Thursday, May 30, 2013

Maybelline Color Tattoo Inked in Pink and Tough as Taupe Swatches, Photos and Review

I am writing this post in full recognition and awareness that I am possibly the last person on the planet to try Maybelline's Eye Studio Color Tattoo cream shadows. Now that we've acknowledged that little fact I can move on to what you're here for - swatches and my two cents!

Maybelline's Color Tattoo ($5.99) cream gel shadows promise 24 hour staying power that won't crease or fade all day. They can be used as a base, a shadow, or a liner. They have multiple lines in this collection; the permanent line consists of nine shades, both shimmers and a few mattes; the Metal collection has five metallic colors. They also release seasonal lines and do have a line of summer 2013 shades out right now. I purchased Inked in Pink from the Metal collection, and Tough as Taupe from the original line.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Inked in Pink Tough as taupeMaybelline Color Tattoo Inked in Pink Tough as taupe swatch

Both Inked in Pink (left) and Tough as Taupe (right) swatch pretty true to how they look in the pot. However, I don't find the color translates as well on my lids for whatever reason. The consistency of the two shades varies; Tough as Taupe is definitely drier than Inked in Pink. Inked in Pink feels slippery and wet in comparison. In the photo below I am wearing Inked in Pink on my inner-to-mid lid, with Tough as Taupe in the outer lid and crease with a light hand. I also smudged a bit of Tough as Taupe under my lower lashes.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Inked in Pink and Tough as Taupe Review


I thought I would photograph for you guys not quite the 24 hour claim, but a 12 hour test for fading and creasing. This is the same as the above look, taken twelve hours apart:

As you can see, there is significant fading and creasing after twelve hours, especially in the Inked in Pink area. I did not use a primer and it was a warm but not hot day. I'm sorry the lighting is different.. due to the time of day I had to take the "after" photo in a different area with florescent lighting.

 For reference, I have worn Tough as Taupe by itself a few times and also experienced creasing and fading but not as bad as Inked in Pink. I would guess this is partially due to the wetter, more slippery formula that Inked in Pink has compared to Tough as taupe.

Overall, I am not terribly impressed with either of these shadows. If I had to pick, I would say Tough as Taupe is definitely better quality and staying power. I generally don't like cream shadows but was hoping these would convert me since they have so many followers out there. I find applying them to be clumsy with fingers and not much better with brushes. I often have to go back and add more shadow after it dries because it looks patchy right away.

I really wanted to love these and have them be my go-to shadows during the coming summer months, but unfortunately they aren't working out so great for me!

Are you a big Color Tattoo fan, or has your experience been closer to mine??

Beauty Cents
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Milani Baked Bronzer in Soleil and Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso Photos, Swatches & Review!

Can you believe its already Memorial Day Weekend? I know, me neither! Does anything scream "summer" more than bronzer and blushes that give you a sun kissed glow?? Today I'm sharing two drugstore products I picked up during CVS' BOGO1/2Off sale on Milani products. 

Milani's Baked Bronzer ($8.99) is dubbed as "a bronzing powder that features a mélange infusion of colors baked on Italian terracota tiles. Easy to use, sensorial in texture, the nuances of color become extraordinarily luminous, enhancing the purity of the skin. This hi-tech, streak free bronzer, gives a perfect radiant look." 

The bronzer comes in three shades - Glow, Soleil, and Golden. They all are shimmery bronzers. I picked up Soleil, the middle one of the three. While Milani's site has them up for $8.99, I know my CVS was charging over $10! Anyway, here it is in the pan:

Gorgeous, right? Moving on to purchase number two:

Milani's Baked Blush ($7.99) comes in nine shades total. I picked up Luminoso, a peach with a bit of gold shimmer to it:

milani luminoso blush review swatch
I tend to pick only pinks and the occasional coral for my blushers, so I was really excited to pick up a peach for once! I thought this would look great for a summer bronzey look. Here are the blush and bronzer swatched, as well as the blush on top of the bronzer: 

milani luminoso and soleil swatch

Soleil is rather shimmery when swatched, bordering on glittery.  This is not a bronzer for contouring (I prefer matte for that, like my Benefit Hoola), but a light sweep of this on the cheeks gives a great sun kissed glow.

Luminoso is a really gorgeous blusher! The shimmer is much more subtle than that of the bronzer. I've been wearing this alone and on top of Soleil and love it both ways.

The staying power on both of these products is really strong - it is on my face with minimal fading after eight hours. I know people complain about how bulky the packaging is, and it does annoy me that the bronzer doesn't fit with all of my other bronzers due to the shape, but it isn't going to keep me from using it.

Overall, I recommend both of these and would also pick up other blushes from the Milani Baked line that caught my eye.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Beauty Cents
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

New HG Mascara Combo for Incredibly Awesome Plush & Long Lashes!

I recently posted about my new favorite drugstore mascara, Essence's I Heart Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara (view original post here). It gives me incredibly thick lashes without any clumping or spidery situations going on. While I really do love it for everyday, I don't find it gives me as much length as I would like. I recently picked up Maybelline's Illegal Length fiber extension mascara, so I thought to myself.... would these two products work well together?

See for yourself!


TwoBeautyCents' Holy Grail Mascara Combo:

best mascara combination

I mean... come on!!! That's some awesome results right there. My lashes are nothing to write home about but I feel like this mascara combo gives them serious oomph in the volume and lengthening departments. My routine has been about two coats of I Heart Extreme Crazy Volume mascara, let it dry a bit, then top the tips off with Illegal Lengths. Some days I build them longer than others. In these shots it's pretty tame (workday!) but I think you can still tell the difference in length between the two photos.

That's all I've got for you today! Do you ever double up on mascaras to get a certain look? What's your favorite combination?

Beauty Cents

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Essence I Heart Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara Photos, Swatches & Review!

Hi everyone! For the past year and a half, I have been a loyal user of Buxom Amplified Mascara. Ironically, I haven't reviewed it yet, probably because it is just one of my daily staples and I don't get terribly excited about it anymore. The pricetag is steep, but I had picked up two for a steal at Sephora on Black Friday. So, I have been on the lookout for a great drugstore mascara to alternate with my Buxom to make it last. As many of you know, there is no shortage of great drugstore mascaras!

I heard about Essence's I <3 Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara from BeautyBroadcast a month or so back. She mentioned it was awesome and only $5 so I thought... hey... why not!

Essence I <3 Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara ($4.99, Ulta) is described as:
I Love Extreme Mascara's "crazy" sister - with even more volume! The deep-black, creamy texture covers each individual lash with color and the extra-large plastic brush provides sensational volume. Opthalmologically tested.
Yes... there is another Essence mascara called I Love Extreme Volume. Confusing, eh? This one that I am reviewing today is in a pink tube. The original is in a black tube. I loved the packaging right off of the bat, which of course has no bearing on how good the product is, but I loved how whimsical and fun it is. For your reference:
essence i heart extreme crazy volume mascara
You can tell straight away that the brush is really substantial, kind of like Benefit Bad Gal Lash, but with shorter bristles. At first, I wasn't sure if these shorter bristles were going to work well! A close up:

 The brush is really pretty straightforward, lots of bristles all over that are rather tiny, promising to grab every lash. So, how's it perform on real lashes? Let's see:

I mean... wow, right?? This is two coats in the photo. In person it literally looks like a wall of lashes, especially when I go for a third coat, which I tend to do with all of my mascaras (kind of a fanatic!). I did lightly brush this onto my bottom lashes as well for definition.

 My Two Cents on Essence's I <3 Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara:

I seriously LOVE this mascara! Let's get into it:

Claims Met?: YES! Like I said above... most days I feel like I have a wall of lashes going on in almost a false-lash way. Thick, black, and fabulous!

Smudging: It has smudged once or twice on my top lid when wet - but never during the day as part of wear. I have used it on my bottom lashes as well and did not have any smudging, which is impressive for it not being a waterproof formula!

Flaking: None! I have been using this almost every day for close to a month and have not noticed any flaking.

Clumping: Very rarely this will clump, but mostly its clumps on the brush that can be wiped off. I am actually very impressed how clump-free it is for a volumizing formula. My lashes get so thick and plush, but never spidery or clumpy.

Staying Power: Lasts all day (10 hours).

Ease of Removal: Not as easy as some other mascaras, but comes off with some effort using a baby wipe. Definitely worth the effort.

Overall: I am borderline obsessed with this product. It applies like a dream, gives me a false-lash look of voluminous lashes, doesn't smudge, doesn't flake, and doesn't fade. My lashes look as good when I get home from work as I when I left in the morning. I also have to admit that the bright pink packaging perks me up when I am getting ready in the mornings! For $5, Essence has outdone themselves and this has quickly become my go-to mascara (sorry, Buxom!!). Although it does not promise anything in the lengthening department, you can tell from my photos that it gives considerable length as well.

I wholeheartedly recommend Essence's I <3 Extreme Crazy Volume Mascara. It's a great product that outperforms many high end mascaras I have tried over the years!

Have you tried this yet? Do you love it as much as I do??

Beauty Cents
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wet N Wild Color Icon Palette in Comfort Zone & Petal Pusher: Photos, Swatches, Finished Looks and Review

Wet N Wild is one of those brands that a lot of people have an opinion on based on long-standing memories. I can remember seeing the displays in my CVS growing up, all bright colors and low prices. Surprisingly enough, they have quite a following in the beauty blogging world and many people rave about their shadows, bronzers, nail polishes, and primers. After seeing countless reviews about their products, I thought I would check it out for myself. I headed to my local Walgreens and picked up the Color Icon palettes in Comfort Zone and Petal Pusher.

Wet N Wild's Color Icon Palettes ($4.99) are described as:
"Eight dynamic, perfectly color-coordinated shades with high pigment and pearl for ultra-impact color. Shades can be used together or individually to create an endless variety of looks."
The palettes are offered in three color families: Blue Had Me at Hello, a blue-aqua-green-grey mix; Petal Pusher, a pink-purple mix; and Comfort Zone, a green-bronze mix. I picked up Comfort Zone because it seemed like it had a great number of useful neutrals and I loved the green shade as well. I also picked up Petal Pusher because as a hazel-eyed person, I love wearing purples and soft pinks that draw the green out in my eyes.

wet n wild color icon
 My Walgreens only had one Comfort Zone palette left, and it was pretty scuffed up as you can see. One of the definer shades was a bit cracked, but for $4.99, I can't complain.

The palettes are awesome because they embossed into each shadow what their intended purpose is for creating a full eye look. I'm not a total makeup novice, but I thought it was neat how they did this! Each eyeshadow color is a decent size and they organize each palette into two separate looks (left column and right column) but it is obvious you can mix and match any way you would like.

wet n wild comfort zone swatch

First, I recognize my swatching skills need work!!! But that's what blogging is all about, right? Self discovery? Learning from others? Ok, now that I've rationalized my shortcomings.... Here is Comfort Zone swatched to top to bottom, left column, then right column. Some of these were a lot easier to swatch than others! The browbone shades are decently pigmented and, appropriately, don't show up much on my alabaster arm. I was impressed with the pigmentation for most of these, except the definer shades. I was really hoping the left definer would be a beautiful cranberry, but it was so hard to swatch and even harder to apply.

wet n wild petal pusher swatchwet n wild petal pusher swatch
Petal Pusher was actually easier to swatch. The shades look decent here, right?

I thought I would play around with the looks that Wet N Wild envisioned would be created and applied the shadows using their browbone, crease, lid, and definer shade suggestions. I'm going to share the looks with you and put my review for each palette with it, as my opinions on each are varied.

Comfort Zone Palette Look & Review

wet n wild comfort zone lookwet n wild comfort zone
I created this look using the right column of shadows in the Comfort Zone palette. I did use my Urban Decay Primer Potion. I felt the colors went on quite nicely! The green shade is so gorgeous and vibrant in person, without being shocking or edgy. I thought the colors pulled together well. The definer shade was the most difficult to work with and had a significant amount of fall out.

In using the left column of shadows in day-to-day wear, I find that they have a lot of fall out as well. If I am diligent about tapping my brush before applying color to my lid, it minimizes the problem. The left definer shade is a total waste; it is beautiful in the pan but the payoff is weak and patchy. I can make the lid and crease colors work, but the pigmentation is not as great as the green color on the right.

Overall, I think this palette is worth the money even for just the green! The browbone shades are totally acceptable; not my go-to by any means, but not horrible at all. The rose-gold lid shade is pretty, and would probably show up better on someone with more olive tone than myself. The staying power of these shadows with primer is at least 6 hours. Without primer, they do crease and fade by midday.

If you are looking for a neutral palette that you can travel with and aren't terribly worried about breaking or losing, this would be a great bet because it is so inexpensive. If you are also looking to experiment with a pop of green, I would absolutely recommend it!

Petal Pusher Look & Review

For full disclosure, I completed my Comfort Zone look first, and was pretty pleased with the quality of what I was working with, especially given the price. Imagine my disappointment when I started working with Petal Pusher and realized this palette was NOT on the same level!

I had so much trouble with the pigmentation of these shadows that I ended up mixing and matching shades from both sides of the palette to get the look. The definer shades are so weakly pigmented and with such immense fallout that it was a very frustrating experience. The shadows applied unevenly and required a great deal of effort to make them "work."

The final look I ended up with is fine, and I guess for $4.99, there aren't too many complaints to be had. I tried working with this palette a few more times and each time became so frustrated and annoyed that I had pulled it out. There are few things worse than your eyes being a hot mess when you are trying to get out of the door, and I had actually had to wipe them clean and start over with other products on mornings I tried using this.

I really would not recommend the Color Icon Palette in Petal Pusher. I know it is super cheap, but I think your money is better served elsewhere. I know other bloggers really enjoy this palette, so maybe mine is an anomaly, a dud, and not representative of the quality of other ones!

Whew! That was a lengthy one! Thanks for sticking with me.

Beauty Cents
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Depotting Experience: Photo & Tips!

I can admit it: I am an organization freak. I enjoy organizing my things, I enjoy nothing more than a clean desk/dresser/countertop. Clutter distracts me and drives me crazy! So when I saw an article in a magazine a few weeks back about depotting and creating your own makeup palette, I was extremely interested.

I quickly turned to the places all scholars look to for answers: Google and YouTube. Duh! I found a million depotting tutorials for all different brands. I have been looking at reviews for different palettes, namely Z-Palette and MAC palettes, for at least two months. After picking up a few new NYX trios last week and having them barely fit into my eyeshadow basket, I decided it was time to suck it up and commit to a palette. I ordered two Z-Palettes through LeCosmetique (free shipping $25+!). I chose a Large one to house most of my shadows and a Small for my dailies/travel purposes.

I decided to start depotting last night, before my palettes even arrived, just to see how difficult it was going to be. I chose an older Kat Von D palette of mine that I wouldn't be horribly upset about if my attempt went awry, because I've hit pan on half the shadows anyway. I did find a tutorial for it online that showed the inner casing of the palette popping out easily, but my palette wasn't constructed that way. I removed the top of the palette to make it easier to work with and peeled the stickers off of the back of the tray. Then, I used the candle method with a pair of my fiance's pliers to hold the tray safely. Once I could see the bottom of the tray starting to look soft and develop some lines in it, I moved the tray to over a paper towel and poked at the back with a knife.  When done correctly, each pan area was warm enough and pliable, so it wasn't much work to get them out.

Depotted Kat Von D Palette. Success!

After depotting my Kat Von D palette, I moved on to my MAC and Urban Decay singles. These were so easy! The MAC shadows popped right out of the casing with a nail file. Urban Decay singles were more difficult and just required more patience to wedge my tool in between the outer plastic and inner pod. Once popped out, I used the candle method again. These melted in 10 seconds or less, so keep an eye on them!

I knew from reading tutorials around the blogosphere that the pans would be hot after popping out, so I was very careful about gingerly popping them out and trying to "land" them softly. I used a pair of pliers to flip them right side up and didn't attempt to clean the glue off of the bottoms until I was certain they were cooled.

All in all, depotting was not as painful as I thought it would be! Here are my tips for anyone looking to try it out for themselves:

Depotting Tips:

  • Try it with a shadow you aren't totally in love with, just in case it breaks. You can always fix the shadow with rubbing alcohol and a spoon/coin, but I find it heartbreaking anyway. Avoid the whole issue by using something you won't be upset over potentially shattering.
  • Make sure the tool you use to separate the shadow from the larger packaging has a sturdy handle. The nail tool I used at first was from a cheap travel set and the plastic handle broke during use. Yikes! 
  • If you are using the candle method, make sure you have a sturdy set of tongs or pliers with a handle that will stay cool. This protects you from getting burned.
  • Keep an eye on the bottom of the shadow you are heating up. Not all packaging is the same thickness, so some shadows may be ready to go quicker than others.
  • If you are working with a palette, concentrate on having the flame directly under one or two shadows at a time. I slowly circled between two shadows at a time with my Kat Von D palette and they both came out easily each time.
  • Use something with a long handle to poke the shadows out from the back of the melted packaging. I know some people use thumbtacks, which is the perfect tool because it is sharp and will go through the melted plastic, but I wouldn't want my fingers that close to the hot plastic! I used a steak knife and it worked out fine.
  • Set up a soft surface for your shadows to "land" on. One hand will be holding the shadow packaging, and your other hand will be poking the shadow out from the back. Unless you have an assistant, this means your shadow kind of falls. Set up a towel or something soft to minimize the impact.
  • Have patience! :)
That's all the tips I have for now... I will certainly edit if I come up with more after my next round of depotting. My Z-Palettes arrived in the mail today and I can't wait to get home, slap magnets on the backs of my depotted shadows, and get them set up!

Have you depotted anything before? Do you love it or wish you left your shadows alone?

Beauty Cents
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus, AKA, The Best Hair Mask Ever!

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk to you about a product that I really believe has been making my hair stronger, break-resistant, and softer. 

Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus is labeled as a "fortifying mask for highly distressed hair." As someone who has dyed her hair (color and sometimes bleach) for over ten years (thanks, premature grays!) and who is no stranger to blow dryers and flat irons, I frequently feel my hair looks dull from damage and my ends quickly look thinned out from split ends and breakage. My hair texture is thin but wavy/curly with frizz, which is another partial byproduct of damage. I picked this treatment up a few months back hoping it would heal my hair.
redken extreme strength builder plus

Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus contains protein and ceramide to fix the inner structure of the hair and provide additional strength. It is a leave in for 15 minutes and wash out treatment. It says to apply on towel dried hair.

The mask is thick and smells nice without being overpowering. When I wash my hair out after using it, I can tell a decent amount of product has been absorbed by my hair and my dried-out ends are instantly softer and shinier.

The only drawback to this product is you have to rinse it VERY WELL if you are going to be styling your hair after using it. Even when I rinse it for a long time, my hair feels like there is product in it during that first blow out. As a result, I usually use this at night now and wash my hair in them morning.

It's been about six months of using this product twice a month and my hair is seriously improved in texture and shine! It is a bit pricy ($20-something at Ulta) but I have more than half of the tub left even with having it for so long.

I really reccommend Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus for anyone who's hair is zapped, over processed, or just in need of some loving! My hair was not horrible before using it, just standard issues that a lot of us heat-tool using, hair-dye loving girls tend to have. Using this has made my hair silkier, and when I don't blow it out, I need less product to make it look sleek and shiny. This is a MAJOR coup! My hair seems to be growing faster without getting that "you need a trim RIGHT NOW" look which is also really awesome.

What hair products are your go-to when you hair is feeling fried??

Beauty Cents
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extension Mascara Photos & Review!

Hi everyone! Is there anything better than long, flirty lashes for Spring? I love drama for my lashes, in terms of length and volume. I picked up Maybelline's Illegal Length Fiber Extension Mascara to see if it would do the trick.

 Maybelline's Illegal Length Fiber Extension Mascara ($8.95) has fiber extensions to add up to 4 millimeters onto the tips of your lashes. The fibers are supposed to build upon your existing lashes for crazy length. This formula comes in three washable shades - Brown Black, Very Black, and Blackest Black. I chose Blackest Black. Maybelline advertises this formula as having the longest extensions ever sold in a mascara.

maybelline illegal length mascara reviewmaybelline illegal length mascara review

The brush is called a Fiber Fix brush. You can see from the close up below that it is a nice full brush with bristles of varying lengths to catch onto. The brush makes me feel like it will add a solid amount of volume in addition to length.

So, does it live up to the hype? Let's have a look:

maybelline illegal length mascara review

My Two Cents on Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extension Mascara:

Claims Met?: This mascara does add a solid amount of length to my modest lashes! The pictures are from two coats and using a lash curler. Close up, you can see the fiber extensions sticking out a little oddly from the tops of my lashes.

Smudging: It really doesn't smudge, not even when the great length has my lashes hitting my eye lid! This is great for me, because my current HG mascara does leave some black marks up top. Bravo, Maybelline. 

Flaking: Illegal Length does flake slightly, mostly when I apply it. I feel like some of the fibers fall off of the brush when I take it out of the bottle, leaving some black flakes on my cheeks. After application, I haven't experienced any flaking.

Clumping: Clumps slightly after a few coats. Nothing major.

Staying Power: Lasts all day (10 hours).

Ease of Removal: Quite easy with a baby wipe, my makeup removal method of choice. You can see the fibers on the wipe, which is pretty interesting!

Overall: This mascara totally lives up to what it is said to do - give great length. What it lacks for in the volume department, it makes up for with length - but hey, it never promised to add volume! I appreciate that it doesn't smudge, is buildable, and comes off very easily. I have been experimenting with this on top of a new volumizing mascara I picked up, and I have been very pleased with the results (will post soon!). While the fiber extensions look a little weird to me in close up pictures, during a normal day I think they just look like long lashes. 

I would definitely reccomend this mascara if you are all about length!

Beauty Cents