vegan

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

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Tutorial: Stormy Skies with Shiro Cosmetics

Hello again beauties! I’ve always wanted to do tutorials on this blog. Now that I finally have a proper camera, I didn’t see a reason to delay! I just ordered the Hobbit Collection from Shiro Cosmetics, a brand famous for it’s fun, geeky collections. I’m already a fan of the brand, so I thought I’d start things off with a tutorial using products from their (now defunct) Notebook Collection (which you can read reviews for here).

Here’s the look I created:

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I used my favorite purple, Shinigamiand a gorgeous silvery grey, Heaven Nor Hell on the eyes. I played up the purple with a coordinating liner, and completed the eyes with dark, long lashes. I kept the rest of the face natural and simple, to keep the emphasis on the gorgeous purple color.

Here’s what you need:

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-Your face essentials (foundation, concealer, powder, blush, etc)
-1 shimmery purple and 1 greyish blue loose shadow
-purple eyeliner
-lengthening black mascara
-clear gloss or balm
-a short, fluffy brush (like MAC’s 213. I used ELF Professional Shadow Brush)
-a fluffy blending brush (like MACs 224. I used one from Sonia Kashuk)
-water (or mixing medium, or MAC Fix+)

Lets begin the tutorial!

1) First, apply your face essentials as usual (I used Smashbox Foundation Primer, Maybelline Fit Me! Foundation, Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer, and NYC Smooth Skin pressed powder). If you want, you can wait to do this step after you’ve applied your shadow, especially if your loose eyeshadows are prone to fallout.

2) The great thing about loose eyeshadow is you don’t need a base for them to be pigment-rich. Instead, you just use them wet. Pour a little bit of product into the shadow’s cap, or onto another smooth surface you don’t mind getting a little messy. A little goes a long way!

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3) Wet your brush (have a paper towel handy to soak up excess water if you’re dipping it right into the water), and swirl the short fluffy brush into the purple pigment. Apply over the whole lid. Using a dry fluffy blending brush, blend any harsh edges.

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4) Spot clean your short fluffy brush (or grab another), re-wet the brush, then swirl it into the grey shadow. Apply to the crease, and blend. You may need to reapply more purple shadow at this point, and blend them together. Dust away any fallout using a large, fluffy face brush.

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5) Using purple liner (mine is Urban Decay Ransom), line your waterline. Then, connect the purple liner to the outer corner of your purple shadow, and bring the liner down the lower lash line, about halfway. You can use a short, stiff brush or liner brush to smudge the line, if you like.

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6) Curl your lashes, and apply mascara. I used Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara. 

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And you’re finished with the eyes! Here is a photo of the finished eye look. Apply your face essentials now if you haven’t already.

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7) Apply soft, peachy-pink blush to the apples of the cheeks and blend towards the temples. I used MAC Pinch O’ Peach. Finish off the look with clear gloss or a shiny lip balm. I used my favorite balm, Maybelline Baby Lips. 

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And you’re done! I love how easy this kind of look is to put together, but with the right, vivid shades, it looks very intense and dramatic. Loose eyeshadows always seem to boast great pigmentation, and when used wet, blend together and apply so seamlessly. Here’s the finished look.

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Do you love loose shadows, beauties? Have you ever tried any from Shiro? Any other indie brands/loose shadows I should check out? Let me know!

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

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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)

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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 MegaLast Lip Color in Think Pink Review + Swatches

I had never tried a Wet ‘n’ Wild lipstick before, but I had heard good things about them. When I saw a cute shade of pink, Think Pink, being promoted at my local drugstore, I knew I had to buy it. Not only can I not say no to a new pink lippie, a portion of the sales from this particular shade would go to the American Cancer Society. 
Color:

Think Pink is a warm, bright pink with a fairly glossy finish. It wasn’t quite as dupeable as I expected–a lot of shades I thought were similar were too orange in comparison–but Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart was the closest I have, although it’s lighter, cooler, and more shimmery than Think Pink. (4/5)



Wear:
This lipstick went on fully opaque and stayed that way for a full 5 hours, even after a meal. Even the glossiness persists more than I expected–after an hour, the shine had worn down a little, but it didn’t turn semi-matte until the fourth hour. (5/5)

Formula:
This has a very faint chemical scent, but it’s very minor and not noticeable on the lips. It applies creamy and smooth, very pigmented. It doesn’t tug on the lips when you put it on, and remains comfortable to wear. It has great staying power for such a creamy formula. (5/5)

Packaging:
Unfortunately, the packaging looks and feels cheap. It’s all lightweight plastic with a clear cap. I noticed that the cap on mine feels looks, like you can shake it around a little. I imagine it might crack easily if dropped or during travel. Also, the twist-up product doesn’t twist down into the tube all the way (it’s designed to stick out a little) but it ended up smearing the inside of the cap. (2.5/5)


Price:

This line of lipsticks sells for $1.99, but I was able to get it for even less on sale. Each tube contains 0.11 oz of product, which is marginally more than average. Since the face value of these is inexpensive, the price per ounce is effectively cheap ($18.09 per ounce). I love when drugstore products like this prove that quality doesn’t have to come with an unpleasant price tag. (5/5)


Wow Factor:
I was highly impressed by the pigment, smooth application, and staying power of this lipstick. It’s always great when a brand gives back as well. It’s not the most unique and the packaging is underwhelming, though. (4/5)

Overall:
This is one of those drugstore gems. It’s different than most things in my collection of pink lippies since it leans much warmer and is darker toned while still being quite girly. It applies like a dream and lasts extra long. All that for the price can’t be beat! (The flimsy packaging is what brought the score down.) 4.25 (B)

Availabilty:
-Drugstores
Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-Wet ‘n’ Wild is completely cruelty free and mostly vegan.

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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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Top 5: Urban Decay Eyeshadows

Between two palettes and a single, I’ve tried tons of UD shadows. Admittedly, my palettes are Book of Shadows, opposed to the Naked series which everyone seems to love. I’ve been less than thrilled my experiences with the brand’s shadow, but there are some real winners that I’ve tried. Here are my top 5 favorite Urban Decay shadows:

Image via Sephora

1) Maui Wowie: I’ve said it so many times, but I will almost always pick bold, bright colors over neutral shades (almost). But Maui Wowie totally changed my opinion–it’s a beautiful gold shade that plays up my hazel eyes well. But no matter your eye color, MW is still one of my top choices. It’s a champagne more than a 24K gold, goes on opaquely and with good pigmentation and texture, and wore all day (8 hours) without fallout. I like it best as an inner corner highlight.
Image via Sephora

2) Rockstar: I’ve sung the praises of this gorgeous smoky brown-purple on the blog many times. It’s a gorgeous color that’s pretty pigmented but can be built up. It feels soft and smooth, and applies without fallout, but there is some fading over the wear time.
Image via Sephora

3) Last Call: This is a gorgeous plummy pink. Like most great UD shadows, it feels soft and smooth and applies without fallout, but there is some fading towards the end of the day. Pinks can look a bit harsh on the lid (I feared this one would be evocative of a black eye), but its actually so lovely and vibrant.
Image via Sephora

4) Smog: Another neutral that really surprised me. Smog is a gorgeous sepia bronze with shimmer. This shadow is a bit stiffer than others, but by no means dry. It applied without fallout, too. It had incredible wear–12 hours, with slight fading around just the edges at the 4 hour mark. 
Image via Amazon

5) Mary Jane: This shadow is a beautiful silvery sky blue with a frost finish. It’s pigment rich with high texture and blends well. It looks lovely on, but has a bit of wear and tear throughout the day (migrating and fading). There was no fallout and has a smooth feel, but as lovely as this shadow is, it’s no longer available for purchase. 
So there you have it, the top 5 UD shadows from my experience. Have you tried any of these? Which of UD’s shadows are your favorite? Which would you recommend? Let me know!

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Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mary Jane (DISCONTINUED)

Image via Amazon

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

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

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

Formula:

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


Packaging:

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


Price:

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


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

Overall:

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

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

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

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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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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ELF Hypershine Lip Gloss in Fairy Review

Image via Allure

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

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


Wear:

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


Formula:

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


Packaging:

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

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

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


Useful Information:

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

Overall:

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


Availability:

ELF products are available at super-stores, like Target, and online at eyeslipsface.com.
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