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!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

L'OREAL: Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Roaring Russet

The Breakdown

Color- Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Roaring Russet

Thoughts- I can't quite figure out how to describe this shade. It's an interesting mix of rusty-orangey goodness with a fine shimmer running through it in a similar shade. This shadow looks great against warm toned asian skin and bring a nice bit of interest to otherwise common brown eyes. The shadow itself is fairly smooth to apply, despite the noticeable microshimmer that is present throughout. I did experience a bit of fall out with the shimmer, though it was less noticeable than Golden Tigress. It holds on my lids quite well, I usually go about 8 hours before I wash my makeup off and it can make it the whole time without fading. I also found that it was the easiest of my Wear Infinite Eye Shadows to blend and it works really well layered both under and over other shadows. (Golden Tigress + Roaring Russet= WIN!)

Overall- I really like this shade and I find that its easy to create a look that makes your eyes pop, but is still subdued enough that you can wear it to class.

Star Rating- 4/5...Really good quality.

Single swatch on the left, multi on the right

Saturday, April 23, 2011

e.l.f. : Eyeshadow Quad in Nouveau Neutrals

The Breakdown

Color-  Eyeshadow Quad in Nouveau Neutrals

Packaging- Dinky little plastic packaging, a fall to the floor would definitely destroy it.

Thoughts- I'm going to keep this point short and simple seeing as I don't have much to say about this palette. The shadow is chalky and there is loads of fall out from the tiny glitter running through each shadow. It is impossible to build up the color so that it is true to pan, even with eyeshadow bases or wet brushes. The color combination does not work for me as I could not fathom how these four would work in a look together. I normally love elf products, but I couldn't find anything good to say about this quad.

Overall- I'm just not into this quad. From the color combination to the color payoff to the shadow quality. Nothing about this quad seems right. I picked it up for $0.40 during an elf sale though, so I can't complain too much.

Star Rating- 0/5...This is a big NO WAY to this quad


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

China Glaze: Mistletoe Kisses

The Breakdown
Brand-China Glaze

Color- Mistletoe Kisses

Packaging- Standard packaging, but with a silver cap as it was an LE holiday shade

Thoughts- This polish is a green base with a significant amount of light green and silver glitter. It is definitely glitter and NOT micro shimmer. The shade of the green base is the iconic Christmas green, one that matches it's namesake quite well. I like the multicolored glitter as I found that having two shades helped to add dimension to the polish.

This polish, along with many of China Glaze's other glitter polishes needed at least 3, maybe even 4, coats to get the color on the nails to match the color on the polish. Because of the noticeable glitter, you do need a good quality topcoat (I recommend Out the Door) if you want to smooth out the bumpy texture.

Overall- In normal day-to-day life, I find that China Glaze polishes last between 1-1 1/2 weeks on my nails. I've found that the ones with sheer bases, such as this, tend to veer toward the shorter end of the spectrum. That being said, I definitely recommend this polish, though finding an occasion to wear it outside of December might be difficult.

Star Rating- 4.5/5...I love this shade as it seems like the perfect polish for the Christmas season


L'OREAL: Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Chocolat

The Breakdown
Brand- L'OREAL

Color- Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Chocolat

Thoughts- Chocolat is a matte brown shade with a slightly red undertone. I found that this shade in particular was nicely pigmented and easy to work with. While not creamy-smooth, the applications was smooth and not at all patchy. I loved how easily it blends and how intensely you can build the color up.

I found that there was little to no fallout when using this product and that the matte texture increased the longevity. I haven't worn it for more than 8 hours at a time, but I didn't see any change in color at all at the end of that time frame.

Overall- I really like this color and formulation. I find that I can use it for both a subtle neutral look during the day and can layer it on for a more dramatic night look. It blends really well and is really nicely pigmented.

Star Rating- 4.5/5...Loving it.

Rimmel: Fix & Perfect

The Breakdown

Product- Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer

Packaging- Squeeze tube...easy to use

Thoughts- This primer starts out as a scary, orange toned cream. However, when applied the product becomes colorless and the only thing you notice is the change it has made to your skin. As a primer, this product is meant to be applied after your moisturizer has set in and before you being applying foundation/concealer. I found that Fix & Perfect created a smoother texture on my skin, which helps liquid foundations glide on and blend in more easily. For powders (foundations, color correctors, etc.) I found that having this on the skin gives the products something to stick to, giving better coverage.

Like most primers, the point of this product is to extend the wear of your foundations and give you a smooth base on which to apply them. I've found that on my dry skin, this primer can extend the longevity of my liquid foundations by about 2 hours. That being said, I gravitate toward foundations with a natural-dewy finish rather than those that are long wearing.

Overall-  I usually use this when I use powder foundations or if I'm using the e.l.f. Complexion Perfection powder in place of actual foundations. In the case of my Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation, I found that it was able to extend the wear from 9 hours to about 12. It definitely gives the powders something to cling to when you apply them, so I found that it actually boosts their effectiveness. It works really well for me and I can definitely see myself buying this instead of going the high end route.

Star Rating- 4/5...I would rate it higher if it extended the wear of my liquid foundations slightly better.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Clinique: Almost Makeup in (05) Deep

The Breakdown

Color- Almost Makeup in (05) Deep

Packaging- A really nice squeeze tube, very easy to use

Thoughts- As the name implies "Almost Makeup" gives a nice light to light-medium coverage. It's really nice for days when you want to wear little makeup. This is definitely a foundation for when you are having a good skin day as I found that it doesn't cover that much in the way of discoloration or blemishes and you can't build up the coverage past the light-medium stage. In that case, a bit of concealer never hurt anyone. Despite this, it blends amazingly into the skin so the slightly stunted shade selection can be used by a larger range of skintones. It is a smidge too light for me when applied heavily, but when done properly it sits well on my skin.

Despite the light coverage, the foundation does leave you with a slight bit of the "I can feel the foundation on my face" syndrome. It's not much or anything major, but it is worth noting.

Overall, Almost Makeup has a nice dewy-natural finish. If you have dry skin, you can get away with not powdering your face and all will be good and fine. However people with oily skin will benefit with a dusting down the center of the face.

I've found that the majority, if not all, of the shades in this range have a slight pink undertone. If you are supremely yellow-toned, then this is not the way to go. I have a face that is much more yellow than my neck so the pink tone in this actually helps balance my face and neck a bit more.

Lastly, I've found that on dry skin, I can get about 6 hours of wear without a primer. With a primer (I use Rimmel Fix & Perfect) I can extend it to about 8, which is about as long as I require for day-to-day use.

Overall- This is my go to high end foundation when I'm in a hurry. It's impossible to mess up and I love the coverage it gives. This is what I use when I need to be out the door in 5 minutes and can't spend the time using bronzer to adjust the shade of my foundation.

Comparison- I found that the coverage was lighter than both the Neutrogena Healthy Skin and the Revlon Photoready. All three of these shades were recommended for my skin tone (about NC37), but there is clearly a large difference in the both the shades and the undertones. They are all different finishes, HS-slightly more dewy than AM and Photoready-slightly powdery. If I had to choose only one, I would pick the Clinique Almost Makeup without question.

Star Rating- 4.5/5...I only wish it felt a tad lighter on my face.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

e.l.f.: Mineral Eyeshadow Primer

The Breakdown
Brand- e.l.f.

Product- Mineral Eyeshadow Primer

Packaging- A little tube with a doe foot wand.

Thoughts- I want to start off by saying that I do NOT own the $1 elf eyeshadow primer, so I can't really make any comparisons there. But that being said...on with it.

The primer is a flesh toned cream that proved to be a little chunky in texture. Once blended though, it smoothes down to a nice slightly powdery matte finish. The color will be a tad light for those who are darker than NC 25-30, so if your skin is darker than that don't bank on this product for simply evening the skintone on your lids.

The primer did a good job of holding onto eyeshadow when I was trying to build up a nice density of color, but because of this blending is slightly more difficult as primer really likes to hold onto the shadow. Unfortunately though, after a few hours of wear, creasing was observed, which means that the product failed in its important function.

Overall- I have slightly oily lids with a deep folded crease. This product only kept my lids matte and crease free for about 3 hours, 5 if I add in another primer. It's alright for days that I only wear makeup for a little while, but I can't see myself repurchasing this again.

Star Rating- 2/5...It only kept my lids matte for a few hours but it did help grab eyeshadows.


RImmel: Lash Accelerator Mascara

The Breakdown


Packaging- Nifty black and gold tube

Thoughts- This sucker came with a some pretty big claims. A single application of the mascara itself is supposed to give 80% longer lashes and 30 days of use claims the potential for 117% of growth. Let's see how they turned out shall we?

The brush is made of stiff clear plastic fibers, which allows for a great amount of definition. The width of the brush does change as it seems to be largest 1/3 from the tip and tapers down on either side. I love this brush. I was a mascara newbie when I used this and it was one of the easiest mascaras to apply.

Initially, the formula is very thin and it seems like you won't get much length...WRONG. From the start you get amazing length (better than some other mascaras, at least) and a crazy amount of definition. It's as if the mascara was able to coat my lashes individually. The mascara does change in consistency over time. I understand that mascaras dry out with repeated use, but as I am a contact lens wearer and I follow the 3 month rule, I never keep a tube to the point that it dries out.  It did thicken as weeks passed, but it only helped in providing length and even gave a bit more volume towards the end.

As of right now, there is no waterproof version of this mascara, which is disappointing. I always had to be extra careful when wearing my contacts as anything flying into my eyes would result in tears and a potential for raccoon eyes. It is unfortunately prone to a bit of smudging under the eyes after about 4 hours of wear.

My biggest problem with this mascara is its curl holding abilities. It's merely okay, maybe even a little worse than that. I have short, sparse asian straight lashes and if a mascara can't hold a curl, then it becomes useless to even use it. It did tend to kill about 60% of the curl I would painstakingly try to impart on my lashes, so I always had to go the route of extreme curling in order to get a kind-of okay curl.

As for the growth factor? I did in fact see a slight increase in length, though no where near 117%. What I was most impressed with was the more noticeable increase in thickness that each individual lash achieved. I didn't have high hopes for the growth claim, but after my experiment I can assure you that it can work from SOME people. What you have to remember is that everyone is different and there is no guarantee that you will achieve the same results as I did.

Overall- I liked the mascara more the older it got, it starts out really thin and wet but as the weeks went on I definitely saw a change in texture. I also love the length and definition that the mascara gave, though I prefer to have a bit more in the realm of volume. As you can see from the pictures below, I did see a slight change in length and even a change in the thickness of the lashes. I am a contact wearer however so I don't see my self picking another one of these up unless they come out with a waterproof formulation.

Star Rating- 4/5...My lashes did grow a bit, which was cool and the formula is nice, but I wish it came in a waterproof version.


The Experiment

So I tried to take as scientific an approach to this as possible. Everyday for 6 weeks, I applied one coat of the mascara and kept it on for a minimum of 6 hours. No days were skipped, even those days when I did not leave the house. Here are the results, please be prepared for weird looking pictures of my right eye.

Day 1

Pre-experiment bare lashes

+One Coat of the Mascara

Week 1 Update

Bare lashes, 1 week of daily wear

+One Coat, 1 week of daily wear

Week 2 Update
Bare lashes, 2 weeks of daily wear

Sorry no +1 coat picture this week (I forgot)

Week 3 Update

Bare lashes, 3 weeks of daily wear
Again, no +1 coat pictures.

Notes: I had eyes issues this week. Lots of eye rubbing was done due to screwy weather so the outer corner lost a few lashes

Week 4 Update

Bare lashes, 4 weeks of daily wear

+One coat, 4 weeks of daily wear
The mascara is drying a little bit, making it go on a little thicker

Week 5 Update

Bare lashes, 5 weeks of daily wear

Bare lashes, 5 weeks of daily wear, different angle

+1 coat, 5 weeks of daily wear
I went a little light with the application this day, so not much additional length with the +1.
Also, my lashes curled a bit better this day, so the angle is deceiving.

Week 6 + 1 Day Update

I take update pics on Thursdays and the Week 6 Thursday happened to be Thanksgiving. So this is actually a Friday post. And yes, I am aware of how awful the lighting is here.

Bare lashes, 6 Weeks + 1 Day of daily wear

Lashes +1 coat of mascara, after 6 Weeks +1 Day of daily wear

Notes: The mascara is definitely thicker than it was in the beginning. Right now, it is perfect and the length I get from one coat is ridiculous.

Friday, April 15, 2011

L'OREAL: Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Golden Tigress

The Breakdown

Color- Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Golden Tigress

Thoughts- Golden Tigress is a pale gold shadow with gold shimmer. Though there is definite glitter running through, it is fine (though not as fine as micro glitter) and has little to no fall out if first packed on with a shading brush then blended out with a fluffy brush

It has a lovely texture and is easy to blend on its own or with other shadows. The color is not very bold against my skin tone, so I tend to use this as an all over lid color and a deeper gold/rich brown for definition. It doesn't fade, which is great, and lasts really well regardless of the weather.

Overall- I love this shadow. The fallout is minimal and it's so nice to blend. It seems to be my go to for any normal day that I want to do a gold look (a few of my MAC shadows win the special occasion category)

Star Rating- 4.5/5

Single Swatch on the left, Multi on the right

Saturday, April 2, 2011

L'OREAL: Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Plum Wine

The Breakdown

Color- Wear Infinite Eye Shadow Single in Plum Wine

Thoughts- Don't ever let anyone tell you that browsing around the dollar tree is a waste of time.

The name of this color is spot on, there is no other way to describe this color. It's a really nice, rich dusty plum that is a nice change to using a dark brown for a neutral smoky look. The shadow has a satin finish with a small amount of gold shimmer shot through it, to give it a golden sheen, and is also quite pigmented and easily built up. The texture is smooth, far from chalky, and the only foreseeable downside is that this shade is just slightly more fussy when you try to blend it out that some of the other shades in this range.

Overall- I definitely like this shadow overall, it was a bargain at $1, but if you were to get it on sale at an actual drugstore (BOGO 50% or 40% off) then it would be worth that too.

Star Rating- 4/5...I just wish it were easier to blend out.


Neutrogena: Healthy Skin Liquid Foundation in Fresh Beige

The Breakdown
Brand- Neutrogena

Color- Healthy Skin Liquid Foundation in Fresh Beige (70)

Packaging- A sturdy glass container that is, sadly, lacking a pump.

Thoughts- So I used the Temptalia Foundation Matrix to figure out what color I was in this foundation. To be honest, this is the first drugstore foundation I had ever tried, mainly because the idea of guessing what shade fits best is annoying. Buuuut, all my youtube research pointed me in the direction of this sucker and the sale I got it during (40% off, thank you Rite Aid) made it worth the headache.

The foundation itself has a light to medium coverage that is slightly build-able. If you try to layer it too much though, the color becomes more porcelain (lighter) than a normal application would be, so this is not the way to go if you need tons of coverage.

The finish is what drew me into the foundation in the first place. It has a subtle dewy finish that does not look unnatural or make you look like you are sweating. However, if you want the foundation to last more than 4 hours, then I would suggest a very light coat of finishing powder, over the T-zone at least. My skin is dry, but doesn't seem to soak up the foundation too quickly, but it does need that dusting of powder to keep it looking fresh.

Overall- This is a good one for me. If you want a foundation with a lighter texture and slightly dewy finish, then this is the way to go. If you are between NC37 and NC40, you'll need to get the next yellow based color up from Fresh Beige. It's just that slight bit too light and requires a good amount of bronzer to make it work for me.

Comparison- So I compared this to the only high end foundation I had at the time, Clinique Almost makeup. Both give similar finishes and coverage, though the Clinique seems to blend into the skin slightly better, so I don't have to use bronzer to fix the color match. The Clinique is slightly cooler toned and just a tad bit darker, but it's not too noticeable. I like both, but if I had to choose, I would go for Clinique over the Neutrogena.

Star Rating- 4.5/5... I like the finish, though I may try to go one shade darker next time around.


Heavy on the left, blended on the right

Compared to Clinique Almost Makeup in Deep
HS on the left, AM on the right.