Hooo boy am I in trouble. I bypassed these shadows for several months without being tempted, and now that I've bought one, I want them all!! Bad to the Bronze is a beautiful taupe-bronze colour in the pot, that swatches on my NC44 skin tone as a cool shimmery beige-taupe. When I apply too much, it can appear as a silver-light-toned mess, but with a light hand and some black liner, it gives a wonderful subtly shimmery look suitable for day or night. I like it best when used as a base for other shadows, as the Color Tattoo wears like iron when worn by itself and ups the wearing time of any shadow worn over it. (I haven't tested the 24-hour claim, but I have worn it for 16 hours without it smudging, and I have very oily eyelids.) What makes this product so evil (in that it causes you to empty out your wallet for other Tattoos) is the dreamy consistency; it's light, never sticky, and applies like a dream, making you WANT to put it on every day. The only concern I have is that my shadow may dry out before I use it up, but only time will tell if that happens. At less that $8 a pop (in Canada, at least) I suggest that you join me in my lack of impulse control and pick up a pot.
Lipstick -L'Oreal - Colour Riche in Toasted Almond
idg 10/14/2012 3:00:00 AM
Oh. Oh my lawd no. This has been one one my worst lipstick experiments, but your mileage may vary. I was lassoed in to trying this lipstick because I've seen more than enough reviews claiming that this was a perfect colour for not only pale-skinned ladies, but for women of colour too...but not on my lips, that's for sure. In the tube, and on a lot of people, Toasted Almond comes across as a very lovely, creamy, moisturizing lipstick with a natural rosy-peach-brown colour and satin finish. My ideal everyday colour, if it had worked. Instead, due to my highly pigmented purplish-pink-grey lips (I wish I was kidding) and medium brown skin tone, this applied like a chalky beige-peach colour that make me look like an anemic, starving crack addict attempting the nude-lips trend. The moisturizing effect and satin finish was still there, though (as was the traditional L'oreal powdery perfume scent) but if your lips and skin tone are similar to mine in colour, I'm warning you, do NOT go there. I suppose I can't fault the lipstick as the formula's alright, but the colour is a risk you'll have to decide on yourself. I still can't figure out why this lipstick is so highly rated for women of my NC42-44 skin tone. Either most people have lips that are much less pigmented than mine (highly likely) or most people are wannabe starving crack addicts trying to be fashionable (also plausible).
I'm a little worried since this colour seems to be disappearing from drugstore shelves... Anyways, this is a beautiful mid-toned, neutral pink/mauve nail polish that imparts a pretty shine once dried, especially with two or more coats, or a light topcoat. Quite work-appropriate and suitable for a wide variety of skin tones, as it does not seem to lean particularly warm or cool. It also wears well (it worked for a week for me before it wore down and lost shine), and, I think, looks expensive enough to be mistaken for a pricier brand. It's a wonderful "everyday" shade that is easy to apply and even easier to layer, so why not give it a try? At $2-4 CDN, it's a steal!
My, my, this is a beautiful magenta-berry colour...too bad it chips faster than a bag of Lay's. (Yes, I know that does not make sense. Humour me.) Regardless of that, it does live up to the Top Speed name as I found the first coat to be touchably dry after a minute or so. It's a colour that I believe would suit most skin tones, too. The problem, as I've mentioned, is that it has a tendency to chip and wear away at the tip even after only one day of wear (especially if your nails are long). I only paid $2 for this so it's not much of a dealbreaker for me, but if you are paying $5 or more you may want to think about whether you'd rather buy a latte. I won't be buying it again as I'm sure there are other formulas that would last longer on me, and on you, too.
Mascara -Essence - I Love Extreme - Volume Mascara
idg 9/7/2012 3:15:00 AM
I hate to bring the ratings down on this one, but based on my experience with this mascara, I'm afraid I have no choice. My HG mascara is the super-black, super-volumizing Le Big Show by Annabelle Cosmetics, but since it runs $10-12 CDN, I purchased Essence's I Love Extreme mascara in the hopes that I could find a cheaper alternative. (Yes, I'm THAT cheap.) Perhaps I'm spoiled by Le Big Show, but I find that this mascara does not perform well. Yes, it volumizes, but not without massive clumping, even with only one coat. You might need to use a lash comb to get yourself sorted out. Secondly, it flakes like crazy, leaving me with raccoon eyes after after a couple of hours. And finally - though I knew this going in - it is not available in sealed packaging, so you may end up buying a tube that has been opened several times before purchase. I have a feeling that's what happened to me, as the formula and mascara wand were both clumpy and goopy upon opening, as if it had been open for awhile. The lesson, for me, is save your money and buy your HG if you can afford it. Then again, this may work for you, if you own a lash comb and are willing to risk the five dollars. Buyer beware, though, as you may end up with spider lashes and raccoon eyes just for the sake of some volume. There are better mascaras out there.
I'm not sure about the rest of you, but as far as my city goes, the new Color Icon bronzers (in Bikini Contest, Reserve Your Cabana, and Ticket to Brazil) are slowly replacing some of their previously manufactured bronzers. From my eye - and from reading some recent reviews - Reserve Your Cabana is a replacement of sorts for the light gold-yellow toned Acapulco Glow, Bikini Contest is similar to the red-bronze toned Goddess, and my new love Ticket to Brazil is similar to the darker golden-toned Princess. Now don't quote me on this, as I can only say it's true for my area. Regardless of whether of not we are the same skintone, I'm sure many of you will find a use for this gem. Those lighter than my NC42-44 self will find that this imparts a lovely golden-brown colour to the skin, and some of you may want to use this as a shimmering contour. For those of you of my skin tone who are looking for less of a bronzer and much more of a glowing effect, go no further. Because it is so close to my skintone, it barely gives colour to my face, but instead lends a golden glow to the skin. It's more of a shimmer highlight and less of a sparkle, despite how it looks in the pan. It simply wakes up your face and makes all of your makeup look less "flat". If you were wondering why women of colour would need a highlight, or where you would even be able to find one, stop and pick this up for your answer. As for staying power, it lasts a few hours on my oily skin, on top of my foundation (liquid or powder). There is sunscreen in it, but not enough to provide longstanding overall protection. And friends, it seems like Wet N Wild is listening to your complaints about their brushes being...ahem...toilet-related, so they are no brushes with this item, just a huge, relatively sturdy compact with beautiful, albeit powdery and fragile, product inside, so be careful. All in all this is definitely a product to waste some gas money on. It may take a few trips to find (especially as they're usually sold out in many places) but you're virtually guaranteed to get compliments. All this for less than a fiver. Canadian ladies, just as a tip, I've only been able to find this at Walmart. Head on over!
Powder -Unlisted Brand - Nacara - pressed powder foundation
idg 5/23/2012 3:39:00 PM
As an NC42-44 GGG woman, I often find it extremely difficult to find foundations (pressed or liquid) that fit my skintone while also fitting my budget. I passed upon the Nacara brand in Shoppers in Canada, and their pressed powders and tagline "Finally my colour!" caught my eye. Nacara caters to women of colour, and they have a wide range of both golden and red undertoned makeup to suit such skin tones. I haven't tried anything but their pressed powders, but colour me im-pressed (heh). Not only is it silky smooth, but it matches my skintone exactly (I wear Copacabana), and even as a gal with oily skin, I didn't find it to oxidize or change colour that much, and its lasting power clocks in at a few hours. It covers redness and flaws perfectly as well. As for packaging, it's nothing fancy, but is a standard black compact with mirror and a little sponge that you're better off throwing out, unless you like a very heavy, caked-on look (I myself use a kabuki brush to apply this powder). The price is more than I'd like at $19, but it's cheaper than any of my other current alternatives at Sephora, which are $26 and up - a price I had to pay in order to match my skintone. If you're in the market for a great pressed powder, I'd give this a try. As one makeup addict to another, you can save a few bucks and still look great...and you can always put those few bucks towards the next item you're already eyeing. :)
This gel eyeliner should come slapped with a warning sticker that says "Serious Business". I purchased the black colour and not only is it smooth, creamy, and easy to apply, but once it sets, it does not budge, even on my oil-slick eyelids. Should you be invited to an apocalypse, I'd suggest you wear this eyeliner, because even after your skin starts peeling and zombies take over the Earth, your liner will still look as fresh as ever. In fact, that's the one problem you may encounter with this liner - you also need a Serious Business eye makeup remover to get this off (or maybe just some WD-40). Regardless of whether or not I set the liner with eyeshadow, it lasts 18+ hours for me on the top lashline. When used on the waterline with a setting powder or pencil, it still stays on for an impressively long time (though not as much as on the top line). My dear makeup fiends, for this price ($4 CAD), I suggest you pick this up and give it a go. Buy a nice eyeliner brush as well, and you're set for the next post-nuclear war dinner party.
These lipsticks have been something of a godsend for me. I'm a woman with a tan skin tone (NC42-44), and I suffer from darkly pigmented lips as many of my ethnic brethren do. I have to be very careful and make sure that the lipstick I choose to wear is either 1) full coverage or 2) just sheer enough so that the shade does not "warp" on me (since lipsticks usually read much lighter on my lips than in the tube). The formula of this lipstick is divine for me, as it truly is full-coverage, satin-matte, and long-lasting, so that my two-toned lips reflect the same shade when I wear the lipstick. A previous reviewer mentioned that these colours would not look out of place at a Bobbi Brown counter, and I concur. Many of the shades would look flattering on a variety of skin tones. Although some of the colours swatch as too light for my particular skin tone, I've had far better luck with the shades in this line than I've had with most lines, including Revlon lipsticks (which I often find lean cool, whereas the Mega Lasts I own lean warm to neutral). The cons of the Mega Last products are that they are indeed drying and the lipstick case is not at all sturdy, so that the lipstick itself wobbles in the tube. In my case, I simply use some balm for the first problem and am just quite careful with the packaging. I often blot the colour for a stain, or wear it full-force when I want it to last. I find that the finish of these lipsticks makes my lips look plumper, so that's just another benefit of this line! For reference, I have four colours: 915B Spiked with Rum (a neutral medium pink-brown on me), 914C Mocha-licious (a great deeper nude for darker skin tones), 917B Cinnamon Spice (a warm red-brown colour), and 913C Sand Storm (a lovely peach-brown that warms up my face). All of these colours are in high rotation for me, which is something I cannot say for many other lipstick brands!
Eye Shadow -Rimmel - SpecialEyes Shadow - - - Jet Black
idg 2/15/2012 2:15:00 AM
I second everything the previous reviewer has written. I did not purchase this item for use as a deep black shadow. Despite its name, I could tell it was a satin-matte charcoal grey instead of a black matte colour through the product container. I did purchase it, however, for use as a dark grey shadow to set my black eyeliner, or to do a quick smoke-out with just the shadow itself for an everyday smoky eye. I've not had problems with it lasting throughout the day, nor with blending it with other shadows, and I have yet to see fallout. It comes with a dual-ended sponge applicator that is useless compared to a proper eye shadow brush, but can be used for touch-ups if needed. If you've tried Rimmel shadows in the past, please note that the GlamEyes are a reformulation and may perform better for you than its previous incarnations. I'm sure there may be better charcoal greys to purchase, but they are likely to be at a higher cost. This is a basic dark grey workhorse of a shadow that should suit you fine if you are on a budget. For reference, I am NC42-44 and have semi-oily eyelids, and I had no trouble with pigmentation or staying power when it comes to this shadow. If you are looking for a true jet black, I would suggest purchasing NYX's Black single shadow. Though I find that it is prone to fallout and crumbling, it is the blackest eye shadow I have yet come across.
I found this lipstick during a drugstore search for a "deep neutral" tone of lip colour...the kind of colour that clearly is more than a my-lips-but-better lipstick, yet is not too overstated, and simply makes one look put-together and elegant. At first, I feared that this plummy-mauve shade would run too light against my NC42 skintone and pigmented lips, but it was surprisingly fully opaque in a couple of swipes and quite flattering as well. It's the "deep neutral" I'd always wanted! It may seem drying at first, but strangely, after some use, I found that I no longer needed any lip balm over it - I suppose it has a breaking in period. This lipstick truly is Classique and I believe it would suit many skintones and makeup looks. One more thing that I must mention is that while the lipstick case may seem cheap from afar, it actually has considerable heft and makes you feel as though you are using a more expensive product that surely will not fall out of its packaging (and it surely won`t!). Let this be a lesson to those of us that constantly fall for new products: as was stated in that modern classic film, Aladdin (*chuckles*), there are diamonds in the rough, and they`ve been there for awhile!!
Lipstick -Maybelline - Color Sensational in Tinted Taupe
idg 10/30/2011 12:15:00 PM
The Maybelline Colorsensational Line contains quite a few "neutral" lipsticks perfect for my NC42 skin tone, and Tinted Taupe is a shade that definitely falls into that category. It is a shimmery medium-dark brown-pink that reads a lot lighter on my pigmented lips, enough so that it gives some colour without being too overbearing. (For argument's sake, I find that it leans warm and more to the pink side on my lips.) For those who are lamenting the loss of the Maybelline's Moisture Extreme lipstick in Rum Raisin, I would say to give this a try as the colour is in the same family, and may read identically depending on your skin tone. When layered, I also find the formula relatively moisturizing, and it lasts 2-3 hours without eating or drinking. I have no complaints about the packaging, either; it's nothing ground-breaking, but I've never had the cap come off in my purse. All in all, I'd say this is a great lipstick to have in your everyday arsenal.
Hair Removal -Unlisted Brand - Veet Ready to Use Wax Strips for Face and Bikini
idg 8/11/2011 12:10:00 AM
Hmm, I see that I'm one of the few here who actually likes this product... For me this does the same job that my local beauty salon does, yet at less than a quarter of the price. I use the strips to wax my eyebrows and upper lip every week, and bam, I've gone from man to woman in 10 minutes. I do find that in order for them to work, you must first: 1) warm them up in your hands, and apply the strip while warm, making sure to smooth it down; 2) wait for the strip to cool a bit; and 3) pull in the opposite direction of your hair growth (though some believe to go with the growth). My hair growth, with maintenance, is dark and somewhat medium-thick, although after one month-long period of illness, I used these strips and they worked like a champ - no problems whatsoever. They do sting a bit and may take some getting used to, but I just use some cold water to soothe the skin afterwards. A box of 10 strips at $8 lasts me about a month. A single trip to the walk-in salon can cost me $15, and half the time I spend there, I'm passing time in a line-up, just sitting on a cornflake waiting for a van to come. For me, the strips are quite obviously the better value, but it all depends on your personal preferences.
Liquid -Revlon - Beyond Natural Skin Matching Makeup SPF 15
idg 8/10/2011 11:49:00 PM
Despite the fact that many do not like this product, I find that it works rather well for me. Why? Well, it controls the oil on my slip-n-slide skin; it matches my skintone almost perfectly (at NC42, I wear Medium-Deep); it has a bit of sunscreen; it lets my skin breathe; and, finally, I can apply it with my fingers for easy morning-time application. If you have dry skin and prefer a heavy coverage foundation, this is not for you, as it acts more like a slightly mattifying tinted moisturizer - a more natural look that I prefer for everyday, low-maintenance wear (I never touch up this foundation; it lasts me most of the day, without powder). I'm not fond of the price (I pay around $15), but it's much more reasonable than many higher-end foundations. Some of you have noted that it applies patchy, but I just blend it on the back of my hand until the white-with-black-beads liquid blends into one tone, and then apply from there. If you fail to do this, then you are almost guaranteed to earn the nickname Patchy the Skin-tone Clown. So make sure to have time to blend, or bring some balloons for the children who will harass you on the streets.
Eye Shadow -Wet 'n' Wild - ColorIcon Palette - Vanity 249 [DISCONTINUED]
idg 8/10/2011 11:22:00 PM
This palette is by far the most versatile and easy-to-wear palette I've ever owned, which naturally makes it my most used. What really impressed me and had me saying "Hallelujah!!" was the fact that every single shade was pigmented enough to show up on my skintone (NC42), especially - and most importantly - the two darkest shades, a warm dark brown and a copper-brown-gold, both of which are incredibly natural and flattering. My fellow GGGs/DDDs will understand me when I say it is a feat to find cheap, pigmented eyeshadows a couple of shades darker than our eyelids, something that is just enough to give contrast without overwhelming the face with colours that are too light or too dark (the former is rampant at drugstores). It's true that I barely use the two shades at the top, but they can be great when used as a highlight or base (which I find punches up the colours even more). My only problem is that, apparently, this palette is being discontinued in favour of an all-matte palette, which I am NOT in favour of, as I love the combination of neutral mattes and shimmers given here. If, in the near future, you find me throwing a temper tantrum in a suburban drugstore, you will know why: the broke girl's answer to the perfect neutral eye has left the building forever. Stock up now if you must.