Sunday, June 26, 2011

NYC Liquid Lipshine: Fashion Ave Fuchsia

Goodness, this weekend just flew by :< (Please come back!)

Yesterday I discovered a new Target near work and was overwhelmed by its four full aisles of cosmetics, filled to the brim with product, a good bit of which is not available at my local store. Today I am reviewing one of my (many, which is unfortunate for my bank account...) purchases from that finding: NYC's Liquid Lipshine in 579 Fashion Avenue Fuchsia.

Fashion Ave Fuchsia clocks in at 0.24 fluid oz for $2.49.

The color is a pretty fuchsia with silver micro glitter - vibrant, but totally wearable. The applicator is your standard, nondescript doe-foot. Nothing of note in that regard.

The lipshine goes on smooth and glossy, with a fluid, non-tacky texture. The wear time is fairly standard for lipgloss - of course it comes off easily when drinking or eating, but holds decently well otherwise (it does settle lightly into lines but unless examined closely, it is innocuous). I found I had to reapply every 2-3 hours.

This is all well and good, and from my review so far is would seem NYC Liquid Lipshine is a fine, inexpensive choice of lip polish. HOWEVER. For me, there was one important deal breaker: the smell! It's a combination of vanilla and some sort of artificial fruity scent, and is positively nauseating to me. Others may be able to tolerate or even enjoy this, but I simply can't. Too bad, because otherwise NYC has produced a decent product at an exceptional price.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sally Girl Polishes: Beauty on the Cheap

I'll admit it - I'm a (recovering?) label queen. If a product isn't Chanel or Nars or Urban Decay, it must be worthless, no good, and to be avoided! Of course, I know this isn't rational; an inexpensive price-tag doesn't necessarily mean subpar quality, just as a high end label doesn't automatically signal greatness.

In order to relieve my negative preconceptions I'm attempting to branch out and try new, cheaper brands, opening myself up to being pleasantly surprised. I got the perfect opportunity to try out this newfound optimism when my mother brought me one of the Sally Girl Mini Nail Polishes.

These minis come in cute 0.18 oz bottles, and will set you back a whopping $0.99. I have NO idea of the name of the color above - in the bottle it looks like a bright, medium hot pink. On the nail it's darker, more of a neon berry. 

Overall the brush wasn't terrible (medium and flat), though a few stray bristles were sticking out. This didn't hinder application, however. What you see above is three thick coats and you can still see my nail line, rather annoyingly. The polish is a satiny matte that refuses to even out - without the topcoat, it was a streaky, tacky mess. Perhaps a fourth coat would have helped, but I didn't enjoy the color enough to put in the extra effort - the shade is fine, but a bit uninteresting and something I've seen a thousand times over.

In terms of staying power this particular Sally Girl has ZERO, even with the winning combo of Zoya's Anchor as the base and Posh as the topcoat. I'm not exaggerating when I say this was the shortest-lasting lacquer I've ever tried. The day after application at least half of my nails experienced bubbling and lifting. One nail lifted off entirely, in one clean piece. The following day every nail had either lifted, chipped, or bubbled. Ugh!

As much as I was hoping for stumbling upon a great enamel at a bargain price, I can't get behind the Sally Girl Mini Polishes - too much streakiness, too much sheerness, and not enough longevity.

Alas, my quest for quality Beauty on the Cheap continues!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Inglot Neutrals

Welcome to my little corner of the internet! Please bear with me as I continue to work out the kinks of Artful Beauty and familiarize myself with the blogging process.

I'm kicking things off with a brand that is quickly becoming one of my favorites - Inglot offers an extensive selection of products and colors with affordable price-tags, and, somewhat surprisingly, does so with sacrificing neither quality nor quantity.

As soon as Inglot opened their online shop (actual brick-and-mortar stores are scarce in the US) I couldn't NOT place an order for one of their most popular products, the Freedom System eyeshadows, as well as a sleek 20-shadow Freedom palette to house them. Each pan contains 2.3-3.5 grams of product for the price of $4.50 with a purchase of ten or more (for comparison, MAC's refill pans contains 1.5g for $11). When my package arrived, it was absolute LOVE at first sight! (I'm embarrassed to admit that I even went so far as to place another order that same day...)

Inglot's packaging is one of my favorite ever - it's simple but elegant, sturdy, weighty, and expensive-feeling with magnetic snaps.

Aren't they glorious??! HOWEVER. As gorgeous as the colors are we all know that appearances are nothing without substance to back it up, and I am thrilled to report that Inglot has met and exceeded my expectations in terms of quality; Soft, easily blended, quite pigmented for the most part, long-lasting, and affordable! What more can a girl ask for?

Here's a look at the (more or less) neutral colors I've purchased:

1st row, L to R: Pearl 395, DS 463, AMC Shine 15, AMC Shine 25, AMC Shine 49
2nd Row: AMC Shine 11, Matte 390, AMC Shine 44, AMC Shine 43, AMC Shine 42
3rd Row: Pearl 454, AMC Shine 31, Pearl 448, Matte 348, DS 498


Pearl 395, DS 463, AMC Shine 15, AMC Shine 25, AMC Shine 49

AMC Shine 11, Matte 390, AMC Shine 44, AMC Shine 43, AMC Shine 42

Pearl 454, AMC Shine 31, Pearl 448, Matte 348, DS 498

I love these eyeshadows to pieces, and I find myself reaching for them at least a couple times a week. 15 is just one-of-a-kind, the perfect shimmery peachy/pink/red/coral, and lovely for summer. My other favorites are 44, a sage-y forest green with microglitter, 448, 390, and 25. Just look how pretty they are (they're even better in person!), and all but one of the pans in the photos returned rich color payoffs with just one swipe of the brush! The only shade that gave me some problems was DS 463: What you see in the above swatch is me layering about 4-5 layers of it, and what resulted is still a rather thin, powdery film of color. Despite this one lonesome dud, color me (heeee =B) a newly appointed devotee of Inglot. I can't wait to share the more vibrant half of my collection!


The Good: Inexpensive; great pigmentation; wide selection; soft; long-lasting; blendable
+++ Have you SEEN 15? I just. CAN'T EVEN.

The Not-So-Good: 463; Once inside the palette and held secure magnetically, it's a bit difficult to remove the individual pans without disturbing the product (I have a few nail marks where my hand slipped while trying to wedge a pan out)

The Inglot Freedom Palette is available at the Inglot US Website.