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Wet ‘n’ Wild Limited Edition Summer 2014 Eyeshadow Trio in Lost My Wristband Review + Swatches

Picture 95

This is the last of three trios I have from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s 2014 summer collection, which was inspired by the scene at music festivals. I have to say, I had such I high hopes for these, especially Lost My Wristband, but sadly, none of them performed quite as well as I wished.

Color:
Of the three I picked up, this one was exciting because of the vibrant looking pastels. However, when I swatched them, they’re all so sheer. What looks like a bright grass green, sunshine yellow, and strawberry ice cream in the pan are actually sheer powders. The green had the most pigment, and could be built up a little, but only to semi-opacity. The yellow was practically invisible even with primer, and the pink, which was meant to be a sheer highlight to begin with, didn’t have a ton of opacity. On top of it, none of these colors are sensationally rare, so I’m sure better quality, more opaque dupes are out there. (2/5)

Wear:
Not only was this trio weak in pigment, the wear time wasn’t phenomenal either. Even with primer, the shadows just didn’t hold up. The pink was faded after only 3 hours, the yellow was gone completely at 4 hours, and the green was a little faded at the 7 hour mark. (2.5/5)

Formula:
All three shadows have a pretty soft feel to the touch, but that translates to some notable powder kickup when a brush is used. I didn’t have any issues with fallout, though. The poor pigment and weak longevity really take this score down, though. (3/5)

Packaging:
The packaging is pretty standard for WnW trios: a rectangular plastic compact with a clear lid, unnamed shades, and ingredients/directions on the back. I like that these limited edition versions have white packaging instead of the usual black compact, though. Details like that always make a limited release feel more special to me. The packaging is lightweight and small/thin, so it’s easy to store, but I have trouble with these staying closed occasionally–don’t count on it making it through a trip without some wear and tear. (4/5)

Picture 171

Price:
Like all WnW products, this trio was very affordable at $2.99 USD. But this part of the score always weighs the quality you get as well–the “bang for your buck.” Sure, it’s inexpensive, but the quality is just not there. You can find these shades anywhere else for better quality at a similar price, even from within WnW’s own line. (2/5)

Wow Factor:
Like the other items I tried from the summer collection, Lost My Wristband definitely left an impression, but in a negative way. The pigment and staying power were just so disappointing. (2/5)

Overall:
The colors look so lovely in the pan, and they’re not horrible. But they definitely need primer to be workable. I don’t see these working well on many skintones (the pastel hues + chalkiness), or for many functions (definitely not a work palette). But a girl who wants something softer for spring/summer or wants to experiment with color without going too bold could find a way to work it into a look. But by and large, it’s not for me, and don’t recommend it to those who love bold, rich colors. 2.6 (D+)

Availability:
-Drugstores

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Wet ‘n’ Wild and it’s parent company are completely cruelty-free and mostly vegan.
-All three shades in Lost My Wristband are matte, so there’s no texture diversity.
-This palette is limited edition, so get it while you can!

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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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L.A. Colors 5 Color Metallic Eyeshadow Palette in Wildflowers Review + Swatches

LA Colors is a brand I haven’t really tried before, but it seems like lately they’ve been having a surge of popularity on Youtube. A couple years ago, my mother gifted me this palette, so I dug it up a couple months ago and decided to test it out. My mother is not one to spend more than a bargain on cosmetics, so I was not expecting superior quality from this palette. Unfortunately, my prediction was spot on.
Color:
Wildflowers comes with five unnamed shades. From left to right, the palette includes a light yellow gold, a darker, richer tan gold, a hot pink (looks orange on camera, but in life, it’s unmistakably pink), a raspberry wine, and a pinky violet. All of these shades lean warm. 
Shade 1 is semi sheer and makes for a great highlight shade on the brow. Urban Decay Maui Wowie is lighter, more opaque, and more shimmery. Shiro Perfect World is darker, warmer, and more shimmery.
Shade 2 was a little hard to detect on my fair skin, but went on pretty opaque and the intensity could be built up a little.
Shade 3 looks opaque and extra frosty when used with a primer. However, it has a major fallout problem whether or not a primer is used, and has zero staying power. By the time I finished applying my makeup, this had looked faded and the metallic sheen wore off, even with a good base. 
Shade 4 went on pretty opaque. Despite it’s dry feel when swatched, it didn’t have a patchy application. It’s not 100% opaque though, even with a base. With primer, the pinky tones come out more as well.

Shade 5 is a grape violet when swatched, but doesn’t look any different than shade 4 on the lid, even with a base.

Unfortunately the pigmentation and uniqueness in these shades are really lacking. Even in the pan, the two golds aren’t that different from each other, and on the eye, it’s almost impossible to tell the purples apart. The pink and purples create a really unflattering look, reminiscent of an eye infection, that I can only see working for an ’80s themed party or cosplay. (2/5)

Wear:
I wish I could say these shadows wore better than they looked, but that would be a lie. Shade 5 was completely gone in an hour (with and without a base), the wine shade was gone by hour 2 and the pink shade was just a tinge over primer at this point. The two gold shades were holding on at 3 hours, but by the 4-hour mark I had bare lids (Shade 4 stained a bit when a base wasn’t used). This is some of the least impressive wear I’ve seen from eyeshadows, and this was with primer. (2/5)

Formula:
While the palette touts all these as metallic, the feel of the shadows is pretty inconsistent. The two shades on the right feel dry, the two on the left are pretty soft and smooth feeling, and the pink’s feel is in the middle. All of these are powdery and most kick up a lot of product when touched with a brush. (2/5)

Packaging:
LA Colors is often stocked at dollar stores, and the packaging reflects that. It’s a simple plastic compact with a clear lid. It feels really lightweight and has that cheap feel. The lid snaps shut, but these kinds of lids can require a little force to open (increasing the risk of breakage, or damage to one’s manicure). But it’s functional, there’s no wasted space in the compact, and it get’s the job done. I wouldn’t rely on it to not get damaged in a fall or during travel, though. (3/5)


Price:
As I said, LA Colors often goes for just a dollar. Yes, that’s a steal, but when I factor this part of a product’s score, I always consider if the buyer is getting her money’s worth. With Wildflowers, I don’t think the quality is there to warrant a purchase, even for a buck. The product weight isn’t listed on the packaging, so I can’t be sure of the price per ounce. (3/5)

Wow Factor:
There is some wow factor, in a negative way. The lack of pigment, uneven texture, and weak staying power are all pretty remarkable. It left a strong impression that kind of puts me off from trying other palettes in this range. (1/5)

Overall:
Everyone loves a steal, but there’s just too much room for improvement in this palette for me to feel comfortable recommending it. The color payoff is lacking and the colors don’t work well together, creating a harsh, unflattering look. Shade 1 is the only one that functions well enough to get some use (as a highlight). Skip it. (2.2) D-


Swatches:

























Availability:
-Dollar Stores
-Wal-Mart
-K-Mart
-Big Lots
-Rite Aid
Cherry Culture

Useful Information:
-This product was gifted to me by my mother, who purchased it herself.
-This brand and it’s parent company (Beauty 21) are cruelty free and included on PETA’s list of brands that don’t test on animals. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Wet ‘n’ Wild Mini Haul

This is my own photo.

I’ve had a little pocket money (not counting my first paycheck; much lengthier/higher quality haul to follow!), so I finally went to my local drugstore to browse the aisles. I had seen new releases from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s summer collection on Tumblr, and loved the bold, colorful shadows and the chic white limited edition packaging. So I picked up three of their trios, as well as a lipstick.
This is my own photo.

WnW’s summer collection is centered around the music festival theme. There were six trios available at my drugstore, and I bought three. The first is No Scalpers Allowed, a feminine trio featuring a peach, violet, and bluish-purple. I’m a sucker for purple shadow, and I’m intrigued by the eyelid shade in this palette!
This is my own photo.

The next trio I got was right up my ally, Something to Rave About. I was instantly drawn to the reddish eyelid shade–red shadows are rare! So I can’t wait to swatch that one out. The crease shade is a gorgeous looking turquoise, and finally, a sunshiny, golden yellow for the browbone highlight. I’m curious if this shade is opaque or more sheer.
This is my own photo.

Finally, I picked up Lost My Wristband. Just by looking, this one might be my favorite! The colors look so spring/summer to me, very cheerful and a lot of fun. There’s a strawberry ice cream shade on top, then a marigold, warm yellow, and finally a medium toned grassy green. I love this combination, and can’t wait to test it out.
This is my own photo.

I’ve heard a lot about Wet ‘n Wild’s lipsticks, but never got around to trying one. But this shade, Think Pink, was on display, because to the end of the year, Wet ‘n’ Wild will donate 25 cents from every sale of this shade to the American Cancer Society. The well-being of other women is very important to me, so I was sold instantly. However, I’m also a wild fan of pink lipstick, so I’m eager to try this shade out and am happy to have it in my collection.
Plus, since the shadows were on sale, I was able to score it all for under $10! I’m sorry for the low-quality webcam pics; since I’ve begun work, I’m saving up for a DSLR, so thank you for your patience in the meantime 🙂 Swatches and reviews of all the products mentioned here will be up soon.
 Have you tried anything from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s summer line? Do you like when cosmetics lines donate to causes that matter to you? Let me know! 

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Almay Softies Eyeshadow in Honeydew Review

Image via Drugstore

**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 was curious about Almay products. I’ve seen the line loads of times at the drugstore, and wondered what they were like. I know they’re supposed to be gentle and great for sensitive skin, but I hadn’t heard anyone rave about this or that from Almay. So I decided to some detective work myself, and test out their new(ish) Softies Eyeshadow in the shade Honeydew.

Color:
I picked up Honeydew because I thought it would be this gorgeous green. While it looks like a lovely cool melon green with gold shimmer in the pan, that’s not what the reality is like at all. On the eye, it’s large gold glitter. That’s it. The green is nearly imperceptible, but there, on a swatch, but there’s nothing mildly green about it on the eye. Granted these do claim to give “a sheer wash of color,” but sheer doesn’t mean invisible, and there was no color, definitely not the “pure color” they promised. (1/5)

Wear:
While there was little to monitor, the gold shimmer that made it onto the eye stayed in place, with and without primer, for a full 8 hours. I didn’t have any issues with fallout. (5/5)

Formula:
To the touch, this shadow feels smooth but less soft. It’s not dry, but it’s not as blendable or buttery as my nicer shadows. It swatches sheer, but goes on even less visible. There’s no pigment here. The glitter/shimmer stays put, but it’s subtle, and doesn’t add any brightness or lift to the eyebrow/inner corner, so I wouldn’t even recommend it for a highlight. (2/5)

Packaging:
The product comes cased in a sleek, matte light black compact, with a mostly round shape (the bottom right edge is squared off). The ingredients and shade name are typed on the back, but it doesn’t actually say “Softies” anywhere on the packaging. It’s nice looking, especially for drugstore. It feels light, but not super cheap (although I don’t think it could survive much in terms of drops). The packaging is smooth and flat, so these are very easy to store (face up or on it’s side), and if you’re into depotting, I imagine this format won’t give you too much trouble. (4.5/5)

Price:
This shadow contains 0.07 oz of product and retails for $4.99 USD. That is both more product for less price than average, although I’d say it’s on par with other drugstore brands. (You’re getting 0.02 more oz for 3 times less than what you’d pay for a MAC shadow). However, I would recommend literally any other eyeshadow I’ve tried than this. I love a bargain as much as the next girl, but it has to be worth something still. And I don’t think this product provides any bang for any amount of buck, no matter how inexpensive. (3/5)

Wow Factor:
I wouldn’t say I’m fussy with shadows–I can usually find some way to work them and get great use out of them. The only way I see Honeydew working is maybe as a highlight. But even then, it’s too dull for the eye and too shimmery for the face. I hate to say it, but I see this as one product I feel I can do nothing with. I had high hopes for Almay’s new shadows, but this left me totally underwhelmed. (1/5)

Overall:
Save your money. I don’t think this particular shade is worth it, and I’m not exactly dying to go out and try the others in the line. There’s no pigment, and while the staying power on the glitter is good, I don’t have much use for wild shimmer. If you’re craving a pigment packed shadow, or natural eye highlight, you won’t find it here. (2.75) D+

Availability:
Almay products are available at drugstores and Ulta.

Useful Information:
-Almay formerly sold their products in China, but as of this year has pulled out of the Chinese market for financial reasons. It’s not publicly known yet if they’re “truly” cruelty-free now, and as always, I leave that decision up to the consumer.
-This product was purchased by me.

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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′;

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.

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ELF Studio Blush in Pink Passion Review + Swatches

This is my own photo.

Back when I was marathoning Annie Jaffrey’s Youtube videos, she mentioned loving ELF’s Studio Blush in Pink Passion. I’m embarrassed to admit how tiny my blush collection is, and I was craving a baby pink hue for my cheeks. So when I had some leftover cash from a Christmas gift card, I picked this up at my local Target. 
Color:

Some have compared Pink Passion to NARS’ Desire. (I’ve never tried a NARS blush–I know, I’m totally missing out–so I can’t vouch for that on experience). Pink Passion is a cool blue-toned bright pink. This is supposed to be sheer, but actually packs a pigmented punch. You don’t need an exceptionally light hand, but fair skinned ladies like myself should be careful with this, since it can look sunburnish if used too heavily. (4/5)


Wear:

This blush made it through a whole day looking freshly applied. I know it’s a skin sin, but I touch my face a lot, and even so, this didn’t rub off or look uneven/faded/patchy by the end of the day. (5/5)


Formula:

The powder feels a bit dry to the touch, but doesn’t kick up much powder when a brush is used or apply poorly on the face. The pigment is strong, but it blends so-so, so be careful with how much you use and where you place it–you may not be able to soften it as much as you’d like. (3.5/5)


Packaging:

For drugstore, the packaging is pretty impressive. It’s a sturdier plastic (not full-on rubberized) with a small mirror inside and a small see-through window. It feels more weighty than other drugstore compacts. I think they were going for the NARS vibe with the square black packaging, but it does look chic than more expensive than it actually is. I don’t think this kind of compact is shatter-proof if you drop it, though. Also, my blush came with a small plastic insert protecting the powder inside, which was ultimately throwaway, but I thought it was a nice touch. (4.5/5)

This is my own photo.

Price:
Something I really loved about this blush was the price. ELF doesn’t always hit it out of the park, but for $3 USD, I was willing to take a risk and try this product. Not only is the face value of this product cheaper than most drugstore and high end competitors, it’s price per ounce is clearly cheaper too. (ELF studio blushes are $17.85 per ounce, vs. $100 per ounce for MAC and $187.50 for NARS). Plus, this line of blushes is a little more weight (.168 oz vs. .16 oz) than it’s more expensive competitor. (5/5)


Wow Factor:

Ultimately, I wasn’t as enamored with this blush as I thought I would be. It’s a bit dry and difficult to blend once you place it down. But it’s affordable, a good size, and has great pigmentation. It’s definitely one of the brighter, more opaque blush formulas I’ve seen on the drugstore market. (3.5)


Overall:

I like this blush and would recommend it. I admittedly don’t reach for it very often, because once I tried the more opaque baby doll cheek I’d been longing for, I immediately wanted to go back to my sheerer blush (live and learn!) But for those who love pigmented, affordable blush, this will definitely deliver. (4.25) B


Availability:

ELF products are available at Target, K-Mart and via their website.

Useful Information:

-Try a soft, fluffy brush to sheer out the product, and gradually build up pigmentation from there.
-ELF products are cruelty free and not tested on animals. Most ELF products are vegan, except for a few containing beeswax.

This is my own photo.

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Essie Braziliant Nail Polish Review

Image via essie

Essie quickly became one of my favorite polish brands due to it’s affordability and ease of access, not to mention the quality and color selection! The second Essie polish I’ve tried (and has been in my stash for quite a while now), is Braziliant, a “hot orange nail lacquer with a touch of shimmer,” which came out with the brand’s Summer 2011 Braziliant Collection. The brand’s description is spot-on: it’s a warm, summery, bright orange, with a smattering of fine gold shimmer that’s subtle, but clearly visible in bright light. 
I had no trouble with applying this polish. The brush isn’t too wide or short, so it was easy to maneuver and get the polish evenly across the nail. The formula itself is thin without being watered down or runny, so it doesn’t take forever to dry down. This has good coverage in one coat, but two is required for flawless opacity. There’s a natural shine to it on it’s own, but of course, it can be enhanced with a shiny top coat (I use Revlon’s). I was also impressed with how long I was able to wear this shade. I achieved 10 days of pretty looking nails, with moderate tip wear.
Essie’s packaging is cute: sturdy glass bottles with the brand’s name carved lengthwise into it, with somewhat short white plastic caps. As previously mentioned, the brush isn’t too long or short, but the cap is small enough to wear I think those with longer fingers may find it a bit small. Essie polishes contain 0.5 oz of polish for $8 USD, which is equal in both weight and price as famous salon brand, OPI. (For those keeping track, both are $16 per ounce.) However, Essie has slightly more availability-it’s common to find a brand display at any local drugstore, as well as Ulta and Target. OPI can be found at the latter two locations as well, but as mentioned, it’s more of a salon brand that hasn’t quite made it’s way to the drugstore. 
Essie polishes have great color selections, as well as frequently coming out with cute new collections, which was the way Braziliant came to us. As far as I can tell, it’s still available for purchase. But what’s really great about this shade is that it is 3-free (formulated without DBP, Touluene, and Formaldehyde). Cute, affordable, quality color that doesn’t harm your nails? Yes, please. Also, Essie bottles are small and squared off, so they store easily and neatly. However, since the caps match, they could use a tactic to store, such as arranging them alphabetically by shade name or in the order you purchased them, to avoid confusion.
Color: 5/5

Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4.5/5
Packaging: 4.5/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.75 (A)
Recommend: Yes. Braziliant is a gorgeous color that even looked great (although, bold!) against my cool, fair skin, as well as on darker beauties. The formula is not harmful and easy to work with, and while it’s on the higher end of drugstore, the price is still manageable. It’s got great quality that definitely delivers.

Essie polishes are available at drugstores, mass retailers, and online at essie.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′;