In a nutshell: gorgeous deep blue, crappy packaging. The brush, oy... if you think the OPI Pro-Wide brush is bad, you ain't seen nothin' yet! Trying to paint my nails with the Insta-Dri brush is like trying to paint them with a mop, and I've got fairly large hands for a woman. I can't imagine what using these will be like for someone with small hands and nails. And the bottle pisses me off. Yeah, the triangle design is cute. But 9.17 mL?! For the price of a full-sized polish? That's just low, Sally. Especially since these collections seem to come and go with distressing regularity. The odds of being able to find another Blazing Blue once I finish this one are low unless a miracle occurs and SH adds Insta-Dri to its permanent line. Despite all of the above, though, Blazing Blue rates a 4 on color alone. If you're looking for a dark denim blue with just enough shimmer to light up in the sun, you've found one! The sheen seems to vary between blue and purple depending on the light. Lovely.
Eyeliner -Paula's Choice - Constant Color Gel Eyeliner in Earthen
Electrogirl 1/13/2009 12:45:00 AM
I'm terribly torn about this product. The color is absolutely perfect on me; the neutral medium brown I searched for so long. But I find the texture difficult to work with. I prefer soft gel liners, like Bobbi Brown's. Paula's formula is much more solid, like a lip balm. It's practically impossible to use my favorite Sephora angled liner brush with this. I have to use a chunkier BB-style liner brush. It doesn't apply as smoothly as I'd like, either. But once I get it on, it looks so nice! Perfect brown to create a natural look on pale skin and blue eyes. Maybe if I nuke the jar in the microwave first...
I must rave about my clear MegaShine. This is my potion of choice when my lips are feeling dry and I don't feel like taking the time to pop and apply a vitamin E capsule. I keep trying different lip balms that advertise their moisturizing properties, and I keep going back to NYX. So smooth, and my lips feel soft even when the gloss wears away! It feels like it sinks into my poor dry lips instead of just sitting on top. Checked the ingredients, and aha- tocopheryl acetate, a form of vitamin E. And, of course, Clear performs quite well at pumping up the shine on lipstick or bare lips. I could do without the doe-foot applicator (I prefer squeeze tubes) and the annoying fake fruit smell, but the smell goes away almost as soon as you put it on. Check NYX MegaShine out if your lips are suffering from winter dryness!
Lips -Flirt - Tintalicious Lip Sheer SPF 15 in Flame
Electrogirl 12/30/2008 2:57:00 AM
As the other reviewers have said, this is a lovely color once you put it on, but a hard one to describe! On me, it looks like a cross between brick-red and wine with a coppery sheen. 'Flame' fits it well, since this is a very warm (even hot!) color. I'll see if I can figure out how to put a photo into a product review and show you all what I mean. I would call this a semi-sheer rather than a true sheer; not opaque like 'real' lipstick, but definitely more pigmented than most sheers. It fades quite prettily, leaving an even stain behind. A bit much for my usual daytime look, but it sizzles at parties and at night! A final note: the sunscreen sadly does not include adequate UVA protection, so I would recommend wearing a lip balm with sunscreen underneath Tint-a-licious during the day. I will overlook this minor flaw for the gorgeous color!
Eyeliner -Prestige - Hi-Definition Fluid Eyeliner Stylist
Electrogirl 12/5/2008 3:20:00 AM
Wow, I can't believe there aren't more reviews for this little drugstore gem! This is one of the few marker-type eyeliners I've been able to find. The markers are so much easier to use than brushes or 'inkwell' felt-tips (hello, L'Oreal Lineur Intense), I wonder why more companies don't make them. First, let me state that I do not wear black eyeliner, and I don't paint my waterline. I can't tell you how black Prestige's black is, or whether this works on the waterline. I can tell you that I love their Slate color. It's a neutral dark gray, no shimmer or sparkle, that goes with lots of different looks. Awesome substitute for black, when you want a softer look or if (like me) you think black is too harsh for your complexion. This stuff lasts all day even on my uber-oily skin. In fact, if I'm careless about removing my makeup in the evening, I'll wake up with most of my eyeliner still on! Treat this like a waterproof eyeliner when it comes to taking it off. The short, stubby 'pen' takes a little adjustment of one's grip, but the lovely felt tip more than makes up for that. Pointed finely enough to satisfy my desire for razor-thin eyeliner, yet flexible and soft enough that one could easily create a more dramatic look with a fraction more pressure. (And I do mean a fraction. I barely touch the marker tip to my skin in order to get that thin line.) The tip has stayed nice and wet so far with no shaking required; it's only been a couple weeks, so I'll update if it dries out prematurely. I store the eyeliner on its side in my traincase, not sure whether this makes a difference. In addition to my beloved Slate, this eyeliner comes in Black, Black/Brown, Navy, and... was that last one Teal or Wine? Argh, I can't remember. No true brown, alas. :( I will have to keep hunting for my one true brown eyeliner, but I have found my gray eyeliner in Slate!
Concealers -Neutrogena - 3-in-1 Concealer for Eyes
Electrogirl 12/4/2008 2:51:00 PM
Concealers seem to be one of those YMMV products, kind of like mascara. I got this as an undereye concealer on recommendations from MUA. It may work for other people, but not for me. First, I can't get an exact color match. The closest I've found is Fair, which is slightly too light and pink for my coloring. Second... it creases like mad minutes after I apply. I've tried applying it with and without moisturizer underneath, various types of brushes, fingers, even a sponge. Nothing seems to prevent the creasing. I've kept trying to find some way to use this stuff that works, because I love the SPF (that's why it got 2 lippies), but I have now run out of ideas. Alas, Neutrogena 3-in-1, we were just not meant to be.
Lip Treatments -Hawaiian Tropic - SPF 45 plus Aloe Vera Sunblock Lip Balm
Electrogirl 7/4/2008 1:02:00 AM
I finally managed to find these, and got the vanilla-mint (aka "Herbal Aloe") kind. The feel is pretty good, light and smooth. This is not a terribly emollient lip balm, and it sinks in pretty fast. I consider this a plus since that means it'll be easy to wear lipgloss over my lipscreen without having the color slide all over. The scent is light and pleasant, with the vanilla more prominent than the mint. There is a slight minty tingle when you first put it on. As for the taste, all I can think of is that Hawaiian Tropic must have reformulated these recently! I tasted my lips several times while wearing this, trying to detect the sunscreen taste that so many people complained about, and all I got was a slight sweet taste. Perhaps HT added artificial sweetener to cover the sunscreen taste? Maybe it's just the original formula that tastes bad? Whatever, my vanilla-mint HT balm tastes fine. SPF 45, UVA protection, decent wearability... I found my lipscreen! Now I can wear any of my lipglosses without worrying about sun damage to my lovely lips! A definite repurchase.
This review is for the Whole Foods brand grapeseed oil. I recently started using Shiseido sunscreen, and learned that one must either use a cleansing oil or pre-cleanse with oil to get that stuff off. Well, I had a couple bottles of oil around for when I get the urge to play with aromatherapy, grapeseed and apricot kernel. I chose grapeseed as my pre-cleanse since it's lighter and has natural antioxidants. Rubbing oil onto your face definitely feels weird. Grapeseed oil has a distinct nutty scent that I find very comforting, but I suggest you sniff before you buy. Scents are a very personal preference. Not only does it get my Shiseido off, this stuff melts off even stubborn makeup and doesn't irritate my contact-wearing eyes at all! Hasn't broken me out yet, and there's just enough left after using my foaming cleanser to make my face feel soft and moisturized. I haven't noticed any drying effect, but then my skin is quite oily to begin with.
Very pale, VERY frosty pink. It looks more colorful when swatched on the arm, which is why I bought it. But on my pigmented lips... hello 60s! Frosty pale pink mod lips! I realize some people like pale shimmery lips, but I think that style makes me look washed out. With some experimentation, I found a way to use this that actually looks pretty good on me. Line & fill with a nude pencil like NYX Natural, then apply a very small amount of Sweetheart to the bottom lip. As in, scrape most of the gloss off the wand when you take it out of the tube and smear on what's left. Smoosh lips. Use wand to get the places that still don't have any gloss. The end result is a pinky-nude lip with a sane amount of shimmer. I wouldn't repurchase this color, but I'll definitely try more colors of MegaShine. The texture is a happy medium between glue (I'm looking at you, MAC Lipglass) and slippery-smooth-fadeaway (yeah, that's you, Neutrogena MoistureShine). Sweetheart gets 4 lippies because the product itself is good stuff, and it would work really well for the pale, shimmery lips look.
Lip Gloss -Cover Girl - WetSlicks Lip Gloss - Wine Shine
Electrogirl 6/27/2008 2:31:00 AM
Ah, Wine Shine. It looks dark and scary in the tube, but sheers out nicely on application. The reviewers before me did a good job of describing the color, so I won't go over that same ground. If you like opaque, super-pigmented glosses, WetSlicks aren't for you; check out NYX MegaShine for that. WetSlicks give sheer, shiny, nonsticky color that I love for daytime. You have to reapply fairly often to maintain the shine, but any nonsticky gloss is that way. The deeper colors, like Wine Shine, leave a colored stain when the shine wears off, so you don't completely lose your look. Good stuff for a good price!
Misc Beauty Tools -Illuminare - Fast Application Pad
Electrogirl 6/25/2008 8:25:00 PM
I can't believe nobody's reviewed this little gem yet! Possibly the best thing I've ever encountered for applying foundation. And machine-washable, to boot! The Fast Application Pad is a teardrop-shaped cloth pad a bit smaller than the palm of my hand. The functional side is made of a nappy beige cloth, sort of like terry but much softer and finer. The reverse is leopard-print velour, purely decorative. According to Illuminare, the inside is an antibacterial mesh. Why use this instead of a sponge or brush? Three reasons. One, somehow it does not absorb your foundation! I have no idea how or why, but it doesn't. Excess foundation just kind of sits on the outside. Two, it's incredibly easy to get a smooth, flawless finish with this thing. Put a dab of foundation on your skin and spread it around with the nappy side of the pad. No brush skills required. Three, it's cheaper than the famous MAC foundation brush at $10 apiece. Really easy to wash, too. Just pop it in a lingerie bag and wash it with your towels. Presto, clean and sanitized application pad! Illuminare foundation really does behave much better when you use the Fast Application Pad. You don't get truly full coverage the way you do with a brush, but the end result is more natural looking. I haven't tried other brands with it yet, but I imagine that other thick, hard-to-blend, medium to full coverage foundations would also apply well. The Fast Application Pad might also work for creme blushes. At $10, what have you got to lose?
Wow, I wonder if I got the same product as the previous reviewer! I've had my PC powder brush for several months now, and it's decent value for the money. Haven't noticed any dye coming off when I wash it, and I use Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser on my brushes... that would get any loose dye, believe me! There's a stray hair or two every once in a while, but not enough to be bothersome. I've felt softer brushes at Sephora (UD Little Buddha brush, mmm) and the MAC counter, but there's not enough difference to shell out the extra bucks. Applies my loose powder just fine. This doesn't get 5 lippies because I reserve that rating for "OMG this is fabulous!!!" products. It is, however, a good solid brush that serves me faithfully and well.
These are rapidly becoming some of my most used eyeshadows. The color descriptions below are pretty accurate. I have a couple NYX singles and think the pigmentation in the trio *might* be a teeny bit lower, but it's hard to tell. I like a soft natural look most days anyway, and this trio is awesome for that. Sweep Aloha onto the entire lid, Mink Brown in the crease, a bit of Deep Bronze in the outer crease, and voila! The thing I love most is that these colors don't overpower my pale complexion when applied with a light hand, nor do they look chalky or over-the-top frosty, nor do they vanish when applied. A happy medium.
Cleansers -Olay - Gentle Foaming Face Wash w/ Aloe (Sensitive-Skin)
Electrogirl 6/18/2008 2:57:00 PM
Normally I love Neutrogena's Fresh Foaming Cleanser, but I'm sure most of you know how annoying it is to travel with a pump product! So when I was preparing for a two-week vacation, I went to the drugstore looking for an inexpensive cleanser suitable for oily skin that was NOT in a pump. Easier said than done. Finally I spotted this product tucked away on a bottom shelf. Cheap, check. Tube, check. Foaming, check. Absence of any red flags such as 'moisturizing', 'cream', 'emollient', check. And hey, if I didn't like it, it was only $5. It's several days into my vacation now, and so far the Olay is working well. The tube did not leak in my cosmetic bag. (If you're worried about that, though, I highly recommend using painter's tape to tape the flip-top shut. You can get it at any home improvement store.) I'm not sure how well this cleanser removes makeup, since I pre-cleanse with oil to get my Shiseido sunscreen off, but it does remove all the oil. I don't notice any residue, perhaps because I use a washcloth. And the tube's big enough that I can use this stuff as a body wash! Overall, this is a winner for traveling. It won't replace my beloved Neutrogena when I get home, but if you're looking for a good cheap multi-tasker in a travel-friendly container, give Gentle Foaming Face Wash a try.
Mom gave me two 6-pan palettes of Arden eyeshadow two or three years ago. I strongly suspect a Costco special was involved. ;) Texture: Pretty nice, but I expect softer from a high-end company. Color Selection: One palette is matte neutrals, the other is shimmery colors with a bit more drama. Can't really speak for the whole line here. Pigmentation: Kinda sucks, really. It's a shame because many of the colors are so pretty. The darker shades, such as Cobalt, show up well; that one actually makes a nice liner. But I have to use the spongy thing to make the pale shades, such as Vanilla, show up. The light shimmers, such as Gold, work well as washes. White Pearl makes a pretty good highlighter for daytime, since the low pigmentation means it's a sheer pure-white shimmer. I'll use up my favorite shades from these palettes, but I certainly won't repurchase.