Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Snow Shadow - Photos, Review, Swatches

Got an awful case of the Wednesday blues, dum dee doo. Is the work week over yet? :<

One thing that brightens my day is this Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio in Snow Shadow GY901, another of my Sephora F&F sale casualties.

 The shadows come in a sleek, glossy black palette with the tiny Shiseido logo in the corner. Tres chic!

The texture of these shades is similar to Chanel's - powdery, soft, and with teeny-tiny microglitter. The first color on the left is a deep navy-black with subtle blue glitter that's bigger than the shimmery sheen in the other two shadows but still quite elegant. Next is a warmish gray with a silver veil, and last is a delicate, creamy white with gold microglitter.

A nice little trio where the colors coordinate with and complement each other. I would say these are moderately pigmented - not fully opaque but not sheer, and certainly buildable. They last well, even without primer: after about 16 hours of wear, I got just the slightest fading and a tiny bit of creasing (both these annoyances can be avoided with a good base). I think the microshimmer on the white is gorgeous, refined, and expensive-looking - romantic, luxurious, reminiscent of Chanel's formula. The blue sparkle brings some interest to an otherwise fairly standard dark navy, and miraculously there is a miniscule amount of fallout. The gray is nice but nothing astounding (not that makeup always has to POP - simple is beautiful, too!).

So would I buy Shiseido's eyeshadows again? I say yes, probably. Shiseido is a brand often overlooked by me and it turns out that they have some truly stellar products! I think the glimmer of these colors, especially the white, DO serve to brighten the eye and give it a healthy, youthful glow. The formula is soft, refined, and easy to work with. You may have similar colors already but if you don't, this is a lovely little set.

Are you a Shiseido fan? What's your favorite of their products?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Maybelline Baby Lips Balm in Cherry Me, Pink Punch - Review, Photos, Swatches

You may have seen a new tinted lip balm at your local drugstore called Maybelline Baby Lips. Regardless of the... off-putting... name these little balms are quite handy and convenient, and I must say that I do enjoy them despite my nomenclatural misgivings. I purchased two, Pink Punch, a bright pink, and Cherry Me, a cherry red, for $2.99 each.

Packaging is nothing revolutionary, just what you would expect for this type of product. They each contain SPF 20 and according to Maybelline's claims moisturize dry lips for up to 8 hours.

L to R: Cherry Me, Pink Punch
Cherry Me
Pink Punch
L to R: Pink Punch, Cherry Me
I very much like Pink Punch - the color is more of a standout than that of Cherry Me, and the formula is smoother and slicker. As for 8-hour moisture... Well, I don't think even my beloved Jack Black can live up to that! I would say Pink Punch soothes dehydrated lips for about 4-5 hours before wearing away. It's an excellent tinted balm, providing a wash of shiny pink color while working efficiently to counteract dryness.

For whatever reason I don't find Cherry Me to be all that moisturizing; in fact, I can only wear it for about an hour before my lips get uncomfortable and cry out for a heavier balm. This one is quite unwearable and unpleasant for me, and if I didn't know Pink Punch and Cherry Me are both Maybelline Baby Lips balms I would never guess they are from the same collection or even brand - strange that two products from the same line can have such opposing reactions on me when worn! This one was disappointing compared to the excellent Pink Punch.

I'm conflicted. Pink Punch is really good - hydrating, slick, and offers a pretty and subtle veil of color. It may be my chemistry, but Cherry Me was quite horrid, uncomfortable, and didn't work for me at all. Or, this may have just been a fuddy-duddy tube that passed unnoticed through quality control. Either way, $2.99 isn't a large investment, and I wouldn't mind trying my luck with other shades in Maybelline's line.

Have you tried these balms? How did they work for you?

For those who celebrate it, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I feel like I'm still recovering and trying to get back in the swing of things. Here is our table, full of delicious, festive goodies (two turkeys were involved!) -

Good food, good company :) How was your Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss Set - Review, Photos, Swatches

Here's another of my Sephora F&F sale purchases: the Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gloss Set!
This collection contains eight mini Ultra Shine Lipglosses (0.1 oz each) and is available at Sephora for $22. I couldn't find the volume of the full-size product online, but regular tubes of these glosses can be purchased for $14 each.

Let's get to it!
She Sparkles
Sassy Soiree
Fresh Peach
Perfect Nude
Pop Princess
Pink Diamond
Purple Red
Cinnamon Spice
L to R: She Sparkles, Sassy Soiree, Fresh Peach, Perfect Nude, Pop Princess, Pink Diamond, Red Purple, Cinnamon Spice
Color me pleasantly surprised! I think this little set offers a nice variety of colors in a good mix of finishes (glitter, shimmer, and creme). The glosses have a generous amount of pigment and I can tell that the sheerer ones, like She Sparkles, were formulated as such intentionally to provide a veil of sparkle atop a lipstick base, and aren't just accidental duds. Fresh Peach looks positively glowing and gorgeous on its own, while the rest of the shades (with the exception of She Sparkles) would work splendidly both by themselves and layered. Very festive conglomerate of colors, and I love that with Sephora's Ultra Shine Lipgloss Set one can easily maneuver between a subtle look and a glamorous look as one sees fit. At the price point this product is great for those who like to change at up or are commitment-phobic when it comes to their makeup choices (I'll admit I'm one of the latter lasses!). Sephora uses a sponge hourglass applicator:

Sephora's Ultra Shine glosses have a nice, soft texture and a vanilla scent. They wear well for a gloss (roughly two hours) and they aren't drying in the slightest (perhaps even a bit moisturizing?). The quality of these products exceeded my expectations; definitely worth checking out!

Have you tried any of Sephora's lip glosses?

Friday, November 18, 2011

NOTD - Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Forget You - Photos, Swatches, Review

Super-quick nail of the day (technically, more like week)! This is Deborah Lippmann's nail polish in Forget You, a multi-colored, multi-sized glitter in a black jelly base. This is three coats. (Please excuse the tipwear - this was about five days after application.)

I have massive/crazy/obsessive love for this color! I don't think I've seen anything similar, ever, but please tell me if you have; A cheaper alternative is always appreciated! The black base is fairly smoky and sheer, but buildable; three coats gave nearly full coverage. The time-saving option is to paint one coat of the glitter over a black base, like CND's Blackjack! The consistency of Forget You was spot on, not chunky or goopey like some glitters tend to be. The one issue for me is that this formula, unlike most others by Deb Lippmann, started chipping on me around day 4-5, especially on the thumbs. I've generally had a good experience with this brand (about six-seven days of chip-free wear), but something about this one didn't jive with my nail chemistry. Hm. The shade is unique enough, however, for me to overlook this minor defect.

I'm not sure Forget You is available on its own - I couldn't find any info on the company's website. I purchased this as part of the Get This Party Started Set, which also includes Candy Shop (multi-colored glitter in pink base, new shade) and Happy Birthday (multi-colored glitter in clear base, part of the regular line).

Happy Friday! I'm so relieved it's the weekend finally!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sinful Colors Extra Shiny Lipgloss in Pucker Up, Carnival - Review, Swatches, Photos

I feel like I'm the only person in the world who didn't know that Sinful Colors made a product other than nail lacquer, until a few days ago when I ran into their lipglosses at Walgreens... literally. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going and I literally body-checked the hanging display so hard it rattled and swayed precariously on its flimsy little hooks. Some tubes even decided to abandon ship and jumped overboard. The girl who was stocking haircare items further down the aisle gave me a long, unimpressed stare before going back to work, pretending not to have noticed my embarrassing fumble 8D

After I got over that awkward snafu I purchased two colors, Pucker Up and Carnival, at $1.99 a piece.
L to R: Carnival, Pucker Up
Note - if you decide to purchase SC's Extra Shiny Lipgloss I recommend twisting off the top to make sure that the stopper (which wipes excess product from the wand as you take it out of the tube) is there. Carnival was missing this piece, so when I unknowingly whipped the applicator out I got gooey gloss everywhere. Luckily I was still in the Walgreens parking lot and was able to run in and get it exchanged, but save yourself the hassle and check beforehand!

The applicator is your standard sponge-tip doe-foot affair -

Here's Pucker Up, a pale pink nude -
No Flash
This is Carnival, a deep berry red -
No flash
Pucker Up is the more opaque of the two shades, though neither provide full coverage. Carnival is sheer, probably best for layering, and I imagine it would look absolutely breathtaking atop Make Up For Ever's  Moulin Rouge! The texture of the formulas is quite different across these two glosses; Pucker Up is thicker, tackier, and more globby, while Carnival is very, VERY thin - like, I thought it might run off my lips if I applied too much! (It doesn't, though, just feels that way.) The scent is pleasant, a light vanilla odor similar to that found in MAC lipsticks, and it fades within a few minutes. If, like me, you hate being overwhelmed by the sickeningly sweet or fruity scents commonly found in drugstore cosmetics, this smell should not bother you! In terms of longevity, these last about 1.5-2 hours on me - not particularly stellar, but fair for a gloss.

Overall, I think these are great for the price. There were shimmer shades available as well if that's what you're looking for. Have you gotten any of the Sinful Colors lip glosses? How do you like them?

Thanks for reading! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Too Faced Smokey Eye Palette - Review, Photos, Swatches

One of my (too) many Sephora F&F sale acquisitions was the Too Faced Smokey Eye Palette. I've tried Too Faced shadows before with happy results, and I'm please to report that Smokey Eye also lived up to the high expectations I've come to depend on from the brand!
No Flash
Lovely, dark, vampy evening shades! Like all Too Faced sets, Smokey Eye comes with three handy instruction cards -

And now for what's most important really, swatches!
No Flash. L to R: Firely, White Lie, In a Flash, Cloves, Nice Ash, Smoking Jacket, Up in Smoke, Smokin Hot, Smolder

Flash. L to R: Firely, White Lie, In a Flash, Cloves, Nice Ash, Smoking Jacket, Up in Smoke, Smokin Hot, Smolder 
(All swatched over primer.) Can you see how lush these colors are?! The pigmentation is deep and dense, the shades are rich, and practically no effort is required to get the opacity you see above. A very friendly and low-maintenance formula. The shimmers are beautiful but the mattes are truly spectacular - I love the taupe-ish gray of Up in Smoke and the burnt, dirty navy of Smolder. I feel the shadow choices harmonize and complement each other wonderfully, and I imagine it's fairly easy to finagle a great smokey eye from the cards or even the layout (it's quite foolproof!). I have used four pans from this set and all had ironclad staying power with a primer; I experienced no creasing or fading even after 12+ hours of wear.

Overall, this was a successful purchase and I will be hanging on to Too Faced's Smokey Eye. Have you tried any Too Faced products before? I'm curious about the lipsticks!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend before it's time to put our noses back to the grindstone, head to the stars... ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

China Glaze Hunger Games Collection!

I usually don't post release info but I couldn't keep this to myself!!! China Glaze is coming out with a Hunger Games nail polish collection!! It will be available March 2012 around the release of the movie.

I was sucked into the books and thought the trilogy was good until the last book. (Wasn't feeling it!) I will still end up purchasing most of these shades, if I know myself (and after 20+ years, I should! :P). Check them out -

Yay! So what do you think?!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

e.l.f. Holiday Nail Polish Set - Review, Swatches, Photos

Have you spotted any holiday displays or products at your favorite makeup haunts yet? Seems I can't round the corner without bumping into festive reminders of the upcoming celebratory season! On the one hand I am neither ready nor particularly excited for the forthcoming piles of snow and sheets of ice, weather-related traffic delays, blistering, finger-numbing cold, or the days of work required to prepare a ten-course Christmas Eve dinner for fourteen plus family members and friends; On the other hand, I'm always up for a hot cup of cocoa while watching the snow fall outside, being perpetually doused with a deluge of decorations and Christmas music at the local shops, and breaking icicles off our doorframe (love doing that!). As they say (or, at least as the English author wrote), it [is] the best of times, it [is] the worst of times... :)

In any case, this little e.l.f. nail polish set I purchased at Target for $5 gives me hope that the next couple of months will indeed be filled more with tidings of joy and merriness than with the neuroticism, panic, and general surliness that the winter incites in me. (I have recurring nightmares where everyone arrives for Christmas Eve dinner and nothing's ready. Subsequently everyone flips out, disowns me, and leaves me with only several dozen pounds of half-cooked meat, a few sacks of potato, and a bottle or two of cheap vodka to keep me company.)

First up is Golden Goddess, a sheer light gold with silver glitter:
This was two coats. Maybe I'm losing my mind, but I kind of like this lacquer by itself (though obviously it's great for layering, too) - it's fun but still subdued and friendly for some (many?) workplaces.

Now, my favorite - Metal Madness! This is a deep, silvered charcoal frost with tiny, sparse, multi-colored glitter!
Two coats, again. I have to mention how much I ADORE the colorful glitter? It brings Metal Madness from a plain old gray shimmer to something playful and pretty unique! In my stash, at least, I don't believe I have a similar color.

This is Mod Mauve, a putty mauve creme:
Mod Mauve is a glossy neutral and this was two coats. It's nice and I like it, but it's nothing to write home about. Moving on...

Red Velvet, a beautiful garnet shimmer:
Two coats. Red Velvet has that 'lit-from-within' quality, like it's resting atop glowing embers. Depending on the angle, this shade flashes dark pink.

This is two coats of Royal Purple, a grape shimmer:
Royal Purple is vibrant and feels like it belongs in a spring/summer collection, but I'm pleased that e.l.f. included it in the holiday set! This lacquer has a very similar finish to Red Velvet and flashes fuchsia in the right light.
e.l.f.'s nail polish collection is great wintery fun and a good value at $5. I found the consistency of the formula to be decent, a tad thin but very much manageable. The only issue I had was with the brushes - two were jagged and uneven, and in one a bristle was sticking out (I pulled it out, and the brush was perfectly fine afterward). This means you have to be extra careful when applying to get a smooth line, but it's not too much of a bother and certainly not a deal-breaker.

I must say, I feel that Mod Mauve is a throwaway polish and a bit of a missed opportunity. While the other four colors harmonize beautifully, MM shrinks back against its shimmering, sparkling cohorts. It's like the four shades are out partying, painting the town red (or gold, or violet, or charcoal 8D) and Mauve is stuck at home, nursing a massive hangover. I don't protest the addition of a creme polish to this set per se, but why a dirty mauve? It doesn't scream 'holiday!' to me.

Nevertheless, this little set is very much worth it! Have you picked up any of the e.l.f. holiday sets?