Monday, May 27, 2013

Maybelline "Make Me Pink" Color Sensational Lipstick Swatch + Review

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Make Me Pink"
 The day I posted my review on the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Hooked on Pink", I took a little time and looked back on a few of the reviews I'd posted when I'd first started this blog. The Maybelline  lipstick in "Make Me Pink" was the featured product of one of those reviews. This past Christmas I finally upgraded from my iPhone camera to a Canon Rebel T3i. In the next few months I'm planning on going back through some of the old reviews I've done (the ones with the especially bad photographs), re-shoot the swatches, and re-post the reviews. So if you read my blog way back then (thank you to the people who are still with me) and see a familiar review, don't worry. You're not going crazy but I am running out of new products to post about each week--I am a college student after all. 

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Make Me Pink"
"Make Me Pink", like most of the lipsticks I've tried from Maybelline's Color Sensational line, is an excellent bargain at the drugstore, retailing for about $7.00 (depending on where you purchase it). The formulation of this range is very basic. It is smooth but not incredibly creamy. It has a strong generic chemical smell (but don't worry, after a few minutes you'll hardly notice). The darker colors have a very impressive lasting power but lighter shades like this one will require more touch-ups. The packaging is nice but feels inexpensive. These products don't have safety packaging in the store, meaning that anyone can tamper with the product before you purchase it. I remember spending a whole paragraph ranting about that in my last review but I'll spare you. With over 68 shades to choose from, the Maybelline lipsticks are an excellent option for people beginning to experiment with makeup. Plus, the price won't leave you with buyer's remorse. 

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Make Me Pink"
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Make Me Pink"
"Make Me Pink" is a lovely, natural soft cool-toned pink color. It looks lovely on it's own or with a peach color gloss like Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss in "Peaceful". It isn't the most unique color on the market but I'm almost one hundred percent certain that you won't find a similar color at a better price. 

-Smooth application
-Highly pigmented
-Price (around $7.49) 

-Generic, chemical smell
-No safety packaging for products in store

In conclusion, this product does have a couple major flaws but the price makes these flaws easier to overlook. I cannot emphasize how particular I am about where I purchase my Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks. I try to purchase them from Ulta's or Targets that don't get a lot of traffic because, quite frankly, it makes me nervous that they don't come with safety packaging. They cost a little extra at those locations but I'll just wait for them to go on sale.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadow Swatches, Photos, + Reviews

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Shadows: Bad to the Bronze, Tough As Taupe, and Barely Beige
I think it's time to mix things up a little, don't you? Your normally scheduled lip product and nail polish swatches will return next week but today let's talk about the Maybelline 24 Hour color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows. Long name, I know, but these things are magic in a container. They are the best cream shadows at the drugstore. Period. And I'm not the only one who thinks these bad boys are the bees knees. I actually picked up my first color tattoo--Bad to the Bronze--after hearing MissGlamorazzi and Amarixe rave about it on their YouTube channels. And I was not disappointed. 

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Shadows
Now I know some of you might be asking, "What's all the hullabaloo? What makes these cream shadows so special?" Honestly, I think it's because these are MAC quality paint pots on sale at the drugstore for a fraction of the cost. The Maybelline 24 Hour Tattoo Cream Shadows have a smooth but thick formulation that makes it easy to apply to eye with a brush or with a finger. When worn under powder eye shadows, it makes them appear more vibrant. And this stuff is super long lasting. 

Just for reference  MAC paint pots retail for $18.50 while the Maybelline Color Tattoos retail for about 6.99 depending on where you buy them. That is a significant price difference! 

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows
 Since I've bought these, I never wear eye makeup without it underneath. It helps make my shadows appear more vibrant and last all day long. I absolutely love sweeping on "Bad to the Bronze" or "Barely Beige" on my lid (these shades look lovely on their own) before I head out the door. These things are no muss, no fuss products and would be perfect addition to a busy woman's makeup bag.

Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Shadows: Bad to the Bronze, Tough As Taupe, and Barely Beige
Here are the colors swatched on the back of my hand. Are they gorgeous? "Tough As Taupe" has excellent formulation but I'm not a big fan of the color. I find that it requires a bit more work than the other two and I find that it's a bit dark for the types of makeup looks I gravitate towards. It's a fantastic color for a smokey eye. "Bad to the Bronze" and "Barely Beige" are the two colors that I reach for the most. As I mentioned before, I really like wearing them by themselves when I want a simple eye look. 

"bad to the Bronze" and "Tough As Taupe" are both part of the permanent range but unfortunately  "Barely Beige" was a limited edition color. You might be able to find it but I doubt it. That brings me to my biggest complaint about the Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Shadows. There isn't a great selection of neutral colors. I wish Maybelline would introduce "Barely Beige" and a darker nude color into the permanent range. Only time will tell, I guess. But I am very impressed with the bold, bright colors they do have. It's only a matter of time before I get my hands on "Tenacious Teal" and "Pomegranate Punk". 

-Long lasting
-Prevent creasing
-Smooth formulation and application
-Sleek and expensive-feeling packaging
-Many bold, bright color options
-Price ($6.99)

-Permanent range lacks many neutral options

In conclusion, I think these are a fantastic product. I've been using them for about a year now and haven't had any major problems with the product. Make sure to keep the lid screwed on tight because they will dry out if you're not careful. The Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Shadows are extremely high quality products at an amazing price point. Don't waste your money on a paint pot if you can find a similar color in this range.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Maybelline "Hooked on Pink" Color Sensational Lipstick Swatch + Review

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Hooked on Pink"
 I have already done a few reviews of colors from the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick range in the past (click here and here to see those) and my opinion of the range has not changed significantly since I published those blog posts. I think Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks are great basic, inexpensive lipsticks for everyday wear. These aren't the most luxurious product on the drugstore market (the formulation feels a bit waxy on the lips and the packaging feels light and inexpensive) but the color range is large and the color has a pretty good lasting power. 

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Hooked on Pink"
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Hooked on Pink"
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Hooked on Pink"
"Hooked on Pink" is not the name I would've picked for this deep rose, almost red, shade but, none the less, this is a lovely shade. "Hooked on Pink" is a cream shade--no glitter, shimmer, or reflex. I think this would be a wonderful color for women who want to wear a red lip but don't feel comfortable wearing  bold, in-your-face color. This would make a lovely transition lipstick. Wear this for a few weeks and then maybe move onto a lovely red lipstick like the Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in "Romantic" (a sheer red color).

-Smooth application
-Highly pigmented
-Fades evenly and beautifully
-Price (around $7.49) 

-Generic, chemical smell
-No safety packaging for products in store
-Can be drying

In conclusion, this is a great basic lipstick especially for women and men just getting into makeup. I don't think the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks are the highest quality lipstick at the drugstore (if you're willing to splurge a little more check out the Revlon Lip Butters, the Revlon Super Lustruous Lipsticks, or the CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks). But I think that for the price (I've seen these retail for four dollars on sale), you won't be disappointed. I was inspired to write this post because I've been wearing this color almost exclusively for the past week or so. It's one of my favorite lipsticks of the moment. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

My MAC Lipstick Collection: Swatches, Photos, + Reviews

MAC Lipstick: Myth, Mlle, Viva Glam V, Lustering, and Milan Mode
 Happy Monday! Today's blog post has been one that I've been meaning to do (because it has been requested more than a few times) but have never gotten around to doing it. Today, obviously, that changes. I wouldn't consider myself an avid collector of MAC lipsticks (I prefer to spend my time procuring books and nerdy t-shirts) but I do pick up lipstick whenever a color catches my eye. MAC lipsticks are rather pricey ($15.00) and that is the main reason why my collection is so small. They are amazingly high quality but I don't know if they're worth the price tag---especially when drugstore lip products are comparable in quality and extremely affordable. 

My MAC Lipstick Collection
All of my MAC lipsticks have the traditional black, bullet shaped packaging--no fancy limited edition packaging for me--except for one shade, "Viva Glam V". It is part of the Viva Glam range. This range was introduced in 1994 and every cent of the selling price of these lipsticks is donated to the MAC AIDS Fund which supports men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS. I find it easier to spend my money when I know that it's going to such an awesome cause. 

MAC Lipstick: Myth,  Mlle, Viva Glam V,  Lustering, and Milan Mode
Myth is a satin finish. Mlle is a glaze finish. Viva Glam V, Lustering, and Milan Mode have lustre finishes. And Cream Cup (which is not picture here because it had an unfortunate accident with a girl I used to babysit) is a cream finish--very surprising, I know. 

MAC Lipstick: Myth, Mlle, Viva Glam V, Cream Cup, Lustering, and Milan Mode
Here are the colors all swatched on my arm. If I had to choose my favorites I would say that Cream Cup, Viva Glam V, and Lustering are by far the easiest to wear. Myth is a lovely color but I find that it is a nude that washes me out unless I wear a gloss--Viva Glam V is an easier nude to wear. Mlle is my least favorite shade. It is very pigmented but tends to look very unflattering on me. I'm sure it would look gorgeous on someone with very fair skin tone but with my yellow undertones, it tends to look a little like something a mod clown would wear. Trust me--it's not a good look. And last but not least, Milan Mode. It is the most recent addition to my collection and it's a gorgeous color on a night out but the chunky-monkey glitter makes it a harder sell for an everyday lipstick.

-Packaging (sleek and timeless)
-Pigmented and smooth application
-Wide range of shades and finishes
-Lovely scent (not the generic makeup smell)

-Price ($15.00)
-Not extremely long lasting (needs reapplication around hour two)
As I mentioned earlier, MAC lipsticks are expensive. But I have gotten two lipsticks through the Back to MAC program (return six MAC containers and get a free lipstick). It takes a while to get through six MAC products but a chance to save the environment AND get free swag, you would have to be ridiculous to pass up this opportunity.

In conclusion, MAC lipsticks are excellent products if you are willing to splurge. I'm planning to expand my tiny collection one lipstick at a time. I know this review was pretty brief but I've done full reviews on all the colors. Just check those out if you want to know more about what I thought about each shade.

Friday, May 17, 2013

OPI "Hot & Spicy" Swatch + Review

OPI "Hot & Spicy"
This color and I have had a love-hate relationship in the past. When I first bought it I hated this color--there was nothing wrong with the formulation but I was convinced that the color looked horrible with my skin tone.  I wore it a few times but in the end I was not impressed with this color and it ended up getting lost in my collection. I don't know what happened between two summers ago and now but I have completed a complete 180. I am now obsessed with this color. I wouldn't wear it during the fall or winter months but something about this great weather we've been  having has drawn me to this color. It is such a fun and bright shade. Orange nail polish is the perfect way to get ready for summer. I never would've said this two years ago--but I guess that goes to show you how people can change. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Flower "Wispy Wisteria" Lip Butter Swatch + Review

For those of you who don't know, actress Drew Barrymore has recently launched a new cosmetics company, Flower, and I am a HUGE fan. I only own a handful of products but I honestly love each and every one of them. It also doesn't hurt that I'm a big Drew Barrymore fan (Hello? The Wedding Singer. Charlie's Angels. He's Just Not That Into You.). She's amazing and extremely beautiful.

The Flower brand is available exclusively at Wal-Mart--but good luck trying to find it. It went to four locations before I found one that actually had these products available. But that means that all of the products in this range are super affordable. This Lip Butter only cost $6.98 and everything else in the range retails for $15. The hardest part was trying to decide which products I wanted to try out first. 

Flower Lip Butter in "Wispy Wisteria" 
The packaging of the Flower products is so luxurious and modern and sleek. They all have the beautiful rose gold detailing which I think is a small detail that makes a huge difference. But I found that the packaging of this product in particular is a little too bulky for my taste--especially at the base. The top also does not securely click into place and sometimes falls off if I'm not careful but this is a minor problem that I hope will be fixed in the future. Otherwise, I give the packaging an A+. I don't think anyone in the drugstore can compete. 

Flower Lip Butter in "Wispy Wisteria"
But what about the formulation? Well, I'm sure you will be thrilled to hear that the formulation is fantastic. I've been itching to write this review for weeks because I was so excited about this product. It applies like a dream. The pigmentation is excellent. And, it is easily one of the glossiest products on the market. The Flower Lip Butter gives the L'Oreal Colour Caresse Shine Stains a run for their money. It is also super moisturizing on the lips and does an amazing job of camouflaging dry lips. I don't think this will completely replace your favorite lip balm but it might decrease the number of times you have to reach for it during the week.

P.S. As I was editing the photos for this post, I couldn't help but notice that my cat photo bombed my swatches. You can see her if you look to the blurred black and white spot on the left side of the swatch. Readers, say hello to my adorable little kitty, Noelle. And even though she's so blurred that you can't really see her, I chose not to crop her out. She really is one of the sweetest cats I know.

Flower Lip Butter in "Wispy Wisteria"
First off, let me state the obvious. This lip butter is SO glossy.  In the picture above I'm not wearing any lip gloss or lip balm. Isn't that insane? Ah! I almost couldn't believe it. A lot of products (the CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm seem to come to mind) claim to be a glossy or a lipstick and lip gloss in one but the Flower Lip Butters blew me away. I cannot wait to get my hands on more colors. Before sitting down to write this review I did a bit research and almost everyone unanimously agrees that these Lip Butters are perfection!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Maybelline "Quenched" Baby Lips Lip Balm Swatch + Review

Maybelline Baby Lips in "Quenched"
I finally got on the bandwagon. I know. I know. Everyone has been talking about the Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balms and I was never really interested. I had my eos lip balm. I didn't think I needed another. But clearly, I was wrong. I still like the eos lip balms but they tend to feel heavy and waxy on the lips. On the other hand, the Maybelline Baby Lips are so smooth and lightweight. They're also SUPER moisturizing. These bad boys will turn chapped lips into smooth lips in a matter of a few applications--no problem. 

Maybelline Baby Lips in "Quenched"
Unlike the other Maybelline Baby Lips, "Quenched" is completely clear. There really was no reason for me to post a swatch but as a beauty blogger I wanted to be thorough. Plus, taking pictures of swatches is one of my favorite parts of being a beauty blogger. Even when I have to stand outside in abnormally cold and windy weather.

Maybelline Baby Lips in "Quenched"
Here is what the lip balm looks like on the lips. As I said earlier, it is completely clear but it does give your lips a lovely sheen/gloss. I am officially obsessed with this product and I cannot recommend it more! I have tried a few of the other Maybelline Baby Lips but I wasn't as impressed. Check out "Quenched" if you are looking for an easy and powerful lip balm. Your chapped lips will thank you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sally Hansen "Yellow Kitty" Swatch + Review

Sally Hansen "Yellow Kitty"
It is almost impossible to get a great yellow nail polish. I thought I had found the perfect yellow nail polish when MissGlamorazzi raved about this color in a few of her videos. "Yellow Kitty" is a nice color but it's a bit too bright and I was looking for a more pastel yellow--like Revlon Buttercup. I have tried to wear this color three times since I first bought it but the color is requires so many coats to become opaque that it has always ended badly. It took four or five coats to get the swatch above--and even then I ended up ruining my nails because it took too long to dry even with a fast-dry top coat (so I ended the night wearing another spring-appropriate color, Essie "No Boundaries"). "Yellow Kitty" is a hard shade to find and if you happen to stumble across this color, I would suggest that you pass. The formulation and opacity is unimpressive and the color is not for everyone.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CoverGirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm Swatches, Photos, + Reviews

CoverGirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm: Ballet Twist, Blush Twist,  Watermelon Twist, Coral Twist
After much internal debate and two trips to the drugstore, I finally come to a consensus about the CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balms. In the end I've realized that these products are a frustrating mix of good and bag. I know that might seem anti-climatic but I find that these products can be extremely underwhelming (see my review of "Ballet Twist" and "Coral Twist") or pleasantly surprising (see my review of "Watermelon Twist" and "Blush Twist"). They are extremely hit or miss which makes me hesitant to recommend them as a range.

CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm: Ballet Twist, Blush Twist, Watermelon Twist, Coral Twist
I will first address my complaints before getting to my compliments. First, these products are poorly named. I own four out of the sixteen shades and none of them are what I would consider to be a gloss or a balm. They have a lovely sheen when applied to the lips but I would compare the look to a lustre or stain finish--not a gloss. Also, these are called gloss balms which (at least for me personally) induces imagery of an insanely moisturizing product. Who needs their Vaseline or EOS lip balms anymore? This is supposed to be a two in one product ..right? Well...not really. While they do apply smoothly to the lips and they do feel quite moisturizing, don't throw out your lip balm anytime soon. And in my experience, some colors ("Ballet Twist" and "Coral Twist") seem to emphasize the appearance of dry lips rather than fix the problem.

Second, the color pay-off doesn't quite match the caps or even the product in the tube. It isn't a big deal but it is something that is a bit annoying when I was picking out colors to buy. This was especially a problem with  "Ballet Twist" which I thought was a baby pink but ended up being a true nude color. Like I said earlier, it isn't a big problem but it is something to be aware of when shopping.

CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balm: Ballet Twist, Blush Twist, Watermelon Twist, Coral Twist
Third, the lasting power of these products is not impressive. The sheen will wear off around an hour (sooner if you eat shortly after application) and the color wear off, on average, around one hour. Some of the darker colors ("Coral Twist") can last around three but it does not fade very gracefully (making my lips look patchy and chapped--which is never a good look). "Ballet Twist" lasted for a significantly less amount of time but it still left my lips feeling and looking dry. To be fair, I had no problems with "Watermelon Twist" or "Blush Twist". They faded beautifully and were just fantastic products to wear on an everyday basis.

Fourth, the inconsistency of these products. As I mentioned above, I had very different experiences with each of the shades that I bought. Some I loved, some I hated. This made it extremely hard for me to come to a consensus on the range. It was really hit or miss.

Now onto the things I liked about the products. I love the jumbo lipstick pencils. I think they're so easy to use and can sometimes give consumers better application control than a normal lipstick. And while they weren't glossy balms, they applied smoothly and easily to the lips.

I think that these Jumbo Gloss Balms are an okay product. There is nothing terrible about them but I think some of the shades aren't ideal for the lives of many working women. They aren't long lasting or highly pigmented. In the end, I  think are plenty of products on the market that are better than the CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Balms. If you are looking for long-lasting and high pigmentation  check out the CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipsticks. They are fantastic products at a great price. If you are looking for a moisturizing lipstick (without a long shelf life) try a Revlon Lip Butter or a L'oreal Colour Riche Caresse Lipstick. Both feel amazing on the lips but the Lip Butter is very opaque while the L'oreal Lipstick has a very sheer finish.

If you still want to buy a Jumbo Gloss Balm despite reading this review--go for it! These are by no means a horrible product. Like I said at the beginning of the review, these are average products. Some of the shades are fantastic ("Watermelon Twist" or "Blush Twist") but some I regretted buying ("Ballet Twist" or "Coral Twist"). I will not be buying more of products from this range unless I read an excellent review on a specific color from someone that I really trust.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Mascara Swatch + Review

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Mascara
Was anyone else super excited about the newly released Lash Potion by Grow Luscious mascara? I know that as soon as I saw the Emma Stone advertisement, I was hooked. The packaging was stunningly modern AND it claimed that it would make my lashes grow longer. Who doesn't want longer lashes? You can imagine how excited I was when I received this in the mail as part of one of Revlon's Facebook promotions.

Before and After: Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Mascara
Maybe my expectations were too high but I was largely unimpressed with this mascara. So many drugstores (Maybelline and Physician's Formula come to mind) have been majorly stepping up their game. I have tried so many drugstore mascaras and LOVED them. They gave full, long but natural looking lashes without breaking the bank. I was hoping this would do the same thing. 

The formulation does a great job of lengthening but it is very clumpy. I'm not a huge fan of the spider-lash effect but I convinced myself to try to give the product the benefit of the doubt. Imagine my horror when a few hours later I looked in the mirror and the product had flaked all over my face. I can handle spider-lashes but I draw the line at flaky eyes. 

Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious
I haven't been using this product long enough to tell whether or not my lashes have gotten longer but because it has a very flaky formulation, I don't think I will be wearing it very often in the future.  Here is a close-up of the much-hyped triple-groove wand that is supposed to give a clump-free application. I'm sad to say that I think this latest release from Revlon is more hype than substance. I would recommend passing on this product. It isn't worth the money (despite it's reasonable price tag). 

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me for review

Friday, May 3, 2013

Essie "No Boundaries" Swatch + Review

Essie "No Boundaries"
As the weather has been getting warmer, my nail polish choices have been getting brighter. "No Boundaries" is one of my favorite Essie polishes. It is so bold and bright. I love to give this color as a gift because it looks great with almost any skin tone and it tends to be a hard color to find if you don't know where to look. I have had the most success at Ulta (because they seem to have almost every Essie polish imaginable). And as much as I hate the Essie brushes (they're too thin and difficult to work with), I will admit that Essie has the best range of colors for spring and summer. There is simply no competition. So if you are looking for some great colors to wear in celebration of the oncoming summer months, I would recommend checking out the wide range of colors Essie has to offer (including this one).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Butter London "Fruit Machine" Swatch + Review

Butter London "Fruit Machine"
Another nail polish post? Shocker...I know. But today I'm mixing it up and chose to wear Butter London "Fruit Machine". I'm normally not a fan of pink anything (blame it on the fact that my sister was obsessed with the color pink from birth and I wanted to be different) but when I saw this color at Ulta, I knew I wanted it. To be honest, I wanted all of the colors from Spring 2013 collection but I managed to control my impulses. I love the color but I am extremely disappointed with the formulation. It was a mildly gloopy application and only required two coats. But what I found most frustrating about this polish (which cost $15.00) was the hugely unimpressive lasting power. My sister and I both painted ours nails this color on Saturday afternoon and by Saturday night, my sister's manicure had already chipped. I thought maybe it was a fluke but by Sunday night, my manicure had already begun to chip on three nails. 

I'd never tried a cream finish Butter London polish before and I will admit that my experience with "Fruit Machine" has decreased my enthusiasm for Butter London polishes. I had assumed that Butter London's higher price tag correlated to higher quality. I am disappointed but I am not yet making sweeping judgement about the Butter London polishes. I will give them another chance. Despite the horrible lasting power, I am excited that Butter London is a 3 free company (meaning none of the polishes contain formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP). 
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