Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Tarte Amazonian Clay Liner in Bronze

Check out this little cloud! I thought it would be helpful to make a rating system for my reviews, so I came up with a weather theme. If you want to read about the four possible rankings, head over to the About Me > Rating System page!

Today, I am introducing the Tarte Amazonian Clay emphasEYES waterproof liner in Bronze. I have had this liner for about a month, keeping it upside down and in constant room temperature. I don't see any alarming changes in texture, or any indications that it will, so I don't expect this liner to dry up in the near future. Comment below if you want an update on the liner's condition.

This eyeliner came with a double-sided brush. As you can see below, one side is a thin, pointed eyeliner brush and the other side is a small flat shader, most likely for the purpose of smudging or for applying the liner as shadow.

I have to admit that I do not use this brush at all. The brush is beautifully made and the bristles are soft on both ends. However, I think that the pointed tip is slightly too thick.

It seems to "absorb" a lot of the liner, so the liner saturated into the brush gets wasted and I don't get a nice clean line because I have to re-dip my brush multiple times. I think this brush would be good for patting eyeshadow on top of eyeliner. As for the opposite end, I don't smudge my eyeliner, so I never have use for the smudger brush.

This liner is supposedly made of Amazonian clay - and indeed, the texture is noticeably clay-like. I would describe the texture as a thick, smooth paste as opposed to the inky gel of MAC Fluidline. Does texture affect application? Well the product seems to dry slower so you have more time to work with it. You can smooth it over your lashline until you're happy with it. Given that this liner is pigmented and you only need one pass for full opacity, I am satisfied.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gel/Cream Eyeliner Swatch Pt.2: Lancome

I did some gel liner swatching on my recent gel liner shopping trip. See Part 1 for extensive color coverage on YSL and Bobbi Brown.

This is Lancome Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel EyeLiner. Hmm. Long name.

Lancome in different lightings:

Left to Right, Lancome:
Emerald Seduction
Purple Jewels
Downtown Blues

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gel/Cream Eyeliner Swatch Pt.1: YSL, Bobbi Brown

As I said in my previous post, I swatched a few gel eyeliners when shopping the other day.

If you want to test gel liners, I recommend going to department stores. Gel liners in particular can dry out especially with people opening them and recapping them improperly all day long. The testers I tried at Sephora were not very representative of the actual liners because they were so dry. For some reason, department stores seem to keep gel liners better.

Here's my hand full of swatches. I walked around the mall like that!

The top row is YSL Effet Faux Cils Cream Eyeliner (reviewed here).
The second and third row are Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners
The bottom row is Lancome Liner Design Long Wear Gel Liner (swatches here).
But of course you can't really see anything right now, so clearer pictures are below.

I didn't swatch every color from those product lines. As you can see there are no blacks. I swatched the colors that I was open to buying. So I left off dark browns, blacks, really bright colors, etc.

Without further ado!...

Winter Makeup Haul: YSL, Tarte, Sugar Lip Balms

I went shopping today! I just wanted to show you guys what I got. Reviews will come on everything once I've tried them all.

My two main purchases were the gel liners. They took me so long to pick out! First, I did a bunch of swatches on my hand.

I will probably do a post on these swatches next. I got a ton of pictures in different lighting, so I will post those and I will list out all the colors.

I actually wasn't swatching for the blog. I just wanted to compare gel eyeliners for myself, but it ended up working out both ways. To continue, I swatched all of these, looked at them and thought about it for a while. Held them up against my eyes. And then I went back to Sephora and sat at the counter for like an hour, trying the front runners on my eyes! Good thing the store wasn't too busy today and the sales assistants were very nice. Thanks Ebony!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Review: Rusk w8less Plus Hairspray Extra Strong

Point blank this hairspray is like magic, it's so good.

Rusk w8less Plus Extra Strong Hold 
Shaping and Control Hairspray

I should briefly describe my hair. It's pretty resistant to hold. Naturally straight, medium thick, pretty strong, and I have a medium amount of hair. Curling iron curls would always fall out by midday.

About 6 months ago, I curly-permed my hair. Well of course, hair dressers never give you what you ask for, whether it's because they don't listen or some other inexplicable reason. So instead of loose curls, the kind you get when you do a french braid and let it out, my hair turned out curlier and the spirals smaller. But it has loosened up a bit since then and I'd say it's now between at 2B and 3A. See here for curl typing.

The main point is that my hair was different so I needed different products. I looked into scrunching gels, but they make my hand all sticky and are difficult to distribute evenly. I found this hairspray, and it's truly wonderful in every way you can think of.

Review: NYX Slide On Eyeliner in Tropical Green

These NYX pencils were so darn popular when they first came out. Practically everyone with a beauty blog had a review on this.

It's like when Taylor Swift's song We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together came out. On the third and fourth day after it was released, covers were popping up on my Youtube subscription box like popcorn from practically every musician I was subscribed to. (I exaggerate.) It's as if everyone in that microcosm just got a bit of Youtube musician intuition that that song was a good one to cover. It's so cool when that happens.

Well anyway, here's a look at NYX Slide On Glide On pencil eyeliner in Tropical Green, which is a teal that pulls more green and has a semi-glossy sheen finish. I want to say metallic, but it's not quite to that extent.

Mascara Thoughts

After writing my long mascara comparison post, I thought it would be fun to talk about mascara in general.

But before I get too into it, as promised in that comparison post, here is my "lash separator comb":

This is the wand of a CoverGirl LashBlast Lash Exact mascara. I know they make real lash combs (Google it!) but I've seen metal lash combs and they look like torture devices. This one suffices for me, although it's best to wash it frequently as the dried mascara that gets on it will flake onto the lashes you are separating if you let it build up on the wand too much. Speaking of the CG Lash Exact mascara, the mascara itself was good but not great. I had a little trouble with flakiness and I thought that while it was defining, it wasn't necessarily volumizing, which is what I like best.

It seems like every mascara I've tried recently has failed me in the volumizing department. I like separated lashes and apparently, it's hard to have both separation and volume. Still one of the best mascaras is Maybelline Full 'n' Soft which was the first mascara I had ever bought for myself. It was at the beginning of 10th grade.

I kind of eased into life with makeup in that I incrementally added each product to my daily routine. In 7th grade, I used a bit of concealer and powder. It wasn't until 10th grade that I started using mascara. Just to finish the story, I started eyeliner in 11th grade, foundation in the latter part of 11th grade, blush in 12th grade, and makeup setting spray in sophomore year of college.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Mascara Comparison

Right to Left: CoverGirl Professional Super Thick Lash, Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus, Buxom Amplified Lash, Maybelline Volum' Express One by One, Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes, Sephora Outrageous Volume

I'm not sure how I came to own so many tubes of mascara at one time. In fairness, two of these were samples.

Mascara is an interesting subject for review because how a mascara works tends to vary widely due to the fact that everyone's lashes are different. I'm going to describe my lashes in the chance that mine are similar to yours, but my post is going to focus more on the objective features of these lovely mascaras. I've found that people have an idea of the kind of formula and brush they prefer. So in a mascara review, it's much more useful talking about those than about how the mascara works on my eyes in particular!

But first things first: My lashes are black, medium length, medium thickness. As you might know by now, I have oily skin and on me, mascara is not spared from it's tendency to smudge! For mascaras, I prefer volumizing (too much length scares me a little), and I can't stand clumpiness. But first let me define clumpiness.

I must admit that I don't always know what reviewers mean by "clumpy". On this blog, clumping lashes mean that the lashes are sticking together as opposed to being separated. I'm very particular that my lashes should be mostly separated. I usually wear just one coat from fear of "spidery lashes".