Archive for the ‘ Reviews ’ Category

Notes on…24/7 Shadow Pencil

UD shadow pencil "Rehab"

I promised a review of the 24/7 shadow pencils after the swatches I posted but I decided that some statements about the pencil I own, “Rehab” would be more concise and appropriate.

  • These don’t blend easily but they blend best immediately after application with a small stiff pencil brush
  • They blend much better without a primer underneath although worn over a primer the wear-time will be extended
  • These kick-ass on oily lids
  • They last at least eight hours on me looking neat and freshly applied without primer
  • They easily  last 10 + hours with primer
  • They do not compare to NYX pencils in that they are not a sticky base, but more like a colored primer
  • They work well alone or with powder shadows
  • They do not hold glitter any better than UD primer potion

L2R- UDSP "Rehab", UD Deluxe shadow "Underground, UDSP "Rehab"

Something I noticed is that they are all very close to existing shadow colors (ex. “Rehab Shadow Pencil” & “Underground Deluxe shadow”, “Morphine Shadow Pencil” & “Asphxia shadow”) so the best way to apply that I found,  is to create the basic shadow shape with the shadow pencil and then use the coordinating shadow around the edges and blended out since the pencils don’t blend well themselves. A great smoky eye would consist of a shadow pencil on the lid and just up to the crease with a close color in UD shadow in the crease and outer v blended out and up. If you want to get fancy, you could then place a lighter color in the inner corners and a complimentary color just on the middle of the lid to add depth. Add liner, highlight and mascara and you have a 5-minute smoky eye!

I now want to own all the colors to help me with quick eye looks and to use as awesome colored primers/bases. These are like shadow pencils infused with UDPP so they are perfection for my oily lids. They create bulletproof eye looks and I see them as my staple during a New Orleans summer.

Urban Decay Shadow Pencils,  $20

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Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blush “Plush” Swatch & Review

This purchase was the result of my stalking up and down the aisles in Sephora, hunting for an Apricot colored baked blush that didn’t contain a metric ton of shimmer or glitter…having no idea what an impossible task I had in front of me. I wanted something peachy but not orange, something either matte or satin/natural finish but not with chunks of glitter and it couldn’t be over $30. Ladies, I dare you to go try this for yourself. (but it has to be at my local sephora or it’s not fair, lol!)  I originally wanted to try some blushes from Benefit because I have none but I decided I wanted something more matte. I actually don’t have anything against shimmery blush, it’s just that  Meow and other mineral companies have that covered for much less money! This blush “Plush” by Lorac is from their line of  “Baked Matte Satin Blush”.  “Matte Satin”, huh? It’s not quite an oxymoron, but…it’s definitely not matte however it was the least shimmery baked blush I could get my paws on so I scooped it up and trotted home excited to test it out.

"Plush" (in light from sunlight bulb)

The blush leans more orange than apricot in the pan and as you can see, it isn’t exactly matte.  In the pan I can see the description “Satin” making sense though.  This is not a color I would normally choose- I have found that pinks, mauve, rose and berry colors look best on me because they are closest to my natural blushing color, but then again I’m not always going for natural!  😉

I noticed some difficulty when I first applied this. I had on primer (MUFE HD) and mineral powder foundation (Meow). It seemed to stick to some spots more than others which created a splotchy, streaky application. It seemed to highlight any little bump and uneven-ness in my complexion which is not flattering. It took lots of blending and fussing with it to get it looking decent but once I got it in place and looking OK (OK, not great mind you) it stayed put. There was still color on my face nine hours later although it wasn’t looking freshly applied or anything. It was noticeably there though.

Next,  I tried wearing it over tinted moisturizer( Laura Mercier Oil-Free). The application was a bit better- still spotty looking and I had to blend it almost to the point of  it disappearing to get it to look right. This is where it hit me that it was actually fairly shimmery- when you blend it out it seems more shimmer than matte or satin, as the name implies. Once again it took some fuss to get looking right. I had to add layers and blend more until things looked acceptable. This time I noticed it lasted longer- I took it off after 11 hours and there was still color there but I think I had more of the product on this time. It’s either that, or it liked the tinted moisturizer better than my mineral powder foundation.

"Plush" Swatched on my arm under sunlight bulb

Also, let me just say that this is not my color!  I like sheer apricot on my face but this is actually not sheer and seems more orange than apricot. It’s less orange on my skin than it looks in the pan but still it looked too unnatural and not flattering with my skintone.  I may have yellow undertones but I still have a lot of pink in my skin somehow plus I have redness in my cheeks.

I think this color would work best on someone with neutral, peach or olive undertones and is best on warm or neutral, rather than cool skin.  I eventually got this to look almost nice over primer and liquid foundation but it was far from flawless. If you have  uneven skin texture of any kind in the area you wear blush then I would not recommend the Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blush. Then again, if the color was closer to my skintone I do think that the flaws wouldn’t have been so obviously highlighted.  If you like the looks of them in person, I would advise playing around with them and trying them on if possible.  They might work better with other foundations so please take that into account however I am fairly certain that they do not play with well with other powder formulations. Worn over the liquid foundation (Cover Girl Nature Luxe) the color faded more evenly and looked better this time after 11 hours than it did over the tinted moisturizer.

"Plush" swatch blended out. See the bumps? I couldn't see those before the blush.

The Black Paragraph

This is not a cop-out but honestly, I don’t have much to add here. I don’t really see any way of gothing this up!

I ended up returning this. Between the color not being right for me and the fact it took so much time to get looking decent, I wasn’t feeling the love.

Lorac Baked Matte Satin Blush -“Plush”  is $24  available at Sephora

 

Here's one more. "Plush" sheered out. See the glitter around the edges?

Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in “Candid” Review, Swatches

I had a major “Oohh, sparkly” moment last week browsing in Sephora  when I saw this  gloss called “Candid” from Smashbox.  I remember liking their gloss formula very much but for some reason don’t have a single one in my stash, so I happily threw it in my little cart/box thing (Does anyone ever clean those things?!?, btw?)

The formula turned out to be awesome and exactly what I like in a gloss. Lipgloss, like most makeup is a personal preference sort-of-thing. I prefer smooth and non-sticky. This gloss is on the thinner side but not so thin that it slides around. It’s not at all sticky, it doesn’t have any unpleasant smell or taste (no noticeable taste at all) and it has average lasting time. ( It will transfer onto cups and such but lasted about 2 hours on me and I smoke)

Unfortunately, this will not be the lipgloss love of my life. I guess I like color too much. As pretty as this shade is, it does not show up enough for me. It provides a hint of color and noticeable shimmer, which is a really nice effect but it’s not my cup of tea. If you love natural lip looks and low-maintenance lip colors (this won’t be so noticeable as it fades) you might love this. It’d be perfect over darker lip colors or on it’s own with heavy eye or face makeup. I guess I just don’t love colors this sheer.

The Black Paragraph

If you like bold colors, lots of pigment and statement making makeup, this gloss isn’t for you. If you need something you can swipe on and look nice without needing a mirror or something in the morning, then check it out. If you want to add dimension to a very dark, matte color this would be really nice. I’m imagining it over black or dark matte red or wine. Pretty, no?

How pretty is this color!? "Candid" Lip Enhancing Gloss by Smashbox

3 swipes on my wrist. "Candid" Lip Enhancing Gloss; Smashbox

Bare Lips (in bad shape, I apologize)

Candid Lip Enhancing Gloss; Smashbox

Candid Lip Enhancing Gloss is available at Sephora $18.00

(P.S- I called this gloss by three different incorrect names in this one post. I shouldn’t write when I’m so tired, lol!) (PPS..Photo Formatting is all messed up. Sorry for white space)

Makeup Awesomeness, x2.

There are certain things in my stash that pair up so wonderfully that I decided to make a series of posts to share this with you guys.  It’s like chocolate and peanut butter, wine and cheese or pizza and beer..these things are nice on their own but once you’ve had them combined it becomes hard to go back.

First up I have something that I can thank for making my skin look really great.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer plus Coastal Scents Baby Buki

 

I got these things without the intent to review them because there were already so many thorough reviews floating around. This is the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer and the Coastal Scents Synthetic Domed Mini Kabuki  Brush.

 

I picked up Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer after reading lots of positive things about it and I’m thrilled that I did.  It’s more like a sheer foundation than any tinted moisturizer I’ve used before. I used to use Tinted Moisturizer to add an extra level of coverage under my foundation but it never did much aside from keeping my skin looking dewy. Now I use this after a light application of Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Creme. My skin is oily so I don’t need much moisturizer underneath this and luckily this isn’t too moisturizing to get along with my skin. I then dust some mineral foundation over everything and I’m good to go. I was experimenting with different application methods (fingers, paddle style foundation brush) until I got my Coastal Scents brushes in the mail.

I ordered the Synthetic Domed Mini Kabuki from Coastal Scents thinking it would be a good way to apply concealer under my eyes and to apply mineral foundation around my eyes, nose and mouth because of it’s (teensy) size. It’s about the size of my thumb! I used it to apply the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer on a whim and I fell in love with how well it applied and made my skin look. I have to be careful with how I apply things because I have combination skin that tends to get very oily but the parts that are dry get flaky as well. If I just rub foundation or whatever on my skin without care it will emphasize dryness and look flaky (even with exfoliating.) The combination of this little brush and this tinted moisturizer makes my skin look healthy and glowing while covering most of what I want under wraps. I’ll add undereye concealer and a little mineral foundation over it to set and finish and it’ll look fantastic! Now that I’ve used them together I can’t imagine putting the Tinted Moisturizer on any other way and I want backups of this brush- Luckily it’s not expensive!

If you’re skin is anything like mine then I highly recommend trying these two together.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, $42  at Sephora

Coastal Scents Synthetic Domed Mini Kabuki $5.95  at Coastal Scents Website

 

The Balm Shady Lady Vol.2 Palette-Favorite things Pt.1

I’ve decided to write some posts about my favorite, most-reached-for products. If I’ve already reviewed any of them I’ll just post a little update.

First up is my most favorite daytime palette of shadows, The Balm Shady Lady Palette Vol. 2.

I had never heard of this brand prior to purchasing this. I was in Sephora to buy the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Palette but they happened to sell out. I was wandering around and this caught my eye as it had some shades that were similar to the ones that I wanted most from the Too Faced Palette.

I got the palette home, had a play and I had a good impression of it but I just didn’t end up using it and it sat untouched for a few months. I’ve recently been holding back on buying new eyeshadow until I’ve really dug in to the ones I have already so it was this palettes turn to see the light of day once again. The first time I used it, I was in a huge rush and used the champagne shimmer shade (Mischievous Martha) all over the lid with the deep brown w/bronze sparkle shade in the crease and outer V. (Caught in the Act Courtney) Before I applied the shadows I made a thick line with a black kohl pencil on my upper lid and smoked it up.  That’s become my “in a HUGE rush” eye makeup lately!

I’ve found that all of the colors except the lightest highlight shades look amazing on their own or in combination with each other. The color selection of this palette is a little more toned-down than the shades that usually catch my eye but once I started playing with them I realized that they reminded me of Urban Decay shades minus the chunky glitter, such as the two shades I mentioned above. “Caught in the act Courtney” reminds me of Urban Decay’s Twice Baked (one of my fave UD shadows) except the glitter is smaller, more bronze than gold and “Mischievous Martha” is like Urban Decay’s Midnight Cowboy minus the chunky glitter. It’s possible that it’s close to Stila’s “Kitten” and other such shades but I don’t own those so I can’t say for sure. I didn’t think such an unassuming color could look so amazing when worn! Mischievous Martha practically glows on my lid. It looks so luminous and flattering. You could use this palette with the lighter shades on your lid and the deeper ones as liners or crease colors (some of the colors are marked as shadow/liner) or you could use the deeper colors on the lid or create smoky eyes with the lighter colors as highlights.(some are marked shadow/highlight) This is a versatile palette. There’s no applicators included which doesn’t bother me but if you don’t own a single brush that could be a problem. I use a thin angled soft brush to apply these and it works a treat.

Insane Jane, Just this once Jamie,Devilish Danielle,Feisty Felicia,Makeout Mary,Tempting Tara,Caught in the act Courtney,Bossy Bobby, Mischevious Martha

I really appreciate the texture of the shadows as well. They are silky, rather thin feeling (as opposed to Too Faced which can feel thick) easily blendable and layerable. The glitter shades don’t feel gritty and are not over- the- top glittery either. The glitter shades all seem to be the same formula and they are the tiniest bit powdery compared to the shimmer shades formula. The shimmery shades glide on like silk, whereas the glittery shades seem to have a matte base which means they require more work to blend but it’s honestly not that noticeable. The shades marked highlight are more sheer than those marked “shadow” and “liner” which only makes sense. In the swatch pics I had a hard time getting the highlight shades to show, not so much because of the sheer formula but because they are pale and so am I. Very, very pale.

THE BLACK PARAGRAPH

Now I want to talk about something that I will be discussing in all my reviews from here on. I’ve been thinking a lot about how when I started this blog I intended it to focus on subcultural, or alternative beauty. I was thinking this would basically be a goth beauty blog but I’d explore offshoots of the genre.I would review things from the viewpoint of someone who dresses goth and makes themselves up accordingly. Have you noticed those girls who describe colors that are like one step up from neutral as “scary?” That doesn’t help me because my perception is so different. However, I find pigeonholing this blog a bad idea. Also, I know not everyone reading would fall into those categories.  Instead I will review whatever I want but I’m going to add this bit at the end explaining how this product would fit into an “alternative” type look, or what kinds of looks it’d be best for…? I’m still figuring out exactly what I’m putting here.  This is my first shot so please bear with me. ;)-  OK- so, there are dark colors in this palette but they certainly aren’t the darkest of the dark or the most dramatic  shades out there. Personally, I find this palette perfect for when I’m rushing or when I’m going to be out in the daytime and want something not too harsh. I used to not pay attention to ” day” and “night” makeup differences, I always wore jet-black eyebrows, purple lips, and dark eye makeup but I’m nearing 30 and I know that my old repertoire can look harsh in bright sunlight. Also, I’m pressed for time in the morning. I know some of you have to hold down a straight job as well and may need a softer look for that. The colors and the formula on these are extremely flattering. Basically, if you usually wear neutral shades and want to step it up a bit this would work well. If you normally go dark and dramatic but need to take it down a notch, this is for you.  If you like a retro, pin-up look or simply want to look “pretty” these work a treat. If you want dark and dramatic, you should probably look elsewhere. If you don’t own any makeup brushes or applicators, you should pick something up with this unless you prefer to use your fingers (which I don’t recommend.)

I’m going to work on the format of the black paragraph. Suggestions, anyone?

The Balm Shady Lady Vol. 2. $ 39.50

Top 3 first- Insane Jane, Just This Once Jamie, Devilish Danielle, Feisty Felicia,Makeout Mary.Tempting Tara, Caught in the Act Courtney, Bossy Bobby, Mischievous Martha

Same Shadows, slightly different angle to catch the left row better. All dry, no primer as always ;D

Buxom City Slickers Set

 

Thanks to Sephora Friends and Family I got to pick up this neat set! Though after getting to play with it I think it’s more than worth paying full price. The Buxom City Slickers set includes four of the Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Sticks and four Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polishes. Buxom Lip Sticks are supposed to work as lip liners and lipstick all while plumping your pout. The Buxom Lip Polishes are sheer color that can be used alone or layered and they also have some plumping action going on.

So far my experience with lip-plumpers only extends to the Lip Venom line from DuWop. (I love the Pure Venom Berry! ) That did not prepare me for what the Buxom products felt like, however. When I applied the Buxom lip sticks and polishes I got the tingly feeling but it lasted the entire time I had them on my lips. The sensation fades as the lipcolor fades but until then you will have an intense “cooling” sensation. If minty were a feeling rather than a flavor then minty is how these feel on my lips! It’s a bit intense but it’s not unpleasant. When I wore the Lip Stick in combination with the Lip Polish I noticed that my lips did look a bit fuller. I think that is probably partly the formula doing what it claims and the rest is the gloss just making your lips appear fuller.   As with any lip-plumping product, your mileage  may vary. I kind of like that you can feel the minty-ness the whole time they are on because I know when I need to reapply without looking in a mirror! 😉  These had decent wear-time on me but don’t expect them to last through meals or anything hardcore. With only drinking from a straw I got about four hours of them looking great before needing a little touching up. I wasn’t careful about blending when I used one of the lip sticks to line my lips and after eating a meal only the lip line remained, so be sure to blend and soften edges while lining.

Buxom Big and healthy Lip Sticks LtR Top to Bottom-Marrakech, Bombay, Fresno, Vienna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Sticks LtR Top row first- Michelle, Vienna, Marrakech, Fresno

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish LtR Top Row then Bottom! Amber, Michelle, Brandi, Denise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish LtR Top Row first- Amber, Michelle, Brandi, Denise.

The set is designed so that each Lip Stick is paired with a Lip Polish similar in color. In the Set the Lip Sticks and the Lip Polishes are paired up in this order- Bombay and Michelle, Vienna and Denise, Fresno and Brandi and Marrakech and Amber.   The colors really compliment each other (as do the formulas!) but it’s fun to mix and match with them too. The Buxom City Slickers set is $39 available at Sephora

Fyrinnae Lip Lustres- Review & Swatches

Fyrinnae is an indie makeup company that offers unique, vibrant vegan makeup. Their eyeshadows are sold loose. They are incredibly pigmented and some of the shades are also quite complex. They also offer blush, bronzer, highlighters, lip “lustres” and a few miscellaneous helpful offerings such as Pixie Epoxy- a specially blended “primer” for their shadows and a few carefully selected and crafted powders and primers that serve a variety of clever purposes. They put a lot of work into every aspect of their business- the site, the products, the names of the shades, etc. Also, everything still costs less than most drugstore cosmetics.

The description of the Lip Lustres from the website description is as follows: “Please keep in mind that these are NOT intended to be like lipgloss. This product is a non-sticky lipcolour “stain”, leaving moisturizing colour on your lips but no goopy tackiness. These are made to be opaque, as in not transparent, though the semi-sheer shades, usually the very pale ones, are noted in the shade description. They are a relatively dry product because we pack as much colour into them as possible, but the ingredients are not drying. No silicones, no beeswax, no dyes. This means, due to the high concentration of natural butters, they are thinner in a warm environment, thicker when it’s cool. Use care when opening if they have been cold (i.e; in a mailbox in winter).

This all adds up to a lip product unlike any I’ve come across. The first two I picked up were mini-sizes which they don’t offer any longer but the full-size is still quite affordable at $4.50 for a 5.8ml tube. You don’t need to pile it on to get the color to show either, it only takes a swipe or two so a tube should last you awhile.

Most of the shades are either shimmery or metallic, some sparkle and some are fairly matte.  The shades offered are almost equally divided between wearable colors and  fun/funky ones. They weren’t kidding when they mentioned that the thickness of the formula can fluctuate- when they aren’t thin from being warm they feel thin but not watery. They feel like they would slip off but I’ve never experienced any bleeding or feathering problems despite the texture. If you do, a lip liner would fix that right up.

The shades I have now are (from Left to Right) Trickster, Ryo Pinko, Acidic Cherry, Shangri-La,Pink Guitar,Bloodstains.

Pink guitar is much more pink and less peach and bloodstains is a bit more red than it looks in this pic. The next one shows those a bit better.

LTR- Trickster, Ryo Pinko, Acidic Cherry, Shangri-La, Pink Guitar, Bloodstains.

They all go one smoothly, and can be worn alone, together or over lipstick. They will dry down to a stain and the effect becomes more noticeable with repeated applications throughout the day.  Pink Guitar has become an everyday color for me. It’s so quick and easy to swipe on when I’m rushing out the door. I was a little disappointed with the two darker shades because they didn’t apply completely even. They were a little streaky. I wanted to love Acidic Cherry because I have never seen a lip color like that but it just didn’t look right with it being so uneven and splotchy. Bloodstains wasn’t as bad as Acidic Cherry but I don’t think it looks as nice as the lighter shades- it’s a little streaky. I’ve been wearing it lightly applied over a regular lipstick and it looks good that way. I’m hoping that maybe when it thickens up in the cold weather it might look better.

Overall, I think they’re pretty great. I will  be trying more shades of the Lip Lustres. It’s incredibly rare to find something so unique in the world of makeup so you should check them out if only because of that. I’m willing to bet that once you try anything from Fyrinnae, you will be hooked!

http://www.fyrinnae.com/index.php