A-

L’Oreal 24HR Infallible Eyeshadow in Glistening Garnet Review

Image via Amazon

**Unfortunately, my camera is broken! Since money is tight right now, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get a new one. Personal images/swatches will be up ASAP, but that could take a while. I’m so sorry for and disappointed by this inconvenience. Thank you beauties for being patient with me in the meantime.

I had heard a lot about L’Oreal Infallible shadows, and was especially intrigued since they seemed similar to some high-end shadow formulas that have come on the market in the past few years. I don’t have any experience with the designer products, but this L’Oreal shadow left a good impression.
Color:

Glistening Garnet is a lot more pink (and a lot less garnet) than the name or online swatch would have you think. It’s a cool, jewel-toned medium pink-burgundy with a satin finish and a slight gold sheen. (It was slightly more rich and true to pan with primer). It’s pretty, but not the most unique shade on the market. For a makeup junkie, my stash is comparatively light, and I have 3 lookalike shades (you can see comparison swatches at the bottom of this post). (4/5)

Wear:
Whether or not you use a primer doesn’t matter with this one! Either way, it wore beautifully for a solid 8 hours. This makes it a viable option for slap-on-and-go color if you’re in a rush. (5/5)

Formula:
To the touch, the powder is soft and smooth. When applied over bare lids, it was smooth, opaque, and even, like a MAC shadow. This went on a wee bit stiffer over primer–I needed to go back for more product to cover the whole lid because it didn’t want to budge from where I initially laid it down (this made blending a bit less dreamy, but still not problematic). This shadow was still vibrant, gorgeous, and easy to use, even with a base. There was also no fallout, fading or creasing. (4.5/5)

Packaging:
Infallible shadows come in sturdy plastic jars with screw on lids. It doesn’t feel expensively heavy, but could probably take a beating, although it doesn’t seem immune to cracks if accidentally dropped. The window that shows the color is actually the bottom of the product. The packaging is square, but the pan is round. There’s also a plastic stopper included, which I thought was a luxe and functional touch. (4.5/5)

Price:
Drugstore shadows are known for their bargain prices, and this line is no exception. It sells for $7.99 USD each, and contain 0.12 oz of product (so $66.50 per ounce). That’s more product for less price! For reference, an average shadow is about 0.05 oz, and a MAC shadow could cost you $300 an ounce. Plus, the quality is very high for drugstore, at half the price of more expensive brands. Definitely a solid deal! (5/5)

Wow Factor:
What’s unique about this shadow is the powder: it’s not wholly pressed, but it’s not loose either. It won’t fall out if you turn the jar upside down, but when you dip a brush in, it separates in a way that’s reminiscent of a loose powder (so more kickup than your standard pressed powder). Plus, the color payoff and texture are all high quality, given the price. (4/5)

Overall:
I really like this shadow! While the one I picked up wasn’t the most unique, there’s enough variety in the collection–and good enough quality from the one I’ve seen–that I’d want to try others from the range too. The powder is smooth, soft, long-wearing, and opaque. (4.5) A-

Availability:
-L’Oreal is available at drugstores and specialty shops, like Ulta.

Useful Information:
-There’s 18 shadows in this range, including Glistening Garnet. There’s a good mix of neutrals and brights.
-All the shadows seem to have the same satin finish, so on this end, there’s not much variety.
-L’Oreal is notorious for their staunch opposition to cruelty-free practices. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Advertisements

Wet ‘n’ Wild Megaslicks Lip Gloss in Cherish Review

Image via Drugstore

Wet ‘n’ Wild is a great budget brand that’s often praised for it’s great quality shadows. But before I deliberately set out to score their trios and 8-pan palettes, I had picked up one of their Megaslicks Lip Glosses in Cherish. I was just getting into beauty then, and wanted something pink and sparkly and girly. This glosses ended up fitting the bill.
Color:

A frosty, warm baby pink with mircoshimmer in the tube. The color on the lips was sheerer (although I don’t know how much of that has to do with me having naturally more pigmented lips). On the mouth, the color was semi-opaque, but the frosty, glossy shimmer was most noticeable. I thought the finish made lips look plumper, but this isn’t touted as a plumping gloss. (4/5)


Wear:

I was able to achieve 3 hours of solid wear, which is pretty excellent for a gloss. It felt thinner and tackier after 2 hours, but the pigment was consistent all the way through wear time. (5/5)


Formula:

For those with sensitive noses, be warned: this gloss has a weird, chemical-vanilla smell. It’s not repulsive, not pleasant, but it’s there. This feels thick and tacky, even tackier than a MAC gloss (but I like that texture). This gloss has vitamins A and E “to moisturize and condition.” My lips didn’t feel any worse for wear after wearing this, but I didn’t see an increase in hydration, either. (4.5/5)


Packaging:

This gloss comes in a thin, cylindrical tube with a doe-foot applicator–pretty standard. But it gets the job done well. The tube isn’t too large, which makes storing and travelling easier. Nothing to complain about here. (5/5)


Price:

This gloss contains 0.19 oz of product and sells for $1.99 USD. That’s 0.02 oz more than average, for a way cheaper cost (for reference, a MAC gloss is $15 and $88 per ounce, and WnW gloss will only cost you $10.50 per ounce). Definitely a steal! (5/5)


Wow Factor:

I’m not a gloss person, but I was impressed by the Megaslicks formula. Cherish didn’t feel drying, wore very well, and showed up nicely on the lips–there was pigment and a high-textured finish. It’s probably not the most unique shade in the world, but I think the finish adds a lot of dimension to a more basic look. (4/5)


Overall:

I really like this gloss! I think the color is pretty and I love the finish. Since I love a bold lip, using this product got me wondering, “why don’t I wear lipglosses more?” It might not be the most flattering on all skin tones, but I think the shine and sparkle is worth a gander. Plus at that price, it can’t be beat. (4.5) A-


Availability:

Wet ‘n’ Wild products are available at Drugstores. I got mine at Walgreen’s.

Useful Information:

-This product was purchased by me.
-This is the only shade in the Megaslicks gloss range that isn’t vegan (containing carmine only).

-Wet ‘n’ Wild is a cruelty free brand, dedicated to not using animal-unfriendly third parties as well.

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

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mary Jane (DISCONTINUED)

Image via Amazon

**Unfortunately, my camera is broken! Since money is tight right now, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get a new one. Personal images/swatches will be up ASAP, but that could take a while. I’m so sorry for and disappointed by this inconvenience. Thank you beauties for being patient with me in the meantime.

Blue eyeshadow is a double edged sword for me, because on the one hand, I tend to find the shades so beautiful in the pan, but on the other hand, they can be difficult for me to wear. Urban Decay’s Mary Jane strikes a great balance.
Color:
 It’s a pigmented frosty sky blue. The shadow goes on 90% opaque over bare lids, and flawlessly opaque with primer (a base brings out the frost finish as well). This shade is so lovely, and plays well with warm toned shades as well as similar hues. (5/5)

Wear:
The wear was great but not excellent. If you never go without primer, then this shadow will have you covered for over 8 hours with a flawless, freshly-applied look. However, if you’re in a rush and need to slap on some color, this will show some wear and tear: after 5 hours, the color migrated around the tear duct, looked a bit faded after 6 hours and was noticeably faded by 8. (4/5)

Formula:

This shadow was part of Urban Decay’s old formula, which I actually prefer. It feels so smooth and soft. Even a swatch gives full pigmentation with a high textured finish. There was some powder kickup with the brush, but the shadow was not powdery to apply. There was no fallout, and it blended like a dream without sheering out. This shadow could also be used wet for extra oomph. (5/5)


Packaging:

I don’t have any experience with UD’s new pans, but I quite liked the old version. It was a sturdy plastic that didn’t feel too heavy (or cheap) with a flip-top lid, a clear window to see the shade within, and the color name stamped on the bottom. The shadows are small enough to store easily and feel secure enough to not take any damage during travelling. (5/5)


Price:

This shadow contains 0.05 oz of product, which is on par with other brands. It was $18 USD when I bought it (making it $360 an ounce, $60 more per ounce than MAC). For the beauty junkie, this is a pretty reasonable cost, especially given the quality (which is top notch). However, Mary Jane is discontinued, which means if you’re desperate to get your hands on it, reliable sellers on sites like Amazon and Ebay know they can jack up the price (I saw this shadow going  for 99 British pounds!). Be very careful of resellers who are out to make a large profit off of a shade’s rarity. But the score reflects the shade’s intended sticker price, in relation to my perceived value/quality of the product. (5/5)


Wow Factor:
Sky blues aren’t uncommon at any price point. But Mary Jane is special with it’s opacity, pigmentation, and high texture. I think that’s what sets it apart and really makes it worth a second look. When foiled, it can be so dramatic, which I love. When dry, it looks soft enough for a bold day look (if that makes sense!) It works all over the lid or as a pop of color on the lash line. It looks great with a ton of other colors as well. (4.5/5)

Overall:

This was one of UD’s better shadows and I’d totally recommend it to anyone who happens to have it buried away in their stash somewhere. It’s pigmented, opaque, versatile, flattering, and such good quality. I’ll never understand why UD cut it from their lineup! (4.75) A

Useful Information:
-This shadow is no longer available at official retailers.
-This shade was purchased by me.
-Urban Decay uses cruelty-free/vegan practices, but their parent company, L’Oreal, does not.

Check out Sephora to browse UD’s current eyeshadow shade range! medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

NYX Round Case Lipstick in Narcissus Review + Swatches

This is my own photo

I’ve heard a lot about NYX over the years. This isn’t my first experience with them (an eyeshadow was… and I shudder to think about it!) But this is my first try with their lipsticks. Since I know I love bright pinks, I figured the bold shade Narcissus would be a good place to start with the brand’s popular round case lipsticks.
Color:

It’s common knowledge that I love pink lipsticks, so I figured I’d probably have a dupe for this in my stash already. But I was pleasantly surprised by Narcissus’ uniqueness! It was warmer and brighter than all the others I have. Narcissus is a cool blue pink with a sheen, but it’s warmer than the other blue pinks in my collection. This actually reminded me of a lipstick version of China Glaze’s Flip Flop Fantasy polish, except FFF is matte and errs more coral, whereas Narcissus is distinctly pink. The brand describes it as “clean blue-toned pink cream” (4/5)

Wear:

For a product that went on so smooth and slippery, I wasn’t expecting the great wear I got. There was some initial fading after the first hour or so, but after that, it stayed consistent for a solid 5 hours. (4.5/5)


This is my own photo.

Formula:

This lipstick goes on nice and smooth,  and although it’s not the wettest I’ve ever felt, there is some slip. The application reminded me a lot of Revlon’s Lip Butters-it looks fine from a normal viewing distance, but up close, you can really see how the lipstick clings to every line in the lip. Not cute! However, I found that the formula was very comfortable to wear. It didn’t heal dry lips, but it didn’t make them any worse for wear after a full day. This is definitely one of the more comfortable lip formulas I’ve tried. (4.5/5)


Packaging:

Round Case Lipsticks come in circular, shiny black plastic tubes with product name on top of the cap and a color swatch on the bottom (making it easier to find the shade you’re looking for once the product is in your storage). It doesn’t feel cheap (but doesn’t feel more expensive than it is, either). I think NYX’s packaging is cuter than what you normally get at the drugstore. (5/5)


Price:

This lippie cost me only $3.99 USD for 0.14 oz of product. This is a great deal, not only because of the bargain price tag, but because you actually get more than the average lipstick (a MAC lippie for example is only 0.1 oz). So this makes NYX lipsticks cheaper than most both at face value and by the ounce. (5/5)


This is my own photo.

Wow Factor:

I was impressed this lippie managed to be different than the others I own (but I don’t think it’s so unique it’s impossible to dupe). The wear was stellar for such a creamy formula (even though it wore off a bit initially). It was also exceptionally comfortable to wear and felt more moisturizing than other brands, all of which left a favorable impression on me. (4/5)


Useful Information:

-NYX is 100% cruelty free (no selling in China).
-Most NYX products are vegan but some do contain animal derivatives.
-This lipstick has a very strong floral scent that’s a bit unpleasant. It’s not offensive, and it doesn’t last, but it’s there and noticeable while applying.
-This product was purchased by me.

-NYX products are available at specialty shops, like Target and Ulta.
Overall:

This is a very nice lipstick! It feels great on and lasts. I think it’ll look best on the lighter, cooler end of the skin tone spectrum. I like that it’s affordable and bright without being neon. I’d recommend it! 4.5 (A-)

This is my own photo.

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

L’Oreal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Foundation Review

Image via Drugstore

When I was first getting into makeup, it was imperative that I picked up a decent foundation. “Decent,” to me, meant something that would add life to the face and make me look fresh, while still looking natural. Since I wanted to cover my freckles, I knew a sheer formula wasn’t right for me. Since skin makeup wasn’t that big of a deal to me then, I wanted something affordable. That’s how I walked away with L’Oreal Visible Lift Serum Absolute Foundation.

Coverage:

I found the coverage to be light-medium to medium with a slight dewy finish. My freckles are not very dark, and this did blur them without masking them completely. I was blown away by the pore coverage when I first tried this on (as I didn’t even think to hide them in my amateur days!). This gives a smooth, flawless base to work with, and looks like a china doll’s skin without looking too fake. Despite having more than sheer coverage, this foundation doesn’t feel heavy or like a mask. (5/5)

Wear:
This foundation wore really well. After a full day, my skin looked smooth, even and bright. My skin also had nice texture throughout wear time. Although, this can appear a wee bit cakey in areas such as the corner of the nose when applied, but it’s so faint that you’d only notice if you were looking very closely for it in particular. (4.5/5)

Formula:

The selling point of this foundation is that it has anti-aging benefits. (I’m only 21, but I figured prevention is the best treatment!). It also has SPF 17. It claims to have 24-hour hydration, but I didn’t notice a difference, negative or positive. This foundation has a thick enough texture to keep it from being runny but it’s not too heavy. It blends in easily (as promised), with only 2-3 pumps needed to cover the whole face. It adds brightness, smoothness, and evenness to the face without breaking me out. This does have a powdery scent that lingers, and can get faintly cakey in certain places, though. (4.5/5)


Packaging:

I thought this foundation’s packaging was nice, especially considering the affordable price. It comes in a hefty glass bottle with a soft curved design that feels more expensive than it is. I like that unlike most other foundations on the market, this one comes with a pump. It’s not only convenient, but I notice it doesn’t spurt out too much product, so it’s not wasteful. However, product can get stuck in there and come out clumpy the next use, so take care to wipe off the mouth of the pump once you’re done. Directions and ingredients are also printed on the bottle in a pull-down sticker tab. (4/5)


Price:

I picked mine up at Target for $14.99 USD. The bottle contains 1 fluid ounce, which is an average weight. Like most L’Oreal products, it’s not the cheapest at the drugstore, but as far as foundations go (which tend to run pricey overall), I think it’s considerably affordable. Plus, for the quality and accessibility, I think it’s worth the price. (4.5/5)


Wow Factor:

What impressed me the most about this formula was definitely the smooth, airbrushed finish it gave. It made a dramatic difference in the texture of my skin without a primer or anything to boost it’s leverage. It also has SPF, great brightening effects and semi-buildable coverage, all pluses. I like that it looks slightly expensive and comes pre-equipped with a pump. It’s breathable and feels natural. The only drawback-the thing that stops me from repurchasing!-is that the strong anti-aging ingredients are too harsh for my sensitive skin. 😦 (4.5/5)


Useful Information:
-If you have sensitive skin like I do, the potent anti-aging formula can cause a burning sensation during application.
-There are 12 shades in this range, severely limiting the number of people who could find a match for their complexion.
-L’Oreal tests on animals.
Overall:

I really, really liked this foundation! I feel like it does it all: evens, brightens, protects, prevents wrinkles, smooths, you name it. I’m saddened it was too harsh for my skin, because I really like the finish it gives to my face. Apart from my sensitivity, I have normal skin, so I don’t know how well this may fare on dry or oily skin (although if I had to take a shot in the dark, I’d say the caking might get pronounced on dry patches, but oilier skin may fare better, since this foundation isn’t too glowy). I’d definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great base to enhance their skin texture by blurring pores and adding life and smoothness. 4.5 (A-)


Availability:
L’Oreal products are available at drugstores and cosmetic shops like Ulta.

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

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion Review

Image via Sephora

Urban Decay often boasts it’s eyeshadows as being the product they do best, but I have to disagree. I feel it’s in fact their liners that they consistently, effortlessly do well, with amazing shade range, a formula that can’t be beat, and a price that doesn’t quite break the bank. Their 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils have a well earned reputation for being fantastic, and the “matte blackest black,” Perversion, didn’t disappoint me. 
In fact, it’s the blackest eyeliner I own. It’s darker than it’s cousin Zero, as well as it’s sister shadow, Perversion, which has since been discontinued.
Perversion goes onto the lash line creamy and smoothly, without pulling or tugging. It was super dark in one pass. As the brand promises, the product stays smudgable for a few seconds before drying down. I like that the dry time isn’t so quick that you can’t fix a mistake, but it doesn’t require you to hang out with your eyelid closed waiting for it to dry either. 
Perversion rocked the wear time as well. After a full day (8 hours), I still had a crisp, pigmented black line in place. It didn’t smudge, run, or migrate at all. It still looked perfect at the end of the day, which is always great, especially for such a rich, creamy formula. 
UD’s pencils are colored to match the shade of the product, which is cute and functional (you can easily see and grab the one you’re looking for just by glancing at your drawer). In Perversion’s case, the whole pencil is colored matte black (usually, the caps and ends are silver), but the usual white lettering is still in place. I have a travel size version of this pencil, but the full size (0.04 oz) pencils are about average length-not stubby, not too long. I find these can be stored upright in a cup, or flat in a drawer, whichever method suits you.The travel size, as the name implies, are a great option for travel, due to their smaller size.
UD’s pencils retail for $19 USD. This is the same value as MAC Pro Longwear pencils-the price and amount of product are the same. UD has a far more vast shade range, though (with 40 options to choose from-Perversion is one of three blacks in their range). While these pencils aren’t the cheapest on the market, I truly believe they’re the best, and sometimes, it’s better to fork over a few extra dollars for superior quality. 
Perversion is an everyday kind of shade, so it won’t win any originality points, but it does it’s job well. It goes on easily and darkly, without a lot of passing back and forth, which means less product waste (although creamy pencils like this are prone to some waste when met with the sharpener). Perversion works for both day looks and as an accent or base to a nighttime smoky eye, so it’s versatile. And of course, every girl, of every age and skin color could use a black liner. 
Urban Decay retains it’s cruelty free status, and so far, does not sell in countries where animal testing is mandated by law. However, they were recently purchased by L’Oreal, a brand that is notorious for it’s unashamed animal testing stance. Those who are fiercely against animal testing may want to reconsider giving their money to a brand whose parent uses profits from UD sales potentially for animal testing.
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.8 (A)
Recommend: Absolutely. Anyone looking for a quality, basic black liner should look here. Perversion works across all skin types and occasions, be it daytime or evening. It’s the blackest black I’ve tried, and will likely get a lot of use and love, so I think $19 for a frequently used, quality product is definitely worth it.

Urban Decay products are available at department stores, online via their own site, as well as cosmetic retailers such as Ulta and Sephora.

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

China Glaze This is Tree-Mendous Review

Image via Amazon

The second polish I was fortunate enough to try from China Glaze’s Happy Holiglaze Collection is the green and gold sandy glitter, This is Tree-Mendous. And it really is a fantastic shade. As I mentioned in my Be Merry, Be Bright review, I have next to no experience with glitter polishes. But I’m pleased to say that both my experiences with CG’s glitters have been positive. While green may not immediately jump to mind as a traditional holiday color, I found that once this was on the nail, it made total sense. It’s a medium light green and gold glitter that looks like tinsel on the nails. It’s beautiful.
The consistency of this polish is a bit watery, but I found it didn’t negatively impact application. The glitter spread evenly over the nail without really having to fiddle with it. However, to get opaque coverage, I found three coats to be necessary. It gives you options, though. You could do a coat or two over another polish as an accent, or go for three and wear it on it’s own. The polish dried down to a sandy textured finish, which could still be felt even after applying a top coat. I didn’t mind this, though. I thought it was pretty cool. It didn’t take forever to dry, either. I was ready to go after just a minute or two. I had no issues with this pulling or pooling, either.
The wear on this polish was okay. I found that after five days, I had a sizable chip on one index finger, with tip wear on the remaining fingers. Five days is alright by me, since I have very weak nails (and change my polish weekly, anyway). But I believe five days isn’t good enough to many, and those seeking more long-term wear could be disappointed by the longevity this polish offers.  

China Glaze polishes come in 0.5oz tapered glass bottles with long, rubberized handles. The handle is particularly great, as it won’t slip, and is neither too small or too cumbersome for all types of fingers to efficiently use. The brush is average-long enough to coat the nail and not particularly wide-but it performs well, without splaying, streaking, or otherwise being difficult. While these polishes are some of the larger ones I own, they’re not hard to store, in spite of their wider bottom.

I was pleased to see the holiday collection of polishes being sold for $7.50 USD, which is the same price as their permanent range. China Glaze’s formula is always 3-free, and I’ve never tried one I didn’t like. The formula always does well. This is great because their products are salon quality and unique, while actually being some of the most affordable polishes in my collection (cheaper than both Essie and OPI). This brand may be a bit more difficult to find, as it’s not available in drugstores, but beauty supply shops and Ulta. are known to carry them.

Color: 5/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.6 (A-)
Recommend: Absolutely. This is Tree-Mendous is a great polish that’ll work for both the holidays and warmer months. It can be used as a layering polish as well as on it’s own, wears decently, and is affordable without a lot of harsh chemicals.

China Glaze polishes can be found at beauty supply stores and Ulta. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

MAC Eyeshadow in Steamy Review

Image via Overstock

MAC Steamy eyeshadow is described as “bluish green with gold pearl.” This description isn’t totally wrong, but it’s not how I would categorize this shade. Rather, I found it to be a bright, frosty aqua. There is a bit of the blue-green going on, but there’s nothing gold about Steamy-in the pan, in a swatch, on the lid. There’s no gold shimmer-sheen to be found here. MAC did categorize this as a frost, which is very spot on though. While I don’t think anyone would put a bright blue shade as a brow highlight, I do think it can work as an “iridescent highlight” to the crease or as the pop of all-over lid color.
With primer, this applies so pigmented. Steamy also blends easily and had no application problems, like fallout or patchiness. Without a base, the pigmentation needed to be built up a little, and compared to when the shade is used with a base, it was less iridescent over bare lids.To the touch, it felt a bit dry and gritty, but went onto the lid very smoothly. With a brush, it didn’t have much powder kick-up.
I’m very happy to say that this shadow lasted all day when used with a base. It still looked freshly applied at the 8-hour mark. I experienced no fading, fallout, creasing, or migrating. I love a shadow that works all day! Without primer, this looked faded after an hour, but it didn’t fade any more beyond that one hour mark. 
MAC shadows are sold in round, black plastic pots with clear lids, with the brand’s logo written in black script over that clear window. The lid flips back on a hinge and snaps shut. The lid isn’t flimsy and feels secure when it’s closed. The packaging feels lightweight, but not cheap. The pan of product inside is about the size of a quarter. With some effort, the pan can be removed and the plastic packaging can be returned to the store for the Back to MAC program, where you can get a free lipstick when you return 6 empty plastic MAC containers. 
Conversely, one can purchase the shadow pan (without the plastic pot) by itself, intended for use in a magnetic palette, for $10 USD. This will save you a bit of money if you plan on using the shadow in a palette anyway, since the potted shadow runs $15 USD. MAC is what I call a “mid-range” brand (more expensive than drugstore, less expensive than prestige, luxury brands). These shadows contain 0.05 oz of product, which is $300 per ounce. This is cheaper than Urban Decay (which is $360 per ounce), but it’s still not in everyone’s budget. I think the quality of this shadow and it’s somewhat uniqueness make it a worthwhile investment if it seems a little out of your price range. It’s a great, long-wearing aqua that looks fantastic with greens. However, those highly concerned with avoiding animal tested products may want to look elsewhere. MAC products are not tested on animals, except “where mandated by law.”
Color: 4/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4.5/5 
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)
Recommend: Yes. I’m happy with my purchase of Steamy, because it’s long-wearing, easy to apply, and looks beautiful, but it lost points for it’s drier feel and less than unique coloring (while slightly nuanced, it’s more or less just a frosty aqua).

MAC products are available at department stores, and online at maccosmetics.com. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

MAC Eyeshadow in Humid Review

Image via eBay

Shopping for MAC products, especially when you’re new to the makeup sphere, can be a bit dizzying. On one of my first trips to MAC, I let my instincts guide me (I had a nearly nonexistent makeup collection, so I had nothing to lose, really). After some hours poring through all the beautiful colors, I went home with Humid, an “intense green with shimmer.” This shadow is a frost formula, which is designed to give “an iridescent highlight to any color.” While I don’t think anyone would highlight with a vibrant green, it still performs well, and fits the brand’s description.
Over primer, it went on super pigmented, as a dark, frosty hunter green. This isn’t a shadow where you have to dip your pan in the brush lots to build up acceptable color-two or three strokes in the pan is enough to give intense color. To the touch, it feels soft and smooth. Some powder gets kicked up in the pan with a brush, but the shadow itself doesn’t feel powdery. It blends easily and I experienced no fallout during application. While most of us consider a base a necessity, those who choose to forgo one won’t miss out on anything when applying Humid over bare lids. It had the same rich pigment, and no fallout, patchiness, or difficulty blending. It is a bit less iridescent without a base, though. 
As gorgeous as this shade is, I do have some dupes in my stash (which is, admittedly, not very large). Wet ‘n’ Wild Cool As a Cucumber’s eyelid shade is very similar. Also, Urban Decay Bender is an exact match.
I’m always happy to report that a shadow wears effortlessly, and Humid is one of those special shades. After 8 hours of wear, it still looked freshly applied-no fallout, creasing, or migrating, ever. And the truly impressive thing, again, is that it worked just as hard when a primer was not used. Most of us use primer to enhance our shadows and keep them wearing longer-and except for a smidgen of less iridescence, Humid performed nearly exactly the same, with or without a base. Impressive!
MAC shadows come in small, circular pots made of black plastic, with clear lids with the brand’s name written in black over that clear window. The shade name is written in grey text on the bottom. I’d say the pan of product itself is about the size of a quarter, so the surrounding plastic is only a bit larger. The tops of these are a bit rounded, so they don’t stack well on top of each other. But they do lay flat, and many organize MAC shadow pots on their side in trays. The plastic is sturdy enough that you could feel comfortable travelling with it, but not so durable that it could survive an accidental fall. And, as always, the product can be depotted and the metal pan of shadow can be inserted into a magnetized palette for smoother, more durable storage and travel.
MAC sells those palette-ready pans for $10 USD, which will save you some. But for those looking for just a few shades or don’t own a palette yet, the potted shadow will run you $15 USD. This price is in what I call the “mid-range”: more expensive than drugstore, less expensive than luxury brands. It’s definitely not a cost everyone is willing to pay. But if you’re looking for a beautiful dark green that performs fantastically, I can wholeheartedly recommend Humid at this price point. 
While MAC is a pretty affordable, quality brand with a lot of shade range and products that can work for all skin types and skin colors, some consumers may be unsatisfied still. That is because MAC is “cruelty free”-unless where mandated by law. Everyone has a different stance on animal testing, but for those who are more purist, this brand, sadly, will not meet your needs.
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.75 (A)
Recommend: Absolutely! Humid is a fantastic green that would look great on nearly all skin tones and lasts forever. The color is a bit common, and some may find it expensive, but I believe the quality makes it completely worth it.

MAC products are available at standalone stores, counters in department stores, and online at maccosmetics.com

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

China Glaze Be Merry, Be Bright Review

Image via entitybeautyuk

In my birthday haul, I mentioned picking up 2 of China Glaze’s new polishes from their winter 2013 collection, called Happy Holiglaze. I was very excited to grab these, because I usually never get the opportunity to snag limited edition/holiday products. But it wasn’t just a limited edition holiday product that was new for me to try with this purchase: both of the shades I picked up were glitters! 
The first polish I tried, Be Merry, Be Bright, is a traditional glitter. It contains a mix of small and medium navy blue and berry hexagonal shaped glitter particles in a clear base. My eye was initially drawn to this shade when I first looked at the collection. The deep jewel tones and reflective finish seemed perfect for the holidays! The glitter pieces have a nice, reflective sheen without being harsh. They do twinkle nicely in bright, overhead light, but don’t look garish on the nails.
The base wasn’t thick or watery and applied smoothly over the nail. The particles weren’t chunky, despite their bigger size, and spread easily. It was simple to get the glitter flecks spaced out over the nail, without them clustering in one place. Plus, it was buildable. One coat offers a sprinkle of glitter, two gave more impact. I used two coats of this polish over Wet ‘n’ Wild Through the Grapevine, and I could still see the berry color of the polish underneath the glitter when I used two coats of Be Merry, Be Bright, which makes it a great layering shade. It’s not the kind of polish that can opaquely cover the whole nail by design, though.
I had heard a lot of bad things about glitter polishes, but this one continued to impress me. It dried down quickly (two minutes, tops) and didn’t budge. Even during the week I wore it, I didn’t get any tip wear (and my nails are weak-polishes chip easily on me!). I was sure this would feel bumpy after I applied my top coat, but nope! When I touched the dried polish, it was as smooth as could be. Even with two coats of colored polish, two coats of Be Merry, Be Bright, and a swipe of top coat, my nails didn’t feel thickly polished. 
I really like China Glaze’s bottle design. The glass is sturdy with a flared out shape. The cap is long and easy to grip. It’s not rubberized, but it’s not smooth, slippery plastic, either. And it’s large enough that any size fingers could get around it and use it comfortably. The cap isn’t cumbersome. The brush is average, not too wide or thin, and it’s long enough to apply the glitter without getting it where you don’t want it.
Be Merry, Be Bright contains 0.5 oz of product, for $7.50 USD. The amount of product is average, but the cost is cheaper than OPI or Essie. This polish is really amazing quality, and for a price that won’t break the bank. The writing on this bottle, which is black, was difficult for me to read, so I took to looking online to check the ingredients. I couldn’t find a straight-up ingredients list, but it is safe to say that China Glaze polishes, Be Merry, Be Bright included, are 3-Free (made without DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde). 
Color: 4.5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 5/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.8 (A)
Recommend: Yes, the quality, ease of use, and wear time are unbeatable. I don’t think it’s the most unique shade, even for a glitter, but it’s smooth and versatile. I imagine this looking great over jewel and berry tones for the winter, as well as whites and brights in the warmer months.

China Glaze polishes are available from cosmetic shops, like Ulta.

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