Month: June 2013

Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Cool as a Cucumber Review

Image via Beautylish

Anyone in the beauty blogosphere last year, either as a reviewer or a reader, couldn’t escape the rave impressions of long-time drugstore line Wet ‘n’ Wild’s new line of Color Icon eyeshadows. They come in single pans, trios, and 8-pan palettes, and everyone seemed smitten. Well, you can add me to that list. While Cool as a Cucumber is the first to be reviewed on PV, it definitely isn’t the last. 
As the word “trio” implies, the compact features three distinct shades: a clearly-labeled eyelid, crease, and browbone color. Now, first off, I want to clarify that the photo above could NOT be any more inaccurate when it comes to capturing what the shades really look like. The eyelid shade is a dark forest green. Great news for dupe hunters-this is an exact match for MAC’s Humid, and is only a pinch less pigmented than Urban Decay’s Bender. The crease shade is a gorgeous, brown-based burgundy/plum. This was a dupe for my beloved Urban Decay Rockstar. Finally, the brow shade is a cool-toned green-tinted off-white. Don’t be fooled by the photo! It is undeniably green, not a stark white.
On the lid without primer, the lid shade was true to pan in color. It wasn’t very powdery, but it was a drier shade, and I had to go back to the pan a few times to get enough color for the whole lid. This dryness translated into application by skipping. It did blend easily, though. When used with primer, it appeared more emerald. 
The crease shade was less fussy, only needing one return to the pan for enough color. The crease shade appears to have gold shimmer in the pan, and looks lighter than it actually is, so once again, don’t be deceived by appearances. This appeared more plum when a primer was used, and there was more of a noticeable sheen. However, it was a little stiff to blend.
The brow shade, sadly, was unlike anything I have in my stash (so no upscale dupes to compare it to). It kicked up quite a bit of powder when touched with a brush, but I had no fallout issues, with or without a primer. This shade was also true to pan. This is cool-toned and unmistakably green, moreso with primer. It makes an unusual choice for a highlighter, but it ended up surprising me. Paired with the other shades in the trio, it made sense and worked well. It didn’t sheer out easily when blended. Also, this was the softest, creamiest, and least dry of the three-the browbone shade wasn’t dry at all.
Not only does this trio have some good colors and affordable dupes, it wears well on top of it. I achieved 9 hours of solid wear. The brow shade looked a touch faded when a primer wasn’t used after 2 hours, and looked markedly faded by 6 hours (but was still there by the end). When a primer was utilized, the brow shade wore flawlessly. The lid and crease shades gave me no sign of letting up, with or without a primer, by the time testing finished, and each maintained a nice sheen throughout the wear. I had no problems with creasing or fallout with any shade at any time as I wore this, with or without a base.
Wet ‘n’ Wild trios come in rectangular plastic containers with black bases and a clear, flip-top lid. There’s handy instructions on how to use the palette on the back, which makes it a great option for newbies. Two tools are included, a sponge-tip applicator and a small brush, neither of which are ideal for product application. While not the sleekest or chicest packaging, the compact feels sturdy enough that I wouldn’t fear travelling with it (although if it drops on the floor, you might be in trouble). 

Wet ‘n’ Wild products are pretty easy to find, often stocked at every local drugstore for a palatable price. This trio costs a meager $2.99 USD for three shades, 2 of which are awesome dupes, with a total fill weight of 0.12 oz. That’s only $24.92 per ounce, compared to one MAC shadow ($300 per ounce) or one Urban Decay shadow ($360 an ounce). With Cool as a Cucumber, you’re getting 2 great dupes, plus a bonus shade, for far, far less than the price of one high-end product. In terms of value, this is incomparable. The great news is, Wet ‘n’ Wild is truly cruelty-free and independently owned, unlike MAC, which sells it’s cosmetics in China, and Urban Decay, which is, itself, cruelty-free, but profits it’s animal-testing parent company, L’Oreal. Not only is this trio cheaper and somewhat more accessible, it escapes the wishy-washy attitude a lot of more expensive brands cop-which is sure to please the animal-friendly consumer.

EYELID SHADE:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 3/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.3 (B+)

CREASE SHADE:
Color: 4.5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)

BROWBONE SHADE:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 5/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)

Combined Scores: 4.4 (B+)
Recommend: Absolutely. Cool as a Cucumber is an affordable, cruelty-free way to play around with color.

Wet ‘n’ Wild products are available from local drugstores. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

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MAC Viva Glam Gaga Lipglass Review (DISCONTINUED)

Image via Shopping

When I was new to the world of makeup, and still needed fill out my basic collection, one thing was clear to me: I absolutely needed MAC’s Viva Glam Gaga Lipglass. I was a huge Gaga fan at the time (a proud “Little Monster”-paws up) and felt like combining my two interests was common sense. The lip gloss she released was a milky, blue toned baby pink. It was mostly opaque, but had a touch of sheerness (my more pigmented natural lip color peeked through a bit). It’s quite similar, but less bright (you could say more “daytime” or “wearable” depending on your standards) than it’s big sister, the Viva Glam Gaga Lipstick.
VGG applied very smoothly and evenly-it didn’t bunch up or settle into lip lines during initial application. The color covered my lips nicely and had quite a healthy shine. Like all MAC lip glosses, this was had a thick texture and a tacky feel on the lips. Personally, this has never been off-putting to me, though. 
After an hour of wear, The pink color was mostly gone. There is still some of the glossy sheen intact at this point, and the tacky feel on the mouth. I noticed that the pigment had bunched up in the corners of my mouth. It wore this way for another hour and half before I noticed that all of the color had migrated into a weird ring around the inner rim of my lips (towards the inside of my mouth). It was like an inverted lipstick ring! I’ve never experienced bunching up like that before. 
Like other MAC lip glosses,  VGG came in a cylindrical plastic tube with a black cap, and was pleasantly vanilla scented. The brand label was printed on the side, towards the bottom, as usual, but Lady G’s signature was superimposed around the tube in vibrant red script. This lip gloss came with a doe-foot wand applicator. 
While MAC is considered by many to set the average standard in the cosmetic industry, it is not always the better option. While $15 USD for a MAC gloss is relatively affordable, that price does not always translate to great quality (like with this gloss’s weird bunching up). Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Glosses, for example, share MAC’s smooth application; however, they also wear longer and fade away evenly while sacrificing color payoff. At this price, MAC will set you back $88.24 per ounce, whereas Revlon will cost you $39.95 per ounce. Depending on the individual consumer’s needs, it may be considerably better to save on MAC glosses, especially with a shade like VGG, which is considerably common.
The shorter wear (even for a gloss) with this shade is really disappointing. Gloss is a great alternative to lippies for women who fear being too made up. However, a shade this fussy would require every-other-hour reapplication, and many people don’t have jobs or school settings that allow such frequent touch-ups (or, they just find it annoying). So while a pretty shade, it’s not a great option for every day, and is better saved for something casual or fun, like a night out. All proceeds from Viva Glam products benefit the MAC AIDS Fund, which provides supplies and care to people living with the disease. MAC performs animal testing where mandated by law.
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 3/5
Formula: 3.5/5 
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 2/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.5 (C)
Recommend: Viva Glam Gaga didn’t leave a bad impression on me, but it didn’t impress me, either. The shade was cute, but common, had a thick texture that many find displeasing, and bunched up very oddly. Unless you’re a collector or super Gaga fan, I don’t feel it’s worth hunting down.

You can browse past and present Viva Glam collections at maccosmetics.com.

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Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 01 Anthracite Review

Image via Beautylish

I had recently developed a love for cream products when I was browsing Sephora’s website. After hearing great things about Make Up For Ever’s quality and pigmentation, I decided to take the plunge and try out one of their Aqua Creams, in 01 Anthracite. Surprisingly, the shade is remarkably similar to how it appears in the photo above. It’s a steely, cool, dark grey with subtle shimmer. 
Aqua Creams are multi-purpose, and I tested them in multiple ways: as a cream liner, as a cream eyeshadow, and as an eyeshadow base. Anthracite was also formulated for use on the cheeks, but I didn’t test it for this purpose, as it’s not a color I-or most women, even the bravest of us-would sport there. (I imagine the only circumstances a shade like this would be applied on the face is for a very high fashion photo shoot). 
As a liner, this went on seamlessly, with one dip into the pot being enough to opaquely, evenly cover the whole lash line. Needless to say, I had no issues with dragging/tugging/skipping. The shimmer was noticeable-it twinkled under bright light-and had a nice, metallic sheen. The color seemed so much more nuanced on the lash line. It was absolutely beautiful to look at. Under very close inspection, the base color seemed to have a bluish/greenish tinge-it’s undeniably cool toned. It reminded me vaguely of my beloved Urban Decay Junkie eyeliner, except more steely. It wore flawlessly as well, reaching 8 hours easily, and only wearing off ever so slightly at the inner corner after a grueling 12 hours of wear. This is a one and done formula-it’ll stay put no matter what and look great until you remove it.
As a cream shadow, I was a little less wowed. On the lid, it looks very steely, metallic, and cosmic-the shade is undeniably pretty. However, it creases within seconds of applying, even with primer underneath. In fact, it creases more with primer than without. It also dries really quickly and sticks to wherever it’s placed, which makes blending a hassle (so work quickly). The creasing isn’t a deal-breaker, really, as it’s only noticeable with the eyes closed-looking in a mirror or conversing with someone, no one would be the wiser. But it is a flaw in the formula, so it’s worth pointing out. It wore effortlessly without further problems for over 8 hours.
Finally, as a primer, this is pretty disappointing-it’s not going to replace my Urban Decay Primer Potion any time soon. As a base, Aqua Cream is difficult and dry. Oddly, I had to wait for it to dry before I could effectively apply powder over top. Usually a sticky/tacky base is desired for extra pigment depth and staying power. Aqua Cream, however, somehow “ate” the color when it was still creamy-I tested Urban Decay eyeshadow in Perversion over top-a rich, matte black-and it just vanished from my lid. It was as if I had nothing on my brush. I was able to pack it on after the Aqua Cream had dried, but I found this occurrence bizarre. Also, if you don’t wait for the base to dry first, the shadow over top will crease (if the base is dry, the shadow has no problems with creasing). As I’ve already mentioned, Aqua Cream stays put, so an eyeshadow over it will be difficult to blend. However, it didn’t look any sheerer or less rich compared to the same shadow over UDPP. Around 4 hours of wear, a hint of shadow had migrated to the inner corner of my eye (but was easily wiped away). At 6 hours, I noticed Anthracite’s inherent shimmer peeking through slightly (Perversion is by no means sheer). By 12 hours, the shadow was, admittedly, darker and more opaque than when UDPP was used. However, some of this can be attributed to Anthracite being a similar-toned base. It also doesn’t make up for how fussy it was as a primer-most of us will never be in a situation where we need dark black shadow on for 12 hours straight, anyway.
In all instances, the Aqua Cream was smooth, creamy (at first) and opaque-the texture was a dream to work with, and I needed little product on my brush for the coverage I desired. I’ve had this product for longer than I should’ve, and it still shows no traces of drying out. I found it worked best for me as a liner, hands down. It wasn’t very disappointing as a cream shadow, either-some “hidden” creasing, but a special, lovely color that outweighed the problem. I would not want to go through the trouble of utilizing Anthracite as a shadow base again, though. I also noticed that this had a weird, very off-putting scent. I’m not particular about odors, but this was very unpleasant. I don’t know how to describe the fragrance other than chemical and “gritty.” It’s not noticeable on the eye, however, but you may catch a whiff of it as you dip your brush into the jar.
Aqua Creams come in clear, circular plastic jars with black, screw-on lids. The plastic is sturdier than average, but I was under the impression AQs were housed in glass. The plastic is actually a bonus, not a drawback, though. While it may feel less luxurious, it is by far more travel and drop safe-there’s far less risk that this will shatter or crack. These are flat-topped and easy to store and organize. The size of the container seems to be on the smaller side of medium. 
However, this smallness is strictly limited to the jar size. MUFE Aqua Creams are $23 USD for 0.21 oz of product-which is a heavier fill weight than MAC’s Paint Pots. However, AQs are only marginally more expensive per ounce-a mere 70 cents, to be exact (MUFE rings up to be $109.52, while MAC will cost you $108.82). Paint Pots are more tried and true bases, though-not really designed to be as multipurpose as AQs (although by all means, nothing is stopping anyone from using them in multiple ways), but I wanted to compare relatively similar products. Make Up For Ever is by no means an unheard of brand, it’s considerably rare to see. You won’t see MUFE counters set up in every department store. In fact, MUFE is only carried in one Sephora in my entire state, in a smaller city about 45 minutes away. Your best bet is to shop for them online. Their own site, in fact, redirects buyers to Sephora. MUFE performs animal testing where mandated by law.
AS AN EYELINER:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 5/5
Overall: 5 (A+)

AS A CREAM SHADOW:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 3/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4 (B-)

AS AN EYESHADOW BASE:
Color: 3.5/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 2.5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 2/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.3 (C-)

Combined Scores: 4.1 (B-)
Recommend: Yes, Anthracite performs it’s various purposes considerably well (doing some functions better than others). The color is so pretty, the price for the amount you get is pleasing, and it lasts forever, making it something I feel comfortable recommending to others.
Make Up For Ever products are available exclusively at Sephora.

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Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart Review

Image via Drugstore

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters are one of those product lines where I just want them all. They’re cute, sleek, adorably packaged, and equally sweetly named. Not to mention they’re decent quality. The latest addition to my Lip Butter collection is Sweet Tart. I found this color to be a bright, warm-toned watermelon pink with a hint of raspberry. 
This was one of the more opaque lip butters (which I’m not complaining about!) It also went on smoothly and evenly, with great color and a nice, healthy shine. It also feels very comfortable to wear. After an hour, Sweet Tart retained some of it’s initial creaminess, but it felt more stain-like. The color was still bold, although not as watermelon as when I first put it on-some natural lip color was showing through just a tinge. There was still a sheen there as well. It wore comfortably like this, before disappearing after 3 hours (with a stained ring around the mouth).
Lip butters are supposed to be very hydrating, using a mixture of mango, shea, and coconut butter to “boost lip moisture by 156%.” While my lips didn’t feel 156% better after wear, they also didn’t feel at all dry during the time I wore it, or after it was gone. So it cutely and comfortably gets the job done, while boasting more pigment than the standard tinted balm. Although with how creamy these are, I haven’t had the best of luck applying them evenly over already dry lips-it’s probably best to whip out the plain balm for those days.
Sweet Tart comes in a sleek, shiny tube that twists up. The shape is more slender than the traditional lippie-it’s reminiscent of MAC’s Mattene style of packaging. Lip Butters come with a cap that’s tinted to match the color you’ve purchased-in this case, a warm pink. The cap comes with a pretty quilted pattern. There’s also a clear window on the top of the cap, and a color-coded sticker on the bottom, that makes organizing these shades simple. They’re thin and small enough to store neatly, and they’re sturdy enough to travel with. 
This line of lippies is $7.49 USD for 0.09 oz of product, which is slightly less than the average 0.1 oz sold at MAC. However, these products are (obviously) much cheaper, both at face value and by the ounce ($83.20 vs. $150). The texture of Lip Butters is soft and smooth, and they’re typically hydrating and shiny-they do what they say they will, at a palatable cost. Revlon products are very easy to find as well, stocked at every local drugstore, Ulta, and supercenter, like Target or Walmart. Revlon animal tests where mandated by law, and at present, they are being sold in China.
Color: 5/5
Wear: 3/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)
Recommend: Absolutely. Sweet Tart is a flattering, pigmented color that applies and wears nicely at an affordable price. It’s great for the Summer season as well.
Revlon products can be found at mass retailers, Ulta, and drugstores.

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister Review

Image via Beautylish

Purple is one of my favorite colors, and I find that not only does purple shadow often look pretty in the pan, but it can translate nicely to the lid as well. Sadly, purple fundamentally has issues to work with (or so I hear). Urban Decay eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister is a perfect example of “pretty but kind of fussy.” The brand describes is as a “deep amethyst shimmer,” and once again, I find that’s not quite accurate. PS looked more like a warm-toned, medium royal purple to me. 
On the lid without primer, the shadow went on richly and opaquely, but it got everywhere-under my eye and on my browbone-not where I placed it. Even when blended, it’s still an annoying mess. Also, the purple tinge drew negative attention to my undereye circles, since the powder fell all over the underye area. When a base was used, the pigment didn’t appear any brighter or richer, but the color was more controlled and detained to where I had originally placed it . In both instances the shadow blends easily. However, when worn without a primer, it blends a little too easily, and ends up sheering out pretty quickly. The powder also ended up feeling a bit dry.
But Psychedelic Sister didn’t stop disappointing me there. After just an hour, the shadow was so, so faded. Without a primer, it was completely sheer and nearly invisible, except for a bruise-like tinge. With primer, the color was more purple and there was more product intact, but it still looked considerably faded compared to the initial application-it also looked almost gone. By 2 hours the shadow also looked bruise-like when a primer was used. Strangely, when a base wasn’t used, the color remained consistently like a bruise for 8 hours. When a primer was used underneath, the color faded more rapidly, looking undetectable unless under very bright light at only 6 hours. That was the first (and so far only) time primer has made a product’s wear worse. 
Psychedelic Sister used to be confined strictly to the Book of Shadows III. However, with UD’s recent shadow relaunch, PS was added to the permanent range. It can now be purchased solo, in the brand’s new packaging. The containers are small, circular plastic with flip-top lids. The lids have a clear window, and are flat, making organizing, storing, and travelling with easy. I love that the minimal plastic in the packaging doesn’t take up extra space in makeup storage. The product pans also pop out, making transfer to a magnetic palette much simpler and safer than it used to be.
UD shadows retail for $18 USD (or $360 an ounce) for 0.05 oz of product. This is very important to consider when purchasing an item. PS in particular is far too problematic (and common of a color) to justify at that price tag. MAC has a variety of purples to choose from at $14 USD ($300 an ounce), and Wet ‘n’ Wild makes an 8-pan palette featuring many purple hues for only $4.99 USD ($16.60 an ounce). Both of these brands consistently have better quality, and are much more wallet-friendly, than this fussy eyeshadow. What could make it worth the purchase to certain consumers is that Urban Decay is somewhat animal-friendly. The brand itself is cruelty-free, however it’s parent company, L’Oreal, does perform animal testing.  

WITH PRIMER:
Color:
3/5
Wear: 1/5
Formula: 2/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 1/5
Wow Factor: 2/5
Overall: 2.3 (D-)

WITHOUT PRIMER:
Color: 3/5
Wear: 1/5
Formula: 1/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 1/5
Wow Factor: 1/5
Overall: 2 (D-)

Combined Scores: 2.2 (D-)
Recommend: No way. Psychedelic Sister is way too fussy and poorly-wearing to justify at $18. Many other brands are more affordable and do much better.

Urban Decay products are available at department stores, and at cosmetic retailers, like Ulta and Sephora. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect Review

Image via Beautylish

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect is described as a “pale golden beige shimmer.” In person, that description doesn’t really translate. It appeared to be a slightly tarnished gold with a sheen when swatched. It was a lot less neutral than a beige, and it was by no means pale. On the lid without primer, this goes on much more subtly than it swatches. It appears as a softer gold on the lid with less opacity. With primer, the tarnished effect is more noticeable. 
When applying Suspect, I had to go back to the pan a few times to build up the color. I had to do this less when I used a primer, but it still didn’t go on opaquely in one swipe. It blended easily, both with and without a base, and I had no issues with fallout. There wasn’t a lot of powder kickup when I used my brush, but Suspect was by no means dry. The powder feels soft when touched, but wasn’t overly creamy or powdery. 
Like most Urban Decay eyeshadows, I noticed some discoloration (with primer) after just an hour. When a primer was used, the tarnished effect was more subtle, but still darker than when used without a primer. Without a base, Suspect lasted very nicely, for a full 8 hours. When a base was used, this achieved 12 hours of good wear (the tarnished effect transitioned into more of a shimmery style). Either way, I had no problems with fallout, fading, or creasing. 
UD shadows come in small, circular plastic containers. The lids are flip-top, with a clear plastic window that allows the owner to see the color inside. The lids are flat, also, so if need be, one can stack these on top of each other. The pan pops out quickly and easily, for seamless transition into a magnetic palette if the owner desires. The containers are small and sturdy enough to organize neatly and travel with safely. 
UD shadows sell for $18 USD for 0.05 oz. The product amount is on par with MAC shadows. However, the price per ounce is considerably steeper with Urban Decay ($360 vs $300 for MAC). This is important to consider with the quality of the shade in question. With Suspect, it is a neutral hue, but the tarnished gold effect makes it more special than your run of the mill beige. It wears excellently as well; I experienced no fallout or wear issues, for 8-12 hours, which is impressive. I only had slight issues applying this, as it had to be built up to full opacity (but it was doable). Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand, but it’s parent company, L’Oreal, does perform animal testing.
WITH PRIMER:
Color:
4/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.4 (B+)

WITHOUT PRIMER:
Color:
3/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.8 (C+)

Combined Scores: 4.1 (B-)
Recommend: Suspect is a neutral with some extra pizzazz. The tarnished gold effect makes it versatile as both a lid wash and inner corner highlight. Also, without primer, it functions as a softer beige. It’s long-wearing, but takes a touch of extra time to apply. 
Urban Decay products are available at department stores and at cosmetic retailers, such as Ulta and Sephora.

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch Review

Image via Beautylish

Urban Decay has a penchant for taking the average color and giving it a little something extra. Take Snatch for example. The brand describes it as “pale peach shimmer with gold glitter.” I found it to be a rose gold with gold glitter chunks. The swatches feel soft, with the glitter feeling very finely milled and not at all gritty. It was a bit powdery when using a brush, though.
Without primer, the gold element of Snatch was less perceptible. It looked more or less like a flesh tone. The glitter didn’t quite make it to the eye; there was some minor fallout. As a result, it ends up looking more shimmery than glittery. With primer, this looked brighter and much more rosy, with the gold tones coming out more. The glitter stuck to the eye better with a base as well. It appeared noticeably on the lid, and there was no fallout during the initial application. 
Sadly, Urban Decay shadows have a tendency to lose their initial look quite quickly. This happened when Snatch was used without a base. It looked consistent for an hour, but by 2 hours, it looked a touch faded. By 4 hours, it was very faded. With primer, this wore flawlessly for 8 hours. I had no issues with fallout when Snatch was worn with a base.
UD shadows went through a packaging revamp. The new packaging features pop-out shadow pans that make transferring the color to magnetic palettes easily. The containers are small, circular plastic with a clear window in the flip-top lid that allows the owner to see the color within. The shape and size are small enough to store and travel with easily. Also, the tops of lids are flat, so if need be, these are stackable.
UD shadows are $18 USD for 0.05 oz of product. This product amount is average, but UD is a little more expensive per ounce than comparatively-priced MAC ($360 vs $300). Snatch is a relatively common color (especially when it looks more flesh toned, as it does without primer). It wears okay, but there is some fallout and it’s a bit powdery in the pan, which are things to consider at this price point. UD is a cruelty-free/vegan brand, but is owned by L’Oreal, which utilizes it’s profits from Urban Decay sales for animal testing.

WITH PRIMER:Color: 4/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 4/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 4.3 (B+)

WITHOUT PRIMER:Color: 3/5
Wear: 2.5/5
Formula: 3/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 2/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.1 (C-)


Combined Scores: 3.7 (C+)
Recommend: Snatch is an average color that performs in an average way. Without a base, it fades quickly and has fallout problems. If you always use a base, then this shadow will perform better, but the price for the quality isn’t worth it to me.
Urban Decay products are available at department stores and at specialty stores like Ulta and Sephora.

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Beauty Babe: Gwen Stefani

Image via Beauty.About

Gwen Stefani has long been on everyone’s radar as a Beauty Babe. Starting with her band, No Doubt, before branching into a solo music career and fashion line, Gwen’s bold cosmetic choices are well documented. Never afraid to change her look, the chanteuse has often sported signature bold lips and platinum blonde hair. She also keeps her naturally fair skin, as opposed to tanning, and rocks those bright, vibrant shades with confidence, proving anyone can pull off a look she loves. And this isn’t by accident-Gwen worked at a MAC counter in high school.
So it’s not surprising that the brand frequently creates her signature pout, using the boldly pigmented Ruby Woo lipstick and Russian Red lipglass. Her clothing line, L.A.M.B., is regularly on the runways, and to compliment her stylish designs, MAC often lends a hand. For one show, MAC created blue lids using Freshwater eyeshadow and Smoothblue Technakohl liner. It isn’t a stretch that Gwen included fragrance in her Harajuku Lovers line as well. 

Images via maccosmetics, cosmeticsclub, Allure, and Polyvore, respectively.

MAC products are available online via their own site, and at department stores, like Nordstrom. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium Review

Image via Beautylish

Ah, blue. This is perhaps the trickiest eyeshadow color for me to wear. Despite this, I’m often drawn to how beautiful the color looks in the pan. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium is one of these undeniably lovely to look at blues. It’s a bright, medium-toned shade, not quite navy. This is what I call “primary blue”, the first color one thinks of when she thinks of “blue.” Without primer, it looks like a soft, opaque denim shade. Naturally, with primer, Radium is bluer and brighter, and ends up looking more true to pan. UD calls it “peacock blue”, but that’s not accurate. “Peacock blue” is much greener. Radium is a much darker blue than it’s matching eyeliner, which looks more aqua in comparison.
Sadly, this shade is a bit powdery. I ended up with pigment under my eye when a base was not used. Even with a primer, it was still messy and fussy. In both instances, it was easy to blend. However, without a base, the color sheered out easily. Over one, it did not disappear when blended. 
Either way, Radium had faded after just an hour. The pigment was brighter (obviously) when a primer was used, but it was still markedly faded compared to initial application.Without primer, the color was blotchy and uneven at the 2 hour mark. By 4 hours, it was as if the shade had worn off and left a stain: it looks completely sheer, faded and translucent. With primer, Radium wore consistently (with that initial fading) for a total of 8 hours.

Urban Decay eyeshadows come in small, circular plastic containers. The pan pops out easily, and can quickly be converted to a magnetic palette if one chooses. They’re small and sturdy enough to travel comfortably with. Their petite size and flat tops make them easy to store as well. There is a clear window in the flip-top lid that allows the owner to see which color is inside. On the whole, the packaging is secure and very easy to use, store, and travel with.

UD shadows contain 0.05 oz of product, which is average. However, at $18 USD, it costs more per ounce than MAC (obviously, drugstore hues). This is important to consider when one evaluates the quality of a product. In this case, Radium is relatively basic (almost every brand has a standard blue), so dupes aren’t hard to find. Adding to the equation how poorly Radium performs, it would be best to save your money and purchase a cheaper, yet similar, shade. Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand, which is important to many consumers. However, their parent company, L’Oreal, does perform animal testing, and profits from UD sales can contribute to that action.

WITH PRIMER:
Color:
3/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 3/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 2/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.3 (C-)

WITHOUT PRIMER:
Color:
2/5
Wear: 2/5
Formula: 2/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 1/5
Wow Factor: 2/5
Overall: 2.3 (D-)

Combined Scores: 2.8 (D+)
Recommend: No. Radium is way to common, poorly-performing, and expensive for what you get. There are cheaper, higher-quality dupes on the market.

Urban Decay products can be found at department stores, online, and at cosmetic retailers like Sephora. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake Review

Image via Cosmaddict

Something I love about Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters is that all the products have cute, literally sweet names. Strawberry Shortcake didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’d say the shade name is somewhat accurate. The color of the lipstick reminds me of the sprinkles they put on that dessert. This LB is a bright, slightly warm, medium toned pink. 
This was one of the more forgiving Lip Butters. For whatever reason, I have trouble with these lippies not applying evenly over the center of my bottom lip (even when my lips are perfectly hydrated). It’s so frustrating! This looked acceptable from a distance, but up close, that unevenness was still noticeable. I didn’t have trouble with this shade bunching up or settling into lip lines like some of the other ones do. Like Revlon promises, Strawberry Shortcake was semi-sheer with a nice, wet-looking sheen.
I find the color range of LBs so pretty; It disappoints me that they’re not longer-lasting. I achieved perfect wear with this shade for about an hour. After an hour and a half (and a sip of water), the color looked uneven and bunchy. By 2 hours, I could feel some remaining tackiness, but the pigment was completely gone. 
Lip Butters come in long, thin metal tubes that twist up. The caps are plastic, with a cute quilted pattern. The caps are color-coded to match the shade (which can be somewhat helpful in terms of organization, but since the shades are mostly pinks, it may cause some confusion). There is a clear window at the top of the cap, allowing one to see the color inside, which makes standing these upright if possible the best way to organize these in your stash. There’s a colored sticker on the bottom identifying the shade name. These containers are squared off, making them easy to stack if it is required. I’ve experienced some product waste when using these-for some reason, the product gets snagged on the rim during the twist up or down, which is disappointing. 
LBs cost $7.49 USD, which I think is palatable. The color in Strawberry Shortcake is lovely and noticeable, while retaining a natural-looking sheerness. The product feels creamy and smooth going on, and has a pretty sheen. It’s pigmented enough to pull it out of balm territory, but it’s not so opaque that it’s a full-fledged lipstick, either. My lips didn’t feel any worse for wear after wearing this, but I also didn’t find it particularly moisturizing. So, more or less, this product does exactly what it says it will, for a reasonable price. Revlon products are widely and easily available at any local drugstore, Target, or Ulta. The brand does comply with local animal testing laws (and they are presently selling their goods in China). 
Color: 5/5
Wear: 2/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.3 (B+)
Recommend: Strawberry Shortcake is a pretty, everyday type of color. The wear isn’t extraordinary, but this type of color (sheer, balm-like) isn’t designed to pull an all-nighter. Ultimately, it does what it’s supposed to, without much difficulty.
Revlon products are available at drugstores, mass-retailers, and Ulta.

medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;