Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Lancôme HYPNÔSE Doll Lashes

Day 2 of the Five Mascaras!

For a refresher, you can click here for a picture of the contenders and click here for a picture of what my eyes (without makeup) looks like.

Now when I heard about Lancôme's Doll Lashes, I just had to get it because despite every review I read about it, I grew up with Lancôme so I have a certain bit of brand loyalty going for me here. My mom still religiously uses Lancôme and I don't blame her, it's treated her well over the years. Except that she has perfect skin with no issues and I have weird combination skin. (I still do use Lancôme products from time to time, but my staples don't include this brand anymore and I'll get into the reasoning another time).

Anyhow, I find Lancôme's packaging to be incredibly adorable. So I with my last Sephora haul, I treated myself to it. Today was my first day wearing it out and seeing how it could hold up to 8 hours.

This was the morning shot and when I first put it on I realized that this was something I just couldn't make good use out of it. It did darken my lashes a bit and gave the slight appearance of being widened but the reality was that that fell short after an hour or two.

It looked as though I had no mascara on because keep in mind that while you can see a bit of it here, that was after wrangling several shots to see any kind of change in my eyes. 

So after all that anticipation and build up, I was left disheartened as I returned it to Sephora. 

No volume, no curl. But I've heard great things about it's predecessor, HYPNÔSE DRAMA. So perhaps if I find myself unhappy with any of the others left in the challenge, Drama might  be next. 

Price: $25
Would Recommend? No
Takeaway: It didn't do anything for me to be honest.

A Comparison of Colour Eyeliners

A midst my attempt to clear out and consolidate my makeup, I happened to find quite a few eyeliners (okay, not that many) lying around. In colours. o_O (In case we haven't established this, I love black eyeliner however it has been a personal quest to pull of teal or plum eyeliner). Unfortunately the selection was somewhat limited the Ulta Kohl Eye Liner Pencils and e.l.f. Essential Brightening Eye Liners.  Nonetheless, here are some images that illustrate fun with swatches.

I apologize for the messiness in the last image (Revlon Beyond Natural Primer) because it was somewhat shaky (and I was trying to do it with my left hand). Also a reminder from yesterday, e.l.f.'s primer gives me a chalky appearance (which explains why the panel in the center looks lighter).

From top to bottom:

1. e.l.f. in Plum
2. Ulta in Moss
3. e.l.f. in Midnight
4. e.l.f. in Gilded
5. Ulta in Black/Brown
6. e.l.f. in Ash

Let's get the obvious out of the way. I used e.l.f. in Ash just yesterday in which it appeared black (and has always appeared black) and today it looks like a blend of gray and navy. I played with a couple times and couldn't figure that out. So that might be concerning if a colour just opts to change.

Okay so, still the same observations that I had with the black eyeliners and that is that the primers do very little. Sure, they are not the greatest photos however take a look at the image below. (The left is on top of the Revlon primer, the center is without primer, and the right is with the e.l.f. primer).
Left is with the Revlon primer, center is without any primer,
and the right is with elf's primer.

With all of the e.l.f. liners, they became much harder to apply with the primer. I really struggled to get them on. Add to that that with a normal primer, they don't do so well.

With some of the e.l.f. liners, you can see that while used with an e.l.f. primer, the colour improves a bit. But really the majority of them look fine without a primer.

Of all of them though, the most impressive has been the Ulta pencil in Moss. That second row that is green? Amazing. The Ulta pencil in Black/brown is also somewhat good -- but note that on the far left of the image, it becomes a bit light and that was on a standard primer.

So yeah, maybe you want to skip the primer on the e.l.f. liners.

Product: e.l.f. Essential Brightening Eye Liners
Price: $1 (each)
Would Recommend? No
Takeaway: They've got a decent colour to them but for me, they aren't long lasting. They also do not pair well with primers that are not in the same brand. They do pair well with their own eyelid primer, but it leaves a chalky appearance.

Product: Ulta Kohl Eye Liner Pencils
Price: $7 (each)
Would Recommend? Depends on the colour.
Takeaway: For some shades (like the green) you get a strong colour that lasts. For some (like the brown) it depends on the primer if you'll get a strong colour or not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Collection of Black Pencil Eyeliners

I am the biggest sucker for the cat eye look and I have been for years. Unfortunately this also means that I end up racking up quite a few black eyeliners -- some that work and some that fail miserably. Later on I'll go over my extensive cat eye routine (which still needs work). However tonight as I was searching for lip liners, I noticed a few more black eyeliners that were hiding in my train case. 

I couldn't remember why they were shunned though it was very likely due to the fact that I moved and didn't get my makeup kit right away so I had to replace things. But that gave me the idea to try a few of them (just swatches). I ended up finding out some interesting things not just about the eyeliners in question but also my eyelid primer. ಠ_ಠ

But first, just to get this out of the way -- the pencil eyeliner that I use for my cat eye look is the Sephora Nano Eyeliner in Midnight Black. I also use a liquid and/or cream eyeliner but I'll get into that another time. It's highly pigmented and easy to control which is exactly what I need when my brushes aren't doing their job).

Onto the four black pencil eyeliners that I found!

Yeah. So the first thing I learned in this experiment? e.l.f. Essential Eyelid Primer in Nude is not for me. That is the reason behind the ashy appearance in the photo -- and yes, I slathered it on my wrist to prove it. So I can add that to my donation bin.

Moving on!

The top row is the liners on the e.l.f. primer whereas the bottom one is without the primer. From left to right:

1. e.l.f. Essential Brightening Eye Liner in Ash
2. Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner Pencil in Jet Black #061
3. stila convertible eye color in Onyx
4. Wet 'n' Wild Kohl Kajal Brow/Eyeliner Pencil, Black #651

Overall remarks is that with the primer, all of them except for the stila were actually harder to put on. They have a sleek and smooth look to them but three of the four were I had to really press down to get the colour. Which is fine for my hand but I wouldn't want to do that near my waterline.

The interesting observations range. For the e.l.f. eyeliner it's actually gray -- not black (which I know) but without a primer, it goes on black. A bit on the light side, but still could pass for a black. When I tried it on, I quickly remembered what the downfall was and that was that it was not long lasting for me. Now with the primer, the real colour comes out which is a gray.

The Rimmel is okay but it feels too messy for some reason. I'm going to try a cat eye with it in the future to see how it actually holds up. To be completely honest though, when compared to the stila, it fails -- but but it next to e.l.f. or the Wet 'n' Wild it looks amazing. (You can grab this liner at Ulta for $3.19).

The stila looks perfect except that I've used it on the cat eye look, particularly for the triangle and I've seen it vanish in an 8 hour day. I love how smooth and pigmented it is, but that fades and it cannot hold the look. It also couldn't hold up decently on my waterline. Thus this would be great for the eyelid but not the waterline or not if you wanted something defined (like the corner flick of a cat eye).

The Wet 'n' Wild is... well, it looks bad and I'm sure that I wouldn't want to experiment with day looks with it because it's not very pigmented.

After I narrow down the hunt for the mascara, I will probably begin messing around with the eyeliners to see how well they hold up. So perhaps they will make it into the rotation.

Product: e.l.f. Essential Brightening Eye Liner in Ash
Price: $1
Would Recommend? No
Takeaway: Tends to fade so it's not long lasting. Primer seems to brought out it's actual colour of gray which is weird because when it's applied without a primer it comes off as black.

Product: stila convertible eye color in Onyx
Price: $22
Would Recommend? Yes, with caution though.
Takeaway: Great for your eyelid but will not hold up on your waterline. It may also get messy so if you're aiming for something with definition, this probably isn't the liner to use.

Product: Wet 'n' Wild Kohl Kajal Brow/Eyeliner Pencil, Black #651
Price: $0.99-$5 (Depends on where you find it).
Would Recommend? No.
Takeaway: Not as pigmented as the others and given that, it looks more like a dark gray than a black.

Review: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!

Since I've recently realized that I have quite a few mascaras on hand (thanks to my obsession with eyeliner) and I think it's about time I actually tried to figure out the differences between them. I currently have five so each day I will try to "review" each one. For the contenders, here's a picture

Day 1 of Five Mascaras!

So before we can start, you sadly should know what my eyelashes are like. Thus the picture to the right are three quick shots of my eyes. These three were taken late at night with no makeup or good lightning. However you can see that my lashes are somewhat on the full side. Generally when I use mascara I am using it for the cat eye look however as you will see in the following pictures, I didn't go for that this time. Instead I'm focusing on what the mascara does.

A brief aside about today's "experiment," this is not my first time braving the world with this mascara. It's one of my staples that I have used for about a year. Since I've recently acquired two new mascaras, I figure it was time I did an actual comparison. I certainly do have my qualms with it.

To the right is the morning shots of just the mascara. My eyelashes appear much fuller or rather, a bit longer. They seem a bit more defined but what I trully like about it is the curl. You might not be able to see it, but in the third picture there is quite a curl to my lashes which I love about this mascara. That curl occurs without an eyelash curler.

The problems I have with this mascara however is that it can be a bit on the thick side. It takes a few coats (about 3-4) to really achieve the look but the true failing is in the clumps. I think the first two coats can achieve the look but the third and fourth swipe are about getting the lashes to loosen up a bit.

If you click on the picture to the left and look at the bottom shot, you might see the little clumps that I'm referring to. Is it bothersome? Not really. As the day progresses, they kind of just vanish.

On the right is what it looked like after about 8 hours. And as you might have figured, it's no longer as dramatic. There's still a bit there but it's definitely a segue. 

Obviously, I don't count that against it but one definitely needs to keep in mind that they have to touch it up at some point throughout the day (or night).

Product: Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes!
Price: $19
Would Recommend? Yes
Takeaway: Great for lengthening and defining but can be a bit clumpy. Remember to touch up if you wear it for an extended period of time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Red Ladies

Don't mind the wear and tear on these gals, they have been knocking around my makeup bags for quite a bit.

From left to right:
1. Nuance by Salma Hayek Color Vibrance in Paprika
2. L'Oreal Colour Riche in Penelope's Red 320
3. MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge #43
4. Revlon Absolutely Fabulous in Vixen #59

A while ago I did a comparison of the last three with a simple everyday look (and by everyday I mean cat eyes and red lips, so make of that what you will). Penelope's Red while nice, was too light and felt too orange while the Moulin Rouge was bright and cheery but not something I could pull off everyday. Vixen was and still always is very dark, which is great for an evening look, but not for everyday wear. When I came across the Paprika tube, I was very happy with it and it is my standard everyday lipstick. (Well, not everyday, but I could definitely pull it off during the day).

Click here for a picture of the 4 lined up.

Excuse the lighting but you can probably notice some differences emerging with the four. The Revlon (Vixen) is only there as a mark for a dark red. Below you can see how the four hold up on my skin though. Nuance (Paprika) is still striking as a light red, but still there and refined. The L'Oreal (Penelope's Red) is somewhat of a mess and I think it's fair to note here that the common red lip liners are a slight disaster when paired with this lipstick. The MUFE (Moulin Rouge) just pops magnificently and the Revlon (Vixen) is my favourite lipstick for when I feel piratey. 

I already knew that in order to wear Penelope's Red that I need to find another lip liner, which I haven't done just yet. With Paprika and Moulin Rouge, I can get away with using e.l.f. Essential Feather Proof Moisturizing Lip Liner in Bitter.

As I play around with different variations, I'm sure I'll find a better way of using Penelope's Red and even Moulin Rouge. (I'm not at that point where I can wear it to work just yet). And perhaps one day I will let go of the coveted Vixen though I will admit it's fantastic for Halloween.

Product: Nuance by Salma Hayek Color Vibrance in Paprika
Price: $9.99
Would Recommend? Yes
Takeaway: I love it because it's just the right colour and gives great coverage. Last throughout the day though you will need to touch it up here and there. Great for an everyday look. 

Product: L'Oreal Colour Riche in Penelope's Red 320 
Price:  Approximately $8.00 depending on where you find it.
Would Recommend? No
Takeaway: Not very pigmented and thus doesn't have a good coverage. Ends up seeming too light and requires a matching lip liner to really bring out the colour. 

Product: MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge #43
Price: $19.00
Would Recommend? Yes
Takeaway: This is an intense red which has great coverage and great pigmentation which is fantastic. This one is vibrant but beautiful.

Product: Revlon Absolutely Fabulous in Vixen #59
Price: $5.99
Would Recommend? Depends on the look.
Takeaway: Great for an evening wear or even for Halloween as it's very much on the dark side.

Review: Nutra Nail Gel Perfect

Sorry, I have no picture available for the actual manicure as I did my nails two days ago and I was in a rush to get it off today. That might be telling though about how I feel about this gel colour.

I had seen packages of Nutra Nail Gel Perfect at my local CVS and while it always intrigued me, there was only Moonstone (light blue) and Lily Pink (light pink) available. Neither of which I was particularly interested. So when I found the colour Dahlia (pictured) while in NYC at Duane Reade, I just had to try it. The first impression of the gel colour was amazing. You do need to read up beforehand to get accustom to how to alternate between the Activator and Gel Colour, all while swapping brushes -- yes, it's a bit more work than one is used to. However I got the swing of it quickly and managed to get nice coverage. It set within 5 minutes (as advertised) so I was all ready to go for a party on Saturday night.

Except that before the night was over there were chips at the edge. Mind you, I was at a party so I really didn't do anything that could have caused this. Come Monday and there's a lot more chipping to the point where I just had to get it off my nails. But that's the other important thing here is that the activator is most likely a nail glue which when it mixed with the gel colour is supposed to create that hard "rock like shield." Okay, that's a strong claim because it chips very easily but the rest of it won't come off with such ease. Acetone (100%) is needed so if you may want to spring for their No-Mess Express Remover. Sure, it is advertised that you can do it yourself, but that doesn't mean you should go to town on your nails with acetone.

Just be sure to follow up with some lotion immediately.

There's still a bit of residue on my nails from the activator. The gel colour is completely gone but I can see the shininess of the glue/activator which means that I'll be treating my nails very nice the next few days and I'll be sure to take my Biotin vitamins.

Product(s): Nutra Nail Gel Perfect ($11.99) & No-Mess Express ($4.99)
Would Recommend? No.
Takeaway: Great if you're in a rush but for the long-term (as in 1-2 days) probably not worth the trouble.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...