Friday, July 29, 2011

Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duos - Coffee Shop, Beach Plum

It's finally Friday! Just in time, as I could really, really use the weekend now - Hard last few days and I'm starting to look a bit rough around the edges, not even having the energy to put on a full face of makeup today. NOT pretty :P

Something that's meant to save time on those rare (or not so rare...) mornings you have to hit the snooze button once (...or twice) is Clinique's Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duos, which come in a variety of color combos for $18 at Sephora and Clinique counters. I presume Clinique intended for these duos to provide a complete look-in-one for busy, independent women on the go, and they thoughtfully included a soft all-over shade as well as a dark, dramatic accent in each pan. I picked up two of these in the last couple months, mostly out of curiosity.

First, Coffee Shop!

On the left of the palette is a nude, shimmery beige. The brown looks like a rich espresso in the pan but comes off rather streaky, patchy, and lacking pigmentation - it appears a matte dark brown with microglitter. I had many issues with the formula on the darker shade, but the milky beige is quite nice in texture and color payoff - it's a great, delicate neutral.

I also have Beach Plum -

Once again the left shadow is a lovely, shimmery golden-tan neutral, while the deeper shade is a disappointment (though, admittedly, less of a dud than the one in Coffee Shop). I was hoping for a vivid, medium plum, but, once worn, the purple appears light and almost mauve. Still, without trying to build it up it applies nicely, if the color is one that appeals to you.

My general impression of the duos is that they are... hard. Like, really, really HARD. Hard as stones! I felt like I had to swipe FOREVER to get enough product to come off for application. Once you start applying, though, they are soft and easily blended. Overall, this product is not really for me - shades that I hoped would be bold turned out rather meek and flimsy. I prefer a pop of color!

The quality is decent and the colors are pretty for those who like these kinds of neutrals - Very work-friendly and very subtle. Though I'm not over the moon about Clinique's Colour Surge mini-palettes, I have been carrying Beach Plum in my makeup bag as a quick, easy fix for a sudden makeup emergency that may arise (and I'm not sure what exactly constitutes a makeup emergency, but it's always good to be prepared! :P). It's also a perfectly good and efficient solution for those in a rush who don't have the time to think too much about their daily eye look.

Wear time is fair, and with a primer I experienced no creasing. The shadows started fading after about 6-7 hours, but only slightly and they faded evenly.

What do you think about Clinique's Colour Surge Eye Shadows Duos?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Attack of the Yellow Nail Polishes! Swatches Revlon Pineapple Fizz, WnW Wonder Yellows, Sinful Colors Pull Over & Let's Meet, CG Lighthouse, Misa Golden Tan, SOPI IM Beauty

Summer is the only time of year one can get away with wearing sizzling yellow and orange polishes, and I take full advantage! I've swatched some of my yellows:

1- Revlon Pineapple Fizz

I finally caved and bought Revlon's Pineapple Fizz to complete my collection, even though I can't stand the smell (reminiscent of sickly-sweet artificial coconut). However revolting the scent is to me, I can't deny the beauty of the color! It's a semi-sheer sunny yellow with flakes. (Check out swatches and a review of the rest of Revlon's "Fizz" collection here!)

2 - Wet n Wild The Wonder Yellows

(Silly name!) This is also a great medium yellow shade, but with shimmer. The formula is solid, opaque in three coats.

3 - Sinful Colors Pull Over

In terms of color, this is the PERFECT taxi-yellow creme for me and very complimentary to my skin tone (while shopping the other day a women came up to me to tell me how pretty Pull Over looked, and how it's the first time she saw a yellow look good on somebody. Totally made my day! :). I love it so much I'm even willing to overlook that the formula is a tad streaky and uneven. A nice, inexpensive little polish to satisfy nearly all of your yellow needs!

4 - China Glaze Lighthouse

Sooo sparkly, it nearly blew out my camera (hah!)! Lovely nonetheless, and the formula is exceptional (as China Glaze often is).

5 - Misa Golden Tan

Hm, this is an oddball! Reminds my of a light yellow-gold pearl. It's unique and unlike any other shade I own, though unfortunately it doesn't play well with my skin tone. Still, I can't bear to part with Misa's Golden Tan, due to its willingness to march to the beat of its own drum!

6 - Sinful Colors Let's Meet

A bright yellow with fine, fine glitter. The formula is pretty sheer (what you see below is three coats and the nail line is still visible) and somewhat streaky, but I do like the color and finish of this SC polish.

7 - Sephora by OPI IM Beauty

Finally we have Sephora by OPI's IM Beauty, a pastel-y banana creme. I confess I don't often reach for this buttercream as it reminds me a bit of Easter and spring, but some may like this soft yellow. The formula is decent albeit somewhat sheer, very few streaks in sight after three coats!

That concludes my "yellow" series! Do you like to wear yellow nail polish?

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy this blog, please follow me (links to the right)! :)

PS - Have you ever stumbled across something you felt you should have already known? I recently learned that the largest Hindu temple (mandir) in the US is located just an hour or so outside the city in which I live and have lived all my life. We paid a visit today, and it was the wholly satisfying experience I hoped it would be; peaceful, beautiful, and intellectually enlightening. Not to mention, a staff enthusiastically willing to endure all my possibly ignorant questions :p There was also a little shop within the adjacent cultural center where I was able to purchase the most delicious kopra pak - yum!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Review + Swatches: Rapture, Temptress, Darling, Enchantress, Delight, Temptation, Flame, Fairytale, Spellbound

Man, I wish I currently possessed the coherency (it's been a looooong day) to express how fantastic CoverGirl's Lip Perfection lipsticks are! I love everything about them, from the colors to the texture to the price (about $6.99 each). As soon as I purchased my first one I knew it was going to become a thing where I couldn't stop buying them, and I was right! Here are swatches -

Rapture -

Temptress -

Darling -

Enchantress -

Delight -

Temptation -

Flame -

Fairytale -

Spellbound -

And a recap, side-by-side -

L to R - Rapture, Temptress, Darling, Enchantress, Delight, Temptation, Flame, Fairytale, Spellbound

The formula is pretty great - moisturizing, more so than regular chapstick (but not as much as EOS lip balm or Jack Black lip balm), and it stays on and on and on, lasting through my morning green tea latte, mid-morning snack, and even lunch! For me Lip Perfection's life-span is about six hours, after which it fades evenly leaving a nice stain. These lipsticks are now a must-have for me, and I have at least one on me at ALL TIMES. The price can't be beat! My favorite is Spellbound - a fun, vibrant fuchsia that's still wearable enough for everyday use.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara Review + Swatches

You may have at one point or another stumbled upon the latest shiny mascara advertisement, gazing longingly after the model's impossibly thick, perfectly curled, glossy black lashes that seemed to stretch for days. I know I have. I have spent many an hour staking out the fierce jungles of my local makeup stores, hunting for the elusive HG mascara that offers amazing length and volume without the aid of photoshop or falsies.

Will such a product ever be found? Unlikely, but I won't stop searching!

My latest test mascara was Make Up For Ever's Smoky Lash mascara in Rich Black ($22 and Sephora).

My natural lashes, followed by my lashes wearing the Smoky Lash mascara:

This product makes three claims: to lengthen, volumize, and curl. Let's examine these!

1. Legthening - Check! I can see an improvement in length, though it may be in part due to the way the mascara lifted my lashes.

2. Volume - Upon initial inspection I though Smoky Lash had indeed thickened my lashes, but I quickly realized it was only an illusion; because it doesn't separate individual lashes, the resulting clumping makes it seem that volume had been added. If lashes were separated, I suspect there would be no noticeable change in thickness.

3. Curl - There is a slight curl, though not as dramatic as my current daily mascara, Chanel's Inimitable Intense.

The wand is rather large, which is slightly problematic for me as it makes applying mascara to my slightly down-turned outer corners a bit messy. To many, this may not bee an issue. So far a solid product, BUT. A major deal-breaker for me is that after about 4-5 hours of wear, bits of Smoky Lash flake off and settle below the eye. This isn't insignificant; there is a noticeable layer of black specks under my lower lash line, and if I thoughtlessly rub my eyes I end up with some pretty stellar raccoon eyes. Not cool! For this reason, I think I'll skip Make Up For Ever's Smoky Lash and stick to my tried-and-true Chanel mascara.

PS - The other morning when I decided to swatch this I snapped some pics and hurried out the door to my dance class. Only later had I realized that I had been going about my day with only one eye done, durr.  Hah!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wet n Wild Coloricon Eye and Lip Quartet - Renaissance Faire

Local drugstore. Stumble upon sale - 40% off Wet n Wild! Exciting! Devolved to cavewoman! Want! Buybuybuy!

Actually, I'm not super keen on WnW - from previous experience it has been rather hit and miss, though I can't argue with the bargain price. I managed to pick out this enticing palette. I've never before seen it anywhere! (And here I thought I knew everything ;P )

The Coloricon Eye and Lip Quartet in Renaissance Faire features two eyeshadows and two lip glosses, with a net weight of 0.23 oz. The shadows are decadent and luxe, transporting me to a flourishing 16th century Florence... A magnificent royal ball where the richly-dressed, long-tressed Duchess gazes seductively at the Prince from beneath a veil of sultry lashes while the Duke, her husband, sips dangerous wine from a bejeweled gold chalice she had oh-so-causally poisoned just a moment ago...  (Maybe it's just me :D )

The lip glosses bring me hurtling back to reality. For the era WnW was going for I imagine deep plums and scandalous burgundies, but I got a sweet candy pink and a sparkly silver. Bummer! I don't have a review for these, and I doubt I'll ever wear them. For thoroughness' sake, however, I included swatches.

Now for the eyeshadows - on the left we have a royal purple shimmer. It's quite decently pigmented, a beautiful color, and overall lovely! The second is a greenish-teal with microglitter. I imagined it would be  dense and heavy, but it's rather bright and cheerful. The pigmentation was sheerer than the purple and required several layers to achieve the result you see. One coat is nice for a subtle, dreamy wash of fairy-like color.

I wore these WnW side-by-side with MAC shades, and, with a primer, they lasted all day with no creasing or fading. Nice!

Last AND definitely least, the glosses -

The Coloricon Quartet palettes are available at drugstores and regularly priced at $3.99.