NYX

NYX Macaron Lippie in Chambord Review + Swatches

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Color:
NYX just describes this lippie as “black.” That’s certainly not off the mark! Chambord is a semi-matte (as promised) green-based black. This is a true black, not a dark grey, and the pigment is true to what you see in the tube. It’s a twinge sheer in one swipe, but two is perfect for true opacity. While other black lipsticks exist, and there’s definitely a market for them, black is still absent from most major brands’ lines, so it’s great seeing NYX come out with one. 4.75/5)

Wear:
I’m pleased to say Chambord looked fantastic for 5 full hours of wear. It didn’t fade or feather throughout that time. (5/5)

Formula:
Like the other lippies in the Macaron range, Chambord applied smoothly and felt so creamy. It also had bold, strong pigment (that could benefit from the precision of a lip brush). I like that this applied better than some of the others. This was more forgiving on dry lips and didn’t bunch up like Blue Velvet did on dry patches. Also, my lips didn’t feel as dried out after wearing Chambord. However, I had this on for a few moments to photograph, and it had already stained my lips (to the point where I needed a scrub to get the color off all the way). That type of excessive pigment seems to be common with this range of lipsticks. (4/5)

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Packaging:
As I’ve said before, the Macaron Lippie line’s packaging feels markedly cheap. They come in black plastic tubes with a clear band that shows a peek of the color inside. To show that color, the inner tube is clear, which I think looks very low-budget. Also, these have an inexpensive feel (the lipstick can rattle in the tube in some, and I have one where the color was smeared inside the clear tube when I bought it). I don’t think the plastic is dexterous enough to withstand a lot of rough use (drops or travel). However, they’re not too large and store easily. (3.5/5)

Price:
Each Macaron Lippie is $6 USD for 0.16 oz of product. That’s $37.50 per ounce, which is more product for less money than a MAC lipstick ($16 for 0.1 oz), for example. But of course, quality is just as important as face value. Chambord is fantastic not only for the price, but for the line as a whole. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
As I’ve mentioned, black lipsticks are rare and bold, but not unheard of and definitely have their fans. So while the shade was one of the less unique in the range, it’s quality impressed me. I’ve struggled with some of the other lipsticks in the Macaron range, as my lips are chronically dry, but Chambord was more forgiving, which I appreciated greatly. I can see myself getting more use out of Chambord than some of the others for this, alone. (4.5/5)

Overall:
I think Chambord is excellently done. It’s pigment rich, long-wearing, and comfortable to have on the lips. It also has one of the most even applications out of any in the Macaron range that I’ve tried so far. I think it’s fantastic that members of niche cosmetic communities (cosplayers/those with a darker aesthetic) now have access to a superior black lipstick than was previously available, at an inexpensive cost. It also goes without saying that a shade this dark will look bold and dramatic across all skin tones. (4.5) A-

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Availability:
-nyxcosmetics.com
-Target
-Ulta

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-The 12 lipsticks in this range all have a nice, faint vanilla scent.
-NYX is cruelty-free.

NYX Macaron Lippie in Blue Velvet Review + Swatches

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Color:
NYX describes Blue Velvet as “electric blue.” To me, it’s a cool-toned medium dark aqua blue, with the satin matte finish the brand described. I certainly don’t have a shade like this in my collection, and I think blue lippies in general are hard to find, so I appreciate BV’s uniqueness. (5/5)

Wear:
This lipstick wore pretty well, only starting to look a bit sheer (up close) at the 5 hour mark. Throughout wear time, BV was comfortable and didn’t dry my lips out. (4.5/5)

Formula:
This had the same creamy formula as Black Sesame. How smoothly this applies, though, depends on the condition of your lips. Smooth lips = smooth application. My lips were the slightest bit dry when I photographed this, and as you can see below, it caused the lipstick to go on patchy and bunch up in places. I liked that this was fully opaque and dried down more than Black Sesame. It never got tacky, but it didn’t feel too wet, either. Also, this is opaque to a fault. I applied this for just a moment to photograph it, and it left behind a stain and clung to the lips in a ring around the mouth, to the point where a scrub was necessary to remove it. (3/5)

Packaging:
This line of lipsticks skimped on packaging. The black plastic tubes feel cheap, and sometimes the product rattles around inside. Also, the inner tube is clear, which i very low quality looking (as one tube actually somehow had product smeared on the inside of that tube, so I can’t remove it but have to see it). I don’t think the plastic is durable enough to withstand a lot of travel or accidental drops without cracking. They are small enough to store easily, though. (3/5)

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Price:
As I’ve mentioned before, Macaron Lippies are the most cost-effective per-ounce cosmetic product I’ve ever seen! They’re $6 USD each for 0.16 oz of product (just 3 cents per ounce). But quality is an important part of this aspect of rating a product. I think Blue Velvet is wildly pigmented and unique, and if you have the patience to work with it (conditioning your lips, using a brush for extra precision), then it’s worth it. (4.5/5)

Wow Factor:
I don’t know if I’ve said it enough in this post, but I haven’t seen anything like Blue Velvet. The rarity of a bright blue lippie got my attention! This one was nondrying, felt nice going on, and was comfortable to wear without drying my lips out or fading. However, the temperament of this line of lipsticks is very frustrating (your lips have to be FLAWLESS, or else it’s a mess). (4/5)

Overall:
There’s a lot to like about Blue Velvet. It’s comfortable, smooth, non-drying, eye catching and utterly unique. It’s also very affordable and great for niche consumers (like cosplayers, or people looking to do a Kesha tutorial on Youtube). Well-moisturized lips are a must, though, and a lip brush would help this go far. It’s not a bad lipstick, if you’re prepared to make the effort to work with it. (4) B-

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Availability:
-nyxcosmetics.com
-Ulta
-Target

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-There’s 12 shades in the Macaron line.
-Macaron Lippies are cruelty free.

NYX Macaron Lippie in Black Sesame Review + Swatches

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Color: NYX describes this lipstick as simply “light gray” with a “satin matte finish.” I agree on both counts. Black Sesame looked like a light concrete gray to me, and does have that semi-matte texture. When I looked at this line, this grey seemed the most interesting to me, and one of the more wearable of the unusual shades. I certainly don’t own anything like this! (5/5)

Wear: With how great the pigment comes out, I was expecting this to last longer. However, Black Sesame only made it three full hours of wear. By four hours, it began to look sheer. (3.5/5)

Formula: The texture of this lipstick is really nice. It goes on creamy and smooth, and applies easily and evenly. It didn’t tug on the lips or go on patchy. It also had great opacity. However, it has a slick feel that never becomes tacky. This bothered me a lot as it was very unpleasant (although if you hate thick/tacky lipsticks, this would be great formula to try). This also have a nice vanilla scent. (4/5)

Packaging: The packaging felt cheap to me. It’s plastic, and with some of the lipsticks in this line, the tube can rattle a little bit. I also received one that had lipstick smudged on the inside of the clear plastic tube (not cute). It just doesn’t seem like a lot of effort was put into packaging. It’s functional and theyre easy to store, but these seem prone to cracking or other damage if dropped. (2.5/5)

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Price: A single Macaron Lippie is $6 USD for 0.16 oz of product. This is a more generous weight than even MAC lipsticks (which are only .1 oz and almost 3x the cost of one of these). Macaron Lippies are also the cheapest per ounce I’ve ever seen a cosmetic product, coming in at only 3 cents an ounce! But as always, I factor in getting your money’s worth as well as the monetary value. Black Sesame is a beautifully unique shade, and applies and builds well for full opacity. So i certainly think this delivers on quality for the price! (5/5)

Wow Factor: There’s a lot of positive things to be said for Black Sesame. It has great opacity and is easy to apply. It has a creamy  feel going on. A lot of brands come out with shades that look bold in the tube but are very sheer and watered down; this Black Sesame isn’t like that! However, I didn’t like the oily feel this had on my lips, and the wear was a little disappointing. (3.5/5)

Overall: This is definitely a unique, bold shade I can see many women being interested in. The neutral tone and intense pigment makes me believe this would be flattering across all skin tones. The formula nice and the price can’t be beat, either. Just be mindful of the feel the thin formula has on the mouth, it’s not for everyone. (3.1) C-

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Availability:
-nyxcosmetics.com
-Ulta
-Target

Useful Information:
-NYX is cruelty-free.
-This product was purchased by me.
-There are 12 shades in the Macaron line.
-This line of lipsticks can have bold, but fussy, pigment. To ensure even, smooth application and the best wear possible, have your lips buffed (using a toothbrush or scrub) and moisturized pre-wear.

2014 Teen Choice Awards Roundup: Nina Dobrev Makeup + Fashion

Image via Beautyeditor

Nina Dobrev is one of my favorite actresses, and she looked gorgeous in a colorful look at Sunday’s Teen Choice Awards. She looked gorgeous as a presenter and winner (of  Choice Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi for her work on The Vampire Diaries). Her makeup artist, Beau Nelson, didn’t want her makeup look to distract from her vibrant outfit, so he left her looking fresh with a hint of smokiness. To top it off, a lot of the products are from affordable, well-loved retailer NYX. Here are the details on the products:
  • I couldn’t discover the exact brand, but Beau used a stick foundation (Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick, $44 USD, comes in 24 shades), to contour her cheekbones, jaw, and nose.
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($62 USD, Nordstrom), 2 shades lighter than Nina’s complexion.
  • Again, no word on specifics, but he set the center of her face with powder (Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, $45 USD, is popular).
  • NYX Matte Bronzer ($8.99 USD, Ulta)
  • NYX Gel Eyeliner and Smudger in Betty, Charlotte, and Scarlette ($8.99 USD each, Ulta)
  • NYX Super Skinny Eye Marker in Carbon Black ($9.49 USD, Ulta)
  • One more time, I couldn’t find the exact match, but he also used a neutral matte brown shadow to finish up the eyes (Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, $29 USD, has several options).
  • NYX Doll Eye Volume Mascara ($9.49 USD, Ulta)
  • NYX Butter Lipstick in Bit of Honey ($5.99 USD, Ulta)
Total Face Cost: $122.93 (at least)
For fashion, Nina chose to skip the conventional dress and instead wore a stylish, graphic top with matching high-waisted shorts by Vionnet. She kept her carry on simple by sticking with a chic Michael Kors clutch. Her pink Kurt Geiger heels perfectly accented the color in her ensemble, and she tied it all together with David Yurman jewelry.

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Face of the Day 05

This is my own photo.

Perhaps this is a bit gauche, but when I’m unsure of what makeup to wear, I’ll take inspiration from my clothes. Since I had a sliver of green showing, I decide to play up that shade with my cosmetics. (This tactic gave me an excuse to wear my favorite eyeliner as well.) So here are the 11 products I wore today:
And here’s the finished product:
This is my own photo.

What makeup did you wear today?

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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.

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February 2014 Favorites

February, for me, was a continuation of love for some products I picked up over the holidays. I’ve given them enough time to test (clearly!) and can safely say I’ve fallen in love with them. These babies have gotten me through the month pretty consistently.

1) Maybelline Color Tattoo in Too Cool.

Image via Drugstore

I’ve tried one of these before, but Too Cool has become my favorite. I’ve been relying on this baby for the past few months as my shadow primer (I’ve even been preferring it to my UDPP). It’s a sheer, frosty white. The staying power on this formula can’t be beat, and my shadows have never creased with this underneath. Too Cool is sheer enough to be used as a cheek highlighter, too! I love me a multipurpose product.
2) Rimmel Glam’Eyes Eyeshadow Quad in Afternoon Tea.
Image via Drugstore

Typically, you couldn’t tear me away from my bold colors when it comes to shadows. But I stocked up on this affordable neutral quad, and oh my goodness has it come in handy! I’ve been wearing this quad to my monthly dinners with my boyfriend’s parents, and it always looks perfect for the daytime, no matter where we go. The bottom, matte flesh tone surprised me the most. I didn’t expect it to be such a great highlight! I thought it would look too dark against my fair skin, but it doesn’t. Instead, it blends right in and looks invisible in the best way possible. It enhances my eyes and brows without looking like there’s anything there.
3) Maybelline Volum’Express The Falsies Mascara.
Image via Allure

While I initially didn’t love this compared to Colossal, the Falsies has come to impress me. And as I praised it for in my review, it’s this formula’s penchant for separation that really won me over. While it’s not the most amazing in lengthening or volumizing, it’s the false-lash shape this mascara creates that really makes it unlike any other (and why I’ve been reaching for it so much).
4) NYX Round Case Lipstick in Narcissus.
Image via Ulta

I love, love, love pink lipstick (want proof?). So naturally, I couldn’t resist picking up the bright, warm pink Narcissus when trying NYX’s lipstick formula for the first time (because even if the formula was a miss, I knew I’d love the shade). What I like about this hue in particular is that it’s a bit more yellow-toned, but just as bright, as the other pinks I love. And fortunately, the formula didn’t disappoint, so I can see myself rocking this shade all through spring right into summer.
What were your favorite beauty products last month?

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Rant and Rave: Makeup Snobs

A few weeks ago, I was on Tumblr and I came across a post by a fellow beauty blogger. This woman was fuming over “the glorification of drugstore makeup.” When someone asked her to elaborate, she went on to say, essentially, that drugstore makeup isn’t as good as high end brands, because they’re never used in runway shows and if you ask all the youtube gurus, all their favorite products are high end. This is such a silly way of thinking, for several reasons.

First of all, this woman-a textbook “makeup snob”-is straight-up wrong. In terms of fashion, the designer usually collaborates with a specific cosmetic brand to create all the looks for the show. While MAC and NARS definitely make featured appearances every season, so do Maybelline and Revlon. Here’s a play-by-play, for reference:

  • Cover Girl: Bottega Veneta (S/S 12), Gucci (S/S 12)
  • L’Oreal: Project Runway (F/W 13)
  • Maybelline: Catherine Malandrino (F/W 11), Betsey Johnson (F/W 11), Max Azria (F/W 11), Cynthia Rowley (F/W 11), Carlos Miele (F/W 11), Vivienne Tam (F/W 11, S/S 12), BCBG Max Azria (F/W 11, S/S 12), DKNY (F/W 11 S/S 12), Custo Barcelona (F/W 11 S/S 12) Bibhu Mohapatra (S/S 12),Wes Gordon (S/S 12), Libertine (S/S 12), L.A.M.B. (S/S 12), Richard Chai Love (F/W 13), Rachel Zoe (F/W 13)
  • NYX: Nicholas K (F/W 13)
  • Revlon: Luca Luca (F/W 11), Rag & Bone (F/W 12), Preen (F/W 12), Oscar de la Renta (F/W 12), Vivienne Tam (F/W 12), KaufmanFranco (F/W 13)
So yeah, that Fit Me! Foundation everyone seems to hate? It was on the runway. Ditto for the Dream Bouncy blushes that some whine aren’t pigmented enough. Many expensive brands are also owned by ho-hum drugstore brands. For example, L’Oreal owns Kerastase, Redken, Shu Uemura, Stella McCartney, Clarisonic, Urban Decay, Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, and Kiehls, among others. So when you’re giving your money to an expensive brand, thinking you’re so high and mighty, you’re profiting the creators of drugstore makeup as well, so you’re not as elite as you think. Also, because a brand can own a high-end and drugstore product, they can frequently create less-expensive dupes in their cheaper ranges (like Armani’s Ombre shadows vs. L’Oreal’s new Infallible shadows). 
Also, please keep in mind that legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath frequently uses less-expensive cosmetics when working the runway (she did the glam eyes at Gucci in 2012), or when she works with equally impressive photographer Steven Meisel. She is a wonderful example of following your own interests and instincts, as she creates beautiful work frequently using affordable cosmetics (and often applying them with her fingers(!)-something a snob would never do). 
Which leads me to my next point. Just because Allthatglitters21, Xsparkage, or Michelle Phan claim a product is amazing and they love it DOES NOT MEAN IT IS GOOD OR WORTH BUYING. This is one of the most frustrating things to me in the cosmetic industry. Please keep in mind that those women (and men) on Youtube are just regular people giving their opinions. Sure, while some of their must-have, holy grail products come from department stores, they could recreate their flawless looks without them. That’s because those individuals have talent, they practice, and experiment. If someone waved a wand and made everything over $10 in their makeup kits disappear, guess what? They’d still be able to pull of quality looks, because makeup is just the medium. It is the artist that brings a look to life. 
So please, think for yourself! If everyone says your favorite colors don’t look good with your eyes, wear them anyway! If someone thinks your bold lips or layered mascara is “too much,” forget them! It’s your face-your canvas-to create on and do whatever you want with. I feel really sorry for people who are too caught up in brand, image, cost, and popularity to do what they truly want with their lives, including the way they express themselves through makeup. So please do some introspection, think about what it is you like, and just go for it. 
That’s not to say that everything in the drugstore is amazing. Some products have limited color options, or the formula is drying, or not pigmented or long-lasting. These are valid cosmetic concerns. However, those problems can appear in products you get at Nordstrom to. There is a difference between being a smart shopper and a snob. A smart shopper will buy a product based on the quality and how it fits her needs. A snob will purchase the more expensive product without doing any research about quality, (or because so and so on Youtube said it was her favorite), and can end up with something less than fantastic for a higher cost. 
I’ve always believed makeup was about making oneself feel good. Yes, it feels good to own nice or expensive things. But as I’ve stated with cosmetics, quality is not always reflected in the price tag, be it high or low. I encourage everyone to purchase pretty, effective, quality cosmetics that assist them in creating their looks or their art. This is a friendly reminder that quality can come from the drugstore (I’ve found excellent MAC dupes there). 
Stay true to yourself, be a smart shopper, and don’t be a snob. 🙂 

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MAC Lustre Lipstick in Viva Glam Gaga Review (DISCONTINUED)

Image via Beautylish

Lady Gaga fans, such as myself, were thrilled to hear that the out-of-the-ordinary pop star had paired up with MAC to release a limited-edition shade of Viva Glam Lipstick, aptly named Viva Glam Gaga. This was in 2010, when I was a complete newcomer to the cosmetic world. My newfound interest paired well with my taste in pop music, and poof! My love of blue-based, baby pink lipsticks was born, and it’s all thanks to this adorable shade. (I still have to fight the urge to buy lookalikes to prove it.)
MAC described the shade simply as a “light blue pink.” This lippie was made in the lustre formula, meaning it’s supposed to be “demi-sheer with a wet look lustre finish. Very slick. Makes lips look soft, smooth, and ultra-moist.” Some of these claims are actually accurate. The color description is a little vague, but in the same ballpark: I found it to be a bright, cool-toned, milky light pink with a sheen. It didn’t, however, make my lips look soft or smooth, and the sheen was subtler than the “wet look.” The opacity was correct, though, as the pigment was a bit sheer.
I was hooked on pink lippies because of this lipstick, but now that I have a bit more experience, I’m actually very disappointed with this product. The lipstick feels creamy as you apply it, which is nice. But, it bunches up and doesn’t apply evenly over drier spots on the lips, giving the whole mouth an uneven look. After an hour, the sheen that existed had faded down to a more subtle shine that prevented the pink from looking matte. Still a far cry from the “wet look” this formula claims. The shine was pretty much gone after 2 hours. Disappointingly, after only 3 hours (and a meal) the color had worn completely off. Perhaps it was the inherent creaminess in this product’s texture, but it just didn’t stick to the lips much (the way, say, a matte would). While Viva Glam Gaga was on, though, it felt comfortable and nondrying, but if your lips are in sore condition when you wear this, the lippie will not contribute any healing moisture, either. 
MAC lipsticks come in signature black, bullet-shaped tubes. This one was a little different, though, as the metal tube inside was colored hot pink and had a print of Lady G’s signature. VGG shares MAC’s standard vanilla scent. This contains 0.1 oz of product, as do all MAC lipsticks. However, when I purchased this, it was $14.50 USD. Unfortunately, since then, the cost of MAC products have gone up, with their newer Viva Glam Nicki lipstick selling at $15 USD. MAC performs animal testing “when mandated by law.” As a part of the Viva Glam series of lipsticks, profits from this shade went to the MAC AIDS Fund.
While adorable, and a classic type of lipstick, there are many cheaper dupes for such a simple shade. PV has already reviewed Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Cupcake, which is very comparable (read the review here). Revlon Pink Pout and NYX Narcissus will also give you a similar look for a cheaper price tag. If your taste is more high-end, MAC itself has comparable shades in Snob, Pink Nouveau, and St. Germain. 

Color: 4.5/5
Wear: 2/5
Formula: 2/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Wow Factor: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.3 (C-)
Recommend: No, it’s not worth hunting down the original, when there are cheaper, better performing dupes readily available.

Viva Glam Gaga is discontinued and no longer available for purchase from MAC. You can find it from online sellers on sites such as Amazon, but beware of jacked-up prices and the risk of fake cosmetics. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Civilization: America

I have been playing so much of Sid Meier’s Civilization V that it’s almost embarrassing. I’ve had a slump on PV lately-no one wants to post just reviews-so the game got me thinking. I’ve decided to compose a series of posts representing as many of the civs  as possible, showcasing each culture’s contribution to the cosmetic world and highlighting important women in the societies’ (and likely cosmetic) history.

Going in alphabetical order, the first playable Civilization is America. Being a native, this seems like a rather disappointing place to start-after all, many forget that the country is still a baby (less than 250 years old). However, in that time, our culture has developed something rather iconic: Hollywood. And if there’s anything as memorable as the movie-making city, it’s undoubtedly the Golden Age of Film. It was here that the “classic, ’40’s pinup look” was born. Who can argue with Marilyn Monroe’s cat-eye liner and bold red lips?

Image via Biography

But predating Marilyn’s pervasive beauty was Rita Hayworth. Amusingly, the star was literally a bombshell-one of her pinup posters (designed to boost soldier morale in WWII) was plastered over the first atom bomb, which was being tested on the Pacific island of Bikini Atoll in 1946. Not long after this, Hayworth introduced the “bikini” swimsuit to the public. Talk about a marketing strategy!
Image via Freeinfosociety

This gorgeous look has been recreated for nearly as long as it’s inception. There are countless bloggers and Youtubers recreating this simple, but lovely, styling. Apart from the obvious eyes and lips, soft, flouncy pin curls, well-groomed eyebrows, and full, dramatic lashes were integral to the silver screen siren’s image. Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($19 USD) is great for achieving the precise line this look often has (Wet ‘n’ Wild makes a great, glossy liner that’s also very easy to use and is only a dollar-read PV’s review of it here). A glossy finish to a red lip adds a sensuality that was common during this time period. Chanel’s Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour looks like an excellent choice (it retails for $34 USD). MAC’s Ruby Woo ($15 USD) is a great matte choice (PV has also reviewed this, readable here). 
Images via Sephora and Nordstrom

But American cosmetics did not stagnate after the ’50’s. Calvin Klein released his first fragrance in 1981, and still finds strong success and popularity with his scents. But he isn’t the only one. Many American brands not only hold their own with sophisticated, refined cosmetics from Europe, but are staple suppliers of beauty products worldwide. Benefit, Bobbi Brown, LORAC, Smashbox, Stila, and Urban Decay all call the US home. Drugstores proudly showcase many homegrown brands, such as Almay, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Revlon, and Wet ‘n’ Wild. Also, America is gaining some indie cred-NYX, Lime Crime, and Sugarpill are all based in California. 
Speaking of which, the California Girl look has also become well-known over the years. Popularized in the ’70s by Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett, the summery look has lasted long enough for native Katy Perry to pen a hit song about the breed (although I’d say her image scarcely matches the stereotype!). With suunny blonde streaks in her famously feathered hair, a bright smile, a bronzy tan, and an iconic red swimsuit, Farrah almost singlehandedly ushered in the beachy look. 
Image via Wikipedia

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