Review

Lancome Artliner in Noir Review + Swatches

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Color:
Lancome promises that Artliner delivers “rich, deep, luminous color pigments (that) offer the most intense color,” which is true. The liquid eyeliner goes on as a shiny, opaque black. One of the first things I noticed and loved about Artliner was how pigmented it was. (5/5)

Wear:
The wear was impeccable. It lasted a full 8 hours without any flaking or smudging. It looked perfect. (5/5)

Formula:
The formula of this eyeliner is nice, very smooth and easy to apply. It gave me absolutely no issues. It also isn’t runny at all: once it’s on, it’ll stay in place as you need it to. (5/5)

Packaging:
The Artliner is packaging is nice, the kind of quality one expects from a high-end brand like Lancome. The packaging is plastic that feels sturdy. The cap clicks into place, which is a nice touch, since no one likes dried out liquid liner. It’s nice to have that extra security too, since it ensures that cap will stay in place during travel. The packaging is slim enough to store easily as well. (5/5) 

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Price:
A full-size Artliner will set you back $30.50. This is undeniably steep, but it’s also comparatively priced to equally high-end luxury brands, such as Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Givenchy. Also, a large part of this category’s score is quality. Artliner is a fabulous product that’s easy to use, mega dark, and lasts forever. Liquid liner enthusiasts will love it, and it has a tip that will work well for beginners. Across the board, I believe it’s a worthwhile investment. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
Artliner hit a lot of marks for me. It’s greatly pigmented, long lasting, and easy to use with effortless luxury packaging. It’s not the most unique product, but it’s a classic done perfectly, so Artliner really can’t go wrong. (4.5/5)

Overall:
Artliner is a fantastic liquid liner that works well for everyone on the liquid-liner-capability spectrum. It’s tip is thin and precise enough for both beginners who want to get close to the lashline, and more advanced users who want to get creative. It’s dark, dries down quickly, and lasts forever. Apart from the steep price tag, there isn’t much not to love. (4.9) A+

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Would I Repurchase?
Yes

Availability:
-lancome-usa.com
-Sephora
-Nordstrom
-Ulta
-Macy’s
-hsn.com
-Dillard’s
-Bloomingdale’s
-Neiman Marcus
-Boots
-Saks Fifth Avenue
-Bergdorf Goodman

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Artliner comes in 2 shades, Noir (black) and Brown.

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Benefit Watts Up! Review + Swatches

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Color:
Benefit describes this highlighter as a “luminous champagne,” and I wouldn’t disagree. It’s a soft pink champagne twist-up highlight stick. Is it the most unique color in the world for a highlight? No. Is it a beautiful, luminous, natural highlight that gets the job done well? Absolutely! (4.5/5)

Wear:
This highlighter wore beautifully for a full 7 hours. By the 8 hour mark, it was a little hard to detect. (4/5)

Formula:
Watt’s Up! is a stick highlighter that I like to apply directly from the tube. It has just the right consistency to me–it’s firm enough to not break off when you apply it straight from the tube, but not so stiff that you have to press hard to get it to show. It’s creamy and smooth enough that it applies easily, and one pass on the cheekbones or down the nose is all that’s needed. It has shimmer, but in a way that looks very natural when blended. It catches the light beautifully. It also blends like a dream. (5/5)

Packaging:
My version of Watt’s Up! is a mini that came in one of 2014’s Sephora Favorites bundles. The full size comes with a blending sponge on one end, and the mini lacks this. (However I don’t miss it, since it blends perfectly well with the fingers anyway, and the full-size sponge isn’t detachable and hence, not washable, which is a squeamish spot for some). The plastic packaging is durable but not overly luxe, which I think is appropriate for the price range it falls in. The twist-up mechanism is effective and doesn’t feel cheap to me. Benefit is known for it’s kitschy packaging, and I like the shiny exterior this highlighter sports. (5/5)

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Price:
My mini version contains 0.08 oz of product, where the full size contains 0.33 oz for $30 USD. This comes out to a price per ounce cost of $90.91 (for the full size). This is a little on the pricey side (NARS Illuminator, for example, is also $30 but has a price per ounce of a mere $27.27, and at 1.1 oz, contains more than 3x the amount of product), but will save you more than Urban Decay’s $29 ($145 per ounce) highlighter in the long run.

But what matters more to me than the up-front and long term prices is whether or not either of those costs are worth the money. I admit I don’t have much experience with highlighters, but Watts Up! was a wonderful introduction. I feel like it performs up to par, and it’s a product I reach for over and over again. That makes it worth the price to me. (4.5/5)

Wow Factor:
To me, a great highlighter is luminous yet natural, wears well, applies easily, and helps to bring out the features when used with blush and bronzer for a contour. Watts Up! ticks off all these boxes seamlessly. I love the soft, natural color and think the rosiness will look lovely across all skin tones. Highlighter isn’t something I use in my everyday routine, though, which makes the price a little tough to swallow. (4.5/5)

Overall:
“Perfect” isn’t a word I use a lot, but I’ll make an exception for Watts Up! It has a beautiful, natural look and ease of use that I love, and a little goes a long way (without having to be too mindful of using a light hand). I believe beauty lovers who rely on highlighters will find the cost doable, given the outstanding performance of the product. I recommend it. (4.6) A-

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One pass from the tube on the left, blended out on the right.

Would I repurchase?
Yes

Availability:
-Sephora
-benefitcosmetics.com
-ULTA
-Boots
-HSN
-Debenham’s
-Macy’s
-asos.com

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Benefit is not cruelty free (they sell in China)
-Watts Up! only comes in the one standard champagne shade.

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in High Density Black Review + Swatches

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Effectiveness:
Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils is designed to give a “false lash effect,” “an intense look in a single stroke,” and “intensity,” “curve,” and “long-lasting effectiveness.” The mascara made my lashes look super dark and long, and they looked very fluttery and feathery (there wasn’t much volume, but by my standards, the given effect still passes the “false lash effect” test). However, this mascara doesn’t hold a curl for long, so that is one extra drawback. (4/5)

Wear:
I was disappointed to see that this mascara flaked after 8 hours. I’ve rarely experienced flaking. However, it was after a full day’s worth of wear, so I think for many consumers, that can be forgiven. (4.5/5)

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Formula:
The first thing I noticed about Volume Effet Faux Cils was that it applied so smoothly. It had a little bit of a wet texture, but it wasn’t thick the way most wet mascaras can be. Application was perfect, there was no clumping or any difficulties when putting the product on. It also dries quickly and feels so soft and natural on. Like, if you touch it, it doesn’t feel like there’s anything on, it feels like your natural lashes, just better. (5/5)

Packaging:
Volume Effet Faux Cils has some of the most luxe packaging I’ve seen on a mascara, and at this price point, that’s wonderful. This is the only mascara I have that comes in a metal tube (while simultaneously resisting fingerprints). I also like how the YSL logo fits into place every time you twist the cap back on. I think it smells nice as well, but then again, I think all mascaras smell nice. The bristles are short and close together on a long wand; however the length doesn’t make it cumbersome or difficult to use. (5/5)

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Price:
This mascara will definitely put a dent in your wallet at $32 USD. There’s 0.35 oz of product in the tube, making the price per ounce ration only $91.43 (for reference, one MAC shadow is $300 an ounce, making this mascara a lot more cost-effective than it initially appears). As always, I factor “bang for your buck” into the price score, and I believe Volume Effet Faux Cils is definitely worth the price. It’s certainly a luxury cost, but it delivers luxury quality.(4.5/5)

Wow Factor:
This mascara definitely grabbed my attention in a positive way. I accidentally fell asleep with it on and didn’t wake up with a hint of product residue, That’s how light and natural it feels. And it makes the lashes look incredible and truly feels like a high-quality, luxury product. I was disappointed that it flaked a little and didn’t do much for maintaining a curl, though.  (4.5/5)

Overall:
I was impressed by this product. It was exactly what I’d hoped for from YSL–luxury and quality. You definitely feel a little more elite using this mascara! It’s a great product and I recommend anyone whose considering a purchase to take the plunge. It won’t disappoint. (4.6) A- 

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Would I repurchase?
Yes

Availability:
-yslbeautyus.com
-Nordstrom
-Boots
-Bloomingdale’s
-Lord and Taylor

Useful Information:
-I kindly received this product for free for review purposes from Influenster.
-This mascara comes in 6 colors.
-Unfortunately, YSL sells in China and is not cruelty-free and performs animal testing on it’s products.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara Review + Photos

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Effectiveness: Perversion promises to be “lengthening and volumizing.” This description is accurate enough. I found this mascara to be more lengthening than volumizing, but I did notice both results.The results weren’t amazing, but not disappointing, either. (4/5)

Wear: I achieved perfect wear using this mascara. It lasted a full 8 hours looking good as new. It held a curl for the duration of the testing period and the lashes stayed a rich, dark black. (5/5)

Formula: Urban Decay describes Perversion mascara as “ultracreamy,” and I have to agree. This mascara feels really wet. This can lead to some clumps if you rush application. However, the mascara dries down and does not budge (I accidentally rubbed my eye and there wasn’t the tiniest flake or smudge). (4.5/5)

Packaging: The tube is sleek, shiny plastic with stylish lilac lettering. The wand is chubby with bristles that are varied in size. I didn’t find it cumbersome to use, although as with all thicker brushes, it can take some care to get into the tiny baby hairs in the inner corners. (5/5)

Price: I received this as a 100-point perk from Sephora, but the full size is $22 USD for 0.4 oz of product. You can also purchase a travel size for $12 USD. For the full size, it comes out to $55 an ounce, which isn’t terrible. (For comparison, Benefit’s They’re Real! is $2 more expensive and contains 0.1 oz less product).

As always, I weigh in on whether or not I believe a product is worth the price. Perversion delivers on rich color, ease of use, staying power, and doing what it says it will, even if it’s not the most innovative or amazing in the industry. It’s a reliable mascara without any bells and whistles, so I believe it warrants it’s price tag. (5/5)

Wow Factor: I wasn’t blown away by Perversion. I have less expensive mascaras that give better length and volume. However, I wasn’t let down by the product, because it shines in it’s staying power, ability to hold a curl, lack of smudging, and dark, rich color. (3.5/5)

Overall: I enjoy this mascara, but I often find myself reaching for other mascaras. It’s nice and gets the job done well enough, but it didn’t make enough of an impression in length or volume to really stand out to me. (4.5) A-

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Useful Information:
-I received this product as a 100-point perk from Sephora.
-Urban Decay is cruelty free, but its parent company, L’Oreal, is not.

Availability:
-urbandecay.com
-Sephora
-Ulta
-Debenham’s
-Nordstrom
-Macy’s

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.

Graze Box 05 Review (And Why I Unsubscribed)

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I was always fond of my Graze Boxes. The last one I received, a week before Christmas, came with this cute tree and reindeer pattern that I thought was a special touch.The inside contents were just as good! The box’s items were delicious, so I was extra sad to part with the brand (which I did only because I’m not working right now and can no longer afford it 😦 )

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The box was delicious and had a great mix of sweet and savory items. The snacks I received were Chili Honey Almonds, Smoky Chipotle Dip With Rosemary Breadsticks, Deconstructed Carrot Cake, and Summer Berry Flapjack.

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First, I tried the Chili Honey Almonds. These were a good source of protein and vitamin E and magnesium. Spiced nuts are one of my favorite snacks, so I really enjoyed these. The almonds were glazed with chili and honey (obviously), and I loved that I got that kick of heat and the sweetness. Both flavors were distinct and present (sometimes Graze is a bit too light handed with their flavors).

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Next, I tried the Smoky Chipotle Dip with Rosemary Breadsticks. The benefit of this one is that it’s light, 100 calories. The breadsticks have a sweet herby smell. I liked that the dip was smoky but light and flavorful, kind of like barbecue sauce. A friend tried this as well and said the dip tasted like sweet and sour sauce. The brand describes the dip as a relish, which I agree with. It has that kind of texture, only slightly runnier. The breadsticks left less of an impression. They weren’t as crunchy as I expected, but they were good carriers for the dip and didn’t taste bad on their own.

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Next was the Deconstructed Carrot Cake. I absolutely l-l-loved this! The benefit of this is that it has a ton of vitamin C (70% of your daily allowance!). This was a mix of carrot chews, ginger fudge, walnuts, and cinnamon flavored raisins. It had a really yummy, spicy fragrance, like a real cinnamon carrot cake. The carrot chews had a gummy,chewy texture and tasted a bit artificial on their own (it wasn’t bad, just a bit fake-sweet). I was worried that the ginger fudge wouldn’t taste different than the vanilla fudge from the last box’s salted cookie, but it actually had an intense ginger flavor that I really liked. The walnuts were plain (which is fine by me, I love walnuts), but I felt like they absorbed some of the other flavors, which made them extra delightful. And lastly, the cinnamon raisins were tasty, but the cinnamon flavor was fainter than I had hoped. When eaten together, the taste is just extraordinary, definitely reminiscent of carrot cake. I love Graze’s deconstructed dessert snacks, and this one was definitely a hit with me.

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And finally, the Summer Berry Flapjack. I’m a fan of Graze’s flapjacks, since they’re dense and satisfying. The perk of this one is the whole oats. The “summer berry” aspect comes from “berry infused cranberries,” although which berries they didn’t specify. This had a tart cranberry smell. The taste was nice and sweet. I prefer these to other popular cereal fruit bars because these seem less artificial and sugary. These are lighter, but still chewy and a pleasure to eat.

So I’m very sad to see Graze go, because the last box I got from them was definitely a hit! Once I have more money coming in, they will definitely have a re-subscription from me. In the meantime, I can say earnestly that they’re a good brand going in the right direction with healthy snacking. I would definitely recommend Graze to anyone who was interested, because they have such a diverse mix of flavors and the creations can be pretty unique. They’re healthy, and remarkably inexpensive. What other food boxes have you tried, or heard good things about Beauties? Let me know!

L’Oreal HIP Bright Shadow Duo in Flashy Review + Swatches (DISCONTINUED)

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Color:
This duo contains a pale, sheer yellow matte and a medium shimmery teal. I was attracted to this duo because it reminded me of the NARS duo in Misfit. While I haven’t tried the NARS duo, I feel like the quality difference is clear. The yellow is nearly transparent, but the teal has medium opacity. Both lacked the “high intensity pigment” this line promises. I thought this would be easy to dupe, but the left shade is paler and more beige than similar hues in my collection. I didn’t have anything close to the teal (but teals in my collection are scarce). (2.5/5)

Wear:
The longevity of these shadows wasn’t stellar. At the five hour mark, both looked faded (and this was when primer was used. If you dare to go without primer, you’ll only get 2 hours before fading). (3/5)

Formula:
The yellow shade is so sheer, even with primer, it’s pretty much invisible on my skin (rendering it useless), I imagine it would look chalky on dark skin. The teal has better payoff, but still isn’t opaque, even with primer. The shadows both feel dry to the touch. Both shadows applied easily enough and didn’t look patchy or give me fallout, though. (2.5/5)

Packaging:
These duos come in round black plastic containers with flip top lids that snap shut. There’s also a compartment underneath that pops open, storing a sponge-tip applicator. I really wish they cut the bottom compartment and the applicator, since I never use the tool and the extra space comes open easily and takes up extra space, which means more plastic is needed to make ’em (which is bad from an environmental perspective). The packaging didn’t feel particularly cheap, though. These are easy to store, but I don’t think they’d be crack-proof if you dropped it/during travel. I do like that the pans are separated well, so there’s no powder crossover. (4/5)

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Price:
I admit, it’s been years since I purchased this (at Target), so the exact price isn’t fresh in my mind. But online estimates put this at around $8,25 USD. The product weight is 0.08 oz, making this duo $103.13 per ounce. That’s a bit pricey for a drugstore product, in my opinion. Of course, getting your money’s worth is just as important as price per ounce, if not moreso! And this duo definitely isn’t worth it. The payoff, even with primer, is too weak. (2/5)

Wow Factor:
It’s rare when a product makes a strong negative impression, but Flashy pulled my attention in a negative way. It’s remarkably sheer (the yellow shade can’t even be salvaged as something you could layer. It’s just invisible). The texture of these shadows is also unpleasantly dry (although not the worst I’ve ever seen). I haven’t reached for this duo much, simply because there just isn’t much that can be done with it. (2/5)

Overall:
I can’t say I’m too sad to see this line of shadows be discontinued if they all behaved the way Flashy did. The pigment is way too sheer (to the point where it’d be unflattering on any skin tone). The teal was not bad, but still, it was just okay, nothing to rave about and had it’s own opacity issues. The dryness was another dealbreaker for me. (2.7) D+

Availability:
These duos used to be available at drustores, but since their discontinuation, you can hunt them down on online retailers like Amazon if you really want one.

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-These duos are no longer available in stores.
-L’Oreal is famously not cruelty-free.

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The lefhand shade was built up about 4 times!

OCC Matte Lip Tar in Black Dahlia Review + Swatches

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Color:
OCC describes Black Dahlia as “blackest blackened red.” It’s not a bad description, although those who are intimidated by the shade in the tube need not fear, it’s much more red and wearable that it appears. It’s definitely a vampy wine shade, perfect for these end of the year months, so those craving a dark lip would love this. It’s the kind of red that makes your teeth look whiter. I’ve lusted after this shade for a long time–I don’t have anything like it in my lippie collection (although my range of vampy lipsticks is admittedly sparse). (4.5/5)

Wear:
Black Dahlia performed well, lasting 7 hours before needing reapplication or removal. While it initially has a glossy sheen, it settles into the promised matte finish at around 3 hours. It also looked slightly less dark, more wine at the 5 hour mark. The formula is stainlike, which helps it last so long and survive through meals. (5/5)

Formula:
I’ve tried Lip Tars both before and after their packaging makeover, and noticed that the mint scent with these newer Lip Tars is less intense (which is nice–the old formula was so strong it made my whole lipstick drawer smell like mint). The product is thin but not too liquidy, and applies pretty evenly on the mouth. Your lips MUST be in perfect condition, though–any dry patches and the product will cling to them like a magnet, making the overall product look slightly uneven (true with all mattes in my experience). One small bead from the tube is plenty to coat the whole mouth, so use the included lip brush and take your time; precision is important with a shade this bold. However, the product never really dries down and transfers kind of easily. However, it didn’t dry out my mouth further. (4/5)

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Packaging:
Lip Tars come in squeeze tubes, with the product dispensed through a very narrow opening in the nozzle. This works well, since a little product goes a long way. The packaging is flexible plastic and houses plenty of product. They store easily, although this is the kind of sensitive product you’d want to store away from heavier items (like foundation bottles) during travel, as Lip Tars could easily get smashed by heavier things during travel. (5/5)

Price: 
Lip Tars are $18 USD each for 0.33 oz. That’s $54.54 per ounce. For reference, MAC lipsticks are $16 for 0.1 oz ($160 per ounce). This is one of those great instances where you pay a little bit more for a lot more product (more than twice the amount) and get a better long-term value (Lip Tars are more than twice less expensive per ounce).

As always, I consider monetary value as well as whether or not I feel a product gives you your money’s worth. Black Dahlia delivers on both counts. This Lip Tar is long wearing and boldly pigmented, which is what you expect from OCC. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
Black Dahlia grabbed my attention in a positive way! It’s such a bold, perfectly vampy dark lip color. It always impresses me when a lipstick can last through a meal and still look great. I also love the name of the shade. It did bother me how this formula never quite dried down and transferred easily, though. (4/5)

Overall:
Black Dahlia is a great lipstick that I definitely recommend! It’s perfect for the colder months, helps teeth look whiter, lasts forever, and makes a bold impression. (4.6) A-

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Availability:
-Sephora
-occmakeup.com

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me
-OCC products are 100% cruelty-free and vegan