The Palladio Eye Ink comes in a sturdy and compact little tube that’s ideal for traveling. It has a typical rotate-y cap thing that’s easy to remove, but will seal the product off well enough that the felt tip liner won’t just dry out and get useless. However, you do have to shake the tube (with the cap on of course) in order to get the product going. These are pen type felt tip liners, so you do get a lot of control in terms of where you want your lines to go. However, as is expected of felt tips, it’s a little bit more difficult to thin out a line especially as you approach the inner corner. There’s just enough give to the tip that’s still great for steady control, but I find it to be a wee bit too stiff if I want to create a specific shape that requires… more swooping lines and such. I guess I wouldn’t use any felt tip liner for jobs like those anyway. The packaging is pretty good quality and the applicator doesn’t fray easily. I use the brown one quite a bit and the tip is still as good as new. The entire thing is about 3.5 inches long, and a few people have commented that the thing is too short to handle comfortably. Personally, the length isn't a problem for me. I find the size quite nifty, especially for bringing around as an everyday liner. I do understand how some people may have a bit of trouble maneuvering it though, so I suggest checking it out in person and judging for yourself. Don't test it on your actual eye though (gross)! Just kind of bring it near your llid and pretend to line your eye. I have the shades Black, Dark Brown, and Navy. I find that the labels rub off quite easily, which can be annoying for someone like me who has to refer to product names often. The formulation is on the watery side and is quite inconsistent in terms of pigmentation. The black is pretty opaque, while the brown is just a bit less so. The navy, on the other hand, applies quite unevenly and is the most watery of the three. It is such a lovely color though, and not impossible to work with. It is especially important to shake the tube well so that the product doesn’t come out as watery. Palladio describes the Eye Ink to be fast drying, which I have NOT found to be true. Once I have this on my lid, I find that I have to keep my eyes lowered for quite some time (I would say at least a minute) before the product sets. Otherwise, I end up with empty patches that I have to fill in again. Once the product sets though, it will stay put. It is pretty water resistant but will easily come off with regular makeup remover. All in all, I think the Palladio Eye Ink is on the better side of midrange liquid liners, which is why I said I'd buy it again despite my critique on the formula. I like it much better than the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner, which is even more annoyingly watery and has a felt tip that frays like a nerd’s nerves. For the price, I didn’t really expect the Eye Ink to be perfect, and it did very much exceed my expectations. Even the navy one is something that I reach for quite often. If I liked the other colors enough, I think I would actually buy them, too.
This is the best lightweight foundation I've ever tried. It looks like SKIN. What it WON'T do is provide coverage for scars, hyperpigmentation, etc. However, you really don't buy a foundation this sheer and lightweight for that; you buy it precisely because it feels and looks virtually like nothing on the skin, and what it WILL do is even out your skin tone. For just an everyday look, I don't like putting on a heavy coverage foundation anyway, because I like to use a heavy duty concealer instead. This way, there's not a ton of gunk on my face- gunk that will tend to slip off and have to be maintained throughout the day. The Face and Body lasts a very long time, without slippage or unsightly clumping and flaking. When I first put it on half of my face, I panicked for a moment because I didn't think it was helping at all. However, I went to look in a larger mirror in a better lit room, and the difference was unmistakable. Half of my face looked healthy and alive, and the other half looked like its normal sad self. The difference was huge in terms of looking healthy, but NOT in terms of skin tone. #32 was an absolutely perfect match for my NC 25-30 skin. Because of the sheerness of the foundation, the shades are quite forgiving too. If you go a little bit too light or a little bit too dark, you still won't look like you're wearing a mask. Of course, don't go TOO far off your natural skin tone if you're going for a natural look! This does have a dewy finish, which I usually don't like for my combination/oily skin, BUT I find that setting it with powder pretty much fixes that problem. Even with a matte foundation, I have to retouch throughout the day anyway, and the Face and Body isn't impervious to the effects of a mattifying powder, so it's really not an issue for me. This is why I think both dry-skinned and oily-skinned people can wear this. It gives dry skin a glow, and can absolutely be mattified for oily skin. I apply this with a foundation brush, which I expected to leave streaks, but the formula is so fantastic that the bristles don't leave a mark! If, by any chance, one does get brush streaks, it's not that hard to take a sponge to smooth everything out (DAB, don't swipe, or else the already thin formula will just totally disappear). I don't like the strong fragrance either, but to be honest, it's not a big deal. I mean, I don't SMELL my own face, and none of the people I talk to do that either. You'll smell the perfume on your brush and maybe once you pump the product out, but you won't smell it once it's on your face. I'm also really glad that it now comes with a pump. You still have to shake the bottle though, to make sure that things aren't separated and gross. When I tried a tester in the store, the pump practically SPAT out a ton of product; that didn't happen with the bottle that I bought, but perhaps just to be sure, one should check if the pump is working properly. This IS a bit expensive- a lot more expensive than MAC's Face and Body, but definitely a MUCH better product. One only needs a little for every application. If you find that you need more coverage, though the MUFE Face and Body is totally buildable, it's really not worth the work. Just go for a concealer. Overall, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this foundation, and I think the price is fair for the quality you're getting.
As a lid or crease color, I despise MAC Carbon. It's very, very, very difficult to work with. It doesn't glide on easily, doesn't apply evenly or opaquely, isn't very pigmented, and doesn't have a buttery texture. I honestly don't know why people consider this to be a MAC must-have when it's such a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE eye shadow. Some people have found uses for this, of course, most significantly for deepening the color of other eye shadows. It's BLACK. Of course it's going to do that. The question is whether or not it is easier to achieve ANY desired result with this eye shadow than with others, and for me, the answer is a definite "no." Using this for anything that requires packing on color or some sort of blending will result in a lot of frustration and difficulty. This is not to say that you CAN'T achieve the results you want; you just can't get there as quickly as you would with a better black eye shadow. Swatching this from finger to arm shows how awful it is. If it won't transfer from skin-to-skin, then obviously, it's going to transfer from brush-to-skin even worse! One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist (or a makeup artist) to know that! I also wouldn't call this the blackest black ever. I have several blacks that are not only much deeper and pigmented, they're also generally a darker shade. In my opinion, Carbon also registers quite chalky. I would call it a very dark grey rather than a true black. However, I WILL say that Carbon's staying power is pretty good. As a liner, I might even go so far as to say it's excellent. This is because a liner brush is less fluffy and you will therefore be able to really dig into the product as much as you need to just to get the color to show up. It's excellent by itself for lining the eyes and also great for smoking out and setting actual eye liners. I also use this to cut my crease and I find that there's very little to no fading, which would be frustrating to deal with if you're working with obvious and sharp lines. In short, the only way to use this without wanting to pick a better black eye shadow is to use it with liner brushes or angled brushes. The texture will give you hell otherwise.
Mary-Lou Manizer is a gorgeous champagne shade that, when applied, does not look ashy on the skin- even skin that's darker. It has a smooth, buttery consistency that makes it glide on without much work. It comes in a large compact containing 8.5 grams of product, which is a HUGE amount of highlighter! Inside is a very convenient large mirror, which I like because other products by theBalm come with really teeny, inaccurate mirrors. My main problem with this is the staying power. I find that it disappears on me within an hour or two. Fortunately, it does not leave behind unattractive chunks of glitter on my face. When it disappears, it disappears entirely. This is a little annoying because more than having to reapply (which is normal for makeup wearers), I just don't like lugging around the large compact, which, by the way, is not that sturdy so I'm also constantly afraid of breaking it. I prefer my highlighters to be more pearly or glossy than shimmery, and this, when applied with the wrong brush, is definitely shimmery. Fallout is also a problem if you use this with a brush that isn't dense enough. I apply this with a small, oval-shaped brush that's soft but not fluffy, and this gives me a much better result. This method concentrates the product on a smaller surface and applies the shimmers closer together, which is why you get a pearlier effect. For the amount of product you get, this is definitely a good deal. It IS worth looking into and checking out, especially if you're just getting into highlighters. It does look gorgeous when applied, and can successfully produce that non-disco, pearly effect I love so much. I just think that there are several aspects in which this product can be improved- most significantly with the staying power. Though I love most of the products by theBalm, I just can't imagine myself repurchasing this even if I used up all 8.5 grams of it.
Fantastic eyebrow kit. It was shocking to me how well this worked. I thought the wax would totally dry up and be useless within days; it's been months and the wax is as good as it was when I first got it. I thought the powder would be too soft to actually last on my brows and too low-quality to help in any way; it sets the wax, helping it stay on all day and can also feather out or soften the shade if you want it to. The brushes are of course useless, but I didn't take a lippy off for that because honestly, when have we ever fallen in love with ANY brush that comes with a makeup product? For this eyebrow kit, I use my own full-size angled liner brushes- anything like a 266 or 208. I use a synthetic-bristled one for the wax, and then a stiffer, thicker (still angled) brush for the powder. I find that I don't need a brow gel to keep the hairs in place. The wax does a fantastic job of doing that. I have the kit in Dark. I got it when I had my natural hair color, which is a very dark, almost-black brown. This eyebrow kit looked very natural on me then. Now, my hair is a much lighter mahogany brown, and the eyebrow kit is fantastic for when I want a more defined, stronger brow. If this thing were priced twice more than I paid for it, I would still buy it. Fantastic cruelty-free product.
Concealers -Revlon - Age Defying Moisturizing Concealer (New) [DISCONTINUED]
gunkfury 3/21/2011 6:09:00 AM
This liquid concealer has a very light, almost watery consistency that makes it very easy to spread along the under-eye area. A miniscule DOT on my finger is almost too much for BOTH my eyes, so I take care not to squeeze the tube very much at all. The texture is really smooth and the finish is very satiny, but not too dry. This is fantastic for me because while I have oily skin, my under-eye area gets really dry, which is a pain because obviously, my face concealers have to be a completely different formulation. The staying power is standard. Where I live, it's very hot throughout the year, and I find that this does start fading after a few hours, which is STILL very good as most concealers start creasing or caking up within a few MINUTES, even with setting powder. Also, while this does fade, I find that it doesn't crease or cake up at all! It doesn't accentuate flakiness, and does not settle into folds and fine lines. This also contains SPF, which is good for me, since I ESPECIALLY need SPF for everyday because where I live, the sun shines like nobody's business, and there's virtually nowhere to hide from it. I've also been photographed (with flash) and I was surprised to find that the concealer didn't make the light bounce and give me the dreaded reverse raccoon eyes. The coverage, I would say, is medium. To be honest, I don't think this will work for those with darker under-eye circles. I also don't think this would provide enough coverage for acne scarring or other more serious blemishes. And because the consistency is the way it is, I wouldn't recommend it for spot concealing because you're going to end up just trying to blend it out, which will also sheer out the spot where you actually need it to be most opaque. While the packaging is very hygienic and simple, I wish there were a way for it to dispense less product because seriously, one WEE little dot is enough for both my under-eye circles. To be fair, I can't really imagine how anyone would come up with a different/better packaging. Another downside to this is the laughable color range. It only comes in four colors, none of which go very dark at all. Light and Light Medium are VERY close, too, the latter being only slightly darker. I think that's such a waste of shade space if they really just wanted to come out with four shades! All in all, for me, this was effective, cheap, had SPF, moisturized, and exactly what I was looking for.
Concealers -TheBalm - Liquid TimeBalm Spot Concealer
gunkfury 3/18/2011 11:39:00 AM
I purchased this primarily because I needed a concealer that was going to help with my acne. Actually, I bought it for the wellness of my skin in general because it has really been acting up lately. This contains tea tree oil, which has antibacterial properties that help with zits and inflammation. It comes in a lipgloss-like tube and has a doe-foot applicator. I was surprised to find that it did actually help with the zits, more noticeably with the larger ones. Also, my dermatologist put me on tretinoin a month ago, and certain parts of my skin have been really red and irritated; this concealer actually helped soothe those areas! This does have that tea tree oil scent, which I totally LOVE, so it was a plus in my book. I find this liquid concealer to be a little dry once it settles on your skin- not good for my currently flaky face- but it still didn't accentuate my dry patches as much as other concealers. Considering how much good it does for the inflammation, I have accepted this trade-off goodnaturedly. The coverage, however, is not exactly at par with heavy duty concealers, which is to be expected from a liquid. I use this mainly to cover up acne, acne scars, redness, and inflammation, and I find that using a little bit at a time and building it up helps provide more coverage. If you just use a big dollop in one go, you'll end up blending it out more and just have your flaws peek through anyway. A huge con is that this only comes in three shades Fair, Nude, and Honey. I use Nude, but it is a bit too dark for my NC 25-30 skin. Fair was much too light. Despite some people saying that concealer should be lighter than your skin, I chose Nude because it was actually closer to my coloring and I knew that I would find it easier to blend out. I generally prefer concealer to be the exact color of my skin (for the under-eye area, I do sometimes go the tiniest bit lighter), but in this case, Nude was the best option. The foundation I use OVER it evens everything out anyway. I do not use this concealer for the under-eye area as I find it a little too dry for that. For the parts of my face that are still normal and not too ravaged by the tretinoin, the dryness is all right because I have Combo-Oily skin. Still, it does fade after a while (around three-four hours, for me). I bring it around with me anyway because of the convenient packaging and the skin benefits. At this point in my (dermatological) life, this product is a godsend. I was really surprised to find that not only did it cover blemishes, it actually did help my skin feel better; I really thought the tea tree oil bit was just marketing. This is a good everyday concealer, especially for people with real skin issues, but it WON'T conceal intense hyperpigmentation or other blemishes that would need heavier coverage. Despite this, I would buy this product again because I don't think my skin issues will be leaving me soon (losing faith in tretinoin because I don't see any improvement). *theBalm is a cruelty-free company. :)
I have to admit that I bought this mainly because of the hype. My theory for this hype is simple: the name is just so darn fantastic. It's sexy, it's ballsy, it's attention-grabbing, and it's definitely not difficult to remember. However, the product itself, I feel, does not quite do its name- or the hype- justice. Let's first discuss what it is. It's a mostly pink blush with peach undertones, which makes it very universal. There's gold shimmer in it, too, and it's infused into the product very well, meaning the shimmer doesn't just end up everywhere on your face. The lasting power is also very good. Orgasm not being as bright as other Nars blushes, I do find myself reapplying this after a few hours. However, the color doesn't just disappear leaving the gold speckles seemingly scattered on your cheek. Orgasm is SUPPOSED to be sort of sheer, buildable, and natural, which is why you don't get intense color pigmentation with just one swipe. So, yes, this is a VERY good blush. It's very high quality, as one can expect from a Nars blush. However, I find that Orgasm isn't really all that unique. I'm not just talking about the shade or color here- I think it's fair to assume that the ridiculous amount of Orgasm dupes is there BECAUSE, duh, Orgasm was there to copy. I'm saying the effect that this blush produces isn't earth-shatteringly gorgeous. So yeah, it's a pinky peach with gold shimmer. That's it. That's what makes up the color. Now, I don't know about you, but that doesn't really sound unbelievably exciting to me. I just feel like Orgasm, surrounded by all the other gorgeous Nars blushes, doesn't really stand out that amazingly. In fact, if it were surrounded by other non-Nars blushes, I STILL would pass on it, even after swatching. Overall, this is a good blush. It's just not the magnificent godsend everyone's making it out to be. If you're interested/curious about it at all, just be sure you're looking at it past its phenomenal name. That's fair, right? :)
I've noticed that a lot of the negative reviews on this product was due to the reviewers' dissatisfaction with, get this, THE SHADE. Before buying anything, especially expensive makeup, do your research, check out pictures, and if you don't have time to do those, it's not that difficult to swatch something first in the store. If you're ordering online, you're relying on YOUR judgment based on the pictures you're seeing. In any case, unless the product is horribly misrepresented on its official website, it is YOUR fault if you don't like the color you end up with. Companies and product developers are not gods. They cannot possibly predict which color will fit EACH and EVERY skin tone the people who order have. YOU saw it. YOU judged it. YOU bought it. Ricepaper is a frost finish. It is ridiculous to hate it because it's frosty. :| When you swatch Ricepaper, it looks like a really pale yellowy gold. In fact, the pan register looks much the same way. Therefore, it is also ridiculous to hate it because it's pale. Or yellow. Or gold. :| Now, about the shadow itself. It is well pigmented, smooth, and the miniscule shimmer in it that makes it frosty is infused into the product well enough that you don't get fall-out. This is a smooth shadow (unlike Carbon, ick!), but it is not the smoothest, butteriest shadow out there. It's not difficult to work with AT ALL, though. A few taps into it and you get just enough product on your fluffy brush to highlight your browbone and/or inner corners. Getting rougher with it using a stiffer brush (ooh, that sounded naughty) will definitely pack on the pale color on the lid. If you're looking to flatter your skin tone, this is particularly great for warm undertones. I find that this shadow looks awesome with browns and golds. It's just subtle enough to compliment those shades without being totally ineffective. Ricepaper is not so pale that it's white and chalky-looking, and it's definitely dark enough that the yellows in it WILL show up if you want them to. The staying power is pretty standard. I've never really had to reapply this, but then again, of course, it's more difficult to notice fading with a pale color. Though I find it very difficult to imagine that I would EVER hit pan, just because I have a ton of other pale eyeshadows and I love variety, I WOULD buy this again if I did indeed run out of it as it is one of the most underrated, gorgeous eyeshadows by MAC.
First off, I want to say that I feel in my heart that this product needs some serious defending against unfair detractors. When reviewing a lipstick/eyeshadow, I really don't think it's being objective when you're rating it based on how well it suited YOU. There are a ton of shades out there, and they can't ALL fit EVERY skin tone. Yes, there are more universal shades that will look good on most people, but those are exceptions. I wouldn't give a blue lipstick a terrible rating just because I couldn't pull it off or because it obviously won't look flattering/natural on me. I have a ton of red lipsticks, as I happen to love them. I have orangey ones, plummy ones, pinky ones, purply ones, bluey ones, true reds, the whole shebang! I hate that rule that says if you have a warm skin tone, you HAVE to go for a more orangey lipstick, etc. Yes, some lipsticks may look more flattering on you, which is awesome IF THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE GOING FOR. Don't let these "rules" put a damper on your creativity, ladies! Having said my piece, let's get to the review! Sorry for that diatribe. In the Red is seriously the best matte red I've EVER tried. The staying power is ridiculous. I eat, drink, smoke, talk, sweat, kiss people, and this pretty much stays on my lips (Note: I know a lot of people have MAC's Russian Red so I'll use it for reference. If you're gonna be comparing the two in terms of staying power, I can tell you that In the Red totally kicks Russian Red's butt) . It is SO low maintenance. I'm not going to say it will stay there for freaking ever- you reapply lipstick when you have to, it's not rocket science- but reapplication isn't even that big of a deal with this lipstick as you only have to fill in the small spots where it's come off. You don't have to be extremely careful with it or anything. The staying power being what it is, you might expect the trade off to be in terms of application; I am delighted to tell you that there are absolutely no problems with application. The color glides on totally opaque. There is enough slip that it'll be easy to get on your lips with or without a brush, but not so much that you'll get bleeding. It's just the perfect formulation. I also find that it's flattering on most people- actually, everyone I know who's tried this looks awesome with it on- so I guess that makes it a more or less universal red. I think I detect some brownish undertones to this lipstick which grounds it so that it's not so bright that it's garish, but not so muted that it no longer makes a statement. On ME (NC 25-30 for reference), and IMO, this is just the PERFECT register. Depending on the look you're going for and what kind of personality you have, this can totally be daytime appropriate. Personally, I wear this ALL THE TIME (even at shoots, where everyone gets sweaty and gross)- morning, noon, afternoon, night. The staying power really comes in handy! This being a matte lipstick, don't expect it to be moisturizing. That's what exfoliants, petroleum jelly, lip balm, and water are there for. In comparison to other matte lipsticks, In the Red is STILL heaps better than others when it comes to hydration. It does not exacerbate the dryness of lips. It's not going to miraculously get rid of flaky skin if it was already there when you put the lipstick on, in which case that is your fault and not the product's, but you're not going to end up feeling like you have to peel the lipstick-stained skin off because it's totally sucked the living daylights out of your lips. The price is fantastic, especially for the quality. Yes, Revlon's matte lipsticks are much more expensive than, say, the Wet 'n' Wild ones, but the Revlon ones are INFINITELY better (most noticeably in the sturdier packaging; WnW's lipstick packaging is atrocious) and these are not even comparable. I am CRAZY about In the Red. I am going to buy it over and over and over and over, despite the 20something other red lipsticks I have in my stash. Consistency - GUNKTASTIC Ease of Application - GUNKTASTIC Staying Power - GUNKTASTIC Shade (by this I mean, if we're rating it as a universal shade, how wearable is it for people) - GUNKFREAKINGTASTIC Packaging - nothing much to say about it. It's sturdy, it's sleek, it does its job Price - GUNKTASTIC. So worth the money. Am I forgetting something? Oh! Revlon is cruelty-free! ;) In conclusion, this is an INCREDIBLE lipstick and if everyone had it, the world would be a funner (and prettier) place.
Eye Shadow -Wet 'n' Wild - ColorIcon Palette in Lust [DISCONTINUED]
gunkfury 12/29/2010 5:29:00 AM
This was the first of the Color Icon palettes I got, and I was so happy with it that I went out and bought the other three: Pride, Greed, and Vanity. Lust is still my favorite out of the four. I find that it registers less chalky than the others, though by no means are any of these palettes too chalky for that issue to be of significant concern. The pigmentation is intense. The shadows are soft enough that they are easy to blend, but not so that you get fallout. I was very surprised to find that even the shimmery/glittery shades weren't at all difficult or messy to work with. I love that half of the colors are matte and the other half are shimmers. The packaging is pretty flimsy and the label was so easy to slide off that I mistakenly DID take it off. The two small applicators that come with it are useless to me- not that I keep any of those anyway because I just throw them away. Also, though these are by far the best CRUELTY-FREE cheap eyeshadows I've found, they ARE still a drugstore brand and without primer, these WILL fade or crease just like every other shadow. I usually stay away from drugstore shadows, but after seeing the reviews on these palettes, I thought I'd give them a try. I'm definitely glad I did.
For some reason, I'd always stocked up on pink blushes, and I was hankering for a change. I couldn't find a matte peach blush that excited me, but I DID find this orange one. It looks very, very scary orange in the pan, but when applied correctly, it's absolutely gorgeous. Of course, as is typical with Nars blushes, this one is very, very pigmented. I use a really light hand with it, and prefer to apply it with the MAC 187, instead of a dense blush brush. I very, very lightly tap the brush onto the pan once or twice. The color glides on smoothly and it's not difficult at all to get an even application, despite its intense pigmentation. People who have rated this product low because it's so pigmented are probably going wrong with the application. I'm rating this product for what it is and what it's meant to do, which is to give a really warm and intense color payoff. You don't buy a blush that's THIS orange and expect it to look sheer and give you a rosy glow. Maybe the color isn't right for some people, which means it's a skin tone-color complementing issue, and not necessarily a problem with the quality of the product. Of course, I have the same slight complaint with everybody else regarding the packaging, in that once powder or whatever sticks to it, it's not so easy to clean. My habits and storage don't really allow this to happen though, so I honestly don't even think about this minor detail. I've always liked the sleek, beautiful, velvety packaging from Nars. It's sturdy, protects the product well, and just looks really, really good! Also, the mirror is my favorite compact mirror; it's clear and accurate. The staying power is incredible. I don't think I've ever had to reapply this blush throughout the day. It's matte, but not at all chalky looking. You can't really expect anything less from Nars, which, in my book, have some of the best quality blushes around. I don't even mind how expensive it is because it's such a good product. Besides, considering how little you need for the color to show up, this will probably last, like, forever.