Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Swatches: Sugar Skull Minerals Fall 2014 Collection

This was a gift.

I was recently on vacation, and when I got home, I had the most wonderful surprise package from Vicki, the owner of Sugar Skull Minerals. I'm a customer of hers, and as a result, we've become friends, mostly on Facebook. Well, she knew that life has been a bit rough for me over the past number of months, and as a pick-me-up gift, she sent me a surprise package of two new eye shadow collections. Wow, did it ever pick me up! Not only because everything is so beautiful, but because it was such a thoughtful gesture, and I think that says a lot about who she is as a person, that she would send a Random Act Of Kindness gift to someone she's never even met in person. I try to stay positive and focused on the good things in my life, but life really has been difficult over the last few months, and the stress was reaching ridiculously high levels. So to get a package from Vicki--with no strings attached--was so heartwarming. Thank you so much, Vicki! <3 <3 <3

While Vicki sent these two collections purely as a gift, with no expectations of looks or swatches or anything at all, I--of course--had to swatch everything! I received the Fall 2014 Collection, as well as the upcoming Bejeweled Collection. This post contains swatches of the Fall 2014 Collection. I'll post the Bejeweled Collection swatches separately in the coming week or so.

Swatches were done over Darling Girl Glitter Glue and taken in direct sunlight. Sugar Skull Minerals' shade descriptions are interspersed with the photos.

Top row, L-R: Apple Jack, Blood Moon, Candle Lit, Cider
Bottom row, L-R: Dusty, Maize, Rust, Whiskey Tango


  • Apple Jack - metallic pink/mauve with lots of silver reflects
  • Blood Moon - maroon/brown
  • Candle Lit - light shimmery champagne gold. Great as a highlighter!
  • Cider - copper toned light brown


Top row, L-R: Apple Jack, Blood Moon, Candle Lit, Cider
Bottom row, L-R: Dusty, Maize, Rust, Whiskey Tango
 

  • Dusty - muted gray/green with teeny blue reflects
  • Maize - orange/gold with a warm mauve base
  • Rust - metallic gold/copper with lots of copper reflects
  • Whiskey Tango - orange/brown with red/gold reflects


Finally, here is a blurry photo just to show the insane amount of sparkle some of these eye shadows have. Apple Jack and Whiskey Tango are by far the sparkliest of the bunch.

Top row, L-R: Apple Jack, Blood Moon, Candle Lit, Cider
Bottom row, L-R: Dusty, Maize, Rust, Whiskey Tango

It's really hard to say which are my favorites of the bunch. I really love the pink undertones in Maize, and I adore the sparkliness of Apple Jack and Whiskey Tango. I also think Candle Lit is one of the prettiest highlighter colors I've seen. And Cider and Rust are exactly the types of colors I'm drawn to during the autumn season. So really, they're pretty much all my favorites!

The Sugar Skull Minerals Fall 2014 Collection is available now until December 1. Each shade is available in three different sizes to fit your budget.

Have you ordered anything from this collection yet? (If not, you should if you like fall colors!)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Born Pretty Store - Lomeau Eyeliner Pencil & Matte Velvet Long Lasting Lip Gloss

PR sample.

I was given the opportunity to test and a review two more makeup products from Born Pretty Store. The products I choose to review are:


The products were mailed from Asia and arrived in just about one week. They were securely wrapped in layers upon layers of cushioned wrap and arrived in perfect condition. 


Lomeau Eyeliner Pencil


The website says this is an eyeliner pen, but it's definitely a pencil. I chose to try it in the shade #6, because it appeared to be a pretty olive-toned green, and I have nothing else like it.

This eyeliner pencil is a twist-up pencil that is retractable. Shade #6 is an olive green, but it's more of a blackened olive-green with gold tones. It's a very pretty shade, and it has very subtle shifts in the light.




Here is a look I did using no eyeshadow, just a little bit of mascara and this eyeliner. The first photo was taken in natural, indirect sunlight, and the second photo is taken with flash, so you can see the difference in appearance depending on the light source.

photo taken in indirect, natural lighting

photo taken with flash

Pros:
  - This pencil is really pretty and the color is very complex.

  - This pencil is quite soft and it's very easy to apply without any tugging or pulling on the eyelid.

  - The pencil comes in 8 different colors and the price is quite reasonable at $3.72 each.

Cons:
  - This pencil is advertised on the website as a pen, but it's actually a pencil. The photos on the site do show that it's a pencil, but this could be confusing for some customers.

  - This pencil is advertised on the site as waterproof, which it most definitely is not. After I took the photos of the above swatches, I ran my hand under water, and while the water did not remove the pencil, it smudged terribly afterward, and I was able to easily wipe it off my hand with just water and no soap or makeup remover.

  - This pencil does not set, even with a light dusting of translucent powder on top of it. Within minutes, the pencil had transferred from my lash line to my crease. This may not be an issue for someone with "normal" eyelids, but I would definitely not recommend it to someone whose lids are hooded or partially hooded.

  - Because this pencil does not ever fully set, it smudges very easily. If you were to touch your eyes, the pencil would quickly transfer to your fingers and your face.


Me Now Generation II Long Lasting Lip Gloss

I chose to try this product because it is advertised as a Waterproof Matte Velvet Lip Gloss. I've been enjoying trying the various matte lip products that are currently on the market, and thought it would be nice to compare this product to what I've already tried. This product has great reviews on the website, so I thought it was worth a shot. I chose #2 and #8, which both seemed like pretty colors. #2 looked like it would be a light brown-based pink and #8 looked like it would be a pretty raspberry shade.

L-R: #8, #2

L-R: #8, #2

Here are swatches of the two matte velvet lippies taken in direct sunlight:

L-R: #8, #2

This is a photo of #8 on my lips taken in indirect, natural lighting. It is the pretty raspberry shade I hoped for, but it's not as deep in tone as the website swatches show. It's still very pretty.


This is a photo of #2 on my lips taken in indirect, natural lighting. It's a brown-based pink, but is significantly lighter than I expected it would be based on the website swatches. I still really like it, and think it looks great with my skin tone.


Pros:
  - This product is very easy to apply. It comes with a doe foot applicator and it's easy to get a clean, precise line and full coverage.

  - It dries down almost instantly. It only takes a moment to fully set.

  - Waterproof? Oh yes, it absolutely is. Once it sets, it doesn't budge. The color does not come off when I drank water or coffee, and it only came off slightly as I ate. After eating, I would need to touch up, but wouldn't need to apply again until I ate again. I was able to get 4 hours of wear from this, and could probably get much longer wear if I didn't eat.

  - Unlike a lot of matte lip products, this one does not feel drying at all on my lips. It has the faintest hint of a sticky feeling about it, but does not need to be worn over balm and I did not need to scrub down my lips first before wearing it.

  - There are 36 color options available. There are three different listings on the website. Colors numbered 1-12 are here. Colors numbered 13-24 are here. Colors numbered 25-36 are here.

  - At only $3.55 each, these are an absolute steal compared to some of the other matte lip products being sold on the market currently. They are a great value.

Cons:
  - The website labels these as "Waterproof Matte Velvet Lip Gloss Long Lasting Lip Pencils." This description is not entirely accurate, as this product is neither a lip gloss nor a lip pencil. They are most definitely a matte lip cream. This could be confusing for some customers if they're expecting a gloss or a pencil.

  - The colors shown on the website aren't entirely accurate. They're close, but not true-to-life.

  - Once it sets, it doesn't budge. Yes, I know I put this under the "Pros" section, but it is so very, very difficult to remove that I had to also put it under the "Cons" section. It does not remove with makeup wipes. It does not come off with makeup remover. I tried soap and water and a washcloth and was only able to get a bit of the color off. Finally, I took some heavy-duty lip balm and applied it on top of the color, letting it sink in for a few minutes, then wiped it off with a paper towel, and the color came off, but there were still tiny little traces on my lips--not enough to bother me, but enough that it might bother some people.


Summary

I really do like the color of the Lomeau eyeliner pencil, and I like how easy it is to apply, but because it is not waterproof as advertised and because it transfers and smudges so easily, I cannot recommend this product

I love the Me Now Generation II Long Lasting Lip Gloss (that's actually a waterproof velvet matte lip cream). I definitely recommend this product and currently have my eye on #22 and #28 and may pick them up for myself.  Even though I know I have to keep in mind that the tone of the color may not be represented true-to-life, for $3.55 each, I feel like I won't be too disappointed if I don't get exactly what I thought I was getting color-wise, and I have no doubts that what I do get will be pretty. 

Born Pretty Store is giving a 10% discount to their store to all of my blog readers! Please click on the banner at the top of my right sidebar, and use discount code SKG10.


Do any of the velvet matte lip creams appeal to you? What do you think about the color selection? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Swatches: Fyrinnae Halloween 2014 Collection

I purchased this.

I just had an eyeshadow spill of epic proportions, and I thought, "Phew! Good thing I took my photos already of the collection of jars!" Well, I had...but then I discovered the memory card wasn't in my camera. So while I typically like to post pictures of what the eyeshadows look like in the jars, this time, all I have are swatches.

And that brings me to the point of this post--I have swatches of Fyrinnae's 2014 Halloween collection! For Halloween this year, Fyrinnae released a collection of six new eye shadows and three new Lip Lustres. I purchased all but one of the eye shadows, knowing I'd never wear Midnight Dreary, but Fyrinnae threw that one in as a sample, which was so nice of them! I only purchased one Lip Lustre, as there was only one out of the three I thought I might possibly wear.

The first set of swatches are of Fyrinnae's new Halloween 2014 eyeshadows. The second set of swatches are of the Demon's Desire Lip Lustre from the Halloween 2014 collection.

All eyeshadows were swatched over Pixie Epoxy and taken in direct sunlight. I've also included Fyrinnae's shade descriptions between the photos.

L-R: All Hallow's Eve, Faust, Haunted Ballroom, Innocent Sorrow, Midnight Dreary, Nepenthe

  • All Hallow's Eve - "Deep 'pumpkin spice' orange has a slightly darker base hue to set off its varying hues of fine shimmer. Appears copper in the jar, but applies more complex."
  • Faust - "This rich, shimmery brown has a somewhat metallic finish and golden hue without being overly warm. A great staple shade without being ordinary."
  • Haunted Ballroom - "Varying shades of pink and lavender shimmer create a 'faerie dust' appearance in a sheer cream hue. Looks darker in the jar than it applies."

L-R: All Hallow's Eve, Faust, Haunted Ballroom, Innocent Sorrow, Midnight Dreary, Nepenthe

  • Innocent Sorrow - "Ethereal warm coppery hues graces with a gentle touch of pale green shimmer make this an excellent highlight or all-over brightening shadow. Sheer but buildable."
  • Midnight Dreary - "Velvety, vibrant, shimmering blue is enhanced with gold sparkle."
  • Nepenthe - "Vivid, metallic Byzantium purple, unlike any of our existing shades. It's a warm bright purple, but still works on neutral or cool skin tones."

This next photo is blurry to show the sparkle in these eye shadows:

L-R: All Hallow's Eve, Faust, Haunted Ballroom, Innocent Sorrow, Midnight Dreary, Nepenthe


Next up are swatches of the Demon's Desire Lip Lustre:



Fyrinnae describes this shade as "Glowing red shimmer embedded in a semi-transparent dark base...fades down to a muted wine hue. Similar to our Diabolic Masquerade, but with much more red and much less black."

Since Fyrinnae compares it to Diabolic Masquerade, I thought it would be good to swatch the two side-by-side. While similar colors may have been used to create these two Lip Lustres, I don't find them remotely similar.

Top: Demon's Desire Lip Lustre
Bottom: Diabolic Masquerade Lip Lustre

Top: Demon's Desire Lip Lustre
Bottom: Diabolic Masquerade Lip Lustre

I've already used several of the eye shadows and really love All Hallow's Eve, Faust, and Innocent Sorrow together. I'm especially looking forward to using Nepenthe; despite all of the purple eye shadows I own, I don't think I own one exactly like it.

Are you planning on picking up any eye shadows or Lip Lustres from Fyrinnae's Halloween collection this year? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: Eddie Funkhouser Quattro Variable Lash Mascara

PR sample.

Cosmetics brand Eddie Funkhouser recently won the HBA Global 2014 International Package Design Awards for their Quattro Variable Lash Mascara. To celebrate their news, Eddie Funkhouser sent some bloggers complimentary tubes of this mascara. I was lucky enough to receive one, and was very excited to try it.



So what is the Quattro Variable Lash Mascara? Here's the description from the insert they sent me:

The award-winning QUATTRO VARIABLE LASH MASCARA features our revolutionary FX DIAL for a customizable application from natural to extreme lashes--like having 4 mascaras in 1. With each click, the unique flexible brush twists for a more intense dose of mascara, coating each individual lash with super black pigment for maximum length, volume and curl. The conditioning formula features an innovative blend of waxes and polymers that create fullness without flaking, clumping or smudging.



Eddie Funkhouser Quattro Variable Lash Mascara comes in a tube with 7 ml / 0.2 fl. oz. of product in it. It is available in one color, Absolute Black. The cost is $12.99 on the Eddie Funkhouser website.

This mascara wand is unlike any I've personally seen. The wand has a dial at the top of the cap, which you can set to any of four settings, from one dot (lowest) to four dots (highest), to create four different lash effects.

The first setting lengthens and separates for a natural look.

The dial is set to one dot, the lowest setting.

This is the wand set to one dot.


The second setting enhances fullness and curl.

Two dots indicates the second setting. 

This is the wand set to two dots.


The third setting boosts lash density and extends lashes.

Three dots indicates the third setting. 

This is the wand set to three dots.


The fourth setting amplifies lashes for ultimate length, volume and curl.

Four dots indicates the fourth--and highest--setting. 

This is the wand set to four dots.

The insert I received from Eddie Funkhouser provided Eddie's Insider Tips:

Tip 1: Curl lashes prior to application for maximum curl and lengthening effects.
Tip 2: Apply one coat at a time and allow each coat to thoroughly dry prior to each additional coat.
Tip 3: For maximum fullness and definition, set the dial to the single dot position and apply one to two coats of mascara allowing each coat to thoroughly dry prior to each additional coat.
Tip 4: Then turn the dial to the four dot position and apply another coat of mascara for maxed our fullness and length.

This mascara sounds pretty awesome! Now the question is, "Does it work as described?"

These are my naked eyelashes. I am wearing no makeup whatsoever, but I did curl my lashes, as suggested in Eddie's Insider Tip 1.


This is what my eyelashes look like after applying one coat of Quattro Variable Lash Mascara set to the one dot position, as suggested in Eddie's Insider Tip 3.


I really like the blackness of the mascara and the natural look I get from the single coat. I feel like it adds definition to my lashes and lengthens them. There is no clumping, no smudging, and no flaking. The mascara feels really nice on my lashes--it's almost weightless, and has a "barely there" feeling.

The next step is to follow Eddie's Insider Tip 4 and, after allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly, turn the dial to the four dot position and apply another coat of mascara.

That is when this happens:


At the four dot position, the amount of mascara that goes onto my lashes is too heavy for my lashes, and weighing them down and pulling out all of their curl. It makes my eyes look sad. There is a very minimal amount of clumping, which would probably be resolved by pulling a metal lash comb through my lashes.

This mascara does not smudge or flake at all throughout the day. I've used three different methods of removal at night (liquid eye makeup remover, makeup remover wipes, and oil) and the mascara came off easily with each removal method.

I have tried this mascara three times and had the same results each time. While I love this mascara on the first setting, the fourth setting is too much for my lashes. I will continue to use this mascara and use it on the lowest settings, but can't use it on the higher settings as it doesn't work with my eye lashes. While it doesn't work well for me on the higher settings, it might work really well for others, since everyone is different and different products work better for some people than for others.

I should add that if Eddie Funkhouser were to release a waterproof version of this mascara, I would buy it in a heartbeat, because my eyelashes never loser their curl with waterproof mascaras, and I do love the feel of this mascara on my lashes, and I love how pitch black it is, and I love that it doesn't flake or smudge.

What do you think of this unique 4-in-1 mascara design? Is it something you would like to try? 

Friday, September 26, 2014

EOTD: MOI Cosmetics Metal Gear and Missy

I purchased this.
PR samples.

I did this look a couple of weeks ago using two eyeshadows from MOI Cosmetics and some matte shades from my Smashbox Full Exposure palette. Missy, the lighter shade on the inner portion of my eyelid, is actually a rose-toned pink with a blue sheen. But when it's placed over a silver base, the blue sheen really comes out, and it takes on a light-gray cast. 




WHAT I USED:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance all around the eye area
Sleek Cosmetics Silver Lining primer on lid and blended into crease
MOI Cosmetics Metal Gear on outer 1/3 of lid 
MOI Cosmetics Missy on inner 2/3 of lid
Smashbox Full Exposure Palette: 
  - M4 on brow bone
  - M6 in crease
  - M5 to blend out M6
  - A mix of M5 and M6 beneath lower lash line
Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Liner in Jet Black smudged along upper lash line
Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Waterproof Mascara in Classic Black
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal  Brown

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

EOTD: Sugar Skull Minerals Ego, Victorian, Mud Pie, and Control Freak

I purchased this.
PR samples.

I did this look using a few shades from Sugar Skull Minerals that I hadn't used yet. I really love Sugar Skull's eye shadows--they're such incredibly high quality, they apply nicely, blend easily, and wear like iron. And, of course, the colors available are drop-dead gorgeous!





WHAT I USED:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance over entire eye area
Darling Girl Glitter Glue over entire eye area
Sugar Skull Minerals:
  - Ego on inner lid and lower lash line
  - Victorian on center lid and lower lash line
  - Mud Pie on outer lid and lower lash line
  - Control Freak around tear duct
MAC Brule on brow bone
Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir along upper lash line, tightlining lower lash line, and on upper and lower waterlines
Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! waterproof mascara (one coat)
Lancôme Hypôse Custom Volume Mascara (two coats)
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown on brows


Saturday, September 20, 2014

EOTD: Darling Girl Ginger, Soft Kitty, Nice F*cking Model, and Squirrel Hunter

I purchased this.
PR samples.

I've done a similar look as this before, but I just adore wearing these soft, gold, neutral shades with a green liner. They're perfect office-friendly shades with a pop of color.

The Darling Girl eyeshadow that I used as an upper lash line eyeliner is discontinued. You could probably achieve a similar look using a currently available eyeshadow like Toxic, Caviar Dreams, or Crypt Keeper. It wouldn't be exact, but each of those colors will look nice with the warm neutrals on the eyelid.

Please note that if you like the peachy tan color on my lid, it's Ginger, and it may not be available for long unless it gets a little more love from Darling Girl customers, so grab it while you can!





WHAT I USED:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance over entire eye area
Darling Girl Cosmetics:
  - Glitter Glue over entire eye area
  - Ginger on lid and into crease
  - Soft Kitty on top of Ginger on outer 1/3 of lid and crease
  - Nice F*cking Model lightly dappled on center of lid
  - Calla on brow bone to blend out crease color
  - Koalification (blush) beneath lower lash line
  - Squirrel Hunter (d/c) turned into an eyeliner with Darling Girl Superstar Serum
Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! waterproof mascara (one coat)
Lancôme Hypôse Custom Volume Mascara (two coats)
Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown