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Wet ‘n’ Wild Eyeshadow Trio in No Scalpers Allowed Review + Swatches

I was so excited to pick up some limited edition trios from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Summer Collection last month. The theme of the collection is summer music festivals, which I thought was such a cool idea. The first that I tried is No Scalpers Allowed, which goes right along with that bohemian feel that’s common at music festivals.
Color:
The eyelid shade is a soft, shimmery blue-based violet. The crease is a mid-tone matte lilac, and the brow shade is a matte shell nude. While these are lovely to look at swatched, their performance on the lid isn’t a stellar. The eyelid shade has the most pigmentation, but without primer, it can only be built up to medium opacity and even then it fades within minutes. I was able to achieve full opacity and true to pan color with primer. The crease shade is more of a pinky lilac on the eye, and can never quite achieve full opacity. The brow shade performed the best as it was opaque and smooth both with and without primer.
While the eyelid shade was the most unique, it still doesn’t seem remarkably uncommon. I have dupes for the other two shades in my collection, so this trio isn’t winning a lot of points on shade originality. The crease shade is much lighter than the lefthand definer shade in Wet ‘n’ Wild’s I Heart Matte and the brow shade is lighter and cooler than the righthand brow shade in the same palette. The brow shade is sheerer, less stark and warmer than Urban Decay Righteous, and cooler and sheerer than Urban Decay Skimp (3/5)


Wear:
This trio looked really washed out after just an hour without primer. With primer, the shadows made it to the 8 hour mark just fine. The crease shade stayed in tact, but it didn’t look nearly as poppy on the eye as it does when swatched. (4.5/5)

Formula:
This trio is pretty inconsistent. The brow shade has a soft, smooth texture and full opacity, whereas the eyelid shade is semi-opaque and a bit dry at best, and the crease shade is pretty fussy, lacking pigment, kicks up a good amount of product when touched with a brush, and doesn’t stand out on the eye. I needed to go back for more color when applying the lid and crease shades to get the most out of the pigment. However they all blended well and I didn’t have any problems with fallout. (3/5)


Packaging:
The packaging is pretty standard for WnW: thin enough rectangular compact with a clear lid. It doesn’t feel bulky or cheap, and I like that the packaging is white for the limited edition release instead of the standard black. However there’s a lot of stickers on the compact, and that makes it hard to open initially. A sponge tipped applicator and small brush are included. The brush felt softer than I imagined, and while it won’t replace my Sonia Kashuk brushes, it would get the job done in a pinch if you were, say, travelling and lost all your brushes en route. It’s small and thin enough to store easily, and while I don’t think think it’ll survive a lot of fall damage, it’s not the worst pick for travel. The lids on WnW compacts don’t always stay closed though, and with how powdery these can be, I’m not sure this is the first thing I’d reach for to put in a travel makeup bag. (4/5)

Price:
I picked this trio up at Walgreen’s for about $2.99, which is a steal no matter how you look at it: It’s about a dollar a shade, or $24.92 per ounce (and there’s 0.12 oz in the trio). So sure it’s a bargain, but getting your money’s worth is just as important as the amount spent. I don’t think the quality is good enough to where I’m thrilled it’s so affordable, but it’s not bad enough that I think the price tag is unreasonable either. (3/5)

Wow Factor:
This trio definitely fits the girly bohemian vibe common at music festivals, and I thought the pops of color with the neutral brow would be interesting. However, the execution was poorer than I’d hoped. The color payoff was just so disappointing, and the feel of the shadows was inconsistent, leaving me less than impressed. (2/5)

Overall:
It’s a pretty, affordable trio, but the weak pigment is a deal breaker for me. Plus, the colors wash away in an hour without primer, which makes me wonder how well they’ll realistically be able to hold up to the heat at the outdoor concerts that inspired them, even with a base. The colors aren’t so rare that it warrants hunting these down. I recommend opting for better performing dupes. 3.25 (C-)

Availability:
-Drugstores
Useful Information:
-Wet ‘n’ Wild is completely cruelty-free and mostly vegan.
-This product was purchased by me.
-This collection is limited edition and won’t be around much longer.

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ELF Hypershine Lip Gloss in Fairy Review

Image via Allure

ELF is a brand I admittedly overlook. But my mother picked this gloss up for me, so naturally I gave it a shot. I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out!
Color:

This Hypershine gloss is in the shade Fairy. On my (more pigmented) lips, it showed up as a sheer, pinky-peach with nearly imperceptible shimmer. It’s not super-unique (although I don’t think it was meant to be), and with it’s sheerness, you may have something like this already. I’m not a big gloss person, though, so I do like reaching for this on natural days or when I want to balance out a colorful eye (3/5)


Wear:

Glosses in general aren’t very long-wearing, and the sheerer ones tend to fade even quicker. But despite it’s thin opacity, Fairy lasted a good two and a half hours on me (and still felt a bit residual at this point). The gloss looked shiny for a full hour, but after that, the glossiness began to wean, though. (4.5/5)


Formula:

This gloss has a thicker, tackier formula. It’s not as thick as MAC Lipglass, but just a notch below. Despite this, it went on very smoothly and didn’t settle into lip lines. The product claims to have a “wet, glasslike shine” and “beautiful, sheer, wearable color.” I found it delivered fully on both! This definitely packs a lot of shine, so if you favor a glossy look more than opacity, this will be right up your alley. (5/5)


Packaging:

Hypershine glosses come packaged in a twist-up pen with an attached, synthetic brush-on applicator. The bristles feel synthetic, but not plasticky, and they’re much more dense than I expected. I did like the way the brush bristles applied the gloss on the lips–the clicking keeps you from applying too much. A lot of people don’t like this type of packaging, though, because the applicator is tough to clean. (4/5)

Price:
These glosses contain 0.05 oz of product, which is pretty tiny compared to average glosses (MAC’s, for example, contain 0.17 oz–that’s more than 3x the amount in this gloss!). I think this is because of the packaging style. However, these only cost $1 USD, so if you go through it quickly, it’s not a big deal to replace. (4/5)

Wow Factor:
I can’t say I was impressed much by anything in this gloss. Don’t get me wrong, I really like it. It’s just there’s nothing unusual about Fairy that makes me stop and say “I’ve never seen anything like this before!” or “I don’t have anything like this!” It’s good, it’s fine, but it’s nothing special. (3/5)


Useful Information:

-ELF products are hypoallergenic and noncomodogenic.
-ELF products are cruelty-free and vegan (with no animal derivatives).
-This product is an Allure Best of Beauty Award winner!

Overall:

I like this gloss much better than the score lets on! It’s one of those things where I never would’ve picked it up on my own, but I’m not unhappy that I have it. It’s very subtle and natural looking, and I think it’s good quality for the price. It just isn’t amazing or too original, and easily dupeable. (3.9) C+


Availability:

ELF products are available at super-stores, like Target, and online at eyeslipsface.com.
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China Glaze Nail Polish in Flip Flop Fantasy Review

Image via Nailsave

Flip Flop Fantasy, which was part of the 2010 Summer Poolside Collection, was the very first polish I tried from China Glaze. After hearing so much about the brand on Youtube, I had high hopes and wasn’t too disappointed initially.
Color:

FFF is a special color. It doesn’t appear that way in the bottle (or just from glancing at it in the photo above), but it really is quite nuanced. It’s a neon, warm, yellow-based pink that teeters on coral (depending on your lighting) with a matte finish. Those who love their brights won’t be disappointed with this–it’s definitely neon! This is matte, but I used a shiny topcoat, and I feel that really made the polish sing–the shine enhanced it’s inherent luminosity and gave it a patent leather, barbie feel. (5/5)

Wear:

This area is where FFF really misses the mark. Mattes have a reputation for being fussy, and this was no exception. This polish chipped after merely two days, and had continued wear and tear throughout the week (nothing major beyond the initial chipping). Those who prefer to change their polish shade less often will want to keep the bottle on hand for considerably frequent touch-ups. (2/5)

Formula:

The bad news is, this polish has major streaking issues. I used two coats, and attempted to carefully smooth out the polish, but visible brush strokes were simply unavoidable. Perhaps a third coat would’ve smoothed  things out, but I’m doubtful. The streaks can be reduced by being very patient and slow in your application of this polish. The good news is, the color remains bright throughout wear time, the polish wasn’t too thick, and all of China Glaze’s polishes are 3-Free. (2/5)


Packaging:

CG is my favorite brand for polishes, and part of that is because of the bottle design. The caps are long and rubberized, making them easy for all types of fingers to use easily. The brush is average, not too wide/short, and applies nicely. I’ve never had a CG brush with splayed bristles. The glass portion of the bottle is one of the wider shapes of the brands I own, but the polish is still easy to store. (5/5)


Price:

CG polishes are $7.50 USD for 0.5 oz of product. This fill weight is average, but the cost is a bit cheaper than other similarly priced brands. So you get the same salon quality while saving a buck or two. When it comes to FFF in particular, I think $7.50 is a steal for the nuanced color, but it’s a bit much for a polish with this severe of a streaking issue. (3.5/5)


Wow Factor:

Despite everything, I still really love this polish. The brightness of the neon formula borders on fluorescent (it can be tough to look at under very bright lighting!), and that’s what gets me with this shade. Even with it’s wear issues, it just screams fun and really stands out in the summer time. Plus, the hue alters depending on the lighting, erring more pink or coral depending, which is uncommon for inexpensive polishes. It’s got it’s issues, but FFF definitely has wow factor! (4.5/5)


Overall:
I feel comfortable recommending this polish, despite the rating. It’s fun, girly, and bright, which is what a summer polish is all about. And I think for a matte formula, it didn’t do anything too unexpected (it’s a tricky formula to work with!). The color itself is really the star here, and is the reason why I love this polish, even though it has it’s problems (everyone loves an underdog!). 3.6 (C+)

Availability:
China Glaze polishes are available at beauty supply shops and cosmetic retailers, like Ulta.

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OPI Nail Lacquer in OPI Ink Review

Image via hairboutique

Even before I was a beauty junkie, I had heard about the magic of OPI polishes. They were everywhere: drugstores, nail salons, beauty supply shops. Any time anyone was wearing a lacquer on their nails, it was a safe bet that they were wearing this brand. So, naturally, as my interest in cosmetics grew, I had to find out for myself what all the hype was about (not just with this brand, but with polish in general). I started off my collection with OPI Ink. This brand is famous for changing up it’s polish lineup several times a year, but for those who want to try this baby, it’s part of the permanent range (in their Brights section–don’t worry, it’s not that bright).

Color:

This polish is a beautiful dark royal purple–not blackened, but a touch darker than plum–with warm, ruby toned shimmer. The shimmer is fine and spread evenly throughout. The shimmer is more noticeable in brighter light, naturally, but isn’t invisible in dimmer conditions, either. It’s a beautiful shade, and unlike anything else I own (but my collection is very small). But it’s really just a purple with shimmer–not rare or impossible to dupe (even within the brand’s own range–Nevermore from their 2010 Halloween collection appears identical). (4/5)


Wear:

I admit, polishes just hate sticking to my nails. It’s not so bad, since I like to switch up my manicure about every week. Most polishes can manage to get through that time. Sadly, OPI Ink wasn’t one of them–I had sizeable chipping after a measly two days. (2/5)


Formula:

This lacquer has one of the thicker formulas I’ve come across on the market. It wasn’t so thick that it affected application, though. It still went on the nail smoothly and evenly, without any issues. The shimmer, as mentioned, also looks even and neatly placed on the nail without any work. It needed two coats for opacity, but was easily achieved. The dry time was normal, and the polish had a touch of natural sheen to it (but a shiny topcoat really makes the difference). So it applies nice enough, but didn’t have any real staying power. On the plus side, all of OPI’s polishes went 3-free in 2006. (3.5/5)


Packaging:

OPI polishes come in rounded, tapered glass bottles with rubberized caps. The caps are great because they’re long enough for all size fingers to comfortably hold and the rubberized texture keeps them from slipping. The brush was on the shorter side, but it got the job done well. These aren’t the smallest bottles in my collection, but they’re easy to store and look nice on display. (4.5/5)


Price:

I purchased my bottle from Ulta a while back for $8.50 USD, but the brand has since upped the cost to $9 USD a bottle. Each polish contains 0.5 fl oz., which is both the average cost and weight one would expect from a polish. I think the polish is lovely enough to warrant the price–it’s truthfully not a special polish, but it has no major flaws that would make me say it isn’t worth what you pay for. (5/5)


Wow Factor:

For being my first foray into OPI I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t impressed, either. The polish is nice, but not much else. I think the shimmer is what really draws appeal to this polish–even looking at it in the bottle, it’s reminiscent of deep space (and the effect translates to the nail), so it’s definitely pretty. But it’s not that uncommon, either. (3.5/5)


Overall:
I think my lukewarm feelings about this polish are clear. It’s not bad, it’s not amazing, it’s good enough. This kind of purple is gorgeous for the cooler months (and is on trend for Pantone’s Color of the Year), but there’s nothing about this shade that makes me think you should run out and buy it, either. If you like it, try it. At this price point, it wouldn’t be a waste. (3.75) C+

OPI polishes are available at drugstores, mass retailers, beauty supply stores, salons, and cosmetic shops, like Ulta.

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Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Very Black Review

Image via Allure

I had heard lots about Maybelline The Falsies mascara, so when I finally got my hands on it for my birthday, I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. While it doesn’t live up to the “false lash” claim, I was surprised by what good things this mascara had to offer. 
Color:

The packaging touts the formula as being “very black.” It darkened up my naturally brown lashes and looked distinctly black, not sooty or grayish. It’s not a stark, matte black; it has a richer dimension. (5/5)


Wear:

This mascara certainly passed this test! It lasted all day (8 hours) without clumping or drooping. The curl held the entire time, and the lashes remained fanned out and separated. It didn’t flake, run, or smudge, either. (5/5)


Formula:

The Falsies is designed to be a volumizing mascara. While I did notice fatter, longer lashes, the results in both categories were slight (and not as dramatic as Colossal Lash). If you’re really after the look of false lashes in a tube, this product won’t deliver. However, what stood out to me in a very positive way was how separating this mascara is. Each lash looked neat, combed through, and defined, and remained that way throughout the wear time. It also holds a curl (from a lash curler) nicely. Unfortunately, this is the only mascara so far that has a scent that I don’t like. It has a bizarre bitter element to it that’s not pleasant, but also not strong or noticeable unless you deliberately sniff the tube. It feels like a drier mascara (think Cover Girl Lashblast), but layers like a very wet mascara (meaning, it clumps to high heaven–best to wear this one on it’s own). (3.5/5)


Packaging:

While the purple and blue color scheme is cute, I noticed that the tube feels lighter and cheaper than Colossal Lash does. The wand is flimsy and a bit large. But the spoon shape really hugs each of the lashes, coating them with an even layer of product, and separates them into a nice fanned out shape. It also reaches those tiny baby hairs in the inner corner somewhat easily. (4/5)


Price:

This mascara retails for $6.99 USD. This is equally priced to Maybelline’s other mascaras, and for drugstore, it’s a little on the less-expensive side (popular formulas Cover Girl Lashblast and L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes are both $8.99). So for what you get for the price (a nice, natural daytime mascara with excellent definition), I don’t think the Falsies is a bad investment. But if you’d like to notice a bit more of a difference in your lashes, I’d spend the $7 on a nice drugstore lippie instead and spend the few extra dollars and purchase a more “dramatic” mascara instead. (Often, Maybelline is buy one get one half off at Ulta, so if you’re on the fence with this product like I was, you can snag it at an even lower value). (3/5)


Wow Factor:

The real beauty of this mascara lies in it’s separating prowess, it’s curl definition, and staying power. However, (apart from the waterproof claim, which may have lended to the excellent wear), this product didn’t capitalize on those high points–it was marketed as being dramatically volumizing, giving the look of fake lashes, and it just doesn’t do that. In fact, it looks the opposite of false–it appears very natural and everyday, the kind of thing to rake on in a rush and rely on to look neat and presentable. Of course that’s not bad, it’s just not what the consumer would expect from looking at the product, which makes it a bit of a disappointment. (3/5)


Overall: 

I would recommend this mascara to someone looking for an easy, “good enough” mascara that they can use again and again. It wears phenomenally and lends superior separation to each lash. But it doesn’t layer well, so it’s just about impossible to get the dramatic effect of false lashes with this alone. It’s good to pick up on a half off sale but I don’t think I’d pay full price for it. Since it’s so difficult to layer with, and I prefer length to volume, I don’t believe I’ll be repurchasing once I use this up. If one was stuck between the two, I would easily recommend Colossal Lash over the Falsies, any day. (3.9) C+

Maybelline products are available at drugstores, and specialty stores like Ulta.

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Shiro Loose Eyeshadow in Detective Review

Image via Shiro Cosmetics

Shiro describes their first loose eyeshadow in the Notebook Collection, Detective, as “taupe with blue duochrome.” However, despite how it looks in the photo above, this description isn’t very accurate. It’s a cool, iridescent silver with silver glitter. It’s also just a bit sheer, so it makes for a great layering shade. However, there wasn’t the slightest tinge of taupe in the base color. It did look awesome over Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe! 

This shade has they type of shimmer and iridescence that makes you say “wow!” Especially over a colored base, a shadow like this really shines. I used it foiled (as is the best way to work with loose shades), and over the base, it had a fantastic Winter Wonderland look. While mostly opaque on it’s own, the base really brings the sparkles to life, creating a really amazing effect. What’s really special is that I experienced no fallout. It blended fine, also.
On the whole, Detective wore decently. At the 3 hour mark, there was a bit of fading around the edges when used with a primer (without a base, this edge fading didn’t occur until 6 hours). By 6 hours (with primer) there was slight fading on the lid, as well as very faint glitter migration. However, the color still looked strong by the 8 hour mark (the fading wasn’t horrendous) and the wandering glitter was only noticeable at certain angles in the light, so it wasn’t a total wreck.
All of my Shiro shadows from the Notebook Collection are in the medium size, which is 1 gram of product in a small, circular plastic container with a screw top lid and a sifter. The sifters were hit-or-miss: some worked well and were able to pop off easily, others were tricky, didn’t give a lot of product, some gave too much, and some didn’t pop off at all. While the packaging in this size is very similar, there is a sticker label on the bottom of each that clarifies what’s what. They’re very small and flat, so they’re easy to store, but I don’t feel the plastic is the most dexterous, so it may crack if dropped or during travel. It could also be small enough to get lost in a travel bag.
One Shiro shadow in this size is a very affordable $3.50 USD. For the quality, I think that’s definitely doable. However, because Shiro is an indie brand, their products can only be purchased from their website. The processing and shipping was not bad at all, though-less than 2 weeks from the order date to my doorstep-and the customer service is impeccable. I received a hand-written note, candy, and 2 free surprise samples with my order. Because the shadows are handmade and independently owned, they’re also cruelty-free and vegan (the ingredients used in each product is listed on their site). Detective is also safe for use on the lips.
Color: 4/5

Wear: 3.5/5
Formula: 3.5/5
Packaging: 3/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 3.8 (C+)
Recommend: Yes, I think Detective is a fantastic layering shade at a great price. There were some minor issues with the formula and wear time, but it really sings over bases, and can in that regard, it surely can hold it’s own against more costly options.

Shiro Cosmetics are available at shirocosmetics.com

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Wet ‘n’ Wild 8-Pan Palette in Comfort Zone Review

Image via Drugstore

Wet ‘n’ Wild Palettes have been having a time in the sun lately. Being able to score multiple shadows that are good quality and cruelty-free at an affordable price-what’s not to love? While I’m a fan of the brand and their shadows in particular, their 8-Pan Palette in Comfort Zone managed to disappoint me. As mentioned, this earthy palette contains 8 shadows:
  • The left-hand Browbone shade is a soft, subtle champagne with a hint of shimmer. It looked subtle, but opaque and true to pan on the lid.It had a smooth texture.
  • The left-hand Eyelid shade swatches as a warm, shimmery light amber shade. It goes onto the lid as more of a rose-gold hue, as it looks in the photo above. This shade felt soft and had great color payoff.
  • The left-hand Crease shade is a warm toned light-medium brown. This was the most powdery shade in the palette-one light tap with a brush would still cause crazy kickup in the pan. I also had trouble with this shade looking faint and sheering out easily when blended. It performed better with primer, but not by much.
  • The left-hand Definer shade is a dark, blackened brown. While there is shimmer in the pan, it didn’t translate to the lid, with or without primer. This color also had a lot of powder kickup, and was a bit stiff. The color payoff was great, though. 
  • The right-hand Browbone shade is a neutral sandy champagne frost. It had a smooth texture that wasn’t powdery.
  • The right-hand Eyelid shade is a soft, yellow-tinged light green with a satin finish. This had a soft texture. However, it was a little faint and sheer when used without a primer.
  • The right-hand Crease shade is a very dark grey. In the pan/swatches, there appears to be orange shimmer, but this doesn’t make it onto the eye without primer. The texture was soft and easy to blend. There was a bit of powderiness when using a brush, but it was by far not the worst offender in this palette.
  • The right-hand Definer shade is a warm, rosy brown with a blue shift. This shade is a changer. In the pan, it looks ashy blue-grey-brown, when swatched it looks brown with a faint blue sheen, on the lid without primer it looks more blue (truer to pan), and on the lid with primer, it looks more red-brown with a distinct blue sheen. This is allegedly a dupe for MAC’s Club.
Most of the shades had great color payoff and wore well. Both browbone shades were subtle to begin with, but the color was noticeable/opaque, and they stayed put. The left-hand crease and right-hand lid shades were disappointing in terms of pigment. The right-hand definer shade had faded after just 2 hours, with and without a base. By 4 hours, the right-hand crease shade looked faint and more like a simple smattering of shimmer on the lid without primer. Also at the 4-hour mark, the right-hand lid shade looked markedly faded (and not very green). Otherwise, the remaining 6 shades wore perfectly for 8 hours.

While I experienced no fallout with any of the 8 colors, fading, powderiness, stiffness, and blendability were issues for some, as noted above. Most of the colors felt soft and smooth enough, though. While not without it’s flaws, I think Comfort Zone is a versatile palette. The left-hand column creates a great, warm-toned, casual daytime look, while the problematic right side builds a cooler, sooty, nighttime eye.

The shadows come in rectangular pans packed into a black plastic square container with a clear, flip-top lid. The packaging looks a little cheap, but it’s secure enough. I fear it may be a bit too flimsy to travel with, as the plastic may not be the best protection against the shadows should the palette accidentally drop. It’s medium in size, not too large, and there’s no unnecessary plastic taking up space. This did come with 2 applicators that are poor quality and basically useless, but there is a slot for them included in the palette, so at least that part of the packaging is functional. The compact is slim, feels light, and is not difficult to store.

Comfort Zone comes stocked with 0.3 oz of product. Compared to 8 MAC eyeshadows, which are 0.05 oz each, that’s less than average. However, this is more cost-efficient. 8 full-size MAC shadows will set you back $120 USD (or $300 an ounce), whereas Comfort Zone is only $4.99 USD face value (and $16.63 an ounce). So while the size is just a shred smaller, the palette, which has a MAC dupe included, is more budget-friendly. Also, the colors come pre-coordinated and offers the owner a chance to mix and match, so it’s not a bad buy for first-timers.

Wet ‘n’ Wild products are more easily accessible, since they’re stocked in nearly every local drugstore. The packages come well-sealed with stickers, so you can trust your container hasn’t been broken, swatched, or otherwise meddled with by others (and I think the hygienic peace of mind is worth it!) Wet ‘n’ Wild is also independently-owned and cruelty-free.

Colors: 4/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 3/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 2/5
Overall: 3.7 (C+)
Recommend: I think Comfort Zone would work well for beginners, people on a budget, or with strict cruelty-free policies. While there’s affordability and versatility, I feel these are common colors most women own (and likely own in better quality), so it’s not a must-have.

Wet ‘n’ Wild products can be found at Drugstores. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Volume III Review (DISCONTINUED)

Image via Beautylish

Astute eyes may have noticed that the order I had been reviewing Urban Decay eyeshadows in was oddly matching that of the now-discontinued Book of Shadows Vol. III. That’s because it’s true-I don’t own the individual shadows; instead, I own this chic palette. I received it 2010, so it’s relatively long gone. However, a lot of the shades have been added to the brand’s new permanent lineup, so never fear about missing out. While each shade (and liner included) has been individually reviewed on PV for your conveniance, this will focus on the palette as a whole investment.
There are 16 shades in this palette, which sounds like a hearty number. However, there’s not as much variety in this palette as one might expect or hope for. There is only 1 matte (Perversion), 4 glitter textures (most of which have frustrating fallout), 5 frosts, and the remaining 6 are shimmers. Also, nearly all of these shades pull cool-toned. Maui Wowie, Smog, and Suspect lean the warmest. Sadly, only 8 shades received a grade of B- or higher-half the palette managed to disappoint.
 All of these things limit the palette: the shiny textures tend to bring out the creases around the eyes of mature skin, the bolder colors would have to be saved for special occasions/nights out for most professional women, and the cooler tones exclude ladies with warmer skin tones. While I definitely advocate any woman wearing whatever she wants, lots of ladies shy away from colors, textures, or finishes that they feel don’t “flatter” them, and I feel it was a mistake for Urban Decay to leave them out. 
The liners in this palette were nice treats, though. Zero was a great black that performed well and would look with a multitude of looks-it was a fan favorite for a reason. While Ransom performed considerably less well, it wasn’t awful, and seemed to be popular with both the brand and buyers alike. I was disappointed in the shade’s discontinuation. So while many are fortunate to have the shade on hand from owning this palette, or one of the limited-edition liner sets, I wouldn’t say in hindsight that picking up the palette just for that shade would’ve been worth it. 
Lastly, BoS 3 contained a travel vial of Primer Potion, in it’s old style packaging: a stand-up, genie-like bottle with a screw-top lid and pull-out, doe foot wand. I preferred that this packaging included a wand, although I can understand the switch to a squeeze tube (less product waste). Regardless, the primer performed well and is a total lifesaver-this palette was my first introduction to makeup, and if I hadn’t received the primer, I’m unsure if I ever would’ve got around to buying it on my own. Now I couldn’t live without it, so it definitely is a great inclusion for the people who are new to makeup, haven’t tried a primer or can’t afford it, or don’t see the purpose of using one (this may change some minds!) 
The palette itself is sleek and functional, although I personally feel it could’ve been compacted even further. I say this because the top of the palette, that flips up, reveals a lit-up pop-up of a city skyline, with a mirror behind it. The illustration is cute, but I have never, in 3 years, used that mirror. (It’s sort of hard to see yourself in it, both because you’re peering over the pop-up, and because I found it to be sort of “foggy” and small). The tray housing the shadows, liners, and primer pulls all the way out (with a ribbon tab) if you desire, and slips back inside quite easily. Despite the black cardboard the palette is made out of, it feels sturdy, is neatly organized and labeled, and doesn’t stain. It’s small and sturdy enough to be an excellent travel companion, especially if you’re travelling for play rather than work, as those bolder colors will be of more use.

The one thing I can’t argue on, is that this palette did pack quite a bit of value. While nothing was full sized (0.03 oz of shadow vs 0.05 full size, 0.03 oz of liner vs 0.04 full size, and 0.13 oz of primer vs 0.37 oz full size), UD certainly didn’t skimp. 16 full-size shadows would’ve cost $288, 2 full-size liners are $38, and a full-size primer is $20. This would’ve set you back $346 for comparatively few more ounces of product. However, UD sold the packaged deal for $54 USD. I reinforce the idea that this makes it a great starter set for newbies like I was, because it offers the chance to experiment with fun, bright colors and different textures at a much more palatable price.

This palette pre-dates Urban Decay’s acquisition by L’Oreal, as well as the China scandal, making it more “truly” cruelty-free.

Colors: 2/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.7 (C+)
Recommend: No. This palette seems aimed at younger girls of a limited skin-tone. Despite it’s affordability, reasonably good wear time and formulas, there wasn’t much creativity or variety in the color selection. Since most of the colors are no longer limited edition, there’s very little special about having this palette.

You can browse Urban Decay’s full-range of products, including these shadows in single-pot form, at department stores and cosmetic shops like Sephora. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

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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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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