Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"High end" lines at Target--Pixi

So I was in Target last night picking up one of those Digital Converter boxes for my mom and hunting for the new purple peep (Sonia Kashuk blending sponge), which I didn't find. Determined to pick up SOMETHING, I wandered over to the Pixi display, where I picked up one of the eye palettes in Mod (retail $28), which appeared to be a nice palette of neutrals, and brought it home with me.
The product is encased in ugly green plastic (which I could forgive) and is fairly thin. There is a small mirror inside, and a rather useless looking double ended brush. My biggest pet peeve about this palette is that the pans are not glued in very well. The glue reminds me a bit of rubber cement, except that it stays much softer than rubber cement does, and the pans tend to wiggle a bit. The pans are easily pried out with a toothpick..so if you decide you hate the green plastic, you can easily depot them and put them into something else. Luckily, the colors inside are quite pretty and the quality seems decent. All 8 colors are soft and blendable. They are all pretty sheer, but quite easily built up on the lid. Edit: the color fades off after a couple of hours for me.
closeup of the eyeshadows inside.
The colors are as follows:
  • Sparkling white shade-just a bit intense for a brow highlighter in this palette, but it'd work
  • Very light peachy-pink-nude shade with slight shimmer. This color makes a good base shade on my eye
  • Satiny grey/silver shade.
  • Shimmery taupey brown.
  • Matte, light pinky taupe.
  • Taupe with a hint of purple to it and silver shimmer
  • Matte tan-taupe
  • Dark cool toned grey with silver shimmer
Here's another pic under lamp light to show off the finish of these shadows. The lighting is warm here.

Overall the palette is mediocre, and I probably would not buy this again. The colors are nice and the quality seems decent enough, but it leaves me with a feeling of "that wasn't worth it" If they dropped the price of this by $10 or so though..that'd be a different story. For what I paid for this, I expected better pigmentation and packaging that was less shoddy. Either way, it was worth a try.
EDIT: I've just been informed that pixi palettes are $11 on beautycrunch... If you liked these swatches, go get this there. (If only I'd known..lol)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Estee Lauder Blockbuster

Well, I certainly seem to like doing more than one post at the same time, so here's today's second belated post. The topic for this one is Estee Lauder's 2008 Holiday Blockbuster, which retailed for $49.50 with any fragrance purchase or $80 skincare purchase (Nordies)

As I'm allergic to fragrance and didn't want to spend $80 on skincare, I opted to buy this set off eBay. It was even more beautiful in person than it was in product photos.

The set included a palette with 15 eyeshadows (all in their permanent line, a smaller palette with 2 blushes and a bronzer (also permanent), 3 lipsticks (permanent), 2 lipglosses, 3 brushes, an eyeliner, a mascara, and two cosmetics cases. The brushes were complete cr@p and I'm not really going to use the mascara or the eyeliner, but the rest of the set is quite nice. The brushes in this set, while kind of pretty with their gold handles, are terrible. They're quite scratchy, and aren't what I'd use for applying my makeup. They went straight into the trash for me. (If you have a pet that likes eating brushes..these are good for that) The eyeliner is a regular black pencil liner that tugged a bit, but stayed in place all day with no smudging or fading. I'm not a big fan of pencil eyeliners so it's unlikely that I'll use this again, but I kept this just in case I ever needed to draw a divider on my arm. The Gentle Eye Makeup remover is pretty decent, and is a great oil free makeup remover. It's not the best for removing waterproof makeup, but very few oil free makeup removers are good for this. This is definitely one of the better ones I've tried though, and is currently what I use to take makeup off my arm between swatches. (which feels like a waste to me, but can't use any makeup removers with oil for this) I didn't bother trying the mascara since non waterproof mascaras don't hold curl for me.

Here's the set inside the larger case. It's a suitcase style hard case without sections. I like it, but it's pretty useless for travel in my opinion, because things will just clatter around and most likely break inside..still, it's nice.
There are 15 eyeshadows encased in a red plastic case, with per row. 13 are regular singles, while two are from one of the regular duos (Roseberry). The shadows are all smooth and buttery, but kind of sheer.

The top row contains:

Vanilla: Very light shimmery yellow/gold
Ginger Drop: shimmery light orange..more on the yellow side than red
Sand Box: matte nudey beige
Amethyst: satiny? blue-purple. Looking at it closely, it seems like a purple with blue shimmer
Bronze Cube: this is close to matte, but has very very tiny bronze shimmer. It's not quite satiny either.

The 2nd row contains the following shades:
Camoflage: Satiny olive green
Cinnamon: Shimmery light brown. On the warm side
Honey Drop: Satiny light pink (more shimmery than the other ones I've said were satiny so far..those were closer to matte)
Mocha Cup: shimmery taupey lavender on my arm
Pale Moon: satiny pinky lilac

3rd Row:

Mink: Dusty matte purple-brown
Ivory Box: satiny shimmery very light pink
Roseberry Duo (Berry): Matte dusty lavendar with gold shimmer
Roseberry Duo (Rose): somewhat coolish pink with silver shimmers
Sugar Cube: shimmery white shade

Here's the blush palette.The bronzer is Bronze Goddess. This seems to be a favorite of Estee Lauder's for GWPs. This appears to be a warm brown with copper shimmer dispersed throughout he bronzer. On my arm though it appears to be matte.
Nude Rose: Matte brown-pink
Pink Kiss: Slightly peachy pink. It has some gold shimmer in it in the pan, but it's just mildly glowy on..still mostly matte though

The three lippies that came with this set were encased in gold tubes and are full sized products. They have the standard Estee lauder scent to them.
Sugar Honey is a warm brown-pink. It's not quite matte, but ha very low shine
Bois de Rose is another GWP favorite of Estee Lauder. It's a warm pink, with some orangey-brown undertones to it
Pink Champagne is my favorite of the three of these. It's got more of a glossy finish than the other two and is sheerer as well. it's a nice warm pink color
This set also came with two of Estee Lauder's high glosses. (Rose and Berry). These glosses are scented, but it's a bit difficult for me to place what they smell like (they've got an odd perfumey taste to them too). They're not completely nonsticky, but they're still nice.
These glosses, while absolutely gorgeous in the tube are rather sheer on, which I suppose makes them good for topping lipsticks. Rose is a light pink shade with gold shimmer. This is the more opaque of the two.
Berry is a simple sheer light pink gloss. There isn't much color payoff for this one, but I like it nonetheless
I hope you've enjoyed this post. Please let me know if the new font is difficult to read as a label. As a bonus, and to show just how long I've been putting off labeling and posting these swatches...here's my cat. From her size there, I'd say she was 4 or 5 months old..so I've been putting this off for at least a month. She takes great interest in my swatching activities..I didn't even notice her paw was on the mirror of this palette until after I saw the picture..but as she's never actually TOUCHED the makeup itself, I suppose it's fine. I also have to apologize for any typos in this post and future posts..my laptop's keyboard is a bit on the fritz and doesn't always register my input.

Nail Polish Stash

So it took me a while, but I finally figured out how to add an email subscription box..so there it is..to the right of here. Today I have pictures of my nail polish stash for you. I didn't label them, but if you want them labeled, or just have a question about what a specific polish is, I'd be happy to answer your question. Also, the font I used to label my pictures has changed. If you find this is hard to read, please let me know (I guess it doesn't matter for this post though) The polishes are, for the mst part, sorted by brand and color.
Here they are in their drawer...the China Glaze and Misa boxes are empty..the Zoya boxes have polishes in them: OPIs..I'm missing Russian Navy
Sets of mini polishes...I really like these because I don't use a single color too often
extra minis
China Glaze:

Mini China glazes


Mini ORLYs
Finger Paints

Nfu Oh polishes..these are Korean polishes I got off FabulouStreet.com for $12.50. They're only about $7 in Korea though, so if you have a friend who's in Korea or going to Korea..ask them to get these for you..they're very unique and pretty.

Zoyas. This is by far my favorite brand of polishes. Right now Zoya is doing a "polish exchange" where you send in your old, unwanted, or empty polishes and they'll send you new Zoya polishes for a Shipping and Handling charge of $3 each...it may seem gimicky, but they'll dispose of your polishes properly for you. The exchange site is http://www.zoya.com/earthday

Color Club and Misa
LA Colors Art Deco and Nabi

MAC and CHANEL. I'm not a huge fan of MAC polishes, but I liked these colors.
Sinful Colors and Claires

Konad and Misc

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Computer Problems and things to come

Eh..so I've been having a mess of computer problems lately. My wireless card on my laptop either broke or my laptop is just wonky altogether and stopped reading it. I can still connect to the internet if I run downstairs and plug an ethernet cable in it, but a few of the keys on this thing are busted as well (which actually ended up voiding my warranty). As I don't have the money to fix it (it was like $200 estimate for the keyboard alone...I don't want to know what adding the cost of the wireless problem would be...either way it's more than it's worth) I'll buy a new computer eventually, but I don't want to do it until the new Windows OS comes out (I heard that they're scrapping Vista altogether because it has too many problems..which is a good thing since I hate it anyways.) Secondly, there aren't any imaging programs on this computer..though I did finally manage to locate my disc with my imaging programs on them, so hopefully they'll work on Windows Vista (it's old school stuff like Paint Shop pro 7..I have Adobe Photoshop CS too, but PSP7 is less complicated for simple stuff like resizing and labeling..which is all I seem to do lately.)
My desktop also finally succumbed to viruses..I was running IE6 and an extremely outdated version of AVG and Adaware...not a very good mix, but up until the last two weeks or so I had been relying wholly on my laptop due to its convenience and wireless. Trying to install Norton antivirus failed miserably, so it just got reformatted...now it's just a matter of reinstalling ALL of the drivers and software (Dell didn't give me any discs for this, so I'm attempting to do this on the worst USB wireless thing ever). Either way, it seems like it was due for a reformatting after years or so, it actually seemed to have fixed my problems with installing USB hardware..so maybe I'll go get another USB card reader...I lost my old one to my house in Irvine..and never bothered looking for it since I couldn't use it. Either way, it will probably take a while to get everything back in working order, but once it is, I should be updating more, but who knows...frustration at my internet speed could very well win out over a working desktop... (it's VERY VERY slow...think dial-up speed) I might also switch out my monitor with my sister's to see if it fixes the color settings on my desktop as well...my desktop has the most screwed up color settings ever..)

Edit: So I said that my desktop got reformatted, but really all that happened was that Windows got reinstalled, but all the partitions on my hard drive could not be wiped properly. As a result still "have" all of the programs installed on my computer, but I can't modify them or uninstall them, so they're sitting there as dead space on my computer...leaving me with only 30 gigs left..which is what I had before I "reformatted" Oddly enough, even though everything in my Documents folder was wiped (or at the very least I can no longer access it) it's still somehow taking up room on my computer...which sucks, sine it takes up at least 20 gigs of the space on my computer...which makes more sense to me than my SO's kind of BS explanation that you "lose space as time goes by due to too many overwrites" (Even if I'd been using my computer for like 5 years, there's no way that my hard drie would have gone to 80 gigs of space to 30 (though realistically, windows takes up like 10..but whatever))

The GOOD news is that it seems that PSP7 is compatible with Vista (it installed at any rate..though I haven't used it yet) so I should be able to update fairly soon..if only my wireless USB thing was also compatible with Vista... as such..I'll be adding a poll to the right of here...

Anyways, here are a few things that are coming up...let me know what order you want these in!

  • Stash photos--of both my makeup stash and nail polish stash (this will probably come first)
  • Closeup pics of all 21 of my JCs
  • swatches of my two new JCs, Turbulent (euro) and Caprice (Euro exclusive)
  • my Stila palette swatches (already swatched, needs sorting and labels)
  • my BB palette swatches
  • comparison of Chanel Vega and Chanel Safari
  • comparison of Smashbox Photo Finish eye primer to UDPP and Lumene eye base

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Benefit Spring 2009 Creaseless Cream eyeshadows

The second part of my mall swatching experience involved heading into Sephora. The SAs there told me I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the store, so no product photos. (I'm not sure what the problem is really..it's not like I'm stealing) Either way, I decided to just swatch these today since there were 2 SAs hovering over me while I was in the store, which made me a little uncomfortable. They didn't ask me if I needed help, just kind of sneered at me. As such, I'll probably keep swatching trips to Sephora down to a minimum (though the SAs at this Sephora have always been particularly snarky) I will probably be eventually swatching Josie Maran stuff since it's not readily available in a lot of places (luckily I own about 1/2 the perm colors of e/s already so I can do that at home.) Anyways...here's the 3 limited edition cream shadows Benefit put out this year, applied kind of heavily for swatching, though it didn't come out quite as pigmented as it was rl. Sippin' n dippin' is a peach and gold duochrome. It looks a bit odd in the pot, but it's kind of pretty on. Samba-dy loves me is kind of a weird color to describe for me, maybe a milkyish slightly warm brown?, it mostly just boils down to a nice satiny slightly warm neutral shade. Flyin' down to fits it's description..it's a soft orchid color. The picture was taken in cool lighting and then color adjusted a bit so the temperature of the picture may be a bit off.

Chanel Summer 2009

So Today I decided to go down to the mall for some swatching..and so..here's some Chanel Summer stiff for you guys! I unfortunately didn't swatch any of the lipstuffs, cream shadows, or because I forgot to bring something to write down the names, and because I didn't want to remove my current polish before going to the mall (I'm ready for St. Paddy's day :P)
Picutres of the bottom stuff without the plastic blocking it. The JC is more coral RL...JCs really just don't photograph well
So what I DID swatch was the quad, the two singles, and In Love. The texture on the testers for the quad and the JC had very odd textures when I were swatching them; they had this weird rubbery sort of texture that I had trouble pulling color off of. I'm not really sure what the deal on those was. The quad, Plein Soleil, retails for $56 and is a quad of pink an pink bronzes. It seems like a quad that's difficult for a lot of people to wear. The soft touch singles, Island and Sand, had the regular soft, buttery texture. Island was a shimmery pink champagne color and Sand was a taupey matte tan. Both were very nice, but passable imo as they both seem very dupeable. The JC, In love was a somewhat reddish coral to me. The shimmer didn't really show up on me, but it could have been the strange texture of the tester. (I actually think there was something wrong with it) Either way, my impressions of this blush was that it was very similar to the coral blush in the Stila Blanc palette, but again...I find that it's a bit hard to tell given the wonky tester.

Here's a closeup of the LE stripey bronzer. I'm not sure what the name of this is, and I didn't swatch this because it was kind of light on my skin (it showed up, but it was an overcast day, I didn't know if it would photograph) It seemed like it'd be nice for light skintones, but it leans a bit orangey for me.

That's it for this little update I guess...should I go back and swatch the rest?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clinique Brush-on Cream Liners

First off, thanks so much to those of you who read my blog. It's a great feeling to log on and see comments on my blog posts. (I really have no idea anyone's reading otherwise) I've been distracted by a new obsession lately (nail polish) and have completely wrecked my sleep schedule (evident from the fact that I'm posting at 5:19 AM I suppose) so I haven't really been swatching anything. Lucky for me I have a bunch of "back swatches" so today I'll be posting about Clinique's awesome cream liners.

Clinique's Cream liners have an excellent texture. They're much softer and fluid-like than Bobbi Brown's Long Wear Gel Liners and MAC's fluidlines. Additionally, they wear without smudging and are waterproof, which is a big must for me when it comes to liners. They retail for $14.50 and come in these itty bitty pots with a small brush that's kinda useless as a lining brush (though you might be able to use it for applying shadow to the lower lid? I have to hear back from cookie1234 about that idea though) I only own two of these babies because I already own BB's Black ink liner (and therefore don't REALLY need another black gel liner) and BB's Bronze Shimmer Ink is identical in color to Clinique's. Additionally, I tend to be a little iffy on brown liners for some reason and Black Honey shows up VERY red on my skin...so here's the two I DO own:

Smoke Grey is kinda a beautiful grey taupe in the pot, but most of the taupeyness just dissapears on me once on the skin. Nevertheless, it's still a beautiful, unique smokey grey that makes me love it so. I'm not really sure why I decided to swatch this on the back of my hand though...it's kind of a bad swatching place?
The second one I own is the much lusted after Egyptian. This liner is gorgeous and a must have for me as it is a very unique and complex color. It's a blackened bronze, possibly with a hint of grey taupe that is just all around gorgeous and I can't live without. I have a backup of this baby and I kind of wish gel liners had a longer shelf life so I could have gotten more. Either way, it's gorgeous and you should get this if you can. I was lucky enough to score this for cheap from CCO.

So long, poorly written post short, go buy yourself some Clinique cream liners. They are probably my favorite gel liners I've tried and are worth the money if you want to try a gel liner.