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!

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?

Wet n Wild: Color Icon in Vanity (249)

The Breakdown

Brand-Wet n Wild

Color-Color Icon in Vanity (249)

Packaging- Nice, sturdy plastic case with a completely clear cover

Thoughts-I picked this up during a RiteAid 40% Wet n Wild sale. I think the purchase was spurred on by a video by eleventhgorgeous. I'm not gonna lie, I looked down on Wet n Wild products, I just remember them being used for play makeup when I was little...my how things have changed.

The three left shadows are a matte finish with the right three are shimmer "effect" shadows. I don't think the effect shadows are meant to stand alone, rather their purpose is to be layered over the matte shadows to create a day-to-night look.

Consistency wise, the matte shadows are incredibly soft, so much so that you have to be careful when you pick up the colors. The shimmer shadows are more firmly pressed and no extra care is needed.

The matte shadows are supremely pigmented so a little goes a long way. Oddly though, the shimmer shadows, with the exception of the dark brown on the bottom, are not nearly as pigmented as the matte are. In fact, the payoff is really whatever color the shimmer is, only enough to change the finish of whatever shadow you layer it on. None of them come off as chalky and the shimmer fall out is minimal, both of which are very good things.

Color wise, the shadows fall within that nice taupe-y brown that happen to go well with my skin tone. This is the most neutral of the color icon palettes and I would think that it would look good on just about anyone.

Overall- I think it was worth the money I spent, but keep in mind that I did get it during a sale. I usually gravitate toward the lightest matte shades then combine darker one and/or 1-2 of the effect shades if I'm going somewhere. I have issues with the consistencies, but once you know which does what, it's pretty easy to work around.

Star Rating- 4/5...I've been going to this and my other Color Icon palette for no fuss days, I just wish the shadow consistencies were a bit more uniform.


The packaging

The nifty eye diagram that I can't use because of my eye shape

Matte Shades, Single swatch on the left & Multi on the right
I don't know why I swatched them in reverse order, I did the same thing with the effects shades.

Effect Shades, Single swatch on the left & Multi on the right

China Glaze: For Audrey

The Breakdown

Brand-China Glaze

Color-For Audrey

Packaging- Standard China Glaze Nail polish bottle.

Thoughts- I want to say that this is my first bottle of China Glaze polish ever purchased from Sally's Beauty supply...but don't quote me. I was searching for any and all creme colors from the nicer nail polish brands and I was having trouble finding anything that caught my eye...until I came across For Audrey. I saw it for the first time, a little skeptical of whether it applied well or not, so I passed in favor of some internet research. After seeing that most people got away with 2-3 coats, I was sold and hopped on the For Audrey bandwagon.

The shade itself is a somewhat familiar shade of robin's egg blue. Why is is so familiar? It's as close as you can get to the copyrighted Tiffany & Co blue with out the company suing you. The only real difference is that this polish is slightly greener than that of the famous blue box.

Once again, this is a China Glaze polish, so you are guaranteed high quality products. Oddly though, I've noticed with the lighter pastel shades they seem really thin when you first open the bottle. So in the beginning, 3 thin coats is a must, but as time moves on (abt 5-6 months) they get to about the same consistency as their other CG counterparts and remain that way...at least that's what I have noticed. I can't really give a time frame on how long it lasts as my nails grow so quick that they require a cut and polish change every 4-5 days.

Overall- I was a little worried about how this green toned blue would look against my warm toned skin, but the moment I painted this on, my worries were gone. I love the way it looks against my coloring. I would definitely recommend this to anyone NC37 or lighter but if you are darker than NC40, make sure you'll like the contrast that the pastel will create against your skin.

Star Rating- 5/5, I will definitely be repurchasing this when my bottle dies out.


The label

My nails...sooo pretty

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sephora: Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain in Wine

The Breakdown

Brand-Sephora Collection

Color-Lush Flush Lip & Cheek Stain in Wine

Packaging- Little plastic squeeze-able tube with a doe foot applicator in the lid

Thoughts-So I picked this up because I was eager to try a cheek stain instead of powder blushes. I am used to spending long hours on campus with an already packed backpack, so long wearing products that need no touch up at all really appealed to me. Unfortunately, the two most popular cheek stains-Tarte's Lip and Cheek stain and Benefit's Benetint, were (and still are) out of my price range. After my drugstore research turned up short, I ventured on Sephora's site to see in they had a more affordable alternative...and this is it.

Like all cheek stains, the color that it appears in the tube is a bit intimidating. The name of the product matches the tube color quite well, but on the skin the stain comes off more as a raspberry flush. Luckily for me, this is the actual color my cheeks turn after a good workout, so I had no problems with whether or not the stain would suit my skin tone.

Texture-wise the product is a loose gel that blends really easily, though I would recommend using a synthetic brush that has been sprayed with a little bit of water. Personally, I use the e.l.f. Studio Line Blush brush and a little spray bottle filled with water. The stain sets quickly so working one cheek at a time is essential and I've found that a brush works faster and gives a more even result. I also found that you should apply this AFTER your foundation has settled onto the skin, but BEFORE anything powder goes anywhere near your cheeks. I also feel like it would have a weird finish over super matte foundations (Revlon Colorstay). I have not tested this theory but I'm sure it would have the same effect as placing it on top of powdered skin.

My only issue is that it is difficult to keep it sanitary, unless you squeeze some of the gel onto your hand and use a brush to apply it, you will be forced to use the doe foot over and over again.

Overall-I really enjoy this product and would buy it again once I get through my current tube. I used to use this for long school days, but now tend to use this on no foundation days. It is the perfect match to the natural color in my cheeks and helps to even out the splotchiness.

Star Rating- 4.0/5, Gives that perfect hint of flush.


The squeezy-tube packaging

The Applicator, standard doe foot

Swatches: Top-Single, Middle-Multi, Bottom-Blended

e.l.f.: Studio Line Blush in Tickled Pink

The Breakdown


Color-Studio Line Blush in Tickled Pink

Packaging- Really sturdy, NARS-copying plastic case with a half-size mirror

Thoughts-For a while, I didn't bother wearing any blush. I apply my foundation so lightly that the pink of my cheeks still shines through, so I never felt that I needed it. But I decided to branch out and pick up a cheap-o blush just to see how to apply it. Originally there was a 'coral' color from the elf studio line that I had my eye on, but my Target didn't carry that shade so I went with Tickled Pink...it is/was well worth the $3 I paid for it.

This, like all Studio Line blushes, comes in a black case that I am sure was fashioned according to NARS blush/shadow packaging. It is very sturdy, so I have no fear of dropping it. When opened, you see a small mirror in the top and the blush taking up almost the entire the bottom compartment. This is a great amount of product for the price and I suppose the mirror is useful for mid-day touch ups, but I have yet to have the need for it.

The blush itself is a really nice mid-toned pink, that is not too bright or dark. It does have a small, very small, amount of silver micro glitter mixed in, so keep that in mind if you prefer a fully matte face. The glitter is just enough to deliver a nice sheen (have you noticed that most of my stuff has a sheen rather than glitter chunks? Clearly I have some sort of preference) that is nice for everyday wear, it's not overly dramatic but has a nice enough finish to make you look awake in the morning.

I have been using this for a few months now and the only issue I have with it is that once you get past the top layer (it took about two months with daily use) you reveal a slightly chunky product. I don't know how else to describe it, but I am assuming that it is a result of being a VERY inexpensive blush and not being finely milled. Despite this, the particles are big enough that I'm not worried that my brush will pick them up, when they have been sufficiently unburied I'm sure that knocking them off will be no problem.

Overall-It's really good if you are starting out and want to go for a really, really natural look. I learned a lot about how/how not to apply blush wrt my face shape and it only set me back a few dollars. I recommend it, though if you are any darker than me, you might want to pass.

Star Rating- 3.5/5, Really nice, really natural pink for your cheeks.

Nifty NARS knockoff packaging

The tiniest label ever

The Blush, nice mirror but I would never touch blush up in the middle of the day

Swatches: Single Above, Multi Below

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Animal Testing

So, I'm not a super PETA member, but I do have my own thoughts against animal testing. For me, it's one thing to test new medicines on lab animals but it is a whole 'nother bag of madness when it comes to cosmetics testing. At this point in time, animal testing in the medical world is essential to the path to finding cures, but to subject an animal to chemicals for the sole purpose of developing a better eyeshadow texture just seems a bit iffy to me. But I do recognize that there are some times when there is no way around it.

So through the PETA website I have compiled a list of DRUGSTORE brands that DO NOT test on animals- be it their final products or ingredients via a third party. I realize that many of the products already in my collection that have been or will be swatched are from testing companies, but I have decided to go on and include them here on the blog.

Safe Brands-
Wet N Wild
N.Y.C. Cosmetics


...if you check out the site, there are many more in both categories but these are the ones that I am most likely to purchase from/find in a drugstore.

I am going to make an effort to only purchase from those companies that do not animal test, but it will be difficult as the better quality products seem to reside in the testing category. I also reserve the right to take into account my sensitive skin/eczema issues when buying base/face products such foundations and face powders. Chances are I won't be able to get around buying from a testing brand, just to ensure the my skin's health.

Rimmel: Natural Bronzer +Minerals in 021 Sun Kissed

The Breakdown


Color-Natural Bronzer + Minerals in 021 Sun Kissed

Thoughts-So this is a Pixiwoo made me do it post. I was watching one of Sam's earlier videos when she showed her makeup products/storage and she said that she really liked the Rimmel bronzers. I'm as tan as I ever want to be, but I was curious about bronzers and wanted to pick up an affordable one and once Sam rec'd it, it was all systems go.

Unlike most drugstore bronzers I've seen, this one seems to have a noticeable pink undertone to it. I think this is why it works the best on my skin. It's not orange-y at all, so I can't see anyone going wrong with this one, unless your skin tone is much darker than the bronzer is. The reason I love it so much is that the slight pink undertone neutralizes my morning sallowness to de-zombify my face but is not so dark that it still looks good later on in the day, when my face goes back to normal. It takes a bit of practice to figure out how much to layer so that it makes the seamless morning-normal transition, but once you're there you are golden.

I usually apply it on my cheeks, temples, jawline and a bit on my chin, and I have not been so happy with a YouTube inspired purchase as I am with this. It's just a few shades darker than I am, so it provides a really subtle hint of color to where ever I apply it. On days when I can't be bothered to put makeup on I throw this on to not look like an 8am zombie and a little eyeliner on my waterline and I'm out the door. Seriously, nothing but this on my face and I look awake. It is a miracle bronzer.

It goes on quite smoothly and is not chalky at all. You can't build up the color past what it is in the pan, so anyone darker than NC37 should take a look at the next shade up. It has a nice sheen to it, but no glitter, and is not a completely matte bronzer. Rather, it has a completely natural finish, which is what makes it so great.

Overall-This product is amazing if you have skin the same color as mine (NC35-37 and asian). If you are afraid of bronzers or want to have a go at it, I say pick this sucker up.

Star Rating- 5/5, It's perfect to combat my AM zombie complexion.

The packaging...clearly it has been dropped

Label time!

Here's the bronzer, I've used it enough that the sun imprint is halfway gone!

Swatches: Single on the Left, Multi on the Right

MAC: Blush in Prim & Proper

The Breakdown


Color-Blush in Prim & Proper (LE Liberty of London Collection)

Thoughts-So this was part two of my CCO reward. I knew going in that I wanted a blush with the Satin finish (I don't do glitter or super matte...yikes!). I almost walked out without seeing this until I saw a glass case that it was housed in. This was my first CCO trip, so I didn't know that at the store I went to they kept the low stock LE items in a case since there are not enough to have a tester out. I saw it, fell in love and knew I had to buy it.

So the color is a little hard to describe, but I think the pics that I took do it justice. It's kind of a brown-y, rose-y, plum-y color. Against my skin, it looks AMAZING. It has this really nice natural sheen to it so it goes really well with the face makeup I used, which tends to be on the dewy/natural finish side rather than the shiny/super matte one. I love the finish to this blush and am looking forward to sequestering more MAC blushes with a Satin finish.

It has a really good texture, goes on smoothly and blends with no effort at all. It is also highly pigmented, so a little goes a long way. This is a good thing because unless they decide to re-promote this in the near future, it is being saved as my special occassion blush (YES, it is that good).

Overall-I heart this stuff to the max. It is amazing, but it was a LE product so if you are interested CCOs or discount cosmetics websites are gonna be your best bet to get a hold of this one. If you can get over to a CCO that still carries it, I say grab it since I still paid the discounted price, not the LE-take-advantage-of-you super inflated prices that most 'discount' sites charge. If you see it, don't think, just buy it.

Star Rating- 5/5, Love, Love, Love.

The coolest packaging ever

The Label

A look at the blush

The Swatches (backward, again): Multi to the Left, Single to the Right

MAC: MSF in Refined

The Breakdown


Color-Mineralized Skin Finish in Refined

Thoughts-So I picked this up on my first CCO trip, it was actually a "Congrats for surviving an 8am MCAT" reward that I bought for myself. I went in knowing I wanted a not-so-shimmery MAC MSF if I could get my hands on it...and I did. I turns out that this is one of the least glitter filled of the non-Natural MSFs.

The powder is a marbled combination of pale pink, warm brown, glittery gold and rosy pink powders. The overall effect is more of a glow/subtle highlight rather than as a blush. It gives a really nice golden sheen when it is applied. I'm not a fan of the glittery face so I use this as a highlight around the outside of my eye and on the tops of my cheeks. If I'm going out then I will layer it UNDER a matte blush to obtain that 'all over glow.'

The quality of the powder is really nice, but it is a little on the soft side so I would not go anywhere near it with a brush that wasn't from Ecotools (blush brush=win) or the e.l.f. Studio Line Complexion Brush (massive and supper fluffy). Anything stiffer/denser will both destroy the powder and apply enough of the product on your face to make you look like TinkerBell's cousin.

I also like that the veining isn't a set pattern, so it's easy to pick and choose which portions to swipe your brush across depending on the look you are going for. I think if I ever come across another MSF that I like that that will be one of the criteria. It's like having multiple products in one.

Overall-I like it. The color is not as bold as I would have hoped, I really wanted to use it as a straight blush, but that is what I get for not doing enough research beforehand. I feel like if you have lighter skin (around NC30 or below) the pinky-ness of this MSF will show up more. But if you have skin like me and you are looking for that all over glow without the two tons of glitter, I say go for it.

Star Rating- 4/5, A little more pigmentation would make it perfect.

The Packaging

Label, label, label

The MSF, comes with a plastic protecting cover

Swatches (They are a little backward): Multi-swatch on above, Single below

Haul #1

Alright, so I have been swatching the rest of my meager makeup 'collection' like crazy. It took a few hours but I worked through all of my pencil liners, single shadows, shadow palettes and face powders (blush/bronzer). So look there will be a boatload of new posts coming soon, I haven't used some of the things as much as I want so I need to try them out before I post everything. But for now I thought I would show you what I picked up recently.

Let's get one thing straight, most of my color cosmetics are from the drugstore and I DO NOT pay full price for them. I refuse, I think it's silly to buy something at full price knowing that within a month there will at least be one store that has that brand on sale. Patience is a virtue and saves my wallet from dire torture.

I picked all of this stuff up at RiteAid and they were at least 40% off. It's rare to find a BOGO Free sale, so 40% is the best you're gonna get. BOGO1/2 seems useless to me, since drugstores are at least $2 more expensive than WalMart or Target it is just better if you pay full price there. But again, I don't do full price.

Haul 1:
~Wet n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette in Vanity
~Wet n' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette in Greed
~Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfecter in Medium
~NYC Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Bronze Gold (Limited Ed)
~NYC Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Turquoise (Limited Ed)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

China Glaze: Spontaneous

The Breakdown

Brand-China Glaze


Thoughts-I am a China Glaze-aholic. It is by far my favorite polish brand and I love the number of creme polishes that the line contains.

Quality-wise, this is China Glaze so keep your expectations high. It is lovely on many levels, it's the perfect consistency and glides on the nail smoothly. The brush is easy to use, as it is not too thick/thin or stiff/flimsy. Two coats is all you need to get to that coveted opaque status.

The color itself is a really pretty deep lavender. It is a creme (sans sparkle/iridescence) and is also supremely shiny and glorious in many, many ways.

Overall-Do you really need to ask? Just look at the swatches, this polish is amazing. I'm pretty sure that anyone can wear this, anyone darker that NC30 for sure. It's a great creme color that I reach for all the time.

Star Rating- 5/5, I LOOOOOVE this color. Love, Love, Love.

Label, Label, Label

Bottle and Swatch

e.l.f: Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Plum/Purple

The Breakdown


Color-Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Plum/Purple

Packaging- Plastic dual ended pen thing with covers that snap on weakly. The products twists up on either side.

Thoughts-I picked this up when I bought the Black/Smoke one and had no idea what the consistency was like. Clearly, I didn't know better.

Both the shadow and the liner side are very creamy and highly pigmented. They glide on with little to no effort at all and apply just as they look in the tube. Neither side sets, so to keep the product from feeling sticky or moving around a powder shadow is necessary.

The Purple cream shadow is more like an ashy lavender than any purple I have ever seen. It also has a fine silver shimmer running through it. The Plum liner is exactly what it sounds like, a very red/pink based purple. Colorwise, both ends are quite nice.

Overall-I have the same problem with these as the Black/Smoke duo (check that review out for specifics). It just isn't the right formula for what I wanted to use it for and for the way my lids are shaped. Also you can't be an eye toucher or these duos will be a disaster.

Star Rating- 2/5, Good enough quality and will work for lids with no crease or fold, unlike mine.

The Packaging

The liner side

The shadow side

Swatches: Single above, Multi below

Again, this stuff smudges so easily

e.l.f: Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Black/Smoke

The Breakdown


Color-Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Black/Smoke

Packaging-Plastic dual ended pen thing with covers that snap on weakly. The products twists up on either side.

Thoughts-I'm not gonna lie, I bought this because Sam from pixiwoo/fashionface.tv used it in her Music Festival tutorial. I was looking for a creamy black liner to go on my waterline that wouldn't smudge on my contacts.

Both the cream shadow and the liner are very soft and creamy and they are also very pigmented. Both ends glide on easily and effortlessly and are easy to blend, but neither of them set so be ready with a translucent or matching shadow to press on top.

What you see is what you are going to get and, with the shadow, the color can be built up. Smoke is a smooth ashy gray color with silver shimmer, very appropriately named. Black is a very dark black liner.

Overall-I really wanted to like this. It just doesn't work with the fold I have in my lids. They smudge like crazy with the lightest touch and the shadow creases like nobody's business, even with a powder shadow on top. I wanted to use it as a base for a black smoky eye, but it is just the wrong product for me.

If you have absolutely no fold or crease (pretty much a monolid) these could work. I liked the colors, I just wish the formula was better.

Star Rating- 2/5, Good quality, but it doesn't work with the lids I have.


The Packaging

Shadow side

Liner side

Swatches: Single above, Multi below

What happens when you rub it lightly. Smudge City