Bought this in Roses a few weeks ago based on the promising reviews but sadly, this didn't work for me nearly as well as it did on everyone else. The product is hard in texture and difficult to pick up using my blush brush ( I use one by Real Techniques). I have to swirl and swirl my brush really hard on the top of the blush to get any color, and even after that it goes on REALLY sheer. I'm NW20, and I have to really pack this on for it to show. So while this might make a nice sheer & subtle all-over powder to warm up my complexion, I find it rather useless as a blush. I won't repurchase.
My favorite shade of Maybelline's Color Tattoo line by far, but alas, it's LE! I own two pots and I already wish I had bought a few more, despite how long it takes to use up a full pot. This shade just works so well with my blue eyes and fair complexion. I can wear this color alone on my lid and instantly look polished and put together.. Maybelline has another gold shade as a part of its permanent range, as well as another new one they've released for spring, but neither are good substitutes. Gold Shimmer is much warmer, richer. It's brassy and brown in tone while Bold Gold is a truer gold and Gold Rush (the Spring '13 LE shade) is much more yellow. Gold Shimmer has a great smooth, pigmented texture. It applies beautifully with a brush (I use Sephora's Cream shadow brush) or your fingers. Some shades of Color Tattoos can be a little tricky to apply, but not this one. I could apply it in the dark it's so reliably dense and creamy. It blends well and wears even better. I have moderately oily eyelids and this lasts at least a good 10-12 hours without creasing, even when worn on its own without a base. If you run across this one and love gold shades, I definitely recommend it! At $7 retail, it's a steal.
Moisturizers -Neutrogena - Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer
shriekingviolet 9/25/2012 2:50:00 AM
When it comes to moisturizers, I can be a little difficult to please. No, I don't have the type of skin that breaks out easily (I could probably slather my face with Crisco and be just fine), but my oily leaning combo skin type makes it difficult to find a moisturizer that can tackle my drier areas without making my face look overly dewy and thus unsuitable for daytime. It's the one product I've been completely incapable of developing anything even close to a committed relationship with. I don't just buy a completely new product whenever I run out of what I'm currently using, I'm usually itching for something new before I've even half used up whatever I'm working on. But then came Rapid Wrinkle Response! Being a baby-faced 30 year old, wrinkles themselves aren't really a problem and thus I can't really speak to the anti-aging benefits of this product. Paula Begoun seems to think that there isn't enough Retinol in here to make this moisturizer all that potent, and I'll just take her word on that. But what does make this moisturizer so appealing to me is its SPF 30, lightweight texture, quick absorbency and semi-matte finish. My skin drinks this up like a sponge, absorbing completely within a minute or two. It leaves my skin soft but not at all dewy looking. I wouldn't say it's mattifying per se, but the end finish is somewhere between matte and satin making it perfect for wearing underneath my foundation. It also is rather gentle to the skin around my eyes. Some moisturizers with SPF burn my eyelids, but this does not. The packaging is nice too. It's a solid, opaque bottle with an airtight pump to keep all of the important ingredients from destabilizing. It feels like it's made of glass, in that it's much heavier than I'd expect plastic to be, but it doesn't feel fragile. All and all, great daytime moisturizer with broad spectrum sunscreen for ladies with normal to moderately oily skin. And if the retinol ends up helping me stay baby-faced longer, all the better!
This moisturizer is a mixed bag. On the positive side, it's a nice lightweight, gentle moisturizer that provides solid broad spectrum sun protection to people who find the original Cetaphil too heavy. On the negative end, it doesn't deliver on its oil-control and mattifying claims at all. I wouldn't say this moisturizer made me oily, but it leaves my skin looking almost as moist and dewy as a moisturizer NOT marketed at people with oily and/or acne prone skin would. Since I bought this product hoping for sun protection with a matte finish, that's incredibly disappointing. I didn't notice any long term oil control either. Had this product just been marketed as a lighter version of Cetaphil and skipped the oil control claims, I would have given this moisturizer at least a 4 but the false advertising knocks down the value of the product. I'm not going to return it as it might work well for me in the winter, but for the moment I'm moving on.
The is Liquid Liner for Dummies, and I mean that in the best possible way! If you've ever had a difficult time using liquid liner (or any liner for that matter), you must give this a try! The curved shape of the applicator is just fantastic in the way it guides you to hold the tip of the pen in just the right position against the lashline. I was skeptical when I tested it in the store as it feels weird in my hand when I'm pointing it outward rather than toward me like I would applying it as I just kept trying to hold it like a pencil, but once I tried actually using it on my face everything lined up effortlessly! You'll still need to pull your lid taut in order to get your line as close to your lashes as possible which can take some practice (my hands always get in the way of one another!), but this still moves you a few steps forward toward mastering liner. I was also pleased to see that the liner fit just as easily in my left hand as in my right. The lining fluid is pretty sweet too, The color is a very dark, solid black and glides on smoothly. Dries quickly too, and once on, it's pretty smudge resistant and long lasting. Cap fits snugly which should prevent the pen from dying up prematurely. The felt tip is fine and firm so creating a thin line is easy. My only quibbles with the product are that it only comes in one shade (the black is perfect, but I like variety!) and that for the price ($15, a little expensive for NYX) I wish this were a refillable product. It'd be nice if you could buy ink cartridges to fit into the applicator rather than buying a whole new liner each time. Still, those are just small nitpicks. and wouldn't stop me from recommending this product to anyone!
Blush -Sephora - Pantone Universe Color of The Year Blush Duo
shriekingviolet 7/26/2012 1:03:00 PM
Love this blush duo! The matte side is a nice, bright peach shade that's surprisingly wearable on my cool-toned, NW20 complexion. The frosty sparkly shade though is the real star. It's a bright, juicy shade of coral with fine, yet very prominent gold shimmer. I imagine it looking amazing on deeper toned ladies. On me it can be a bit much, even using a light hand and a lot of blending BUT I love this shade as a eye shadow. I actually bought this duo with that use in mind. The texture is obviously different, more powdery, that one might expect from an eye shadow and doesn't apply all that well with a flat paddle style brush (it prefers something fluffier like a crease or blending brush), but it's pigmented, smooth and very blendable. I find that it wears nearly as well over Too Faced Shadow Insurance as my real eye shadows. It fades a little faster, but I get at least 10 hours of wear from it and no creasing. The bright coral is gorgeous with my blue eyes and lends itself to a lot of fun summer looks. The amount of product you get is quite generous, and I feel like I'll be using this for a long time!
Eye Shadow -L'Oreal - Infallible Eye Shadow - Golden Emerald
shriekingviolet 6/27/2012 10:13:00 PM
Golden Emerald is a MUST HAVE if you're a fan of green eye shadow. It's a dark, bold and somewhat mossy shade of green with very obvious gold sparkle. The sparkles aren't quite glitter as the particles are pretty small, but they stand out pretty well from the rest of the eye shadow rather than just giving the color a golden sheen. The texture is completely smooth and there's not much fallout if you use a decent brush, but the eye shadow is still a bit on the blingy side for an otherwise stately shade of green. And I mean that in the best possible way! It'd work well for fun, loud makeup, but could be suitable for a more conservative work environment if used sparingly with neutral shades in less frosty finishes or used wet as a liner. Greens, especially greens with gold or olive undertones, are some of the easier "bold" shades to sneak into more modest eye looks as they tend to pair really well with taupes, beiges and creams. Like all Infallible eye shadows, Golden Emerald is a loosely pressed powder eye shadow packaged in a plastic jar with a little plastic press to keep the product from coming unpacked. The texture is very smooth and soft, almost creamy. It glides across the lid well and adheres with little fallout. I find it to be fairly pigmented even when applied with a dry brush, but of course it intensifies when it's applied damp. The wear is really good for a budget brand eye shadow. I get maybe 8 hours of wear from it before it starts to fade if I don't apply primer, but it lasts many hours more than that over a decent eye primer (I use Too Face Shadow Insurance). Even without a primer, I didn't experience much creasing. These shadows are a pretty good value for the buck too. $8 for a single shade might seem somewhat pricey at first for a budget brand eyeshadow, but you're getting a pretty generous 3.5 grams of product at that price. That's over twice the size of a MAC or Urban Decay eye shadow for half the price. I call that a real bargain, one made even better if you catch them when they're on sale! This shade came out with 5 others as a part of a summer release for L'Oreal, so I'm not sure if it's to be a part of the permanent line or not. I hope it is, as it's far too pretty to go away!
Love this product. I've been long looking from a good, sheer cream highlighter to mask the odd shadows I have on the sides of my nose between my eyes, and this does a great job. It's very sheer, which enables to act almost invisibly to brighten the area. I've tried similar products that were more pigmented (like Maybelline's Dream Lumi) and wasn't nearly as pleased with them for this task as the extra coverage tended to look heavy. This is just right. This isn't really shimmery or glittery, which is really nice. It just has a subtle luminous sheen which brightens the skin without calling attention to itself. The relative lack of pigment reminds me a lot of YSL's touche eclat. Both work great as highlighters but are too sheer to do much concealing. Magic Lumi isn't quite as luminous and dreamy as touche eclat, but it's a pretty decent substitute if Touche Eclat is out of your budget. Basically, if you buy this product hoping for a highlighter you're likely to be quite happy with it. If you buy it hoping for a real concealer, you're probably going to find this lacking as it doesn't provide much coverage.
Let me start out this review by issuing some important, yet seemingly misunderstood information: THIS PENCIL IS MEANT TO BE SHARPENED WITH A MANUAL PENCIL SHARPENER! Like many people, when I saw the plastic pencil casing, I was rather confused. It's built like a twist up pencil in that there's no wood to it at all, but it doesn't twist up. Who would ever think to stick a plastic pencil into a sharpener? Despite the traditional pencil "look", the very idea seemed counter-intuitive. I didn't believe that my regular sharpener would be up to the task, but at the advice of some of the previous reviewers I gave it a go and it worked. I used a cheap single hole $2 sharpener from Sephora, so I assume almost any pencil sharpener is up to the task so long as the blade is sharp. I'd be wary of using an expensive one though just as I worry that the plastic might dull the blade faster than regular wood, and I'd hate for anyone to wear out a nice sharpener when they don't have to. Now on to the actual product: baffling packaging choices aside (seriously Maybelline, why plastic?!), I really do love this brow pencil. It may be the best I've ever tried at delivering soft, natural looking definition. My brows are pretty full in some areas but more sparse and others, and this pencil does a good job of filling in the areas where I really need to add pigment while gently defining the areas that don't need anything other than some shaping. A lot of pencils I've tried end up looking rather heavy, but this doesn't. I also like how waxy the product is as it helps keep my longer hairs in place. It also has a helpful spoolie brush on the end to coax your brows into shape. As for product longevity, I'd say it lasts about 7-8 hours before it starts fading, It sticks in the thick parts of my brow all day long, but the tail ends need a little touch up by the end of the day if I don't set them with powder. I haven't experienced any smearing or smudging. I use the Soft Brown shade and it's pretty perfect for my dark brown brows. The color is extremely neutral leaning neither red nor gray. It's a medium to medium dark shade of brown, but it's semi sheer so I could see it working on someone with lighter brows than mine. The color builds easily to fit different needs. I don't know how well it'd work on someone with really sparse or thin brows though, as the waxiness of the product doesn't draw as well on bare, hairless skin as a more traditional style brow pencil might. I had a little problem deciding how to rate this product. For the product alone, I'd give it a 4.5 or a 5 alone as it's nearly everything I'd ever want in a brow pencil. I like it much better than the $20 Anastasia brow pencil I have, so at $8 it's a steal. Yet because of its strange, puzzling packaging, I just can't give it a 5. Judging by the reviews, there are too many people who just don't assume that plastic pencils can go into a standard sharpener. That's a huge design flaw on Maybelline's part. I don't think there's anything wrong per se with having a plastic pencil that requires sharpening, but there should be packaging cues either on the pencil itself or on the exterior package that state that this is what needs to be done!
Mascara -Maybelline - Volum' Express The Mega Plush
shriekingviolet 6/6/2012 7:27:00 PM
I picked this up on a whim over my usual drugstore mascara choice (Cover Girl Lash Perfection), as it's been ages since I tried a Maybelline mascara. Overall I really liked the formula but was less than pleased with the brush and wand. The gel-mousse formula is even softer and lighter weight than I expected to be. I don't know that it really makes a difference appearance wise, but my Mega Plush mascaraed lashes feel much closer to the way they feel bare than I've ever experienced before. That's kind of neat, though not really something I look for in a mascara. The volume it provided was nice and natural looking. Pretty, but no where near the va-va-voom lashes one might expect from a mascara marketed as "Mega Plush." There was no smudging or flaking, and it did a decent job of holding curl. But the brush? Ugh. The big fat long bristled brush is fine if that's what you're into. I probably would have loved it 5 years ago, but after using shorter plastic brushes for the past few years I found it awkward. What really bugged me though was the flexibility of the wand. Who wants a wobbly mascara wand? It kept bending during application, causing my lashes to shift into awkward angles and I kept getting mascara onto my eye lid. Would I repurchase this mascara? Unlikely, but I liked the actual mascara formula enough that if Maybelline ever reused it in a new product with a different brush I would definitely give it a look!
Lipstick -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Honey
shriekingviolet 5/22/2012 9:34:00 PM
I picked up three shades of the new Revlon Balm Stains last week and Honey was one of them. This particular color didn't work on me at all (I'll get to that in a moment), but overall I'm incredibly pleased with this new product line. It may be the best lipstain I've ever tried. The chubby, twist up crayon packaging is both cute and practical. The lid fits nice and tight. and the lack of sharpening means there's less waste to worry about. The balm like texture of the product delivers little shine or moisture, but it deposits color across the lips smoothly, evenly and with plenty of pigment. Once applied, the product feels a little dry, but not uncomfortably so. It's very lightweight with none of the sticky/tackiness you find with many longwear lip colors. There's just not much slip or shine to the feel of it. That's not a complaint though as more emollient lip products tend to be lacking in the wear department and this product delivers. I get full color coverage for about an hour before it fades into a very noticeable stain that lasts on me for 5+ hours, even through eating and drinking. That's amazing for me given that most stains are lucky to last 3-4 hours on me. It fades really evenly too, so there's no sign of that awkward in between stages where the color looks patchy as it's going away that you often see with lipstains. Now this rosy nude shade is sure to flatter a good variety of skin tones, but it turned a garish salmon color on me that is not at all suitable to my NW20 complexion. Even as it faded to a stain, it looked a lot more orange toned than it looked in the tube. This is actually a common problem for me with lipsticks in this color family. I don't know what it is about my body chemistry, but the pigments used in most nude shades oxidize to a gross terracotta tone that I just do not like. It's tragic really. So often, I'll see a nude lipstick that I love the look of in the tube and it just looks wrong when I apply it. That was the case with Honey, but fortunately the other shades I bought (Smitten and Cherish) did work out pretty well!
Went into Lush the other day to buy a gift for my sister-in-law, and bought one of these for myself. I've always been a huge fan of Lush's solid moisturizers (both their body butters and their massage bars) for after-shower smoothing, so I was very curious about how I'd get on with this. My fingers and cuticles were looking nightmarish at the time from all of the acetone I use for frequent manicures, and regular hand creams just weren't doing much for me. I was hoping that Tiny Hands would do the trick for me, and so far, it's risen to the challenge admirably. Tiny hands is a small hand shaped bar made of cocoa and shea butters, argan oil, aloe vera and talc. To use it, just hold it between your palms and then rub your hands together for a couple of seconds. Almost immediately the bar will soften and you'll get the perfect amount of product on your hands. As someone who frequently over squeezes my tubes of hand cream, I love how easy it is to use solid products to get exactly what you need. There's so little waste! Anyway, once melted, the product consistency is very reminiscent of cuticle butter. It's greasy, but sinks in more quickly than you'd think it would. Not as fast as most lotions, but not so slow you're limited to only using this before bed or under gloves either. The talc in the product leaves a lovely smooth, velvety feel once everything's been rubbed in. After using this twice a day for two weeks, my incredibly chapped hands look so much better. The cracked and callused cuticles on my thumbs are nearly completely healed. I'm pretty impressed with its performance, and am pleased to see how little I've used of it. The bar hasn't shrunk much since I bought it, which makes this $8 product seem like a pretty good value (particularly by LUSH standards). It looks like it could last you for months. Now on to my few complaints. First and foremost, this bar is intensely scented. If you like the smell, aren't sensitive to fragrance and wear no other perfume, this won't be a problem, but I hate hate hate the way it smells. I like a good scented product as much as the next gal, but this product's fragrance is way too potent. It will blow you away as soon as you open up whatever container you use, and it lingers for a long time. Lush describes the smell as marigolds and vanilla, but I can really only smell the marigolds. My first thought sniffing it was that it smelled "like allergies." Even though it didn't make me sneeze, it just made me think of pollen and burning sinuses. I'm not a fan of floral scents in general, but this one I truly hate. It's souring me on a product that I otherwise like very much. My other complaint is that this product lacks packaging. I get that Lush's shtick is to be green by using as little packaging as possible, but a soft, melty product of this type requires a container or else it's not portable. It's like selling a lump of lip balm without a jar or tube to put it in. They do sell tins for this purpose of course, but it's obnoxious to pay an extra $4 for necessary packaging, For the prices they charge, I wish the tins were included. They could always offer a discount to people who bring in their own to use if they want to encourage recycling. Would I buy this product again? I'm on the fence about it. If it were unscented, less scented or had a different scent, my answer would undoubtedly be yes. But as is every time I use it I find myself wondering it I could DIY my own version of Tiny Hands so that I wouldn't have to deal with the smell of the real one anymore. That kind of thinking doesn't leave me eager to repurchase. I'll definitely keep using it and *might* consider buying it again if my hands were ever in deep need of intensive care again, but only if I couldn't find anything else I like better first.
Lips -Revlon - Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain- Smitten
shriekingviolet 5/20/2012 7:09:00 AM
Another big hit from Revlon! They've been on a real roll lately, and these new Kissable lipstains are both a fantastic addition to their line and a drastic improvement over their old Just Bitten lipstain product. The balm delivery system lasts nearly as long as the marker does, but it applies and fades much more evenly and isn't as drying. At first glance, this product resembles Clinique's Chubby pencils or Tarte's Lipsurgence lip stains. If you've tried those products, loved them and hope that these are a cheaper knockoff version you may be a little disappointed. The packaging is very similar in that these are twist up crayons, but the texture of the Revlon product is much less glossy and emollient. Despite Revlon describing these as balm stains, I don't really find much balmy about them. On the lips, there's very little shine and slip and I wouldn't call them moisturizing. I don't really see that as a bad thing though as in my experience, there's usually a trade off between glossiness or moisture and overall longevity. These lipstains are likely more stainlike than Clinique or Tarte *because* it's a drier product. I own several of Tarte's Lipsurgence and maybe get an hour or two of wear. Smitten lasted at least 4 hours on me. Smitten is a gorgeous, bright berry pink shade that falls somewhere between sheer and pigmented, but can be easily built to opaque. It applies smoothly, fades evenly, lasting somewhere between 3-6 hours depending on how much eating and drinking you do during that time. It feels dry but not drying on the lips if that makes any sense. Throwing lip balm or gloss on top will be a must to anyone with dry lips. Product smells very faintly of mint. Overall this is a great product. I probably would have given it full marks if Revlon didn't imply in its marketing that this product is supposed to be both a stain and a lipbalm.
At $8 a pop, these liners by Sephora are a steal. Their formula is similar if not identical to the one used in Urban Decay's 24/7 liners. They're pigmented, glide smoothly onto the lid, and are relatively smudge-resistant. I wouldn't call them budge or water proof as they do tend to get a little smudgy on me by the end of the day, but no more so than any other pencil liner (Too Faced, MAC, Urban Decay, Prestige, Tarina Tarantino, MUFE) I've tried over the years. They're good enough to last me all day so long as I don't touch my eye area. I own four of these and would happily repurchase. Any bargain-minded cosmetics shopper ought to check them out.
Of all the bad cosmetics impulse purchases I've made over the years, I think this may have been my worst. I should have read the reviews before buying! I concur with everyone else who written about this product. These kohl liners are crap. Their worst sin is being fragile to the point of being unusable. I broke two of them before I ever got around to using them. The purple one broke when I was just putting the cap back on after opening it up to look at it. I nudged the tip with the cap, and it broke it half. The second broke when I was swatching it. The whole kohl liner came loose from the handle when I was drawing it on the back of my hand (and no I wasn't pressing that hard!). The last one managed to survive use, but giving how quickly the other two died, I can't imagine this one staying in one piece for long. Even if you are careful enough to use these without breaking them, the product is crap. The black has decent pigment, but the brown and purple were semi-sheer. They're super smudgy and don't last very well on the waterline. This is just a bad product all around. I can't believe PF put this one on the shelves. Even if you find this product on clearance for cheap DO NOT BUY.