I'm not a nail polish snob. I am a discerning nail polish consumer, but unlike with a lot of makeup, there is a heck of a lot of good nail polish to be found on the cheap at the drugstore. I'm willing to shell out over $20 for a Chanel (if it's a great color), and I'm usually equally happy with my $2 Color Club polishes, but that weird spot in the middle, the $8 Borghese .40oz polish that lives in high-end/low-end pricing limbo, is a spot I don't venture into frequently. You may say, "I know you have a lot of OPI polishes and they're $8.50..." and that's true, but OPI is considered a salon brand, and it can be found for half price on the interwebz at that.
I've always been morally opposed to $8 for a polish at Rite Aid, and Borghese's cheap-ass looking bottle handle wigged me out. Not to mention the profusion of granny shades I usually see on the shelves. However, I spotted Stellare Notte on the endcap this week and was a little taken aback. Say it with me ladies and gents, "sucka."
Click for a TON more photos and more thoughts
Maybelline EyeStudio Color Plush Eye Shadow Quad in Taupe Temptress - about $10 at Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Ulta
Check out that .gif up top that shows how sparkle-tastic this quad is! This is some shiny, happy eye shadow, Beautopians. The new EyeStudio line from Maybelline is full of enticing eye products including 12 of these new quads. Taupe Temptress consists of four super sparkly shadows in an ivory, plum-rose, taupe (huh, imagineer that), and a black based crease/liner shade with plum/rose shimmer in. The "liner" shade reminds me of MAC Raven Kohl Power Pencil.
Click for more photos, swatches, and the review!
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Madison Mauve - $7-8 at most drugstores.
Maybelline's newest lipstick formula has garnered some raves in the beauty-blogosphere, and while I'm neck deep in lipsticks I probably won't ever use up before they turn rancid, I couldn't help but pick Madison Mauve up during a Maybelline 40% off sale at Rite-Aid.
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Jazz Night Palette - $9 at nyxcosmetics.com
Regarding these palettes as a whole, I've been using all three of these palettes for several months and the wear isn't as long as the Nyx singles, in my opinion. Even the frostiest of the shades seems more flat on the lid than it should be as compared to the swatch (nowhere near as shiny as Stila Kitten, let's say.) Overall, for a beginner, or someone looking to try out a bunch of new shades, or if you want a range of inexpensive shades to travel with, these are a wonderful deal. They are not high-end quality, neither are they high-end price.
Click to see more palettes, swatches and more thoughts
LORAC Double Feature Paraben-Free Concealer and Highlighter $24 at loraccosmetics.com
LORAC Double Feature is a multi-tasking complexion perfector with an interesting design. The product comes in two parts; the swivel-up concealer stick and the doe-foot wand style vial of highlighter.
The twist-up stick is a creamy and pigmented consistency and it covers well with minimal creasing as the day goes on. It sets well with powder and is easily blended out with a finger or sponge. Included in the packaging is a "blender ball," which is a roller-ball such as you might see on some lip glosses or eye shadows, but it is clean and is meant to be used to smooth the concealer out and blend the harsh lines. The ball is somewhat effective, but I found better results using both my fingers and a wedge sponge. The inherent flaw in the blender ball, in my opinion, is that I don't find it to be very sanitary. You can wipe the ball off with a disinfectant wipe which might degrade the ball in time, or use a wet cloth, but then the moisture will get in below the ball and that might cause blending problems with it later. I think that while the blender ball is fairly superfluous, the concealer is pretty light in feel with heavy-duty results.
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Urban Decay Ink for Eyes - Binge - $22 at UrbanDecay.com
I am a big fan of cream and gel liners because of the control and long wear they offer, and the little pots are so cute. Eyeliner-extraordinaire Urban Decay has made a foray into the world of cream liners with their Inks for Eyes. The packaging is completely different than any other company out there, so they do catch your attention. Past the initial, "oh cool!" I was left scratching my head at it's length and bulkiness. The length of this liner is approximately the same as one of their 24/7 liners, and I have included a photo of the two next to each other below. Ink for Eyes comes in black, brown, eggplant, green, midnight, and a glittery shade which is sort of like a topcoat for the others, or any other liner you might be using. This particular shade I am reviewing is the midnight shade called Binge, and while the color in the pan is an almost-black navy, the color is more of a royal blue to me.
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LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick SPF15 in Nude Scene and Leading Lady $22 each on loraccosmetics.com
LORAC's new sunscreen-packing anti-aging lipstick sports a gorgeous minimalistic and futuristic shiny gunmetal case, but the good stuff doesn't end there. The formula includes a bevy of lip-loving ingredients like the antioxidants Vitamin E and Olive Fruit Oil to keep your pucker looking luscious while simultaneously moisturizing and boosting collagen. Sounds more like a fabulous lip balm, but these lippies are packed with pigment and a hint of shine.
Read on to find out more about Nude Scene and Leading Lady...
MAC Cremeblend Blushes in Florida and So Sweet, So Easy from the MAC in Lillyland collection $18.50 each at maccosmetics.com
MAC's newest blush formulation is called Cremeblend, and is replacing the old Blushcremes. I confess, I only owned one of the Blushcremes, and it was a Blushcreme Pearl, so I can't compare the old formula to the new and still feel like a responsible reviewer, so I'll just tell you about these and what I think about them. They are both wearable, despite the scary photos, and can also be worn on the lips.
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I got this set recently and decided to give it a try, and i'll update after a couple weeks. From my initial test, these are the basic instructions: 1) Rinse with the pre-treatment rinse (2 tsp for about 10 seconds), 2) apply the Step 2 gel to dry upper and lower teeth, 3) after allowing the Step 2 gel to dry, place the actual light into your mouth and turn the button on.
check out more about the Luster, and cop a look at my sad pre-whitening fangs