Eyeliner -MAC - Fluidline Eye-Liner Gel in Blacktrack
AngelOnFire 2/17/2010 10:41:00 AM
As an eyeliner newbie, I decided to settle for this after reading the favourable reviews here and getting my behind handed to me every time I tried a liquid liner. I was considering Bobbi Browns gel liner too, but found that it is too expensive for my lowly beginnings (£16 versus MAC Fluidline's £12). The main selling point of Blacktrack is that it versatile. In fact, it is one of the most versatile products I've used so far. You can create countless different looks with it, not just the perfect, winged liner I crave. I use it for FOUR different things: Firstly, the classic, winged eyeliner, which is also the most obvious. I use it with my Smashbox #21 Arced Liner Brush, which is also very friendly for beginners, and far easier to handle than a straight liner brush. My pet peeve with liquid liners is that the line is too sharp when drawn, which makes every single imperfection stand out from a mile away. Gel liners such as this marvel are much more forgiving. The staying power on the lid is amazing. It lasts all day, but take note that I don't have oily lids. You can also take a pigmented, dark shadow and apply or smudge it over Blacktrack for a smoldering, albeit softer look. Secondly, it is ideal for tightlining (which involves pushing the liner into the roots of your lashes from below) when paired with a soft, flat liner brush. It's a great optical trick to add volume to your lashes, but without that 'obvious liner' look. Thirdly, it is by far the best product I used on my waterline so far. It stays put longer than all pencil liners I used (including UD's 24/7). It still does run into the tear ducts and does fade from the outer edges of the eyes, so you have to touch up with a pencil when you're on the go. And finally, it is probably the best base for a dramatic, smokey eye you can get. I use a brush or my fingers to pat it onto my whole eyelids or just a portion. Then, I use a dark, matte eye shadow to 'set it' (not that it doesn't dry, but I think it adds to it as a base), and use other colours to blend it out and give it some dimension. Fluidline Blacktrack is also my first MAC product, apart from their brushes. I'm not the biggest fan of theirs because their image doesn't appeal to me very much. But indifference or no, this is a great product and should be tried by everyone at least once! EDIT: I had to knock the rating down. The formula gets too clumpy after a while of using it. Just for the record, I always screwed it shut very tightly and kept it upside down. It's still usable for for tightlining, waterlining and as a base, but I can't get a clean line out of it anymore.
There is little love going around for this duo, and I can see why. The pigment is very subtle, and if you're looking for something that has a lot of colour payoff, turn around right now. NARS eyeshadow duos are hit or miss with texture (so far apart from Underworld I only had 'hits'), but most have pigmentation that is undeniably rich. This... doesn't. Pure and simple. I was very skeptical in the beginning, having read the reviews here before I bought it. I thought what the heck, in the worst possible scenario I could use it as a subtle highlighter on my brow bone or on my face. The light pink side of the duo is slightly shimmery satin, and is almost a dead ringer for Stila's Heather on me, except that Stila's eyeshadow has more shimmer. It's very flattering on my PPP skin and blue-green eyes, and makes them stand out slightly more. The right side is a warm, delicate peach with a satin finish, that is a my lids but better colour. It reminds me of another Stila eyeshadow called Launey. Please check the ratings of both after reading this to put things into perspective. There is one specialized area where this duo is a HG for me. Yes, you might think I'm insane, but you read right. There is simply no better, more romantic, feminine, subtle NARS duo when New Delight is paired up with a winged eyeliner. Preferably gel or cake because the harsh edges of a liquid liner would be a no-no with a base this light. It's PERFECT for the Marylin Monroe look. Overall, this is going to be a staple for me when doing a soft look. As all NARS duos so far, they don't crease and stay on ages, but note that I don't have oily lids, nor do I use bases or primers. I understand that what works for me doesn't necessary mean that it has to work for other people, but I urge all people of a similar skin tone to mine to try it.
This is pure HG awesomeness. Pure and simple. I'll have to buy one or to back-ups if this gets discontinued (It already isn't on the NARS website). I am very fair and have cold, greenish-blue eyes and the way it makes them pop is amazing! This duo is a departure from neutrals and subdued colours. Instead, the left side is a matte lavender, whilst the right side is a wonderful, shimmery purple. I love the lavender on my eyelid and the purple in the outer V or on the crease. Whilst it isn't really conventional for a workplace environment, it definitely can be pulled off. It is also extremely gorgeous for a romantic look. This, with a nude lip and sheer pink blush is as lovely as it gets. The texture is great. The left, lavender side is a little harder than the right, purple side, but still goes on like a dream. The staying power is great, and it doesn't crease on me at all. But, keep in mind, I don't have oily eyelids and don't use bases or primers such as UDPP. I really hope this doesn't get discontinued, because this duo is too good to be true! If you are fair, and have cool-toned blue or green eyes, then this is IT.
This is one of NARS' tamer duos. The silver and steel blue shades should be universally flattering. It's a basic, cool-toned duo that complements itself very well and is awesome with an intense smokey eye or something more subdued. Perfect for those who don't want to experiment too much, but instead crave something that simply... works. I personally love using the lighter shade on my eyelid and the gorgeous, darker one on my crease, or even better, as a smudged liner. And that's where the trouble starts. The darker side of this is so buttery and soft, my smudge brush leaves deep dents in the eyeshadow! It is VERY difficult to get good payoff because of this. I'll have to try this with a wet brush or over a liner. Even worse, it has a tendency to crumble. It also means that there's fallout. Ugh. Maybe I just got a bad batch, but I certainly hope this doesn't get worse. It is a good duo for everyday wear as long as you don't go overboard with the amount you apply, and go slowly with extras such as liners and dramatic mascara. The staying power is great. I don't have oily eyelids, don't use any bases or primers. The shadows don't crease on me and last for ages. Overall, I love the colour combination, but hate the texture of the darker, steely shade. If the texture was better, it would be a staple product and definitely worth 5 stars. But at the moment, I much prefer the Arctic duo over this.
Arctic is my 4th NARS eyeshadow duo, but the first one I'm writing a review about. Why? Because I made up my mind about it the first time I wore it. It was difficult for me to justify the purchase since I have Underworld, and the gray shade of Arctic seems to be very close to Underworld's lighter shade in the pan, but it is a hint darker when swatched. So, effectively I got it because of the burgundy meets garnet shade. Even though the duo seems less than conventional, both are very wearable together. It looks stunning with the shimmering gray on the eyelid and the garnet in the crease. The way the shades contrast with each other make the look sophisticated and unique. I can imagine wearing it both everyday to work and on dates, unlike other NARS duos (looking at you, Caravaggio!). It also makes me curious how both dark shades of Arctic and Underworld would play together. Steel blue and garnet must be interesting to look at. The texture of the duo is definitely one of the better ones. Both shades are identical in feel; they are soft, but not enough to get brittle and crumbly (one complaint I have about the darker shade of Underworld). I don't have oily eyelids, and I can go without the eyeshadows creasing on me. I don't use bases or primers such as UDPP either. This is definitely one of the most underrated eyeshadow duos in NARS' arsenal. Sophisticated, classy, sexy. One of my best buys from the NARS collection so far. PS: For a few pictures, please click 'continue'
For starters, I have fine, just-over-shoulder-length hair that isn't treated chemically. Low maintenance, really. I bought both the shampoo and conditioner from the Break's Over range, and both products suit my needs nicely. A small amount of shampoo cleans my hair nicely, whilst the conditioner conditions and detangles well, and that's it. I noticed that I have a little less breakage and split ends, but I don't know if this product range has anything to do with that. The bottle is awesome, it's easy to squeeze out exactly as much product as you need. The coconut meets mango smell is gorgeous, but I'm less enthusiastic about the colour (I mean, blueish lilac?) because it seems not very natural to me. Like blue M&Ms :-) Overall, this stuff is pure bang for buck, but don't expect salon performance.
Conditioner -Clairol - Herbal Essences Breaks Over
AngelOnFire 2/2/2010 10:47:00 AM
For starters, I have fine, just-over-shoulder-length hair that isn't treated chemically. Low maintenance, really. I bought both the shampoo and conditioner from the Break's Over range, and both products suit my needs nicely. A small amount of shampoo cleans my hair nicely, whilst the conditioner conditions and detangles well, and that's it. I noticed that I have a little less breakage and split ends, but I don't know if this product range has anything to do with that. The bottle is awesome, it's easy to squeeze out exactly as much product as you need.The coconut meets mango smell is gorgeous, but I'm less enthusiastic about the colour (I mean, blueish lilac?) because it seems not very natural to me. Like blue M&Ms :-) Overall, this stuff is pure bang for buck, but don't expect salon performance.
Orgasm... one of the most hyped blushes ever. Mentioned in every magazine, on every beauty blog, countless celebrities supposedly swear by it. And, as with everything, where there's hype, there's hate. A lot of people here don't like it, or think it is overrated. This reminds me a little of every new product release by Apple (you know, iPhone, iPod, iPad (ugh...)), for every 'Yay' there's at least one 'Nay' Yes, I bought it solely going by the hype and reviews. Well, almost. I swatched it a few times on my hand and wasn't overly impressed by it. I got it as a Highlighting - Bronzing Blush Duo, together with Albatross. I figured if I didn't like one product, I'd at least like the other. Using my brand-spanking NARS Yachiyo, I apply the blush in light strokes. One thing I don't like about it is that the formula of the blush seems to be quite hard. Even if I swipe my finger over it, it picks up only very little of the product. But on the other side, this makes it go on very sheerly, and I don't end up looking like a spanked clown. The colour is surprisingly... nice. I am very fair, I am yet to find a regular foundation that matches my skin tone or comes close to it. Orgasm doesn't look out of place at all, but I can imagine that it doesn't work for darker skin tones as well. The colour is a very delicate peachy pink, and I can build it up as sheer or strong I like. I expected more shimmer, but it's barely noticeable. My trusty Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10, which I use in the summer is more shimmery than this! Well, count me amongst the 'Yay!'-sayers. It's a great product, but it is certainly over-hyped. Whilst it will give most of you a healthy flush, it won't cook, make coffee, solve world hunger, cure cancer or bring world peace ;-) EDIT: I had to knock one lippie off because of the hard texture, especially when compared to other NARS blushes.
A staple product in my household for years. I use it to get heavy-duty make-up off before resulting to a scrub or cleanser. It doesn't irritate my skin or dry it out, so it must be quite gentle. It also seems to moisturize a little, so my skin doesn't feel completely stripped of moisture like with the use of certain other soaps. I use it under the shower or while I'm bathing on my whole body too. I use on its own to lather and cleanse or with a pair of rough gloves to exfoliate. I then use shower gel to scent my skin and it's as lovely and smooth as ever. Definitely a HG.
I bought this because of the good reviews here on MUA and because I got suckered in by the 3 in 1 promise. Cleanser, scrub and mask? I'm sold! Or so I thought. The product is opaque white with fine scrubbing beads, and leaves white streaks on my hands and face if I'm not careful enough with rinsing... which happens a lot if I'm not under the shower (screw the British two tap system...). It also has a weird, 'globby' texture. Maybe it's the clay as one of the touted, active ingredients that causes it. It has a fresh, delicate smell which is just about average on the 'me like' scale. A little chemical, perhaps. I prefer the fresh, eucalyptus smell of Garnier's fellow Pure Active scrub. It works well enough as a cleanser, since the beads are really fine and delicate. It leaves my skin nicely moisturized and refreshed. However, the beads aren't really rough enough to make it a good scrub. It exfoliates, but doesn't remove dry skin that well. I imagine it might be a good scrub for people who find Garnier's Pure Active too harsh. As a mask, it's merely meh. It doesn't dry my skin out, but I don't really see a difference after using it. Overall, it's a gimmick. If you want a good mask, go to the drugstore, Lush, or make one yourself. If you want a good scrub, buy something higher quality. This 'Wash-Scrub-Mask' tries to be a jack of all trades, but isn't really outstanding in any of its aspects.
I bought this since my favourite L'Oreal Pure Active scrub has been discontinued. Since Garnier is a L'Oreal subsidiary and some of their products are similar, I figured I try this one. Another persuading factor was that it listed salicylic acid as an active ingredient (there's 2% of it, in fact). Well, the L'Oreal product was different. It had a milder smell, was more liquid and the scrubbing beads were finer. The Garnier Pure Active scrub has a stronger, fresher, more 'unisex' eucalyptus scent which I like. It is thick and opaque, with beads ranging in size from small to 'wow, that's rather large'. I love the way it cleans. It is fairly strong stuff, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with sensitive or irritated skin. Heaven forbid I would use it whilst doing my acid peels. It was also definitely too strong for my boyfriend, who said it was burning his skin. To me, there's just a slight tingle from the menthol and salicylic acid. It leaves my skin fresh and clean, as clean as it gets without a rougher cleaning cloth or sponge. Furthermore, I use it every evening in the shower, and it doesn't have a negative impact on my skin. The only downside is that I have to use a regular cleanser or soap to get rid of my eye make up, since any kind of scrub shouldn't be used on or near the delicate eye are. Although I lost my beloved L'Oreal Pure Active scrub, this one is just as well a HG product. I'm on my third tube and very happy with it.
Cleansers -Estee Lauder - Perfectly Clean Splash Away Foaming Cleanser
AngelOnFire 1/22/2010 9:31:00 AM
I got this product in an Estee Lauder Travel Pack at an airport here in England. Also included were a full size Daywear Plus cream (which is quite nice) and Perfectly Clean toner (haven't tried it). Let me start of by saying that this is the cleanser for normal/combination skin. It is nicely packaged in a tube, smells wonderfully, lathers up nicely and feels quite luxurious. Furthermore, a little goes a long way. These are the plus points. All of them. Now to the negatives... it cleans well, I imagine that it would be suitable for oily skin. But it is nowhere delicate enough for 'normal' skin. It is worse than soap in that regard that it strips off all moisture, leaving skin feeling as though there's a rubbery film on it. Besides, it stings and hurts my eyes very much, regardless of how careful I am with the rinsing. I wouldn't buy it nor recommend it to anyone. My Dove solid soap bar is much better than this!
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Stash
AngelOnFire 1/21/2010 10:02:00 AM
I got this in the SuperStash. When I first saw it, I wasn't quite sure how it would work with my cold, green / blueish eyes. Stash is a muted khaki with golden shimmer that makes it look metallic. No glitter here. I can see the colour working beautifully on brown / hazel eyes, but it doesn't do much for me. It is too similar to my own eye colour, only much warmer. The application is smooth, it doesn't drag your eyelids at all. It lasts all day as well, but note that I don't have oily eyelids and eyeshadow doesn't crease on me easily. I can see myself using it now and then to work, but won't repurchase as there are more suitable colours out there for me. I'd give it 3.5 lippies if possible, because the formula is great.
I got this in the SuperStash. Rockstar is a warm, dark purple eggplant colour. I love this colour. It is muted, so it doesn't grab any attention, but re-diverts it to my cool, green eyes and makes them pop like very few other liners. UD 24/7 Ransom does this too, but is far less subtle while doing it. The application is smooth, it doesn't drag your eyelids at all. It lasts all day as well, but note that I don't have oily eyelids and eyeshadow doesn't crease on me easily. Once I finish my little, sample-sized baby liner (which will take some time), I'll definitely pick this up.
Eyeliner -Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Eyepencil in Corrupt
AngelOnFire 1/21/2010 9:40:00 AM
I got this in the SuperStash. Now this is an awesome liner. Corrupt is similar to the popular Bourbon. Both have silver glitter, both are brown. But in contrast to the warm, brown Bourbon, Corrupt is a gorgeous, cold umber. Furthermore, the fine silver glitter suits Corrupt, whereas when looking at Bourbon I can't help but to think that golden glitter would suit Bourbon miles better. The application is smooth, it doesn't drag your eyelids at all. It lasts all day as well, but note that I don't have oily eyelids and eyeshadow doesn't crease on me easily. Corrupt hasn't been released as a full-size. If it were, I'd pick it up without hesitation.