Month: March 2013

Lancome Hypnose Mascara in Black Review

Image via Beautylish


I admit, I bought Lancome’s Hypnose Mascara in Black based on all the hype. I was new to the cosmetic world then, and had very little knowledge of what made a product good, especially when it came to something like mascara. I’m proud to say my product awareness has increased dramatically in the past few years, and with my improved insight, I can say that Hypnose isn’t much of a bust.

The color I purchased was standard black, although there is a brown and deep black option available as well. With the product I have, the color went on nice and dark. The pigment was rich and healthy looking. So while it isn’t the darkest black available in this formula, I found it to be very suitable-it’s not a meek or ashy grayish black.

I have small, sparse, short lashes. What I love to use this product for is layering it over a volumizing base (Covergirl’s LashBlast is a great volumizing mascara to work with). The volumizing layer thickens up my lashes, so when I coat Hypnose over it, it creates a to-die-for, false lash effect. Gorgeous!

This has a wetter formula, which I don’t mind. It was easy to comb through and didn’t clump. This also has a pleasant smell. However, this is touted is being a volumizing mascara, and I didn’t get much in terms of thickening my lashes. It did, however, lengthen them tremendously (which nay be due to the wetter formula). This also didn’t curl my bare lashes (but very rarely does a mascara ever do it all). I was impressed by how well the wand separated my bare lashes, though. When I tested this over curled and combed lashes, the product made them looked more fanned out in comparison to using this on it’s own. I love that this didn’t clump, even after a few coats.

The wear of this mascara was excellent. It lasted a full 8 hours, with my lashes looking long and dark the entire time. A small clump formed on my “unprepped” lashes (not combed through or curled) after 4 hours, but it  was hardly noticeable. When I curled my lashes, Hypnose held the curl for 4 hours before the shape wilted. However, on both eyes, the lashes looked long, dark, and fanned out through the entire length of wear.

Hypnose comes in an angular, shiny, black plastic tube. I find the design pleasing to the eye. The shape looks  expensive to me, which matches it’s price ($27 USD). It’s a slender tube, but it’s not extraordinarily long or misshapen, so I have no difficulty storing it with my other, more “standard” sized and shaped mascaras. The cap is comfortable to hold in the hand and is a good length to hold and apply with ease. The wand has traditional, medium sized bristles. It’s average in size, but I do find it cumbersome when trying to coat my tiny inner lashes. I’ve had no issues with my tube drying out.

Color: 5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 4/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)
Recommend: Yes, to those looking to lengthen their lashes, or like to layer mascara.

This product was purchased by PV.
Lancome products are available at department stores and specialty shops like Sephora. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Pencil in Olive Review

Image via Drugstore.com

Wet ‘n’ Wild has rapidly become popular, earning a pretty well-deserved reputation as being quality at a crazy-affordable price range. However, this is my second Color Icon Eye Pencil (out of three) and I’m still unimpressed with  the range. This hue is the aptly dubbed Olive. The color isn’t bright; rather it’s rich and deep, sensual in a way. I think it’s very complimentary to hazel eyes (like mine) although it’d make any color pop. It’d also be a nice substitute for brown or black liner that is also appropriate for daytime wear.
This goes on pretty pigmented, as a dark olive green with a hint of khaki (although not nearly as brown as it appears in the photo above). Not all eyeliners deliver good color, especially when they’re in a more affordable price range. I’m happy to say this has a unique (for drugstore) coloring. But while it is pigmented, it skips and drags on the lash line, requiring some passing over to get an even line of pigment to show up.
First, this is sharpened to a very fine point. Please be careful with this on the lash line, or consider filing the point down by swatching it on your hand first. This will make the product a little creamier and help it go on easier. Although don’t expect a miracle-this is a very dry liner that tugs and skips on the lid. This was also difficult to smudge out. 
While it was difficult getting this to work with me, it set well and lasted surprisingly well. I had some smudging near the wetter inner corner area of my eye after 2 hours of wear. However, the damage wasn’t horrendous looking. This continued to look dark, even, and smudge/migration free for 6 hours after that, totaling 8 hours of solid wear before I removed it that evening. 
These cost only 99 cents at my local drugstore, so they’re not a huge investment if you’re interested in experimenting with color but don’t want to commit. You also receive a substantial amount of product for the cost as well. Although it’s worth noting that these are quite large (or at least, they seem that way. They dwarf my mini Urban Decay liners, but those are mini). This may be something to consider as you factor in how to store them. These come with un-dyed wood around the color (reminiscent of a colored pencil) and the product is protected by a long, cylindrical, clear plastic cap.

Color: 4/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 2/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.3 (C-)
Recommend: Yes, to those who are interested in swapping out basic liner for something different, without having to worry much about quality or cost investment. I would not recommend this to those with sensitive eyes, as the tugging and pulling will likely cause irritation.

This product was purchased by PV.
Wet n Wild products are available at most drugstores. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Missing Out: Urban Decay Naked Palette(s)

Image via Beautylish

This is another one of those instances where I’m convinced I’m the only one on Earth who doesn’t own one of these. Of course, I’m talking about the so-well-known-it’s-getting-to-be-overkill Urban Decay Naked Palettes. Now, I’m a fan of UD’s palettes (I happily own the Book of Shadows 3 and 4), but these strike me as different somehow. Maybe it’s because they’re more rectangular versus BoS’ standard square. Maybe there’s no gimmicky props or pullouts like in the BoS. Or maybe it’s just because I feel a compulsion to own every awesome makeup item on the planet, especially if it’s a hyped up cult favorite. Yeah, I’m thinking it’s the latter one…
If had to choose between the two (fully stocked) palettes, I’m leaning towards the first, which is photographed (not by me) above. While the second iteration is nice (and I would also like to own it, for collection’s sake, if anything else), I think I see the original in an “oldie but a goodie” way. After all, it was this simple 12-pan palette that launched UD’s Naked madness (we all know what I’m talking about). I feel like the Naked 1 has a good mix of colors, although I fear they may be a bit warm for my coloring. 
The second Naked palette is equally charming, with a sleek nude-colored metal container. This version also comes stocked with a lip gloss, instead of UD’s usual gifted primer (which is a nice change-I love UDPP, but I own 2 via the palettes I’ve gathered. It’d be nice to sample some of their other products). Although one minor pet peeve I have about this version is that the colors are described as “taupe and greige.” Nothing makes my skin crawl quite like the sound of those colors. As lovely as it looks on, I hate taupe-such a dumb looking, dumb sounding, can-be-difficult-to-accurately-describe color. It works my nerves. Then greige is just one of those cutesy words I feel just never should’ve happened. Sigh…. But my gripes about the lame color family name aside, this palette comes fully stocked with another 12 to die for shades. (Both large palettes also come with a dual-ended brush, which is vegan friendly, but seems odd or difficult to store). 
Image via Beautylish

And last but… very much least, there’s the Naked Basics palette, a pint-sized miniature that I don’t think is worth a damn at all. Unless you’re absolutely a very new beginner to makeup and know for sure that you love and favor and will generally tend to use neutrals, skip it. I say this for a few reasons. One, most moderate to advanced beauty junkies already have these five basic shades (or appropriate dupes) in their stash (its 3 pastel shades, 2 browns and a black, for reference). This is the mini palette that made UD fans let out a collective groan. At this point, we knew UD was milking it for what it was worth and they just ended up beating a dead horse. I think the basics palette is a great gift for a starter, but I’ve got a hang of things, and rarely ever wear neutrals, so it would be a poor choice for me. The packaging is compact and sleek, though, and comes equipped with a full-size mirror.
Image via Beautylish

Unfortunately, the UD palettes I’m lusting over are a tough-to-swallow $50 USD each. I would gladly shuck out the cash for these, since they seem majorly quality products-I just don’t have the money. Which is why part of me is dubbing this series “broke girl gripes.” 


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Inglot now available at Beautylish!

If you’ve been in the makeup community for the past year or longer, then you’ve probably heard a ton about Inglot. The brand has tons of colors and finishes to choose from at affordable prices, all with allegedly good quality. Well, now those famous black palettes are more easily accessible, thanks to their very recent launch on Beautylish! The design-your-palette function is very easy to use and is neatly organized, so the whole thing is mistake-proof. They even have the option of letting you see swatches on real skin before you buy. Now if I ever get the cash, I know where to go for these awesome little gems! You can set up your Inglot palette at Beautylish here.

And don’t forget to follow me while you’re there! 🙂 medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

RIP My Chemical Romance and Gerard Way’s Makeup :(

Image via Yahoo

My inner teen was very hurt upon hearing the news that My Chemical Romance had chosen to disband this week after many successful years and four CDs together. But what the beauty community may be reeling about, is never again getting to see frontman Gerard Way’s interesting cosmetic endeavors! Way was a big fan of Urban Decay’s Gash Eyeshadow (which he is wearing in the photo above). 
Image via Amazon

Unfortunately, like the band, Gash is no longer available. It was discontinued when UD decided to re-do and relaunch their shadow formula. Determined beauty junkies can find it on sites like Amazon in the present day. While no stranger to rocking strong makeup (red and black looks seemed to be his favorite), Way also liked to play with his hair. Throughout MCR’s career, he had dyed it black, vivid red, and bleached it blonde. He often experimented with his hair’s length as well. 
I remain a My Chemical Romance fan and wish all of the band’s members the best in their futures. 

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call Review

Image via Beautylish

It’s not typical for an eyeshadow to photograph the way it actually looks on the eye or in the pan (rarely are the photo and reality even in the same ballpark). However, if you’re browsing the web for references, like the above picture of Urban Decay’s Last Call Eyeshadow, I say that it appears close to the real thing. Without primer, this applies as a sheer pink with shimmer. With primer, this goes on the lid richer and deeper, with a more plummy-pink appearance (like the photo above). Also, the metallic aspect of this shadow was heightened with primer. This was one of the first shadows I’d ever received (then-exclusive to the Book of Shadows 3), and at first I’d feared this would give a black-eye effect to the lid, but I’m happy to report it doesn’t. It’s actually a very lovely and unusual shade that I find quite flattering.
This eyeshadow behaved true to form as other UD shades tend to do: the unprimed color went on smoothly and blended easily, but faded after an hour. However, the unprimed shadow “set” after that one hour period, and didn’t noticeably fade until the 8-hour mark, at which point removal or reapplication would’ve been necessary. The primed color was a little difficult to blend out. The primed shadow faded a little around the edges after four hours,. By 8 hours, it was slightly less dark than at initial application, but was still much more vibrant than the unprimed eye.
I’m happy to say I had no issues with this shadow. It wasn’t powdery and had no fallout or excess powder kick-up. It wasn’t stiff or too much of a pain to blend. With or without primer, this went on smooth, even and opaque.
UD single eyeshadows come in circular plastic containers with flip-top lids. There is a window in the lid that allows one to see the color within. The new line of UD packaging has easily removable pans, if you’re into magnetic palettes of color. These contain the same amount of shadow as MAC shadows (0.05 oz) but retail at $18 USD, which is slightly more expensive. Also, while UD packaging is by no means large, they are still a bit bigger than a MAC single, which may or may not affect your organization. UD products are slightly less easy to find than MAC, but obtaining their products is by no means a treasure hunt; they’re stocked in many shops nationwide and sold at various online retailers.
WITH PRIMER:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.7 (A)
WITHOUT PRIMER:
Color:
4/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 4.2 (B-)

Combined Score: 4.5 (A-)
Recommend: Yes
Urban Decay products are available at Ulta and Sephora.

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Missing Out: NARS Lip Gloss

Image via Beautylish

It’s very clear to me that NARS is a super-brand, a very popular cosmetic force to be reckoned with. And while it is easily accessible (often a counter away from any MAC boutique at any local department store), it’s just a touch out of my reach, teetering on the edge of “not a luxury brand, but not as affordable as you’d hope.” This is especially true if you’re like me and have a painfully limited budget. So like their allegedly to-die-for blushes, I’m also missing out on NARS’ Lip Glosses.

There are currently 40 shades of gloss available from the brand. The glosses come in nearly iconic rectangular plastic tubes with black caps and the brand’s logo superimposed on the side. These are equipped with a standard doe-foot applicator. Lots of people like that these have a thinner, less tacky formula, and many who dislike MAC’s thickness often turn to these.
While there are Orgasm and Superorgasm iterations of gloss, one of the most popular hues of this product is undeniably Turkish Delight, a light color the brand describes as “pink sherbet.” Kim Kardashian, widely regarded as a beauty icon, is a big fan of that shade. These retail for $25 USD.
NARS products are available from department stores, Sephora, and their website.

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Shu Uemura Blossom Dream Collection for Spring 2013

Image via Harvey Nichols

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that, compared to cosmetic giants MAC and NARS, etc, Japansese brand Shu Uemura is relatively unknown and underused over here. Although I definitely believe he shouldn’t be-his cosmetics appear very high quality. The brand’s collection for Spring 2013, entitled Blossom Dream, does not disappoint. There are 21 items released in this bright, feminine collection. Here’s what’s in it:
  • Unmask Palette ($65 USD):
    -Pink: “Sweet pink rose petal flush and vibrant bright pink… With a neutral pink glow.”
    -Blue: “Dreamy blue sky, amplified aqua blue, and delicate lilac.”
    -Green: “Fresh pastel greens-light minty tint of spring green and bright grassy green.”
Image via Venusbuzz
  • Drawing Pencils ($21 USD):
    -Pearly Gold (Limited Edition)
    -Pearly White (Limited Edition)
Image via Myfatpocket
  • Glow On Blush ($18 USD):
    -P Light Yellow 020: “Warm yellow highlight”
    -P Soft Pink 324: “Lively sweet pink”
    -P Soft Coral 332: “Blends (of) rose and peach”
    -M Soft Orange 542: “Warm sunny orange”
    -P Vivid Orange 551: “Vivid blooming orange”
Image via makeup4all

  • Rouge Unlimited Lipstick ($30 USD):
    -Bright Orange: “Unusual subdued tangerine orange” (Limited Edition)
    -Dark Beige: “Warm beige with a hint of pink… a sensual neutral” (Limited Edition)
Image via Venusbuzz

  • Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick ($30 USD):
    -Bright Pink: “Supreme matte pink” (Limited Edition)
    -Light Beige: “Barely there, supreme matte nude” (Limited Edition)
Image via Venusbuzz

  • Gloss Unlimited ($23 USD):-AT10G: “Iridescent” (Limited Edition)
    -AT20G: “Sparkly, attention-getting, yet soft gold with a voluptuous shine” (Limited Edition)
    -PK10G: “Glossy light pink” (Limited Edition)
    -CR20S: “Peach with high shine” (Limited Edition)
    -PK40G: “Dreamy, shimmering sweet pink” (Limited Edition)
Image via Venusbuzz
  • False Eyelashes:
    -Rainbow Feather S (Limited Edition-$30 USD)
    -Rainbow Feather L (Limited Edition-$25 USD)
Image via Venusbuzz

I’m certainly impressed with this collection. Everything is so fresh and definitely screams “spring” to me. The packaging for most of the products is very cute, like on the palettes and blushes. This collection is going in-line with Shu Uemura’s “Unmask” philosophy, so the compacts have cutesy little mask drawings on them. Very kawaii! 

I’m definitely hurting over this collection. Rarely is there a collection where I want to buy everything, but this is one of those blue-moon occasions! I’m most interested in the palettes, blushes, and lip colors-I’m not typically a gloss girl, but I can’t resist a pink pout. I like that the eye palettes are generously sized with five pans of color; I feel they’re worth the price. Sigh… Unfortunately this gorgeous collection is going to slip through my hands for now. 

This collection launched in January and is available now.
Shu Uemura products are available in the US from their website.

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Beauty Babe: Lady Gaga

Image via Fanpop

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I love bold, dramatic, bright makeup. I favor the creative looks that  may warrant unusual stares from passerby on the street, even if they’re not always practical (or even emulated). And if there is a poster child for “WTF-are-you-wearing?”, it’s Lady Gaga. Although lately, she has been mixing it up by sporting relatively more “natural” makeup. 
While many young women would never slap on a smoky eye just to go to the grocery store, due to fear of looking overdone, Gaga manages to make the red carpet dark eyes/bright lips look downright casual. Rhinestones, glitter, fake lashes, and prosthetics are all fair game in her look. The unpredictability of her appearance is part of her intrigue. As a member of the beauty community, it’s always interesting to me to see how she’s going to take the basic red lip or black eyeliner, spin it on it’s ear, and make it somehow interesting and different from what everybody else is doing.
No stranger to the world of cosmetics, Gaga released two limited edition lipsticks and matching lip glosses (in pink and nude) for MAC’s Viva Glam line, the proceeds of which benefited the MAC AIDS Fund. She also released her first fragrance, entitled FAME, in Autumn 2012. Gaga plays up her eyes often, frequently utilizing a lot of different techniques and shapes to draw attention to them. It’s not surprising that she uses MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack to help create those artistic lines.
Image via Beautylish

Lady Gaga is currently working on her third full-length album, ARTPOP, which is set to release this year. She will also make her feature film debut in Machete Kills, in theaters September 13th.
Her fragrance is available at department stores and specialty retailers such as Sephora.
MAC products are available at department stores and online at maccosmetics.com

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International Beauties: Mila Kunis (Ukraine)

Image via People

Actress Mila Kunis has been on the Hollywood radar forever; First garnering widespread recognition for her role as Jackie Burkhart on That ’70s Show. She continued working on the small and silver screens, until exploding with popularity after starring in Darren Aranofsky’s Black Swan. While it seemed Kunis’ star power was suddenly massive, the fact that she immigrated from Ukraine to L.A. as a child remains relatively unknown.
Kunis often plays up her Eastern European features by rimming her darker eyes with smoky hues (that also flatter her tanner skin). I’ve never seen her in a bright or bold lip thus far. She always seems to rock a smoky eye and well-groomed brows, while keeping the rest of her face subtle. Talk about a natural beauty!

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