Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mascar Smackdown Part One: Avon Mega Effects Photo Review

Hi all,

I recently attempted, for my own more objective benefit, to take photos of my eyelashes in various states of "dress" with the different mascaras I currently have in my train case. I usually only have two, maybe three, in rotation at any given time; E.L.F. Mineral Mascara is my current holy Grail mascara. I prefer volume and definition over length because I don't like the feel of my lashed brushing again my glass lenses. I also prefer brown or brown/black mascara over straight black because I think that black is too harsh and unnatural on my fair skin tone. I'm judging the current resulting photos, as well as others to come in future reviews, on just volume and definition and not color because most of them didn't come in brown or were "extras" from Sephora, which always seem to come in black!

In total, the mascaras being considered are Avon Mega Effects Mascara in Brown Black, Cover Girl Flamed Out Mascara in Black Brown Blaze, Stila Glamoureyes Mascara in Black, Bare Escentuals Buxom Mascara in Black (the URL shows waterproof, but I tested non-waterproof), and E.L.F. Studio Mineral Infused Mascara in Black (the only color it comes in). In no case did I use an eyelash primer before or mascara comb after application.

First up is Avon Mega Effects Mascara. My final review of the mascaras tested will come at the end of the comparisons after I've evaluated all of the "entrants." Having said that, I rather like how this mascara looked on my eye lashes. Stay tuned for future installments!

Avon Mega Effects Mascara closed
Avon Mega Effects Mascara with cap off
Avon Mega Effects Mascara out of its alien casing, LOL
Flat-side view of Mega Effects brush
Side view of Mega Effects brush
Full-on view of Mega Effects brush
Angled view of Mega Effects brush (this is the angle I usually apply at)
My bare lashes
Lashes after applying Avon Mega Effects Mascara
Both sets of lashes after applying Avon Mega Effects Mascara




Saturday, February 15, 2014

And Now for Some Aromaleigh Goodness: Ignitus Antiquita

Just to make it up to you for my unexplained absence, here's a "mini-post" on two colors from Aromaleigh's newest eyeshadow collection, Ignitus Antiquita (Latin for Ancient Fire). This collection was inspired by strong and fierce women forgotten by history (if it had been "herstory," it would have been different!). The first two colors I am featuring here are Boudicca (AD 60 or 61 Celtic warrior) and Tomoe (12th-century samurai warrior). I won six full-size eyeshadows from Aromaleigh for participating in FanCrank (I was the top fan for January 2014), and these colors are two of the six I chose for my prize.


Left =  Boudicca; left = Tomoe.

Noella Frankens

Oh, dear Lord; I can't believe it's been slightly more than a month since I've posted a review. I'm so sorry to have disappeared on you like that. We had some power outages due to the extreme snow and ice in Pennsylvania, which meant I had to scramble to make up lost work time. Then a family member had a health crisis, which meant I had a lot of care-taking and household running to do. It all just grabbed me with pointy fangs and wouldn't let go. I'm starting to come down from the "anxiety tree" now and feel like my
head is clear enough to write now, so here goes.

Left = Dark Chocolate + Honey Taupe, + Maple Cream; right = Sugared Plum + Rose Gold
In my last post, about Noella Beauty, I mentioned that I made two "frankens" from combining colors that were either too light or too dark for me, and I thought you might like to see them. Since I already reviewed the product in my last review, I'll dispense from reviewing again here except to say that I really like the colors I created. They both came out very "glowy." Hope you enjoy the photos!
Left = Dark Chocolate + Honey Taupe, + Maple Cream; right = Sugared Plum + Rose Gold 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Noella Beauty

Product: Eyeshadow samples.

Where did I buy this? I bought five eyeshadow samples from Noella Beauty on etsy.com. Two shades were included as "extras." The colors I bought were as follows (and are swatched below in the same alphabetical order): Dark Chocolate (extra), Honey Taupe (extra), Julep, Maple Cream, Pink Smoke, Rose Gold, and Sugared Plum. Here is what the product amount look like in the jar.
Tops (clear) of the colors in alphabetical name order.

Color name and ingredient labels are on the bottom of the jars.
Price and size: $2.39/generous jarred sample, no sifter cap. Sample size is approximately .5 g in a sealed 3-g jar.
Approximate amount of product in a sample.
Packaging: Although I don't usually post pics of the entire product packaging, this was so pretty I have to share it! This is what was inside the bubble mailer . . . pretty, huh?
Pretty packaging!
Inside, the sample jars were sealed for safety with a dab of tape.
Performance: Excellent over both UDPP or Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: All shades lasted all day with no touch-ups needed. I have someone dry skin, so eyeshadow never creases on me. YMMV, however, especially if you have oily skin/lids.
Swatched in alphabetical order over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy under natural light.
Swatched in alphabetical order over Pixie Epoxy under incandescent lighting.
If I lost or broke this item, would I buy it again? The eyeshadows from Noella are generally lower-key than I prefer, but since Noella is such an established name in the indie galaxy, I had to try them just so I'd have some familiarity with their product. Yes, some of the colors I would definitely replace. However, some colors were too light, too matte, or too dark on me, so I probably would not replace those shades. I ended up frankening together (1) the Rose Gold and Sugared Plum as well as (2) the Dark Chocolate, Maple Cream, and Honeyed Taupe to make two new colors that were more wearable for me. Pink Smoke (most shimmery) and Julep (a beautiful duochrome) were my favorites :-)

Overall rating: 5 of 5 lippies!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yummy Snacks, Delivered: Graze

Hi everyone! Yeah, I'm writing a post on Christmas Eve :-) It's a relaxing night for me (everything in my family happens on Christmas Day), and blogging is a form of relaxation (to me anyway). Tonight I'm, sharing a new product from a company called Graze (Nature Delivered). Here's the scoop and some photos . . .

Unopened Graze box
Product: Delivered snack box subscription with four unique (self-chosen) snacks each week.

Where did I buy this? I got a free offer of this product from More magazine, and as soon as I tasted my first box, I signed up for weekly delivery.

Graze box opened
Price: Only $6.00 for one box (four snacks) per week (or two boxes per month [i.e., every other week]) or one box per month). Delivered. That's more than a fair price in my opinion.

Packaging: Cute flat rectangle box. Neat. Handy. Trim. Each treat is individually packaged and thus portable; labeled with the calories; and has a full nutrition label on a printed sheet in the box (they're on the Web site, too). You can even choose from the regular selections or the "light" selections. They clearly mark non-vegan, dairy-containing, and non-celiac selections. Here are the snacks that were in my trial box.

Jalapeno Fiesta (jalapeno peanuts, salsa almonds, and roasted seeds)
Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks (rustic rolled oat flapjack with apples and cinnamon)
Fruity Mango Chutney (with black pepper dippers)
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake (white chocolate, raspberry cranberries, and hazelnuts)
Performance: The snacks are very . . . umm . . . snacky, LOL. I like single servings (portion control is  a huge bugaboo for me). I like unique snacks. I like the options Graze gives you. You can go through the entire snack selection on the site and either vote trash them (i.e., I can't eat peanuts [I adore them, but it's an acupuncture dietary restriction for my spleen-deficiency diagnosis], and I don't care for Asian-style savory snacks), vote to try them, and even vote to have a particular snack delivered every week. Did I mention that they were healthy, too?

If I lost or broke this item, would I buy it again? Silly question for a snack product, but yes -- if I broke or lost my "smoky gazpacho dip," my "key lime pie (trail mix), my "sour cream and onion cashews, or my "garden of England" (trail mix) -- i.e., all of the snacks in my latest box, I would reorder them!

You can try a subscription by clicking here and using the referral code LISAN7QM. You will get your first and fifth boxes free. Yes, I get a referral bonus if you go through my referral link and use my code, but it'd no big deal if you don't want to do that. If you prefer, just go through the general Graze link at the top of this post!

Overall rating: 5 of 5 lippies!
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Moi Cosmetics

Product:  Moi Cosmetics eyeshadow


Where did I buy this? I bought this product from Moi Cosmetics (in Canada) on etsy.com. It should not be confused with Moi Minerals here in the United States!

Do these wee bottles not slay you?
Colors are swatched in order of right to left, top to bottom: Cherry Pie, Fairy Dust, Time Lord, Shocker, Mercy.

This photo shows Cherry Pie (top left) the best.


This photo shows Time Lord (top right) and Mercy (bottom right) the best.
Mercy is so beautiful, it deserves special mention: It's described on the MM Web site as: "Deep purple with blue lights . . . and then color shifts to rose/copper. But once applied foiled (wet) is where the magic begins . . . this color turns into a ''metallic copper'' with hints of blue shimmer a slight purple undertone." And it IS ALL THAT! I must get more of this stunning color!

Price: I think the small bottles I bought were $3.00 each (and I can't locate my receipt for these in mt etsy account). I don't see these tiny bottles on the site anymore sadly :-( They are adorable. Full-size jars of eyeshadow now appear to be $6.00 each, and samples of eyeshadow are $1.00 each. She does sell other products besides eyeshadow, too.


Performance: I've only tried Mercy on my lids over UDPP, and it was mesmerizing (no, I did not hypnotize myself, LOL) and seemed to last all day on my non-oily lids. Although I didn't actually wear the other colors, they swatched well (much better than appears in my photos; you have to see the video for the best swatch results).

Packaging: Adorable small bottles and samples in zip-lock sample baggies (long ones though).  

If I lost, spilled, or broke this item, would I buy again? There are a number of colors I would get samples of to try. However, Mercy is a certain rebuy!

Overall rating: 5 of 5 lippies!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Coming Up for Air . . . and a Review of Vaseline Spray & Go

Hi everyone!

First off, I have to apologize for disappearing on you. I was just minding my business, living my life and doing my job, then BLAMMO! I was beset by a series of obligations that came from every side, top, and bottom. I took on a book-editing job in addition to my regular work (a whole new set of deadlines). I had purchased a new computer (Dell All-in-One with Touch Screen) and was getting used to all the new stuff on it and figuring out how to navigate Windows 8, and ZAP! Windows 8 crashed, and I had to reinstall the operating system as well as all of my programs. I must say that Dell support was excellent. Someone stayed on the phone with my until everything was done (about 2 hours), and they have followed-up, just like a good computer doc should! Of course, the Windows 8 learning curve plus the crash backed up my regular work. In the mean time (what mean time?), I was making bracelets for a vendor show that was held last Friday night. My bracelet sales went well, and I'm just getting back on track, praise God! Now on to the review . . .

Product: Vaseline Spray & Go
Product photo
Where did I buy this? I bought two bottles of this product at my local Giant food store.

Price: The regular price was $6.99, but I had one $2-off coupon nd one $1.50-off coupon, which brought the price down to  about $4.99 per bottle.

Performance: Wowzer, I LOVE this stuff! I loathe anything heavy or greasy on my skin, so I actually prefer dry flakies to that suffocating feeling. Luckily, I don't have to settle anymore. However, contrary to the nifty television commercial where you see a woman spraying it on her body, jumping in her clothes, and running out the door, you do have to rub this stuff in. Actually, it doesn't require much rubbing, so "smoothing" might be a better choice of words. It sprays on very easily, without nozzle-clogging, and with fairly good dispersion; however, I've had it spray narrow white strip on my skin from time to time. I think this has to do with the distance you hold the bottle from your skin. Anyway, I like to rub it on my feet and legs at night when I'm "couch-potatoeing" in front of the TV. I don't want to accidentally spray it on the couch, so I just spray some into my hand and rub it on. It sinks in within seconds and leaves no trace of grease or oil, so much so that it's almost hard to believe it's moisturizing my skin. But the proof is "in the pudding," and my skin is soft and clear of flakes or rough patches! The scents are nice and light and don't end up competing with my perfume. My favorite scent is Cocoa Radiant. I also have a bottle of the Aloe Fresh .
Not so "spray and go." You have to at least smooth it in!
Packaging: This product comes in a standard aerosol spray bottle. The bottle is tall and cylindrical in shape, which I appreciate because I have arthritis in my fingers and wrists, which sometimes makes it difficult to handle oddly shaped bottles and jars. My sense of touch like the smooth matte aluminum outside.

If I lost, spilled, or broke this item, would I buy again? Absolutely without a doubt I would buy this product again :-)

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 lippies (and five thumbs-up for good measure)!
 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't Give Me Any Lip: I Want Gimme Brow by Benefit!

Product: Benefit Gimme Brow

Where did I buy this? I bought this product from Sephora.com.

Price: This cost $22.00 -- quite a lot, I know -- but I didn't have too use much, so it should last me a very long time (plus free shipping with the Sephora Flash program).
Benefit Gimme Brow
Performance: I got the Light/Medium shade (it comes in Medium/Deep shade, too). It looks dark blond/taupe-y in the tube, but it looked great on my light-brown-turning-gray brows. It's biuldable, so you can get as strong a look that you're willing to go for. I was afraid that the darker shade would have been too stark against my pinked fair skin. The teensy-tiny wand is like the pointed end of a mascara spoolie but even thinner, perfect for brow work. It works by depositing tiny fibers in with your sparse and/or thin brow hairs, thus making them look fuller. They also look more tamed and professional, too.

Packaging: Wonky geometric tube. Sort of like an elongated three-dimensional rhombus (largest pic, middle row, far right image). Benefit is know for kitschy product packaging and gimmicky product names, but the is nothing kooky about the greatness that is this product. Benefit hit it out of the ballpark with his one!
Sorry for the fright. This is my left brow without Gimme Brow.
Better. Left brow with Gimme Brow.




Right brow without Gimme Brow (can't you just see that big chunk o' skin right along the middle of it? I could host a small nest of birds in there!)
Right brow with Gimme Brow. Way better, dont'cha think?

If I lost, spilled, or broke this item, would I buy again? Yes, without a doubt. It's the best brow product I've ever used. Maybe Benefit is finally focusing more on product performance than on gimmicky product packaging and names.


Overall rating: 5 of 5 lippies! Yay!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

New CVS Red-Box/Coupon Center Policy

You know those long strips of coupons that spit out of the CVS Red-Box/Coupon center machine, even the ones with CVS Extra Bucks on them and your quarterly Extra Bucks rewards, as well as coupons for $5 of a $15 purchase(or similar) that you might get at the bottom of a cash register receipt? I just heard from a CVS associate today that CVS coupons will be bow be accepted at any time after their expiration date, i.e., they'll never expire. Yay! Plus, this new policy is applicable nationwide.
All hail the new CVS coupon policy!
My regular weekly post will be up tomorrow :-

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fun Fingers*

*And probably the only time anyone will ever see me with more than a one-nail mani! (Yeah, I did my thumb, too. I didn't like the color [and ended up returning it], so I didn't include a photo it).

Product(s):  Sephora by Opi for Sephora Jewelry Topcoats
Indi-go With the Flow
Mauve-ie Star in the Making
Traffic-Stopper Copper
The Golden Age

Where did I buy these? Sephora.com

Price: $4.50 each when I bought them (regularly $9.50 each) ($13.99 at Amazon.com!!!!!).

Right to left: Indi-go With the Flow, Traffic-Stopper Copper, and Mauve-ie Star in the Making over base colors
The pinky is actually a pink WNW glitter top coat
Performance: Excellent. Fun and funky alone (multiple coats) or over a base color.  Personally, I would NEVER do a full mani with these . . .way OTT! But each to her own. If you can pull it off, then do eet (no, that's not  typo; it's my Pepi le Pew voice).

Packaging: Standard OPI-shapped bottle with "bullet"-capped wand.

If I lost, spilled, or broke this item, would I buy again? Yuppers.

Overall rating: 5 of 5 lippies!