Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I'm currently up to my ears in cosmetology school work, a sick child and a husband away on business for 8 days. Like they say, timing is everyting.

Since I revisited the NYX Jumbo Pencils I took another trip to Ulta and picked up a few of the jumbo lip pencils and I wasn't expecting much - I was expecting an oversized lip liner. Whoa - was I pleasantly surprised. I initally bought just one to try them out - I ended up buying a duplicate and two other colors and I can't wait to go back for more. They're like a really moisturizing lipstick that lasts and fades pretty well.

Swatches and photos to follow. Hopefully once the mayhem calms down I'll be able to line up a bunch of posts so I don't get a big gap between posts. I also need to get a new camera - my cell phone camera is stuck on macro (which I might be able to work with) and my Kodak's little mode selection wheel is stuck too.

On a positive note, me and some good (some new, some old) friends had a good old fashioned girls' makeover night on Saturday and I'm hoping that our host got some good photos - I sprung my airbrush machine on some willing victims and also gave one girl a radical haircut/makeover. Stay tuned and hopefully there will be photo evidence.

Monday, September 19, 2011

NYX Jumbo Pencils

*REPOST* I posted this nearly a year ago on my old blog and thought it would be good to revisit these gems.

Having heard and read (and seen on YouTube) all about NYX, I was eager to try them out. I'm not a fan of shopping online as you can't touch or swatch the products so when I found out that my local Ulta store (www.ulta.com) stock NYX I was excited to go shopping. I started out with two (Milk and Cottage Cheese) so I could see if I liked the product.

Despite the names -I mean who wants to put cottage cheese on their eyes? eww - I just loved them. They are very creamy. They glide on smoothly and don't drag the delicate eye area at all.

Milk is a very opaque white and Cottage Cheese is a lovely iridescent white, perfect for highlighting the inner corner of the eye, giving that nice wide awake look.

Happy with the formula I went back for more... I bought Pure Gold, exactly what the name states; French Fries, a luscious bronze to use as a base for my favorite Urban Decay eyeshadow Smog; Black Bean, an intense black; and Rocky Mountain Green, a shade I don't really need but it was just so PRETTY!

I don't know how well the black will do as an eyeliner as it's very big and you might be able to see on the photo that it bleeds a little (click the photo to enlarge). I plan on mostly using them as a base for eye shadows, they make it last so much longer than normal primers and they boost the color really well. At around $4 a pop, they are a very affordable, versatile product that I use a lot and will definitely repurchase.

*REVISITED* I use these almost daily. I love Cottage Cheese as an inner corner brightener and sometimes as a browbone highlight. I use French Fries and Pure Gold under bronzy or brown shadows and it makes them brighter, shinier and longer lasting.

Rocky Mountain Green tends to crease more with a shadow on top so I mostly just slick it on and use my fingers to blend it out for a bright but easy going look.

Black Bean is not, as I thought, any good as an eyeliner or to use on the waterline, it's just not waterproof enough. Having said that I've used it for some more out there, costume looks and patted black shadow on top. Great black base.

I LOVE these. Just adore them. Great bargain and fantastic product for the price. They were $3.49 at my local Ulta and please note that my standard large pencil sharpener didn't work on these and I had to purchase a NYX one to sharpen them. A review on the lip pencils is coming up shortly.......

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Milani Liquif'eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil

I am always on the hunt for a good eyeliner. Urban Decay's Zero is really my holy grail black liner when it comes to a truly black line and also for lining the water line for that perfect dark smokey eye. At $18 a pop, it's more of a splurge than a necessity and it's always fun to find a drug store product that stands up to it's high end counterpart.

I've heard amazing things about Avon Supershock Gel Eyeliner. The gorgeous and very talented Pixiwoo sisters raved about it and hey, if it's good enough for them.... only they don't sell it in the US :(

Enter Milani. They're a drugstore brand that describe themselves as "a global brand, Milani is a multicultural collection that creates wearable colors for all ethnicities" They're widely available in Walgreens, CVS, etc. To be honest, it's a brand I always skip over, being the fairest of fair skin tones, stupidly not even thinking about their products other than foundations and concealers.

I had heard on YouTube that the baked eyeshadows were wonderful (another shopping trip, another blog post!) but I read about their Liquif'eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil in Black and the promises that people made about it's staying power - I had to have it!

Image courtesy of milanicosmetics.com

It retails for $7.99 on their website but I paid $6.49 at my local Walgreens. Here's the real test.. I bought this on a day when I had a streaming cold, full sneezes, watery eyes, the whole shebang. What better test than to try an eyeliner out on a day when your eyes are watery?

I got home and applied it to my water line at lunch time. It went on just as smoothly and black as black as my beloved Zero. And by the time I fell into bed at about 10pm - still there. Where it was supposed to be. No smudges and still as dark as it went on. It hadn't travelled to the corners of my eyes like some brands do (I'm looking at you elf Studio liner...).

Here's a swatch

It's supposed to be a smudge-proof liner. It really is! despite the photo. I immediately smudged it as soon as I applied it. Once it set I tried to smudge it from side to side and nada - it wouldn't budge!! Very impressive. So I'd say apply it, leave it for a minute or two and you're set, for at least 9-10 hrs - even with watery eyes. A definite repurchase on this product and a duplicate for my kit. Two thumbs up.

Have you tried this eyeliner? or any other Milani products? Which are your favorites - I'd love to try them

Wet n Wild eyeshadows - final review

On the whole, these have been a joy to find. Highly pigmented, smooth, easy to blend. There are some very unique shades and a lot of useable colors - if you like shimmery colors, that is!

It does seem like every palette has a dud, and usually it's a matte black with some sort of sparkle. The matte shades are not blendable and a little chalky, sometimes gritty too.

I have only got one trio and might go back to see if there are any more shades not found in the 8 pan palettes.

One little side note - the first time I tried to buy one of these, there was only one of each palette left on the shelf and they were a MESS! They had crumbled and shed until you couldn't see what was inside, they had totally disintigrated. I had to wait until they got a shiny new shipment in to get whole shadows. I have a feeling that they won't travel well due to being so soft (see my green trio after one use) so they will be depotted. This is mainly good though, I can take all of my favorite shades, keep them in one place and discard the ones I won't ever touch again.

I will totally be repurchasing all 3 of the 8 shade palettes for my kit and making a second custom Wet n Wild palette of my own. You can't get much better for the price!! ($4.99 for 0.3oz and $2.99 for the 0.12oz trios).

Which is your favorite Wet n Wild eyeshadow? Have you tried them all? I'd love to hear your opinions

Wet n Wild - Comfort Zone

I saved this palette for last because it's my favorite of the bunch. I nearly didn't get it because it looked so warm toned and a little boring but I grabbed it anyway and when I got it into the sunlight - oh my goodness!! What a beautiful sight.

It's still $4.99 for 0.3oz of product, little eye chart on the back, stamped shadows, yadayadayada, you know this by now, right?

Here are the swatches (ELF primer again):

1 - a pale yellow frost
2 - a pretty rose gold metallic
3 - a warm bronze frost
4 - a matte black with a warm bronze shimmer, shot through with reddish-bronze glitter
5 - a warm pewtery metallic
6 - a goldy moss green frost
7 - black with green and gold sparkles
8 - a dualchrome with a very red base and pearlescent blue-green shimmer

So - let's start with the negatives - number 7. Not a fan. It's stiff and not blendable at all. Based on all the other blacks with shimmer, I thought I wouldn't care for number 4, but it's very nice. Not too blendable, but packed over a base it could be amazing.

1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 are very impressive metallic colors. I wish they would come out with one metallic palette, but I'll probably depot them anyway. I love all five of them!

The standout is number 8 - it's so unique. On the swatch above you can see how red the base color is and it doesn't look like much but below you can see the dual tones in it.

It really reminds me of a beautiful beetle. Just lovely!! I can't wait to play with this one.

Wet n Wild - I Dream of Greenie

I Dream of Greenie was the only Wet n Wild trio I picked up at Walgreens. A friend of mine is going to be dressing up as Poison Ivy for an upcoming event and she showed me an inspiration photo that used some acid greens - I thought I'd try this trio out for her look. (More on that after our trial run next week!)

This trio cost $2.99 for 0.12oz of product. The back of the packaging has a little chart showing where to place the color and it claims to "Beautifully enhance any eye color" and have "All-day crease-resistant color" and the shadows are stamped with the recommended placement - I wouldn't use all three of these shadows at once. You'd look like a lime green disco ball!

Here's a swatch with my trusty ELF essential eyelid primer:

From top (of my swatches, which I reversed by accident - sorry) to bottom:

1 - a matte acid green with green and gold sparkle. I'm a little disappointed in this one - it's not as pigmented as some of the other shadows. However, with a nice base (like a green NYX jumbo eye pencil), and packing it on, it's a pretty bright statement color.
2 - a pretty aqua with a gold shimmer (not sparkle)
3 - a super metallic white with a slight green sheen. It's not as green as it shows up in the pan, difinitely more white

I'm not sure if it's the angle of the photo or the fact that it wasn't in direct sunlight and no flash, but none of the sparkle has shown up on the photos. On a sad note - these shadows are very crumbly as you can see here:

I wasn't hugely impressed by this trio. I'll probably use it up for this one look and forget it in a drawer somewhere.

Wet n Wild - Petal Pusher

I've owned several different drug store brand purple eyeshadow palettes before (Covergirl, Revlon, the usual culprits). What I like about these 8 pan palettes is that they are more like 2 4-pan palettes but in different tones. The shades on the left I've seen 100 times before, but the 4 on the right were a little different and stood out enough for me to get it.

As I said before, all of the 8 pan palettes ($4.99 for 0.30 oz.) have a little suggestion on the back of how to use them, and each shadow is stamped with the suggested placement and 4 different looks.

Here are the shadows, again, swatched over a little ELF essential eyelid primer:

1 - at first this looks like a white frost but blended out it has a very light purple shimmer running through it
2 - very standard light lavender satin finish
3 - mid-toned purple with an almost pearlescent finish
4 - a purple frost with silver and light purple glitter
5 - this frost looks pink in the pan but applies as a very metallic almost white pink
6 - a very unique plum shade with bronze shimmer, the photo definitely doesn't do this one justice. It would look stunning on darker skin tones.
7 - a matte black with bronze shimmer
8 - another matte black shot through with blue, green and silver sparkles

First impressions: I like the highlight colors but of the two, 5 is much nicer, just because of the impact of how metallic it is, especially in daylight. I'll probably use 3 as well.

The two matte black shadows I could live without... neither of them apply particularly well and they seem like bad repeats of the matte black with silver sparkle from the Blue Had Me At Hello palette, only harder to blend.

The real standout in this palette is number 6. I can't explain how pretty it is. It shows up as a real bronze with a purple background. My only complaint is the amount of sparkle but it's a gorgeous shadow nonetheless.

I have a feeling that I'll be depotting all of the shadows from the palettes I have and just keeping my favorites