Highlighters -Smashbox - Baked Fusion Soft Lights - Illusion
skwerlie 3/27/2011 6:44:00 AM
This is the only highlighter I own, so perhaps I can't make the best comparison... but the reason I've never bought one before is because so many of them are too visibly glittery, which really does not appeal to me. This was the first powder highlighter I came across which had a finish that I really liked enough to buy- a nice shimmery sheen without chunky glitter. I find that using this palette with a matte blush is much more appealing on my skin than a straight up shimmery blush, which can highlight my flaws. There are three colours in the mosaic, but unless you're using an eyeshadow brush to put these on the browbone you're not going to be able to pick just one shade. The palette itself is kind of strange- there's no clasp and it just stays shut by the friction of a tight fit between the two halves. So far that's fine but I wonder if it'll get harder to keep shut the more I use it. The shiny blue finish is pretty but shows fingerprints, and there's a mirror inside, which I'm sure will appeal to many. Overall a very nice product! It's limited, but I'll definitely have a look at Smashbox's other highlighters when I finish this.
Eyeliner -MAC - Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner in Black Line
skwerlie 3/27/2011 4:08:00 AM
An absolutely gorgeous eyeliner, Black Line is black with an olivey tinge and very fine golden glitter. Personally I think this looks great applied thickly and smuged out but you have to work quickly because once this sets, which only takes a few seconds, it really stays put. It's definitely a smudge-proof eyeliner, impressively so! MAC's constant limited edition collections are honestly too much for me and I don't really go for them most of the time, but these are definitely worth a look whenever they're next released!
Eyeliner -MAC - Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner in Undercurrent
skwerlie 3/27/2011 3:54:00 AM
This pencil is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! A slightly tealy green with golden sparkle that is brethtaking (to me as a big fan of green), these also stay put very well once they've set. You can smudge them when first applied but they do set fairly quickly. They are glittery but it's a nice fine glitter that I personally quite like, not as chunky as some cheaper glitter liners I've seen. One of the most beautiful and unbudgable eyeliners I've ever come across, for sure. I have no idea why MAC doesn't make some of their Pearlglides permanent, they seem to be very popular!
Lipstick -Rimmel - Colour Show Off - Shocking Pink
skwerlie 3/27/2011 3:43:00 AM
I was amazed by how great this lipstick is given the low price! I was looking for a hot pink lipstick since they've been all over the place lately, but I just wanted to grab one on the cheap in case I didn't wear it much. The finish is matte but surprisingly non-drying and I found that it lasted quite well- I honestly expected it to look awful after having a meal but it only seems to fade a bit around the center. It's very lightweight feeling as well. If you don't like the matte look you can top it with a gloss, though that may be too much for some! The one thing that I really dislike about this is the scent- a very strong artificial floral-fruity scent. It fades after a few minutes but is very intense (and unpleasant IMO) when you first apply or even open the tube. Speaking of the tube, I find it a bit tacky as well- it's metallic hot pink plastic with some molding (where the pink doesn't stick very well) and the shape is bigger and chunkier than most of my lipstick tubes. But for the price I can't really complain too much.
This is a great colour for summer! Although it's a frost finish, all of the shimmer is gold toned instead of white or silvery (which is usually what comes to my mind when I think of frosty lipsticks) and works very well with the coral base. I tend to wear this in a light coat or blotted down as a heavy application can be too full on for me. However, as much as I like the colour, I find it can be fairly drying and accentuates lip lines, etc. It's also not incredibly long-lasting, at least on my lips. Because of these issue I'm not sure I'd rush out to buy this again, even though I do think the colour is lovely.
I have 7 of these- Goldilux, Absinthe, Magpie, Junebug, Decora, Darling, and Hysteric- and I absoluely love them. The colours are great, the price is quite fair, the packaging is adorable, and they are just fabulous on. I did find at first that some of them faded through the day but it's not an issue if I pack them on a bit more (I always use some kind of base underneath as I have fairly oily lids). I've noticed some fallout with Goldilux but the others don't really have any significant fallout IMO. The two darker shades I bought (Magpie & Junebug) I use more often as liners than as shadows but they're nice either way. Of the colours I've bought I would say that Absinthe and Goldilux are my favourites, though I don't really have a least favourite. I love the box art and the Sugarpill crest logo on the tops of the jars is a lovely and very professional touch. I have noticed that the jars can leak a smidge if not stored upright, so these might not be the best to chuck in a makeup bag or travel with. I have a couple of the pressed shadows and they are great too, but I think the Chromalusts kind of steal the show. I'll definitely keep an eye on their future releases and would be happy to buy more (and more and more) Sugarpill!
To me, this looks primarily olive green with a lavender duochrome effect, not primarily grey as some reviewers have said (in fact I wish it was more of a grey base than green). The effect is pretty stunning- a very strong duochrome that shows up in pretty much any light. It's not subtle or shy, definitely eyecatching! However, I just don't feel like the colours work very well together. It's a little reminiscent of NARS Nouveau Monde, which I also thought was a bizarre combination. The first coat goes on frighteningly sheer but after three thin coats I felt like I had a nice opacity (my nails are awfully short at the moment so I'm not sure if VNL is an issue with this one at 3 coats). This shade has really good staying power, it's really impressed me! Aside from my uncertainty about the shades chosen it's a really great polish. The duochrome is strong and striking, it lasts a long time (on me anyway), and it went on easily. And I suppose I can't really dislike the colours too much- I've kept it on for a week because it's just too fun to look at my nails and watch them shift!
I feel a bit bad giving this only a 4... it's an amazing colour, the sheerness really works in the its favour and I can hardly imagine a person who this wouldn't look good on because it's sheer but also buildable, every cent of every tube bought goes to a good cause, I'm totally in love with Viva Glam Cyndi.... but it has such poor staying power! It's gorgeous when I apply it but hardly lasts at all, I suppose that's the downside to the lovely sheer formula that works so well with so many lip and skin colours. I still might try to snatch up an extra tube before they're gone for good though- I just wish they were adding this to the permanent Viva Glam lineup instead of discontinuing it after the year is up!
This colour is very similar to my lip colour, it's a nice gloss when I don't want a strong colour on my lips but would like a bit of shine and shimmer. This is from the sheer line so of course it's going to be less opaque than their intense glosses, but I have seen much sheerer glosses out there. It feels nice on- not too thick or sticky. I don't think it lasts very long, but it's a bit hard to tell since the colour is so close to my natural lip colour- perhaps it would leave something behind on less pigmented lips. I find this pretty easy to apply from the tube, though I do occasionally squeeze a bit too hard and despense too much gloss. It has a sort of fruity candy scent which I'm not a huge fan of but it's not too strong and it does fade after application. I probably wouldn't buy this again, but only because there are so many other glosses out there- it's not a bad product itself.
This is an absolutely gorgeous gloss, the colour is just amazing. However, I can't stand the texture- it's really sticky and goopy, more so than just about every gloss I've tried! If anything it's a sort of dry stickiness, if that makes sense? I had a hard time getting an even and clean application from the tube, a brush did help but it was still a bit tricky because of the texture. It does last quite a long time and is very opaque, both of which are positives... but I find it unpleasant to wear, sadly.
We finally got Illamasqua in Australia and wow, the blushes really live up to the hype! I don't like to buy makeup online because it can be a bit hard to tell the actual colour, so I was very excited to get a chance to try out Illamasqua's blushes. I ended up taking home Lover, it's just a perfect everyday peach colour on me. I don't think it would be easy to over-apply on my skin tone (NC30ish), but I can see how it could be a bit strong on lighter skin. This blush (and I believe all of their others?) is matte, which is great for me- I think most shimmery or glittery blushes are just too much for my imperfect skin and I prefer a matte blush with a highlighter. Personally, I like the funky shape of Illamasqua's packaging, it's a little more interesting looking than a plain square or circle compact, though it is a bit bulky. I also don't have to use my nails to open the compact, not sure if mine is looser than some or not. Overall a top quality product and I look forward to trying a few more of their blushes over time!
I had heard so many raves about LUSH's solid shampoos, and I loved the no packaging idea (I rated packaging quality at 1 because there IS no packaging, but that was a selling point for me), so I thought I'd try one out last summer. I'd been washing my hair daily (in cooler weather I usually wash every second day) and was worried that it was too much for my (very long) hair since shampoos have chemical ingredients, etc. When I told this to the SA she seemed surprised and told me my hair looked really good. Maybe I should have taken this as a sign but I bought Hybrid anyway. It wasn't the first product the SA recommended, but I have a lot of allergies and most of the other solid shampoos contained flower oils and perfumes that I'm allergic to, plus I thought a 2 in 1 would be convenient for daily washing. I don't usually use them but I thought this would be different since it was an all natural product, though when I got home I noticed that it actually contained some of the same chemical ingredients as the shampoo I'd already been using (Garnier Fructis). The first couple of times I used Hybrid I thought it was fine- my hair was a little more tangle-prone but also felt lighter. After more uses I noticed my hair getting worse, tangling more and more, and the ends becoming a bit brittle and splitting more easily. This might have been better with the addition of a separate conditioner, but I figured if I was going to use two products I may as well go back to my previous routine since my hair was better before. I ended up chucking my Hybrid bar and going back to Fructis, which is probably nearly as "natural" a product as LUSH's (though Garnier does test on animals if this is something that concerns you). My hair is undeniably much better for it. There are some products from LUSH that I like but I don't think I'll be trying their haircare again.
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Mega Shine Top Coat
skwerlie 1/3/2011 9:21:00 AM
I quite like Mega Shine- it really is named well as it has a super shiny finish (especially on the first day). It also dries very quickly and isn't so prone to denting once it's fully dry. I do get chipping as other reviewers have mentioned but not any worse than with other topcoats (though there are many I haven't tried, including Seche Vite, because I don't know where to find them locally). I think people may be right when they suggest that this dries a bit too brittle, since that's probably what keeps it from denting and makes it dry so quickly. The packaging suggests that you can use this over a polish that's still wet, but I prefer letting the polish dry first or I risk staining the brush and presumably the rest of the bottle. The brush is also a bit stiff, as mentioned, and can dig into the polish a bit if it isn't dry. Over dry polish it fans out and gives pretty good coverage. I have noticed that the product has gotten a bit thicker, though it's still usable. I have no idea how much of the bottle I've gone through as it has a frustrating opaque mirror finish that means you can't see into the bottle at all. I don't think this would be a "HG" topcoat but of the topcoats I've tried so far I like it the best and would definitely buy again if I don't find something new that I prefer.
I should know better than to buy a two in one base and top coat... sigh. I bought this on vacation- I hadn't brought any nail products along but bought a few polishes and wanted to try them out. I figured that even though 2 in 1 base/topcoats are generally not as good as separate products it would be more convenient while travelling and I didn't have internet access to check reviews. Unfortunately, it's just not a very good product. I got bubbles and chipping and it isn't very fast drying- my polish still got dents and even smears (I don't recall how long after I'd painted them, but I thought it was a fair time for a quick dry topcoat). It wasn't horribly expensive but still a letdown.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Invisible Zinc - Tinted Daywear - Medium
skwerlie 12/16/2010 2:57:00 AM
I bought this because I was on the lookout for a tinted moisturizer or tinted sunscreen with a higher SPF (most are 15 or 20, and in the Australian summer sun I feel like that's not enough), and this was one of the very few products that I found that met that criteria. Sadly, I can't stand the stuff- I feel like I'm spreading peanut butter on my face when I put this on, both in texture and colour! If I want to put powder over it, my face is so sticky that brush hairs shed and stick to it, and colour (blush, etc) doesn't apply smoothly either. It takes a lot more cleansing that usual before I feel like it's gone from my skin as well. I probably haven't given this stuff a fair chance- I've only used it a couple of times, perhaps with more use I'd discover how to work with it better. But to be honest, it just feels so awful that I don't even want to give it that chance. I thought this would be a timesaver but I'd rather just keep the extra step of applying a separate sunscreen.