single on the left, multi on the right

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Clinique: Blue Lagoon

The Breakdown


Color-Blue Lagoon (shadow)

Packaging- Shiny front with a nice little mirror on the inside. Standard but sturdy.

Thoughts-For a while Clinique was the only makeup brand I could wear. When I was younger there was no such thing as affordable mineral makeup and my super sensitive skin couldn't handle anything that wasn't from Clinique. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I picked this up for a debut (18th b-day party for you non-filipinos) when I was in my everything I own must be blue phase. Thankfully I've grown out of that...seriously.

I picked this up at a Clinique counter at Macy's, I don't believe in online makeup shopping unless you have already seen the color in person. It retails for $14, at least now it does, it may have been a dollar less a when I bought it a few years ago. You get a lot of product for your money, it's about 1 1/2-2 inches wide and 1/2-3/4 of an inch long and holds 0.09oz/2.5g.

This is a Clinique product and therefore it is really high quality. The shadow is soft enough that even the fluffiest brush can pick up color but not so soft that it breaks apart when the bristles touch the surface. This shadow falls in the Color Surge Super Shimmer range of Clinique shadows and, like the name states, it has boat loads of shimmer. Shimmer though, NOT glitter. The sparkle is very fine and doesn't make you look like you just threw a handful of glitter at your face. It is also difficult to build it so the payoff is true to what you see in the pan. In my experience, it seems that the Color Surge Shimmer shadows have the sheerest payoff off all of Clinique's shadows, but at the same time they do have a fair bit of pigmentation. They are about half as intense as they show in the pan when applied dry and fall just shy of hitting exactly the same color when applied wet.

The color of the shadow, Blue Lagoon, looks like a duller, grayer version of periwinkle blue with a silver shimmer. It's a really nice color when you look at it from that point of view...not so much when you compare it to my skin color. The fall down from the shimmer isn't too bad so you don't have to worry about fixing up your foundation.

Overall- It's a nice color but I just don't see myself ever wearing it again. I found that darker blues compliment my skin as well as my wardrobe a better than this. It's good quality but anyone with coloring similar to mine should probably pass on this one. Anyone with more olive toned than yellow or much lighter skin (NC 15-30) might want to swing by the counters to see it up close and in person.

Star Rating- 2.5/5, Seriously don't think I'll ever wear it again.


The Packaging...shiiiiny

Label! You can see my camera...kinda

The Shadow

Single swatch on the left, Multi on the right. Both are dry swatches

Saturday, September 18, 2010

bareMinerals: Gal Pal

The Breakdown


Color-Gal Pal

Packaging- Standard loose shadow pot with a plastic sifter.

Thoughts-Oh loose shadows...I have issues with them. I'm not too proficient with the whole makeup application process so loose shadows make things somewhat difficult for me. I ended up picking this up at Sephora for $13 during my mineral makeup kick a few years ago. It used to be my go to shadow anytime I wore makeup (which back then was very, very rarely) but now it has been moved to the back burner simply because my collection of shadows is a little larger than before.

Gal Pal is a rosy-pink shade that falls in the glimmer collection of bareMinerals shadows. This means that although the shadow has some very fine shimmer, it does not make your eyes look like a disco ball. The pigment of the shadow itself is matte and with no real sheen, but the shimmer picks up light so the overall effect is definitely not matte.

Unfortunately, since it is a loose shadow, there will be some fall down when you put your makeup on, but once you've got it on your lids it doesn't go anywhere. It's nice because the micro glitter isn't traveling all over your face as the day goes on. You can't really build up the color too much, but it does provide a really nice wash of color on my lids when I choose to use it.

Overall- I generally use this shadow for lazy days when all I want to do is slap on a one color and a bit of mascara so I can race out the door. I probably wouldn't use it for any multi-shadow looks, but it really is a great shade for those times that smoky eyes aren't entirely appropriate but you want a bit of color on your eyes.

Star Rating- 3.5/5, I like it, but I don't seem to be reaching for it as often as I should be to get my $13 worth.


Note: No matter what lighting I used (natural, fluorescent, under a lamp, with flash, w/o flash...you get the picture) I couldn't get the photos to turn out as true to color as usual. So when you look at these just know that the shadow is not nearly as brown as it appears. It is pink shadow, leaning towards rose NOT dusty rose.

The label

The shadow

Single swatch on the left, Multi on the right

LA Colors: Traditional Palette

The Breakdown

Brand-L.A. Colors

Color-Traditional 12 Eyeshadow Palette

Packaging- Not gonna lie, it sucks. It's really only a matter of time before I drop this and the plastic cover snaps off.

Thoughts-Okay, so I admit, I am kind of a brand snob. It's just, when it comes to my face, I'd rather not take my chances with products of questionable integrity. That being said, I managed to push my prejudice aside and picked this palette up at my local Dollar Tree...that's right it was $1!!! I told myself just to get it so I could get a feel for the kinds of browns/taupes/neutrals that suite my skin tone without having to shell out $14/shadow. Let me tell you, even though I am on the hunt for the perfect MAC neutral quad, I am unbelievably happy that I picked this sucker up.

The size of the palette is quite large, it's the happy medium between the 4x6 and 5x7 notecards sizes. Each shadow is slightly smaller that a 1 inch square, which is a ton of product for the price I paid. It also comes with a silly double sided sponge tip applicator, which I think is useless but for some people, it's a go-to tool.

There is a really nice range of warm neutral colors, with the exception of the extremely intense and opaque white. It's really easy to put together a simple school/work/day appropriate smoky look as the colors compliment each other well. Also, if you're lazy like me, any color from the middle two columns can be used on it's own as an all over color.

The quality of the shadows far exceeded my expectations and I am pleased that I pushed my makeup prejudices aside for this one. There are no matte shadows that I can speak of, but they are not all glittery either. The best way to describe it is when on the skin, the shadow has some sort of sheen to it. A few have a miniscule amount of microglitter in them, but nothing extremely dramatic. I like lack of glitter and the slightly shiny finish as it makes this the perfect day palette.

Overall- I was surprised with the quality of the shadows. For $1, I thought I was just asking for trouble, but the amount of shadow you get and the color payoff and range were well worth it. This is definitely good for anyone trying to beef up their neutrals or practicing daytime smoky eyes.

Star Rating- 4.5/5, Pretty darn good for the price.


The front

The back label

The full palette

Row 1, Single swatch above and Multi swatch below

Row 2, Black Line indicates first color

Row 3

Friday, September 17, 2010

China Glaze: Fifth Avenue

First Swatch Blog...Woohoo! It's fitting that the first post belongs to nail polish. I'm serious, I spend way too much money on this stuff.

The Breakdown:

Brand-China Glaze

Color-Fifth Avenue

Thoughts-Now for a while, pretty much my whole life, I've hated the color pink, but when I stepped into Sally's Beauty Supply I realized that there had to be a pink nail polish out there that I would like. Guess what? I found it.

Fifth Avenue is a deep rose color, with a cream finish. So noooo sparkle, which is a good thing because I don't think I would have liked it otherwise. It is highly pigmented, much like all of China Glaze's products, and only took 2 coats to hit that lovely opaque stage. The consistency is thin enough to be able to easily paint thin coats, but thick enough that you don't have to put on fifty to get the color you see through the bottle. Now the polish itself is supremely shiny, but you do need a top coat to prolong it, but that is how life is with all nail polishes.

Overall- I like it, it's a nice alternative to the greens, blues and blacks, which you will see, that I have in my collection. At $4.50 a bottle from Sally's (with the $5 Beauty Card you should all get) it was worth every penny and I highly recommend it.

Star Rating- 4.25/5, but only because I'm partial to crazier colors.


The bottle

After 2 coats, no top coat. Note: Please excuse my inability to paint my nails perfectly, I am getting there though.

Hello Out There

Alrighty, this is just an obligatory intro post. I figured my first post couldn't be about swatching straight away, so I think I'll go with a quick 'Get-to-Know-Me' post instead.

Just a few quick facts:
I'm a broke college student that spends WAY too much money on nail polish.
I'm Asian, so this makes makeup shopping difficult, it also makes eye makeup a pain because of my oddly folding eyelids and chinky eye shape.
I can't say I'm in love with makeup, but I am learning, and blogs like these help with the process.
I was anti-makeup for a long, LONG time...until I find out that a little bit of concealer and bronzer keep me from looking like a zombie when I get up at 5:30am to get to school on time.
So now that that's over with...I'l try and post when I can, but it will all be dictated by amount of lab work I have to do and the money I have in my wallet.