I believe that finding the perfect nude lipstick is actually much more difficult than finding the perfect red shade. After all when we look for a nude lipstick, we are trying to pale down our own colouring a few shades, and that can indeed make you look not very well rested at best. I learned this the hard way with Honeylove, my only (un)conscious attempt at a nude lipstick so far. When I bought Honeylove I thought I had found the perfect shade for my days of smoky eyes. It looked beyond perfect in the tube (slightly pinkish nude with a hint of brown) and swatched on my hand. However it certainly did not look good on. The only reason I can think of is that perhaps the natural colour of my lips (which are not crazily pigmented) mixed with the lipstick produces a very unflattering grey undertone. I do not experience this when I use the colour as a blush, which is what I ended up doing. I feel really puzzled because I have tried a lot of lipliners and cannot make it work at all. I love the texture, pigmentation and just everything about the product, it is just that it does not work on my colouring even though I am NC20 and in theory this should not wash me out. The same thing happens with my mother, who is paler than me, blonde and green-eyed; it just looks grey. Since a slight veil of foundation over my lips does not look horrifying, and as nudish caramel tones seem to also work on me, I can only find fault with the colour in Honeylove. I strongly, strongly advise trying this on before purchasing and letting the colour sit on your lips for a while to see how it finally turns up. Alternatively, make sure you have a decent return policy. These colours are always a gamble, so you need all the help you can get.
Nutmeg is a beautiful neutral blush that doesn’t actually look like the spice. You would perhaps expect something leaning more towards coolish and grayish but it is actually a very nice, neutral and wearable pinky brown. I disagree with some of the other reviewers: I see no trace of peach in this colour neither in the pan nor when applied. I would like to stress though that the blush really comes alive once on. It may look like nothing special in the pot but when you try it on it really polishes any look. It works wonderfully with my colouring (MAC NC20) but I have seen it look great too in paler and darker skins. I would compare this to the very popular Blushbaby by MAC: it is sort of the same colour, right in the middle of pink, brown and beige to add colour and definition without clearly screaming makeup. It is quite pigmented so an initial light hand is recommended. As much I love the colour, I have to say that there are several bones of contention here: texture and lasting power. Let’s be honest: this stuff is powdery beyond belief. Forget the brush you apply it with, it won’t matter because the powder will get everywhere. Even though this is a very affordable product, you can just go through one pot in no time because of the texture. The other disadvantage I find is longevity. I have to say on me this does not last all day, not even one morning. I learned not to touch my face too much many years ago, especially when made up, so I am not rubbing the product off myself. Even if I work the product on quite a bit, it will end up fading away before I get home for lunch and I am not particularly oily. The only trick I can recommend to really make it last is to apply it on top of a cream blush in the same colour family but then again, which blush wouldn’t benefit from something similar? NYX, if only those two little things were corrected, this product would really be perfect.
I bought this mascara at my local shopping centre when it was just under 10 €. That in Spain and for a L’Oréal mascara is a bargain. I didn’t know anything about it but as mascara is one of those things you have to change frequently, I felt adventurous and decided a little change from my trusty and much loved NYX Doll eye would be good. My version is the mega smoky black one but let me tell you, the old L’Oréal Volumissime/Volumious in Carbon Black is a thousand times blacker that this. Moving on to the brush: it is thick, so people with small eyes o short eyelashes should be warned. Even if you are careful, you are bound to get a few specks above your lashline. The wand is slightly curved and also the bristles come in different lengths with the short ones placed in the centre. All in all the small ones are not very far in size from the long ones so the curve is not that pronounced. Supposedly this helps volumise, separate and all those wonderful things. To be honest with you, I did not notice anything special that Volumissime/Voluminous hadn’t done better and before this mascara came along. My lashes look fine but nothing to write home about; they certainly do not look like full on party fake ones. I suppose you could try a few coats but in my book that equals clumpy and not nicely separated so it is a big no no. Finally, the formula. As mentioned previously, there is nothing mega black about this mascara and the formula is neither runny nor too wet. Lastly the deal breaker for me: it flakes and it smears. I put it on an hour ago and I already have a few flakes under each eye. Really? After one hour? The worst part was the first day I wore it to work. I put it on at 07:30 and when I got back home at 16:00, it looked like I had five o’clock shadow under my properly-set-with-powder-in-the-morning eyes. NYX Doll Eye costs a fraction of the price, will not move, will not transfer and gives a much better effect. I wouldn’t really bother with this one.
My Patisserie is the result of a back-to-MAC operation. I usually research my purchases quite a lot before I make them, especially if we talk MAC, since it is so expensive here in Spain (a lipstick would be around $25). I remember that when I looked into it, although I didn’t spend that long reading reviews and looking at pictures, everybody seemed to agree that it was quite a universal nude pink shade with the slightest bit of shimmer so after trying the product on my hand the counter, I decided to give it a go. However, I knew at the back of mind this wouldn’t be the most successful back to Mac ever. I do agree with those who say that this is a lovely nude pink that would work fine for people of my colouring (NC20-25), paler and also for somewhat deeper shades. I have to admit though that it is quite sheer for a luster finish. Both Hug Me and Syrup are in the same category and their pigmentation is much more opaque. Patisserie feels more like a Glaze to me, balmier and see-through. Here comes the bone of contention, though: THE SHIMMER!!! If you have read any of my other reviews, you will know where I am coming from. How can anybody say this lipstick has got very subtle shimmer? It simply does not. The lights at the counter had me completely fooled and I definitely should have known better since I have been buying make up for nearly 15 years. What was I thinking? This is not subtle at all. If you pack the colour on so that you have lipstick sitting literally on top of your lips, it may get camouflaged but otherwise it shows blatantly. Why can’t MAC, in this day and age, come up with a more minuscule type of glitter for lipsticks? The shimmer they use for most of their blushes is tinier than this one. Ok, different strokes, you may think, the glitter/shimmer will not be that noticeable, we already know you are a bit of a ‘hater’ anyway but let me ask you something: if you have a job where you are talking most of the time, where you do not have time to run to the toilet to reapply your lipstick and where you are facing clients one right after the other, it does not look very professional to have your lipstick completely eaten/worn off with just glitter remaining. Your lips may not look gritty but it just does not look good. To give you a better example, try the lipstick on your cheeks. I do this with Huge Me all the time and it looks wonderful. Patisserie is a great colour but the minute you start blending the product out, you can see lots of shimmer specks. I didn’t ‘purchase’ this product but I certainly won’t be going back for it. I am sad I will just end up wearing it around the house for the sake of another back to MAC. However, if there was another colour like this without the glitter, I would buy it with my eyes closed.
The 109 is a bit of a controversial brush and for good reason: yes, it bleeds like no other and it will continue to do so no matter how many times you wash it; and yes, it does shed, you will see the odd hair here and there from time to time but hey, it surely has more pros than cons for me. Why somebody would use it for liquid or cream foundation is something that escapes me. I remember when it was first launched almost ten years ago when ‘all’ we had was MakeupAlley, Livejournal and Specktra. A few well known people started using it for liquid foundation, pictures looked good, and word spread out but to me it made no sense. It doesn’t have synthetic hair, bleeds like crazy (in the beginning) and has far too small a head to work comfortably so, in principle, if you intend using it as a foundation brush, you are aiming for disaster. I use it for everything else, though. It is my favourite powder blush brush. As it is quite small, it allows me to apply colour exactly where I want it; it fits my cheek beautifully. It is dense and resilient enough that I can go heavy handed if not careful but it also allows me to blend properly if I went too far. Again, as it is somewhat small, I use it for my powder highlighters and works like a dream. Great for contour, as it is actually was it is meant for. On lazy days (most of them) I do a light wash of a quite finely milled skin-tone eyeshadow all over my lids and my 109 is what I use to apply it with. I may as well do my powder with it if I do not want to reach for another brush; I just mind the pressure and how much product I use so as not to look cakey. Whenever I travel, this is only face brush I take with me and it is more than enough. I have had my 109 for many years now and wouldn’t hesitate to repurchase if it ever broke or fell apart, which I don’t think will be the case. To me, it is completely worth the money for the use I get out of it. Finally, a piece of advice: you will notice bleeding when you wash it, and once the brush dries, you may find it still leaves traces of black dye. Just grab a tissue, swirl the brush around to get rid of the black residue and problem solved!
I was sucked into the Copacabana hype many years ago when Nars was nowhere close to being available in Spain. I bought it on line when cosmetics websites were a few and far from popular. Those were the days of JLo’s famous red carpet glow hyped by fashion magazines. The truth is throughout all those years, I touched Copacabana less than five times and most of them just to wander around the house. It wasn’t the colour; I knew it was an icy silvery slightly pinkish pearl and knew my NC2-25 complexion could pull it off. I didn’t mind the texture; creamy products are my favourite. The rubber packaging didn’t even bother me. What was it then? The shimmer, people, it was the shimmer. I might have been younger but younger me still preferred minuscule particles and didn’t feel like being a glitter ball. Every time I applied it to my face, I COULD see it, I knew after a few hours, I would be left with glitter specks and nothing else and hated it. My fingers didn’t work, the brushes I used (synthetic, animal hair, you name it) didn’t cut it and I felt like I had wasted precious money. That was until THE brush came: I got sucked (again) into the hype of Real Techniques, bought the stippling brush and it all changed between Copacabana and me. This little brush achieved what others couldn’t: leave the sparkly chunks aside and deposit just beautiful shimmer on my face. It might have been too that finally the top layer of product rubbed off and most the glitter was concentrated there but we will never know. Now I am not going to lie. Even though I finally got this thing to work, I still prefer any Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector to this. I prefer MAC Strobe Cream or Liquid to this. I am not talking about colour. The illuminator may be bolder or more subtle, it all depends upon application and Copacabana can look subtle. However, the shimmer is still there for me and is a deal breaker. Hey, I don’t mind my highlight being teal as long as I can’t see the particles but here I can see them. This and its texture, which kind of sits on top of the skin for me, tell me I won’t repurchase, not only because I will never finish it, but also because I feel there are better products out there.
I am shocked at the amount of bad reviews Moon Beam gets here. I can see how one would frown at the price and the packaging but to other things like 'subtle' or 'not shimmery enough'? Ladies, know your product! Let's get the bad things out of the way first: Benefit is really overpriced. Sure, the packaging may look cute but most of the products aren't that great. Second, the nail polish dupe applicator isn't hygienic, just like a normal lip gloss is not. Will they ever change it? No need to even hope... Now the product itself: both High Beam and Moon Beam are runny. High Beam is a silvery light pink with noticeable shimmer and Moon Beam is a reflective holographic rose apricot with barely there shimmer. In terms of colour complexity, Moon Beam is more interesting but you have to know your skin tone and the effect you are looking for. If you are in the NC20-30 family (I am NC 20), Moon Beam is bound to look subtle on you depending on application because it would melt with the colour of your skin. If you want a starkish silvery highlight, then High Beam should be your choice. If you are cool toned and peach doesn't look good on you, stay away from Moon Beam. Girls, anything 'with a sheen' is not bound to look natural, be it gold, pink, violet or apricot. If you want a natural highlighter, go for Becca's Pearl, Opal or Bronze. However, if you decide to stay with Moon Beam, have fun! Use it for day time with a light hand, because it does cast a lovely rose apricot sheen that is not over the top. It even works fine with different family colours: I am now wearing it with MAC's Blushbaby blush and looks great. Go all out for nighttime or special occasions with what I call the radioactive cheek: use a good dose of Moon Beam on cheekbones and the upper cheek to bring out the undertones of sheer or shimmery sheer blushes, and to bring up new highlights in the illuminator. Sometimes I go for Rimmel's old Berry, Apricot or Santa Rose, MAC's Plum Foolery, you name it! It won't certainly look natural but it will make you feel gorgeous!
I got this product for free a few years ago with an online purchase and I have just rediscovered my love for it. See, this is what having too much make up will do to you: sometimes you tend to overlook good products in favour of just new ones. The name of this glaze stick is certainly misleading. To me, there is no berry here, the colour is a plummy mauve. It does contain silvery shimmer, and in not so teeny tiny specks. As other reviewers have mentioned, the formula is a mix between a lip gloss and a gel lipstick: extremely comfortable and moisturising but definitely not long lasting. I hate the packaging. This is just like NYX Jumbo pencils and it drives me up the wall. I can see how the stick allows for cheaper pricing than if it was in bullet form but let's be honest, the amount of product waste when you sharpen it and the inconvenience of sharpening it when you are not in the comfort of your home do defeat the purpose of cheap and convenient. As for the product itself, I am moderately fair with mostly yellow undertones (think NC20) with medium pigmented lips and I hate mauvey lipsticks on me (see MAC Syrup). However, Berry does look quite flattering. One layer will give me mostly shine, a few layers with intensify colour but will add on too much shimmer for my liking, especially once most of the product has faded off and you are left with only shimmer on your lips. However, I love Berry as a layering gloss. It really brings a new dimension to neutrals that aren't even in the same colour family. Take Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges in Stonewashed Pink and Blushed Rose, apply them over balm and then put a few layers of Berry on top. DIVINE. It is really a shame about the packaging but nothing a good depotting session can't sort out.
This is as good as a tinted lip balm can get, and thus I think the price is accurate. There isn't much reason to pay more for such a basic product so once again, NYX is right on point on low price and great quality. Colours are subtle and the formula is very creamy. However the scent is very powerful. It smells minty but the ingredient list actually mentions lavender oil. I thought that being nearly at the bottom of the list, it wouldn't be too strong but quite the opposite. Still this isn't my only and big problem: these are very irritating on my lips. The formula is creamy and moisturising but I guess the strong fragance makes my lips burn and after five minutes, the colour peels off. It isn't nice and doesn't feel good which is what a lip balm is supposed to do. Therefore I am afraid I won't be repurchasing.
First and foremost, to all of those looking for a dupe of All That Glitters (ATG), get the real MAC eyeshadow. MAC is good a many things and one of them is some of the glorious Veluxe Pearl eyeshadows like ATG. I assure you you won't be disappointed. As for Champagne, I really wanted to like this but I couldn't. Gorgeous golden peach colour in the pot that turns much lighter when applied to my NC20-25 skin. Chalky texture resulting in fallout, need to really pack the shadow on the lid (primed with a nice base) to get real pan colour accuracy, not so finely milled shimmer for my liking which makes it look increadibly frosty since you really have to press the colour on. To me, there is really nothing comparable to ATG. They sure look similar in the pots but still, Champagne is lighter and peachier and ATG pulls darker and browner/more beige. ATG applies like a dream be it with one, two or three swipes and on me, it stays true to colour on the skin. Sadly, Champagne doesn't and the worst part is not that I do not like it because it clearly is not an ATG's dupe, it is because overall I do not like it as an eyeshadow. To me, it looks like very frosty teenage makeup. The only use I have found for it is to sheerly apply it on my cheekbones with a small duo fiber brush to get a lovely sheen. Other than that, it won't be going near my eyes.
I am not one to throw away a product just because it doesn't work for me. Makeup is a luxury and so I will try my darn hardest to make the best out of bad (or not as good as expected) product. That is why I go around the house with frost brownish lipstick on acting as lip balm but that is a whole different story. However this eye makeup remover is too much for me. I keep trying to use it up but everytime I do, I just want to throw it in the bin and I may as well do it when I finish this review and I am upset enough, What good is an eye makeup remover that doesn't remove makeup that well and that burns your eyes? I am not talking about stinging, I am talking about BURNING. I have been putting tons of crap on my eyelids and eyelashes over the years and I am nearly numb up there but this hurts! Everytime I use it, I start tearing up like a child just to end up crying my eyes out as if I was watching The English Patient! Too many lines and too much of a joyful tone in this review for a product that is extremely poorly formulated. We are talking about eyes, people, don't use anything harmful like this eye makeup remover near them.
This mascara is proof that there is no need who shell out lots of money on high end department store brands to get good results. I have tried lots of mascaras from MAC and MUFE to Dior, Chanel and Lancome, Estee Lauder, L'Oreal, Maybelline, you name it, and this one by NYX was by far the cheapest: I got it discounted and at a sale at Cherry Culture, so I ended up paying around 3.5 euros. Maybelline's cheapest mascara is nearly 10 € in Spain, so you get an idea of how cheap NYX's really was. As with all mascaras, you need to get the hang of it in the beginning. The brush has an hourglass shape so if you are used to normal thick wands, it may be a little tricky in the beginning (you will probably get blobs of mascara at the corners of your eyes) but after two uses, you will become a pro. Results are adjustable, just like with any other mascara: if you insist at the roots, you will look like you have thicker lashes; if you just work your way from root to tip, your lashes will appear longer. Just for your information, my lashes are nothing special, neither too long nor too short but they felt and looked impeccable with this mascara, whether for lighter or more dramatic looks. It has to be mentioned that this is a tube mascara, with the formula not being very runny but not too dry either. That being said, try not to be overzealous with this at the tips of your lashes or you will see little mascara tubes sticking out. Also due to the tube formula, it doesn't smear at all and it is actually the first time I have encountered that with a non waterproof mascara. We have been having 40ºC/104ºF here lately; I put it on at 07.00 am, and at 08.00 pm there is still no trace of mascara under my eyes. A definite repurchase for me, this one and the Volume one, which is the same thing but with a different name.
Mascara -Make Up For Ever - Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara
uglybeautiful 6/24/2011 10:56:00 AM
This mascara is MUFE's equivalent to L'Oréal's Voluminous: I can guarantee you that after cleaning them and setting them both lovingly side by side on my desk, both brushes were almost identical. However, L'Oréal's mascara didn't actually invent anything either so basically what you get with both products is a big dense brush with lots of bristles. I bought my first Smoky Lash with the infamous kit with the HD powder and the pencil a couple of years ago. Since the brush is quite big, you must be careful when applying it, even more so if your eyes aren't that big or if your eyelashes are short. With a little bit of patience and a steady hand, I would get lashes that were pitch black, thick and luxurious. I did notice a tendency to smear a little which didn't bother me that much in the winter months but that was a bit of a pain in the warmer part of the year. The problem with this mascara is the formulation because it dries up in the tube far too quickly. If there is nothing wrong with the packaging (and there isn't), if it closes tightly and no air goes in, then there must be something wrong with the formula because it dries up too fast. Ok, you are are supposed to discard your mascara after 3 months but honestly I don't always do that and I have gone into my fourth month (and fifth...) of use and nothing has happened. Still with Smoky Lash, I HAD to throw it away because it was almost unuseable, cumply and just completely dry. Makeup is already a luxury and I cannot afford to shell out the nearly USD 30 this mascara costs here in Spain. I did it three times in less than nine months and it was enough. Trust me, you can always keep the wand and use it with a different mascara.
I have had and used Trace Gold for years and, damn, I still can't believe how pretty it is. What you get is basically a more golden-tan Mac's All that glitters in a sheertone shimmer blush form, that is, finely milled sparkle and softer but still very decent pigmentation. Out of all the MAC shimmer blushes I have, I have found Trace Gold to have the least noticeable and more adult sheen of all of them. I find the colour to be somewhat misleading both in Mac's online swatch and in other pictures. It isn't really stark gold but a softer goldie tan peach, definitely worth a quick in person swatch if you are at the store to see if it would work for you. I am NC20-25, NC30 at the most in summer and this gives me just the right amount of tan and sheen when the weather starts to get warmer. I can see how this would work for lighter skintones as a subtle bronzer when applied lightly, and on richer complexions as more of a highlight. Just know what to expect from the start and you won't be disappointed. Here's how I use it: as an eyeshadow, it gives a luscious peachy sheen to my lids; as a lip colour, over lip balm and with Enchantress lipgloss on top, it looks divine. Finally as a blush I use it in three different ways: over a powdered face and lightly applied, it gives me a nice soft healthy glow; over a cream blush (especially Bobbi Brown's Stonewashed pink), it gives a wonderful goldie dimension to the face; and my favourite, over freshly applied moisturiser or sunscreen, which makes the pigment easier to grab, it makes you look super healthy and shiny, and as if you were make of wax, gorgeous!
Cosmo is, by definition, an oldie but goodie. The kind of lipstick you would probably never look at when you are buying make-up on a whim but the type of shade you regret not having when doing your everyday face. Don't even look at the swatch in Mac's website; for a change, it looks nothing like the lipstick. The pictures at the top of the review page are very colour accurate. I tend to compare it to Blushbaby blush by Mac because I always use them together. It is an Amplified Cream lipstick so it wears creamy and a little moist without being too shiny. It feels great and moisturising on my lips, lasts for hours and once it starts to face, it leaves a very nice stain on my lips. I have tried it as a blush as well and it looks lovely. Cosmo is not an exciting colour by any means. It is not attention grabbing like Morange or sophisticated like Russian Red but great at what it is supposed to do: amp your lip colour a few shades up and make you look more polished. It is the type of non-offensive make-up that makes a prettier you and gets people thinking "Oh, I know she is wearing lipstick but damn, what beautiful lips she has!". A no-brainer when you are in a rush to get out of the house in the morning. Cosmo, here's to many more years together!