color

Product review: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner

I’ve kind of been slacking off on the makeup reviews, eh? And with so many new products to try from my birthday haul! Today I’ve got swatches and review of two liquid liners that I picked up. Liquid liner is kind of my bane (shaky hands) but you can’t deny that it looks pretty cool, so I was hoping these would be easy for a liquid liner newbie to use!

The product: Milani Ultrafine Liquid Eye Liner; $7.49 at drugstores or through the Milani website

The claim: Long-lasting, waterproof formula. Can be applied in a thick or thin line. Dries to a sparkling finish.

The ingredients/ingredient notes: Milani does not test on animals and I do not see any ingredients in these two liners that should pose a problem for vegetarians/vegans. For shade 01 “Black Vinyl”: Water (Aqua), Iron Oxides (CI 77491,  CI 77492, CI 77499), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer,  Butylene Glycol,  Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone,  Sorbitol,  Benzyl Alcohol,  Laureth-2 Benzoate, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,  Sodium Methylparaben,  Ammonium Hydroxide, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids,  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,  Sodium Polyacrylate, Potassium Sorbate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium Edta,  Coconut Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride. For shade 06 “Emerald Glisten”: Water (Aqua), Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate,  Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Laureth-2 Benzoate, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate,  PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides,  Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids,  Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Polyacrylate,  Tin Oxide, Ammonium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium Edta, Coconut Acid,  Hexylene Glycol,  Sodium Chloride,  Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate,  Methylparaben, Propylparaben. +/- May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Mica, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Yellow  5 Lake (CI 19140).

I tried it: I purchased a glossy black (“Black Vinyl”) and a sparkly green (“Emerald Glisten”. These liners have a very long handle/brush which makes handling a little clumsy; I would have preferred a shorter handle/brush for better control. As you can see in the swatch above, it can be difficult to just flick on the liner; because the brush is meant to create both thick and thin lines, and the handle is so darn gawky, it takes some practice to be able to draw the line precisely how you want it. My first practice lines on my arm were pretty spotty, going from thick to thin and dark to light.     
Once you figure out how to angle the wand and how much pressure to apply, it does draw wonderful lines. It’s very fluid, so there’s no patchiness or drag. You can create thick or thin lines, so you can create a subtle line or a thick sixties wing.  Here’s what Black Vinyl looks like on the eye:






For this shot, I added a thin line of Emerald Glisten above Black Vinyl for a layered liner look:

It takes a few seconds to dry, so don’t blink! However, once it’s dry, it stays put like no other. You will definitely need a dedicated waterproof eye makeup remover to get this liner off at the end of the day! Emerald Glisten did leave a faint stain behind, but Black Vinyl did not.  

My final thoughts: This is an amazing formula for the money, and I would even probably pay more for it. I just wish the handle wasn’t so unwieldy, but I think with a little practice it will be fine.

Do you have a favorite liquid liner, or any liquid liner tips to share with me? Tell me in the comments!

Nail Polish of the Month: August 2013

Wow, this summer has flown by! I’ve really been neglecting my monthly polish picks and I completely forgot to post a swatch of this color when I received it in my June Julep Maven box. Payton is a beautiful bright Kelly green creme with a super-shiny finish; it almost makes me think of a jelly polish because of the finish, but it’s opaque in two coats. Adding a third coat will make the color a little darker.

Julep Payton retails for $14 ($11.20 for Mavens) through Julep.com. It is vegan and free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP.

Product review: Essence LE Floral Grunge blush “Be Flowerful”

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been so AWOL from the blogosphere for the past week. I just haven’t had a lot of drive to sit down and write lately. But I wanted to finally post this review of the Essence blush that I picked up as part of my birthday makeup haul.

The product: Essence LE Floral Grunge blush “Be Flowerful”; $3 at drugstores

The claim: Silky soft blush for a fresh and stylish look.

Ingredients/ingredient notes: Talc, mica, magnesium stearate, polyester-3, caprylic/capric triglyceride, ethylhexyl palmitate, bisdiglyceryl polyacyladipate-1, caprylyl glycol, hexylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, yellow 5, yellow 7, orange 5, red 21, red 28, titanium dioxide. There are mild toxin concerns for talc, mica, phenoxyenthanol and titanium dioxide as well as the colorants used in this product, according to the Skin Deep database. Essence does not test their products on animals and this product contains no animal-sourced ingredients, so it is vegan-friendly.

I tried it: The packaging is a very simple, slim, clear case with a hinged lid. Nothing fancy, but I like that it’s sleek enough to fit in a small pocket on a cosmetics bag and yet has a large enough pan to allow you to easily sweep up the product.

Surprisingly, this is fairly pigmented blush. It’s buildable and you can create a very bright look if you want, but if you use a light hand you can also get a sheer, pretty wash of coral color for daytime wear. This is a bit more of a coral pink on skin than it appears in the package, and it is bright–but it does have a satiny finish, so you won’t look like a disco flamingo, I promise. 

I feel like the wear time on this blush is fairly decent, provided you’re layering it properly over a primer and foundation. On my bare skin it fades more quickly as I have combo/oily skin. For extra wear time you could use it over a matching creme blush like this Flower Win Some Rouge Some blush that I reviewed earlier this year.

My final thoughts: For $3 you really can’t go wrong, but this is one product that would be a bargain at twice the price! I personally prefer peachy/coral blushers to standard pinks as I find they’re much more flattering for my skin tone, so I’m thrilled to finally find a powder formula that combines a good formula with a wallet-friendly price.

Nail Polish of the Month: March 2013

I was really bummed that I didn’t get around to sharing a pick for Nail Polish of the Month in February, but my nails were in such poor shape that I honestly would have been embarrassed to post a picture! Not so this month. I’m picking a minty green-blue called Thistle or That?, from the new Flower Beauty line at Walmart ($5).

What color are you obsessed with this month?

Inspiration Saturdays: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! I did some quickie nail painting while I was on the computer today. It’s definitely not the most creative but I thought in lieu of something fancy, an Irish flag always works!

And here is the weekend nosh. You see correctly. Those are Rice Krispie treats made with lime marshmallows (weird, but kind of tasty) and liberally dosed with green food coloring.

A pretty low-key celebration on the whole, but for me, it works. How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Or do you skip it? I have a hubby and friends with Irish roots, so ignoring it altogether is kind of impossible! Besides, you kind of have to love a holiday that requires you to wear green, aka my favorite color!

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage collection giveaway!

Who’s up for a giveaway?! I liked the new Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection so much, I wanted to share some of the beauty goodness with you via a giveaway. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and will run through March 31 2013.

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • One To Reflect Shimmer Palette in Rose Golden Goddess (approximate retail value $6)
  • One Photo Op Eyeshadow in Maldives Sky (approximate retail value $5)
  • Two Perfect Pout Lip Colors, in Penthouse Sweet and Old School Glam (approximate retail value $3.50 each)

These bright colors are perfect for spring and summer!

You must answer the mandatory question entry; I’ve temporarily set the comments to “anonymous” so you do not have to be a registered user to leave a comment! If you choose to comment anonymously though you must leave a valid e-mail with your comment so I can contact you if you win.

After that you can earn extra entries by following me via GFC, Twitter and Facebook, and by tweeting daily about the giveaway. And because I love ya: everyone gets one bonus entry! Please read through the full terms and conditions of the giveaway before entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product review: Flower Beauty Kiss Stick High-Shine Lip Color

Continuing in the series of reviews of my Flower Beauty haul, I have four lipsticks to show you from the Kiss Stick High-Shine Lip Color collection.

The product: Flower Beauty Kiss Stick High-Shine Lip Color; assorted shades; $8 at FlowerBeauty.com or in Walmart stores

The claim: Rich, creamy; intense color payoff; extreme shine

Flower Kiss Stick Coral Floret

I tried it: I initially picked up just one tube: Coral Floret, which looked exactly like the lovely coral shade I’ve been searching for as a springtime addition to my beauty bag. The black and gold packaging looks very luxe and I love that the lipstick twists all the way down into the tube so you don’t nick off the tip with the cap (a pet peeve of mine). I also have to add here that I’m very happy Flower lipsticks are cruelty-free, since so many lipsticks (even from cruelty-free brands) still contain animal ingredients.

Flower Kiss Stick lipsticks

This lipstick is very creamy and moisturizing and applies like a dream straight out of the tube. As promised the color payoff is quite rich and shiny, though not mirrored like a gloss, so it doesn’t look too wild. I won’t lie and say it’s long-wearing; you’ll need to reapply after a couple of hours and definitely after eating, but I find that the wear is fairly even: no rough patches or “ring around the mouth” left behind, at least on the lighter shades. I would be comfortable wearing these lippies out to dinner.

A closeup lip swatch of Coral Floret

Because I loved Coral Floret so much, I went back for three more shades. Ginger Lily looks deceptively similar to Coral Floret in the tube, but as you can see they actually perfectly hit both sides of the coral coin, with the Coral Floret leaning more orange and Ginger Lily leaning more pink. Love!

Swatches of Flower Kiss Stick Coral Floret and Ginger Lily

I wavered over grabbing Rose Bud because I thought it might be a dupe for a tube I already own, but finally grabbed it anyway. It’s actually a touch more of a true Hollywood red than my Wet n Wild Old School Glam, which has slightly pinker undertones (not so visible in this photo); and it’s warmer than my Urban Decay Gash, which has cooler undertones. (And yes, I realize that for some reason I labeled the Flower lippie incorrectly in this photo–it’s supposed to be Rose Bud, not Rose Petal). If you’re just starting out on the red lipstick train I highly recommend picking up a Kiss Stick in Rose Bud!

Comparison of Flower 'Rosebud' to UD 'Gash' and WNW Fergie 'Old School Glam'

Black Rose was a vampy pick that turned out to be a bit sheer and buildable—whew! I was also wondering about this shade being a dupe for an existing lippie, but as it turns out, this Kiss Stick fits in perfectly with the rest of my “vampy” lipcolors without being a dupe for any of them.

Vampy cruelty-free lipstick swatches from Flower, WNW, and more

My verdict: This is my new favorite lipstick, and I really want to go back for the rest of the shades. (Calm down, wallet, I don’t mean this instant!) Congratulations, Drew Barrymore, you have officially turned me into a lipstick girl!

What lipsticks can you not live without? Fave shades/brands? Have you tried the Kiss Stick lippies? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Three ways to wear lime green skinny jeans

You guys seemed really keen on those lime skinny jeans I picked up from Target, so I wanted to do an outfit post showing a few different ways to style them!

It was hovering around the freezing mark today so I had to wear my boots outside through the snow to the one grassy patch in the yard, then change into my other shoes and drop my coat for the photos. I think you can see how cold I am by my posture! But it was fun to try out a few different outfits, even if I did have an audience of neighboring pets staring at me. I don’t care if they’re just animals, they still made me feel silly!

First I tried something fairly low-key. The obvious answer to brights is a neutral, and black is my personal failsafe, but it can look too harsh next to a neon. Instead I chose a grey t-shirt and my trusty black sneakers. (Shirt: Wet Seal; sneakers: Payless)

Second I thought I’d add other shades of green via a mint blazer and lime heels. It’s a lot of color in one outfit but since it’s varying shades of one color (green), it’s not too scary. This blazer was a Valentine’s gift from H&M and has the cutest pleat/ruffle detail on the back to balance out the strong shoulders. For some unknown reason I can’t find this jacket on the H&M website, but you can find it in-store. (Shirt: Walmart, previous season; blazer: H&M; earrings: Vanity; shoes: Payless, previous season)

Finally I went all out with brights and cork wedges. I love coral and lime together and the aqua scarf is becoming one of my new favorite items as well! (Shirt: Walmart; scarf: TJ Maxx; shoes: Payless, previous season)

How would you style a pair of lime skinnies? What colors do you like best with lime green? Any other suggestions for me to try out this spring? Tell me in the comments!