Thursday, November 29, 2012

Essie's Leading Lady


Just had the desire to write a quick little post on something pretty and sparkly (my favorite kind of post). There's no extravagant introduction with this one, It caught my eye, as sparkly things do, and I had to have it. It's Leading Lady from Essie's Leading Lady / Winter Collection. 

I have to say that I just don't understand this collection. It's a winter collection called Leading Lady, to me that evokes an idea of stage glamour and holiday sparkle. This shade is great, completely fits the aesthetic but I think most of the other shades just seem like wild cards. The cobalt blue, sea-foam green, and bright orange scream more summer vacation to me. But hey, if they were all as pretty as this one I'd be out forty dollars, maybe I should count it as financial luck.  

Strange Lighting courtesy of gloomy Fall weather.

Maybe Im a bit of a full-coverage glitter polish addict, but I didn't think this shade lived up to what it looks like in the bottle. The bottle is just stunning, it's hard to compete. But I must give credit where credit is due and say that the base color is a really nice and opaque deep red and it does give a fair amount of glitter pay off, things that are uncommon in glitter nail polishes. I suppose if built up, maybe three or four coats, you could get a better glitter coverage.
Either way, the glitter still catches the light and gives a nice sheen and sparkle to the nails. It's definitely not the worst glitter polish I've come across. But don't forget a top coat, I didn't find this very long lasting.

Still glad I got this, both reds and glitters are always welcome in my collection. It's very festive, reminds me of Christmas and my favorite time of year. I think it's definitely gonna get some use! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NYX Lip Smacking Fun Colors Lipsticks Review


Contrary to the looks of things, I actually haven't forgotten about this 'best drug store lipstick' thing, that I started about ... ahhh 3 months ago! I can't believe it's been 3 months either; Chalk it up to being easily distracted by other lovely beauty products begging for a prized spot on my blog, that pesky school work whose due date is always waaay too close for comfort, and the most recent form of blog sabotage, dull fall lighting. But Im persistent, I will finish this!

Color Selection:
Alright the color selection isn't that great. I believe there is a shade for everyone, it's just not that extensive. There is a few neutrals, a few wild cards, and a few reds. If your a lipstick lover this is perfect, but for a girl with specific tastes, this isn't your line. I have the shades Snow White and Haute Melon. 

Snow White: 
I think every red lipstick lover needs this color! It's one of my favorite red lipsticks, an honor not given to just any red lipstick (since I have so many). Maybe it's just my taste; a quite deep bloody red. It's quite similar to MAC's Dubonnet lipstick (my favorite MAC red) but that has a browner undertone where this remains very purely red. Im wearing it in This post but im afraid it just doesnt do it justice. The swatch is more accurate. 
Haute Melon:
Alright I can say that I tried the orange lipstick thing, and it's just not for me. But if that's your thing, than this is probably the one you've been waiting for. I know it looks coral, but it's actually a bright neon orange. Unfortunately, neons just do not photograph well (especially in shitty lighting!). It's strange, even neon nail polishes don't show up on camera. Maybe it's shy... soo sorry to disappoint but the swatch isn't very accurate. 

Bad lighting is making me seem a little vampire-ish... Snow White is accurate but Haute Melon is more neon. 
As you can probably tell they're quite creamy. But luckily they dont slide around or transfer too much. They have a creamy to satin finish. They're also very opaque, the color pay off is great. 
Overall they aren't amazing, but they're pretty good quality for the price. 

Application and Wear:
Application is perfect. Smooth even opaque color, and no sticking to dry patches. I never noticed any feathering or bleeding either. Since they're on the creamy side, there is a little bit of transfer. Not the longest lasting lipstick, but if applied carefully they can have quite a bit of staying power! 

These dont have any definate huge flaws that stick out, they're overall good but not great. The one thing that I can think of is that they're hard to find. NYX is a very illusive brand, the only place I can seem to find it is Ulta. 

That concludes yet another lovely brand of lipsticks. Long story short, you need Snow White! I know this is dragging out, Im gonna try to wrap this thing up as soon as possible. I believe there is only one or two brands left on my search for the best drug store lipstick. So until then, Happy Holidays! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Maybelline Colossal Volume Original VS. Cat Eyes


I'm a sucker for fancy makeup but one thing you will never see me running to Sephora for is high-end mascara. First reason is mascara is a makeup wardrobe's basic white T-shirt, nothing complex, I'd rather spend my money on something pretty. But also the drug store holds the most options and some of my favorite mascaras.
In my opinion Maybelline makes the best mascaras, and tons of different varieties to choose from. I've tried practically all of them and my all time favorite is The Colossal Volum'Express. Bold statement but, you know... that doesn't make 'new stuff' sound any less appealing! Naturally I had to try out the new Colossal Cat Eyes. 

I love the colossal formulation, and I was pleased to see that Cat Eyes stayed try to it. It's a smooth wet gel-like consistency, it's really black and inky, glides on, and coats lashes evenly. Without staying wet for too long and smudging everywhere. But unlike some other mascaras, im lookin' at you Maybelline Falsies, this doesn't dry out in a week. In fact, I've been using this tube of the original Colossal probably a bit too long, just because it stays fresh. Pshh Expiration dates aren't the boss of me! 


It's very volumizing, it gives density to the lash line so lashes look full from the roots. 
It's rare that you find a mascara that gives both definition and volume but this one does. The brush really fans out the lashes, even the smallest ones don't get clumped together. 
I wouldn't say it's the most lengthening mascara but it does a decent job. 
The downside?
The brush is a bit big. It makes it difficult to get the lower lashes, and might be an issue for those with smaller eyes. 

Cat Eyes

This does make the lashes themselves thicker, but It does not give the over-all effect of fuller lashes. It doesnt make them seem as dense at the roots as the original.
The brush on this mascara always seems to create groups of lashes. It makes a few clusters of lashes and then separates between the clusters. It's a little strange.
It lengthens as much as the original. 
The Brightside?
The small wand is great for the bottom and corner lashes. 

Here is a really creepy picture for you, but I think you can really see the difference. Note that the Cat Eyes just looks a little more black and glossy but I think it's because it's newer. 

Wand Comparison 

There is a huge difference in the wands. Both are the brush not plastic style and both have a lot of little bristles  But the original is a lot larger, fatter, and a straight tapered shape, with more tightly packed bristles. The Cat Eyes has a lot smaller want, it's actually smaller and thinner than it appears. It's also curved and it's bristles are further apart (which is why I think it clumps lashes together). 

Once again Maybelline Colossal has proven itself to me, and secured it's place as my favorite. I just dont think you can beat the way it volumizes down to the roots yet completely separates each lash, and fans them out to create an evenly packed lashline. But Cat Eyes isn't a complete failure either, I really like using it in combination with original, to get the bottom and stubborn corner lashes. 
Hope this was helpful, for all you that are curious about the difference between these two. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush Review


Here it is, the Expert Face Brush; the latest and greatest from the Real Techniques line. Since the beginning I was always able to appreciated the creativity within this line. For better or for worse, it's like nothing else out there, I for one am glad it's not just another dull line of generic brushes. I can tell these have thought behind them and this one is perhaps the most unique of them all. This is what encouraged me to give them a try; Finally, a new-age foundation brush that isn't a rip off of the Flat Top Kabuki!

I was drawn to this brush by its unique shape. 
It's like a mix between a traditional foundation brush and a kabuki. It's a paddle shape yet short and dense with a rounded top. Quite interesting! And surprisingly quite useful, it means you can use it with both smoothing upward-downward /side-to-side flat foundation brush motions OR circular buffing motions. You can either use the thicker side to cover a larger area, OR turn it vertically and get into smaller area's, like around your nose, a lot better. However, take into consideration that it is a rather small brush. When I bought it I thought it was surprisingly small, yet it still works in foundation in no time at all. 

You really can't go wrong with this brush. 
When your blending in liquid or cream foundation, no matter what motion you use, you'll always emerge perfectly blended. I've never had a problem with streak marks. The rounded top gives it the ability to really push product into the skin, I think that really allows you to get a natural finish especially if you only use just a little bit of product. Im a real fan of worked in foundation, when it sits ontop of the skin I just feel like it's a mask. So I feel incredibly satisfied to sit there and use this to really buff it in each morning, it's like my morning yoga! 

 Again the bristles are cruelty free taklon, and really soft. 
However, it can make me a little itchy and red if the black bristles touch my face too much because they're more stiff and pokey than the top white bristles. 

It's definitely not as soft as the Blush Brush. 
But it's also made to be a lot stiffer than the Blush Brush. I mentioned that the Blush Brush had a lot of give and movement, the Expert Face brush is quite the opposite, it's stiff and not too flexible. As you can see it's also quite a bit smaller and very short! They are obviously not meant to do the same job, im just trying to put them into perspective.

To conclude, both of these brushes are F@$#^&9 fantastic. Again great quality for the price; Im completely sold on the whole line and im going to try out the Eye Kit next. I already reviewed the other brush, See the Blush Brush Review Here.  Yup, even I am surprised that I managed to get these up so fast, I posted two days in a row! Unbelievable! So as a reward to myself and go play some video games and eat a bunch of Halloween candy (, I wasn't going to do that anyway...). Goodnight..../ Good day and Happy November. 

* If you want to see my reviews on the Real Techniques Blush Brush, or Eye Brushes, you can easily find them by scrolling to the left and clicking either the 'makeup brushes' or 'real techniques' under Categories.

Real Techniques Blush Brush Review


I'd been wanting to try the Real Technique brushes for a while; so when I found out they were synthetic and cruelty free, It was a natural fit. Let me explain....

I decided to make a makeup lifestyle change recently and went vegan (at least in the brush department). Admittedly im not completely dedicated to this because I still own many natural fiber brushes, but when I find suitable replacements they will be gone! My decision was spurred by two factors: I found out natural fiber brushes are made of animal fur (mostly squirrel) and secondly they irritate my skin. Natural fiber brushes make my skin red and itchy, maybe because they are too rough or maybe because I am allergic to most animals. Also, I sympathize with those squirrels. I like squirrels; In fact my dog was even a squirrel for Halloween one year....

Alright, first of all - the blog-o-sphere's favorite pass time is to pick on the design aesthetic of these brushes - but im not on that bandwagon.
The truth is, it's just totally not a big deal! OK so the ferrule is pink and it's not my favorite color either, and sure I like sleek black handles, but it's not important. And Yes it has a black base that allows it to be free standing; what no one tells you is, that base everyone complains about being soooo large and space consuming, is less than the size of a US Quarter! This is a standard size face brush! The aluminum handle looks large in the photo but it is actually quite slim, the handle and base are smaller than my Sigma powder brush.

Onto the most important aspect of a face brush, the bristles!
The synthetic and cruelty-free taklon bristles make, literally, the softest brush I have ever felt! It's softer than my cat and sure as hell a lot less itchy. I am happy to say that this does not irritate my skin at all! 
I wasn't completely sold on the shape of this brush but I was curious. It's not a design im used to in a blush brush. It's an oval shaped brush, rounded all the way around yet tapered at the top, which I am assuming is for precision. The bristles are quite densely packed but have a lot of give. They are not stiff in the way most dense brushes are, they give-way to the contours of your face which ensures a perfectly blended application.

Speaking of application, I must admit that I am actually not a fan of this brush for blush application. 
I gave it a few tries and I just can't get used to the shape for blush. I much prefer my Sigma angled blush brush because It just gets the blush in the perfect spot. In a pinch, it would do the job, it's just a little too big and too round for my preference. It also blends the blush a little too much for my liking, Im not a fan of subtle blush! 
The good news is this is completely perfect for face powder! It's tapered so if you like to be precise with your setting powder, this can do the job! But my favorite use for it is actually for applying powder foundation. I actually avoided my favorite powder foundation because my other powder brushes made me so red and itchy that I ended up looking worse, but those days are over! This not only is more comfortable but it actually does a much better job than a natural fiber brush. It somehow gives a lovely velvety finish that it never ends up cakey. 

This is an amazing brush for only $8.99; Apart from all the great things I already mentioned, it's lightweight yet completely sturdy, has never shed a hair, and keeps it shape and softness wash after wash. If you looking for a synthetic powder or blush brush then your search is over! 

Want to know a secret? These were on sale BOGO half off at Ulta (no this is not the secret), you know I couldn't resist. So, I have another brush review coming up. It is the very intriguing Expert Face Brush! 

  * If you want to see my reviews on the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, or Eye Brushes, you can easily find them by scrolling to the left and clicking either the 'makeup brushes' or 'real techniques' under Categories.