Tuesday, November 30, 2010

REMINDER: Giveaway closes in 3 days! (and Black Friday deals)

This is just a quick reminder that my Morgana Cryptoria giveaway ends at midnight on Friday! If you haven't already entered, click the picture below to do so! She is giving away two full size eyeshadows and a lipstick completely for free!

As for Black Friday, since in my last post I asked if you guys picked up anything worthwhile, so I figured I'd share what deals I got:
- 2TB External Hard Drive for Rob (he already knows it's his xmas present so no big deal posting it =P) for $89.99. Pretty good deal considering the amount of space and how I couldn't find one in a name brand for under $130 on a non-sale day. This was a Western Digital... pleased on that.
- Pair of black boots for $29.99 that were originally $90! This is my favorite deal! I tried them on in the store and wasn't willing to pay $70 for them (they were "on sale" that day) and I checked online... voila! Here's a link to a pic: http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y68/GuitarSoloist07/?action=view&current=Untitled-1.png They're a little more motorcycle than I wanted but they are really cute on.
- I also got a couple of NYX items from Cherry Culture during their sale, not much... most items were gifts for others.
- Dexter Season 3 for $14.99, heck yes! Let's just hope the end of Season 2 is good... Rob and I haven't gotten there yet.
- Hm... what else? Oh, I got a pair of Houndstooth tights on sale for like $4: http://www4.jcpenney.com/jcp/X6.aspx?GrpTyp=PRD&ItemID=195b573&Nao=0&Ne=840+4+877+878+5+961+6+29+3+598+11+15+12+506+10+23+585+596+1031+8+18+904+903+969+949+833&hdnOnGo=true&Ntt=houndstooth&SearchString=houndstooth&submit%20search.x=0&submit%20search.y=0&N=4294959029&SO=0&PSO=0&CmCatId=searchresults

That's pretty much it! Sorry for the lame post but I'm sick at the moment and don't feel much like doing makeup :(

Sleek Bad Girl Palette Review + Look

Of course I picked up the Bad Girl palette and of course I'm waaaaay late in posting about it!

Teehee, thanks to Raechel at Red Lipstick and Black Liner for picking it up for me!

Here it is!

+1 to tacky packging for Sleek.

BUT, all was forgiven once I opened up the package... holy mother of a duck, the palette is GORGEOUS:

I'll have you know that it took all of my willpower not touch the shadows before photographing for you guys :)

But then my willpower wilted and we had swatches...

(Left to right, top to bottom): Innocence, Gullible, Blade, Gunmetal, Underground, Noir

Intoxicated, Envy, Obnoxious, Abyss, Twilight and Rebel

My eyes felt like they had been assaulted... remember those old popsicle commercials? "The colours, Duke! The colours!" That was me. Staring in awe of the pretties.

If I had been able to think clearly, I would have come up with more dupes but for now, I submit:

I labeled them but even so, it's Sleek Innocence, Urban Decay Virgin and Urban Decay Sin.

Yeah... none of them are really dupes. Innocence and Virgin are sort of close but in real life, Virgin is more matte than Innocence.

The palette overall is a good smokey eye palette. I do feel that some of the colours are a little bit "repeated", mostly the top row. The bottom is quite varied but the two silvers and two blacks were a bit unnecessary. Even so, those eyeshadows are fantastically pigmented and vibrant. Perfect texture.

I did notice something odd -- notice how there is a "lighter" shade in each colour pairing and a "darker". The darker shades of all but the white/tan combo were slightly tacky. It was strange. I only noticed it when I was swatching and not as much when I swiped a brush in them. They could just be that densely packed.

Pigmentation on this is a breeze -- all of the colours are smooth and vibrant, even without a base. The lighter blue is -insane-.

I would definitely give this an A+++.

The look I came up with was inspired by Robyn from Stay Beautiful -- one of her Bad Girl looks. I liked the colour combo and the placement, and I adjusted it slightly to fit my eyeshape and what I was going for. Thanks for the inspiration :)

- CoverGirl Tinted Moisturizer
- Maybelline Super Stay concealer "Cream"
- Mac Gold Deposit MSF
- Mac Espresso eyeshadow (brows)

- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- e.l.f. Cream Eyeshadow Duo - Eggplant (olive side as a base)
- Sleek Bad Girl shadows in Gullible, Intoxicated, Obnoxious and Twilight
- Urban Decay Zero liner
- Almay purple eyeliner
- MUA glitter liner Shade 5
- Max Factor Masterpiece mascara

- Rimmel Airy Fairy lipstick
- NYX gloss in Chandelier

Did you guys get anything good from the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales? And how was your Thanksgiving? I will post my BF haul when I get my items :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Days of E.l.f. #5: Liquid Eyeliner, Cream Shadow and Cream Liner Review

I wanted to group these posts as best as I could -- so I felt like these three items (sort of) went together.

As usual, let's start with swatches:

I will review each item individually...

First up, the cream eyeshadow. I picked up "Dawn" (bottom left swatch). Dawn is a silvery taupe with a small amount of silver and (faint) light brown shimmer. I can honestly say I love the consistency of this cream shadow, especially over that of the duo cream shadow's formula. It applies much more smoothly and is less oily, therefore the colour transfers onto your eyelid better. When applied (not swatched), more of the silver sparkle seems to come through and stick to your eye. It also leaves a bit of a muddy light tan base underneath. This is very similar to my NYX Jumbo Pencil in Iced Mocha... and I think this applies better when spread out.

For this item, definitely worth a purchase, it's a very pretty shade.

Next, the liquid liner, which I picked up in Midnight. This is a navy blue, nearly black. For $1, I am pretty impressed with the liner. It is slightly watery, as you can see from the swatch, so I was concerned that it would be a pain to apply. It seems to swatch that way but on the eye, it goes on smooth and opaque. The dry time is average, I had to keep my eye closed for about 15 seconds before I could touch it and it was completely dried. The applicator is a stiffer pointed one, which I prefer to achieve a steady and even line. I felt like the product was overall easy to use.

For reference, here is a picture of the tip (out of focus):

I think this item is also worth purchasing, though I'm not sure blue is worth it as it showed quite dark on my eye... I would go for black or a purple, if they have one.

The last item is their cream eyeliner in Olive. I got this to match the olive eyeshadow duo that I previously reviewed. I honestly have to say that I'm not a fan of this one. I had to swipe back over my line four or five times to get an opaque line on my eye. It still looked patchy and uneven after doing that... I do like the colour though, it's unique for $1. I'm not sure why it performs poorly, I think the consistency is again too oily... which I think is an ongoing problem with their cream products.

As a final review, I am pretty impressed with e.l.f.'s products, especially for the price. I will definitely be ordering more... I want more quads!

What products have you tried and loved from e.l.f.? How about products you've hated? Let me know!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

5 Days of E.l.f. #4: Single/Duo Eyeshadow and Mineral Eyeshadow Review

More e.l.f. items, yay!

I picked up the Olive eyeshadow duo, the single eyeshadow in Mystic Moss and the mineral eyeshadow in Royal.

First off, swatches:

I will start off by saying that Mystic Moss is a bit of a misleading name, at least to me anyway. When I think of moss, I think of a deep, rich grey green. This colour leans more grey than green... but it's still pretty.

The light green in the duo is a bit powdery but an interesting colour; the darker shade is close to Mac Sumptuous Olive.

The mineral eyeshadow applies very smoothly and is a lovely blue-purple with microshimmer. Very nice.

Overall, I prefer the texture of the quad eyeshadows over the singles and the duos. I feel like the duos lack a bit of pigmentation and the single is a bit chalky. The mineral eyeshadow is fantastic.

I will give credit to the packaging -- the duo, along with the duo cream shadow, has a little screw off lid. Quite cute. Also, the single is packaged much like NARS' packaging. Clever.

Defintiely worth purchasing if you see a colour combo that suits your fancy. The single and mineral eyeshadows are $3 and the duos are $2.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

5 Days of e.l.f. #3: Duo Eyeshadow Cream Review

Getting the hang of this yet?

Let's play a game: Guess the price!

I'll leave it to you :-).

I picked these up after seeing a couple of bloggers do posts about them... I'm having fun experimenting with eye shadow bases and I figured for the price, why not?

I picked up Sugar Cookie and Eggplant, which swatch like this:

Sugar Cookie is a gold and a pale pink, similar to Urban Decay's Sin in eyeshadow form. Eggplant is an olive green that swatches an odd shade of olive/taupe and a purple with a pink sheen.

The cream duos are soft, but not too soft, and slightly oily. They are a bit of a weird consistency. Think of NYX's jumbo pencils minus the stickyness. I've used 3 of the 4 shades and experienced no creasing when used over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

Eggplant is decently pigmented - the purple will tint your eyelid darker and help when applying dark eyeshadows. I used it to create the Punk Funk look. However, the gold is not very pigmented.

As this is a short review - all in all, if you want one, get one, maybe two, but go for a darker set. The darker colours seem to swatch and perform better.

Wendy's grade... B-.

Friday, November 26, 2010

5 Days of e.l.f. #2: Brightening Eyeshadow Quads Review + Look

I picked up two quads along with the other items I was reviewing -- I wanted to get a "neutral" and a more colourful palette.

I think I had the black/white/grey quad a couple years ago... before I learned about primer, and I used it up without much hesitation. They were decent even without primer.

I picked up Day2Night and Punk Funk. These sell from e.l.f. for a scandulous $1. (I paid 50cents)

Ooooh... Day2Night has my kind of colours! The swatches are dry, no base. Very impressive... the taupe on the end is gorgeous!

This quad swatched a little weakly... except for the pink on the end, what a stunner! I still have to stress that for $1, the quality is insanely impressive. I immediately thought of MUFE #92 when I saw the purple and of course this isn't as pigmented.

The quads are a good mix of textures... satin, sparkle and frost. It seems like the sparkle shades (usually on the far right) swatch the most strongly. These also are the only shades with fallout.

After the fiasco with the bad primer, I wanted to try these out with Too Faced Shadow Insurance and the brand's duo cream eyeshadows (I will post a quick review on those tomorrow)

Here's what I came up with from Punk Funk:

(You will notice my hair back in most FOTDs now... it helps to keep my bangs from ruining the shots =P)

This is reminiscent of my Christina Aguilera look. I liked it -- I paired it with really glowy cheeks. The eyes was TFSI, the purple from the Eggplant cream eyeshadow duo as a base, all 4 of the colours from Punk Funk, the navy blue e.l.f. liquid liner and Max Factor Masterpiece mascara. Cheeks were the Hard Candy Living Doll blush topped with MeMeMe's Moon Beam highlighter... they were ULTRA GLOWY :D. I think I just had Maybelline Pink Please on the lips with a clear gloss over top.

I am going to see Tangled tonight and thus did a look with the Day2Night quad (again). Holy moly the base made a HUGE difference. The colours in this quad are absolutely stunning. The "white" in the pan turned into a lovely white gold on the eyes... I see myself using it a lot in the future.

I am completely shocked at the difference! In the primer review, these colours looked muddy and bland... with a proper primer, they are so nice!

I again used TFSI, the gold cream base from the Sugar Cookie duo (e.l.f. brand) and all 4 colours from the Day2Night quad. I lined with the black/gold shade from the quad and used Max Factor's Masterpiece mascara again (can you tell I'm starting to like it? :D). To add a little sparkle, I used MUA's glitter liner in Shade 2 on the inner corner and on the tips of my eyelashes (which doesn't really show). Cheeks were Sleek's Rose Gold and lips were Maybelline Nearly There with Mac Nymphette gloss over top.

Overall, I am very pleased with these quads... I want more!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

5 Days of Elf #1: Elf Mineral Eyeshadow Primer Review

I have to start off by saying that I did not want to begin this series on such a sour note. However, I want to get this thing going and in order to do that, I needed to rule out the bad apple in order to properly test the other items. Primer is the most important step in your makeup, right?

Well, sadly, the bad apple is this primer.

For reference, everything in this series will feature the full prices on the e.l.f. website. This Mineral Eyeshadow Primer is $3 (though I paid only $1.50 for it during a sale).

The packaging is simple and to the point. The tube looks like a lipgloss and has a doefoot applicator... the bottle is a thin feeling frosty plastic thing.

Upon swatching, I felt like the formula was similar to Urban Decay Primer Potion. Now, you guys know that I have a heavy love affair with Too Faced Shadow Insurance so I was instantly concerned. I hate UDPP's bottle and the performance -- it mattifies my shadows too much; they look bland over top of it. The consistency of the e.l.f. primer is quite thin -- almost watery but therefore it spreads easily. I just used my fingers.

I will state the positive first -- I experienced no creasing with this product. I even slept in my eye makeup for 2 nights in a row to see if it would crease, and it wasn't at all... even in the morning. That is a definite positive -- even though I have drier lids and generally don't experience much creasing.

But that's about the only positive thing I can say about this product.

The first time I tried the product, it was under the cream eyeshadow in "Dawn" (which I will review later in the series). The shadow swatches lovely even when blended, but when I applied it to my eye I noticed that it was looking a little lackluster. I even popped a little bit of taupe eyeshadow on top to try and do something with it and it still looked bland. I decided that maybe the cream eyeshadow just sucked.

The following day I used the Day2Night quad (also part of the series) which swatched absolutely beautifully... and the look I came out with was, again, lackluster. The shadows were flat with none of the dimension that they showed in the pans. The darkened plum colour which was so pigmented in a swatch was very muted and "blah" looking. I decided to give it one more go, as I figured ok, maybe the quads suck as well?

Today I tried another look with the olive eyeshadow duo and the Mystic Moss eyeshadow (also to be reviewed) and had an even worse time! It was getting ridiculous. I had a hard time believing that eyeshadows that swatched so nicely were applying so poorly. The light green in the duo was appearing powdery (to an extreme, I am not exaggerating), and the second my brush touched it, it flaked all down my cheeks and disappeared from eyes. 5 layers later, I still had zero colour payoff.

I got to work and began researching... I initially thought the primer couldn't be the issue -- it's a mineral eyeshadow primer which needs to be slightly tacky in order to capture all of the loose sparkles and bits associated with a mineral shadow... right?


Other reviews were pointless -- they raved about the lack of creasing for the fantastic price. No one else mentioned (or maybe they didn't experience it) the issue I was having. I put out a bid on Twitter for help and got two responses from fellow bloggers saying they experienced the same issue. But I also got a response on a forum from someone saying they didn't -- that maybe I had a defective one. Mine honestly does look like flour mixed with water in the tube. I may email customer service and see what they say... but for now, this primer gets a big fat F from Wendy. Sorry e.l.f. :(

So you can understand, I took photos of my face and eye makeup for those two powder shadow days and some comparison photos of the e.l.f. primer versus TFSI... straight and then blended.

You tell me what you notice.

The quad I used had an ivory, sparkling taupe, deep plum and a dark grey shade. I used all of the colours and this is what was left after -a lot- of work. There's just no depth... the colours are muddy and you can't tell one from the other much.

This is today's... at the end of the day: my eyeshadow is completely gone. This is not something I experienced the first day. Also notice the cream liner smudges from where it didn't set properly over the primer:

That makes me sad to look at it.

Anyway... swatches compared to TFSI:

The e.l.f. primer was used for the bottom row and TFSI under the top row. Notice how the shadows are more vibrant... especially the orange and brown.

After two fluffs with a blending brush. The green colours are all but gone, the orange is struggling and the brown is sorta meh...

After wiping across twice with a napkin. The e.l.f. primered shadows are virtually gone. The TFSI semi held up.

That's pretty much all for the review. I unfortunately cannot give this my recommendation for purchase.

Let me know what you guys think!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Have the Best Mum in Law Ever! (Haul + FOTD)

I asked for a couple of bits from my mum in law, as she still obviously lives in England... I wanted a couple of MUA things and more Collection 2000 glitter eyeliners. Why is she awesome? Because I ended up with this:

Holy crapola on a stick, batman! That is a lot of stuff. And oh yes, you see the Sleek Sunset palette lurking in the bottom... how many words can I use to express HOW TOTALLY EXCITED I am to have that thing in my little grubby paws. It's gooooorgeooousss... but that is a post for another day!

She also sent me a green MUA eyeshadow that broke :(. It looked like customs had rifled through the package and when they did, they shoved the little eyeshadow to the side and it got trapped in the corner of the box, thus when someone picked it up... crushed. It's sitting in it's container on my desk all sad... I'll nab a sample jar or something to put it into... I -will- use that eyeshadow, dangit!

She also sent me an odd pair of leopard print leggings. Not sure how I feel about them. I wore them around the house last night and felt like an 80s rock star... I think that makes them a win.

Anyway, onto some quick swatches:

Left to right: MUA e/s Shade 5, Shade 8 and Shade 3
Bottom row: Sleek Flamingo blusher

Hot damn, look at that blush. I love it. I have to use a very light hand but it gives such a pretty, girly glow!

She also got me a whopping 5 glitter eyeliners... my collection is becoming a bit ridiculous but she is still awesome!

Blurred for your glitter viewing pleasure.

Top to bottom: MUA Shade 3, Shade 2, Shade 5, Collection 2000 Spandex and Rock Chick

You saw the MUA Shade 3 in my Sleek Acid #3 look... it's amazing and very unique. I think I had originally asked for Pizazz instead of Spandex but I actually like Spandex better, lol!

These filled a big gap in my glitter liner collection... I didn't really have any golds, blues or greens. Yay!

So I decided to do a FOTD with some of my new goodies on Thursday, it was so nice to be able to have fun with my makeup instead of trying to make it look perfect for a palette review. I definitely did a "fruit loops" look, which was inspired by Pixie A La Mode's "Nurse Joy Was a Whore" Look (which is an awesome fucking name by the way), more the theory of a wearable, colorful look:

- Clinique Redness Solutions base
- Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse foundation, #110
- Maybelline Super Stay concealer "Cream"
- Sleek Flamingo blush
- MeMeMe Moon Beam highlighter
- Mac Espresso eyeshadow (brows)

- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- NYX Lime Jumbo Pencil
- MUA Shade 5 Eyeshadow (lid)
- MUA Shade 8 Eyeshadow (outer lid)
- MUA Shade 9 Eyeshadow (crease)
- MUA Shade 3 Eyeshadow (above crease)
- Revlon Vintage Lace eyeshadow
- Ulta Teal eyeliner
- Collection 2000 Spandex glitter liner
- Maybelline The Falsies mascara

- Mac Violetta lipstick
- Milani Movie Star gloss

GIVEAWAY: Morgana Cryptoria **CLOSED**

**This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!!**

I am very, very excited to announce that Melissa from Morgana Cryptoria has offered to sponsor a giveaway on my blog! This was the big news that I had but was keeping secret :3

Anyway... the giveaway is pretty simple. No purchase is necessary... it's just for all of you guys being -awesome-!

She is giving away two full size eyeshadows and a lipstick of your choice! The giveaway is open internationally and starts today, Friday November 19 and will end at midnight EST on December 3.

To enter, you must:
1) Be a follower of my blog through Google Friend Connect.
2) Leave a comment on this entry telling what you would pick out if you won the giveaway!
These in combination will gain you 1 entry. Easy, right?

For additional entries, you can:
1) Add me to your blogroll for 2 extra entries (if I'm already on there, state that and I will count you accordingly)
2) Blog about this giveaway on your own page for 3 extra entries. Blogs made solely for giveaways will not be counted.
3) You may tweet about this giveaway one time and gain 2 extra entries. Please follow me (CydonianMU) and @ me on the tweet as well!

I have to thank Melissa for hosting this giveaway... it's so generous! I am excited for you guys to have the opportunity to try her products. If you want more information on her products, I have my original review and a FOTD with them:

Review: http://cydonianmakeup.blogspot.com/2010/07/morgana-minerals-haulreview.html
FOTD: http://cydonianmakeup.blogspot.com/2010/10/morgana-minerals-look-fail.html

Morgana Cryptoria Eyeshadows: http://www.morganacryptoria.com/Eyeshadows_c_1.html
Lipsticks: http://www.morganacryptoria.com/Vegan-Lipstick-Gloss_c_11.html

For lipstick, I highly recommend Shrieking Violet if you're into purples... it's absolutely gorgeous! Also Coraline's Kiss if you like coral pinks.

For eyeshadows, Bloody Mary is a perfect vibrant red, Coraline is a lovely coral shade and some of their loose eye glitters are fantastically glittery!

I will pick the winner through Random.org... good luck!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick Review + Swatches

Did any of you indulge in the promo that CoverGirl sent out regarding their new line of lipsticks? I did!

I only picked up two shades as I have a load of lipstick already but was curious to try these out. I hadn't heard much about them, haven't even seen the load of television ads that are sure to come. However, the promo was free shipping and could be done through Walgreens, which was doing buy one, get one 50% off on them. I figured I'd give it a go and test out a potentially new lipstick favourite.

Was it love at first sight?

Well, let's see...

CoverGirl states that this product is "A new kind of lip transformation; lipstick that transforms your lips instantly with gorgeous color and transforms dry lips to noticeably smoother/more gorgeous lips in just 7 days. Contains a silk therapy complex - beautiful rich lip color infused with silk protein to help sustain moisture levels so the more you wear it, the more gorgeous your lips become. Lip Perfection is CoverGirl's iconic, prestige-inspired lip bullet."

Right now for the pre-sale, there are only 8 shades available. They did a good thing by dividing the shades into 4 categories and making 2 available from each category... those categories being Browns, Nudes/Corals/Red, Pinks/Roses, Lilac/Mauves/Burgundies. When the full line release on December 6, 2010 (that's the date as far as I can tell, can't find anything official) it will have a whopping 44 shades. Oh yes, you read that right. 44! That is impressive for a drugstore line. The test will be whether there is a variety of finishes... we will have to see.

I got my package yesterday and eagerly ripped it open to check out the new goodies:

The packaging seems quite nice albeit a bit cheap feeling in terms of weight. I'm not that picky but merely just noting what I saw. I also like that they have the colour on the bottom of the lipstick, that is something that really irks me about certain brands. The tube itself is a nice shade of gunmetal gray, with a slight purple cast, but the metal itself attracts fingerprints and scratches. The square shape is nice.

The packaging reminds me of Maybelline Color Sensational and I have to say that overall, I think that is what CoverGirl was going for. They claim that this lipstick will have your lips feeling softer in 7 days so that could be something that sets it apart from the Maybelline line. It's hard to say right now with such a limited colour palette and finish selection available.

I picked out Kiss and Sweetheart. Kiss is a beautiful soft coral with shimmer and Sweetheart is sort of a standard shimmering baby pink. Both are quite lovely:

Here they are on the lips:

The formula is similar to a lustre from Mac. They are very creamy and apply smooth and semi sheer. As these do have shimmer, they will settle into fine lines but I didn't find either shade particularly unflattering... just a little bit frosty. Older ladies may want to steer clear of these types of shades and go for the mattes or satins, if they release any in the full line.

The lipsticks glide on easily; I did two swipes on both the upper and lower lip to achieve the colour seen in the lip swatches. They do not feel drying and instead have a consistency like a tinted lip balm almost... there is definitely balm in the lipstick. Removal was easy with only slight staining from Kiss but I think my lips were chapped so that didn't help the situation. My lips felt nice afterwards, not dry or flakey.

I am concerned about a few things, one being the lipsticks' scent. I can't describe it other than to say it is very similar to "old lady perfume"... mixed with a slight hint of fig. The smell dissipated quickly but there was also a slightly unpleasant clay taste that went along with it... again, that disappeared quickly as well. Second is the colour selection. Right now I have two frosty shades so I am very heavily hoping that there is a variety of finishes or else this line will be very limited as to who can pull off the shades. I am happy with both colours, especially Kiss as I've finally found a coral that flatters me.

The base price of these lipsticks will range from $5.94 (Walmart) to $7.99 (Walgreens). I think that is a reasonable price for the quality of the lipstick... I just wish they didn't have that gross scent/taste! I can deal with it and am definitely looking forward to the full release as I've heard there are going to be some beautiful purples in the range!

That pretty much sums up my review... I think the range is definitely worth a look if you're in the market for a moisturizing lipstick.

Will you be trying these lipsticks when they come out? Let me know!