eye makeup

Product review: Dermalogica Precleanse oil and wipes

(Disclosure: I received samples of the products mentioned in this post for testing purposes; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Dermalogica Precleanse

What it is: Dermalogica Precleanse oil ($38/5.1 oz.) and wipes ($18/20 ct.). Available through major beauty retailers like ULTA or through the Dermalogica website.

What it does: This lightweight cleansing oil works to dissolve excess dirt, oil and makeup on the surface of the skin prior to regular cleansing, allowing your regular cleanser to penetrate more deeply, resulting in a deeper, better clean. The wipes are biodegradable and travel-friendly.

I tried it: I feel like the best test of any “precleanse” or makeup remover is what I like to call the “classic Hollywood face”: foundation, liquid liner, mascara, and of course matte red lipstick. These precleansers took it all off with ease, allowing me to move on with my regular cleanser (which isn’t designed to remove makeup, especially around the eyes).  I usually use coconut oil to remove heavy makeup and I think that these were definitely less messy,not to mention they left behind less residue. Neither irritated my skin or eyes.

Final thoughts: A couple of things keep me from totally loving this duo: first, the price, and second, the long list of less-than-natural ingredients. It’s true that these precleansers are a little less toxic than some others on the market, but they still contain ingredients like phenoxyethanol and a handful of parabens, so they’re not as “green” as I’d like. (You can view the full ingredients list below.) I do have to admit that they’re much less messy than natural oil and if you have nut allergy concerns then these might be a more attractive option. For performance I would give this product a 10/10, and overall a 6/10.

Ingredients: Oil: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, PEG-40 Sorbitan Peroleate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (To-mato) Extract, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Decyl Olive Esters, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben. Wipes: Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl Apple Amino Acids, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Mentha Viridis Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium PCA, Sodium Benzoate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopherol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Citral, Phenoxyethanol. Dermalogica is listed on the Leaping Bunny website as a bunny-friendly company.

Product review: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons

Happy weekend everyone! Today I’ve got a review from the vault, as it were, for one of the items I picked up as part of my birthday makeup haul. Hard Candy products have always been kind of hit-and-miss with me but I was really curious to see how these jumbo shadow pencils would stack up, and at just $6 apiece they seemed like a worthwhile gamble. Read on for the review and swatches!

The product: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons; $6 at Walmart stores

The claim: Twelve hours of waterproof wear. Creamy color that won’t budge, fade, or crease.

Ingredient notes: I don’t have the packaging for these, but I do remember that they contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. However, Hard Candy does not test their products on animals, so they are suitable for some vegetarians.

I tried it: I’ve been searching for hot pink and purple shadow pencils for a while, but didn’t really want to plunk down the cash for Urban Decay’s pencils. I was hoping that these would be a suitable dupe at a lower price point, and from the swatch on my arm (above) they look gorgeous! A little skippy perhaps, but pigmented and very budge-proof. The purple is, thank heavens, on the warm side–not the standard bluish-purple, which is fine I guess but just not really up my alley.

I decided to create an exaggerated wing with After Hours all across my lid, and use Pink Lady as a liner and accent on the lower lid. Right away, I ran into problems: these pencils skipped and dragged horribly, and there was virtually no color payoff. It took a lot of work to get a decent amount of color onto the lid, and good grief it hurt. I’ve never had to press so hard with a pencil that it left my eyelid sore! Obviously from the look I posted here, working out the edges of this color was difficult and in the end I was left with a pretty oddball look. Oy.

Once the color is on, it stays put, which is awesome…but it’s so hard to get the color on in the first place, it’s just ridiculous. These pencils are beyond dry, even after sharpening off the top layer. I just don’t get it, because I’ve seen other bloggers use them with better results. These are the polar opposite of the NYX shadow pencils; whereas those are so creamy they smudge and crease like no tomorrow, these are so dry you can barely apply the color.
My final thoughts: I really hesitate to say that these are bad pencils per se, because as I said–other bloggers whose reviews I trust seem to have not had the same issues that I did. So with that in mind, I’m willing to say that perhaps I got old pencils or pencils with a bad formula. But I definitely wouldn’t repurchase or recommend these. I’m thinking I will find some way to use them, perhaps by crushing up the crayon and mixing with another formula to create something creamier, and then applying with a brush. But man, what a disappointment! I guess my search continues…

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild Tough Girl eye shadow and nail polish collection

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true–we’re halfway through September already! Who authorized the days to fly by so quickly?! Not me, that’s for sure! LOL.

Well, since it’s a new month…I have a new giveaway for you guys! I was lucky enough to scoop up the full Wet n Wild Tough Girl limited edition eye shadow and nail polish collection. There are six shadow trios and six textured (yes, textured!) polishes in this collection. Scroll down for close-up shots of each.

Entry is simple: just leave a comment telling me which of these shadow.polish combos you’re loving the most! You can earn extra entries by following me and sharing the giveaway on social media, but please remember that if you do not complete the mandatory comment entry your extra entries will be invalid. Because of shipping restrictions on nail polish this giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States and Canada only. The giveaway will close at 11:59 PM PST on September 25th. Please read through the full giveaway rules (click “terms and conditions” on the bottom of the Rafflecopter widget) before entering! And good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, on to the closeup shots of these lovely items. Each of the six shadow trios coordinates to one of the polishes. First we have a trio of rose and peach shades called Spoiled Army Brat, with a rose cream polish called Fatigue Glam.
Support Our Troops is a trio of black, grey and white shades and is paired with a grey cream polish called Tough Girl.

I Don’t Do Camouflage is a trio of blues with a bright cobalt blue cream polish called Left, Left, Left, Right, Left.

Soldiers in Charms, a trio of olives and greens, is easily my favorite of the bunch. Atten-Hut! is a shimmery olive polish.

Zero Dark Flirty (great naming, that) is a trio of rich purples paired with a slightly shimmery purple polish called Beauty Is A Battlefield.

Finally we have a trio of khakis and browns called Enlisting For Beauty, which actually comes with a bonus MegaProtein mascara (the mascara is not vegan, FYI). The shimmery champagne polish is called Femme Trouper.

Product review: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Eye Shadow

Another product from my birthday haul! I have wanted a budgeproof teal shadow for some time now and thought I would check off two objectives by also trying out a new product: a creme shadow from Hard Candy. Read on for a full review and swatches.

The product: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Shadow, $5; shown here in Tidal Wave. Available at Walmart stores.

The claim: From their website: “Vibrant, long wearing crème eye shadow lights up and enhances eyes. Our groundbreaking hybrid formula has a soft cushion texture that allows it to be worn as eye shadow or eyeliner. This crease proof, stay put formula is blended luminous, multi-colored pearls that provides glamorous evening looks. Available in 10 gorgeous, vivid shades!”

Ingredients:  Isodocane, mica, polyethylene, tribehenin, isohexadecane, polysilicone-11, isobutylmethacrylate/bis-hydroxypropyl, dimethicone acrylate, copolymer, dimethicone, silica (in gold and green shades), C13-15 alkane, phenoxyethanol. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, manganese violet, ferric ferrocyanide, carmine, ferric ammonium ferrocyanide.

Ingredient notes: Hard Candy products are not tested on animals and this appears to be vegan. These products are made in the USA. This is chock full of strange chemical names, but most seem to have a fairly low toxicity.

I tried it: The packaging is a basic small plastic jar with a screw-on lid–nothing fancy. This shadow is incredibly dry, which I did not expect. I had to use a cotton swab to dig it out of the pot and apply it on the lid, and then used my fingers to blend it out. In my opinion a brush just won’t do the job. You’ll also want to use a cotton swab to shape and blend the edges of the color very quickly before it sets, because once it does, it’s budge-proof. I think the drier texture–while a total pain in the butt during application–helps it last longer with out creasing or slipping on my oily lids.

Here is the look I put together using this shadow for my main allover lid color. I used my mini Hard Candy Meteor-Eyes baked shadow in Bad Reputation on the inner corner, around the outer corner of the eye and up across the crease to soften the edges of the teal shadow, and then along the lower lash line. I used a pop of peachy shadow under my arch. I lined the upper lash line with the Milani Ultra Fine Liquid Eye Liner in Black Vinyl and lined the lower lash line with my Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero. I’m wearing Hard Candy Flat to Fab black mascara in these pics, and if it’s starting to look a bit droopy–that’s because I was wearing it all night!

This shadow is pretty vibrant. It works best if you apply a thin coat and then possibly a second to build up the color, or top it with a matching powder shadow (though I don’t own any powder teals). Despite gripping your lids all day, it does remove fairly easily with waterproof eye makeup remover, and does not stain the skin. Because it’s so budgeproof, it works great as a liner.

My final thoughts: This shadow is just kind of “meh” to me. I guess I like the overall end result, and it’s hard to find cheap, vibrant vegan shadows, but I just wish the texture wasn’t so dry and difficult to apply. I think I would possibly consider purchasing more shades in the future, but I’m not rushing out for more at the moment–I’ll be looking at some other brand options first.

Hard Candy minis review! Nine items total

Get ready for a big post! I decided to do a big review of all the Hard Candy mini items that I picked up this summer. Where possible I’ve made ingredient notes and I’ve included swatches so you can see how the colors look out of the tube. Later I may try to do some full FOTD type posts with these products, but there were so many here that I wanted a way to quickly and tidily go through them! All of these items are available through your local Walmart.

First up, the Sheer Envy face primer ($8/1.6 oz.). As far as I can see this is a vegan item, and it also contains no parabens. I’ve heard good things about this primer and I think for the price it does an amazing job of blurring my pores and keeping the shine down so my foundation doesn’t slip away by lunch. It’s a good balance between mattifying and being too dry, but it would probably not be suitable for terribly oily skin–for that I will stick with my Nyx Shine Killer primer. I would repurchase this.

Next is the Eyeshadow Primer. I’m not totally sure, but I don’t think is sold as a solo full-size item. It also appears to be vegan but contains some parabens, unlike the face primer. It has a much slipperier texture than typical eyeshadow primers and while it smooths out my lids a bit, it doesn’t seem to do a lot to intensify the color of my eyeshadow or make it last any longer than usual.

I have two minis of Glow All The Way, in “Glamzon Bronze” and “Doll Face” ($8/4.8 oz.) These would appear to be vegan, though the packaging says they “may” contain carmine. These are super-shimmery and a little goes a long way, as you can see from the blended swatches. Glamazon Bronze would be an excellent accent for legs and collarbones if you have a tan; Doll Face would be pretty on the cheekbones and browbones. I would probably repurchase these, though I’m scratching my head over the fact that Hard Candy apparently isn’t sure which ingredients made it into the finished product! I’ve seen major vegan bloggers refer to products like this as 100% vegan, so I’m not sure what to think. :/

On to the eye products. The two Take Me Out glitter liners ($5 apiece for the full sizes) are “Wild Child” and “Notorious”. They are waxy and not as glitter-packed as I thought they would be; the color payoff seems excellent and they do seem to stay put well, though. They stain a bit and you’ll definitely need a waterproof eye makeup remover to take them off. They do contain beeswax, which is why I would not consider repurchasing them.

The silvery shadow is a mini of the Meteor-Eyes Baked Shadow in “Bad Reputation” ($6). As far as I can tell this is a vegan product. It’s a soft satiny silver with moderate pigmentation and staying power, though like most drugstore shadows, I think you’ll want to use primer and you’ll need to reapply partway through the day. It’s a nice accent color but I just don’t see myself purchasing a full-size silver shadow. :)

I also have two mini mascaras, Lash Tinsel in the shade “Spellbound” and a tube of Flat to Fab, and I believe both of these retail for $7 for the full-sized tubes. I think all Hard Candy mascaras contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. For some reason I thought their non-waterproof formulas were vegan, but when I double-checked that is not the case.

Lash Tinsel is not the glitter-packed formula I thought; it’s clear with a small amount of glitter, so it actually adds a nice accent to lashes without turning you into Ke$ha. Here I’m wearing it over bare lashes on the left and over black mascara on the right. Obviously the beeswax makes it a no-go for me going forward, as 2013 is my year of transitioning from vegetarian to vegan cosmetics.** However, I will keep a more open mind about glitter mascara from here on out–it’s actually quite pretty! It just takes a bit of work to remove.

The Flat to Fab mascara was weird and I’m not sure how I feel about it, beeswax aside. For starters, the brush is huge and fatter on the ends than in the middle, so it can be hard to evenly coat the lashes as you would with a standard spoolie. I also felt that using a lash comb was necessary to avoid clumps. That said, the pic series below was taken after a ten-hour shift at work, and I had zero flaking or transfer–this stuff did not budge in the least! It did seem to help hold my lashes in a curl and it did a good job of volumizing and lengthening. It’s just one of those products that requires a bit of elbow grease to get the desired beautiful result.

So there are all my Hard Candy mini reviews! Do you like Hard Candy? Have a favorite product? Never tried them? Leave me a comment and let me know!

**If you’re curious about the difference between vegetarian and vegan cosmetics, I have a post here that explains it all! You can also leave me a question in the comments or e-mail me–remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. :)

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild LE Pop Art eye shadow collection (one winner, open internationally)

I can’t believe we’re halfway through August already! Where did the summer go?! I was lucky enough to snag the full Wet n Wild limited edition Pop Art eye shadow collection as soon as it went on sale at my local drugstore, which means it’s time for another giveaway. The collection of six trio palettes features a mix of mattes and soft satins in electric colors, for a total of 18 eye-popping shades.

The collection includes:

  • Your 15 Minutes Aren’t Up!: Matte canary yellow, satin grape purple and medium pink with a slight sheen
  • A Regular At The Factory: Satin butter yellow, satin bright turquoise blue, and matte orange
  • Hard Being The It Girl: Matte soft pink, cobalt blue with a slight sheen, and satin vanilla
  • Three’s A Party: Matte white, satin red and matte black
  • I’m Seeing Triples!: Matte bright green, matte bright blue, and slightly satiny mauve
  • To Muse And Carouse: Matte apricot, satin cocoa, and matte bright light blue

The giveaway is open internationally (excepted where prohibited) to residents age 18 and older; the giveaway closes August 25th and I will be drawing one lucky winner on the 27th! Please read the terms and conditions (click at the bottom of the widget) before entering, and remember: you must complete the mandatory blog comment entry for the rest of your entries to count. If you do not complete the mandatory entry the rest of your entries will be disqualified!

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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!

Product review: Real Purity Duo Eyeshadow

Disclosure: This product was provided for consideration; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.

Today I’ve got a truly lovely makeup product to share with you! Real Purity contacted me last week and they very kindly sent me one of their Duo Eyeshadows to review. If you’ve never heard of them, I suggest hopping over to their website and browsing around; they’re one of the original “eco” brands, producing colorful mineral makeup since the late ’80s right here in the U.S.! All of their products are natural and never tested on animals, and in addition to color cosmetics they offer hair and skin care designed to be as gentle and natural as possible.

Okay, on to the review!

The product: Real Purity Duo Eyeshadow, $16 through their website

The claim: A natural product to enhance your eyes without harsh chemicals or artificially obtained colors.

Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxide, Organica Silica, Vitamin E, Pycnogenol. 

Ingredient notes: Real Purity products do not contain nano particles, GMOs, synthetic fragrances and dyes, or other harsh chemicals–they’re truly green mineral products and better yet, they’re all made in the USA. Real Purity does not test their products on animals and these eyeshadows are free of any animal ingredients such as carmine, so they’re also vegan-friendly.

I tried it: Whenever I get a new eyeshadow I first like to swatch it on my arm, so I have a good idea of the color payoff and the texture of the product. This duo swatched like a dream; the shadows are buttery soft and highly pigmented, and there’s no chalkiness, patchiness or fallout. They also have great staying power; even after I rubbed my hand across the swatch, it didn’t budge.

Both of these shadows are matte pressed powders; you can apply them with either a sponge applicator or a brush, though I preferred the brush. The Mocha Brown is a great medium matte brown with a warmer tone that would look great on any eye color or skin tone. It is extremely pigmented and a little goes a very long way–that’s a single swipe you’re seeing in my swatch!

I circled the Vanilla swatch because you can barely see it against my skin! Am I the only one who feels like Goldilocks when swatching “skin tone” shadows? This one is too light; this one is too dark. This one is too sparkly; this one is a matte but it’s chalky. Well, this Vanilla is the perfect matte for creating neutral lids or for blending out the edges of a more colorful eye, and it isn’t sparkly, sheer, or chalky at all. Hey presto! I’ve met my match! Like the Mocha Brown, it’s highly pigmented but not dusty looking in the least.

The packaging is a black plastic jar with a screw-on clear lid. I like the look and feel of the packaging; you get a pretty large amount of product and the jar is large enough to easily hold while applying makeup, but there’s none of the bulky packaging of a compact taking up room in your makeup bag. I also like that it has a screw-on lid versus a hinged lid; it seems like either the lids are too loose (hello, mess) or too tight and it’s hard to open them! I’ve broken more than one nail trying to pry open my small eyeshadows!

My eyes have been really sensitive lately and even my usual cosmetics have been irritating my eyes, but these didn’t bother me at all. The longevity is wonderful–my eye makeup still looked fresh after several hours of wear, with no creasing, fading or smearing.

I used this shadow duo to create a simple neutral eye look today. I used the Mocha Brown shadow all over the lid and along the bottom lash line as a liner, and used the Vanilla shade to blend out the edges for a softer finish:

Here’s a close-up of my eyes. I love how this shade intensifies the green in my eyes!

My final thoughts: I love this duo! It’s so hard to find good mattes and I feel like this duo really scores 100% in terms of color, texture and consistency. The fact that it’s also vegan and natural just seals the deal. I’m not exaggerating one bit when I say this is the best powder shadow I’ve tried all year, and now I’m glad that I’ve held off on building up my powder shadow collection, because I definitely see myself purchasing some of the other duo and single shadow shades this fall!

Disclosure: This product was provided for consideration; however I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.